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Ukraine, Russia could affect media businesses

February 23, 2022

The potential problems over Ukraine and the probability of much wide trade sanctions against Russia could impact ‘Western’ media and communications companies, says a note to clients from investment bank Exane/BNPP.  The impact could also extend to the video games industry, says the bank.

Of particular interest are the relationships that satellite operator Eutelsat has with Russian broadcasting clients and satellite partners. The bank suggests that around 1 per cent of Eutelsat’s revenues come from pay-TV operators in Russia.

Not mentioned by the bank, however, are numerous ‘Western’ pay-TV businesses including the likes of Warner Bros/Turner/CNN, Discovery, Viacom/Paramount and many others, all of which have local partners or distributors in Russia.

There are other potential problems. Exane/BNPP says that Ericsson, for example, has a significant business in Russian operators but the bank says its exposure is less than 5 per cent of revenues.

Exhibition organiser Hyve Grp (formerly ITE) which traditionally organises trade shows throughout Russia is said to have “significant direct exposure” says the bank.

Internet giant Prosus is another player with Russian activity via ‘avito’ and ‘VK’ (previously and which the bank suggests is worth around 2 percent of Netherland’s-based Prosus.

Next week is scheduled a launch of OneWeb satellites on a Russian-built Soyuz rocket. The contract between OneWeb is with Arianespace, but Arianespace subcontracts the launch to Russian space agency Roscosmos from the Russian-leased facility at Baikonur (which itself is in Kazakhstan).

While there are no immediate ‘Western’ commercial launches scheduled which use Russia’s Proton rocket, this system could be a problem if trade sanctions are widened.  Proton launches are handled by International Launch Services and has Khrunichev State Research (which builds the Proton rockets) as a major investor although ILS remains a US company.



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