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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

IPTV up in US pay-TV market in Q2 August 16, 2013 10.16 Europe/London By Robert Briel 2013-08-14_Pay-TVAmid a plunge in

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    IPTV up in US pay-TV market in Q2
    August 16, 2013 10.16 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    2013-08-14_Pay-TVAmid a plunge in subscribers for cable, and now satellite providers, IPTV was the only segment of the US pay-TV market to achieve growth in the second quarter.
    New research from IHS shos that the US IPTV providers—represented by AT&T Uverse, Verizon FiOS and others—boasted a net addition of 398,000 during the April to June period, up from 304,000 in the second quarter of 2012. During the same period, the US pay-TV as a whole shed 352,000 subscribers.
    The main culprit for the pay-TV market’s decline was the cable segment’s loss of 588,000 subscribers. While that was slightly better than the 598,000 customers that cable shed during the same time last year, the decrease still represented a major plunge for the embattled business. Meanwhile, satellite’s decline widened to 162,000 subscribers, up sharply from 62,000 a year ago.
    The attached figure shows net subscriber additions for the three main segments of the US pay-TV market in the second quarter. Based on the number of total subscribers at the end of the period, cable clung to 55% of the U.S. pay-TV market, satellite held 34 percent and IPTV had an upwardly mobile share of 11 percent.
    “Of the three segments in the U.S. pay-TV market, the IPTV sector is enjoying growth, especially in urban areas where it is luring subscribers away from satellite,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for US television at IHS.
    “In particular, satellite’s lack of a true high-speed Internet service or a triple-play bundling option puts it at a disadvantage when competing against IPTV and cable. Cable, meanwhile, has its own problems, including disagreements between operators and content providers over rising programming costs that squeeze customers in the middle.”
    The recent tiff between CBS and Time Warner over carriage fees—with CBS going black on Time Warner and the cable giant’s subscriber base then getting locked out of CBS programming—demonstrates the kind of difficulties that cable could endure in the future, Brannon noted.
    The internecine fight among the three rival segments is particularly acute because the overall base of potential new subscribers is diminishing over time. The decline in the second quarter means that the total number of US pay-TV subscribers will contract by 146,000 during the initial six month of the year, the first time ever that the industry began the first half of a year with a net loss in pay-TV customers.
    More significantly, 2013 is set to mark the first year ever that there will be an annual decline in total U.S. pay-TV subscriptions, IHS projects. Subscribers are set to decline to 100.77 million, down from 100.89 million last year.
    The market’s decline can be traced in part to the growing number of so-called “cord-nevers”— those who object to ever having a pay-TV subscription, and instead get their TV programming exclusively via over-the-top services like Netflix or through other sources. Equally as important, the price of a typical pay-TV subscription remains high, staying well out of reach for a number of consumers. Confronted with economic choices, IHS believes that consumers are likely to opt to keep their cellular and high-speed data service over a pay-TV subscription.
    Both AT&T and Verizon, however, appear to be bucking the trend of a shrinking customer base. AT&T’s Uverse attracted 233,000 new subscribers in the second quarter—its second-largest sequential increase since 2009. Verizon’s FiOS, meanwhile, showed it had plenty of room for growth by gaining 140,000 new subscribers. Already, Verizon has achieved a 50 percent penetration rate in the pay-TV market of Dallas, Texas, its first area of launch.
    For their part, both cable and satellite—bleeding from customer defections or non-renewals—are exploring opportunities to diversify services, including new paradigms to deliver content to the home and even completely new fields like home-monitoring services.
    For instance, DirecTV, which lost 84,000 customers in the second quarter, will be the latest pay-TV provider to offer services related to home security via a recent acquisition engaged in that market. Home security ostensibly will provide a new revenue stream, offering significant upselling opportunities that come in the presence of a video installation.
    Other potential revenue boosters for cable and satellite providers include the “TV Everywhere” solution that allows content to also be accessed on computers, smartphones and tablets; and initiatives like Cox Communications’ flarewatch, the first pay-TV-owned broadband-delivered IPTV service.

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    Abertis Telecom to launch HbbTV in Spain
    August 16, 2013 10.36 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Abertis HQAbertis Telecom is preparing for the mass launch of its HbbTV service over DTT in the second half of 2013.
    During the I Hybrid DTT Interoperability Conference, held in Madrid in July, Abertis’s telecommunications infrastructure subsidiary worked jointly with broadcasters and television receiver manufacturers to test the compatibility and interoperability between the already existing applications for connected TV and the television receivers equipped to receive HbbTV content.
    “The different tests carried out demonstrated that the latest advances in the technology for the Hybrid DTT standard guarantee the quality of service offered and its correct functioning, which opens up the possibility of carrying out a massive launch of the product in Spain in the coming months, during the second half of 2013,” according to the company.
    All the DTT channels that are broadcasting HbbTV applications participated in the conference, along with the main manufacturers that currently have TV receivers which are compatible with the HbbTV standard.
    The event took place in the interoperability laboratory of Abertis Telecom, which is equipped with equipment testing and signal generating systems. This allowed different television manufacturers to test the correct functioning of their current models, as well as upcoming developments, with Spanish broadcasters’ applications, all in the same laboratory.

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    RTL and CBS to launch two TV channels in Asia
    August 16, 2013 10.16 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    RTLCBS_EntertainmentRTL Group and CBS Studios International have announced plans for a partnership to launch two thematic channels in the South East Asian markets.
    The two channels will be broadcast in English and local languages and distributed in up to 29 Asian markets including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The channels will be distributed by cable, satellite and internet television (IPTV) networks in the region. Both of the channels will be available in HD.
    The Singapore-based venture will be named RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network with a management team that will report to a Board of Directors represented by executives from RTL Group and CBS Studios International. This new venture is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and other approvals.
    The first channel, which will be named RTL CBS Entertainment, is scheduled to rollout beginning in September 2013 with general entertainment hits such as RTL Group’s The X Factor, America’s Got Talent and Celebrity Apprentice as well as CBS’s Elementary, Under the Dome, Late Show with David Letterman and Entertainment Tonight.
    This will be followed in spring 2014 with RTL CBS Extreme, a channel dedicated to action adventure, reality series and extreme sports. Programming will include series such as Fear Factor, Red Bull, NCIS: Los Angeles and Hawaii Five-0.
    On an on-going basis, the venture will have access to first-run shows and library titles from RTL Group’s content arm, FremantleMedia, and from CBS, which owns America’s number one network, and a vast catalogue of more than 70,000 hours of programming.
    Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEO of RTL Group, said in a statement: “We are delighted to team up with CBS Studios International. By joining forces with such a renowned global partner, we are continuing our tried-and-tested build strategy, expanding our business to more countries in Asia with high growth potential. CBS is a highly creative and professional organisation with world leading content which complements FremantleMedia’s catalogue very well. I am very confident that this venture will benefit strongly from the combined broadcasting and production expertise of both parties.”
    Armando Nuñez, President and CEO of the CBS Global Distribution Group, added: “This is another opportunity to use CBS’s internationally successful content to be part of a new channel venture in one of the world’s fastest growing TV regions. It’s even better to do it with a best-in-class partner such as RTL Group, one of the most accomplished and respected broadcasters anywhere. We’re excited to create an additive way to monetize our content in Asia and provide audiences throughout the region the best television from two of the world’s most successful programming companies.”

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    Virgin secures BT Sport channels
    August 16, 2013 10.10 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    bt-sport-football-flagsBT and Virgin Media have signed a three-year agreement, the result of which is that millions of Virgin Media TV customers will now have full access to BT Sport TV channels.
    The wholesale deal, concluded ahead of the start of the Barclays Premier League this weekend, will allow the cable operator to offer BT Sport directly to its 3.8 million customers.
    Those signed up for its XL TV package – around 3 million of its 3.8 million subscribers – will find BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN included in the package and without them required to take any further action.
    Those not signed up to XL will meanwhile be offered the channels as a standalone premium service. This is similar to BT’s offer to satellite TV customers who do not have BT broadband and who can pay £12 (€14) a month for the channels via satellite or £15 a month in HD. Those satellite TV customers typically can make major savings by switching their broadband to BT in order to get BT Sport for free.
    Commenting on the deal, Marc Watson, BT TV chief executive said: “I am delighted we have signed a deal with Virgin Media that increases the audience for BT Sport to around three million homes overnight. BT is rewarding its loyal customers with free sport and it is great to see Virgin Media immediately making BT Sport available to so many of their customers.
    “BT has made a large investment in BT Sport and this is an important commercial agreement for us that recognises the excellence of the channels. We are keen to make our services as widely available as possible and to do so via wholesale arrangements. We are doing this with Sport.”
    Dana Strong, Virgin Media’s chief operating officer, added: “Virgin Media homes are kicking-off the new season with the most complete sporting line-up around in one simple subscription, from Barclays Premier League football and Aviva Premiership rugby to F1, live golf and the culmination of a great Ashes series. We’re excited to announce our deal with BT, making these fantastic new channels available at no extra cost to millions of Virgin TV viewers and in HD as standard.”

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    Premier League extends partnership
    August 16, 2013 09.40 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The Premier League and digital sports media group PERFORM have extended their mobile and internet clip production partnership for a further three years.
    The renewal starts at the beginning of the upcoming (2013-14) season this weekend and will see PERFORM ingest, edit and encode video clips of all 380 matches per season and distribute to the Premier League’s network of over 40 web and mobile licensees around the world.
    The latter include NBC, Al Jazeera, Canal+ and Fox Sports Australia.
    PERFORM will also provide a fully managed service for the selection, editing and production of uniform videos’ bespoke language versions for international Premier League licensees; and partner with the Premier League to offer all Premier League licensees a white label mobile and tablet application.
    Commenting on the partnership, Paul Molnar, director of international broadcasting and media operations, Premier League, said: “Demand amongst our licensees for high quality digital highlights and editorial videos continues to grow. It is therefore vitally important that we provide our valued international partners with the content they require in the most relevant formats.
    “PERFORM has consistently proven that it is able to deliver exactly what we and our licensees need across a range of robust and reliable platforms. We are very pleased to extend our relationship for a further three seasons.”
    Oliver Slipper, joint-CEO of PERFORM added: “We strongly value our relationship with the Premier League and the production service we provide remains a core part of our business and is one that we are committed to developing further. We continue to increase investment in the staff, technology and production solutions required to deliver the Premier League to an ever expanding set of geographies and media platforms and look forward to another productive three years.”

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    Roku surpasses Apple TV in the US
    August 16, 2013 09.07 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Vevo on RokuRoku is leading Apple TV in usage for US households, according to a survey by Parks Associates.
    The total number of US broadband households with a streaming video media device, such as a Roku or an Apple TV, has doubled since 2011, reaching 14% in 2013.
    In the report Connected TV: Trends and Innovation, the firm notes 37% primarily use a Roku compared to 24% that use an Apple TV.
    Parks Associates analysts predict the number of connected TV devices sold worldwide will reach 330 million annually by 2017, almost double the number to be sold in 2013. Average product prices will decline over this time, but annual sales revenues will increase almost 100% by 2017 as more households buy smart TVs, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and streaming video media devices.
    “Innovations such as next-gen game consoles and 4K or ultra-HD TVs will boost unit sales for these devices, but overall, consumers are reluctant to replace these big-ticket items solely for smart upgrades,” said Barbara Kraus, director, research, Parks Associates.
    “As a result, streaming video media devices will have a thriving market because they can offer innovations such as streaming video at low prices. Devices such as Roku’s streaming players and Google’s Chromecast will benefit from these market conditions.”
    “Roku customers are passionate about streaming, and we are delighted that independent research shows that we are the most popular streaming platform measured by usage on a U.S. household basis,” said Anthony Wood, Founder and CEO, Roku.
    Highlights of the research include: annual sales of streaming connected TV devices will more than double by 2017. The number of connected TV devices sold worldwide will reach 330 million annually by 2017, almost double the number to be sold in 2013.

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    Dutch still lukewarm about Netflix
    August 16, 2013 09.02 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Lifestyle Popcorn NetflixAround 10% of Dutch consumers say they will likely subscribe to Netflix when the streaming video services launches later in the quarter, according to Telecompaper.
    Netflix is expected to launch in the country this September.
    Around 25% said they have no plans to take a subscription and 30% said they have never heard of Netflix. More customers with a tablet are interested in Netflix: 18% of consumers with two or more tablets intend to sign up when Netflix prices align with those from other countries.
    Among consumers with no tablets, the figure is at 6%. Those aged 20-29 were the most open to Netflix, with 15% saying they plan to buy a subscription. The Telecompaper study took place in July among 1,800 consumers.

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    Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 readies for August 29 launch
    August 16, 2013 08.52 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Eutelsat 25B_Es'hail 1Fueling is underway at the Spaceport with Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 scheduled to lift off from French Guiana late this month.
    The satellite is being “topped off” in the S5A fueling and integration hall of the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation center, marking another step in this spacecraft’s pre-launch processing.
    Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) for two users: European telecommunications operator Eutelsat Communications and Qatar’s Es’hailSat Satellite Company; with the high-power, multi-mission relay platform to provide flexible coverage over the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
    The satellite is designed to deliver television broadcasting, telecommunications and government services with its Ku-band payload, while Ka-band relay capability is included to open business opportunities for both Eutelsat and Es’hailSat.
    Based on Space Systems/Loral’s SSL 1300 spacecraft platform, Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 is equipped with four steerable spot beam antennas and four deployable reflectors, along with advanced command and telemetry
    capabilities. After deployment by Ariane 5, the satellite will be positioned at 25.5 degrees East longitude, with a designed operating lifetime of 15 years or more.
    For Arianespace’s August 29 launch, Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 is to be installed in the upper position of Ariane 5′s payload “stack,” with the flight’s co-passenger – India’s GSAT-7 communications satellite from the Indian Space Research Organisation – riding below it.
    The lift performance on this fourth heavy-lift Arianespace mission in 2013 will be more than 8,550 kg., which includes the 6,000-kg.-plus liftoff mass of EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7′s estimated mass of 2,550 kg.

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    Dutch cablers fight ‘open cable’ law
    August 18, 2013 09.41 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    judgement hammerThe three largest Dutch cable operators Ziggo, UPC and Deltakabel have started legal proceedings against the ‘open cable’ law.
    The cablers argue in their case against the Dutch state that the forced opening up of their networks is illegal. The case will be heard on November 28, according to the Dutch website Webwereld.
    The revised Dutch telecom law, which came into effect earlier this year, stipulates that the cable operators have to open up their networks to third-party resellers of their analogue cable product.
    Last April, the European Commission also started proceedings against the Dutch state because the law undermines the independence of the telecom authority.
    At the moment, the Dutch cable operators are the only ones still offering an analogue TV product. However, they claim that the market sees increased competition from other platforms, including FTTH, IPTV, DTT and DTH, making the mandatory open cable law illegal.
    A number of parties, including Tele2, T-Mobile and independent YouCa, plan to sell the analogue product as part of multiplay offerings with their own copper products.

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    Boxer Denmark keeps Teracom in the chase
    August 18, 2013 10.01 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Operating profit at Teracom improved in the second quarter, thanks to an improvement in earnings at Boxer Denmark.
    EBITDA of SEK 233 million (€27 million) in the second quarter compares to SEK 199 million in 2012.
    Despite Boxer Denmark’s results for the quarter still being negative, losing 20,000 subs to 348,000, the Swedish-owned transmission company says a customer base has been built and the brand established.
    Boxer Sweden is not so healthy and intense competition has seen a decline in the customer base, from 612,000 subscribers in Q2 2012 to today’s 589,000.
    An increased effort has been placed on customer service with so far positive results.


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