The financial reporting season is upon us, but as Julian Clover notes, the PSBs actually have a finger in more platforms than the pay-TV operators.
It’s the results season where company executives, financial analysts and journalists plough through the latest numbers to see what they might be able to learn.
Often it’s just as interesting trying to see what hasn’t been included as much as what has. As a general rule of thumb, if the number hasn’t been included, then that particular product or service probably isn’t doing that well.
Freesat started us off with the declaration that it had added 145,000 new homes over the last 12 months. The implication of course was that it was doing so much better than Sky, but given that it only turned out to be 9,000 more, probably not as exciting as the press release made us think.
Besides, numbers like Sky’s 443,000 HD adds over the last 12 months are arguably far more significant.
What is rather fun is the whole premise that Freesat could be in competition with Freeview and the new Freesat, particularly given there is public service broadcaster involvement in all three. In fact if you count the YouView-supported TV services from BT and TalkTalk then there are more public service TV platforms in the UK than there are pay.
To confuse things further it is Virgin Media where you see the excellent implementation of the Connected Red Button.
This week the BBC Trust announced it would be starting its planned review into the BBC’s involvement in YouView.
In a typically British statement, the Trust’s topline for investigation is whether the blind and partially sighted are being adequately served by YouView. This I should stress is to be applauded, but like so many reports it’s often wise to read it from the back, think of it as the sports pages.
Here we see the plan to study “The way in which YouView is promoted by its partners (with particular reference to BBC activity, which is subject to the BBC code on cross promotion)”.
I wonder if the code includes “not really mentioning the product”, as is the case with the TalkTalk advert. In fairness BT hardly mention it at all, though they sometimes refer to it as BT YouView.
It seems it is unlikely that the BBC will now ever mention YouView in the way that it has made the Freeview brand interchangeable with DTT in its on-screen promotions.