ITV, Britain’s main commercial TV broadcaster and production group has sent 800 staff - 15% of its workforce on leave as ad revenue tanks in the wake of lockdowns and social distancing rules designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring it under control.
Stand by for a bailout of the Australian media sector. A decision on whether a recapitalisation will happen at oOh!media is due to be known today while shares of national radio and regional TV group, Southern Cross Media have collapsed.
The extent of the TV weakness, highlighted at the AGM, was greater than Credit Suisse expected. The company is now guiding to low single-digit growth in FY20 operating earnings (EBITDA). Growth is expected to be skewed to the second half.
Morgan Stanley assesses the weak advertising market is presenting challenges but is increasingly convinced the company has opportunities to create value. This should mean its shares outperform over the next 1-2 years.
The company has won the exclusive live rights to the tennis for the 2020-24 seasons. Nine Entertainment is paying $60m in cash costs per annum. UBS believes there is potential for the company to monetise the pay-TV component.
Nine’s AGM trading update was upbeat, highlighting a first half ad market decline not as bad as feared. The second quarter even looks slightly positive. Nine’s market share also appears to be well above expectations provided at the company’s August result, the broker notes.