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Enders Analysis provides a subscription research service covering the media, entertainment, mobile and fixed telecommunications industries in Europe, with a special focus on new technologies and media.

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Rigorous Fearless Independent

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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.

  • Under a revised deal, DAZN, the Serie A broadcaster, is now allowed to expand its distribution to the Sky platform in return for a reduced fee from TIM, the incumbent telco
  • The new-look Italian market is consistent with DAZN’s approach elsewhere in Europe, seeking blanket distribution and avoiding head on challenges with incumbents
  • For the Italian sports rights market, the agreements clear the air, but Serie A needs deep reform
  • ITV’s H1 external revenues were up 8% YoY (to £1,679 million) with Studios up 16% (to £927 million) and Media & Entertainment up 4% (to £1,065 million)—ITV suggests that FY 2022 will beat 2019 for revenues. H2 will face some tough 2021 comparators but Q4 will reap the rewards of a winter FIFA World Cup
  • ITVX is to launch in Q4, with the narrative being that it will target commercially desirable lighter ITV viewers, while causing little cannibalisation of the more monetisable linear platform—enticing these viewers seems difficult, especially given that the ITVX interface will be unashamedly average
  • ITV remains “mindful” of macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty, but Carolyn McCall stated that the company has not seen anything that indicates an impact on advertising

Amidst the US macro downturn denting online sales, Amazon reported revenue growth of 7.2%, driven by AWS and advertising, but broad-based in nature

Inelastic demand for Prime has created opportunities to increase efficiency and monetisation, with cutbacks to fulfillment costs and increased subscription fees boosting Amazon's margins

Amazon's bottom-funnel search advertising growth has proved resilient, up 18% YoY, as growth eludes higher-funnel competitors—offering a strong indication that Amazon will largely buck the trend of advertising decline

BT Group’s revenue growth surged in Q1 to 1%, the first time it has been positive in five years, with a stronger than expected boost from the April price rises partially offset by the Virgin Mobile MVNO loss.

EBITDA growth, however, actually dipped to 2%, with little operating leverage due to cost pressures, although the company is still very confident in its full year EBITDA guidance (which implies 4% growth).

BT is far from immune to macroeconomic pressures, with pressure on costs, corporate revenue and signs of a sharp dip in broadband market growth, but it is well placed to deal with them given strong growth at Consumer and Openreach.

VMO2 struggled to fully capitalise on its price increases this quarter, with much of the benefits absorbed by retention discounts and tariff pressure.

EBITDA growth of 4% is nonetheless a solid result in a challenging market and guidance looks achievable, albeit not as easily as it previously did.

The opaque nature of the relationship with the new network company makes it difficult to establish whether VMO2 is capitalising on the current glut of speculative infrastructure investment, or is at risk of being a victim of it.

Claire said “The new model keeps the show on the road but there is no leeway for future commitment."

“It’s an extremely short-sighted move. Just look at how the BBC turned the 2012 [London] Olympics into a global performance, reigniting tourism to the UK and making an enormous financial contribution. The BBC was planning for years for that event.”

She added “The British system is ginormous and the French don’t quite have the same understanding of the role they play in the world."

Douglas said the news business “desperately needs and wants more innovation."

“The news media today looks identical to the news media in 1990. The news format looks the same, the [big] brands are the same,” McCabe said, pointing to the struggles experienced by start-ups launched in the 2000s such as BuzzFeed that tried to shake up the industry.

He added  “Over the last three or four years, those businesses look like they turned a corner . . . media has become investable again.”