Sunday, June 27, 2021

Week 25 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Vodafone: Vodafone DE launches subbrand SIMon (mobile discounter): 9 EUR/mo for new subs proting phone number form competitor discounter, 12 EUR/mo for new subs non porting, 15 EUR/mo for porting from premium brand (Vodafone, Telekom, Telefonica) or subbrand (Otelo, Congstar)
  • Liverty Global: Rumor: puts Virgin Media IE up for sale, EUR 2b
  • AT&T: Warner Bros Games (= WarnerMedia) sells Playdemic (mobile games) to Electronic Arts (EA), $1.4b cash
  • O2 CR: PPF raises stake to 90.01%, plans squeeze-out
  • RTL: RTL NL to merge with Talpa Netwerk    
  • Mollie: Raises USD 800m (EUR 665m) at $6.5b valuation from Blackstone, EQT, General Atlantic, HMI Capital, Alkeon Capital, TCV; to hire 300 employees; focus on transactions with small businesses in Europe; 120k monthly active merchants, payment processing value EUR 20b in 2021E


  • Vodafone: Vodafone DE considers mixed upgrade to Docsis 4.0 (plans test end 2021-2022; requires replacing taps or splitters) & FTTP; currently rund fiber to alomost all amplifiers (~250k)
  • Telenet: Talks with Fluvius on FTTP continue, to decide 21H2; VREG (energy regulator BE) opposes Fluvius FTTP plans (riases risk, lowers credit rating, raises costs EUR 75m)
  • VodafoneZiggo: Ziggo plans FTTP in new housing projects, first Zalmhaventoren area Rotterdam, also in The Hague, Arnhem; estimates cost at 2 EUR/mter for FTTH, 3 EUR/mter for HFC; modems and offerings same as for HFC 
  • Tele2: Launches model for planning network upgrades, focus on MDU locations (22k landlord customers)
  • Eurofiber: Partners with NBN (DE, dark fiber in 52 cities) to expand FTTO
  • Onivia: Targets 3m HP YE 2021, 9m HP by 2025




  • NBC Universal: WSJ: Peacock has <10m paying subs; plans to develop smart TV (branded Xfinity; at Walmart, made by Hisense; Project PlatCo) for nationwide app platform; considers offer for Roku; considers alliance with ViacomCBS
  • Verizon: Rumor: plans LVD1: smart display, 8 inch, 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth



  • Raad van State (NL) advises Tweede Kamer on implementing EU-Telecomcode, formally aimed 201221 (niversal BB access, competition, small cells, interoperability, interconnection, access to passive infra (colocation)


  • Google
  • Amazon: FTC to review MGM acquisition [see 210526]
  • Apple: Bundeskartellamt (DE) starts antitrust investigation against App Store, products & services (iCloud, AppleCare, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+), ecosystem around iOS, App Tracking Transparency framework, pre-installation of Apple's own apps on its devices, in-app purchasing system (30% commission of all purchases made and the restriction that apps may only be distributed on Apple devices through the company's ‌App Store‌ and not other third-party app marketplaces)
  • Microsoft plans Windows 11 end 2021; integrates Teams, Android apps (via Amazon app store and Intel Bridge), newsfeed, widgets, new Microsoft Store (0% commission on 3rd-party apps); requires TPM functionality and DX12 GPUs
  • Platforms: CMA (UK) starts investigation of Amazon and Google over fake reviews

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

RTL NL and Talpa Netwerk to merge

RTL NL to merge with Talpa Netwerk
  • Employees: RTL NL 700, Talpa Netwerk (= John de Mol) 960
  • Talpa to contribute TV, radio, print, digital, e-commerce, other; not included: content units Talpa Concepts, Talpa Entertainment Producties
  • Format creation deal with Talpa Concepts, Talpa Entertainment Producties
  • RTL to own 70%, Talpa 30% (i.e. RTL is valued more than 2x Talpa)
  • Sven Sauvé remains CEO, Pim Schmitz (CEO Talpa) to Supervisory Board, Elmar Heggen (COO RTL Group) Chair
  • 2020 pro forma: rev EUR 909m, EBITA 84m, annuel content spend >400m, annuel synergies 100-120m (EBITA run-rate from 2025)
    • RTL NL: rev 476m, EBITA 58m (margin 12.2%)
    • Implying for Talpa: rev 433m, EBITA 26m (margin 6.0%)
  • To close 22H1
  • Quotes:
    • RTL: "The new cross-media group will have the size, resources and creativity to compete with global tech platforms in the Netherlands when it comes to investing in premium content, offering the most advanced addressable advertising opportunities, and expanding Videoland (...) gives us the possibility to ramp up investments in content, technology and data to create a competitive and distinguished alternative to global tech players"
    • John de Mol: "... able to take on the American and Chinese tech players. On top of that, it allows me to fully focus once again on what I like best: the creation and development of new innovative content"
  • Resembles Liberty Global/Vodafone deals across Europe, creating stronger national competitors. RTL Group may hold a portfolio of joint ventures (Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, ...). Unclear whether this is an exit strategy (to focus on Germany) or an operation to create a larger pan-European group.
  • Contenders could still take aim at the new company (DPG Media, VodafoneZiggo). Or at either, if the deal fails to materialise.
  • Unclear whether synergies from revenues or costs - probably both (from costs alone would imply cutting the workforce in half), more form costs than from revenues.
  • Unclear whether some of the linear channels will (longer term) be closed. Considerable overlap exists:
    • General: RTL 4, SBS 6
    • Female: RTL 5, Net 5
    • Male: RTL 7, Veronica
    • Reruns (series and movies): RTL 8, SBS 9
    • Business: RTL Z
  • Cutting linear channels would:
    • Save costs
    • Reduce ad inventory
    • Raise the quality of what remains
    • Shift content to Videoland
    • Allow linear channels to focus on:
      • News, politics, talk shows
      • Entertainment, reality, talent shows
      • Live sports
  • Revenue synergies could arise from an enlarged Videoland (funded by cost savings). Likely Videoland will increase its budget for originals, licensed content and possibly sports (although it may make more sense to keep sports on the linear channels).
  • Scrutiny by ACM and EC could be severe (50% of TV ads market).

Monday, June 21, 2021

Week 24 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Deutsche Telekom: Moody's raises outlook (rating Baa1) from negative to stable based on improved performance in DE & US, commitment to reduce leverage to 3x by 2024 (from 3.8)
  • Vodafone
    • Vodafone Technology (established April 2021) Briefing: 1. Demand accelerates (cloudification of communications, proliferation in devices & services across IoT, cloud, media streaming, cloud gaming, big data, low latency connectivity), 2. Roadmap (51m self-built gigabit HP & 60% 5G pops coverage by 230331; HFC, cloud-native digital architecture & advanced analytics to drive efficiency, speed, reliability, network automation 80% of incidents (zero-touch), lead times redux 50%), 3. Capital allocation (forensic approach, mid-term ambition of RoC > WACC, shared operations model), 4. Transforming (most efficient & simplified operator, shared platform approach)
    • Moody's raises outlook (Baa2) from negative to stable
  • Vivendi
  • Warner Music Group: Acquires David Guetta's song catalog, $100-150m
  • Hipgnosis: To raise GBP 150m from equity issue (123.97m new shares at GBP 1.21)
  • Accenture: Acquires Umlaut (mobile network measurements; 4200 employees in 17 countries)
  • Sprinklr: Plans IPO on NYSE, symbol CXM, range $18-20, to offer 19m shares, valuation $5b


    • Ookla Speedtest Global Index (May 21): global average FBB 105/56 Mb/s, MBB 55/13 Mb/s; FBB: HK #1 (245), Singapore #2 (243), Monaco #3 (224), S Korea #4 (217), Thai #5 (214), NL #25 (157); MBB: UAE #1 (194), S Korea #2 (193), Qatar #3 (180), KSA #4 (160), China #5 (153), NL #12 (103)
    • Economist Intelligence Unit for Ericsson report: connecting schools boosts GBP by max 20% in least connected nations
    • Gvt ES establishes EUR 250m BB fund (Programa de Universalizacion de Infraestructuras Digitales para la Cohesion, Programa UNICO) for 100% coverage by 2025
    • US Gvt launches BB mapping tool (tIndicators of Broadband Need) at
  • FTTH
    • Deutsche Telekom
      • Telekom DE partners with M-net (= Stadtwerke Munchen (SWM)) for access to fiber (600k HP = 70%); to invest EUR 500m by 2030 in Munchen fiber & 5G
      • Reuters: plans FTTP JV for 4m lines in DE with investors taking max 50%, targets APG, PGGM, Brookfield, CDPQ; to speed up sale of T-Mobile NL, expects offers by end July 2021, to raise EUR 5b, candidates KKR, EQT, Warburg Pincus, Xavier Niel
    • Orange BE: plans OA FTTP network in Evere & Ixelles (Brussels), pilot of 15k lines; allows unbundling, PON & AON tech
    • Kabelnoord targets white areas only in Friesland (Waadhoeke, Harlingen, Leeuwarden, Tytsjerksteradiel, Achtkarspelen, Noardeast-Fryslân, Opsterland, Smallingerland, Oost- en Weststellingwerf), not grey (ie no Ziggo overbuild) - KPN plans FTTP in Friesland from autumn 2021 in grey areas only (Baard, Bears, Britsum, Koarnjum, Easterlittens, Feinsum, Hijum, Hilaard, Húns, Idaerd, Jirnsum, Jelsum, Jorwert, Lekkum, Mantgum, Alde Leije, Reduzum, Wergea, Warten, Weidum, Wytgaard, Wirdum, Grou, Stiens)
    • Vodafone selects vendors for Open RAN network: Samsung (reference RAN software, Massive MIMO), Dell (CotS servers), NEC (radio units, Massive MIMO), Wind River (Containers as a Service (CaaS) software Wind River Studio), Capgemini Engineering (interworking), Keysight Technologies (test solution); "Our network will become highly programmable and automated meaning we can release new features simultaneously across multiple sites, add or direct capacity more quickly, resolve outages instantly and provide businesses with on-demand connectivity."
    • MTN plans transition to Open RAN, with  Altiostar, Mavenir, Parallel Wireless, TechMahindra, Voyage
  • 5G
    • Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G will become the fastest adopted mobile generation (>580m subs YE 2021E, 3.5b in 2026); global mobile data traffic (excl FWA) 49 EB/mo (end 2020; +46% yoy, +13% qoq), 66 EB/mo in 21Q1, 237 EB/mo in 2026E; average usage to grow from 10 to 35 GB/mo/smartphone by YE 2026; <90% of operators having launched 5G offer FWA (4G & 5G), 72% of all operators; FWA traffic x7 to 64 EB/mo in 2026 (20% of global mobile data traffic), total FWA connections 180m in 2026E; IoT connections 330m YE 2021 (+80%); 4 feature articles: T-Mobile multiband strategy for 5G), business 5G built on Wireless WAN, AI for customer experience in 5G, in-building 5G
    • Telemach (Slovenia; = United Group) launches 5G (3.5 GHz) in Ljubljana
    • Leica launches Leitz Phone 1 in Japan (based on Sharp Aquos R6, with Leica lens, 6.6 inch, 5G
    • T-Mobile US 5G strategy: 2.5 GHz band (Sprint subs to be migrated to T-Mo; Ultra-Capacity 5G; coverage 140m pops, target 200m YE 2021, 300m YE 2023), 600 MHz band for Extended-range 5G (coverage 295m pops); to decommission 35 Sprint sites by YE 2022; LT targets (at 5G completion, 2025): 80-85k macro sites, 50k small cells
  • 6G
    • Samsing (with University of California in Santa Barbara) demos Terhertz (140 GHz band) for 6G (6.2 Gb/s at 15 meters)


  • TV
    • Google Fiber expands Chromecast with Google TV (OTT-TV, UHD, personal recommendations, search) offer to all subs (to replace Fiber TV box, free) - Google TV (UI) integration in Android TV (OS) leads to double usage; 3rd-party devics to have Google TV (incl Android TV)
    • Spotify
      • Content deal for podcast Call Her Daddy (Alex Cooper) from 210721, exclusive, multi-yr - Rumored value >$60m
      • Launches Spotify Greenroom mobile app: join or host live audio rooms, optionally turn those conversations into podcasts [a la Clubhouse], tech from Betty Labs [see 210330]
      • Acquires Podz (podcast discovery platform)
  • UGC
    • Amazon Business publishes 2021 B2B E-commerce in Evolution Report (survey US), key takeaways: pandemic accelerated digital transformation, online features significantly outrank traditional ones in buyers’ purchasing decision processes, social and environmental considerations are playing a larger role in the procurement process
    • Picnic: Building automated distr center in Ridderkerk (42k m^2), to open 2024 (automated distr center Utrecht to open end 2021, EUR 100-150m); Edeka expanded stake; 650k customers in 125 towns NL
    • Parcel2Go: Sells majority to EQT Private Equity
  • NFT
    • Fox Corp: Establishes Blockchain Creative Labs: $100m creative fund (build, launch, manage, sell NFT content & experiences & fungible tokens, digital goods, assets), partners with Bento Box Entertainment


  • Spain plans 0.9% sales tax on streaming video (replacing telcos) to fund pubcaster RTVE
  • LinkedIn (Microsoft): SCOTUS overrules lower court in case against hiQ Labs, sends back to Court of Appeals: may block access (based on Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) for scraping public personal data (hiQ claims anti-competitive conduct from LinkedIn)
  • Airbnb: Bloomberg: safety team (~100 members, 50m $/yr) deals with incidents
  • Reuters: EC plans antitrust investigation of ad tech business by end 2021 
  • Platforms
    • BEREC report Analysing EU consumer perceptions and behaviour on digital platforms for communication (17 primarily free & consumer platforms: Whatsapp, Facetime, Snapchat, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Tiktok, Pinterest, Discord, Reddit, Tumblr, (Flickr,) Telegram, WeChat, Viber, iMessage; survey of 12k in 12 countries)
    • CMA (UK) starts investigation of Apple/Google mobile ecosystem duopoly (incl iOS/Android, App Staore/Google Play Store, Safari/Chrome); consultation until 210726, final report within 12 mo
    • POTUS Biden appoints Lina Khan Chair of FTC until 240925
    • EU, US to establish joint Trade & Technology Council
    • Russia to force US tech companies (>500k DAU) to open office in Russia by Jan 2022

Friday, June 18, 2021

Ericsson Mobility Report #20

Ericsson Mobility Report, focus on 5G, traffic, FWA, IoT
  • 5G will become the fastest adopted mobile generation (>580m subs YE 2021E, 3.5b in 2026)
  • Global mobile data traffic (excl FWA) 49 EB/mo (end 2020; +46% yoy, +13% qoq), 66 EB/mo in 21Q1, 237 EB/mo in 2026E; average usage to grow from 10 to 35 GB/mo/smartphone by YE 2026
  • <90% of operators having launched 5G offer FWA (4G & 5G), 72% of all operators; FWA traffic x7 to 64 EB/mo in 2026 (20% of global mobile data traffic), total FWA connections 180m in 2026E
  • IoT connections 330m YE 2021 (+80%)
  • 4 feature articles: T-Mobile multiband strategy for 5G, business 5G built on Wireless WAN, AI for customer experience in 5G, in-building 5G

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Vodafone Technology - investor briefing

Vodafone Technology Investor Briefing (Vodafone Business was presented March 18, Digital Services & Experiences will follow September 29.)

4 Chapters:

  1. Demand accelerates (cloudification of communications, proliferation in devices & services across IoT, cloud, media streaming, cloud gaming, big data, low latency connectivity)
  2. Roadmap (51m self-built gigabit HP & 60% 5G pops coverage by 230331; HFC, cloud-native digital architecture & advanced analytics to drive efficiency, speed, reliability, network automation 80% of incidents (zero-touch), lead times redux 50%)
  3. Capital allocation (forensic approach, mid-term ambition of RoC > WACC, shared operations model)
  4. Transforming (most efficient & simplified operator, shared platform approach)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Week 23 in Telecoms, Internet, Media



  • FTTH
    • DT: Telekom DE partners with M-net (= Stadtwerke Munchen (SWM)) for access to fiber (600k HP = 70%); to invest EUR 500m by 2030 in Munchen fiber & 5G
    • KPN: Names FTTP JV with APG Glaspoort; plans 750k [760k?] homes (raised by 75k) + 225k businesses = 985k lines in underserved areas, EUR 1b in 5 yr (creates 1000 jobs); targets 70k lines YE 2021; open access with KPN as anchor tenant [see 210323]; appoints Jan Willem Scheerder CEO & Ferry Niers CFO
    • Liberty Global: Rumor: Liberty Global did market research (as VividFibre) to gauge interest in FTTH in Benelux (Ziggo, Telenet, Eltrona); 400 Mb/s to 20 Gb/s for 45-75 EUR/mo
    • Point Topic for INCA report: altnet FTTP coverage 2.586m premises YE 2020 (take-up rate 32.7%), expects 6.64m YE 2021, joint target 29.9m YE 2025 on GBP12b investments
    • ITU to complete Higher Speed Passive Optical Network (G.9804 series / G.hsp) standard 50G-PON 21H2
  • 5G
  • 6G
    • 5G Infrastructure Association (5G IA) report European Vision for the 6G Network Ecosystem; to launch Smart Networks & Services (SNS) European Partnership (in the framework of the Horizon Europe program)
    • Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium (Japan; University of Tokyo, NTT Corp, NTT DOCOMO, KDDI (au), SoftBank, Rakuten Mobile) to team with 6G Flagship (Finland;University of Oulu, Nokia) on 6G development
    • Tom Marzetta (NYU Wireless) expects 6G to be about AR
    • US and UK governments plan joint 6G R&D


  • B2B
    • Telekom DE launches Conversational AI Suite (developed by Cognigy): solution for customer contact management, automates and processes frequently occurring customer requests based on AI
    • NENT Group: Content deal for Copa América 2021 & 2024, South American FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, Brazil & Argentina’s friendly matches 2022-2024
    • Walt Disney: Rumor: Comcast opposes Hulu not expanding internationally, buy-out (33%) 2024 to be $9-13b - Comcast stopped funding
    • WarnerMedia: LA Times: Warner Bros to release 20 films in 2022 o/w half exclusively in theaters for at least 45 days. half on HBO Max
    • Netflix: Launches branded merchandise (exclusive limited editions of selected high-quality apparel & lifestyle products tied to shows & brand)
    • Google expands Stadia to Chromecast With Google TV, Hisense Android Smart TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, Onn FHD Streaming Stick and UHD Streaming Device (Walmart), Philips 8215, 8505, and OLED 935 / 805 Series Android TVs, Xiaomi MIBOX3 and MIBOX4
    • Microsoft plans to expand Xbox Game Pass subscription to more screens (3rd-party smart TVs, onw built streaming devices)
    • Twitter: To add newsletter subscription button on profile page of users with Revue account (to create free or paid newsletter, Twitter takes 5% of paid subscriptions)
    • Apple: WWDC: plans iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey, watchOS 8, tv)S 15 (public betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, tvOS 15, watchOS 8 from July 2021), updates privacy features, updates FaceTime; launches iCloud+ (3 new features: Private Relay, Hide My Email, HomeKit Secure Video), enhances Health app; Apple TV adds Shareplay feature (share content from several apps: Apple TV, Safari browser, Apple News; Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+, Pluto TV, others to integrate SharePlay into their apps); App Store reaches 600m WAU in 175 countries, paid out $230b to developers since launchl Siri to be available on 3rd-partye devices; launches Digital Legacy feature


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Data show 5G kicking as early as April 2020


(source: Ookla Speedtest Global Index)

Monday, June 07, 2021

Disney+: complete chronology (updating)

151124 Launches DisneyLife in UK, 10 GBP/mo (max 10 devices, max 6 profiles); movies (300, incl Pixar), TV (2000 episodes), books (>100; audio & e), music (5k tracks from soundtracks), game apps (1 free per mo); excl Marvel (Avengers, Iron Man), Lucasfilm (Star Wars); web/app (iOS with AirPlay, Android with Chromecast); 5 languages (EN, FR, GE, IT, SP) - Plans expansion in Europe 2016 (not NL)

160810 Acquires 33% of BAMTech from MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) + option for majority, $1b; 7.5m paying subs

170808 Acquires 42% more of BAMTech, $1.58b, stake to 75% (25% owned by MLB, NHL)

171110 Expands DisneyLife (UK only) to Ireland, 7 EUR/mo

180119 BAMTech Media appoints Kevin Swint (formerly Apple, Samsung) GM for Disney SVOD

180208 Rumor: Disney SVOD to launch autumn 2019, first in US, R-rated content on Hulu, Marvel stays on Netflix; to produce 4-5 original movies & 5 series in first yr (cost max $100m for 10-episode series); movies planned: Don Quixote, Lady and the Tramp, The Paper Magician, Stargirl, Togo, Magic Camp, Noelle, 3 Men and a Baby, Sword and the Stone, Timmy Failure; series planned: High School Musical, Monsters Inc, a Marvel live-action title, a Star Wars-branded title

181108 Streaming service to be called Disney+, to launch end 2019 in US: older films + series (incl Marvel, Star Wars (incl 2nd series), Pixar, NatGeo); plans geographic expansion for Hulu, could buy out Comcast (30%) and Time WarnerAT&T (10%) from Hulu - Plans 3 global services: sports (ESPN in US), general entertainment (Hulu), Disney (Disney+) - Big budget movies (>$100m) first in theaters (not as originals for Disney+), plans original movies for Disney+ (Lady and the tramp (live-action), Noelle)

190118 Plans Disney+ demo 190411 (Investor Day) - UBS: 5m subs after 12 mo, 50m after 5 yr - Disney+ to start with 5k hr of classic material

190306 Rumor: to trial Disney+ in NL - To include entire 'vault'

190411 Disney+ to launch 191112, 7 $/mo, 69 $/yr (= 5.83 $/mo), ad-free, first in US, near-global after 2 yr; downloads for offline viewing, parental controls, supports 4K, HDR; at launch: 7500 past episodes, 25 original series, 10 original movies/specials, 400 library movies, 100 recent movies growing to in 5 yr 10k past episodes, 50 original series, 10 movies/specials, 500 library movies, 120 recent movies; to include all 2019 film releases after theatrical & home entertainment windows close; plans original content spending $1b in 2020 (amortisation $500m), growing to $2.5b (for 50 originals) in 2024 (amortisation $2b), licensed content expense $1.5b in 2020, $2.5b in 2024; operating expenses $1b in 2020, peak losses in 2020-2022, targets profitability by 2024; targets 60-90m subs YE 2024 (o/w 1/3 in US long term); plans original series from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar; considers discounted bundle with ESPN+ & Hulu (in US) - Hulu (25m subs; ad-free 12 $/mo or limited ads 6 $/mo; also Live TV tier 45 $/mo) targets 40-60m subs YE 2024, peak operating loss $1.5b in 2019, profitability in 2023/2024, plans international expansion - ESPN+ (2m subs; limited ads, 5 $/mo or 50 $/yr, excludes live sports & most popular games) targets 8-12m subs YE 2024, operating loss $650m in 2019 & 2020, profitable by 2023, plans international expansion - Hotstar (300m MAU; free+ads or premium) in Asia    

190806 Plans bundle of Disney+ (7 $/mo), ESPN+ (5 $/mo), Hulu (6 $/mo) in US for 13 $/mo from 191112

190819 To launch Disney+ in US, Canada (9 CAD/mo, 90 CAD/yr), NL (7 EUR/mo, 70 EUR/yr) 191112, in Australia (9 AUD/mo, 90 AUD/yr) & NZ (10 NZD/mo, 100 NZD/yr) 191119; all own films to be on Disney+ exclusively; ordered original series Star Wars (10 episodes; Jon Favreau), available at launch; distr deals with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku, Sony; 23 $/yr discount in US for D23 members (Founders Circle) to 47 $/yr [= 3.92 $/mo] in 3-yr subscription

190912 Disney+ pre-launch in NL, free until launch 191112; apps for web, iOS, Android, Android TV, Xbox, PS4 - HarrisX survey US (6621): 21% will subscribe to Disney+ - Opens sign-ups in US 190923 (promo: 7 days free) - To launch in Latam 21Q1 - Complete list of movies available at launch - GfK: 1.8m viewers for Disney+ in NL in first month

191107 Disney+ to launch in UK, DE, FR, IT, ES 190331 - Reed Hastings (Netflix CEO to be a Disney+ subscriber) - Plans apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Roku Amazon Fire TV/tablet, Samsung smart TV, LG smart TV - Will not publish viewing stats

191112 Disney+ launches in US, Canada, NL; max 4 simultaneous streams

191115 Disney+ to launch in SE Asia 20H2, with Hotstar (India, to expand to Indonesia, Malaysia, other); rumor: Hotstar price to rise from 14 to 30 $/mo

191119 Disney+ launches in Australia (9 or 90 AUD per mo or yr), NZ (10 or 100 NZD per mo or yr), Puerto Rico

200121 Plans launch in W-Europe (UK, IE, FR, IT, ES, DE, AT, CH) 200324 [see 191107]; 7 EUR/mo or 6 GBP/mo; 70 EUR/yr or 60 GBP/yr; later BE, PT, Nordics - DisneyLife (UK) to migrate to Disney+ - Dutch service available in UK from 200204

200205 Plans launch in India with Hotstar 200329; subs at 200203: Disney+ 28.6m, ESPN+ 7.6m (6.6m YE 2019), Hulu 30.7m (27.2m YE 2019; Hulu With Live TV 3.2m YE 2019); ARPUs: Disney+ $5.56, ESPN+ $4.44, Hulu SVOD $13.15, Hulu With Live TV $59.47

200224 Disney+ early access promo in IT, ES, FR, IE, DE until 200323: first year EUR 60 (instead of 70) - And in UK: GBP 50 (instead of 60) - To launch in UK with 500 films, 350 series, 26 originals - Early access in India 200312 with Hotstar

200320 Delays Disney+ launch in India (with Hotstar, planned 200329) - Delays launch in FR to 200407 - Launch India 200403 - French media law limits additions to films 36 mo out of theater - To launch in Japan 200611

200324 Disney+ expands in Europe: UK (60 GBP/yr), CH (100 CHF/yr), FR/DE/AT/ES/IT/IE (70 EUR/yr) - 5m downloads on day 1 - To expand to BE Sep 2020 - To launch in BE, LU, PT, NO, SE, DK, FI, IS 200915 with 59 originals, >700 movies, >350 series

200619 Disney+ drops free trial (7 days)

200623 Disney+ to expand to PT, BE LU, NO, DK, SE, FI, Iceland.200915

200625 To withdraw Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior in UK, content moves to Disney+

200804 Disney+ reaches 60.5m subs; Mulan to premiere on Disney+ 200904 for $30 (one-off TVOD offering = PVOD = Premier Access, remains available as long as viewer stays subscribed); Disney+ to expand to Indonesia 200905; plans new int OTT service Star 2021 [instead of expanding Hulu internationally], content from content from ABC, FX, Freeform, Searchlight, 20th Century Studios, no licensed content, focus on adults; Disney+, Hulu (35.5m) & ESPN+ (8.5m) have combined >100m subs; ESPN+ raises price to 6 $/mo (from 5) from 200812 - Mulan to be released in theaters in China - Mulan also on PVOD (TVOD) at Apple, Roku, Google on 200904, $30; UK price GBP 20, EUR 22 in EU, AUD 35 in Australia, CAD 35 in Canada - Rumor: Mulan avialble free for all Disney+ subs from 201204 - Mulan in Chinese theaters from 200911 - Mulan on Disney+ from 201204 - Rumor: Premier Access to Mulan underperforms

200818 Disney+ to expand to Latam 201117

200911 Disney+ plans GroupWatch feature: max 7 users for single stream - Launches 200929 - Expands to Europe 201023

200915 Disney+ launches in 8 EU countries [see 200623]

200928 Disney+ plans Drive-In Festival in Santa Monica (Cal) 201005-12: screenings incl premieres (The Right Stuff, Clouds)

201001 Closes Disney Channel in UK, content moves to Disney+

201001 Lowers Premier Access price for Mulan to $7 on Disney+; available for non-subs from 201006 on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, VUDU, FandangoNOW

201008 Pixar movie Soul premieres on Disney+ 201225, skips theater window

201016 Bloomberg: int expansion through Star, not Hulu over buy-out cost payable to Comcast (2024)

201102 Rumor: to launch in CZ & Slovakia 21H2 - Launches early access promo in Latam (10 countries, launch 201117)

201117 Disney+ launches in Latam

201210 Investor Day: total D2C content expense 2023/24 $14-16b, total streaming subs 300-350m; Disney+ reaches 86.8m subs 201202 (o/w 24m = ~30% for Disney+ Hotstar in India), target 230-260m by 2024 (o/w 30-40% at Hotstar; incl Star, launch 210223); target peak oper loss in 2020/21, profitable in 2023/24; to raise prices March 2021 in US from 7 to 8 $/mo (70 to 80 $/yr), bundle Hulu (with ads) & ESPN+ from 13 to 14 $/mo; new bundle Disney+, Hulu (ad-free), ESPN+ 19 $/mo; in Europe from 7 to 9 EUR/mo (to add Star); plans to add new originals to Disney+ every week; distr deal with Comcast for Xfinity X1 and Flex subs; to spend $8-9b on originals in 2023/24; to add 10 Marvel series, 10 Star Wars series, 15 Disney & Pixar series & 15 features (total 100 releases/yr across all brands); Pinocchio (Tom Hanks), Peter Pan and Wendy to skip theaters to premiere on Disney+; day-and-date theater release & Premier Access at $30 for Raya and the Last Dragon; Star (#6 tab within Disney+, next to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, NatGeo; with parental control) to launch 210223 in continental Europe (1k titles), Canada, ANZ, Singapore; Hulu reaches 38.8m paid subs 201202, target 50-60m by 2024; 92m MAU for AVOD, Hulu With Live TV 4m subs; profitable by 2022/23; ESPN+ reaches 11.5m subs 201202, target 20-30m by 2024; profitable by 2022/23; Star+ (incl Disney+, ESPN, ESPN+ content) to launch June 2021 in Latam, ~7.50 $/mo stand-alone, ~9.00 $/mo in bundle with Disney+, 2k titles in first yr + 10k sports events (500 per mo)

210104 Star (tab within Disney+ [see 201210]) to contain ABC and Hulu titles - To contain >75 series & 270 movies at launch 210223

210106 Disney+ raises prices (on addition of Star tab) 210223 in Europe for new subs (for existing subs from 210823) from 7 to 9 EUR/mo or from 70 to 90 EUR/yr

210202 Starts sale of Disney+/ESPN+/Hulu (ad-free) bundle, 19 $/mo

210223 Launches Star tab (75 series, 280 movies at launch) in Disney+ in Europe, ANZ, Canada, Singapore; content from content from ABC, Hulu, FX, Freeform, Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television, more; Disney+ price increases from 7 to 9 EUR/mo, 6 to 8 GBP/mo [see 201210]

210421 Content deal with Sony for Disney+, Hulu, ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX, NatGeo in US for new theatrical releases & library titles 2022-2026 for Pay 1 TV window (after Netflix)

210427 To close 18 linear channels in Asia 211001 to focus on Disney+ - To expand Asian content - To close Fox Channel in UK to focus on Disney+ - To close 100 cable channels in 2021 to focus on streaming

210513 20/21Q2 (per 210403): Disney+ (incl Disney+ Hotstar) net adds 8.7m to 103.6m; ESPN+ net adds 1.7m to 13.8m; shortened 45 day theater window for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (210903, Marvel) & Free Guy (210813, 20th Century), some films to go to Disney+ directly, some day&date in theater & Disney+ for Premier Access ($30; Cruella on 210528, Black Widow on 210709, Jungle Cruise (Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt) on 210730); to launch Star+ (incl Disney and ESPN content) in Latam 210831 (delayed from June 2021) as stand-alone SVOD service

210519 Disney Plus Hotstar to expand to Thailand 210630, distr deal with AIS

210526 May discontinue Premier Access after 2021

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Week 22 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Liberty Global
    • Virgin Media / O2 merger closes, launches as Virgin Media O2, 18k employees, to invest GBP 10b in 5 yr, plans new FMC offers - FT: to open network for wholesale (candidates: Sky, Vodafone), to co-invest with partners to add 7-8m HP to FTTP
    • Shareholder advisory service Glass Lewis calls on shareholders to vote against remuneration report& Chair Larry Romrell over CEO payment 2020 ($52m) at AGM 210616
  • Vivendi: Rumor: Pershing Square Capital Managemen (Bill Ackman, hedge fund) interested in 10% UMG stake at $40b valuation - Confirms talks
  • Stack Overflow: Acquired by Prosus, $1.8b; >100 MAU, 52m Q&As
  • G7 adopt plan to back minimum global corporate tax of 15%, to end national digital services taxes; to be approved by G20 July 2021


  • 5G: AD Little for Ericsson report Network Slicing: A go-to-market guide to capture high revenue potential; for business market (advantages to Private Wireless: less on-campus equipment, off-campus coverage; largest opportunities in Healthcare, Government, Transportation, Energy & utilities, Media & entertainment, less in Financial services, Retail, Agriculture) and AR/VR for consumers
  • LEO: China Satellite Network Group (= Chinese state) plans 13k sats for BB in rural areas & on sea


    • T-Mobile NL launches Unlimited 5G & Entertainment, 50 eur/mo in 24 mo contract for Unlimited 5G (stand-alone 35 EUR/mo, within family 25) + Netflix (2 screens, stand-alone 11 EUR/mo) + RTL Videoland (2 screens, stand-alone 8 EUR/mo), also for existing Netflix and/or Videoland subs (can be migrated to the new package) (22% of all HH have >= 2 SVOD subscriptions, 13% have Netflix + Videoland)
    • Telia SE distr deal with Netflix, C More: package with Unlimited 5G, 500 SEK/mo (EUR 50) during first year, 660 SEK/mo (EUR 65) during second year
    • Office building 825 Third Avenue deploys smart windows from View, with View Immersive Experience solution (transforms windows into transparent, digital screens designed to enable immersive communications, increase natural light, improve human health, reduce energy consumption by blocking heat & glare)
    • Orange PL launches blockchain-IoT SIM cards to operate smart cities: provide access control (for first repsonders, smart bikes, etc) managed by smartphones
    • ViacomCBS: To launch AVOD tier Essential Plan 210607, 5 $/mo, replaces CBS All Access (no mobile downloads, no local live CBS stations; no support for 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision)
    • Twitter: Launches Twitter Blue in Canada (3.5 CAD/mo) & Australia (4.5 AUD/mo): exclusive features  Undo Tweet )max 30 sec), Bookmark Folders (organise tweets), Reader Mode (for long threads), customize Twitter app icons, access to color themes, dedicated customer support - Launches 30-sec full-screen ads in Fleets [see 201117] - Launches Birdwatch: crowdsourced notes added to misleading tweets [see 210125]
    • FT: EU plans bloc-wide digital wallet with single online ID, store payment details, passwords, pay utility bills, access via fingerprint or retina scan