Sony is reportedly listening to multiple pitches from parties interested in buying the company’s film and TV business.
According to the New York Post, banks are flooding into Sony’s offices in Tokyo to offer advice on the potential sale of the business unit, which has struggled. The report suggests that CBS may still be interested in buying the Sony division but that it may have competition from other interested companies in China.
Speculation about Sony selling off its film and TV business comes shortly after longtime Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton announced he’s leaving the company to focus on being chairman at Snap Inc.
Sony Corp. President and CEO Kazuo Hirai thanked Lynton, who will stick around to transition his job to a new hire, and said he looked ahead to Sony’s hopeful return to “profitability and future growth, though we recognize current challenges in motion pictures business and its turnaround will take some time. As we look ahead, we see our entertainment businesses as essential parts of Sony, and I look forward to working with Michael towards a smooth transition.”
As the Post pointed out, Sony Pictures is trailing Disney, Warner Bros., Universal and Fox for box office share in the U.S. But the company is reportedly enthusiastic about its upcoming "Emoji Movie," to the point where it plans to hold off selling the film business until it sees how the movie performs.
While it would make sense that a media company like CBS would pursue another media company like Sony Pictures, Recode recently argued that tech companies might also be interested in buying the TV and film producer.
The key to Recode’s thesis is that tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook need exclusive, original content on their platforms in order to help differentiate themselves from competitors.