BREAKING: Seaworld To Make “Groundbreaking Investment” Announcement; Comcast Expected To Buy Fledgling Theme Park

Comcast and Sea World logos

Comcast and Sea World logos

SeaWorld will be making a “groundbreaking investment” announcement this morning, August 15, 2014, with a special preview on The Today Show.  Sources close to the deal are telling PopWrapped exclusively that, cable and telecom giant, Comcast, will be purchasing the fledgling company, and that the announcement is “imminent.”  While specific details of the potential Comcast buyout are still unclear, if the rumors are true, it can only mean big things for the struggling SeaWorld brand.

SeaWorld is still feeling the “Blackfish” effect as the company’s shares fell a whopping 22 percent over the past year, down 33 percent on Wednesday alone, when it reported lackluster second quarter earnings at the close of the regular trading day. In response, Standard & Poor’s dropped Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld’s corporate credit rating to BB- from BB, pushing the rating further below investment grade, also known as “junk” status. This comes on the heels of the late July announcement that Southwest Airlines is ending its promotional partnership with SeaWorld. The two companies had done joint events and marketing for more than 15 years together. While neither company mentioned Blackfish or its subsequent backlash as a contributing factor in terminating the relationship, a petition on Change.org urging Southwest to end its affiliation with SeaWorld garnered more than 30,000 signatures.

SeaWorld went public in 2012. It was formerly owned by private equity giant The Blackstone Group. While investors dove into the stock initially, it dropped over 45% in the past past year, largely due to the negative effects of the Blackfish documentary.  After Wednesday’s decline, the stock is now below its IPO price, a clear warning threshold for stock holders.

Universal Parks and Resorts, commonly and also known as Universal Studios Theme Parks, is the theme park division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. According to Comcast’s annual report, the theme park division is NBCUniversal’s strongest performer with a 24% increase in revenue. NBCUniversal is the third-largest amusement park operator in the world.  A potential buyout could spur new faith in the brand, or could severely damage Comcast’s reputation, as many are calling the SeaWorld brand name “toxic.”

The director of Magnolia Pictures documentary Blackfish, which exposed the park’s practices of capturing and training killer whales, thinks the park’s falling revenue can only mean good things for her cause. “I don’t think SeaWorld speaks the language of ethics, of right and wrong. But they do speak ‘Revenue’,” said Gabriela Cowperthwaite. “This could spur meaningful, massive change on their part.”

What do you think about the potential merger?  Do you think Comcast can pull SeaWorld back into the black, or do you think the park will be shuttering its doors permanently?  Sound off in the comments!

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20 comments
JohnMay1
JohnMay1

Some people say I'm not allowed to be an Animal Rights supporter because I am not vegan.  However, I am a Biologist, and studies show that Cetacean brains have a larger percentage of empathy center than humans.  Even the most ignorant SeaWorld supporter may know these beings are self-aware, have their own languages, and already have a name in their community before sold into slavery, taking a stupid, circus clown name.  Someone please tell me how starving dolphins until they jump through hoops and standing on their rostrum is educational for children.  I'll save the horrors of the breeding and captures for my next rant.  Everybody hates Comcast already, and SeaWorld's failures may drive up the price of cable TV.

GaryShayne
GaryShayne

Whales and dolphins are wonders with consciousness, and rights that cannot be denied; therefore, they are not ours to eat or enslave in spite of what Slave (Sea) World says in their propaganda. It is past time we redefined the boundaries of liberty and personal freedom to include these and other species. As a free man, I am not merely called on, but required, to protect and defend those around me from being carelessly used as food or being forced to endure a lifetime of servitude and slavery. What humans do here and now, and the choices that are made, will reverberate throughout all time, and reflect not just who we are as individuals, but that of our bloodlines as well.


History has shown time and again that mankind's savage cruelty has caused undue suffering and harm, and this must end if we are to advance into the future and evolve. Those who serve evil will argue against me, enslaved to antiquated and outdated notions; unable to think for themselves, but only too willing to espouse and cheer on that which will provide a profit, no matter the suffering this entails on the part of animals who cannot defend themselves.Whales and dolphins are an essential part of the wilderness that makes life wonderful. No whale or dolphin can be happy in a tank, which is a fictionalized world created to serve the greed and avarice of humans. No aquarium can satisfy their needs for bonding with others of their species, and I pity anyone who holds the opinion that enchaining others is right and natural.

I have one last thought for those who oppose me, and favor this cruel salvery… Are we so fearful and cowardly that we must extinguish a species’ freedom? For we will be judged by how we treat others, and must understand what we say and do shapes what is to come. I implore you, do not continue with your current actions; end them now before it is too late.

MaralKalinian1
MaralKalinian1

Some SW supporters, like below, will claim none of the orca were captured: 

Currently 13 of 45 of the orcas on display were wild-caught. Not rescued, not injured (unless SW injured or killed them during the captures).

After many years of horrendous results from the still-awkward Artificial Insemination program, including deaths, Kalina, born in September 1985, was the first captive-born orca calf to survive more than a few days. 

We all read the official documents and the facts, and that's how we approach this crisis. We all have active blogs that are chock full of information that is fact-based, not speculation or 3rd party versions of a fact. 

SW supporters best be careful to use claims you haven't checked yourself. 


~> PopWrapped, thanks for the article, Seaworld has the worst game of "telephone" going on here - and their followers are more and more ignorant of the facts at hand. Their claims are getting wilder and wilder.

I guess you have to have your mice blind to lead them into such lies. 

A simple Goggle search will confirm everything we say as fact. #Blackfish.

And so this doesn't get buried in the reply to 'pupscrappy' I am reposting it here. Everyone deserves the truth, especially Seaworld supporters. It will set them free. 

Phoenixlake
Phoenixlake

#EmptyTheTanks all the tanks, we do not care if SeaWorld Comcast or Marineworld SixFlags Georgia Aquarium National Aquarium whatever name, same result,Death. 

Cetaceans Whales Dolphins are intelligent high functioning mammals. Humanity needs to realize they are not slaves for our Entertainment. 

  Comments like pupscrappy are beyond cruel and ignorant, just plain dumb. Ambassadors my ass, they are slaves held prisoner for pure profits. They have wild caught mammals, they always spin it as a Rescue, SeaWorld Cares BS, they care about Money.

  The animals are totally screwed over, the females are repeatedly raped and artificially inseminated to make more slaves. The animals are psychotic after a life in prison. The animals die in misery. The animals belong in the Oceans. #Empty The Tanks

 Comcast is known as the most Hated Company in America, if they get in the Slave business I will fight them.

jilleeeebean
jilleeeebean

Comcast will be in line of fire. Would be stupid move as now we will just boycott them as well. #boycottseaworld

LaurieSchultz
LaurieSchultz

Too little too late for Sea World.   The only way that they can save themselves is to find a way to Free Tilikum and others that were captured.  I don't know what will happen to those bred in captivity.  Since whales are pod members, these would never be accepted into a wild pod.  It really is a conundrum.  But bigger bath tubs and a new paint job won't fool those of us who are paying attention.


mobrock
mobrock

If Comcast purchases SeaWorld, one certain thing will result.  I will end my Comcast account until it changes the SeaWorld business model and agrees to retire all of its marine mammals, with an immediate and ongoing evaluation and training to allow them a freer life.

MichelleGenzelleJerrells
MichelleGenzelleJerrells

Gary first off I got to say how narrow minded u r. I love animals. I am all for protecting them. I have worked for sea world and have to say what they do is a wonderful thing. They do not as u say enslave anything but help save lives. Yes they have shows wiyh these amazing animals. But the story and work with these animals daily to beeter understand them so they can better help save and preserve others in the wild. Though their research and studies they r able to save many others. They don't take them to enslave them but to protect them. The ones that r seen in the park and shows r those that can't be release back in to the wild. So them make a home for them. Yes they breadth them and keep many of them because Wales and dolphins r social animal and they need to be apart of family and others for their health. Before u pass judgment on others u needto do rresearch and see what and why they do what they do if they hadn't so many of these amazing animals would die do to so many things that we have learnd that have endangered them. So get ur head out of ur own ass and stop bad monthing things u have no clue about. Thanks to sea world mean ppl know about these beautiful creatures and how to protect them.

PaulSlabaugh
PaulSlabaugh

@GaryShayne GOOD WORDS.  And those who oppose you are becoming the minority and the unpopular! Even more questionable practices are surfacing now but maybe SWorld needs to hang around long enough to PUT BACK WHAT THEY STARTED. The fallout from even nastier little roadside marine mammal circuses, as they close, will need respectful retirement requiring the bigger money of SeaWorld. That would finally legitimize SWorld's big ruse of being conservationists. Captivity shtholes are vindictive and cruel when forced to liquidate ..sending their inventory to whoever will take them, like 3rd world 'swim withs' in polluted waters that kills them within a year. That has happened and will again if not 'workably' planned for.

Phoenixlake
Phoenixlake

@jilleeeebean This is why Comcast is the Number #1 Most Hated Company in America. #EmptyTheTanks  Do Not Buy A Ticket 

LaurieSchultz
LaurieSchultz

@pupscrappy you have NO idea what you are talking about.   The oldest whale in captivity at Seaworld, Corky, was the first Shamu.  She was taken from her pod and her mother, as was Tilikum and many others.  They were NOT abandoned by the pod or injured in ANY way.  Tilikum was a perfectly healthy 2 year old orca.  Same with the dolphins.   Watch the Cove, hell try the news but get a clue. 

MaralKalinian1
MaralKalinian1

@pupscrappy Currently 13 of 45 of the orcas on display were wild-caught. Not rescued, not injured (unless SW injured or killed them during the captures).

After many years of horrendous results from the still-awkward Artificial Insemination program, including deaths, Kalina, born in September 1985, was the first captive-born orca calf to survive more than a few days. 

We all read the official documents and the facts, and that's how we approach this crisis. We all have active blogs that are chock full of information that is fact-based, not speculation or 3rd party versions of a fact. Best be careful to use claims you haven't checked yourself. PopWrapped, thanks for the article, Seaworld has the worst game of "telephone" going on here - and their followers are more and more ignorant of the facts at hand. I guess you have to have your mice blind to lead them into such lies. A simple Goggle search will confirm everything we say as fact. #Blackfish.

Phoenixlake
Phoenixlake

@pupscrappy you are clueless,wrong and ignorant about where the whales and other mammals came from. 

Go to Ceta-Base dot com and educate yourself about where they were caught, lived, transported, died. Sea World had a Beluga named Ruby die July 3,2014. Ruby was the 41st dead Beluga Ambassador that died at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. 

 Google  Orca dead  to find the 159 Orcas died and did not survive your fun family shows. 

 Sea World has been teaching China and Russia SE Asia how to make millions from the slavery of Orcas, Dolphins, Belugas. Fifty years of suffering and pain to make the executives filthy rich.


What does your Freedom mean to YOU?

Amberleemisery
Amberleemisery

Tilikum was captured at age two off the coast of Iceland dumb ass. There is one. And there are many more not to mention the Taiji dolphin massacre is for them to aquire WILD dolphins cause theirs keep dying of so fast.

AnthonyCL
AnthonyCL moderator

@mobrock That is literally an absurd statement, what about animals at Comcast other attractions. For example Universal Studios has animals in their show, or are you saying that those mammals don't deserve the same freedoms as the marine mammals at SeaWorld? That's almost like saying black mammals don't deserve the same freedoms as white mammals.

LaurieSchultz
LaurieSchultz

@AnthonyCL @mobrock as an activist,  I value the life of all animals.  Does that answer your question?  I oppose Sea World, and the circus, and the zoo, and breeder farms, puppy mills, dog fighting and the list goes on ad nauseam.  Actively advocating in one place for the voiceless does not mean that one does not value all, merely that we are speaking to the topic at hand.  Talk about absurd?  Your comment from start to finish is the epitome of the absurd.


SharonKelly
SharonKelly

@AnthonyCL @mobrock Talk about "an ubsurd statement" ?!! Did you actually read mobrock`s comment...Totally agree with you Mo. This #SeaWorld model is out dated and certainly does not belong in the 21st century. There is nothing educational in these captive facilities. Not the mention the real risk to human lives. It is time to #EmptyTheTanks because #CaptivityKills. #SeaWorld SUCKS!!!

mobrock
mobrock

@AnthonyCL I do not regard the not having solutions to everything as making steps for some of the injustices absurd.  While I do not support the captivity of any wild animal other than purely for the best interest of the animal, I don't feel beholden to limit activism if it can't all be done in one fell swoop.