Vodafone Q2 2017/18 results: Revenue flat-ish, profits surge

Vodafone Europe’s revenue growth was very similar to the previous quarter at just under 1%, but this was impressive given the considerable drag of roaming cuts, with ‘more-for-more’ tariffs coupled with data volume growth driving underlying improvement

Flat-ish revenue was enough to send EBITDA surging 13%, or around 9% excluding some one-off distortions, driven by good cost control and falling handset costs, with this trend previously disguised by profitability issues in the UK

BBC

4 December 2017 - 12:54pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox which is reported to have resumed talks with Walt Disney over a sale of "most" of its business, including its Sky stake. Negotiations are said to include Fox's movie and cable networks and international divisions, including Sky. The rest of the group, which includes Fox News Channel, Fox broadcast network and its sports rights, are not believed to be up for sale. Claire said that the reported interest of Disney in Fox was "very credible". She said for a "huge conglomerate" like Disney, a deal focused on consolidation would be "very sensible", and allow it to save hundreds of millions of dollars though "combined efficiencies". But she said the talks would not be able to progress significantly ahead of a critical auction of UK Premier League rights early next year, which would potentially affect Sky's valuation.

Financial Times

4 December 2017 - 12:53pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on BT, which is heading into a critical auction of UK Premier League rights. The British telecoms group’s chief executive Gavin Patterson, is already raising the prospect of losing BT’s rights to Premier League games. He said the group’s ambition was to retain its position as a “strong number two” behind Sky in pay-TV sports. Claire said “These two companies have bid to kill and — if not that — fatally wound each other, and this behaviour has been visible in every major auction since 2012 and continues to this day”.

the Guardian

4 December 2017 - 12:52pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on ITV, which is standing by The X Factor despite the current series of the singing competition delivering its lowest ever viewing figures. Bosses at ITV and Simon Cowell, whose entertainment company Syco is behind The X Factor, are understood to be pleased with the number of younger viewers that the show has attracted and the impact the acts have had in the iTunes download chart. Tom said that The X Factor’s overnight TV audience was down 22% on last year – when an average of 7 million people watch the final and that ITV would be “ruminating” about its performance. He added “When you consider that ITV don’t own the format, that they have The Voice coming to the channel from the BBC this year, which it does make, then X Factor starts to look expendable. ITV will be thinking that they can do better”.

Channel 5: three years on from Viacom's acquisition

Viacom’s 2014 acquisition of Channel 5 from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell occurred while the maelstrom encircling linear television viewing—sparked by the allure of SVODs and other digital distractions—was well underway

Nevertheless, with increased content spend, development of new titles and clarity as to its targeted audience, the broadcaster has increased its channel (and group) share amongst 16-34s and ABC1s, and has directed further benefits back to its owner's existing entertainment suite

The Independent

29 November 2017 - 11:46am -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Donald Trump’s attacks on CNN, which helped their revenues far more than his praise helped Fox News. Despite the President constantly tweeting his love of Fox News, the right-wing, unashamedly pro-Trump network suffered a 2 per cent drop in advertising revenue. Meanwhile The New York Times, the newspaper Mr Trump calls “failing” and “enemy of the people”, has announced it is gaining 100,000 subscribers a quarter, up from the pre-election growth rate of 23,000-33,000 new subscribers a quarter. Alice told The Independent: “These figures suggest the so-called ‘Trump bump’ is helping the media he attacks more than Fox News”. She explained that most media – whether leaning to the left or right – had grown thanks to the massive appetite for news generated by the 2016 election and Mr Trump’s hectic, drama-filled presidency. But Ms Enders said the Fox figures – the first year-on-year decrease in one of the big three US cable news networks since the 2016 election – might mean that the media outlets Mr Trump attacks are the ones benefiting the most. One potential reason for this, said Alice, was that in launching constant attacks on the “fake news” media, “Mr Trump is also giving an awful lot of free publicity to CNN. He’s effectively advertising CNN to people who don’t like Trump – and let’s not forget his approval ratings are incredibly low and have been declining. “In turn, the appeal of these news channels to advertisers is driven first and foremost by [the size of] their audiences.”

TV set viewing trends: flat shares of a smaller pie

BARB data indicates that the amount of average daily TV set viewing to linear TV channels is continuing to fall: the pie is shrinking. Just under 20% of TV set usage so far in 2017 is to non-linear activity, and viewing to SVOD services and YouTube is likely to account for most of this growth in 'unmatched' viewing

The pie is shrinking faster amongst younger audiences: just under one third of TV set usage is 'unmatched' now for 16-34s. However 35+ unmatched use is growing at a faster rate than 16-34 unmatched use in 2017

UFC - pay-per-view heavyweight, subscription contender

The recent highly-publicised boxing match between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and boxing great Floyd Mayweather has not only broken UK records, but signified the rising status of the UFC into the mainstream of sports

The UFC has grown hugely in recent years. Its competition structure, appeal to younger audiences, and savvy marketing make it attractive to pay-TV broadcasters and an enticing proposition for Millennial and Gen-Z viewers 

TalkTalk Group Q2 2017/18 results: Growth at a cost

TalkTalk continued to maintain positive broadband net adds in Q2 despite increased churn, and its on-net revenue growth turned positive as well, helped by the turnaround in subscriber growth trends and an overlapping price increase implemented during the quarter

The return to growth is taking its toll in marketing costs however, and the company is now guiding to a full year ‘headline’ EBITDA at the lower end of its previous given range, and this is after redefining ‘headline’ to exclude losses from its winding-down mobile business

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