Sky

Media & Telecoms: 2014 and Beyond, part 1

Enders Analysis co-hosted its annual conference, in conjunction with BNP Paribas and Deloitte, in London on 4 March 2014. The event featured talks by 13 of the most influential figures in media and telecoms, and was chaired by Sir Peter Bazalgette. This report provides edited transcripts of the talks given by six of those speakers: Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP; Gavin Patterson, BT; Andrew Griffith, BSkyB; Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann; David Dyson, Three UK; David Abraham, Channel 4

UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q4 2013: Volume and price driven growth continues

The UK residential communications sector maintained strong revenue growth of 5% in Q4 on a reported basis, or 4% underlying, bolstered by strong volumes and solid pricing, with recent price increase implementations supporting the latter going forward

It is still hard to see a very significant competitive impact from BT Sport, with BT’s broadband net adds up by only 20k-30k on a year earlier, but the impact on costs is very clear, with increased sports rights costs, increased marketing costs and pay TV box/device subsidies driving up the cost base of all operators

Pay-TV sports WMO remedy revival

The Court of Appeal has judged that the Competition Appeal Tribunal erred in law in its rejection of the Ofcom Wholesale Must Offer remedy for premium sports by failing to deal adequately with all of Ofcom’s competition concerns but agreed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal that Ofcom had acted within its regulatory powers Sky’s appeal against the 2010 Ofcom decision will therefore be re-heard at the Competition Appeal Tribunal and we believe the likelihood is that the Wholesale Must Offer remedy will be approved, while the jurisdiction issue may yet have some life if Sky takes its appea

Sky gets connected - H1 2014 results

Operating profits took a dip in H1 2014 as Sky absorbed the £110 million hike in Premier League (PL) football rights, saw marketing spend rise as a result of strong product growth and invested £40 million in its connected TV services

Growth has stayed positive across the range of TV and home communications products, while the new User Interface due to launch in the next few months promises to unlock significant incremental revenues as well as underline the quality of Sky offerings in movies and entertainment

Stubborn Sky Italia

The stress on 21st Century Fox’s Italian pay-TV platform is easing as the worst recession of any G8 country is expected to end in 2014, and competitive pressure from Mediaset is weakening

Sky is sticking to a long term strategy, investing in the (unrivalled) quality of its offering and sustaining high recruitment costs. The subscriber base seems to have levelled off, revenues are stable, but profits have collapsed. Management plans cost cuts to raise profitability by 2016

Channel 5 up for sale?

Richard Desmond’s appointment of Barclays to explore the sale of the Channel 5 Group in 2013 has fuelled speculation over prospective purchasers should Northern & Shell be intent on selling this asset

The reported target of at least £700 million, seven times the £103.5 million paid by Northern & Shell to RTL three years ago, reflects a strong performance in 2013, but needs to be against several distinctive factors, including Channel 5’s near total reliance on advertising and the cross-promotional benefits it gains from the Northern & Shell print publications

2013 round up and topics for next year

2013 has seen yet another year of strong growth in consumer adoption of mobile devices and screens adding to the challenges facing traditional media. Press and radio have long been affected, but television is now starting to feel the heat

BT and Sky’s contest for premium pay-TV sports rights has intensified. August saw the launch of BT Sport, while BT’s acquisition of the European football rights in November was a clear statement of intent, spending half of Channel 4’s total programming budget on approx. 200 hours of content

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