BT Q1 2017/18 results: Back to growth (for now at least)

BT Group revenue returned to growth, at least temporarily, helped by overlapping price rises in consumer, one-off regulated price cuts on leased lines annualising out, and mobile handset sales improving

Regulatory news was unusually positive, with Openreach taking the initiative on FTTP, and BT winning an appeal against damaging leased line regulation, which may end up being significantly eased

BT continues to do well in consumer and struggle in business markets, with the ongoing deceleration in the consumer broadband market the main cloud on the horizon

 

Bloomberg

9 August 2017 - 10:27am -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the Sky-Fox bid. Rupert Murdoch’s proposed takeover of Sky has met with further delays after the government asked the media regulator Ofcom to conduct further analysis of the mogul and his company’s adherence to broadcasting standards. Murdoch’s opponents have threatened Culture Secretary Karen Bradley with a legal challenge if she doesn’t also call for an investigation on broadcasting standards, in light of recent revelations of alleged misconduct at Fox News and an allegedly flawed approach by Ofcom. Bradley must decide whether to refer the deal to the Competition and Markets Authority for further review that could last six months. The ministry asked Ofcom to clarify parts of its report by Aug. 25. Alice said “this issue of whether to refer or not on broadcasting standards is probably causing quite a lot of headache. She has to be especially careful and will really want to get good external legal advice” said Alice referring to Bradley. The request for further information from Ofcom effectively rules out Bradley making her next move before Parliament returns from its recess on Sept. 5. Alice added “you can bet your bottom dollar that DCMS is not going to get through all this evidence in 24 hours, or even a week”.

Sky progress against headwinds: FY 2017 results

Sky's full year results for fiscal 2017 are largely in line with company guidance on revenues, costs and synergies given on Investor Day last October, while the company expects further progress in fiscal 2018

Operating profits were badly hit by the massive increase of £629 million in annual payments to the Premier League, however, due to revenue and cost efficencies elsewhere, they fell by just £97 million, testifying to the overall strength of the Sky business

The Times

7 August 2017 - 5:19pm -- Olga De Giovanni

François Godard was quoted in an article on football sports rights. BT and Sky are paying a combined £1.7 billion per season for live domestic rights for the Premier League until 2019, betting that the fireworks and furore surrounding matches will bring in subscribers and advertisers. Instead of enjoying a clear path to their goal of happy punters and booming profits, the two broadcasters have challengers encroaching on the pitch. On one side are the pirates - a third of Premier League fans watched games regularly via illegal streams - and on the other are the giants, with speculation rife that the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook want to muscle in on the game. It is clear where immediate attention is focused. Piracy disturbs some BT and Sky shareholders — with the broadcasters airing 42 and 126 fixtures, respectively, each year — as much as it frustrates their paying subscribers. François suggested that the heavily-promoted move “reveals they may have some concerns about take up”. BT investors “may become uncomfortable” if its rights investment continues to grow, he added that Sky also could be tied down because its room to lift prices “may be very limited”.

the Guardian

7 August 2017 - 11:12am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on John Malone’s global ambitions to dominate the global pay-TV market. The 76-year-old’s global ambitions mean he frequently crosses swords with Rupert Murdoch on his way to becoming the most powerful challenger to the octogenarian’s empire in the UK and Europe. Claire said “Malone’s stakes tend to be strategic and he is a prolific deal-maker. Malone and Murdoch have complementary business approaches. They are healthy frenemies.”

Sky News

3 August 2017 - 10:36am -- Olga De Giovanni

Julian Aquilina was quoted in an article on OFCOM's annual Communications Market Report. The report found that, on average, 16 to 24-year-olds watch one hour and 54 minutes of TV a day, compared with three hours and 32 minutes across all age ranges. Julian told Sky News "we estimate that the subscription streaming services are still roughly about 5% of video viewing. That's very small compared to the traditional broadcasters, for examples, who account for about 85% of viewing today. Having said that, they are making a dramatic leap forwards among younger people. We are expecting 10 years from now that people are going to be consuming a lot more of that sort of content, and we can only assume that other age groups will follow".

the Telegraph

2 August 2017 - 11:14am -- Olga De Giovanni

Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the future of house hunting. A new report by The Future Laboratory suggests that by 2025 we will be taking full advantage of big data, new advances such as gloves that simulate touch, and drones, in order to buy a house. Douglas said “‘whereas today an online property system might filter by budget and number of bedrooms, consumers in the 2020s will expect it to plug in to their personal data and know that they want a house with a south-facing garden, close to a railway station that serves their office, a school specialising in music for their daughter, and a jazz bar that serves great craft beer”.

Vodafone Q1 2017/18 results: Broadly flat, but promising signs

Vodafone Europe’s revenue growth bounced back from a weak previous quarter, but its top 4 markets combined were broadly flat in underlying terms. There are nonetheless promising underlying signs, including reduced churn, (slowly) improving subscriber growth and steady NPS

Vodafone has launched all-you-can-eat social/music/video bundles under the ‘Vodafone Pass’ moniker in several markets, which appear both popular and ARPU-enhancing, and being early to market with such an innovation is laudable

the Guardian

31 July 2017 - 10:53am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the inequalities of pay within the BBC. Claire said “the BBC is doing more than most media organisations to bridge the pay gap”. Half of the employees in the whole of Britain earn less than 1% of Evans’s wage and he is a minnow in the real business world.

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