Sky big winner as English Premier League UK television rights sold for $6 billion

Manchester City take on Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England. (AFP)
Updated 14 February 2018
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Sky big winner as English Premier League UK television rights sold for $6 billion

LONDON: The Premier League’s inflationary bubble burst Tuesday when the $6b sale of British television rights saw a slump in revenue from broadcasters.
The past two auctions both produced 70 percent jumps in the value of rights, fueling spiraling wages and transfer fees and cementing the competition’s status as the world’s richest league. But a second round of bidding for the 2019-2022 rights left two of the seven packages unsold as Sky emerged the big winner, and BT’s number of games was reduced.
The sale of 160 games has raised £4.464b  ($6.2b), compared with £5.14b  for 168 fixtures from 2016 to 2019. The league will be looking to the sale of overseas rights to provide an upsurge in revenue for its 20 teams.
While remaining the biggest broadcaster of most games in Britain with four packages, Sky boasted how it was now paying 16 percent less per fixture in its £3.579b, three-year deal to show 128 games per season. That equates to savings of almost £600m for the European pay TV giant while showing an additional two games a year.
But while Sky’s price per game drops from £11m to £9.3m, BT had to agree to pay £9.2m  — up from £7.6m — for one package of 32 games. The broadcaster, which was launched in 2012 by Britain’s former telephone monopoly, has lost 10 games.
The Premier League increased the number of games available for live broadcasting in Britain to 200, with only overseas channels able to air all 380 fixtures a year live in a bid to maintain high numbers of fans at stadiums.
The Premier League said “multiple bidders” remain interested in the two remaining packages that allow broadcasters to show every game on four match nights. It is the first time entire rounds of fixtures can be aired live domestically, and there is intrigue over whether companies like Amazon, Netflix or Facebook will use them as a chance to gain a foothold in the Premier League.
“To have achieved this investment with two packages of live rights remaining to sell is an outcome that is testament to the excellent football competition delivered by the clubs,” Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore said. “It provides them with certainty and will underpin their continued efforts to put on the most compelling football, invest sustainably in all areas, and use their popularity and reach to have a positive impact on the sport and beyond.”
The 2019-2022 Chinese rights have already been sold to online video streaming service PPTV for $700m in the league’s biggest-ever global deal. In 2015, the American rights were sold through 2022 to NBC in a six-year deal worth $1b.
The auction comes amid uncertainty at Sky with regulators in Britain assessing the attempt by Rupert Murdochs’s 21st Century Fox to buy the 61 percent of the broadcaster it does not already own. Walt Disney Co. has also bid $52.4b to take over the majority of Fox in a deal that Disney hopes would lead to full ownership of Sky.


Indonesia’s Go-Jek close to profits in all segments

Updated 18 August 2018
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Indonesia’s Go-Jek close to profits in all segments

  • Go-Jek is Indonesia's first billio-dollar startup
  • Ride haling app evolves into online payment platform

JAKARTA: Go-Jek, Indonesia’s first billion-dollar startup, is “extremely close” to achieving profitability in all its segments, except transportation, its founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim told Reuters.

Launched in 2011 in Jakarta, Go-Jek — a play on the local word for motorbike taxis — has evolved from a ride-hailing service to a one-stop app allowing clients in Southeast Asia’s largest economy to make online payments and order everything from food, groceries to massages.

“We’re seeing enormous online to offline traction for all of our businesses and are close to being profitable, outside of transportation,” said the 34-year old CEO.
The startup is expected to be fully profitable “probably” within the next few years, Makarim added.

Already a market leader in Indonesia, where it processes more than 100 million transactions for its 20-25 million monthly users, Go-Jek is now looking to expand in Southeast Asia.

Ride hailing services in Southeast Asia are expected to surge to $20.1 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025 from $5.1 billion in 2017, according to a Google-Temasek report.

Go-Jek said in May it would invest $500 million to enter Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, after Uber struck a deal to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab — the bigger player in the region.

Go-Jek is seeing strong funding interest from its backers as it targets an aggressive expansion, Makarim said.

“Since its Aug. 1 launch, the app has already grabbed 15 percent of market share in Ho Chi Minh,” Makarim said. The firm this week opened recruitment for motorcycle drivers in Thailand.

The startup expects anti-monopoly concerns swirling around the Grab-Uber deal, which Singapore said had substantially hurt competition, to help clear a path for its expansion.

“We’re bringing back choice. The Singapore government is particularly eager to bring back competition,” Makarim said, adding that the order of overseas rollouts had not been set.

Go-Jek’s offshore push comes at a time when Singapore-based Grab is stepping up funding to expand in Indonesia and transform itself into a consumer technology company, starting with a partnership with online grocer HappyFresh.

“Mimicking Go-Jek’s strategy is the highest form of flattery,” laughed Makarim.

Grab told Reuters in a statement, “The super app strategy has been around for a while now and no Southeast Asian player can claim to have pioneered it.” The company also said Grab has not lost market share in Ho Chi Minh since August, but declined to provide market share data.

Makarim believes Go-Jek’s understanding of food merchants will give it an edge over Grab, which counts investors such as Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. among its backers.

Makarim, who sees food delivery as Go-Jek’s core business, said he was not concerned about funding, without giving details.

Go-Jek was reported in June as being in talks to raise $1.5 billion in a new funding round and was valued at about $5 billion in a prior fundraising, sources have told Reuters. The firm had said in March it was considering a domestic IPO.

Makarim noted Go-Jek’s backers were sharing both capital and expertise. The company is collaborating with Alphabet Inc’s Google on platform mobility, Tencent on payments strategy, JD.com on logistics operations, and Meituan Dianping on merchant transactions and deliveries.

Go-Jek has set up a venture capital arm, Go-Ventures, to invest in startups in Southeast Asia “with strategic importance to our business,” the CEO said.