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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Liberty Global announces stock repurchase programme Michelle Clancy | 17-06-2013 Liberty Global has unveiled a $3.5 billion stock repurchase programme,

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    Liberty Global announces stock repurchase programme
    Michelle Clancy | 17-06-2013
    Liberty Global has unveiled a $3.5 billion stock repurchase programme, looking to reward shareholders following its multibillion-dollar purchase of Virgin Media Inc. The initiative replaces a previous $1 billion buy-back programme, which was announced in December.
    Liberty said it intends to complete the new repurchase programme over the next two years.
    Liberty Global, led by media mogul John Malone, has forged ahead lately on an aggressive global expansion plan, with a focus on Europe. Earlier this month, Liberty Global completed its purchase of UK cable giant provider Virgin Media for $16 billion. This is part of a buying spree that includes the recent purchase of a 12.7% stake in Dutch cable operator Ziggo NV (ZIGGO.AE) for $808.3 million. It's also rumoured that Liberty Global is interested in German cable operator Kabel Deutschland, which is also in talks with Vodafone about a potential $13.3 billion takeover to allow Vodafone to compete more effectively with incumbent Deutsche Telekom.

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    Starz green-lights 50 Cent-produced Power
    Michelle Clancy | 17-06-2013
    STARZ has given the green-light to Power, an hour-long original drama series executive-produced by Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson.
    Power tells the story of James 'Ghost' St Patrick, a wealthy New York City nightclub owner who caters to the city's elite. He wants to build an empire and turn the club into a Fortune 500 business, but Ghost is living a double life. When he is not in the club, he is the kingpin of the most lucrative drug network in New York for a very high-level clientele. His marriage, family and business all become unknowingly threatened as he is tempted to leave his criminal life behind and become the rags-to-riches businessman he wants to be most of all.
    "STARZ has given our team an opportunity to explore a world of beauty, luxury, danger and death, all against the struggle of one man to define his nature and his soul," said executive producer and show-runner Courtney Kemp Agboh. "While the power and peril of Ghost's world are specific, we hope to address the truly universal questions we all face when we look in the mirror: who am I? Where am I going? Who do I want to become?"
    "We are thrilled to add Power to our growing original programming line-up for 2014," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. "Curtis has a unique and specific vision for the series, lending it an authenticity and voice rarely seen. Courtney has created a rich world and characters not often explored in contemporary drama. There is a rawness and soul to the character of Ghost as he struggles to live between these two worlds that we believe will leave an indelible mark on the audience and stay with them after the credits roll."
    The first season will be eight hour-long episodes and will begin filming in late 2013. STARZ retains all global distribution and home entertainment rights to the series.

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    Broadcom takes wraps off cable headless gateway silicon
    Michelle Clancy | 17-06-2013
    Broadcom has released a single-chip solution for cable headless gateways to support cable operators' transition to an all-IP video network. The single software interface supports DOCSIS, voice, routing and legacy set-top box applications.
    Like Broadcom's new hybrid cable gateway SoC, the BCM3385 headless gateway adds to Broadcom's portfolio of single-chip hybrid video gateway solutions that allow operators to provide all-IP video delivery in the home without head-end upgrades.
    "Operators are deploying residential headless gateways to optimise capital expenditures and maximise bandwidth throughout the home," said Dan Marotta, Broadcom's executive vice president and general manager for Broadcom's broadband communications group. "Broadcom's BCM3385 makes headless gateways an even more compelling option by lowering the cost of deployment to better serve customers, while delivering the most complete set of routing and video features available in the marketplace."
    The BCM3385 combines the functionality that typically requires up to five separate integrated devices, and is engineered with a dual-core CPU that optimises system security while retaining the CPU's high-performance resources.
    The BCM3385 SoC also integrates a quad transcoder to enable consumers to stream data services and IP video to a range of devices. By also integrating H.265/HEVC video decoder technology, Broadcom's BCM3385 also transmits high quality video at one-fourth the bandwidth required by MPEG-2 HD, enabling the delivery of Ultra HD content using similar bandwidth as today's MPEG-2 1080p HD.

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    Comcast launches X2 personalised TV platform
    Michelle Clancy | 17-06-2013
    Comcast has launched the next version of the cloud-enabled Xfinity X1 Platform, X2, which will begin rolling out later this year.
    The upgrade is made to be a customised TV product that integrates "live and on-demand TV, Web content, home control and a growing number of apps in one user interface, which consumers can access on a TV, smartphone, tablet or PC," according to the company.
    A new feature called Send to TV enables customers "to easily fling a Web page, like one that features streaming video, directly to an X1 set-top box and view it on the big screen." After downloading a bookmarklet onto their computer, tablet or smartphone, a customer chooses the Web content they would like to see on their TV, clicks Send to TV in their bookmarks bar, and the content from their computer or device then appears on the television.
    Comcast also said that customers will be able to access TV-optimised sites from a variety of third-party partners in an expanding app marketplace.
    "The X1 Platform is an incredible example of what's possible with cloud innovation," said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO at Comcast, in introducing X2. "With the introduction of Web-based content to the platform today, and the promise of a faster and more integrated experience with X2, we're adding more functionality to each screen in a customer's home, and transforming our video product into a complete entertainment operating system."
    X2 includes a personalised home screen accessible across the TV and across mobile devices that will offer a single view into the information the viewer cares about. The display will feature a collection of tiles that a customer can customise as they see fit, including integrating most-used apps on one screen. It can also be customised to include recently recorded DVR content or info from a favourite app, such as traffic alerts, weather forecasts or news headlines. Other Xfinity services can be incorporated as well, such as calendar appointments, voicemails from Xfinity Voice, as well as home thermostat and security status from Xfinity Home.
    The platform also will recommend content that is playing on live TV based on the customer's past viewing habits, and includes a new six-guide carousel that filters TV listings by specific category, such as sports, kids programming and movies, and also filters by age to help ensure appropriate family viewing.
    Customers can manage content from any screen so preferences, subscriptions, saved programs and parental controls stay consistent across the Comcast TV Everywhere universe.
    X2 also incorporates new features like viewer ratings from interactive services Rotten Tomatoes and Zeebox, and ratings from Common Sense Media for age-appropriate content. Through the dashboard, consumers can use tiles to track their social feeds or photos on Facebook and Twitter, and others.

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    Reidel extends intercom for Al Jazeera and Manhattan Center Studios

    Michelle Clancy | 17-06-2013
    Riedel Communications has announced that Manhattan Center Studios is extending its Riedel intercom system to tie together all of its studios and performance halls, as well as a new client news network, Al Jazeera America, that will be completed this summer.
    Manhattan Center Studios is one of the largest Riedel intercom integrations in the Americas.
    "We believe that the Riedel intercom is on another level from its competition, and with every software release, it becomes both more powerful and easier to programme," said Marvin Williams, director of engineering and operations at Manhattan Center Studios. "There is no request a production or client can make that we cannot accommodate. Now that we are completely Riedel — Artist matrix and keypanels, Performer digital party lines, and Acrobat wireless — the whole system is a pleasure to use. Investing in Riedel is one of the best decisions we ever made."
    The Manhattan Center is known for hosting performances and special events in which media and entertainment come together. With its unique location in the heart of midtown Manhattan, the facility is a mid-size venue for corporate galas, charity fundraisers, award shows, rock concerts and fashion shows. The Manhattan Center is home to the Hammerstein Ballroom, originally created as an opera house, as well as a full ballroom, two full TV studios, the Log Cabin and Studio seven audio studios, and 20-plus edit suites, all of which are connected with Riedel intercom systems.
    The new installation includes 64-port and 32-port Artist digital matrix intercom mainframes, both equipped with redundant power supplies and CPU cards and featuring fibre connectivity. MADI Client cards allow the transparent transport of up to 64 MADI signals through the Artist infrastructure. For accessing the intercom matrix, a combination of new OLED rack-mount (RCP-1112) and desktop (DCP-1116) key panels have been distributed across the facility. In addition, its Acrobat wireless system was expanded with a new CC-60 system controller, ten new beltpacks, and additional antennas to enhance coverage. The Manhattan Center Studios also added two commentary control panels (CCP-1116) that can each support two commentators, for use during live events or voiceovers.
    "Manhattan Center Studios was one of our first US customers, and today it continues to be one of our greatest partners," said Patti Gunnell, entertainment solutions manager for North America at Riedel Communications. "Customers like Manhattan Center Studios, who demand products that are both flexible and reliable, have made our Artist product the best digital matrix intercom platform available today."

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    Seven extends broadcast partnership with Tennis Australia
    Louise Duffy | 17-06-2013
    Tennis Australia and Seven have extended their long-term broadcasting partnership for a further five years.
    Under the terms of the deal, Seven has acquired the Australian broadcast rights to the Australian Open and Australian Open Series for 2015-19.
    The new agreement fits with Tennis Australia’s “tennis anywhere and on any device” philosophy and includes free-to-air, pay-TV, digital/online, IPTV, HbbTV, mobile and tablet rights for the Australian Open and AO Series, as well as live streaming from all broadcast courts at the Australian Open and AO Series on online and mobile platforms.
    Seven has been the television partner of the Australian Open since 1973 and this deal will extend the partnership to 46 years. The new agreement includes:
    expanded free-to-air coverage of the Australian Open and AO Series events of more than 330 hours
    a commitment to broadcast free-to-air on two channels during the Australian summer of tennis
    a commitment to live stream all Australian Open and AO Series broadcast courts online and on mobiles and tablets
    “We are delighted to extend the historic relationship with Seven, a long-term partner of tennis in Australia,” said Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood.
    “Seven has played a key role in the success of our sport and events and we welcome their continuing involvement as our coverage expands across broadcast television and new online and tablet apps. This agreement fits in very well with our overall strategy of ensuring as much high quality tennis coverage for the Australian public as possible, freely available on whatever device the viewer chooses.”

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    Smartclip attaches to Philips for smart TV global ad representation
    Parent Category: News | 17-06-2013
    In an exclusive deal designed to bring interactive online video advertising to Philips Smart TVs, smart clip has entered into a partnership with TP Vision, the manufacturer of the branded TVs.
    The deal will allow TP Vision to give advertisers the opportunity to reach the Philips Smart TV audience via standardised and ad-server based digital advertising in a deal covering Western Europe and Russia. Also under its terms, the multiscreen video and brand advertising platform provider will deliver advertisements on the portal homepage and sub-pages of the connected TVs. These will likely include the portal's App Gallery and Smart TV ecosystem.
    smartclip has a network of 700 publishers and services more than one billion video streams every month and the deal with TP Vision is its latest foray into the world of connected TV advertising. Commenting on the deal, smartclip CEO Jean-Pierre Fumagalli said: "We are proud to be working together with TP Vision on such an international basis. This partnership significantly expands our inventory and will give advertisers the possibility to reach their target groups on connected TV with considerable reach – across different content options and on the platform itself."
    Head of smart TV at TP Vision, Albert Mombarg, added: "We are confident that the partnership with smartclip will bring us closer to the international advertising community and that our smart TV platform will bring added value for brands ... and are convinced that the advantages of the connected TV – self-determined entertainment – will change the way consumers watch TV, reducing linear TV consumption in favour of demand content."

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    StarHub optimises mobile video network
    Editor | 17-06-2013
    Indicating the demand of the mobile platform across its business lines, StarHub has embarked upon a major upgrade of its infrastructure which aims to improve mobile TV and mobile video experiences.
    The leading Singapore telco has revealed that the bulk of its multi-million dollar capital expenditure will go towards mobile network enhancements, such as installing modern, higher capacity 4G and 3G base stations, upgrading the traffic handling capacity of its transmission backbone and exploring large-scale small cell deployment to enhance coverage and capacity.
    "Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and we are making every effort to ensure that our mobile customers remain truly happy," explained Mock Pak Lum, chief technology officer. "While we steadily expand our high-speed 4G network island-wide, we are also combining the use of intelligent solutions, such as video streaming optimisation, edge caching and small cell, with the increased deployment of modern 3G base stations to satisfy customer demand."
    StarHub's 4G network, capable of supporting high quality broadcast experiences and which currently covers 75% of the island, is on track to hit 95% street-level deployment by October 2013.
    But perhaps most interestingly, in order to enhance user experience amid rapid increase in mobile video traffic, the telco has invested in a video streaming optimisation solution, which it claims will intelligently scales videos to fit the resolution and screen size of mobile users' device. In addition the network-based solution is attributed with being able to help users conserve data as less bandwidth is required for each video session, resulting in faster start times and less buffering without significantly altering viewing quality. This network feature is targeted to go live at the end of 2013.
    To further boost video experiences, StarHub revealed that it is also exploring the use of edge caching to further improve Web page load times by autonomously pushing popular Web content to specific base stations based on user demand.

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    BBC ends Turkish partnership in censorship row
    Editor | 17-06-2013
    As the protests in Istanbul against the Turkish Government show no signs of abating any time soon, the BBC has become embroiled in a censorship row with Turkish nationwide television news channel NTV to whom it supplies content.
    At the heart of the row — which has led to an immediate suspension in the working relationship between the two parties — is the decision by NTV not to transmit the BBC programme Dunya Gundemi [World Agenda] today which provided an insight into the events using the BBC's standards of objectivity. During the crisis in Turkey the state broadcaster has for some time been accused of pandering to its Government's political agenda, something that the BBC finds unacceptable.
    "The BBC is suspending its partnership with NTV in Turkey with immediate effect following NTV's decision not to transmit the BBC programme," remarked BBC World Service director, Peter Horrocks, "Any interference in BBC broadcasting is totally unacceptable and at a time of considerable international concern about the situation in Turkey the BBC's impartial service to audiences is vital."
    Despite the suspension, the BBC has given assurances that it will continue to cover events through BBC Türkçe providing its audiences with "independent, impartial and balanced reports and analysis", the corporation stressed in a statement.
    TV programming will also continue to be available for viewing via the website bbcturkce.com, and BBC Türkçe will continue to engage with its audiences via social media, on Facebook and Twitter.

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    EBU condemns Greek threats
    June 17, 2013 15.51 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has strongly condemned the Greek government’s threats of legal action against satellite operators that transmit the public broadcaster ERT’s signal over Europe and Asia.
    Ingrid Deltenre, the EBU’s DG, said: “We urge the Greek government to withdraw the threats made against satellite operators, and restore the continuity of public service media channels in Greece and across the world.”
    She added that the government’s threats are contrary to an offer made last Friday (June 14) by the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to resume some public broadcasts. According to Deltenre, they are “yet another blow” to freedom of expression and pluralism in Greece.
    The EBU has taken a strong stance against last week’s controversial closure of ERT, with over 50 DGs of its membership condemning the move.
    ERT’s closure has also been criticised by numerous organisations including the European Parliament, Council of Europe and OSCE.
    Meanwhile in Greece, the local media report that the Prime Minister is meeting with his coalition partners at 19.30 local time, Monday, June 17 to hammer out a compromise on the dispute, which is threatening to split the government and lead to a snap election.
    The government plans to replace ERT with a slimmed down broadcaster called the New Hellenic Radio Internet and Television (NERIT).


 

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