UK

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  • December 15, 2020

    Amazon Prime on Sky Q: Now almost fully aggregated

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    Sky has agreed to host Amazon Prime Video on its platform, effective today. The Amazon app appears in the App section of Sky Q set-top-boxes, which in the UK places it alongside the existing icons of BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Discovery+, Disney+, YouTube and Spotify (it is currently third in prominence).
  • December 11, 2020

    Discovery+ launch An opportunity to prove essential

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    Discovery has announced the global rollout of its direct-to-consumer (DTC) service, Discovery+. In the US, Discovery has a relatively straightforward story to tell: a stable of channels focused on "real life" content with a single business model—basic cable—pivoting towards DTC distribution
  • December 10, 2020

    2021 spectrum auction: Uncertainty prevails (UK)

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    COVID, potential consolidation, implications for ALF pricing and non-contiguous blocks have conspired to make the forthcoming second 5G spectrum auction a highly complicated affair.
  • December 2, 2020

    Recovery…of sorts: UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trend [...]

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    • Consumer broadband, telephony and pay TV market revenue growth recovered to -2% in Q3 (from -6% in Q2), with the recovery in premium sports channel revenue being partially mitigated by a worsening in backbook pricing pressure at BT
    • This is however still weaker than pre-COVID levels, with said backbooking pricing pressure affecting all operators to some extent, and intensifying as Ofcom-mandated end-of-contract notifications are rolled out, with annual best tariff notification due over the next few months
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  • December 2, 2020

    BBC licence fee settlement : Further cuts will wound the sector

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    On 10 November, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State (SoS) for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) wrote to the BBC to confirm the scope and the timing of the next licence fee settlement, which will cover the period from 2022 to 2027. Previous settlements, conducted without public pressure or scrutiny, have left the BBC with more obligations and less to spend on them, at a time when licence fee income is already around 30% lower than it would have been had it kept pace with inflation and not been given additional spending obligations. In response, the Corporation has undergone extensive programmes of cost-cutting and rationalisation of resources. While this has made the BBC leaner in an operational sense, there is now little fat to absorb further cuts to income. With the commitment to fixed long-term obligations such as its pension deficit, the threat remains that there will be less to spend on local and quality content, tech, regionality, and diversity, and as such, it cannot be expected that the BBC will continue to return the same kinds and volumes of value to the wider creative economy, as it is structured for.
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  • November 26, 2020

    Google search in the dock: Department of Justice targets mobile b [...]

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    The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is bringing an antitrust case against Google under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, accusing it of operating an illegal monopoly for internet search and search advertising in its home market of the US. Although a monopoly by itself is not illegal in the US, Google is accused of maintaining its search monopoly by unlawful means. The case targets Google's licensing of its Android operating system and exclusionary agreements with Apple for its devices that allow Google to be the default search provider on most mobile devices in the US.
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  • November 23, 2020

    Vodafone: Bright spots and low lights

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    There are some reasons to be cheerful about Vodafone right now—small nuggets of encouragement in its H1 results and the prospect of some market repair in the UK. Annual in-contract price rises of CPI + 3.9% across the UK mobile sector could provide very valuable support
  • November 18, 2020

    ITV Q3 2020 results: Ads recovering, production may take longer

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    Advertising demand has risen, with total ad revenue down just 7% in Q3, and Q4 expected to be slightly up—this means ITV will be down just over 10% across 2020.

  • November 17, 2020

    Sky UK brings group back on track

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    Sky appears to have weathered the COVID-19 crisis, revealing an encouraging turnaround in its Q3 operating results, with revenue growth flat overall as each stream saw significant improvement from Q2
  • November 13, 2020

    Virgin Media: Subscriber growth renaissance continues

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    Virgin Media’s lockdown subscriber surge continued into Q3, as working-from-home highlights the importance of the faster speeds its network can offer.
  • October 15, 2020

    STV: Pulling the levers for growth

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    October 15, 2020

    5G iPhone: A small step for the UK mobile market

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  • October 8, 2020

    Back in play: Merger prospects in UK mobile resurrected

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  • September 17, 2020

    Mobile industry reshape continues in the UK: EE ends its relation [...]

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    EE has announced the ending of its relationship with Carphone Warehouse, hot on the heels of a similar announcement from O2 a few months ago and the recent closure of Carphone Warehouse high-street stores
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  • September 15, 2020

    European mobile in Q2 2020: Sounding a more cautious note

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    Service revenue growth in the major European markets worsened by 3.5ppts this quarter, as a loss of roaming, prepay, and business revenues hit almost all operators. The UK was hardest hit as prepay and out-of-bundle usage was offloaded to Wif-Fi, and there was an accounting drag as a consequence of the ending of the relationship between O2 and Carphone Warehouse. Conversely, performance in the Italian market was almost flat as prepay usage was up and there was a degree of reprieve from competitive pressures from Iliad. Elsewhere, the French market was hard hit by the loss of inter-continental roaming as far back as February as China began to shut down but other fundamentals appear to be robust. In Germany, O2’s revenue trend was hardest hit but it maintained its strong net adds momentum. While the lockdown provided a break from ‘a very intense promotional environment’ in Spain, that intensity resumed as soon as lockdown lifted with particularly compelling converged bundle offers from Vodafone and Yoigo.
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  • September 8, 2020

    Surging online retail in the UK- Record growth during lockdown

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    The reopening of the high street from 15 June came as welcome news for businesses which had seen sales decimated since lockdown was enforced on 28 March. However, even as restrictions eased, shoppers stayed away, with high street footfall across the UK down by 48% in July year-on-year
  • August 25, 2020

    UK mobile market in Q2 2020 – Recovery interrupted

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    The sector was hit harder than expected by COVID-19 with service revenues declining by 7% overall vs a decline of just 1.6% in the previous quarter. Many telecoms operators across Europe have become more negative on the near-term outlook than they were a couple of months ago with full year guidance now downgraded by almost all players
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  • August 24, 2020

    UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q2 2020 – Things [...]

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    Consumer broadband, telephony and pay TV market revenue growth plummeted to -6% in Q2 (from -2% in Q1), with all of the ‘big 4’ operators’ revenue growth taking a substantial hit. The reduction in premium sports channel revenue was by far the largest factor, with there being some other lockdown-related negative factors, such as the opportunity cost effect of extra services offered for free by the operators to help their customers during the crisis
  • August 21, 2020

    Virgin Media UK – Indeterminately boosted

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    Virgin Media had its strongest subscriber performance for years in Q2, with its (ex-Project Lightning) existing base footprint showing positive growth to add to the subscribers gained on its Project Lightning network extension. This was partly due to temporary factors, with both Openreach and Sky not able to do in-home installations for part of the quarter, but the company has reported some sustained momentum, with the crisis boosting demand for higher speed broadband, and has decided not to implement its usual annual price increase in H2 to avoid the usual accompanying churn and customer dissatisfaction, instead choosing to prioritise subscriber growth to compensate for the ARPU shortfall.
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  • August 12, 2020

    O2 UK: COVID and loss of Carphone bite

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    Along with the rest of the mobile market, O2’s results were harder-hit by COVID than expected, with service and total revenues down by 9% and 4% respectively
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  • August 11, 2020

    Sky UK Q2 2020 results – Emerging from the worst?

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    Sport is back, but its recent hiatus amid the COVID-19 crisis hit Sky hard, with Q2 revenue plunging 12.9% year-on-year. EBITDA remains flat for now, with sports rights cost absorption postponed but not cancelled
  • July 29, 2020

    TalkTalk UK: Post-lockdown challenges and opportunities

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    TalkTalk started its new financial year with revenue growth declining to -8% in Q1, although this is partly lockdown-related, and costs have also declined as churn plummeted  
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  • July 22, 2020

    UK Betting & gaming advertising – Inadequate solution [...]

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    The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) which represents 90% of the UK’s betting and gaming industry (but not the National Lottery/other lotteries) announced its withdrawal of all TV and radio advertising for casino, slots and bingo during lockdown
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  • July 20, 2020

    UK TV broadcasters – Silver linings from COVID-19

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    Admissions and box office revenues in 2020 will be the lowest in over three decades. The pandemic forced the closure of theatres, putting pressure on cinema to a degree unlike ever before
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