Julian Aquilina was quoted in an article on the battle for the Premier League football rights, where Sky has emerged as the big winner sparking fresh criticism of BT's expensive foray into sports broadcasting. While Sky slashed the amount it pays per match, arch-rival BT is paying more. The blunder piles fresh pressure on Gavin Patterson, BT's embattled boss, who has overseen a £5billion spending spree on sport. Yesterday it insisted it had 'remained financially disciplined' in the Premier League rights auction, paying £885million for 32 matches per season – £9.2million per game. Julian said “some people will be pleased BT has not increased its spend, but it does look like they have missed an opportunity to reduce their costs per game. It's also worth remembering Sky could not actually be allowed to win the package BT won, and it's not clear who else would have come in with a bid for it”.
Julian Aquilina was quoted in an article on the results of the Premier League auction. The price paid per Premier League game has dropped from £10.2 million to £9.3 million for the time being following the latest deal. Sky held on to its position as the main broadcaster of live matches, claiming four of the seven available packages for 2019-2022, with BT taking the other package sold so far at a total combined cost of £4.46 billion ($6.16 billion). Sky's share price rose three percent on Wednesday after boasting how the new deal sees them paying 16 percent less per game than the previous agreement for their 128 games. Julian said "It is excellent news for Sky. Neither player was pushed to position themselves to bid for all the packages like the last time. They can still offer all the packages to their customers presuming no third party wins the other two packages".
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing officer, who set to put the technology giants – Facebook and Google - on notice in a speech on Monday to major advertisers, media groups and technology companies at the annual Interactive Advertising Bureau conference. Unilever, the world’s second-biggest marketing spender, is threatening to pull its advertising from digital platforms such as Google and Facebook if they “create division”, foster hate or fail to protect children. Speaking to The Drum after Weed's speech yesterday, Matti suggested there wasn't a "one-size-fits-all" approach to addressing transparency and that not all brands are baiting with their marketing spend as. He said "Some big brands have indeed pulled a lot of spend from some of the online platforms, but other brands who are less concerned about the PR or have a different kind of business model have stepped in and said 'if they're moving budget then there's an opportunity for us to move into this space'. So it shows that there is much to be done before the whole industry is committed to the same kind of standards [as Unilever and P&G]".
We forecast UK display adspend to grow by 3.1% in 2018 (<1% in nominal terms), with TV roughly steady, newspaper decline slowing and digital growth slowing a little
Households are facing an income squeeze and the ability of debt and credit to carry them over is reaching its sensible limit. Brexit-related uncertainties remain the single strongest drag on business investment, dampening ad spend
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”.
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’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
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 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 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