The UK’s cost-of-living crisis will compress real household disposable income by 4.3% in fiscal 2022/23, despite the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) in place for this winter, with the pain compounded by rising interest rates until mid 2023, provoking a mild peak-to-trough decline in GDP of 2-3%

With CPI inflation forecast at 7% in 2023, and real private consumption forecast to decline by 1.9% (OBR) at the very least, advertising could still rise by 2-3% in 2023, a decline in real terms, with H1 particularly affected relative to H2, when declining CPI will allow monetary policy to relax

Not all households are equally affected by economic headwinds, and those that are more resilient will be the most attractive targets for businesses in 2023: those in  the top half of the income distribution, particularly older, empty-nested homeowners without mortgages

In 2023, the BBC will launch BBC News globally, merging its two 24-hour broadcast news services: the UK news channel and the international BBC World News. This merger will challenge the BBC to balance its coverage of both international and local news

As a result of cuts to licence fee funding there is now little leeway when deciding where best to invest for a digital-first news future. Efficiencies are seemingly all sought out and only cuts to services and output are left

Older viewers may lose access to in-depth 24-hour coverage of UK news stories from the BBC—the UK's most trusted and valued provider of news. Competitors will fill the breach, with any impact felt later

BT Consumer’s move to the EE brand is a gradual one, with an EE re-launch due next year set to accelerate this, although the BT and Plusnet brands will not be withdrawn in a hurry.

The company is hoping that the new converged EE will drive new revenue streams, a challenging task, but one that it is approaching with realism, and building on previous success.

BT confirmed that the inflation-plus price rise will be applied next year, along with a hope-to-be-sustained increase in front book pricing too. The cost-of-living crisis is putting pressure on ARPU, with FTTP likely to only partially compensate.

Market revenue growth of 2% in Q3 was slightly lower than the previous quarter, but remained firmly positive at least.

The dual impacts of slowing broadband volume growth and consumer price sensitivity will likely hit volumes and ARPU even harder over the tough winter to come.

Inflation-linked price increases will give some operators a boost next year, but their very high levels (c.15%) will be hard to manage during a cost-of-living squeeze.

By firing Bob Chapek, the board responded decisively to a stream of negative press coverage and unexpected weak results.

Iger's priority should be unwinding Chapek’s revenue and distribution structure that separated creatives from investment control.

What will be the next transformational deal for Iger-led Disney? Strategic gaps include a youth audience pivoted towards social media and games

Vodafone’s downgraded guidance is due to its woes in Germany rather than the economy. There is some limited reassurance that this will turnaround soon.

It remains challenging for Vodafone to achieve its revised FY guidance with a 7ppt improvement in underlying EBITDA growth required to get there.

Leverage and cash-calls are much improved, and the dividend looks assured, but the Vantage and German deals mean escalating pressures on EBITDA.

Online advertising growth at big tech firms has flatlined, with real-term declines at Meta and YouTube. The weakness is concentrated in higher funnel ads.

Advertising is a leading indicator. A hardware slowdown is coming, services growth is stuttering, and businesses will want to save on cloud services.

Investors are hostile to attempts to spend through a downturn, but competition from TikTok and developments in AI demand targeted investment, while Meta is pot-committed to the metaverse. Tech giants are looking for savings elsewhere.
 

Cost-of-living pressures and tougher fixed competition drove VMO2’s revenues (just) back into negative territory this quarter.

Synergy benefits, however, delivered impressive EBITDA growth (+5%) with more to come as the Virgin Mobile MVNO shifts on-network next quarter.

We struggle to foresee convergence becoming the company’s next growth driver as trailed by the CEO, but the mobile outlook is fairly robust and there are steps that can be taken to shore up the pressurised fixed business.

BT maintained (proforma) revenue growth at 1% in Q2, EBITDA growth was a healthy 5%, and retail net adds were solid across broadband and mobile, with evidence of an economic crisis hard to discern.

Investors have concerns around Openreach, with a market-driven slowdown in wholesale broadband, extra capex this year, and a further ‘special offer’ price cut being negotiated for next year combining to create understandable anxiety.

We think that Openreach continues to have a healthy outlook overall, with there being greater risks in consumer and business retail revenue in toughening economic conditions, albeit this is a storm that BT has weathered very well so far.

ITV’s total advertising revenue (TAR) across the first nine months was down 2% year-on-year, £25 million less than the company had expected at the end of July. This was still up on pre-COVID levels. With a strong Q4, TAR is expected to be down 1.5% across the year, while high inflation of costs and greater reliance on Studios will ultimately challenge margins

ITVX will be fully launched on the—slightly delayed—date of 8 December 2022. We are confident that it will be a step change for ITV's online engagement, however we believe that ITV may be understating its potential cannibalisation of linear

ITV Studios appears to be beating the market, and there may never be a more opportune time for its mooted partial sale: across the industry inflation will make margins difficult to grow while overall content demand is plateauing at best