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Public Service Broadcasting
Enders Analysis is a firm believer in strong public service broadcasting which boosts the entire UK creative industry and is consumed by almost everyone. We have published a report on Channel 4 relocation. To download this report please click on the link below:
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Sky maintained strong revenue growth of 5% in 2017/18, with EBITDA and operating profit both bouncing back into strong positive territory after the UK Premier League rights hit of 2016/17
The UK grew revenue well and profits better; Italy performed well and should improve much further given the retreat of its principal competitor; Germany is more challenged, but extra content investment may aid sustained growth
Sky is proving adept at managing content costs and revenue in a changing environment, with investment, cost control and monetisation all being put to effective use as the content type demands it
Virgin Media had a mixed quarter, with subscriber ARPU growth maintained, partly driven by a triple play focus with pay TV and telephony adds much improved, but subscriber and broadband net adds unchanged
Cable revenue growth did slow from 3.6% to 3.1%, mainly due to the previous quarter’s net adds slowdown working through, and it is still growing the fastest of the big operators in a slow-growth market that still suffers from pricing pressure at the low end
Its network roll-out was slower than last year and only just above the weather-impacted previous quarter, which appears to be deliberate, and which may at least partly relate to an uncertain regulatory and commercial climate over ‘full fibre’ roll-out by others
Video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook video, enjoy a light-touch regulatory regime for harmful content and advertising. As video viewing of non-broadcaster content grows, the regulatory gap between TV broadcasters and video-sharing platforms widens, part of a broader uneven playing field for publishers and platforms
However, there is momentum against this: the “platforms vs publishers” divide looks set to weaken in EU law, and the platforms themselves are investing more in combatting harmful content within a self-regulatory regime, though their internal policies and outcomes are still opaque
Effective and fair regulation of video-sharing platforms would involve the balancing of national freedom of speech conventions and the public utility of user-generated video hosting with concerned stakeholder views: something approaching a co-regulatory system for online video-sharing platforms
Although launched with an array of public service goals in mind, local TV’s flawed design has created a sector struggling to live up to its optimistic ambitions.
Five years and £37 million of licence fee monies later, it is unclear what public service contributions are being made, or whether the scheme has provided value-for-money. A wholesale review of the sector is urgently needed.
The vision of a “thriving and sustainable” sector has fallen flat. Most licences remain loss-making, with doubts as to their long-term viability. Those operating low-cost models seem best placed to survive.
The decline in demand in print presents trading challenges, but the more immediate pressures are on the supply side, with a 15% rise in paper prices accentuating the burden of production and distribution costs
With digital advertising growing at stubbornly low rates, UK publishers need to return to their fundamental consumer-centred strengths by switching their strategic attention towards strong brands, curation, and community
The case for specialist, branded publishing media remains robust: products, services, and consumers are still best brought together in an authoritative, trusted media environment. Advertisers and agencies (and also media) have undervalued the effectiveness of those environments, and direct-to-consumer opportunities have been exaggerated by many brands
BT’s Q1 results were fairly robust given a number of one-offs hitting in the quarter, with revenue growth of -2% in line with full year guidance, EBITDA growth of 1% ahead of plan, and a number of metrics looking promising
Openreach’s newly announced volume discount plans offer advantages in growing high and higher speed volumes, infrastructure competitiveness and regulatory pricing pressure, while giving up little in external revenue, a win-win-win for BT at least
Full-fibre regulation appears to be slowly moving towards more clarity, but is still far too unclear to justify an accelerated investment, with critical issues being ducked (for now) by government and Ofcom alike