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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Maltese telco wins Premier League rights July 11, 2013 06.55 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul The Maltese incumbent telco GO has

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    Maltese telco wins Premier League rights
    July 11, 2013 06.55 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The Maltese incumbent telco GO has secured the exclusive rights to a total of 380 Barclays Premier League matches a year for the coming three seasons.
    They include live, delayed and repeat transmissions in English and Maltese on GO sports channels and over both DTT and IPTV platforms.
    They also include live transmission of selected matches to be made in Maltese over GO sports channels on the move and over tablets and laptops – a new service which the company plans to launch in the near future.
    GO holds a growing portfolio of sports rights. In the case of football, they include the UEFA Champions League, Serie A and Ligue 1, all until 2015.
    Commenting on the Premier League deal, Yiannos Michaelidis, GO’s CEO, said: “GO’s TV venture, which took off in 2007, is a truly outstanding success story especially when considering that today we serve almost 70,000 homes with quality television entertainment. Securing premium content such as the Barclays Premier League is only a small part of the company’s strategic capital investment which is simply aimed at giving more to our customers”.
    Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, added: ?“GO has been a Premier League rights holder for several years and has a track-record of delivering excellent coverage to our fans in Malta.
    ??“We are pleased they have again chosen to invest in the Premier League and look forward to working with them for the next three seasons.”
    GO’s main competitor in the provision of TV and broadband services in Malta is Melita, the country’s only cable operator.

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    AETN All Asia Networks begins life as part of A+E
    Editor | 11-07-2013
    Almost six months after the deal was first proposed, the takeover of Astro Overseas’ AETN All Asia Networks by A+E Networks has concluded.
    AETN All Asia Networks will now operate under branded of A+E Networks Asia and is part of a move designed to allow A+E to expand its brand portfolio and grow distribution throughout the region.
    A+E Networks Asia operates and distributes its portfolio in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Macau, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Palau and Thailand. It also manages the broadcast of HISTORY HD in Korea. A+E Networks Asia’s portfolio of channel brands will continue to have carriage in Malaysia and Brunei through agreements with Astro Malaysia, an affiliate of AOL.
    The deal, coming on the heels of the launch of Lifetime and H2 in the region, has been described by the global media content company as an important milestone. “The transition to full ownership of A+E Networks Asia is a first for our company,” said Nancy Dubuc, President and CEO, A+E Networks. “A+E Networks is committed to continued international expansion for our brands and business, and we are bullish on the growth opportunities not just in Asia, but Europe and the Americas as well.”
    A+E Networks Asia’s management team will report to Alan Hodges, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific for A+E Networks.

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    MPs roast BBC over staff payments
    Joseph O'Halloran | 11-07-2013
    After being savaged by the National Audit Office for breaching its own guidelines, the BBC has now come under fire from members of the UK parliament regarding severance payments and wider benefits for senior executives over the last 12 months.
    The NAO, which scrutinises public spending on behalf of the UK Parliament independent of Government, concluded that “weak governance arrangements” led to the BBC making breaches too often and without good reason, exceeding contractual entitlements and putting public trust at risk.
    In their turn, MPs from the Committee of Public Accounts slammed the corporation for a "dereliction of duty" and a "snouts in the trough" culture after spending £25 million on severance payments to senior managers in the three years to December 2012 and also spending £3.2 million on payments in lieu of notice for departing senior managers.
    Overall, between August 2009 and December 2011, the BBC exceeded its target of a 20% cut to the number of senior managers it employs. By December 2011, it had reduced numbers by 24% to 484. By February 2013, it had further reduced senior manager numbers to 436.
    In the most notable cases cited, the BBC Trust paid the former BBC Director General, George Entwistle, £475,000 after announcing his resignation, including three weeks' salary worth £25,000 that was not part of his severance payment of £450,000.
    The MPs reserved particular ire for former Director General Mark Thompson who had signed off on a number of the severance deals.
    Responding to Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, the current Director General Tony Hall conceded that the BBC had “lost its way” on the issue in recent years, blaming poor procedures and a lack of central oversight which he said had helped to create a climate where the wrong culture was allowed to flourish. Hall believed that there was a need for more rigorous executive oversight and simpler processes going forward.
    “The ambition - to reduce management costs - was right. The approach in certain instances was fundamentally flawed,” he added. “Our systems and decision making need to improve: not just in the area of pay but more widely across the corporate side of the organisation. In short, we need a simpler BBC where managers are given more freedom to manage but with proper central oversight. I do not believe that is what we have at the moment. In some instances it could be argued we have the worst of both worlds - too many Boards which are, in turn, delivering too little effective assurance.”

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    Blue Ocean launches across US on MHz
    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 11-07-2013
    Blue Ocean Network (BON), the first English-language television network to offer independent programming produced exclusively from and about China, is gearing up to launch nationally on MHz Worldview across the U.S.
    A newscast from the broadcaster will air in English each weekday starting this month. In August, BON programming on MHz will expand to offer a 30-minute programme in the national MHz Worldview morning news block as well as in the evening news schedule.
    "We're delighted to bring Blue Ocean Network aboard our fleet of premier international news broadcasters and we know our viewers will appreciate BON's in-depth insight and information from and about China," said Frederick Thomas, MHz CEO.
    BON TV content airs in the Washington, DC area on MHz Networks 1 on digital broadcast channel 30.1, Comcast Ch. 271, Cox Ch. 470, and Verizon FiOS Ch. 451. Nationally, the BON content will be available on MHz Worldview in more than half of the top 20 US TV markets. The newscast is also available via digital and mobile, including iOS and Android apps, MHz streaming at the website and Google TV.
    "As the first independent English television network coming out of China, we are positioned to present China in a different perspective: what are the real living conditions of the ordinary Chinese people? How do Chinese people see America? How will China's economic development affect the rest of the world? How will China's rise impact the world order?" said BON chairman Justin Gu. "MHz has a great vision of being a global story-teller and we are proud to be part of it. On BON, you will find true stories about China you have never heard before."

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    Cablevision adds Starz Play, Encore Play to TV everywhere line-up
    Michelle Clancy | 11-07-2013
    US MSO Cablevision Systems has added Starz Play and Encore Play to the Optimum TV to GO TV everywhere service, bringing its total offering to 55 channels.
    Optimum TV customers who are also Starz and Encore subscribers have unlimited online access to the networks' more than 1,000 monthly titles at no additional cost. Starz Play brings customers over 400 monthly selections, including first-run films from a wide selection of Hollywood studios and 100 episodes of exclusive Starz Original series. Subscribers can also catch Encore Play's 900 monthly selections of classic hit movies and miniseries.
    "It's the time of year when everyone is on the go, and Optimum TV customers have tremendous flexibility of when, where and how they watch their favourite shows," said Bradley Feldman, vice president of video product management. "TV to GO is a key aspect of the tremendous value our customers get with Optimum TV, and Starz Play and Encore Play are strong additions to our line-up.

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    Star Trek into Darkness heads to home entertainment in September
    Michelle Clancy | 11-07-2013
    Star Trek into Darkness, from director JJ Abrams, will make its debut on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and on-demand on 10 September through Paramount Home Media Distribution. And, fans can own the film in digital format when it arrives three weeks earlier on 20 August.
    The Star Trek into Darkness Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The film will also be available in a Blu-ray D/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with access to a digital copy of the film via the UltraViolet digital locker.
    "I'm excited for viewers at home to check out Star Trek into Darkness on Blu-ray and DVD," said Abrams. "They did a great job and I'm thrilled with how everything looks and sounds. We also have some really fun behind-the-scenes special features that we shot on the Red and created entirely in-house at Bad Robot. They really look amazing and unlike anything I've seen on DVD or Blu-ray before."
    Abrams added: "I hope fans enjoy seeing the process that went into making the movie and the truly amazing work of our most spectacular cast and crew."
    The special features included in the combo packs were produced entirely by Abrams' Bad Robot Productions.
    Written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, the film follows the crew of the Enterprise as a shocking act of terror on Earth sends them on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice. Star Trek into Darkness features an outstanding ensemble cast including John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Peter Weller and Anton Yelchin.

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    EPIX to produce documentary recalling integration in the NFL
    Michelle Clancy | 11-07-2013
    EPIX has announced that it is working with sports producer Ross Greenburg on a new EPIX original sports documentary, Football's Forgotten Heroes, about the first African American pro football players.
    The documentary will premiere early 2014 on the EPIX network, EpixHD.com and on EPIX apps for tablets, mobile devices and gaming consoles.
    Football's Forgotten Heroes brings to life a slice of American history with the story of four African-American men – Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis – and the courageous heads of the Cleveland Browns and LA Rams – Paul Brown and Dan Reeves – who broke the colour barrier in pro football in 1946.
    Their efforts led to the integration of professional football one year before the colour barrier was broken in Major League Baseball. Through the eyes of their family descendants and those who have researched their stories, the EPIX original documentary relives this important saga in American history. Wes Smith of Pro Arts Management is executive producer.
    "We are thrilled to be partnering with Ross Greenburg to tell this ground-breaking story and to celebrate the courage and leadership that redefined the way American sports are played," said Mark Greenberg, EPIX president and CEO.

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    Football, Tennis, UFC gain steam as out-of-the-box programming in the US
    Michelle Clancy | 11-07-2013
    International football, tennis and Ultimate Fighting Championship have become the go-to sports to supplement US broadcaster line-ups as consumer demand for live sports continues.
    SNL Kagan pointed out that companies including Time Warner Cable, News Corp, NBCUniversal Media, CBS and Disney have spent the last few years signing multi-billion-dollar deals with the NFL, the NHL, Major League Baseball and teams like the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, to snag differentiating content. But "as the bidding wars have gotten more aggressive and the deals have become increasingly pricey ... these companies have also begun looking beyond the traditional sports leagues for additional sports content to supplement their schedules," said Sarah Barry James, an analyst at SNL Kagan, in a research article.
    She added: "But one has to wonder how many other sports really stand to benefit from the TV industry's current interest in live sports? Could we eventually see a bidding battle over badminton or tense talks over table tennis?"
    Apparently, the answer is yes.
    Jon Litner, group president for NBC Sports Group, said at The Cable Show that NBCUniversal is on the hunt for rights deals involving lesser-known leagues and teams, to satisfy niche interests. "At NBC Sports ... we try to find those nuggets where they may not have the biggest audiences but the audiences that do follow those particular sports ... are incredibly passionate, incredibly intense, very loyal," he said, mentioning Formula One racing, the Tour de France and the English Premier League as prime examples.
    Millennials are one group that TV networks are desperate to reach, given their collective $200 billion of purchasing power and proclivity to be the first to cut the cord, Barry noted.

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    Witbe expands to Latin America
    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 11-07-2013
    Witbe, which offers monitoring solutions with Quality of Experience (QoE) analysis for operators and service providers for Internet, voice, video and mobile services, is expanding its presence in Latin America. The company has opened new regional offices based in Brazil's São Paulo and announced the nomination of Hubert Legrix de la Salle as regional manager.
    "Broadband infrastructures in Latin America have benefited from major investments in recent years," said Jean-Michel Planche, Witbe president and co-founder. "Service providers are consequently launching revenue-generating services such as video-on-demand, smartphones and mobile broadband. Now these providers need innovative technologies to control the quality they deliver to their subscribers."
    Legrix de la Salle joins Witbe from Technicolor, where he was director of VoIP solutions for Latin America. Prior to Technicolor, Hubert gained more than 15 years of experience in triple play, VoIP, IPTV and mobile telecommunications, in both Latin America and Europe, with companies such as Thomson, Nortel, Alcatel-Lucent and Sycamore networks.
    "The fixed and mobile markets in Latin America are highly competitive. To be successful, operators now need to control and guarantee the quality of their multiple play services," he said. "Witbe's pragmatic and superior solutions enable operators to focus on the quality of their voice, video and broadband services. Their unique approach to test and monitoring, along with their ability to provide actionable information, brings operators and providers substantial cost savings and operational ease. I am thrilled to join the company and I look forward to major successes."
    A dual national of France and Brazil, Hubert speaks English, French, Portuguese and Spanish fluently. He holds a Masters' in Telecommunications Engineering and in Strategy and Management of International Business.

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    Canal+ files complaint against BeIN Sport
    Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 11-07-2013
    French pay-TV channel Canal+ is filing a complaint for unfair competition against Qatari sport pay-tv channel BeIN Sport to the Paris Court of Commerce.
    According to the BFM Business website, Canal+ estimates that Al Jazeera's affiliate is about to "lose more than €300 million in year 1".
    The Vivendi subsidiary thinks beIN Sport practises unfair competition as, as an enterprise in France, it is submitted to business objectives while facing the challenge of a channel owned by a foreign state like Qatar which doesn't have the same restraint.
    Launched a year ago, beIN Sport is also suspected of being sold at a price lower than it is effectively worth.
    "Its €11 subscription fee is far from covering all sport rights acquisitions," BFM calculates.
    The 1.2 million subscribers already signed up wouldn't bring revenues higher than a €100 million each year, while the beIN Sport grid cost is estimated at between €300 and €330 million each year, including €150 million just for the French Ligue 1.
    Such figures don't include recent rights acquisitions or spending on publicity and promotional operations to get new subscribers.
    According to analysts, beIN Sport will reach a total of five million subs, which is seen as an unrealistic target.


 

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