O2 announces home phone offers

O2’s plan to launch competitively-priced ‘home phone’ offers in March should help sustain its current growth in fixed broadband, but is unlikely on its own to transform O2 into a significant player in UK fixed telecoms

The company’s fixed line foray is unlikely to reduce its mobile churn significantly, but nor does it look likely to increase it, with any residual net effect muted by the relatively small scale of O2’s fixed business

UK TV advertising outlook 2010

December 2009 showed exceptional year-on-year growth of around 10% in TV NAR (Net Advertising Revenue), causing the year to end down -11%/12% according to market estimates, which as recently as August were contemplating a decline of -15% or below

The December spike reflects various causes, including robust retail conditions in the last days of reduced VAT at 15%, strong likelihood of marketers releasing budgets held back earlier in the year due to uncertainties over the economy and record-breaking audiences for The X Factor

Court of Appeal verdict on Sky stake in ITV

The Court of Appeal’s (CA) dismissal of Sky’s second attempt to overturn the Competition Commission’s (CC) decision that it must reduce its 17.9% shareholding in ITV to below 7.5% makes it increasingly probable that Sky will comply with the CC ruling at some point during 2010/2011

Although the CA’s dismissal of Sky’s appeal has always seemed the likely, even if never certain, outcome, the extra time consumed has so far benefited Sky greatly as the ITV share price has recovered from a low of below 20p in March 2009 to around 60p in January 2010

Spotify and ad-supported music models

Spotify is among the leading providers of legal online music streaming services in major European markets such as the UK, France and Spain. Entry to the US is rumoured and would make sense to establish the brand as a global one

As this report details, the commercial viability of the ad-supported ‘free’ service in a market that is five times the size of the UK will depend crucially on the royalty structures agreed by licensors, including recorded music companies and publishers

Orange possible U-turn on pay-TV and Canal+

France Télécom’s forthcoming Chief Executive Officer, Stéphane Richard, is considering a radical shake up and potential U-turn of Orange’s TV ‘content’ strategy, initiated and driven by CEO Didier Lombard

Orange could withdraw entirely from supplying premium pay-TV channels (sports and film) and distribute only third party content, as has been the focus of other broadband suppliers

Sky fiscal H1 2010 results: high on HD, 3D to come

Sky fiscal H1 2010 results show continued resilience in the face of weak economic conditions, delivering strong net subscriber growth, a big lift in ARPU, and a record lift in HD subscriptions, almost 200,000 up on any previous quarter and only just short of the half a million mark

Sky+ HD is now manifestly the centre point of a three-pronged operational strategy that focuses on driving customer growth, selling more products into the customer base and seeking efficiencies in fixed costs

Orange and T-Mobile UK merger: UK review looks likely, timetable extends

The UK regulatory authorities have requested that the Orange/T-Mobile merger be scrutinised in the UK as opposed to in Brussels, which makes it likely that the EU will refer it down

Once in the UK, the deal is likely to be referred to the Competition Commission for a lengthy, detailed study, which is likely to result in significant concessions at least

A final result is unlikely before October 2010, putting the merger a few months behind the schedule indicated by the parent companies in September 2009

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