Monday, April 12, 2021

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 14

Movies - scripted
Series - scripted
Unscripted

Orange Poland establishes 50/50 open access FiberCo with APG

Orange PL establishes open access FiberCo (Światłowód Inwestycje)
Press release - report - presentation
  • 50/50 JV with APG
  • Orange PL anchor tenant
  • Valuation PLN 2.748b (debt-free, cash-free) = EUR 605m, Orange PL to receive PLN 1.374b = EUR 303m (PLN 887m on closing, PLN 487 on delivery during 2022-2026)
  • Orange PL contributes 0.7m lines, to add 1.7m lines in 5 yr in mid/low competition areas, ultimately to own 2.4m lines
  • Capex PLN 3b (partly from new debt (>80%), equity contributions PLN 300m from each during 2023-2026)
  • Will not be consolidated by Orange PL
  • Orange PL has option to acquire extra 1% + control between 2027 and 2029
  • To close end Aug 2021



Sunday, April 11, 2021

Week 14 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

CORPORATE

  • KPN: WSJ: EQT & Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners plan offer, >3 EUR/share (>EUR 12.6b); preparing due diligence, offer spring 2021
  • Orange BE (Orange 53%)
    • Orange launches offer until 210423
    • Degroof Petercam expert opinion: DCF equity value per share EUR 18.5 = 4.7x EBITDA 2020 = 5.1x adj EBITDA 2020 = 12.0x FCF (EBITDA - capex) 2020 = 13.0x FCF (adj EBITDA - capex excl spectrum) 2020; CCA (comparable company analysis): equity value per share EUR 21.0 at midpoint based on EV/EBITDA, EUR 17.2 based on EV/FCF (overall midpoint EUR 19.2)
  • Iliad: Acquires 12% of Unieuro (retailer Italy) - Rumor: to launch fixed-line services in IT within weeks
  • PPF: Considers European acquisitions in telecoms & media
  • Virgin Media UK (Liberty Global): Plans GBP 10b investments in 5 yr for 5G & FTTP expansion (1.14 Gb/s); to add 1m fixed (FTTP) HP by YE 2021 to total 16m if merger approved (CMA to rule May 2021), to add 7m long-term fixed-line addresses if merger approved; could add wholesale services
  • HMD Global (Nokia branded smartphone manufacturer) plans MVNO HMD Mobile in UK on EE (BT); from 6.50 GBP/mo for unlimited calls/texts + 1 GB data
  • Microsoft: Rumor: plans offer for Nuance (speech-recognition tech; 7100 employees), 56 $/share = $16b (23% premium) 
  • Twitter: Co-invests in ShareChat (social media, short video; India, 160m MAU), $502m with Snap, others at $2.1b valuation
  • Box: Raises $500m equity from KKR via convertible & SBB (current equivalent 14%)
  • Patreon: Raises $155m at $4b valuation

NETWORKS

FTTP

  • T-Mobile NL (DT 75%, Tele2 25%)
    • partners with ODF (Open Dutch Fiber; = KKR Global Infrastructure Investors Funds majority, DTCP Infra (DT Capital Partners) rest): to roll out OA FTTH (1-10 Gb/s, passive only) in urban & high dense areas; to avoid uneconomical overbuild; ODF to be led by founders Jordi Nieuwenhuis (Reggefiber co-founder) & Uwe Nickl (formerly Deutsche Glasfaser co-CEOs), Michael Griffioen CEO
    • to launch 21Q2, fully funded, construction agreements in place, to invest >= EUR 700m (capex) for >= 1m lines in 5 yr
    • T-Mobile NL anchor tenant with own active layer; 

5G

  • T-Mobile US launches Home Internet (FWA over 5G or 4G, un-carrier move): 65 $/mo (60 with autopay); coverage 30m HH (o/w/ 10m rural), 50-100 Mb/s, possible throttling during peak hours - To hire 2500 hometown experts for T-Mobile Hometown retail stores
  • Ucell (Uzbekistan) launches 5G in Tashkent

SERVICES

General data usage: AMS-IX New traffic peak 210407: 10.012 Tb/s

Video

Music

Web services

  • Facebook: Trials Hotline (developed by NPE Team, public beta, led by Eric Hazzard of former tbh [see 171016]): Q&A with creators, audio-only or video [a la Clubhouse & Instagram Live]
  • Reddit: Trials moderator-run voice chats [a la Clubhouse]

Hardware

REGULATORY

  • Google
    • Noyb (Max Schrems) files complaint at CNIL (France) over user tracking in Android (using Android Advertising ID (AAID)) violating EU privacy law (ePrivacy Directive), urges investigation
    • Filing in antitrust case led by Texas
      • Google operated program (Project Bernanke) giving its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors, amounts to insider trading [Google operates exchange, represents buyers & sellers and acts as ad buyer for Search, YouTube]
      • commercial deal with Facebook (Jedi Blue, required Facebook to spend >= $500m in Google’s Ad Manager or AdMob auctions in year 4 of the agreement) enabled Facebook to identify 80% of mobile users & 60% of desktop users (excl users of Apple’s Safari web browser) in ad auctions 
  • Platforms


Sunday, April 04, 2021

Week 13 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Corporate

  • Syn (Iceland, brand Vodafone): Tower sale & lease-back with anon investors; sells 49.9% stake in Faroese associate P/F (Tjaldur 50.1%; brand Hey), DKK 52.5m, maintains service agreement
  • MasMovil (KKR, Cinven, Providence): Moody's places B1 rating on review for downgrade on debt-financed acquisition of Euskaltel
  • Euskaltel: Moody's places B1 rating on review for downgrade on MasMovil offer (10x EV/EBITDA pre-synergies) (debt-financed acquisition of the company will likely result in weaker credit metrics for the combined entity, including leverage rising initially to over 6.0x)
  • Digi: Sells Digi Hungary (incl Invitel, I TV) to 4iG [on exclusion from 5G auction]
  • KPN: HEMA to end MVNO sales 210501, prepaid refers to KPN, to shut down 220501
  • Cellnex: To raise EUR 7b equity
  • Telenet (Liberty Global): Acquires 49% stake in Caviar Group (prodco)
  • M6 (RTL): Rumor: TF1, Vivendi, Xavier Niel, Mediawan, KKR, Matthieu Pigasse & Pierre-Antoine Capton, Daniel Křetínský (also Mediaset, NRJ, Altice Europe) interested
  • Music
  • Accenture: Acquires Cygni (IT)
  • Deliveroo (Amazon) IPO price set at GBP 3.90 [see 210308]; first trade 331p, closes at 287p
  • Funding

Networks

  • General
    • OECD publishes new Going Digital toolkit (based on access, use, innovation, jobs, society, trust, market openness); Netherlands score on access penetrations: broadband 93, M2M 21, mobile broadband 67, HH broadband acceess 98, business broadband speed >30 Mb/s 86, 4G broadband coverage 99, urban/rural broadband divide 100
    • US White House proposes $100b for universal broadband access by 2030 (as part of $2.25t Infrastructure & Tax Proposal (The American Jobs Plan); to raise corporate tax from 21 to 28%, tax on overseas profits from 13 to 21%) [focus on cheap munifiber]
  • FTTH
    • Germany
    • UK: Virgin Media UK (Liberty Global) trials use of Openreach ducts & poles for FTTP expansion (first in Swadlincote)
    • Italy: FiberCop (TIM 58%, KKR 37.5%, Fastweb 4.5%) starts operations as carrier-neutral OA wholesale operator; targets positive FCF (EBITDA - capex) by 2025, will not require capital injections; current pops coverage (FTTC + FTTH) 90%; targets 76% black/grey area MDUs (= 56% nationwide units coverage) by 2025 
  • 5G

Services

  • NBCUnivcersal (Comcast): Rumor: considers pulling movies from competitors (Netflix, HBO Max: movies 9 mo after theatrical release) to add to Peacock after theatrical & TVOD windows
  • Lionsgate: Sells 75% Pantaya stake to Hemisphere, $124m cash [see 170801]
  • T-Mobile US expands Google partnership: to resell YouTube TV (replacing TVision, closing 210429), Messages by Google as default RCS on Android smartphones; to offer Pixel smartphones; promoting Google One (backup & storage); 5G covers 287m pops, 1.6m miles^2
  • Telekom DE partners with Hamburg for citywide EV-charging for taxis (Project Future Taxi)
  • Google (Alphabet): Starts trialing FLoC cookie alternative in Chrome browser [see 210303]
  • Pinterest: Rumor: to acquire VSCO (photo app; total raised $90m, last at $550m valuation)
  • Facebook: Instagram launches Remix on Reels: record video alongside video from other user [a la TikTok Duets]
  • Audio

Regulation

  • Platforms
    • Letter from 40 European SME tech companies to EU MEPs on DMA (gatekeepers [see 201215]): propose stronger ex ante interoperability requirement (as in DSA) for dominant gatekeeper firms; interoperability reduces anti-competitive barriers created by lock-in of established user bases
  • Facebook
    • Nick Clegg (VP Global Affairs): "In the long run, people are only going to feel comfortable with these algorithmic systems if they have more visibility into how they work and then have the ability to exercise more informed control over them."; "Facebook demotes clickbait (headlines that are misleading or exaggerated), highly sensational health claims (like those promoting “miracle cures”), and engagement bait (posts that explicitly seek to get users to engage with them)."; "You should be able to better understand how the ranking algorithms work and why they make particular decisions, and you should have more control over the content that is shown to you. You should be able to talk back to the algorithm and consciously adjust or ignore the predictions it makes — to alter your personal algorithm in the cold light of day, through breathing spaces built into the design of the platform."
    • Launches features (in Android & iOS): Most Recent timeline (chronological display), Favorites timeline, turn of political ads, snooze specific pages or persons


Apple TV+: all the originals and licensing announcements of March

Series
  • Orders anthology series Roar (Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Wever, Alison Brie)
  • Series Calls (9 episodes) premieres 210319
  • Orders live action series based on Korean webtoon Dr Brain
  • Orders drama series In With the Devil (Ray Liotta; 6 episodes)
  • Orders season 3 of Central Park (animated comedy series)
  • Orders series Lady in the Lake (Natalie Portman, Lupita Nyong’o)
  • Orders docu series The Jet
  • Orders drama series Essex Serpent (Tom Hiddleston, Claire Danes)
  • Ordered WWII series Masters of the Air (Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Anthony Boyle)
  • Orders unnamed comedy series (Alan Yang, Matt Hubbard, Maya Rudolph)
  • Orders series Five Days at Memorial (about Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Katrina)
  • Orders season 3 of Trying, season 2 (8 episodes) premieres 210514
Movies
  • Orders movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever (Peter Farrelly, Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray)
  • Play 12 Angry Men … And Women; The Weight of the Wait (recorded in Stev Jobs Theater) free to watch 210326-210422
First-look deals

Amazon Prime Video: all the originals and licensing announcements of March

Series
Movies
Sports

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 13

Series - scripted
  • Season 2 of Who Killed Sara? premieres 210519
  • Anime series adaption of manga Record of Ragnarok premieres June 2021; anime series The Way of the Househusband premieres 210408; anime series Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness premieres 2021; anime series Yasuke premieres 210429; anime series Eden premieres 210527
  • Series Lucifer season 2 (second half) premieres 210528
  • Season 2 of crime series Sky Rojo (Spain; 8x25 min) premieres 210723
  • Fantasy series Shadow and Bone (8 episodes) premieres 210423
  • Orders rom com series (spin-off from To All the Boys; Anna Cathcart)
  • Fantasy series Zero (Italy) premieres 210421
  • Anime series Yasuke (6 episodes) premieres 210429
  • Fantasy series The Witcher (Henry Cavill) season 2 to premiere 2021
  • Ordered season 2 of Bridgerton
  • Ordered comedy series Day Shift (Jaime Foxx, Dave Franco)
  • Orders season 2 of How To Ruin Christmas, to premiere Dec 2021
Movies - scripted
  • Movie The Disciple (India; Chaitanya Tamhane, Vivek Gomber) premieres 210430
  • Animated comedy film The Mitchells vs The Machines premieres 210430
  • Licenses detective films Knives Out 2 & Knives Out 3 (Daniel Craig), $450m
  • To premieres new 27 French movies & series & docus in 2021: thriller movie A tombeau ouvert, action movie A Hard Day, sequel to On the Other Side of the Tracks (Omar Sy), sequel to Lost Bullet, series The 7 lives of Lea, thriller series Bendo
  • Thriller movie Ride or Die (Japan) premieres 210415
  • Horror movie Things Heard & Seen (Amanda Seyfried) premieres 210429
  • Ordered biopic Maestro (about Leonard Bernstein; Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Steven Spielberg), production starts April 2021
  • Sci-fi movie Stowaway (Toni Collett, Anna Kendrick) premieres 210422

Monday, March 29, 2021

Week 12 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Corporate

  • Euskaltel: Friendly offer from MasMovil (= KKR, Providence, Cinven): 11.17 EUR/share cash (16% premium) = EUR 2b; 52.32% agrees, unconditional at 75%; to maintain brand (Euskaltel, R, Telecable, Virgin)
  • Telstra
    • Update on proposed legal corporate restructure (part of T22 strategy); to be completed Dec 2021, AGM Oct 2021, scheme booklet to be published Sep 2021; 3 units: InfraCo Fixed (passive:  ducts, fibre, data centres, exchanges), InfraCo Towers (passive mobile: towers), ServeCo (products & services; active networks, RAN, spectrum; separate subsidiary for international business (incl submarine cables); to establish new holding Telstra Group; InfraCo Towers to attract external investment from 21/22Q2
    • Rumor: may merge with NBN
  • Verizon: Verizon Media to launch Yahoo Shops (marketplace) - Yahoo services have 3m subs, to be Verizon Media's consumer-facing brand
  • RTL: Rumor: plans sale of RTL BE (candidates: Telenet, DPG, Rossel, TF1) and RTL NL (candidates: DGP) and M6 (48%, family Frère 7.2%); DPG denies
  • Vivendi: Canal+ Polski files for IPO
  • WeWork: Plans IPO via SPAC, valuation $9b

Results

  • Salt: 20Q4
  • Tele2: Annual Report 2020; Kinnevik holds 27.2% of the capital and 42.0% of the voting rights YE 2020; more-for-more strategy in SE; div received from T-Mobile NL zero (note 30), "Over time we see an opportunity to crystalize value for our shareholders as we exit this market."; Other non-current assets (mainly T-Mobile NL stake) valued at SEK 7.16b = EUR 700m); book value T-Mobile stake SEK 7.011b = EUR 690m); "As part of the annual impairment test in 2020, it was reconfirmed that the recoverable amount of our holding in the Netherlands exceeds book value."
  • United Internet: 20Q4
  • 1&1 Drillisch: 20Q4; plans national 5G roaming & construction deals 21Q2; plans multi-vendor Open RAN, Central, Edge & Far-Edge datacenters, virtualised network; outlook 2021: SR EUR 3.1b, EBITDA 650m (incl 30m negative impact from 5G roll-out, 25m negative from corona virus; excludes 34.4m positive impact from adjusted MVNO deal); adjusted EBITDA 735m for Access, -30m for 5G
  • Tele Columbus: 20Q4
  • Polsat: 20Q4 & 2020 Annual Report & Briefing
  • Gamma Communications: Annual Report 2020
  • Ericsson Annual Report 2020

Networks

  • General
    • BCG for ETNO report Connectivity and Beyond: How Telcos Can Accelerate a Digital Future For All: EUR 300b (o/w 150b for 5G, 150b for fixed) telecoms investment in EU in 4 yr will yield 2.4m new jobs + EUR 113b added to economic growth (from 5G), accelerated green transformation (digital solutions reduces carbon emissions 15%, smart cities 30%, digital transformation in transport 30%)
    • Akamai reached new peak: 200 Tb/s
  • FTTP
  • 5G
  • 6G
    • Next G Alliance launches 2 working groups: 6G Roadmap Working Group (R&D) and Green G Working Group (environmental impact) [see 201013]
  • LEO
    • OneWeb reaches 146 sats in orbit; plans service launch end 2021 in UK, Alaska, N Europe, Greenland, Iceland, Arctic Seas, Canada; global by 2022

Services

  • Video
    • ViacomCBS: To raise $3b equity for investing in originals for Paramount+; $2b in Class B common stock,$1b in Series A Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock - Moody's positive (Baa2, outlook stable)
    • NBCUniversal (Comcast): Considers SVOD service Universal Stream for non-US markets (Peacock for US)
    • HBO (AT&T): HBO Max to expand to UK, DE, IT 2025 (until then deals with Sky)
    • Report on share of exclusive content: Disney+ 89% (Total catalog: 311 TV shows/742 movies), Netflix 83% (Total catalog: 2,069 TV shows/3,766 movies), HBO Max 72% (Total catalog: 606 TV shows/1,932 movies), Paramount+ 41% of TV, 23% of movies, Hulu 40% (Total catalog: 1,700 TV shows/916 movies), Amazon Prime Video 38% (Total catalog: 2,161 TV shows/14,670 movies)
  • B2B
    • Free (Iliad) enters B2B market with Free Pro, launches new Freebox Pro 50 EUR/mo (first year 40) + 10 EUR/line/mo for additional lines (incl 2 fixed lines, NAS server; WiFi, based on 10G EPON tech, max 7/1 Gb/s; tri-band WiFi; 4G backup; Cloud Sync Pro for protected data storage, firewall, support); offering includes 1 5G/4G line
    • Sky (Comcast) Launches Sky Connect to enter SME market; launches Connection Pro: BB 4G backup, VoiceEdge (digital voice, 24 call mgt features), WiFi, security, support
    • Google: Launches Network Connectivity Center: console for a business of any size to manage all its networks on a global basis, seamlessly connects VPNs, partner & dedicated interconnects, 3rd-party routers & Software-Defined WANs

Regulatory

  • Congress US releases statements from Facebook, Google, Twitter CEOs on Section 230 (liability) for Hearing 210325; Facebook proposes platforms should be required to demonstrate that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it; Twitter advocates transparency, has 2 projects: Birdwatch (users report misinformation), Bluesky (open & decentralized standards for social media); Google invests in journalism - Reddit, Etsy and Dropbox defend Section 230

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 12

Movies - scripted
Series - scripted
  • Ordered season 2 of The Witcher
  • Orders comedy series Beef (Steven Yeun, Ali Wong; 10x30 min)
  • Orders series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (10 episodes)
  • Comedy series The Kominsky Method season 3 (final, 3 episodes) premieres 210528
  • Licenses series Inside Man (Stanley Tucci, David Tennant, Dolly Wells, Lydia West; 4 episodes) from BBC
  • Series Sexify (Poland) premieres 210428
  • Anime series Eden (Japan, 4 episodes) premieres 210527
Series - unscripted
Movies - unscripted

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

KPN establishes FTTP JV with APG

KPN establishes an FTTP JV with APG (presentation).

In the self-financing scenario, they would reach 65% coverage by 2026. That now rises to 80%, with a commitment to go to 100% thereafter. New too is the inclusion of business parks and the off-balance sheet character.

Note: we recently hinted at this option ('Plan B')in a Deep Dive on KPN (Feb. 18), after examples set by TIM, Proximus and Orange.

The details:

  • Establishes 50/50 JV with APG, which contributes EUR 440m cash o/w half initially, half in installments
  • Equity value EUR 880m = 970 EUR/line
  • Total expected capex EUR 1.2b o/w 70% debt financed
  • To pay dividends when CF positive (from year 5)
  • Almost all financing and construction capacity secured
  • To launch 21Q2
  • To not be consolidated; option on 1 additional share to consolidate and control
  • To roll-out 910k FTTP lines in medium dense areas (1,000 villages) & business parks (long tail): 685k homes, 225k businesses by 2026
  • Brings FTTH coverage (KPN + JV) to 80% (6.5m lines) by 2026 (comes on top of existing plans for 2.5m new lines by YE 2026m from 2.8m today)
  • To finalise roll-out after 2026
  • Network to provide wholesale services, KPN anchor tenant and builds & operates active layer and provides wholesale services

Questions remains

  • Since it's medium dense areas, will they use AON (point-to-point active ethernet), just as Proximus is doing in its JVs with Delta Fiber and Eurofiber? Or go with the (new) PON strategy after all?
  • What exactly does finalising mean? How close to 100% will it come?
  • Is there a further option to buy out APG altogether?