Planet Business

This week: Sky turns 25, Disney toasts ‘Frozen’ and Air France-KLM gets classy

 

Image of the week: Flight behaviour
Alexandre de Juniac, newish chief executive of Air France-KLM, checks his smartphone during a presentation of the travel group’s new business-class aircraft seats at the Zodiac Seats plant in France.

Perhaps he’s using the Flight Radar 24 app to follow the progress of passengers who are actually in the air. Notwithstanding his firm grip of the armrest, de Juniac looks pretty relaxed. But then everyone knows that whether you’re in first, business or economy, not having anyone sitting next to you is the absolute best thing that can happen to you on a plane. The seats cost a mere €50,000 – to manufacture, that is, not to book.
Photograph: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

In numbers: Broadcasting birthday
25

Years since Rupert Murdoch flicked the switch and Sky Television went live from some hastily-converted warehouses in Hounslow, west London.
£14bn
What BSkyB plc is worth today. Both Sky and its rival British Satellite Broadcasting haemorrhaged losses at first, before merging in 1990. The rest is history.
219,000
Hours of rolling news broadcast over the years by Sky News, one of the four channels launched on that first day, February 5th, 1989.

The lexicon: Master of Suspense
Bloomberg injected an element of intrigue into the run-up to yesterday’s European Central Bank governing council meeting by dubbing ECB president Mario Draghi the “Master of Suspense”.

Draghi was keeping investors on edge with his “habit of springing surprises” (unlike his predecessor), it said, adding that “expectations aren’t always a guide” to the man’s actions. Sadly, the chances of Draghi announcing anything shocking after yesterday’s get-together in Frankfurt faded when the ECB sent out a drama-free statement indicating interest rates would stay where they were and there would be no new measures to combat the threat of deflation just yet.

The master of suspense’s same-old forward guidance for the euro zone economy was labelled “boreward guidance” by Channel 4 News economics editor Faisal Islam.

Getting to know: Susan Wojcicki
The most senior woman in Google and its 16th ever employee has now been appointed the boss of YouTube. So what can we expect from Susan Wojcicki? “Susan has a healthy disregard for the impossible and is excited about improving YouTube in ways that people will love,” according to chief executive Larry Page.

Wojcicki is also known for having a healthy regard for the possible, being the person who provided the initial workspace for Google co-founders Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 in the garage of her house in Menlo Park in California. Even before her appointment yesterday, some analysts were wondering aloud if Wojcicki, then senior vice-president of ads and commerce for Google, was “the most important person in advertising”. Wojcicki, meanwhile, tweeted yesterday that she was looking forward “to watching a lot more videos during work”.

The list: Disney heats up
Media company Walt Disney’s quarterly profit in the final three months of 2013 soared 33 per cent to $1.84 billion, smashing analysts’ expectations. “The studio just killed it,” one stock analyst said. So how did Disney do it?
1 ‘Frozen’: The story of royal sisters in an icy land has generated $865 million in global box office revenues and surpassed the Lion King as Disney Animation’s highest grossing film. “It has real franchise potential,” chief executive Bob Iger threatens.
2 Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’: The superhero sequel was Disney’s other big movie hit in the quarter, helping the movie studio division to a 75 per cent gain in operating income to $409 million.
3 ESPN: The media networks unit (its biggest) reported $1.5 billion in operating income for the quarter, up 20 per cent. Sports network ESPN was the star performer.
4 Infinity: Games console platform Infinity and games titles featuring characters from Disney movies helped the interactive division to $55 million in operating income.
5 Theme parks: People are still going. Indeed, Disney’s resort division is its second-biggest and higher attendances along with higher prices delivered profits of $671 million. Walt would have been proud.


 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.