With major studios arguably over-indexed on SVOD, the stickier experiences of interactive entertainment and the metaverse will eventually form a critical pillar of studio D2C strategy, boosting subscription services and tying in closely with consumer products and theme parks.

Disney’s appointment of a Chief Metaverse Officer is good first step, demonstrating a strategic interest in the space. But other major studios remain cautious and distracted, with limited capability beyond licensing to engage in the metaverse for the next 24 months and possibly longer.

Meta will need to provide a strong guiding hand creatively and technically to ensure its new partnership with NBCUniversal is a success, and to evangelise the metaverse and its revenue model across the Hollywood studio content space.

Revenue decline accelerated in Q2 as the cost-of-living crisis appears to be impacting UK sales, but profits remained strong thanks to last summer’s Continental sports rights reset.

In Italy, DAZN will return on Sky’s platform just in time for the new Serie A football season, filling a key gap in its aggregation strategy.

Looking forward, thanks to its enhanced profitability, Sky has the flexibility to respond to the economic downturn using pricing and content.

Global SVOD operators are expanding their sports content offerings. Amazon just bought UK Champions League rights, Apple signed US baseball and global football (soccer) deals, Paramount and partners won the Indian Premier League cricket auction, while Netflix unsuccessfully bid on the US Formula One licence.

In the US, streamers feed an already very competitive market, while in Europe they could potentially relaunch inflation for rights after a period of stagnation. Next moves by Warner Bros. Discovery (BT Sport and Eurosport) and Disney will be critical. Sky and Canal+ could be facing upward cost pressures.

If rights fragmentation were to increase, deeper aggregation and bundling may be necessary to avoid shrinking the consumer pool while the pressure to consolidate may intensify. Intriguingly, global rights deals may become more likely.

Reportedly, BT Sport is about to seal a deal to extend its coverage of the revamped Champions League until 2027. Amazon is going to step in with a weekly game, and the BBC will get the rights to the highlights.

In France, Canal+ has outbid Amazon to claim the full rights package thanks to a bid that has grown the total value of the rights by 28%.                                  

With Canal+’s football content secured, the upcoming Ligue 1 auction may struggle to find bidders, a fate threatening other short-sighted leagues.

With more clubs, more games and no long Christmas break, the revamped Champions League (CL) will test its value to broadcasters with a tender that has just been released in France, over two years before the cycle begins

UEFA is banking on the rivalry between Canal+/BeIN, the ongoing rights-holders, and Amazon, broadcaster of Ligue 1 in France, and of the CL in Germany and Italy

Prime’s economics point to Amazon sticking to cautious, ‘value’-driven bidding in France. It could expand its limited sports line up in the UK and Spain with the CL, but only if current licensees BT/Warner Bros. Discovery and Telefónica take a step back from 100% coverage

On 12 May 2022, Enders Analysis co-hosted the annual Media and Telecoms 2022 & Beyond Conference with Deloitte, sponsored by Barclays, Financial Times, Meta, and Deloitte Legal

With up to 500 attendees and over 40 speakers from the TMT sector, including leading executives, policy leaders, and industry experts, the conference focused on regulation, infrastructure, and how new technologies will impact the future of the industry

These are edited transcripts of Sessions 1-3 covering: regulation and legislation, PSB renewal, and clarity in the age of non-linear transmission. Videos of the presentations are also available on the conference website