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Rigorous Fearless Independent

This report is free to access.

The Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at COP26 sets out national pledges to achieve net zero and contain global warming to 1.8°C above its pre-industrial levels— COP27 will buttress pledges, now at risk from the energy crisis, and advance some nations to 2030.

The TMT sector is a leader on net zero in the private sector. Companies that measure their end-to-end carbon footprint throughout their supply chain—as many do in the UK’s TMT sector—can target their GHG emissions.

The TMT sector underpins the UK’s vibrant digital economy that enables hybrid work-from-home (WFH), which reduces fossil fuel use thus heading off both the energy crisis and the climate crisis.

VMO2 and CityFibre are reportedly holding merger talks, which would bring together by far the two largest fibre builders competing with Openreach.

On a conventional altnet acquisition assessment, CityFibre is an attractive target given its scale, but a very expensive one at a full price given the degree of overlap.

The acquisition might still be attractive given the opportunity to take out a wholesale competitor but, for this same reason, regulatory clearance would be very tough.

Market revenue growth slowed to under 1% in Q4, driven by consumers economising in tough times through re-contracting and dropping add-ons.

Early 2023 is likely to be worse, with growth likely to turn negative again in Q1, again driven by ARPU with volumes more robust.

April price increases will give at least a temporary boost, but need to be managed very sensitively to avoid reputational damage and churn.

“I think Comcast overpaid for Sky and fantasized on very thin pan-European synergies and growth potential [but] selling a continental unit would not bring much cash in but it would send a signal to the stock market that they are serious about restructuring,” Enders Analysis analyst Francois Godard tells The Hollywood Reporter. Pointing to Sky Italia’s largely successful rollout of broadband services in Italy, Godard called the division “a solid asset. [So] why sell it at a discounted price?….I have seen no indication that Sky Italy would be up for sale. They are investing in telecoms, a long-term growth strategy consistent with the Comcast approach in the US and with Sky in the U.K.”

Sky’s Germany unit, which does not have a strong telecom or broadband component, looks more vulnerable.

Like Parker, Joseph Teasdale, head of tech at Enders Analysis, is mostly sanguine about the prospects of GPT-4. “I’m optimistic that new AI tools will help make the process of workshopping ideas, drafting and editing smoother and more productive, letting creatives focus on what they do best: creating,” he says. But, there could still be detracting elements to the technology, adds Teasdale.

“If I have a worry, it’s for the marketing industries, where I don’t think the ability to produce unlimited copy will make us clearer communicators,” he says. “I can see a world where we’re all getting AI to produce longform prose out of bullet points, only for audiences to use that same AI to condense it back down to bullet points to make it readable. Hopefully the absurdity of that situation will force us to answer the question: do we need all this generic text?”

“Those guidelines were manifestly never reflected in the contract, nor probably those of the other many freelancers on BBC Sport,” says Alice Enders, director of research at Enders Analysis. Had the BBC fired him, she notes, the network would have been liable to pay out Lineker’s contract in full. 

“What seems clear is that the BBC does not want [Lineker] to criticize sitting members of the government,” Enders says. “And the past five years have shown how nasty and vicious some of those politicians can be and how much they would like the BBC’s license fee to disappear in a puff of smoke so they can fully occupy the airwaves with their own opinionated shows.”

Enders notes that the media focus on Lineker and the BBC — which made headlines news from day one of the crisis — had “swamped the small boats policy that Gary had sought to highlight with his original tweet” (something several commentators have suggested was the government’s intention in the first place).