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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Tom believes it is still early days and internal changes can be made to turn the venture around. There could be a number of reasons [for its current performance]," he says. "It could be that it is a bit too brash and lurid for British tastes. It could be that it is not actually differentiated enough amid a crowded market of opinion and debate programmes. It might be that the British public doesn't care about gender neutral toilets as much as Piers Morgan does."

"They will be in a testing phase and it is not the first TV channel that Rupert Murdoch has launched. He will understand that it takes time to build an audience."

This report is free to access.

The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland has been a thorn in the side of relations between the UK and the European Union (EU) since the ink was barely dry. It seeks to uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement concluded in 1998, which established power-sharing between unionists and nationalists, but this has collapsed since February 2022, because the unionists, supported by the UK Government, oppose Northern Ireland being carved out from the UK Internal Market

By doing so, the Protocol removes any requirement for customs formalities for goods crossing the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Protocol led to a customs border in the Irish Sea for 'exports' from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, and also requires Parliament to legislate the EU Single Market for goods in Northern Ireland and to carve out the territory from otherwise applicable UK legislation

UK divergence from the rules of the EU Single Market will threaten Northern Ireland’s position in UK supply chains and also potentially undermine the EU Single Market, which is of concern to the EU, especially for matters of human health, such as “genetically modified organisms” (GMOs). This report concludes that a revised agreement should be attached to the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which then applies to all of the UK

Buoyed by an impressive 49% growth in digital subscribers, and a refocus on reader revenues, the Telegraph's profits have rebounded to 2016 levels

With current momentum the Telegraph’s 1 million online subscription target looks on track, though doing so sustainably requires further cultural development

Beyond the 2023 target the Telegraph is designing its next phase of growth, and while M&A—and a sale to DMGT—are all possible, the immediate focus will be on growing journalism products that its audience (and potential audience) will pay for

Mobile service revenue nudged into growth territory for the first time since the pandemic as a resurgent mobility boost combined with returning roaming revenues.

Q2 looks set to deliver a more convincing growth filip with inflation-linked price rises boosting by 2-5ppts, and a stronger roaming bounce for seasonal reasons.

The picture is not entirely rosy, however, with already discernible B2B headwinds and inevitable consumer bargain-hunting on the horizon.

The market looked superficially healthy in Q1, with revenue and broadband volume growth both maintained at 2%.

However, net adds trends suggest that consumers are becoming more bargain seeking, and prices have become more competitive into Q2.

The April price increases will support growth in the short term, but this boost may not last long if the cost-of-living crisis persists.

Tom said Britons watched on average 8.1 minutes of the channel a day in 2021, compared with 7.9 minutes in 2018. “That might not sound like a massive shift, but the whole industry has dropped about 10 per cent."

He added “Sacrificing younger viewers for older viewers is one of the major reasons for Channel 5’s success — they’re avoiding a demographic that is rapidly lowering its engagement with TV. The question is how sustainable is that? Paramount will be thinking, ‘Maybe by then, everyone will have Paramount Plus and we’ll transfer from the linear [non-streaming] world.’

“With Channel 5, they’re living in the now and squeezing out as much value as they can, while their rivals are transitioning their viewer online at a faster pace.”