Advanced Television

Arqiva is planning for 2040

January 28, 2014

By Chris Forrester

UK transmission and teleport operator Arqiva has a business strategy that extends to 2040. Barrie Woolston (MD/Satellite division) says that recent major business wins, including handling playout for Turner Broadcasting in much of Europe and Asia, but also the fall-out from the Eurozone financial crisis has forced it to further evaluate its business plan.

“This means that while we are not seeing massive growth [in Europe], there is business to be had,” says Woolston. “Our refinancing last year is now squared away and we know where we are in terms of future Bond issues. As a result we are now able to undertake some long-term planning, and which takes us out to 2040. We have our core business in the UK and Europe, although like North America those areas are either flat or challenged, and not helped by the Eurozone crisis, which is why our entry into Singapore and Hong Kong is important to us. We also have a watching brief on the Middle East, in Dubai, and Qatar where we have a good relationship with Al Jazeera. But again we build on what we have to offer. You cannot enter any market and just say ‘here we are, give us your business’. You have to build those relationships and we like to think that – with our customers – we can build for the longer term.”

Woolston says Arqiva’s forward planning and strategic review examines some fundamental questions for the broadcasting industry. “I’d like to say that the majority of our blue-chip clients will still be on satellite in 2030. But will it be the same volume? Will BSkyB still provide the same sort of services as it does now? I am not so sure. Will a satellite-based delivery system still exist? I am certain of that. But there are many, many variables in that mix, and how many services – current or new – will be around in 2025-30, who knows?”

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