Sky

Sky and Mediaset Premium: to live and let die

Speculation has arisen about a possible acquisition by Sky of Mediaset Premium, the DTT competitor to Sky Italia. The unprofitable platform faces a 50% cost increase this summer due to the start of new football broadcast contracts

Getting rid of competition would allow Sky to raise prices, but also burden it with the new contracts. At best, if it kept the Premium subscribers on DTT to limit churn, Sky would have a small revenue upside

Sky Italia pushes upmarket model, but conditions still tough

Sky Italia’s latest strategy presentation to investors focuses on a number of positive revenue-generating and cost-cutting initiatives it is taking in the Italian pay-TV market

Sky Italia is taking a disciplined approach to subscriber recruitment and upsell of optional products as it anchors its brand at the upper end of the Italian entertainment market, supported by proactive development of original content, advertising sales and IPTV distribution

UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q3 2014: Quad play and convergence focus

Market revenue growth in the UK residential communications sector dipped down to 4.5% in Q3, from 5.4% in the previous quarter, but underlying revenue growth actually rose a touch by our estimates. In an intensely competitive quarter, BT lost ground relatively in broadband, with its net adds dropping compared to growth at the others, but BT still had the highest net adds in absolute terms, and continued to lead the way in revenue growth

Sky Deutschland delivers weak ARPU ahead of BSkyB takeover

The Sky Deutschland platform, which will fall under BSkyB’s control by mid-November, continues to post strong subscriber growth, thanks to steady gross additions and declining churn

However, average revenue per user remains flat year-on-year, and declined sequentially for the first time in over four years, raising questions about Sky’s capacity to sustain the recent pace of total revenue growth

BSkyB growing on demand - Q1 2015 results

Q1 2015 results show steady underlying revenue growth in retail subscription and increases in other segments, along with the continuing extraction of cost efficiencies, resulting in an 11% year-on-year increase in Q1 operating profits

Quarter-on-quarter, Q1 2015 retail subscription revenues and ARPU were flat in spite of the strong uptake and growing use of connected products. Main causes appeared temporary - a mixture of seasonal factors and the launch of Sky Sports 5 with its two-year free broadband offer - while underlying growth remains firmly positive

Retransmission fees

ITV and Channel 4 have asked the regulatory authorities to review the case for legislation that would for the first time allow the commercial PSBs to charge carriage fees for their main free-to-air channels on the pay-TV platforms

To this end, ITV has presented a detailed analysis showing the great contribution to the US creative economy due to the introduction of Retransmission Consent Compensation for free-to-air broadcasters in the US, but without setting this against the very different market structure in the UK, where the commercial PSBs enjoy significant privileges

Virgin Media calls for PL auction investigation

Virgin Media’s request for Ofcom to open a formal investigation into the auction mechanism of live televised Premier League rights is a timely reminder of the need to consider the consumer as the auction draws ever closer with all eyes focused on the battle of BT versus Sky

When the EC last intervened before the 2006 auction, its remedy focused on the need for more than one winner for the sake of a more competitive downstream market, but without considering other variables affecting the outcome, to which Virgin Media has drawn attention

BSkyB to be ESkyB - FY 2014 results

2014 saw a fall in profits as BSkyB absorbed the £217 million step-up in the annual cost of PL rights and invested £60-70 million in accelerating growth in its connected offerings, but with strong underlying revenue growth pointing to a resurgence of profits in 2015

The annual results release was over-shadowed by the news of BSkyB’s proposal to create Sky Europe through the acquisition of 21C’s shares in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, where it sees great opportunities for revenue growth and cost synergies

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