Sky continued to grow its UK revenue thanks to price rises, mobile customer additions, and a rebound from lost hospitality business in early 2021, but this was still outweighed by the recent reset of its Italian operation.
Aggregation remains a core focus, with Paramount+, and Magenta Sport in Germany, added to Sky’s bundles, while fibre rollout will intensify with the launch of Sky Stream puck as a standalone device later this year.
Declining buying power raises uncertainty over consumer behaviour: in previous recessions, pay-TV performed well, but today subscribers have more video options than ever before.
While VMO2’s Q1 results were strong, its subscriber additions were weak, particularly on the broadband side, with a seemingly somewhat deliberate go-slow as the year began, but cost-of-living crisis and fibre overbuild may also be factors.
We see considerable scope to ramp up commercial aggression from here given the sizeable tailwinds from price increases, synergy benefits and the migration of the Virgin Mobile MVNO from Vodafone.
We remain sceptical of VMO2’s further network extension ambitions and hope that no news on securing a financial partner is good news, increasing the odds of it pursuing the less risky strategy of expanding its footprint through wholesale.