Advanced Television

Canal Plus challenges for Vivendi

September 5, 2011

Last week’s Vivendi results were close to the market’s expectations, although there was subsequently some changes to guidance during the post-results analysts’ calls.

For example, Vivendi’s Activision-Blizzard games division saw its guidance raised substantially, with the potential of even further progress. Vivendi is a much diversified business, especially in the telecoms sector, and while the headline figures were “modestly ahead” of expectations, in the words of Morgan Stanley, revenues were only 1.9 per cent ahead.

When looking at Canal Plus, Morgan Stanley expects the rest of the year to deliver EBITA up 3.5 per cent to $714 million. And it is Canal Plus that worries Morgan Stanley given that its growth occurred mainly outside mainland France (subs net gain up 96,000). ARPU in France grew extremely modestly at just €1 year-on-year to €47.30 per month “due to modest bundle price increases”.

“The French Football League (LFP) has announced the attribution of 5 packages out of 9 for the next four seasons 2012/13 to 2015/16. Canal+ won packages 1 to 4 for €420 million pa. Canal+ currently pays €460 million per year for French football rights. Canal+ will broadcast the two top matches (Saturday 5pm and Sunday evening). The rest of the matches will be broadcast on Al-Jazeera Sport. AJ bid €90 million per year to broadcast the Friday evening and the Sunday lunchtime (2pm) matches. Al-Jazeera is expected to launch a new channel which will be made available on all French platforms.”



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