Bloomberg 23 January 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Theresa May’s government announcement on Monday, which detailed plans to cultivate innovation in life sciences, low-emission vehicles, robotics, nuclear power and entertainment. The so-called sector deals are part of a broader plan to boost the economy by investing in research, training and other measures aimed at lifting the country’s lagging productivity as it prepares to leave the European Union. Alice said that Britain has a long tradition of supporting a sector that “punches above its weight” globally. She added “this is not a sector that requires a lot of subsidy, it’s more so an area where subsidies can make a difference and can meet the cost-benefit test. It costs taxpayers something but the benefits outweigh the costs.”
Financial Times 12 January 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the UK newspaper crises, which is driving rivals collaboration in face of fast declining print advertising. Richard Desmond, who owns the Express newspaper group, and Simon Fox, Trinity Mirror chief executive, called on a potential merger. Douglas said “in these challenging times, newspaper owners are having to think the unthinkable. Consolidation is inevitable.”
Financial Times 6 January 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the future of ITV, as speculation grows over changes at the top of UK broadcaster. Claire said “this is a watershed year for ITV. This is the year that people realise that peak TV is behind us and while ITV has many different levers of revenue advertising will be tough. Adam has done a great job but the fact is ITV is in play because of the fall in the company’s share price and the value of sterling.”
Variety 5 January 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on British television which is facing uncertain times, as U.K. broadcasters have become targets for foreign takeovers. The recent $14.6 billion deal that will see 21st Century Fox take over London-based European pay TV operator Sky underscores the fact that the plunge in the value of the pound, provoked by last June’s Brexit vote, has made British media assets relatively cheap. Ironically, that aggressive acquisitions policy has made ITV an appealing target. Claire said “ITV is very much a significant, attractive business. The entertainment industry is ruled by a handful of companies, and there are only a handful of great prizes.”
Deadline 3 January 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the possibility that in 2017 more British companies will come under foreign ownership - Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, and the plummet of the pound sterling affected box office returns for Hollywood studios and saw a massive reduction in stock prices, devaluing British companies in dollar terms. Claire said “TV is a hundred-year-old business. For us to be concentrating on the fact that the peak is behind us is certainly not something that makes you want to jump up and down for joy. People are looking at companies such as Sky and ITV for purchase, and people are going to be much more opportunistic.”
The Times 19 December 2016
James Barford was quoted in The Times on UK broadband speeds following Ofcom's "Connected Nations 2016" report. James said "If you look at comparable countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain, we are doing extremely well. We have the fastest broadband speeds, the widest availability of superfast speeds and among the lowest prices", but added more could be done.
Daily Mail 16 December 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Rupert Murdoch, who took a big step toward consolidating his power base in British media after his U.S. media group Twenty-First Century Fox agreed Thursday to buy the shares it doesn't already own in Sky PLC for 11.7 billion pounds ($14.6 billion). Claire said that the first bid involved scandal and political intrigue."The whole thing was done in the most dramatic way as if it were a TV show — 'West Wing' or something".This time, she said the transaction is likely to be methodical and by the book.
The Economist 15 December 2016
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on Vincent Bolloré race to buy up shares in Mediaset. On Tuesday, France’s Vivendi, a media firm in which Mr. Vincent Bolloré’s company, Bolloré Group, owns 20%, race to buy up shares of Italy’s biggest TV-broadcaster. The Italian firm claims a hostile takeover attempt. Francois said that Mr. Bolloré may see an opening in reports of divisions in the Berlusconi clan.
Variety 15 December 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Tony Hall and his role at the BBC. Hall has successfully juggled those competing demands and brought some much-needed stability to a media giant that teetered on the brink of disaster. In his three years at the helm, he has steered the Beeb through a sex-abuse scandal that nearly sank its reputation, and through difficult negotiations on a government-led overhaul that supporters feared — and detractors hoped — would gut the organization. Claire views the charter as a clear victory for the BBC, and not just over the government. “Let’s face it: A 30-year campaign by Rupert Murdoch to destroy the BBC came to nothing,” she says, referring to the media magnate’s aggressive lobbying against the Beeb, which he blasts as holding an unfair advantage over rivals like his own Sky pay-TV service. Claire added that Hall is “going to be remembered as an absolutely outstanding DG, because he pulled off what must’ve seemed like mission impossible three or four years ago when he took on the job”.
Variety 14 December 2016
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on Amazon Prime Video which has gone global. The streaming service is now available in more than 200 countries and territories, Amazon said Wednesday, putting it in direct competition with Netflix, which had its own global rollout earlier this year. One big question that Amazon Prime Video’s global launch begs is what effect it will have on movie acquisition around the world. In the U.S., Amazon Prime Video offered some 18,000 film titles, and Netflix 4,500 in March 2016, according to the Video Advertising Bureau. Internationally, for subscription VOD at least, Amazon doesn’t have the rights to the vast majority of those movies. Francois said “A very interesting question is the extent to which Amazon will attempt to replicate its U.S. movie model globally.[Amazon will] tend to try to do global deals for film rights, as much as it can”.
The Financial Times 14 December 2016
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on Vincent Bolloré’s intent on creating a southern European powerhouse in media and content, and Vivendi's Mediaset stakebuilding is another step towards that goal. Bolloré’s move on Italian broadcaster Mediaset has all the hallmarks of tactics honed over four decades of dealmaking: aggressiveness, audacity and creeping control. Francois said “it’s typical Bolloré. It’s very bold, it’s not a straightforward bid to buy a company and he’s obviously betting on dissent among the Berlusconi family.”
BBC Radio4 12 December 2016
Claire Enders was interviewed on BBC Radio4’s Today Programme on 21st Century Fox takeover of Sky. Claire said “I think it’s very likely that even if there is a plurality investigation that this will go through, and it will go either very fast – i.e. it will be concluded within six months because there is no plurality investigation, or it will take another few months after that, so it will conclude, say, within a year. It is a different situation, and the entities have been structured differently. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is no longer at the fore of managing any of these entities.”
The Financial Times 12 December 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Rupert Murdoch’s latest move to seize full control of Sky. Murdoch has played the long game in calculating that the UK political and media landscape has been transformed in the five years since he previously tried to acquire the British broadcaster. Claire said "the entities involved are substantially different. Yes, the Murdoch family is still in control but the role of the family has changed”.
the Telegraph 12 December 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the latest move of Rupert Murdoch, who returned to claim full control of Sky, five years after News Corp was humiliatingly forced to abandon pursuit as it was swept up in the maelstrom of the phone hacking scandal. Claire said “It’s a different structure and a different regulatory environment. The role of Rupert Murdoch has been redefined and there is more normal corporate governance. It was so obvious it was going to happen" adding that "at this price it's accretive for Fox. Some shareholders will complain about the price but it shows James Murdoch believes in this company even though the market has sold it savagely this year."
Yahoo 6 December 2016
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the resignation of the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, after a crushing defeat in the country’s referendum on Sunday. Alice said “I am not sure one should identify the score on the referendum with the strength of support for the Five Stars movement. Sure, they took the Rome mayoral office this year but that is different from holding the reigns of power.” She added that the result could be bad for advertising as businesses reflect on “the perennial problem of Italy.”
Financial Times 5 December 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on print advertising revenues, which have fallen sharply since the turn of the year, and could fall by as much as 20 per cent in 2016, according to Enders, while Google and Facebook have become more dominant. Douglas said that “there was a period where it looked like digital might start to offset the decline in print, but a lot of the trends have got worse. Convergence has become divergence.”
Digiday 1 December 2016
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on ESports, which is developing business models that combine sponsorships and advertising with subscriptions and micro-transactions. Matti said “we don’t have the culture of micro-donation, but something similar should emerge”. “ESports can have scheduled ad breaks built into broadcast formats,” adding that other live formats wouldn’t be suited to these breaks. “Leagues can take in the benefits of ads, sponsorship, micro-transactions and monetizing social engagement. For instance, during tournaments, audiences can pay to engage with professional players.”
the Guardian 1 December 2016
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on Netflix, which has begun rolling out the ability to download videos from its streaming service to smartphones and tablets for offline viewing. Toby said that people who subscribe to Amazon are more likely to also subscribe to Netflix, and “as long as you keep the price down” most consumers would not feel forced to choose between the two. However, he said the increasing competitiveness of Amazon’s service will still have spurred Netflix match its ability to offer downloads. He added “what they have always tried to do is make their product easy and uncomplicated, but [it is now] a question of being able to offer what the rest of the market does, and when it is Amazon that does it....”.
Though Netflix and Amazon are considered the leaders in video streaming, both have followed in the footsteps of the BBC, which led the way by launching iPlayer in 2007 and has allowed users to download programmes for offline watching on mobile devices since 2014. However, Toby said the service was no longer quite so cutting edge. “It’s always difficult when you start early. When you are a trailblazer really it looks frontline, then other things come along. At some point the BBC will have to decide whether it wants to re-engineer things.”
BBC 30 November 2016
Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on Netflix announcement - which is allowing some of its shows and films to be downloaded and watched offline. Tom said "It's surprising because just weeks ago they said it wasn't going to happen, you can understand why they wouldn't want to do it because it opens up a whole pot of rights issues. Offering a download service will cost Netflix more. But everyone else is already doing it. Amazon is doing it, Sky has been doing something similar with Sky Q. Netflix doesn't want to be left behind, or compared unfavourably to rivals."
Sky News 30 November 2016
James Barford was quoted in an article on Sky, which has announced details about its new mobile phone network - Sky Mobile - will focus on mobile data, with customers able to roll over unused data at the end of the month and to change their allowance whenever they like. James said "Sky is quite late to the market and the market is pretty tight - people don't move operators very often, churn is pretty low and a lot of contract mobile subscribers spend a lot of time in contract, so you have to pick the time to grab new customers. He added "if they are to build a substantial base, it would take them a number of years”.