Banijay and Movistar+ Acquisitions; SuperSport mulls UEFA/Premier soccer; Virgin Media/O2 Merger
BANIJAY BECOMES BIGGEST CONTENT GROUP OUTSIDE US (Full article on Television Business International)
Banijay has formally completed its $2.2bn acquisition of Endemol Shine Group, marking the end of a two-year process and the beginning of a period that will see the two companies combining their operations.
The enlarged group will be led by Banijay’s CEO Marco Bassetti, with ESG’s chief Sophie Turner Laing stepping down from her role and exiting the company on 10 July.
The acquisition marks a giant leap in scale for Banijay, which will now own approximately 200 entities across 22 countries, according to the French firm.
The deal makes Banijay the largest content producer and distributor outside of the US studios, with a catalogue of more than 88,000 hours across all genres. Total pro-forma revenue in 2019 for the combined group, which will retains its Banijay name, was €2.7bn ($3bn).
As of today, Banijay represents shows and formats including Survivor, Big Brother, Peaky Blinders, Temptation Island, MasterChef, Wallander, The Kardashians, Mr Bean, The Wall, Hunted, Black Mirror, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Deal or No Deal.
MOVISTAR+ ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
The agreement gives Movistar+. broadcasting rights to the main European competitions both for residential customers and the HORECAS market of hotels, restaurants, cafés and public premises in Spain and Andorra.
Movistar+ also has rights to the UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Youth League, along with the new UEFA Europa Conference League, developed from the Europa League.
Movistar+ will air matches in multiple HD windows while free-to-air channel #Vamos will provide background coverage and daily summaries.
Telefónica has separately struck a new deal with Orange España to provide the Champions League and Europa League, along with Spain’s first and second division domestic football from La Liga for the 2020-21 seasons, paying €300 million a season for the rights.
SUPERSPORT MAY NOT RENEW RIGHTS TO UEFA, PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL
Reliable sources close to decision-makers inside SuperSport (the part of Multichoice Africa that offers sports entertainment) have said the company is seriously considering not renewing the broadcasting rights for the English Premier League (EPL) and the UEFA Champions League going forward.
According to these sources, SuperSports executives are citing the continued rising costs for securing international rights as the driver for this potential withdrawal. They said that while the prices for these premium properties are increasing, they have also been hampered by unfavourable economic and social-political realities on the ground.
The situation for Multichoice is particularly adverse in Nigeria at the current moment.
Multichoice says it pays around US$ 250 Million for the rights to the EPL and around 100 Million Euros for the UEFA Champions League. Despite the investment layout, the company complained that it is barely managing to break-even and that with the trajectory showing a continuous increase in price, the position may become commercially unviable.
UK SEEKS FINAL EU APPROVAL ON £31 BILLION VIRGIN MEDIA/O2 MERGER
The merger, announced at the beginning of May, has a proposed valuation of £31 billion, and promises to create “a stronger fixed and mobile competitor in the UK market” with synergies of £6.2 billion.
With the parties agreeing on a fee, it is now up to regulators to approve the merger, but the Financial Times reports that there is some debate as to whether the European Commission should get involved.
In a statement to the business paper, the CMA argued that the deal “will only impact consumers in the UK” and that a review “will likely conclude after the transition period,” with the UK set to fully cut ties with the EU on December 31.
The UK’s withdrawal agreement gives the CMA the power to rule on mergers that solely impact the UK, and the regulator reportedly will argue that the EU has no place in the matter.