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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Some say that the matter is likely to pass soon. “It has been blown out of proportion,” says Claire Enders, founder and owner of Enders Analysis a media consulting firm, who notes the BBC has faced criticism about its presenters airing divisive views for years. Ms. Enders expects Mr. Lineker to be back presenting Match of the Day shortly. 

“If they don’t do the right things this could be existential for them,” says Jamie MacEwan, senior media analyst at Enders Analysis. “TikTok is a service you can ban without too much disruption in the real economy. It’s not like banning WhatsApp or an app with a lot of functionality. In the US, the biggest misgivings [over banning TikTok] are seen as losing the young vote and freedom of speech.”

He notes that while TikTok was successful in facing down a previous attempt to close it down led by Donald Trump, its current crisis “feels a bit more bi-partisan in the US” and is far more serious.

He added “What TikTok has to do is prove once and for all that it can stand on its own two feet and that is difficult because it is owned by ByteDance, which is headquartered in Beijing,” says MacEwan. “We know managers from Beijing fly back and forth and meet with TikTok managers because TikTok is ByteDance’s global business and ByteDance wants to be a global tech giant.”

There is a growing sense in the industry that big names are starting to probe deeper into whether their streaming model can be sustainable – that they’re finally “starting to look under the hood”, as Tom Harrington, head of television at Enders Analysis, puts it. “Should you be spending this much? How efficient is it? [These are] questions that suddenly start getting asked when you’re not adding five million subscribers every quarter,” he says.

He added “The general rule of thumb is that when there are times of economic stress, people go out less, go to the cinema less, go to restaurants less, which means they’re at home more,” says Harrington. “If you’re watching more TV, you’re getting more value from your [streaming] subscription.”

Sky has extended its Italian Champions League coverage to 2027, most of it to become exclusive, but at a higher price.

Amazon keeps its Wednesday first-pick
Having secured the UEFA rights, Sky has derisked the upcoming Serie A auction for seasons from 2024/25.        

The Italian deal highlights the rebalancing of media rights value from domestic leagues to European competitions.

ITV’s external revenues increased 8% in 2022, driven by a big boost from Studios (+19%, £2.01 billion) with COVID overhang now appearing to be a thing of the past. Total advertising revenue (TAR) was down just 1% on last year’s record highs

ITVX had a successful launch, leveraging big audiences for the World Cup to drive awareness and use of the service. We will have to wait and see what effect ITV’s aggressive new content windowing strategy will have on linear viewing

Guidance is that Q1 2023 TAR will be down 11%, with April down between 10% and 15%. TV advertising should recover later in the year, but we are forecasting that the total market will be marginally down

The Windsor Framework aims to defuse tensions between the UK and the European Union (EU) over the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, by allowing a low-friction green lane for goods shipped from Great Britain that terminate in Northern Ireland, and a red lane for goods at risk of being placed on the EU Single Market. 

While goods landed in Northern Ireland that are not at risk of being placed on the EU Single Market benefit from trade facilitation, those produced in Northern Ireland that are at risk remain subject to EU laws, which must be aligned by the UK Parliament or the Assembly, as they change.

Whether the unionists agree to restoring power-sharing with the nationalists in the Assembly under the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement depends on their acceptance that Northern Ireland will remain in the EU Single Market, to preserve seamless trade across the land border with the Republic of Ireland/EU.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, new hardware was stuck in beta, but glasses-free 3D screens impressed.

The metaverse confronted its identity crisis in a deflated hype cycle: blockchain and NFTs withdrew to the shadows, leaving the focus on enterprise and industrial applications.

AI: while aware of the (numerous) issues, discussions occasionally skated over issues of effectiveness, data inputs, the role of humans, and conditions for adoption.