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BBC Charter Review

Enders Analysis is a firm believer in strong public service broadcasting which boosts the entire UK creative industry and is consumed by almost everyone. We have published a number of reports covering the BBC in the run up to Charter Review. To download any of our reports or hear interviews please click on the links below:

BBC Green Paper: red alert on funding

Claire Enders discusses Charter Review on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show, 16/07/2015. The interview starts at 7 minutes 27 seconds

BBC to pay for the over-75s

The plight of the BBC post-intervention

What should the BBC be for?

Latest reports More

  • BBC
  • Media
  • TV
  • UK Media

The DCMS Green Paper on BBC Charter Review promises a nit-picking examination of all the BBC does, where the focus will be on how to redefine its mission as well as reform and/or improve BBC services in the internet age

A central theme is the scale of the BBC. The Green Paper underlines the “dramatic” expansion of BBC services in the last 20 years, and questions whether there is still a need for the current breadth and universality of the BBC’s offering in the online world of greatly expanded choice

Among the future BBC funding options laid out in the Green Paper, the suggestion of a mixed public funding and subscription model raises serious concerns with regard to its potential negative impact on the commercial television sector

  • Amazon
  • Media
  • Mobile
  • UK Media

Consumer ebook sales exploded after Amazon launched its Kindle in the UK in 2010, but growth rapidly slowed, and disruption was limited by genre, creating parallel ebook and physical book markets

Compared to the relentless downward spiral of music purchasing, these trends have been heartening for publishers and booksellers, but there are signs that slower, more complicated and insidious disruption is emerging

Decades of steady, albeit slow, growth in total book sales have been reversed, as consumers spend more time on a variety of mobile-delivered services, including some in classic content categories for books

  • TalkTalk
  • Fixed Line
  • Telecoms

TalkTalk’s June quarter delivered Group revenue growth of 3.5% with a modest slowdown in consumer, impacted by acquisitions and disposals, and a sharper drop in business

In a competitive trading environment, organic growth was likely suppressed, with the company’s focus being more on integrating the acquired bases of Virgin Media and Tesco

Guidance was reiterated with clear routes towards revenue growth targets of 5% in FY16 and confidence in the (challenging) medium term goal of 25% EBITDA margin in FY17

  • Internet
  • Media
  • Press

A cash offer of £844m from the giant Japanese financial information business Nikkei, a sometime partner of the FT, was too attractive to pass up for Pearson, whatever strategic reservations it felt about offloading the title or doing so now

The deal does not include Pearson’s coveted 50% stake in the Economist (or the FT’s London headquarters), so represents a considerable premium, of 35x earnings and 3x revenues by our estimates

Increased competition in the premium financial information market suggests the FT was a good consolidation opportunity. For Nikkei the move develops its opportunities in Europe and the US

  • Apple
  • Internet
  • Media
  • Mobile
  • Technology
  • Telecoms

Apple delivered strong results in Q3 2015, selling a record number of iPhones for the June quarter, though iPad sales slid dramatically as consumers switch to ‘phablets’ and the company did not provide any detail on early sales of Watch, its biggest product launch since 2010

We remain bullish both on the iPhone and the Watch’s long term potential, though the latter remains a work in progress and, like many of Apple’s existing customers, we await the next iteration with interest; by contrast the iPad may have peaked already

Rising revenue from App Store, up 24% year-on-year, as well as new products like Apple Music and Apple Pay, should continue to boost the contribution from Services, and we expect this to evolve into a more material part of the business, but ultimately it’s still all about the iPhone

  • BBC
  • Media
  • TV
  • UK Media

The recently elected Conservative government took less than a week to negotiate a licence fee settlement with the BBC immediately prior to Charter Renewal in which it will offload the government’s over-75s licence fee subsidy on to the BBC in return for various financial benefits

But, there are strings attached to a financially poor settlement, making it very difficult for the BBC to protest in the run-up to a charter that promises a major diminution in its ability to contribute to the UK creative economy

The only possible gainers are the commercial media, though the benefits may prove much less than some anticipate, however pleased the newspaper publishers may be by the Chancellor’s criticism of the BBC’s “imperial ambitions” in online news. Much more to be feared is the likely negative impact on the UK TV production sector