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

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

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 

Revenues were stable year-on-year in Q3, with UK growth offsetting Continental decline. All three markets posted positive customer net adds across the quarter.

Underlying profitability is improving, and although World Cup-related changes to the football schedule depressed net income in Q3, they will lift it in Q4.

A possible sale of Sky Deutschland would make sense if it helps the buyer reach superior scale within Germany.

Disney’s core competitive advantages reside in its IP stock and in consumers’ lifelong affection for its brands, but the company faces a growing challenge from much larger tech platforms, pushing up the costs of production, sports rights and access to future IP.

Disney’s resources for content expenditure are now flat. The fat profit contribution from US linear channels may soon start to decline whereas direct-to-consumer losses at Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ are still increasing, and the recovery of parks could be capped by the worsening economy.

With its recognisable IP, Disney will benefit if global video viewing continues to coalesce around fewer, bigger series, although a weak future cinema market— which Disney dominates and leverages—will impair the creation of big, new IP properties. China and India’s potential may not materialise soon.

The Nordic streamer arrives in the UK on 1 November with two ad-free tiers: a basic £3.99 per month service featuring (mostly) Nordic scripted content, and a £14.99 version including sports, thanks to recently acquired Premier Sports.

Viaplay’s UK economics will revolve around sports: it has to demonstrate that there is room for a new premium service in the market. Substantial marketing efforts and distribution deals with the likes of Sky and Amazon will be critical to build penetration.

The UK is the latest territory in an ongoing aggressive international deployment that has driven Viaplay into loss. It aims at multi-territory economies of scale, which work for scripted content, but appear illusory for sports.

 

With viewing to traditional broadcast TV continuing to shrink rapidly, especially among under-45s, our latest forecasts revise a new low for broadcasters’ audiences: falling to just half of all video viewing in 2027, down from 63% today.

Long-form, broadcast-quality content will increasingly be viewed on SVOD-first services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, Disney+) as online habits solidify, especially among older audiences. Platforms offering different content (e.g. YouTube, Twitch, TikTok) will continue to grow their share and will also expand total watch-time.

We forecast that under-35s will spend just a tenth to a fifth of their video time with broadcasters’ traditional long-form content five years from now, versus a third to a half for 35-54s and 85% for over-65s.

After two quarters losing net subscribers (-1.2 million), Netflix grew subs in Q3, adding 2.4 million (up to 223 million), driven by APAC but with all regions back to an upward trajectory. The company's attempt to focus attention off subs and onto revenue hit a snag, though—due to F/X this was down quarter-on-quarter

Netflix's ad-supported tier will be launched in the UK on 3 November; while it will not alleviate churn it will increase the perceptual value of the more popular and expensive Standard tier. With BARB not measuring incremental reach and frequency of its commercial impacts, Netflix will still have a job to prove value to advertisers

The declaration of Netflix's UK revenue firms up our understanding of the company's paying base, and provides insight into the number of households that are getting the service for free—revealing the revenue potential of measures to counteract this freeloading culture, but also the prevalence of it

The new Truss/Hunt tandem is a needed response to the crisis affecting the credibility of the UK Government in global financial markets over its decisions on economic policy, although it will take time to re-establish credibility and stability

The cost-of-living crisis is inexorably widening from goods and services to the interest rates paid by Government, businesses, and households, exacerbating the recessionary trend of the economy

Implications for UK TMT range from the recession in advertising expenditure in2023, to the delay of the Media Bill (including the privatisation of Channel 4), alongside complications for mergers and acquisitions of UK companies

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.