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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Liberty Global Q2 loss on Virgin Liberty Global has reported a second-quarter loss on higher expenses from its acquisition of

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    Liberty Global Q2 loss on Virgin


    Liberty Global has reported a second-quarter loss on higher expenses from its acquisition of Virgin Media. The net loss for the period was $12 million, compared with net income of $702 million a year earlier. Revenue for the period rose 25 per cent to $3.16 billion.
    Liberty Global, which bought provider Virgin Media for $16 billion earlier this year, said the deal increased costs for depreciation, amortisation, share-based compensation and restructuring. The company, which added 149,000 Internet subscribers in the quarter, has been amassing European cable operators, taking advantage of low interest rates and central bank efforts to boost the economy.
    “Virgin Media significantly enhances both the scale of our business and our levered equity growth strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Fries said.
    Liberty Global operates in 14 countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and Chile. The company, which offers Internet, TV and phone services separately or as a bundled package, had 24.5 million customers at the end of the second quarter.
    In a separate statement, Virgin Media said its second-quarter revenue was little changed at £1.03 billion. The company had 4.9 million customers and average monthly revenue per user rose about three per cent to £48.80 after a price increase in February. It added another 155,000 TiVo boxes in the second quarter, bringing the total to 1.7 million. TiVo now represents 44 per cent of Virgin’s TV base, up from the 25 per cent at Q2 2012.
    Virgin Media said growth in its cable business was partly countered by a six per cent revenue drop in its mobile-phone unit.
    Virgin TV Anywhere now has 75 live channels available on PCs and 53 on iOS devices. Broadband now has 2.8 million on speeds of 30 Mbps and above, an increase of 1.7 million in the last 12 months. Over 40% of new broadband subscribers take 60 Mbps or higher.

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    Portuguese consumers blast DTT quality
    From Branislav Pekic in Rome



    Portugal
    The Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (Deco) says it received 3,500 complaints on the lack of quality of the DTT signal since February.
    This figure represents an average of 583 complaints per month and the entity is urging users to complain in order to generate pressure for the restructuring of the existing DTT network.
    Out of the total complaints that Deco has forwarded to Portugal Telecom and regulator Anacom, the operator has responded to 1,500. The most common problems are related to sound and image failures and in some cases even cause interruption of the broadcasts.
    Deco considers that the transition to DTT was “badly prepared and with successive failures”, pointing out that the DTT network configuration in Portugal is one of the reasons for the poor performance. Namely, the reception of signals from different transmitters causes interference and leads to loss of viewing quality. The weather period that Portugal is facing and which is characterized by warmer and drier weather also represents a factor that contributes to the growing reception problems.
    Portugal plans to upgrade DTT into a multi-frequency network with the goal of achieving greater quality of service.

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    DirecTV CEO won’t rule out DISH merger
    By Chris Forrester 05/08/2013



    DirecTV CEO Mike White – not for the first time – has refused to rule out a merger with arch-rival DISH Network. He told analysts “I don’t think it’s productive for me to speculate what regulators may or may not do, but the competitive landscape is very different than it was 10 years ago” when regulators ruled out a merger.
    He added that ”the balance [of power] between content distributors and providers is out of whack.” He has long grumbled that network broadcasters and programmers are demanding dangerously high transmission fees for their content. “I’ve seen more customer complaints about the price increases,” he says. “My own view is that it’s not going to change in the short term. But it’s clear that this isn’t sustainable beyond the next couple of years. Something is going to have to give.”
    White backed the trend – in the US and Europe – for larger cable companies, a concept that Liberty Media is pursuing, adding “scale matters” [but] “It always takes two to dance,” White says – and Charlie Ergen is “committed to other ideas and strategies that would be different from our views on strategy. But you never say never.”

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    UK video industry First Half boost


    Figures released by the British Video Association show that the value of the video entertainment market increased in the first half of 2013. Consumer expenditure on all video entertainment reached more than £993 million, up 8.2 per cent compared with the first half of 2012.
    Sales value increased across both physical and digital formats, with consumer purchases of physical discs growing by 2.5 per cent from £616.8 million to £632.5 million in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, led by Blu-ray, whose value grew strongly by 37 per cent to £117.2 million. The value of entertainment spend on downloading and streaming from digital video services, provided by IHS, increased by 42.9 per cent in the same period to £228.1 million in the first six months.
    The rental habit continues to be popular taken as a whole. Kantar reported an 89 per cent increase in sVoD viewing occasions in just one quarter, however these appear to be replacing disc rentals, which showed a decline year to date of 11 per cent, with 42 million transactions over the counter or online in the first half.
    Supermarkets continue to be consumers’ preferred source of DVDs, capturing 49 per cent of sales value in the first half. Tesco is approaching HMV’s market leadership, according to Kantar Worldpanel, with a 17.5 per cent retail store share, yet although some HMV stores closed following the period in administration in January this year, it still commanded almost 18 per cent of sales value, demonstrating that many shoppers are searching out DVDs and Blu-ray Discs in specialist stores as well as a growing number of other retail outlets.
    While there has been a decline in the number of HMV and Blockbuster outlets in the first half of this year, Official Charts Company data indicates that an additional 1,000 stores (across supermarkets, petrol stations and department stores) are now retailing DVD and Blu-ray discs and reporting sales figures. Furthermore, industry estimates indicate that as many as 6,000 other non-traditional shops (such as motorway service stations, garages and corner shops) are also selling DVDs, fulfilling shoppers’ appetite for video entertainment through impulse purchases in non-traditional outlets.
    Lavinia Carey, Director General of the BVA, said the first half of 2013 had proved to be much more encouraging than expected after the difficult retail conditions in January this year. “Distributors have risen to the challenge and new retailers have entered the market to offer DVDs, which remain hugely popular with shoppers, in a wider range of stores. An increase in the value of like-for-like sales of discs and digital video demonstrates that people are spending money on both, something BVA consumer research bears out. Shoppers continue to buy discs as gifts, for their children, to watch in the car and because they like to view as a family at home and in the holidays,” she noted

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    Mediaset pay-TV up 7.7%, adds Eurosport
    From Branislav Pekic in Rome



    mediasetThe Board of Mediaset Group has approved the H1 2013 results with consolidated net revenues of €1.737 million and net profit of €30.1 million. In Italy alone, net revenues were €1.31billion, with net profit of €17.6 million. On the Spanish market, Mediaset achieved net revenues of €427 million and a net profit of €30.1 million.
    Mediaset Premium pay-TV revenues were up 7.7 per cent to €280.2 million, compared to €260.1 million in the H1 2012.
    Meanwhile, Mediaset and the Eurosport have signed an agreement for the distribution of the Eurosport and Eurosport 2 channels on pay-TV platform Mediaset Premium.
    The two Eurosport channels will be available in Italian and in Standard Definition, at no extra cost to subscribers from autumn 2013.

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    Eutelsat suffers SatMex fallout


    On July 31st Eutelsat, along with its end-of-year results, announced it was buying Mexico-based satellite operator SatMex for about $1.1 billion. The deal will probably close by the end of this year. Except the market is not sure it has done the right thing. Investment bank Morgan Stanley, for example, summed up the position saying it presented a “disappointing outlook”.
    The bank’s report recognised that buying SatMex would inject growth into Eutelsat but that the satellite operator “paid a full price” for the potential asset. The bank was concerned with Eutelsat’s CEO Michel de Rosen candidly saying “We see a slowdown in the growth of the industry”.
    The bank’s note to clients also questions whether Eutelsat, which is very much a video-based business, and while SatMex will launch new satellites over the next few years the Mexico-based business is – to date – not supplying DTH video. This means that the business has a very small contract backlog given that its existing contract are “volatile” says the bank, and not the high-margin video business Eutelsat is traditionally used to.
    These concerns have been translated by the market into a falling share price for Eutelsat this week. Eutelsat’s share price opened on Monday 26th July at €22.50. The SatMex news and results statements saw the price tumble to €21 (a 12-month ‘low’). It finished the week at €21.50, which might not seem too bad except that just three months ago it stood at €27 and six months ago stood at €28.

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    KDG Boards recommend Vodafone bid


    Following the commencement of Vodafone’s voluntary public takeover offer for the entire share capital of Kabel Deutschland, the Management Board and Supervisory Board of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG have published their joint statement pursuant to Section 27 of the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act (Wertpapiererwerbs- und ‹bernahmegesetz/Wp‹G) on the offer document from Vodafone Vierte Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH dated July 30, 2013.
    Following an in-depth appraisal, the joint statement recommends acceptance of the offer to shareholders.
    The Management Board and Supervisory Board consider the offer to be in the interest of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, its shareholders, the workforce and its other stakeholders. In particular, the following factors were taken into account:
    The Management Board and Supervisory Board consider the valuation of €87 per share to be fair from a financial point of view. This assessment was confirmed in separate fairness opinions by both Morgan Stanley and Perella Weinberg Partners. The valuation is based on an offer price of €84.50 per share plus the dividend of €2.50 per share for the past fiscal year 2012/13.
    The Management Board and Supervisory Board see a lot of potential in the combination with Vodafone and signed a Business Combination Agreement (BCA) prior to the announcement of the tender offer on June 24, 2013. According to the BCA, Vodafone does not intend to cause operation related redundancies or major location closures for its duration. Kabel Deutschland’s headquarter will also remain in Unterfoehring.
    The combination is expected to strengthen the market positions of both companies. According to the BCA, the management of Kabel Deutschland will take responsibility of the combined consumer fixed line business in Germany, including product development and marketing. Housing association customers will continue to be served by Kabel Deutschland.
    All members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board have stated that they will accept the offer for the shares they hold.

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    FilmOn signs TVE deal
    By Colin Mann

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    Internet television provider FilmOn.com has agreed a deal with Spanish state broadcaster TVE to stream an international version of the channel on a global basis.
    The arrangement will see FilmOn become the first ever IPTV provider to enter into an agreement with TVE to stream the broadcaster’s content straight to PCs and smartphones on a revenue share basis.
    It will enable FilmOn users around the world to access premium Spanish content regardless of which territory they are in at the time. TVE is the first European state broadcaster to embrace the world of digital in this way via FilmOn, which already boasts 500 other channels that are mostly under licence from private broadcasters.
    The arrangement will open up substantial new audiences to TVE, whilst enabling FilmOn to further consolidate its position as the leading player in the global IPTV market.
    Gary Shoefield, SVP Programming (Europe) at FilmOn, said he had been working with TVE for a long time to put together the deal. “All national broadcasters throughout the world are now looking to the Internet to deliver them income, and FilmOn is again at the forefront of distribution to this global audience,” he declared. Fernando HernŠndez Berzal, Channel Sales Executive, said TVE would be able to explore new ways to reach its audiences worldwide.
    FilmOn signed a similar agreement with Australian national broadcaster ABC earlier in 2013 and continues to expand its portfolio of content, that includes 500 channels, plus 45,000 hours of video casts which are updated on a rolling basis.

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    UK UHD Forum launched by DTG
    August 5, 2013 09.06 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    The Digital TV Group has launched a UK UHD Forum, co-chaired by the BBC and BSkyB.
    Andy Quested, the BBC’s Head of Technology for BBC HD and UHDTV, will represent the BBC, while Chris Johns, chief engineer, broadcast strategy, takes the lead for Sky.
    The DTG said the group will co-ordinate UK requirements to build a knowledge base for the future interoperability of Ultra HD, and will work hand-in-hand with FAME and other European standard organisations.
    The DTG will also work with broadcasters and the Digital Production Partnership to examine whether there is a requirement for a UK Ultra HD profile.
    Richard Lindsay-Davies, director-general of the DTG said “This is a real opportunity to re-invigorate the market and through collaboration generate the greatest economic value for the UK. In launching the UK UHD-Forum, the DTG is bringing together all relevant stakeholders to work towards the managed delivery of interoperable Ultra-HD services, networks and devices.”
    The trade body said it was vital to avoid the confusion still experienced by consumers to this day over ‘HD Ready’.

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    Sky buys into 1 Mainstream
    August 5, 2013 08.26 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    Roku and remoteBSkyB has purchased a $2m convertible debt security in 1 Mainstream, a Californian based early stage technology company.
    1 Mainstream is a fully automated, highly customizable, app creation and publishing platform that makes it possible create native apps for the most popular TV, tablet, and web platforms.
    It has already been deployed by Sky as part of the recent launch of Sky News on the Roku and Apple TV platforms.
    Mainstream 1 also provides a full 1080p HD video to screens from 7″ to 70″ via a global edge network with adaptive bit rate streaming and DRM.
    It also runs a unified billing platform with In App subscription purchase to all the major app stores built in.


 

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