Sky

UK TV Advertising and PSB survival

The consultation period for the second phase of Ofcom’s Second Public Service Broadcasting Review closes on 4th December 2008. The central issue before Ofcom is that the current PSB model is broken, lacking the flexibility to “adapt to audiences’ evolving needs”. The primary concern lies with the commercial sector, which is under increasing strain to deliver its PSB commitments due to structural changes in the television medium that have been compounded by the present economic crisis.

Pay-TV Sky still blue: fiscal Q2 2009 results

Strong Q2 results announced on Wednesday 28th January 2009 provided no evidence of negative impact so far due to the current recession

Sky+ HD looks set to provide a major growth opportunity, especially with the Sky+ HD box prices now dropping to £49. That and another record quarter for Sky+ take-up strengthens the view that Sky will meet its target of 10 million pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2010 with room to spare

Sky Five Setanta One

The Premier League has succeeded in obtaining a 4.4% increase in live televised rights payments from £1,706 million to £1,782 million for the next three year contract commencing with the 2010/11 football season

The big surprise was that Sky bid more than last time round (by an estimated factor of circa 7.5% for its current four packages), while Setanta bid roughly 20% less for its two packages, thereby losing one to Sky

UK pay-TV in 2009: recession and competition concerns

Leading pay-TV operators Sky and Virgin Media (VMed) have shown little sign of recessionary damage in 2008 and the outlook for Q1 2009 remains positive. Difficulties are apparent at complementary pay-TV service provider Setanta

Ofcom’s pay-TV investigation enters its final stages in 2009. Ofcom faces a formidable challenge to devise a workable wholesale must-offer solution for premium film and sports content that fosters competition across all platforms

Sky FY 2009 Q3 results: recession-resistant

Another strong quarter of pay-TV subscriber growth, marked by record Sky+ HD sales, indicated continued resistance to recessionary pressures, supported by flat costs other than those associated with accelerated HD take-up

Results for the telecoms business again displayed strong volume growth in an increasingly difficult market. But original guidance for broadband subscribers, breakeven and standalone IRR looks challenging

Setanta: sink, float or swim?

Against current annual losses in the order of £100 million, Setanta has the whole of June in which to attract the necessary investment that will allow it to continue. The alternative is closure

As complementary supplier of premium sports channels to Sky, Setanta has been more vulnerable to recessionary pressures, but it is not in the interest of any of its existing competitors/business associates for it to cease operations

Sky leads race for Virgin Media's VMtv

According to press reports, Sky has lodged a bid of about £160 million for the VMtv content arm of Virgin Media (VMed), estimated to be 50-60% higher than other offers in the latest and final round of the bidding contest

At TalkTalk Group (TTG) net broadband additions for the quarter were relatively strong, given likely market growth, probably due at least in part to reduced subscriber loss at AOL UK

In our view cut-price business broadband, rather than IPTV, offers the best prospect of profitable revenue growth in fixed line

Ofcom statement on LLU pricing: gently does it

Ofcom’s recent statement on LLU pricing has increased the amount which BT Openreach can charge unbundlers for full LLU over the next two years by about 8% overall

We estimate the changes will raise BT group EBITDA by less than 1% over the two years to March 2011

TalkTalk Group’s recent retail price increase is more than enough to offset the impact of Ofcom’s ruling on its annual EBITDA to March 2010, but the ruling could still take 5% off annual EBITDA to March 2011

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