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TV sport key to UK multiplay market share

BT sport crew

Some new research from Kantar reveals that unique sports content remains the key to gaining premium multiplay market share in the UK.

Kantar sizes the UK ‘home services’ market, which incorporates broadband, fixed landline and pay TV, and apportions share to the major players. According to its most recent data the companies with the most unique sports content have been taking share from the others.

“BT has been heavily promoting its newly acquired UEFA European Champions League football content and as a result has seen its market share grow by over 3.8 percentage points compared with the three months before,” said Imran Choudhary, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“In fact, over a quarter of those customers who joined BT in the last three months cited its sports package as the reason for doing so – higher than any other provider. Meanwhile, Sky has grown share by 3.2 percentage points to 30.2% thanks to its premier league football content and value-driven Broadband Unlimited package, which offers 12 months free broadband.”

 

3m/e

30 June 15

3 m/e

30 September 15

 

Share change, ppt

BT 22.4 26.2 3.8
Talk Talk 18.1 13.4 -4.7
Virgin Media 8.9 10.7 1.8
Sky 27.0 30.2 3.2
Other 23.6 19.5 -4.1

 

Virgin doesn’t have any of its own sport, but offers access to both Sky and BT packages. TalkTalk, it seems, competes mainly on price, which looks like a losing strategy right now, especially since its competitors are also ramping up their price promotions.

“Nine per cent of consumers who currently use a home service have stated that they will change their provider at the next available opportunity, with 26% of those currently on a dual play package wanting to move to a triple play offer,” said Choudhary.

“With suppliers clamouring to beat each other on value, it’s vital that they continue to present a high quality service if they want to retain customers in the long term.  Increasingly, consumers are eager to consolidate their services under one provider, so suppliers need to be savvy in how they up-sell their services without compromising on good value and customer satisfaction.”

This data comes at a time when the video-on-demand business is evolving rapidly. Apple is reported to be in discussions with a number of US broadcasters about offering its own streaming services. Keith Zubchevich, Chief Strategy Officer at Conviva reckons this is wise. “Apple’s commitment to becoming an experience syndication partner is savvy,” he said. “The entry of Netflix and Facebook into these kinds of discussions shows how quickly the game is changing, and that we are on the verge of a fundamental change in the way consumers access premium video content.

“As Apple continues plans to provide a gateway to premium content without taking on the burden of delivery itself, those partners will gain from new distribution opportunities, but will need to place significant emphasis on managing the quality of the experience delivered. Audiences flock to high quality experiences, rejecting other options that disappoint: Apple and its partners will need to deliver experience excellence to realize their goals. ”

Meanwhile Netflix’s quarterlies reveal slowing domestic growth, increasing the pressure on its international expansion.

“These latest results reinforce that its future growth lies in overseas expansion,” said Paolo Pescatore, Analyst at CCS Insight. “However, the principal obstacles will be the amount of investment needed to secure rights for each country and how quickly it can come profitable in each market. Regardless, we still believe that Netflix is a prime takeover target. All Web players are looking for a stronger presence in paid-for video, something Netflix has achieved with remarkable success – potential suitors include Apple, Alibaba and Google.”

Visit the world’s leading conference and exhibition focused on fixed mobile convergence – Broadband World Forum 2015 – in London on 20-22 October.

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