Publications

Format: Sep 2016
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Sector(s) Datesort ascending
Independently funded news consortia (IFNCs)

This report examines Ofcom's proposal that independently funded news consortia (IFNCs) assume the provision of regional TV news, occupying the regional news time slots vacated by the Channel 3 licensees

IFNCs are to be composed of commercial news organisations (television producers, newspaper groups, radio stations or websites), and will operate as private commercial/publicly funded hybrid models of regional news gathering and provision, alongside the BBC and commercial news organisations

DCMS has invited tenders for three IFNC pilots covering Channel 3 regions in Northern England and the Borders, Scotland and Wales, to be awarded in May 2010 with operations to commence by summer 2010.

 

 

 

  • ITV
Media, TV, Press 4 December 2009
Carphone Warehouse Group interim results to September 2009: forging ahead

Fixed line revenue growth continued to decline excluding the impact of Tiscali UK, but at a manageable rate, and profitability continued to improve strongly. TalkTalk Group is performing well in the run-up to demerger, and management is sounding very confident. But there are some clouds on the horizon, not least the relaunch of Tesco Telecom

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

Sky 3D, due for residential launch in H2 2010, fits in well with the core Sky+ HD proposition and the satellite operator looks well placed to combat growing retail competition from other platforms, assuming Ofcom implements its wholesale pay-TV proposals for Sky premium subscription films and sports some time in spring 2010

  • Carphone Warehouse
Media 30 November 2009
Mobile revenue growth and outlook Q2 2009: a nadir is finally reached

Overall revenue growth in the top five markets dipped yet again in the September quarter, to -3.5% from -2.0% in the previous quarter

However, the good news is that this particular dip was entirely due to the regulatory-induced effect of accelerated termination rate cuts, caused by the reintroduction of cuts in the UK and France. Underlying growth was -0.7%, which was flat on the previous quarter

This is the first time that underlying growth has not dropped since March 2008 –when underlying growth was at a much healthier 5.3%, a full 6 percentage points better

 

Telecoms, Mobile, Non-UK Telecoms 30 November 2009
UK Residential Broadband Market

Annual market growth is dropping in line with our predictions over the past two years, despite some significant quarterly blips.We continue to project growth in 2009 to be significant, but much lower than in the past, with net additions of 1 million

We expect annual net additions in 2010 to drop by another 20% to 800,000 as the market becomes ever more saturated

We project 19.8 million broadband households by 2014 and have slightly increased our projections from 2010 to take into account the likely impact of higher growth in the number of households as recently predicted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

  • Virgin Media
  • BT
Telecoms, Fixed Line 24 November 2009
BT FY 2009-10 Q2 results: more progress on cost reduction

BT’s Q2 results, and improved guidance for the year to March 2010 provided further encouraging evidence of the new management team’s ability to take cost out of the business

However, the group is in a phase of revenue decline, primarily due to recession, but also strong competition

We continue to view limited deployment of next generation access as a worthwhile defensive move, but remain sceptical regarding the potential for uplift to shareholder value

  • BT
Telecoms, Fixed Line 16 November 2009
The future progress of Ofcom's pay-TV review

Three years into its pay-TV investigation, we expect Ofcom to impose a wholesale must-offer obligation with regulated prices on the Sky premium films and sports channels in its final statement scheduled for Q1 2010

The WMO could take effect by the middle of 2010. It appears unlikely that Sky will be granted a stay of implementation whilst its appeals against the lawfulness and substance of the WMO remedy are being heard

Assuming the WMO proceeds, its impact on the pay-TV market is likely to be small in the first three to five years, but could become significant in the long-term; the core issue throughout being the rate-card prices set by the regulator, Ofcom

  • Sky
Media, TV 16 November 2009
Broadband, IPTV and Fibre in France

This report on the French broadband market examines growth trends in 2009 and forecasts to 2012, updates our previous assessments of the commercial significance of IPTV in the triple play (a bundle of broadband, telephony and TV), and details the state of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment

Shrugging off the recession (milder and shorter than in the UK), the French broadband market is set to reach 19.6 million connections by the end of 2009, up 1.9 million on 2008 – only 12% less than the level of net adds of 2008. With 2009 better than we expected, we now anticipate a sharper slowdown in net adds in 2010, with 1.4 million net adds projected. We still expect the total to reach 22.8 million connections by 2012 (70% household penetration)

  • SFR
  • Orange
  • Iliad
Non-UK Telecoms, Fixed Line, Telecoms 13 November 2009
Vodafone H1 2009/10 results: hitting the nadir?

Vodafone Europe’s service revenue growth declined again in the September quarter to -4.6%, but on an underlying basis it improved, and volume growth also improved, suggesting that improving economic fundamentals are starting to feed through

Margins again fell, with the net benefit of the cost reduction program a long way from compensating for revenue declines, but overhead costs are at least dropping in absolute terms

We are optimistic that revenue growth can continue recovering in Europe, implying a still-depressed 2009/10 but a much better 2010/11, with positive revenue growth in 2010/11 a real possibility, and that the company could stabilise margins if it sticks to cost reduction plans, and resists the temptation to ‘reinvest’ in ‘strategic’ initiatives

  • Vodafone
Telecoms, Mobile, Non-UK Telecoms 11 November 2009
Cable & Wireless half year results to Sept 2009: rum punch

The international business (CWI) has been hit by a sharp downturn in tourism, but performance at the UK-based business (Worldwide) remains on course, despite declining revenue

The initial announcement of an intention to demerge Worldwide from CWI will be followed by more details by the end of November

With little prospect of growth at International in the second half, and a successful turnaround phase at Worldwide beginning to draw to a natural conclusion, the demerger may not have the impact some had hoped

  • Cable & Wireless
Telecoms, Fixed Line, Non-UK Telecoms 9 November 2009
Virgin Media Q3 2009 results: steaming ahead

VMed’s Q3 results were strong, with the impact of the May price increases feeding through almost directly into growth in revenue and cash flow. Cable volume performance was solid, given difficult market conditions and the focus on higher value customers

VMed’s plans for HD are becoming increasingly important. In this regard, the outcome of Ofcom’s pay-TV investigation could prove crucial

The cost reduction programme is delivering ahead of expectations, and we remain optimistic that revenue growth will continue, in combination with reductions in operating costs, to generate further significant growth in cash flow

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 30 October 2009
Iliad unopposed for 4th mobile licence

Iliad is the only candidate in the rerun of the French 4th 3G Licence tender and we believe its bid will be successful

Free Mobile could launch by the autumn of 2011 under a ‘low cost’ model

We remain doubtful on the venture’s economic prospects – Iliad appears to underestimate the network and subscriber acquisition costs required to build a mobile operator of profitable scale

  • Iliad
Telecoms, Mobile, Non-UK Telecoms 30 October 2009
2010 off to a good start: Sky fiscal Q1 2010 results

Latest fiscal Q1 2010 results show continuation of the strong subscriber and revenue growth trends, but as Sky forges ahead of its rival pay-TV operators so attention is turning to competition issues

It is still unclear whether Ofcom will succeed in introducing a wholesale ‘must offer’ remedy with regulated pricing for Sky’s premium subscription films and sports channels; a proposal that Sky vehemently contests but, if put into place during 2010, this could have a significant influence over the longer term structure of the UK pay-TV market

Results for the telecoms business continued to improve, albeit on a more modest scale than in Q4 2009, with the cost base beginning to show signs of greater stability

  • Sky
TV, Media 27 October 2009
Sky Songs: Does the music get any cheaper?

Just-launched Sky Songs offers a ‘new’ online music model, combining on- demand streaming with credit towards DRM-free downloads, for a single monthly payment

Sky Songs combines the best features of Spotify and iTunes, with lower average per track prices for in-bundle downloads, which will appeal to the music purchaser, and drive industry revenues provided regular use is made of the service

Sky Songs is backed by the power of Sky’s brand, serving the UK’s most entertainment-conscious clientele, with initial promotions targeting Sky’s 2.2 million broadband customers

  • Sky
Music and Radio, TV, Media 19 October 2009
Channel 4 plugs into YouTube

Channel 4 has confirmed it will distribute catch-up and archive TV shows via YouTube on a non-exclusive basis starting in November, with the broadcaster responsible for selling advertising around its content

The partnership looks to be a win-win: Channel 4 stands to get a huge lift in its online audience while retaining control over sales, while Google achieves a breakthrough deal with a major broadcaster with the hope of more to come

We expect a rash of similar deals as rights holders, broadcasters and video service providers jostle for position in the nascent internet TV market, but few will benefit from the special synergies offered by Channel 4-YouTube

  • Channel 4
Media, TV, Internet 17 October 2009
TV NAR gloom lifting a shade

Recent weeks have seen a marked improvement in the short-term outlook for TV NAR (Net Advertising Revenues), with total decline for 2009 reckoned to be in the order of -12.5% after a fourth quarter in which year-on-year decline is now expected to be in the order of -6%

The economic outlook for 2010 remains very uncertain due to the drastic cuts needed in the government’s spending to bring the deficit under control, which could lead to a double dip recession, and the persistence of downward pressures on airtime costs due to structural changes to the TV medium

We have accordingly revised our central case forecast year on year decline in TV NAR from -8% up to -4% in 2010, but it may not be until the London Olympics year of 2012 that we again witness positive growth

Media, TV 11 October 2009
UK Fixed Telephony Market Trends

Over the four years to 2008, fixed telephony market revenue has fallen by about 17% (£1.9 billion). But the picture is complex

The total number of fixed access lines has fallen by only 4% since 2004, but losses have been predominantly of business lines, due to a combination of inter-related factors involving a shift from ISDN2 to broadband, fixed call substitution and increased home working

We estimate that roughly half of the decline in total market revenue since 2004 has been due to substitution of dial-up internet access by broadband, the rest being accounted for by the substitution of regular call minutes by email and other forms of text communication, as well as by mobile, and price cuts

Telecoms, Fixed Line 10 October 2009
Amazon, ebooks and the UK

Amazon has announced that it will launch its ‘Kindle’ ebook reader internationally. It will be sold from the US site and shipped internationally for $270, with a free global wireless service for downloading books. This looks like an interim step with full ‘local’ sales in place next year; nonetheless local media (newspapers, magazines and book publishers) are in place.

All of this, however, was caused by regulatory effects, with underlying growth being stable for the first time since March 2008

We expect both underlying and reported growth to recover in the December quarter, and to progressively improve throughout 2010

Media 8 October 2009
Carphone Warehouse September quarter trading update: continued resilience

At TalkTalk Group (TTG) net broadband additions at TalkTalk/AOL UK were unexpectedly strong, with low cannibalisation of Tiscali subscribers particularly good news

At the newly acquired Tiscali UK, the inevitable skeletons are starting to emerge from their cupboards. Management appears well prepared for the challenges, although it is early days

Carphone Warehouse’s distribution business grew connections at 2.1% during the quarter, another very creditable performance in a declining market, and it remains well positioned for the market recovery

  • TalkTalk
  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Mobile 7 October 2009
UK internet advertising: spend flat, share up

Recession has hit internet advertising, with spend down 1% YoY in H1 2009, but the collapse in advertising on traditional media helped push online to 23% share, up 4 percentage points versus H1 2008

Based on IABUK/PwC data, we estimate that spending on search rose 2% YoY in H1, whilst display was down 5% and classified fell by 4%, the latter supported by unexpected growth in non-recruitment listings

We have adjusted our forecast for online advertising up slightly to flat for the year, but whilst the internet has now overtaken TV in absolute terms, TV remains very much the king of display

Media, Internet 4 October 2009
On the brink: UK anti-piracy regime

By 29th September, all submissions on the government’s anti-piracy proposals will need to be in to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), with furious lobbying taking place in the lead up to the tabling of the draft Digital Economy bill in November

Under the proposals, content owners are to identify IP addresses of file-sharers and communicate them to their ISPs, which would be required to write letters to the account holders, and also release this information to content owners in the event of continued file-sharing activity to allow legal proceedings to be initiated

Opportunities for retreat abound, but if the proposals become law (rather than shelved for the next government), the UK’s new online piracy regime will generate economic benefits for the content owners (and the creative industries), which will share costs with the ISPs under the government’s latest proposal

Music and Radio, Media 23 September 2009

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