Shaw’s cable revenues climb 2%

Canada’s Shaw Communications has announced financial and operating results for the three months ended 30 November 2012, posting consolidated revenue for the quarter of CAD1.32 billion (USD1.34 billion), up by 3% compared to the same period of 2011, while total operating income before amortisation improved by 6% year-on-year to CAD601 million in September-November. Consolidated net income of CAD235 million in the three-month period was higher than CAD202 million posted a year earlier. Revenue at Shaw’s cable division reached CAD809 million in the quarter, up by 2% year-on-year, while cable operating income before amortisation climbed 5% to CAD396 million. Cable CAPEX of CAD140 million in September-November 2012 was CAD83 million lower than the investment made in the same period of 2011. Satellite TV division revenue also increased by 2% y-o-y, reaching CAD214 million, and satellite operating income before amortisation jumped 7% to CAD74 million.

Shaw’s basic cable TV customers stood at 2,166,536 at the end of November 2012, down by 23,912 in three months. Cable broadband internet subscribers reached 1,902,385 at the same date, up by 5,956 during the quarter. Digital cable-based telephony customers also increased, by 17,435 in three months to 1,362,617. Shaw’s satellite TV customer base shrank slightly, to 906,002 at 30 November, down by 4,021 from the end of August.

Thanks for TeleGeography for this article

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CRTC happy with Telus foreign ownership status

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has denied a request to review the level of foreign ownership in Telus Corporation, as it is satisfied that the full-service telco is following compliance rules. Rival operator Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile) had requested a public review of shareholding structure at Telus in the interests of clarity, but the CRTC said it is satisfied with Telus’ mechanisms to comply with the foreign ownership cap of 33.3% which applies to Canada’s largest telcos including Bell, Telus and Rogers. At the time of Wind’s request in June, Telus claimed a foreign shareholding level of 32.6% but more recently revealed that its non-domestic ownership had dropped to around 15%. This is assumed to be because US hedge fund Mason Capital has sold a large proportion of its stake. In June Mason reportedly hired Blackstone Group to seek a buyer for its near-19% voting stake in the Canadian telecoms group, and Telus said that its non-Canadian ownership had fallen to 15% on 16 November 2012, from 32.6% on 29 June.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this article

Bell has another stab at Astral takeover

Telecoms and broadcasting group Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) and broadcaster Astral Media have submitted a revised merger proposal to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecoms Commission (CRTC), addressing the regulator’s concerns over the level of ownership concentration in certain market segments created by the proposed takeover of the media group. The revised deal is worth a similar amount to the original proposal, around USD3.4 billion, but is subject to approval by the CRTC and the Competition Bureau. The CRTC will launch a new public consultation on the application, reports the Montreal Gazette.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this article

MTS Allstream focusing on finding US investor

Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail writes that regional telco Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) is focusing on finding a US-based investor for its national MTS Allstream division, after failing to line up a likely Canadian investor. MTS is working with Morgan Stanley and investment bankers from CIBC to redouble its search for a foreign suitor, particularly in the US, people familiar with the situation were quoted as saying. The Canadian government recently decided to scrap foreign investment restrictions for telecoms network operators with a sub-10% revenue market share – which applies to all except the three largest groups Bell, Rogers and Telus – and the legal amendments, which are included in the federal budget bill, will take effect upon royal assent, which is expected this month.

Supplied by TeleGeography

 

Telco Pay-TV Subscribers Approaching 100 Million

Leading Telco Pay TV Operators
New data from TeleGeography show that at the end of Q3 2011 telcos worldwide had a total of 94 million pay-TV subscribers, giving them a 12% share of the global pay-TV market. Given current growth rates the subscriber total will be passing the 100-million milestone as this article is being written. Leading the telco charge is America Movil with ten million pay-TV subscribers, thanks to a dominant market position in Brazil and Colombia and substantial pay-TV operations in several other Latin American countries. It is followed by China Telecom and Rostelecom, both of which focus solely on their home markets, and France Telecom-Orange which has pay-TV operations in Poland, Spain and Slovakia in addition to being one of the leaders in the French market.

While telcos’ pay-TV activities are commonly equated with IPTV, that is only a part of the story. Many telcos have clearly identified IPTV as being important both strategically and tactically, but it accounts for less than 60% of their pay-TV subscribers. Several telcos are investing heavily in cable TV and satellite DTH operations, while pay-DTT and some residual MMDS services are also part of the mix. As examples, America Movil has achieved its leadership position by developing or acquiring cable and DTH businesses, and it has hardly any IPTV interests; and number three ranked telco Rostelecom can thank cable TV for providing 85% of its pay-TV subscriber base.

However, IPTV remains a crucial factor in the telco sector’s pay-TV growth prospects, as TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale points out: ‘Looking to the future there is no doubt that telcos will further increase their share of the pay-TV market. While telcos will continue to invest in cable and DTH operations, over the next five years it will primarily be strong IPTV growth that enables them to gain market share. We forecast that the IPTV subscriber base will have doubled in size by the end of 2016, which will help telcos gain control of some 16% of the pay-TV market.’

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Pay-TV Research Service provides data, analysis and forecasts of the rapidly changing pay-TV and IPTV markets. (http://www.telegeography.com/research-services/globalcomms-pay-tv/index.html)