Telia’s TV Business Sees In Tough Q4 As It Begins Integration
By Stuart Thomson
Nordic telco Telia’s TV and media division contributed to a decline in group EBITDA in the fourth quarter as reduced ad revenues impacted the media business.
TV and media sales for the quarter amounted to SEK2.567 billion(US$249.40million), down from SEK2.594 billion in 2021. Adjusted EBITDA was negative SEK112 million, down from negative SEK7 million for the prior year. .
The tough quarter saw Telia implement several changes within its TV business.
Last October, Telia named Mathias Berg, then VP, head of advertising Nordic and Deputy CEO TV4 Media, as SVP, head of TV and media, succeeding Casten Almqvist, who left the company at the start of December. The company also announced plans to simplify the TV and Media organization and a consolidation of linear and streaming content under TV4 and MTV, bringing pay TV unit C More into the TV4 business. The latter decision resulted in Telia recording an impairment charge on the value of C More to the tune of SEK316 million.
On the positive, side, Telia added 57,000 SVOD customers in the quarter, leading to a year-on-year 1.9 per cent increase to 785,000. Changes in the fourth quarter included the return of Viaplay to Telia’s line-up of offerings as the pair patched their differences and struck a new deal.
On the Q4 TV and media numbers, CEO Alison Kirkby said that “advertising revenue flattened out, as expected, given the softening macroeconomic environment” but noted that TV4 in Sweden “continued to take digital advertising market share from the main competing global platforms” with digital ad revenue growing by 17 per cent, enabling TV4 to record its most profitable year to date.
Nevertheless, said Kirkby, pay TV revenue and higher content costs led to a decline in EBITDA for TV and Media as a whole.
“The Pay TV environment remains challenging and, hence, our new organizational setup, which builds on our strength in linear and digital advertising and aiming to fully merge C More into TV4 by the end of 2023 is a key priority. The new leadership team for TV and Media was set up in the quarter and consolidation is proceeding at full speed,” said Kirkby.
Overall for Telia, revenues for the quarter increased 3.8 per cent to SEK 24.261 billion
Like for like, adjusted EBITDA decreased 2.0 per cent to SEK7.374 billion.