Sky

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

Ofcom fibre margin squeeze test: Putting the brakes on BT Sport?

Ofcom’s fibre margin squeeze test’s initial indicative assessment concludes that BT’s current wholesale/retail pricing is ‘close to the boundary’ of creating a squeeze on its competitors

While BT can take comfort that it is at least close to passing the test, its DSL competitors (Sky, TalkTalk et al) can take comfort that BT cannot make life materially more difficult for them without failing it

UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q1 2014: Converged growth

Market revenue growth in the UK residential communications sector was surprisingly robust in Q1 2014, rising a touch to over 5% (or around 4% excluding the direct impact of BT Sport) from just under 5% the previous quarter, despite facing a number of headwinds

Revenue growth at the top four operators has converged to around 4% for all, which marks a major long term turnaround for BT and TalkTalk, who back in 2012 were both experiencing firmly declining revenue well below market growth, and have since done much to stabilise their subscriber bases and sustain ARPU growth

TV and video advertising boom in the UK

Strong growth in the UK economy has created a very positive short term outlook for display advertising, with TV Net Advertising Revenues (NAR) expected to increase by 5% in 2014.

That bright prospect is nonetheless overshadowed by online video advertising, where 2014 is expected to add almost £200 million to the estimated £300 million spent in 2013. YouTube is leading the way, but the TV broadcasters also stand to benefit.

Sky measuring change - Q3 2014 results

Q3 2014 saw adjusted revenues up by 7% across the first nine months of fiscal 2014, helping to offset the large cost increases due to the new Premier League contract and investment in accelerating take-up and usage of connected services

In line with strengthening the online offer, retail subscription revenues were well up in the quarter, which saw further strong growth in NOW TV and Sky Go Extra subscriptions, while bad weather and losses due to the final integration of O2 customers temporarily subdued broadband growth

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