Publications

Format: Jun 2018
sort descending Sector(s) Date
Canal+ at 30: time for a strategic review

In 2014 Canal+’s core premium French pay-TV business has continued to lose subscribers and swallowed a VAT increase. But this was offset by growth in FTA ad sales, in ARPU, in overseas subscriptions and by acquisitions. EBITDA has continued the decline which commenced in 2013

Eleven years ago Canal+ in France and Sky in Britain had the same household penetration, but since then a gap has opened up and now Canal+ lags behind at 21% compared to Sky’s 34%. The French platform suffers from its regulated focus on films and its neglect of hardware

A deep revision of Canal+’s model is needed, through building a library of scripted series and a revamp of the consumer proposition to differentiate on quality and user experience. Building on recent initiatives, mediocre IPTV services should be bypassed by OTT bundles on fibre, and the satellite offering upgraded

  • Canal Plus
Non-UK Media, TV, Media 18 December 2014
Canal+ bursts into free TV

Advancing its free-to-air TV project, France’s Canal+ is to buy Bolloré TV’s national channels for €465 million to gain (scarce) licences for FTA terrestrial broadcast

Canal+ plans to leverage its library of original programming to attract upscale audiences, neglected by commercial rivals

However, the Vivendi investment case of a 9% return on capital is built on incompatible assumptions about profit margins and market share – to grow the latter in a mature market, a channel needs to sacrifice the former

  • TF1
  • Canal Plus
  • Vivendi
TV, Media 15 September 2011
Canal+ France prospectus

Canal+ France has issued a prospectus in view of the April flotation of Lagardère’s 20% stake, which could still reach an agreement to sell with majority owner Vivendi

The prospectus provides a unique insight on the performance of Canal+, which has increased ARPU and profitability in the past three years, despite erosion of its subscriber base due to competitive pressures and the recession

Management’s revenue and profit targets for 2013 appear within reach, and we also see potential upsides

  • Canal Plus
  • Vivendi
Non-UK Media, TV, Media 2 March 2011
Canal+ FY 2008 results

Vivendi’s Canal+ Group overshot its 2008 EBITA target, despite sluggish subscription growth, delivering to shareholders some of the promised post-merger gains from “synergies” with TPS

For 2009, Vivendi has issued cautious revenue and EBITA guidance that, on current trends, will easily be met. However, management has now recognised that initial targets for 2010 will be “hard to reach” – as we have already warned

In the medium term, a further downside risk for Canal+ Group is the likely loss of exclusivity for the distribution of themed channels, which could be the outcome of the anti-trust investigation of CanalSat, with a ruling expected in 2009

  • Canal Plus
Media, TV, Non-UK Media 11 March 2009
Canal+ Group after the merger

Ten years of fierce and implacable rivalry between Canal+ Group and TPS, the two French pay-TV operators, is expected to end in November 2006, when they close their merger deal and Canal+ France emerges. This report examines the strategic rationale for pay-TV consolidation in the French TV market, where digital terrestrial TV has recently launched and where TV-over-DSL is rapidly being deployed, as well as the potential for the currently low pay-TV margins to rise

  • Canal Plus
Media, TV, Non-UK Media 9 October 2006
Canal+ in audacious model revamp

With the decline in its subscriber base accelerating and following an antitrust veto over its planned tie up with BeIN Sports, Canal+ has decided to radically restructure its retailing on IPTV – where over 60% of subscriber recruitment takes place 

The basic channel package is now wholesale to ISPs and included in upper tier triple play bundles – much higher volumes should more than balance a deep price cut. Soon premium and optional packages are to be unbundled on all platforms to create cheaper entry points and favour subscriber customisation

Canal+ is thus increasingly focused on supplying premium content, leaving the user interface to ISPs. Without the scale of other international content producers and in a nationalistic political context, we believe that this market rationale will eventually lead Vivendi to sell Canal+ to Orange

  • Canal Plus
  • Orange
  • Vivendi
Media, Telecoms 6 October 2016
Canal+ outlook for sub growth

Vivendi Q1 2006 quarterly results show solid underlying improvement in earnings, but disappointing subscription figures, which fell by 40,000 in the quarter 

We regard meeting even this extended deadline as difficult given their slowing growth, churn problems and the increasing network costs associated with their network outsourcing deals, and furthermore EBITDA is unlikely to improve significantly from 2007 onwards 

  • Canal Plus
Media 12 June 2006
Canal+ post-merger targets for 2010

Canal+ targeted subscription (as opposed to subscriber) growth of 1.3 million by 2010 has a lot of stretch in view of the intense competition from free-to-air (FTA) services and in particular digital terrestrial TV

  • Canal Plus
Media, TV, Non-UK Media 26 March 2007
Canal+ subscriptions disappoint

Vivendi’s preliminary results for FY 2007 show weak subscription growth by France’s leading pay-TV operator Canal+ despite the existence of special positive factors. Strengthening free-to-air (FTA) competition on the DTT and DSL platforms appears the main cause

  • Canal Plus
TV, Media, Non-UK Media 5 February 2008
Canal+ The Showdown

Based on the recent announcement by the French Professional Football League, we now expect Canal+ to be awarded the exclusive rights to broadcast Premier League events for the three seasons starting in 2004, for which it offered €480 million. (Rival TPS is challenging the League's approach to the Competition Commission, so the story may yet have an unexpected ending.) These payments will add to an already hefty calendar of payments for Canal+ under the 1999 contract, as a result of which Canal+ is likely to report no or low profits in FY 2002. This note details the aggressive cost cutting and revenue-raising measures that will be needed to achieve a modest level of profitability going forward. By FY 2005, when Canal+ becomes the sole purveyor of Premier League events and payments rise by 60%, the subscriber base will have to be 180,000 higher just to maintain profits at 2004 levels. This seems a challenging target given that Canal+ lost 70,000 subscribers this year. In short, we think that Canal+ may have won the battle for Premier League rights at the price of its profitability in the medium-term.

  • Canal Plus
Media 26 November 2002
Canal+ thinking positive

Vivendi’s pay-TV unit Canal+ posted flat revenues in 2009, as international growth balanced domestic erosion

Driven mainly by growth internationally, we anticipate recovery to annual revenue growth barely above 2% by 2012, with a slightly deteriorating EBITA margin

Canal+ could do better if it invests in the latest generation of set-tops and, possibly, free to air television

  • Canal Plus
Media, TV, Non-UK Media 16 March 2010
Canal+ vs. TPS

On 23 January, the French Competition Council dealt what is likely to be a deathblow to the ambitions of Canal+ Group to obtain exclusive rights to French Premier League football events. The Competition Council ruled in favour of TPS and ordered the 2002 competition suspended pending delivery of its final ruling.

  • Canal Plus
Media 30 January 2003
Canal+: things will get worse before they get better

Booming sales in Africa offset the steady decline of the Canal+/CanalSat subscriber base in France, delivering low but positive group revenue growth
 
Canal+’s management, now firmly under Vincent Bolloré’s control, is committed to reversing the French decline by investing €2 billion in new set top boxes and content – but production of original series is hampered by corporatist regulation and the market for sports rights is increasingly competitive

Earnings are slipping – under a high fixed cost model any revenue decline depresses profit margin. The trend will worsen under the weight of the increase in domestic football costs next year as well as the planned extra spend on content and set-top boxes 

 

  • Canal Plus
Media, TV 11 December 2015
Canal+’s options to revive domestic growth

France’s Canal+ faces an increasingly challenging domestic market, due to IPTV expansion, competition from Al-Jazeera’s beIN Sport and the threat of a Netflix launch – on top of sluggish consumer demand in a dull economy

Inflated promotional activity has brought rising churn and failed to stop subscriber base erosion, while denting profitability. Headline revenue growth comes from international channels, film production and FTA TV

Anxious to avoid interference from its owner Vivendi, Canal+ has followed a conservative investment policy that may have undermined growth. The spin-off of SFR and possible dissolution of the conglomerate would leave Canal+ free to contemplate more aggressive moves, in IPTV, set-top boxes and possibly through acquisitions

  • Canal Plus
  • Vivendi
TV, Media, Non-UK Media 28 November 2013
Canvas gets BBC Trust provisional approval

The BBC Trust has given its provisional approval to the BBC Executive’s proposals for Project Canvas, the JV between the BBC and five partners that aims to enable DTT homes with broadband connections to access IPTV content on their TV sets

Canvas promises to enrich greatly the DTT platform; however, it is likely to encounter fierce opposition during the coming consultation from equipment manufacturers and the pay-TV platform operators, Sky and Virgin Media, especially in relation to its attempts to prescribe the user experience (UX)

We think that the BBC Trust will give its final approval, subject to the conditions specified in its provisional statement, but further delays seem likely and we do not expect Canvas devices to appear in the shops before 2011

  • BBC
TV, Media, Internet 23 December 2009
Canvas offers future path for 'Free TV'

Project Canvas is the BBC/ITV/BT backed proposal for next generation Freeview and Freesat services that embraces IPTV reception, new EPG, home storage and HDTV applications

Setting up Canvas as a not-for-profit consortium and making it non-exclusive to content providers should avoid the competition issues which killed Kangaroo, but many questions remain and technical and regulatory delays could push back the launch to 2011

We do not expect Canvas to make a major difference to non-linear viewing of audiovisual content – its importance lies much more in future-proofing the ‘Free TV’ viewing experience on the terrestrial and satellite platforms

  • BT
  • BBC
  • ITV
Media, TV, Internet 27 February 2009
Canvas “drive digital Britain”

The BBC Executive has fleshed out many details of Project Canvas in response to questions raised by the BBC Trust: Canvas being the proposed joint venture between the BBC, BT, ITV and Five that aims to solve the challenge of realising the seamless convergence of linear broadcast TV and internet video to the TV screen in the living room

For Project Canvas to succeed, it is likely, in spite of its merits, to have to address competition concerns in the areas of company structure, stifling innovation and editorial controls over who gets to participate

Stifling innovation – whether to do with creative restrictions, marginalisation of competing players or undue prominence given to the traditional public service broadcasting (PSB) model – appears the most problematic issue facing Project Canvas, whose success will depend on its ability to convince the rest of the industry that it is stimulating, not stifling innovation

  • BBC
Media, TV, Internet 29 July 2009
Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse (CPW) has launched a broadband/telephony bundle which effectively offers free broadband to non-cable customers in urban areas 

O2’s purchase of Be may only have cost £50 million but its entry into UK broadband may ultimately prove an expensive distraction 

  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms 11 April 2006
Carphone Warehouse 2008/09 FY results

Carphone Warehouse’s distribution business had a slightly mixed year, with strong volumes and revenue mitigated by a sharp drop in margins and profit, with margin being sacrificed for market share

Given the very poor recession-hit market for handsets, Carphone Warehouse’s market share gains have been dramatic, so the sacrifice was at least not in vain

Although TalkTalk Group missed much of its guidance to March 2009, we now view new guidance as achievable, with the main risks related to the integration of Tiscali UK

  • TalkTalk
  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Mobile, Fixed Line, Non-UK Telecoms 6 June 2009
Carphone Warehouse 2010/11 interim results: US driven growth

CPW’s European handset business had a steady quarter, with growth dipping slightly on the previous quarter but still in line with full year guidance. Smartphone sales are surging, and CPW is orientating its business towards them, but their impact is not unambiguously positive in Europe

The US handset business continued to enjoy strong growth, with this side of their business benefitting strongly from smartphone growth, and this outperformance led the company to increase its full year EBIT guidance

The UK ‘big box’ roll-out is continuing, but no sales figures or indications have been given, and the full year operating loss guidance has been increased, eating up some (but not all) of the outperformance from the US. There appears to still be much experimentation involved at this stage, and even more uncertainty about the eventual success or failure of this new business

  • Carphone Warehouse
Technology, Telecoms, Mobile 8 November 2010

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