The cost-of-living crisis facing the UK economy notched up a gear in April, with a shock 9% CPI reading due to the home energy price cap increase; the May reading of 9.1% implies ongoing real income declines. The World Bank warns of the largest commodity shock in 50 years as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—with prices to remain elevated for 2-3 years

After the pandemic widened social inequality between B2B workers able to accumulate savings through work from home (WFH) and B2C workers who had to continue commuting, the home energy and petrol price crisis is again disproportionately impacting low-income households that cannot WFH

While the UK could find itself in a mild technical recession in Q2 and Q3 2022, base effects from the lockdowns in the first half of 2021 are certain to produce a higher annual level of GDP for 2022, with the OECD forecasting 3.6% growth, although it also predicts GDP will stagnate in 2023, with significant risks to the downside from further energy supply disruptions

The tender for UK rights to the revamped Champions League (CL) and Europa League is now underway. The incumbent, BT Sport, is likely to want to retain full rights and we would expect it to be prepared to pay a flat-to-modest increase

English clubs' recent strong performance in the Champions League may make the rights seem better value, but this won't necessarily translate to inflation going forward

Amazon and DAZN may be interested, but disciplined bidders are unlikely to push up prices

 

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

The UK's cultural industries remain the strongest in Europe and digital distribution is a strong vector for the globalisation of British culture

The international reach and reputation of UK news providers is unparalleled, with the BBC, the largest news provider globally, reaching half a billion users weekly

Independent commissioning drives a dynamic ecosystem of TV exports with global clout—worth an estimated £3.4 billion—that remains stable despite Brexit

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.

ITV met advertising expectations in Q1, matching the forecast 16% YoY increase in total ad revenue (TAR) (£468 million), while Studios (+23%, £458 million) bolted well above pre-pandemic levels. We assume, however, that Q1 was blessed in terms of the timing of programme deliveries

The amalgamation of ITV's three domestic digital services, ITVX, is on track to launch in Q4, with a bulked-up library, clearer strategy, and new features: perhaps arriving right on time to take on Netflix's ad-supported tier

The proposed Media Bill includes a couple of potential benefits for ITV, such as expanded prominence on connected devices and major online platforms, including on smart TVs, set-top boxes and streaming sticks, along with the possibility of a remit more aligned with the modern media landscape—however details around execution are currently lacking

Piers Morgan provides the tentpole supporting TalkTV, a new channel devoted to personality-led news, current affairs and entertainment. Three hours of polished, primetime programming will build on TalkRADIO’s existing video output, drawing from across News UK’s stable of brands.

Increasing competition in opinionated news and discussion formats, as well as the harsh economic reality of producing TV news means TalkTV is unlikely to be profitable in the mid-term. There will be high up-front costs for a bigger share of voice in the UK media.

However, TalkTV will bring benefits to News UK’s wider portfolio, take advantage of the news genres’ relative resilience in a robust TV ad market and provide high-quality video content that is now an inevitable part of being a multimedia news organisation.

Netflix dramatically missed its quarterly guidance of +2.5 million subscribers in Q1, losing 200k net subs globally (although that includes 700k lost due to pulling out of Russia). Q2 is forecast to see a further net loss of 2 million (of a worldwide total of 222 million), the causes of which will also hit Netflix’s competitors.

Netflix prices continue to rise, with the Standard tier now eclipsing £10 per month. However, despite the current strain on household finances the streamer can still be confident that it can charge more without material consequence—video remains cheap compared with the past, and more time spent at home will lift Netflix's value to subscribers.

The upcoming clampdown on password sharing will aim to dismantle the 'culture of free' that currently surrounds the brand. However, we foresee that the company can only target the low-hanging fruit, so as not to risk inflaming subscriber relations by tackling all behaviour outside the accepted Terms of Use.

Broadcast TV viewing resumed its downwards trajectory in 2021, following a pandemic-inflated boost in 2020. The effect has been compounded by streaming services retaining much of their lockdown gains, consolidating their place at the heart of people's viewing habits

Within the shrinking pie of broadcast TV viewing—still c.70% of total TV set use—the PSBs have held relatively steady, whilst Channel 5 has increased both its share and absolute volume of viewing

However, further decline seems inevitable, with the largest components of the programming landscape, namely longstanding formats and the soaps suffering badly since the beginning of the pandemic. We await the effect of various new scheduling strategies