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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Claire said “This is absolutely the right time to be considering a sale. A deal fever has descended on the media sector and barely a day goes by without a mega merger.”

She added “It’s hard to imagine Channel 4 ever being as remotely as valuable [as] the benefits it provides. It churns out millionaires and production companies that go on to work for Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime."

Market revenue growth improved to -1.4% in Q1 2021, a partial recovery being better than at any point in 2020, but still worse than at any point in 2019.

Next quarter the sports channel suspensions will lap out, driving strong (but temporary) year-on-year growth.

Longer-term revenue growth recovery will need backbook pricing pressure relief, which will start in Q2, and demand for ultrafast broadband.

The consumer books market has flourished during the pandemic: following early worries, publishers are reporting strong growth and profits

However, bookshops, the most important point of contact between the industry and readers, are facing their toughest challenge yet as ecommerce booms and continued home-working saps high street footfall                                                   

Publishers and authors are embracing new, online ways of promoting titles. These will require new ways of working, and are not substitutes for dedicated shops, which must be protected as much as possible

Tom said “It’s one of those things that if you don’t watch them you assume no one else does, but actually the audience for the Sony Movie Channel is quite big."

He added “I’d say about 70% of their audience is over 55. That’s pretty old. But the audience has been stable over the past few years. And one thing about an older audience is that they’re less likely to be recording, watching it later and fast-forwarding the ads.” 

Francois said  “The Warner-Discovery and TF1-M6 merger plans have dramatically pushed consolidation up European commercial television’s agenda.  Wave after wave of consolidation in the entertainment industry has progressively dwarfed European operators. In 2010, the revenues of the region’s largest broadcaster, the RTL Group, already amounted to just 20 percent of Disney’s, and by 2020 this ratio had halved. The last decade has seen the emergence of global vertically integrated content producers and distributors, such as Netflix and Amazon, and the spread of this model to Hollywood-based studios, while the likes of Facebook and Google have grown to become direct competitors to TV channels that used to be seen as ‘licenses to print money."

Claire said “Decriminalizing the license fee could cost the BBC 10 percent of its budget, which would force deep cuts in programming and staff. But under the current timetable for reviewing public-service broadcasting in Britain, the fee is safe until 2027"

She added "They’re going to make sure this never happens again. They’re going to make sure the Diana interview is wiped from the annals of history, that they can’t make money from it again.”