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

UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q3 2013: Revenue growth strong, cost growth stronger

The UK residential communications sector again had a strong quarter for revenue growth, with reported growth from the top four operators at 5%, or around 4% excluding the one-off impact of extra BT Sport related revenues

Unfortunately cost growth was even stronger, with margins dropping at three of the four largest operators. The aggressive launch of BT Sport has driven up content costs, marketing costs or both for all of the operators

Sky AdSmart a smart add

After several years of preparation Sky’s AdSmart launched in August and is on schedule to be offered to all advertisers in January/February 2014 after beta trials involving some 50 advertisers in the second half of 2013 AdSmart is all about addressable and low waste targeted segmentation on the Sky pay-TV satellite platform, which for the first time in UK TV history allows national channels to offer highly localised, targeted advertising AdSmart promises to grow significantly the TV advertising ecosystem, though success in realising the full revenue potential of AdSmart, possibly in the o

BT Sport Euro football winner – what a price!

BT has doubled the price of the live ECL/EEL rights to £900m in order to outbid Sky and ITV and become the sole owner from 2015/16 to 2017/18 BT can easily absorb these extra costs through cost savings in other parts of its business, but the direct revenue returns through subscription charges and advertising on BT Sport are expected to fall far below the annual rights payments of £300m BT’s Euro victory is not a game changer in itself, but eyes are now firmly fixed on the next auction in about 18 months time of live PL rights, which could prove to be an inflationary bloodbath for all mar


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