Inside Satellite
Chris ForresterChris Forrester is one of the most experienced and highly regarded journalists in the field. His insight and analysis, particularly in the satellite and pay-TV arena, is highly prized. He has written for all the major business journals in the sector as well as several national newspapers.

South Africa wishes ‘April Fools’ joke was true

An April 1st story in South Africa swept the country like wild fire. The untrue story claimed that South Africa was to abandon its planned switchover from analogue to digital TV. Now that the bills for the conversion process are coming in, it is clear that many locals wish the April Fools hoax was in fact a true statement. A […]

Sky “well placed” despite tough outlook

Sky will report its Q3 numbers next Tuesday on April 21st, and the market is expecting 9-month revenues growing by some 4.9 per cent (to £8.44 billion). But the challenges ahead are not to be ignored, suggests a note from investment bankers Jefferies on April 17th. Sky UK has just announced steep price hikes for most of its subscription bundles. […]

Netflix numbers impress market

By any measure the Q1/2015 financial numbers released by OTT operator Netflix this week impressed the market.  Each and every metric managed to beat the market’s consensus expectations. Some examples: The market was expecting 4.1 million new subscribers. Netflix delivered 4.9 million. The split was also impressive with International growth (2.6 million) beating the USA’s 2.3 million – and this […]

Eutelsat calms Russia worries

Investors have grown concerned at the impact Russia’s economic downturn might be having on Eutelsat’s profitability. CEO Michel de Rosen took the opportunity of an in-depth interviews with the French press to say Eutelsat had renegotiated its contracts with Russian broadcasters, but that the new contracts had a ‘reverse’ clause allowing contract values to return to their previous (and higher […]

Bollore moving on Vivendi?

French media has never been faster moving, or more interesting, since the heady days of Jean-Marie Messier and his attempt to be ‘master of the world’. April 10th evening saw news break that French investment and industrial group Bollore had picked up another 2.51 per cent of media giant Vivendi, and paying over €800 million for the 33.8 million shares […]

ABS to double in size

Mohamed Youssif, ABS’ COO and President/MD of its MENA operatio,n said the satellite operator continues on what he described as a fast-track growth and expansion trajectory.  “We launched the business in 2006 and we now have 7 satellites in the fleet, and have reported around 30 per cent growth y-o-y during that time.” Investment fund Permira is a majority owner […]

Sky share buying buzz

The news that Vivendi might be seeking to buy the trio of Sky Europe broadcasters has prompted considerable activity on the London stock market in Sky shares. Sky’s share price rocketed from Tuesday’s closing price of £10.23 to an April 8th morning ‘high’ of £10.63 (and a new 12-month ‘high’) before slipping back after profit taking to £10.41, and a […]

Netflix poses further threat from Smart TVs

New ranges of Smart TVs are going on sale in Europe from brands such as Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and others. What makes these latest models different is that they have a dedicated ‘Netflix’ button on the remote control, as reported by Advanced-Television last week. More often than not the Netflix option was already available to consumers, but to access the […]

“Most powerful” 4K satellite leaves Toulouse

DirecTV-15, described by its manufacturers as “the most powerful US broadcast satellite” ever built, has left Airbus Defence & Space’s manufacturing facility at Toulouse, France. The giant satellite is ready to be flown to Kourou in French Guiana for launch during May. Ordered back in November 2011 with the (then) EADS Astrium company, and is designed to be part of […]

Bank: “Sky in sweet spot, but squeeze is coming”

Mike Williams, telecoms analyst at investment bank Exane BNP-Paribas, says the battle for eyeballs – and subscribers – is escalating among pay-TV players and as OTT content quality and quantity continues to improve. The bank’s report says: “We expect them to increasingly try to compete as substitutes (rather than complements). Additionally, as OTT players, most notably Netflix, increase their content […]

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