Study: M&A Activity in Media Surges 55 Percent So Far This Year

The value of deals for the first three quarters is $77.1 billion, up from $49.8 billion during the same frame in 2012.

Merger and acquisition deals in the entertainment, media and communications industries shot up 55 percent through the first nine months of the year compared with 2012, according to a study set for release Thursday.

Deal value was $77.1 billion in the first three quarters of the year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, up from $49.8 billion in the same frame a year earlier.

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The data does not include a September announcement that Verizon Communications would acquire Verizon Wireless for $130.1 billion.

Some of the Top 10 deals this year include Liberty Global paying $16.3 billion for Virgin Media, Dish Network buying LightSquared for $2.2 billion, Charter Communications buying Optimum West for $1.6  billion and Gannett paying $2.1 billion for Belo Corp.

Through the end of the third quarter, private equity deals represent about 20 percent of total mergers and acquisitions in the entertainment, media and communications industries, according to the study.

"With use of mobile data surging, the need for more efficient mobile networks is driving M&A and investment in mobile network technologies and operations," the study says.

While deal value surged, volume was up just 9 percent, from 594 deals announced last year during the time frame to 647 this year.