Bloomberg

13 February 2018 - 11:37am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the reasons behind Comcast interest in pursuing Fox assets. Comcast is the largest cable provider in the U.S. and the Justice Department has shown it’s resistant to approving deals between big TV distributors and programmers with its attempt to prevent AT&T’s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. A tie-up with Fox would combine Fox’s pay-TV channels like FX and National Geographic with Comcast’s NBCUniversal cable channels like Syfy and Bravo.
Claire said that after Comcast’s attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. in 2015 was blocked by regulators, it may not want to run the risk of government resistance again with Fox in the U.S.. Comcast also had a “very demanding” review over the acquisition of NBCUniversal. She said “Comcast has fewer hurdles to clear in Europe, but my heavens, the U.S. situation would be pretty difficult”.

Bloomberg

12 February 2018 - 3:04pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on 21st Century Fox which has offered a series of steps to “guarantee” the editorial independence of Sky News to assuage concerns raised by the UK’s competition watchdog over the company’s bid to take full control of the pan-European broadcaster Sky. Given opposition from third parties to Fox’s approach of behavioural remedies, Alice said that the CMA review is still on a ‘knife-edge’. Adding that “The CMA has to decide whether to go with the politicians and Avaaz and prohibit the merger, or go with Fox and accept behavioural undertakings”.

Trinity Mirror boards consolidation Express

Trinity Mirror’s proposed acquisition of Northern & Shell’s newspapers (Express and Star) and magazines reflects a hunger for consolidation among corporate media, creating scale positions while entrepreneurs step back

The deal makes strategic sense for Trinity Mirror, with material cost savings in printing and back office, and some scale benefits in advertising: important developments if the industry is to generate a differentiated digital offering

Premier League auction: not ripe for GAFAN disruption

The overall scale of the GAFAN digital media giants may be huge, but the cost of becoming a major player in Premier League (PL) football remains utterly disproportionate to the current scale and ambitions of their video businesses in the UK

Furthermore, the main package PL rights are live-only, UK-only, and of limited breadth of appeal, making a poor strategic fit for any of the digital players

Sky H1 2017/18 results: Solid platform, questions on content

Sky H1 results were very solid, maintaining 5% revenue growth and 10% EBITDA growth, with Sky continuing to support a widening product portfolio and more expensive core products with strong cost control and execution

Subscriber volume growth was a little weak at the margin, but this will be helped by all-IP products expanding the economically addressable base in new, and existing, markets 

BT Q3 2017/18 results: Under pressure

BT Group revenue growth held steady at -1.5% during the quarter, but this was helped by some recovery in the (still declining) Global Services division, with weaknesses appearing in a number of other areas

BT Consumer is of particular concern, with revenue growth turning negative as a result of declining volumes and weak ARPU growth, which are driven by industry-wide trends that are hard for BT to avoid

Hollywood Reporter

8 February 2018 - 3:10pm -- Olga De Giovanni

James Barford was quoted in an article on the English Soccer Rights Auction. The most-watched soccer league in the world that features teams such as Manchester City, Manchester United, London clubs Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, is about to kick off its latest U.K. TV rights auction, which is expected to set a new all-time record for the price paid for its matches. But observers expect a smaller increase for the latest three-year rights deals starting with the 2019-20 season after the last two rights deals boosted the overall price tag by 70 percent. And new suitors, led by Amazon, are understood to have been considering competing for some of the rights in the auction that is set to kick off this week. BT in the last auction retained two packages with 42 matches per season for $1.46 billion, while Sky got the rights to 126 games per season for $6.37 billion. That made the overall deal worth more than $7.8 billion (5.14 billion pounds), at the time. This time, the Premier League is expecting another increase, but analysts expect the bidders to stick to being cautious what they offer to pay. James said "the loss-making nature of both Sky and BT’s sports businesses makes it difficult for them to justify expansion or further hyperinflation. Indeed, reduced viewing figures, in part driven by growing live-streaming piracy, means that the Premier League rights’ fundamental value is falling, not rising".

Tencent: gaming giant heads west

Tencent, by some counts the world’s most valuable media and entertainment company but still relatively unknown outside Asia, is riding games growth to global clout

The company offers a blueprint for successfully integrating media and entertainment companies, saving on overheads while retaining key talent and organisational culture

CMA issues provisional findings in Fox-Sky

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that Fox’s acquisition of Sky is against the public interest on media plurality grounds, although it could proceed with an appropriate remedy

The CMA found the merger would give the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) and family members “too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda”

The CMA now enters the challenging remedies phase. Fox could offer an Editorial Board for Sky News pending finalisation of Disney-Fox (by 2019). Third parties seem likely to continue to seek to prohibit the merger

Serie A’s 2018-21 auction morphs into telenovela

The Italian league, unhappy with broadcasters’ bids of €830m, are now holding talks with Spain’s Mediapro, who has offered €950m and would produce a channel to wholesale to all platforms

Mediapro’s bid faces challenging economics given the low potential for an OTT strategy and Sky’s exclusive possession of a sufficiently monetisable subscriber base

Ultimately, we expect Sky to continue its full coverage and to increase its outlay only if it gains more exclusive fixtures

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