Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: August 08, 2017

BCE reports second quarter 2017 results

  • Net earnings of $811 million with net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $762 million, or $0.84 per common share; adjusted net earnings of $792 million generated adjusted EPS of $0.88

  • Cash flows from operating activities of $2,154 million, up 14.0%, delivering 17.1% increase in free cash flow to $1,094 million

  • 7.0% higher service revenue drove 5.0% increase in adjusted EBITDA on year-over-year growth across all Bell segments with favourable financial contribution from Bell MTS

  • 106,000 broadband subscriber net additions in postpaid wireless, IPTV and Internet

  • Excellent wireless results: 88,611 postpaid net additions, up 26.9%; 12.8% increase in service revenue on 4.6% higher blended ARPU; double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth of 10.2%

  • Strong wireline service revenue growth of 5.3% delivering 2.6% higher adjusted EBITDA and industry-best margin of 41.8%

  • 40% of long-term broadband fibre program to be completed by the end of 2017 with direct fibre connections now increasing to more than 3.7 million locations in 7 provinces, including most homes and businesses in the City of Toronto — BCE

‘Wireless saves the day': BCE eyes cord cutters with Alt TV in search of growth

BCE Inc.’s wireless division once more outshone its traditional wired business in financial results released Thursday, but chief executive officer George Cope said the telecom giant’s most critical play this quarter was launching a new television product targeted at cord cutters and ‘cord nevers.’

Alt TV, a live TV streaming service available to Bell internet subscribers that’s cheaper than typical packages since it requires no set-top box or installation, launched in May and has been immaterial to results thus far, Cope told analysts on a conference call. But he said he expects growth in products like it as more consumers stream content via over-the-top apps.

“Strategically, I think it’s the most important thing we did in the quarter,” Cope said in an interview — Emily Jackson, Financial Post

Headliners

Lopez-owned ABS-CBN has filed a $5M lawsuit before the Canadian Federal Court against Techspeed Canada Inc., Joe Baddas, Ferdinand Molina and Todd Ross for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and enabling and inducing copyright infringement of ABS-CBN’s copyrighted works — The Manila Times

— Disney will end its distribution deal with Netflix and launch two streaming services in 2019, one for sport and another for film and television shows. The company has also announced that it will end its distribution agreement with Netflix for new films, beginning with the 2019 calendar year's theatrical slate — Los Angeles Times

— US podcast network Gimlet Media has raised $15m in a new round of funding to expand its branded content into other media. The company has recently struck deals with Amazon, Disney and NPR — Financial Times

— Watching sports at a bar has been part of the viewing experience for years, and now US networks are seeing the hard data in what they have been saying all along, that out-of-home viewing can grow their ratings and now they have the numbers to prove it.

— David Letterman is returning to television with a Netflix talk show. The six-episode untitled series will feature in-depth interviews as well as topics outside of the studio — The Hollywood Reporter

— Ottawa hopes to continue its support for challengers to Canada’s Big Three cellular carriers by reserving a swath of spectrum for smaller players in an upcoming auction of wireless airwaves — Christine Dobby, The Globe & Mail

— CBS Corp. plans to launch its online television streaming service in Canada in the first half of 2018; however, Canadians won’t have access to all of the platform’s 9,000 TV episodes. Corus Entertainment Inc., BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. have already purchased broadcast rights for CBS content such as The Big Bang Theory and Survivor Financial Post

— Kodi’s free Android media player is resident in 7 percent of Canadian homes, according to a new study conducted by Waterloo, ON-based networking solutions company Sandvine. The authors suggest that the majority of the households included in the survey are utilizing the box to stream pirated content to their television  Patrick O’Rourke, Mobile Syrup

— VMS Media Group Ltd., whose applications to operate urban Indigenous radio stations in Edmonton and Calgary were previously denied by the CRTC in June, is petitioning the Governor-in-Council to set aside the decision or refer it back to the Commission for reconsideration — CARTT.ca

— Montreal media columnist Steve Faguy’s latest edition of the Fagstein Media News Digest is now available online. Included:

·  The Economist sponsored a poll that shows more than 40% of Republicans in the United States favour allowing the courts to shut down news outlets that publish false or misleading news.

·  Le Soleil, Le Devoir and La Presse have won an injunction in court to prevent the political news website La Dose from publishing excerpts of their stories online. The newspapers argued that La Dose is profiting financially from including headlines and lead paragraphs of news stories, even though they link to the original stories on those papers’ websites. Depending on how the case goes, it could set a precedent for aggregators. La Dose is appealing the injunction.

·  Halifax’s Frank Magazine is in some legal trouble, accused of violating a court publication ban. The magazine denies this is the case.

A tentative deal has been reached between the Halifax Chronicle Herald and its striking employees. A joint media statement from the paper's owner Saltwire Network and the Halifax Typographical Union said they had reached an agreement to end the 18-month strike after two days of mediation

— Radioplayer Canada, the radio streaming app featuring 400 domestic radio stations, has released a new interface for the Sonos home sound system, Google's Chromecast, and Apple CarPlay.

— Toronto alt-weekly Now magazine has published its third straight double issue, as in three editions over six weeks, and this at the height of summer events. Sources suggest this could become a permanent print cycle in 2018.

— Lisa Charleyboy, Stefanie Lasuik, Erica Natividad, Mark Neufeld, Courtney Rutherford, and Sarolta Saskiw join CityNews Winnipeg as on-air team, starting Monday, Sept. 4 when the local daily news show debuts in the market. Link here for details about the team.

Linguistic diversity is on the rise in Canada, StatCan reports. Close to 7.6M Canadians reported speaking a language other than English or French at home in 2016, an increase of almost 1M (+14.5%) people over 2011. Moreover, the proportion of the Canadian population who speak more than one language at home rose from 17.5% in 2011 to 19.4% in 2016

— The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has released a summary of the negotiating objectives for the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes adding a digital economy chapter. Ambassador Lighthizer subsequently announced that the first round of negotiations between the US, Canada, and Mexico takes place in Washington, D.C. from Aug. 16-20.

Worth Noting

When Silicon Valley took over journalism

Over the past generation, journalism has been slowly swallowed. The ascendant media companies of our era don’t think of themselves as heirs to a great ink-stained tradition. Some like to compare themselves to technology firms. This redefinition isn’t just a bit of fashionable branding. As Silicon Valley has infiltrated the profession, journalism has come to unhealthily depend on the big tech companies, which now supply journalism with an enormous percentage of its audience—and, therefore, a big chunk of its revenue.

Dependence generates desperation—a mad, shameless chase to gain clicks through Facebook, a relentless effort to game Google’s algorithms — Franklin Foer, The Atlantic

Radio, Radio with Andrew Forsyth From CHOM to now

With Radio, Radio, I hope to keep an active a conversation going about radio - a look at where it has been and where it is (or could be) going....

This week I spoke with another Montrealer, former CHOM FM DJ turned radio consultant, Andrew Forsyth. Who better to interview about radio’s glorious past, present, future and the Quebec — Michael Williams interviews

Contrarian Michael Geist calls Bell Media’s simsub arguments specious

Bell’s argument for the order to be rescinded is “weak, riddled with inconsistent arguments and questionable claims based in part from commissioned research by Communic@tions Management Inc. Bell’s application and supporting documents throw as much mud at the wall in the hope that something will stick with everything from claiming Canadians don’t care about the issue to suggesting that U.S. ads during the Super Bowl could pose health and financial risks to Canadians.

NAFTA negotiations put Canadians’ personal data on the table

The US wants to end to measures that restrict cross-border data flows or require the use or installation of local computing facilities — The Canadian Press

A Slice of Wide Cut Country with Allison Brock

CKUA’s long-standing Saturday ten-noon show host discusses her past, the present and a wagon-train full of other stuff about her passions, indulgences opinions — No Depression

BBC News presenter Simon McCoy amuses viewers with lacklustre report on surfing dogs

We are currently in what's known in the media as 'silly season' when Parliament is in recess, school holidays are coming to a close and news outlets are scrambling to come up with headline news stuffers.
BBC News presenter Simon McCoy seems less than enthused with the final item in his newscast, as seen below.
"Dog owners and their pets in California have hit the waves in the second annual World Dog Surfing Championships,” McCoy announces, before sighing all over the brave dogs doing their best.

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