Project Gigabit, the process of awarding subsidies to cover the hardest-to-reach 10-15% of the UK with gigabit broadband, is well underway, with altnets having been awarded all of the contracts won so far, although these are only 5-10% of the prospective total.

While wholesale provision is mandatory under the contracts, logic and experience suggests that this option may prove impractical, leaving the national ISPs (such as BT, Sky and TalkTalk) at risk of losing up to 15% of the market, and consumers being denied hard-won choice.

Openreach would be well advised to build its own network in these areas using the ducts and poles of the subsidy winners (also mandated), to protect the prospects of its ISP customers and maintain consumer choice.

Sports clubs, leagues and federations are accelerating investment in their direct-to-consumer strategies, developing next-generation apps and streaming services.

Objectives include gathering first-party fan data, diversifying revenue streams, and extending reach in growing markets and among younger audiences.

New league streaming apps supplement broadcaster coverage in core markets and enable new partnership arrangements with incumbent pay-TV operators and online video marketplaces.

Warner Bros. Discovery is grappling with declining legacy cable revenues and its $48 billion debt burden. DTC losses have attenuated but de-leveraging will be trickier post-2023 as many of the easier cost-savings have been achieved.

The US launch of its DTC offering, Max, attempts to dovetail IP from across Warner Bros., alongside Discovery's food, lifestyle and documentary programming, and soon, CNN. Adding sports may prove more challenging.

In Europe, WBD’s rational strategy would be to maintain a mixed distribution strategy, agreeing exclusive deals for its DTC platform with incumbent aggregators such as Sky.

The US and UK have highly dissimilar approaches to regulating political advertising during elections, with far less spent in the UK (46p per registered voter compared to $51 in the US per year), although spending on online political advertising is rising fast in both.

The UK caps electoral spending and bans political advertising on broadcast channels, newspapers are partisan and regulation of online is very light touch.

With the UK’s next general election on the horizon, it’s vital to level the playing field between the broadcast and online channels, to prevent false and misleading statements by parties, candidates or their supporters from swaying voter intentions, to the detriment of the quality of democracy in the UK.

Ligue 1 wants to break with its recent history of failed tenders, declining revenues and soured relations with incumbent Canal+.

This year’s would-be bidders have no history of inflating rights costs. Thanks to its distribution deals with DAZN (likely to step in) and beIN, Canal+ may feel secure, while Amazon could let its coverage shrink to a selection of key matches.

The LFP is taking steps to offer a more enticing competition, in partnership with CVC: with fewer teams, a stronger brand and new investors.

Radio listening is strong, but with a dramatic decline among the under-24s. Smart speakers will accelerate the trend and while the draft Media Bill’s intervention is helpful, it is not the cure.

The commercial sector is thriving through the launch of digital-only stations and major players taking advantage of deregulation. The issue of attracting a new generation is pressing.                                       

The once-dominant BBC has a loyal older following. Hampered by regulation, it is difficult to see how younger audiences will develop an affinity with its audio offering.

A cooler consumer market sees Sky now facing the same pressures as its SVOD competitors, with a loss of pay-TV subscribers in the UK.

However, Sky is performing better in telecoms in both the UK and Italy. These markets are less susceptible to recession with Sky also benefitting from its position as more of a challenger than an incumbent.

Uncertainty continues to loom over both the sale of its German platform and the upcoming allocation of Serie A rights in Italy.

Service revenue growth almost doubled this quarter to 2.4% aided by price rises in the UK, Spain, and France, but remains well below inflation-levels.

The revenue boost from in-contract price rises will ultimately disappear as customers recontract, dampening the EBITDA outlook as costs continue to rise.

Operators are looking to other strategies to strengthen their positions, including edging up new-customer pricing, M&A, and attracting wholesale MVNO business.


Web3-enabled games represent a radical transformation for all elements of the gamer ecosystem: gamer, developer, publisher and platform. Through blockchain technologies, and the development of a digital asset economy, gamers will benefit from true ownership and investment in games—driving new network effects and growth

Web3 gaming is unlikely to have a ‘big bang’ moment dependent on a new device or hardware. Instead, we expect organic growth, with a positive ramp due to ongoing investment in the space. Great games are a necessary condition of success

Complexity and platform barriers shouldn’t be underestimated. Web3 will require imaginative design solutions along with new tools and service providers to smooth the limitations related to blockchain decentralisation, and the sector should decouple from the turbulent cryptocurrency space

Prepared for The Metaverse Society by Enders Analysis