Thursday December 7, 2023

Distressed Debt Grows

Liberty Media
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Media companies are struggling with debt, with distressed media debt growing seven times since March. As of Oct. 9, distressed bonds and loans reached a whopping $13.6 billion.

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Diamond Sports now tops the list of issuers with the most distressed debt levels — that haven’t filed for bankruptcy — with $8.1 billion. As live events hamstrung the TV advertising market, the lack of revenue hit debt payments hard.

Travel and entertainment currently carries a high default risk according to S&P Global Ratings, which includes media. The U.S. has 56% of the global media and entertainment weakest links.

Industries With Biggest Increase in Distressed Bonds and Loans:

Media — $1.9 billion in March; $13.6 billion in October

Health Services — $4.8 billion in March; $13.5 billion in October

Retail — $16.8 billion in March; $22.7 billion in October

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