Ofcom - ITV Licence Fee Decision

20 July 2010

Ofcom will announce at the end of June the new terms for ITV to operate the analogue portion of its broadcast licence for ITV1. According to Ofcom's own statements, it is obliged to estimate the full value of ITV’s operation of the analogue ITV1 service and then extract all this value – bar some profit and other small allowances – in the form of annual licence payments. To do so, Ofcom has announced a methodology based on what the winning broadcaster would bid in a hypothetical competitive tender. In order to estimate the licence payments, analysts must grapple with the highly complex tasks of inferring the model from Ofcom's description and establishing the inputs.

An eventual merger is possible but difficult, especially given Hutchison Whampoa’s inflated view of H3G Italia’s value, considering it worth about the same as Wind itself, which is double the size and actually makes a profit (unlike H3G Italia)

Nonetheless, this does create a possible exit should H3G Italia’s planned Q1 2006 IPO fail, with the consolidation likely to benefit all players in the Italian market. H3G UK does not enjoy such an option, and is struggling more on a stand-alone basis to boot

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