Sky

Ofcom pay-TV consultation: end of round three

There is a reasonable chance that, by the middle of 2010, Ofcom will introduce regulations concerning the availability and pricing of wholesale premium movie and sports content, as outlined in its third pay-TV consultation released on 26th June 2009

The Ofcom wholesale remedy proposals are likely to provide rival retailers to Sky with modest benefits in new customer acquisition and customer retention in the first three years, whilst opening up the prospect of wider competition as the broadband infrastructure develops

ESPN and Sky - The new complementary premium sports duo

According to recent speculation, Sky stands to benefit materially in the short-term from the replacement of Setanta by ESPN, but could suffer from rights inflation and worse in the longer term should ESPN become really successful

ESPN’s commitment to a pure wholesale channel distribution model across all platforms and lower outlay on rights gives a real chance of building a viable business where Setanta failed

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

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

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

Court of Appeal verdict on Sky stake in ITV

The Court of Appeal’s (CA) dismissal of Sky’s second attempt to overturn the Competition Commission’s (CC) decision that it must reduce its 17.9% shareholding in ITV to below 7.5% makes it increasingly probable that Sky will comply with the CC ruling at some point during 2010/2011

Although the CA’s dismissal of Sky’s appeal has always seemed the likely, even if never certain, outcome, the extra time consumed has so far benefited Sky greatly as the ITV share price has recovered from a low of below 20p in March 2009 to around 60p in January 2010

Sky fiscal H1 2010 results: high on HD, 3D to come

Sky fiscal H1 2010 results show continued resilience in the face of weak economic conditions, delivering strong net subscriber growth, a big lift in ARPU, and a record lift in HD subscriptions, almost 200,000 up on any previous quarter and only just short of the half a million mark

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

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