Gill Hind was quoted in an article on the S4C review, which has been commissioned by the UK government. The review will examine the remit, governance and funding of S4C, and examine how it can meet the future needs of Welsh-speaking audiences. Gill said that the review would need to focus on the challenges facing all public service broadcasters, "It needs to be able to make its content available on every single device, it needs to be able to do different types of programming. S4C should be appealing to every single age group, and thinking: 'What sort of content do they want and what's the best platform to deliver that?'". She added the fact that S4C's content was in Welsh may mean it is better placed to fight for attention in a crowded TV market.
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Dame Carolyn McCall, who will take charge of ITV next January. Although her appointment was widely welcomed by analysts and media executives, the boss of the no-frills airline will nevertheless need to steer the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster through some potentially turbulent times. Under former chief executive Adam Crozier, ITV reduced its reliance on the cyclical advertising market by expanding its production division, ITV Studios, to become a major player in the international content business. But advertising still made up 47 per cent of ITV’s revenues of £3bn in 2016, and the problem for Dame Carolyn is that she is taking over just as the ad market heads into its most severe downturn since the financial crisis of 2009. Claire said “TV revenue is heading into the unknown, and there’s no end in sight to the decline of the core TV business”.
Gill Hind was quoted in an article on ITV’s four biggest challenges and how the new chief executive Carolyn McCall can solve them. McCall’s experience rising through the advertising sales ranks at Guardian Media Group to eventually become chief executive puts her in good stead to understand the commercial side of ITV’s business, which Gill believes is “hugely important” given the downturn in TV advertising since mid-2016. She added that “the market is likely to be down at least 5% this year so it’s clearly beneficial that the new chief executive has significant advertising experience and can support her commercial team. Her (McCall) skills nicely complement the current chairman, Peter Bazalgette, with his background in TV production. ITV has a strong operational team in place, so overall a very good appointment”.
Accelerating print advertising declines in 2016 are placing pressure on local newspaper publishers to deliver faster online growth
However, digital growth is being supported yet compressed by Google and Facebook; we estimate SME expenditure on Google is roughly 2x the local press, and we expect SME spend with Facebook to match local newspaper advertising revenues in two to three years
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the on Fox's Sky acquisition. Alice suggested that Fox would likely wait for what the CMA decides in its six-month review and discuss concessions then. "We are not sure 21st Century Fox has the appetite to lodge [an undertakings] offer [now], given the company’s incentive to obtain an expeditious process to clearance of the merger," she wrote in a recent report. "21st Century Fox may have an incentive to short-circuit the [undertakings] track and accept [a] CMA phase 2 [review]," which would likely lead to negotiations about concessions down the line, Alice said.
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Karen Bradley’s competition referral decision on the Sky/Fox deal. Bradley has given 21st Century Fox, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James, until Friday to offer further concessions to attempt to prevent the deal being referred to the Competition Markets Authority for further scrutiny. Fox will make a submission to Bradley that will criticise Ofcom’s review process and conclusions, but will not look to offer a remedy to strengthen the editorial independence of Sky News further to try to avert the deal being referred to the CMA. Claire said “at this stage of the process [Bradley] has only thin cover for any decision she makes. Her job is to get maximum cover from any potential judicial review in the future. To protect herself and Theresa May from blowback by depoliticising the deal as much as possible. For the Murdochs, if the alternative [to an in-depth investigation] is to be a political football they would probably view the CMA as a good option. They may even come out of it giving up less [than negotiating now]”.
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Bertelsmann announcement to expand its stake in Penguin Random House, cementing the German media conglomerate’s position as the dominant force in global publishing. The billion-dollar deal with Pearson gives Bertelsmann overall control of a company that is already a behemoth in publishing. The transaction should strengthen PRH at a time when publishers are facing pressure from Amazon, which dominates the ebook market. Douglas said “it’s important to have serious clout if you’re trying to negotiate with giants like Amazon, and that’s part of the recipe”, adding that, “Bertelsmann is adapting to the digital world, but they’re also taking the view that the business of physical books will remain robust, for the near future at least”.
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Vox Media expansion. It has made its first international move with the launch of Eater London, the 24th city site the brand has set up, which is a lean operation of just two full-time editorial staffers, led by editor Adam Coghlan. It plans to publish between four and six text articles a day, but will also draw on freelancers, particularly well-known food critics Grace Dent and Marina O’Loughlin. Douglas said that there’s no doubt that food publishing is a busy market. He added that “the BBC particularly prominent in this category, and a wide variety of successful native businesses, led by Tastemade, which has a growing, impressive, well-targeted and curated U.K. presence”.
The US scripted content boom is spilling over into Europe: Free-to-air TV drama ratings have proven resilient but as costs and audience expectations have risen budgets are under pressure, necessitating flexible co-financing arrangements with American broadcasters, and Netflix and Amazon. Pay channels have boosted output—with uneven results
François Godard was quoted in an article on the new niche players in sports broadcast. In fact, Twitter expects further growth in sports broadcasting, following the announcement that it is to live-stream the 2017 Arab Championship, the Middle East’s inter-club soccer tournament, free to a global audience. The news follows a trickle of deals being made by social media giants Twitter and Facebook, with Facebook Live streaming American basketball’s NBA D-League, and Twitter earlier this year paying $10 million to live-stream 10 Thursday-night American football NFL games. Francois said “ they are just putting their finger in the water to check the temperature. It is a model of complementing the broadcaster, and for Twitter/Facebook it’s a way to reach audiences that (are) not reached by traditional broadcasters”. He added: “Sports needs some ad-supported broadcasting. It’s not healthy for sports broadcasts to be entirely pay-TV, and it’s not bad to have free-to-air exposure. Beyond a short-term return on investment, it’s also a strategy, as more people get to see club brands, which creates an emotional relationship to the club; then these people will (subscribe) to pay-TV later on”.
The action of traditional sports broadcasters in partnering with social media giants could be seen as a mistake, according to Godard, but he added iIt is a fact that pro-sports are mostly not profitable as an ad-supported product. Most of it is pay-TV, so it’s not that Facebook will suddenly find advertisers who were not advertising before. In the 15-20 year outlook, Godard thinks that regular TV will focus on drama shows, news and sports, and live sports will “remain important”.