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Rigorous Fearless Independent

The boost from annualising the COVID-19 hit dissipated this quarter with service revenues flat-lining at –2.5%. The year-on-year mobility boost weakened and pandemic upsides of lower churn, cost savings and B2B demand unwound.

Q4 looks mixed with an improving year-on-year mobility boost but further unwinding of some pandemic upsides. Spring 2022 has the potential to be the long-awaited panacea with price rises of up to 8% and the prospect of renewed roaming revenues.

The operators continue to seek sources of market repair through price rises (to compensate for regulatory intervention elsewhere) and consolidation—but with little visible support from policymakers as yet.

Alice said "Because the business is still not profitable but trying to get as close to breakeven as possible, the amount of layoffs and cost cutting has been very drastic. That does have a knock-on effect. Ultimately, the quality will decline by having a smaller newsroom."

She added There are "two competing forces at play" with the SPAC deal. "Yes, the future for BuzzFeed is a consolidation play, but it's very heavily reliant on advertising. And that's very reliant on market conditions. The first thing to be cut is digital advertising."

Francois said “Discovery, about to merge with Warner, is one of the most powerful content operators in the world, so if it were to increase substantially its commitment to the UK sports TV market, it would look like a long-term, credible commitment. By contrast DAZN’s prospects are more fuzzy."

While Francois predicts the potential joint venture would not push sports rights costs up, owing to Eurosport and JV’s historically cautious approach to rights, he argues that the deal would “confirm the fragmentation trend where consumers need to subscribe to a range of services to watch their favourite sports – Sky, BT Sport, Amazon, Eurosport.”

“It rises the value of aggregation by operators likes Sky or Virgin, telling viewers “you find everything here in one place."

Tom said the channel is still some way off attracting the kind of viewers needed to cover costs. "GB News had a big night on November 22, averaging 119,000 between 6pm and 10pm,  which was on par with peak viewing levels of the first two nights after the launch - although it's not particularly clear why this night was comparatively so big. But other than that night the channel has been oscillating between 10,000 and 25,000 average viewing across the full day, for the past four months or so."

He added "This falls well short of the amount of viewing that the channel would need to break even on the cost base outlined at launch, but the main purpose of news outlets can often be removed from the pursuit of profit. Due to sizeable promotion I would imagine that the Trump interview will pull in similar viewing levels to launch, but I doubt it will resonate much beyond tonight in terms of an ongoing viewing boost." 


DMGT prepares to end its tenure as a plc, as the Rothermere family finalise a takeprivate offer of £2.9 billion (c. 18.8x EBITDA) and make a swathe of new appointments as it seeks to reconfigure the business

The Daily Mail newspaper is the crown jewel in the company’s assets, as the wider portfolio has recentred around consumer media

The road ahead is still foggy, with a rickety bridge between its print and online brands—a strategic risk for DMGT, yet also a key opportunity in UK media


Douglas said “The initiative is eminently sensible and should be embraced by every quality news and content provider out there. The internet has demolished incentives for originating content. Exclusive is illusive — for as long as it takes someone to re-write and publish. Copyright is the real key, but no one seriously believes online norms can be reversed after more than 20 years.”