Thursday, January 26, 2017

Peak Sky ?


There's a lot of talk about "peak TV" at the moment, the concept that there's too much telly around, and this may resonate with Sky's UK business as it faces agressive competition on many fronts.

BT and Discovery are investing heavily in sports, Netflix and Amazon in drama and Liberty's acquisition of Formula1 shows that their Virgin Media business is likely to re-eneter the content business.

So, it's not surprising that churn is up and profits are down. The stategy of paying through the nose for sports properties just isn't enough to drive average revenues per household near the £100 per month mark.

Sky is one of the canniest businesses in the TV game, but it has been guilty of under investing in its own network (a long time ago it bought the Easynet business but more recently sold this off).

Its response seems to be to double up on its Now TV business and go all in with an IPTV offering.

Brexit does not help things - the creation of a single content market that the EU was foolishly pushing for was going to make it easy for Sky to do pan European deals (and throw in the US market if Fox complete their takeover) - but now property owners like the Premiership can continue splitting their rights geographically. Meanwhile it's worth noting the spat between Discovery, who own Eurosport and Sky http://tbivision.com/news/2017/01/discovery-sky-go-war-channels/704541/. 

The UK TV market is very mature and it's difficult to see where Sky can achieve growth even with a good IPTV offering. And finally, perhaps, this will have a knock on effect on sports rights.