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

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


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