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Sky and BT face £1bn loss if top-flight sport stays off-air



Sky and BT could lose nearly £1billion in revenues if top-flight sports remain off-air until August, a report warns. 

The Premier League has suspended English football until the end of next month because of the coronavirus outbreak, while rugby has also been called off until April 14 at the earliest. 

During this period, Sky has stopped charging pubs for showing Sky Sports and customers are being allowed to ‘pause’ their sports TV subscriptions. 

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, left, tussles with Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser. The Premier League has suspended English football until the end of next month because of coronavirus

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, left, tussles with Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser. The Premier League has suspended English football until the end of next month because of coronavirus

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, left, tussles with Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser. The Premier League has suspended English football until the end of next month because of coronavirus

At the same time, BT is allowing customers to ‘discuss options’ for their contracts or simply pause their sports subscription if they are on a ‘flexible’ package. 

But experts at research firm Enders Analysis said it looks likely the sporting suspensions will last beyond April, with a Governmentimposed lockdown expected to carry on for months. 

An Enders spokesman said: ‘The hypothesis informing governments assumes an initial threemonth long lockdown. 

‘Group activities of 25 people involving close physical contact without protection will not plausibly be the first to be allowed when some social life resumes. 

‘Assuming a worst-case scenario of a four-month suspension of all sports coverage, British and foreign, with all sports subscribers pausing their contract and wholesale clients being allowed to follow suit, Sky would lose £700million and BT £228million in revenues.’ 

Between them, Sky and BT paid nearly £4.4billion for Premier League broadcasting rights in an auction two years ago. 

Enders also suggested that football players may need to take pay cuts if clubs begin to struggle financially but added: ‘Negotiating pay cuts with players is as difficult as herding cats.’ 

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25% retailers may be out of biz after lockdown if govt doesn’t help: Study




Firms may have to sack 20% of workforce, says study by retailers’ association

Around 25 per cent of would require serious infusion of capital to help them deal with the impact of the 21-day nationwide imposed to check the spread of disease (Covid-19), else they would be out of business, the Association of India (RAI) said based on its estimates.

Says Kumar Rajagopalan, RAI chief executive officer: “It’s a tough situation until the government comes to the rescue. Non-food have had no revenues during the lockdown, yet their fixed costs continue.”

To add to the woes, retailers who are members of the association say that they have to get rid of 20 per cent of their workforce to survive, with smaller retailers saying it would be as high as 30 per cent after the is lifted.

The sobering is that retailers — including big firms like Reliance Retail — and exhibitors are contemplating issuing “force majeure” notices to shopping malls and real estate owners, and are in discussions with them to formulate an action plan for sharing the financial burden of the Reliance Retail declined to comment.

RAI, which undertook a dipstick study of its 768 members from organised retail (including small, medium and big chains), says that 51 per cent of respondents expect a recovery only in 6-12 months, while 24 per cent believe it will take 3-6 months.

Also, 80 per cent of respondents do not expect to make any profit by August. And in the next 6 months, non-food retailers expect to earn only 40 per cent of revenues compared to what they earned last year.

About 18 per cent of respondents were food retailers, who did not close operations during the lockdown, the rest were non-food retailers, who were forced to shut.

There is a consensus that mall owners are willing to agree to a rent waiver during the lockdown. However, most retailers say their problems of cash outflow would remain for at least 2-3 quarters. So, they require sharp cuts.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus LIVE: New York suffers deadliest day with 731 new fatalities

Says Rajgopalan: “With demand and supply mismatch… rental yields have to fall accordingly. After all, rentals constitute around 35-40 per cent of costs, followed by workforce (30 per cent) and holding inventory.”

Retailers are demanding benefits in goods and services tax (GST), removal of minimum electricity charges (imposed even if store is closed), renegotiations of rentals based on revenue share rather than being fixed, moratorium on payment of property tax by mall owners (around 5-10 per cent depending on the state) the benefit of which can be passed on to retailers.

Says Arun Sharma, chairman of Select group, which runs Delhi’s upmarket Select Citywalk and houses big retailers from Zara, H&M, Starbucks, and exhibitors like PVR: “We have got requests from restaurants, retailers and movie theatres to waive rentals, defer them and some have asked for discounts. We are in wait-and-watch mode and are hopeful that government will address the issue.”

ALSO READ: Govt set to release Rs 20,000 cr pending GST compensation to states soon

Mall owners have their own challenges. Says Anuj Puri, founder of real estate consultants Anarock, which has many mall owners as clients: “Mall owners have taken lease rental discount from banks, so rent is going to the banks for payment of loans. If rents go down, they have to top up, but in the current position of real estate across sectors it will be difficult for them to do so and therefore they could default and the loan will become an NPA for mall owners who are leveraged.”

However, many retail experts say shopping patterns could change fundamentally after Covid-19 is controlled. For one, millennials could be more careful in going for buying sprees on clothing or food, as the long stay at home has made them conscious that one can live with less, they say.

First Published: Wed, April 08 2020. 00:00 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Wipro to hold Board meeting on April 15, to announce Q4 and FY20 results




IT major on Tuesday said it will announce its fourth-quarter and FY20 results on April 15.

There are speculations that announcement of corporate earnings for March quarter could be delayed given the ongoing amid Covid-19 outbreak.

“…meeting of the Board of Directors will be held on April 15, 2020, inter alia, to consider and approve the condensed audited standalone and consolidated financial results of the Company under IndAS for the quarter and year ended March 31, 2020,” said in a regulatory filing.

It added that the Board will also look at recommendation of final dividend, if any, for the financial year ended March 31, 2020 at the meeting.

ALSO READ: Manufacturing industry gears up for life after coronavirus lockdown

The results will be announced after stock market trading hours in India, said.

Its peers like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and HCL Technologies are yet to come up with the dates for announcing their financial results.

Markets regulator Sebi has also given relaxation of 45 days to for filing fourth-quarter results and one-month extension to file results for 2019-20.

Besides, relaxation of one month has been given for filing quarterly corporate governance report and three weeks each for shareholding pattern and statement of investor complaint reports.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 impact: Indian economy likely to grow 2% in FY21, says Icra

Operations of businesses across the world have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives.

The government, on March 24, had announced a complete in the country for 21 days to contain the spread of coronavirus infection.

Most individuals have been asked to work from home to ensure business continuity and only skeletal staff have been allowed to be on premises to run critical operations at IT and IT-enabled services organisations.

First Published: Tue, April 07 2020. 23:44 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Boris Johnson stable in ICU with Covid-19, remains in ‘good spirits’




UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalised with persistent symptoms, is stable in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a London hospital and has not required ventilator support for breathing, Downing Street said on Tuesday.

Johnson, who had been shifted to the ICU on Monday night, remains in “good spirits” and has not been diagnosed with pneumonia, one of the fallouts in serious COVID-19 patients.

“The Prime Minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support,” the spokesperson said.

Johnson, 55, was tested positive for more than 10 days ago and was admitted to the hospital a day earlier, which Downing Street said was done as part of a precautionary measure.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus LIVE: India cases cross 5,000 mark, death toll hits 150

He was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital, on Sunday night for “routine tests” after persistent coronavirus symptoms including a high temperature and a cough. His condition “worsened” during the course of Monday when his doctors decided to shift him to ICU.

On Monday night, he asked his First Secretary of State, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, to step in for him and the minister will be chairing his second daily Covid-19 meeting in place of the UK PM on Tuesday.

“The government’s business will continue. The Prime Minister is in safe hands with that brilliant team at St Thomas’ hospital, and the focus of the government will continue to be on making sure that the Prime Minister’s direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge, will be taken forward,” said Raab, who would be deputising for Johnson “where necessary” while he is in hospital.

“There’s an incredibly strong team spirit behind the Prime Minister, and making sure that we get all of the plans the Prime Minister’s instructed us to deliver, to get them implemented as soon as possible. And that’s the way it will bring the whole country through the coronavirus challenge that we face right now, said the senior Cabinet minister.

The team spirit was on display as ministers of Johnson’s top team took to social media to wish him a speedy recovery and support to his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds.

“My love and thoughts are with and Carrie Symonds and the Prime Ministers family. Praying for you and thinking of you,” said UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in her Twitter message, alongside an image of her alongside Johnson at a temple in London on the campaign trail from the past year.

Fellow Indian-origin senior Cabinet colleague, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, echoed the message: “My thoughts tonight are with and Carrie Symonds. I know he’ll be getting the best care possible and will come out of this even stronger.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the world leaders who sent out their messages of support to the UK PM.

“Hang in there, Prime Minister Boris Johnson! Hope to see you out of hospital and in perfect health very soon,” Modi tweeted.

US President Donald Trump said Americans “are all praying for his recovery” as he described Johnson as “a very good friend of mine and a friend to our nation” who is “strong” and “doesn’t give up”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he sends “all my support to Boris Johnson, to his family and to the British people at this difficult moment”.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 crisis: Tracking the coronavirus footprint across the world

UK’s newly-elected Opposition Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described it as “terribly sad news”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that St Thomas’ Hospital in London had “some of the finest medical staff in the world” and that the Prime Minister “couldn’t be in safer hands”.

Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II, who has been holding her customary weekly audiences with the Prime Minister over the telephone at Windsor Castle during the current coronavirus lockdown, is being kept informed about Johnson’s health.

In some Covid-19 cases, patients experience breathing difficulties as the body’s immune system struggles to cope and pneumonia is among the signs of the most serious cases.

Earlier in the day on Monday, Johnson had messaged from his hospital bed to say that he was in good spirits and staying in contact with his ministers to oversee the UK’s coronavirus fightback despite his hospitalisation.

He was last seen in public applauding the NHS and other key workers just outside his flat in Downing Street last Thursday and posted his last Twitter video message on Friday in which he looked quite unwell as he said he was still displaying minor symptoms.

His hospitalisation comes as the number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the UK reached 5,373 and the UK’s Department of Health said there were now 51,608 confirmed coronavirus cases.

First Published: Tue, April 07 2020. 23:16 IST

Source: Business Standard

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