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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

STB market remains healthy August 18, 2013 11.37 Europe/London By Julian Clover The global market for set-top boxes within the

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    STB market remains healthy
    August 18, 2013 11.37 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    The global market for set-top boxes within the pay-TV sector remains healthy with demand expected to peak at 180 million units in 2016.
    Futuresource Consulting says the majority of the growth will come from the Asia Pacific and Latin America, as the regions expand their cable digitalisation programmes and new services continue to appear. Similar research from MRG agrees.
    “Despite the overall STB market topping out this year, this is entirely due to erosion of the free-to-air segment. We’re going to see the trinity of cable, pay satellite and IPTV continue to perform, growing by 2% CAGR between 2012 and 2016,” says Carl Hibbert, head of entertainment content and delivery at Futuresource.
    The analysts say that vendors are adding value and differentiating their products through multiple tuners, integration of IP services and content, and by introducing sophisticated middleware for the multi-platform environment.
    “The proliferation of internet enabled devices, OTT services and cloud-based systems has been pushing the threat of cord cutting up the agenda for multi-system operators like Comcast, UPC and Virgin Media. Multimedia home gateways are increasingly a new weapon of choice for operators to stem subscriber churn, offering subscribers new services and more efficient delivery of video to secondary screens in the home and on the move,” says Hibbert.
    Although the the cost of the new breed of new set-tops is roughly double that of their predecessors, Hibbert says the sophisticated devices can open the doors to home automation, security, energy management and e-health, reinventing the multi-system operator as a whole house enabler.

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    Sony plans OTT offensive
    August 18, 2013 11.28 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Sony-Entertainment_NetworkSony is close to striking a deal to stream live channels from Viacom for a new internet-based Over-the-Top TV service, according to the Wall Street Journal.
    The service would first become available on Sony’s PlayStation game consoles and some of its Bravia smart HDTVs and later on Sony-made tablets and phones. The deal would give Sony access to popular channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and others.
    The Japanese company is also speaking to Time Warner, CBS and Disney about potential programming deals, the newspaper said.
    Sony’s move follows attempts by other companies such as Microsoft, Google, Intel and Apple to offer OTT alteratives to traditional cable, IPTV, DTT and DTH platforms – but so far no one has cracked the case to offer a sustainable business model.
    The Sony/Viacom agreement would not only offer on-demand content, but streaming channels as well – which would pose a bigger threat to the legacy platforms. until now, mainstream broadcasters have been reluctant to offer live streaming of their channels as they fear this would negatively impact their relation with their current distribution partners.
    However, in some territories alternative OTT platforms are now starting up, such as Zattoo and Magine. These are independent of manufacturers, as such, Sony’s move is an industry-first.

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    Serbian ASO moves closer
    August 18, 2013 10.36 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Serbia flagSerbia now expects to complete the transition to digital broadcaster by mid-2014, or almost one year earlier than previously planned.
    Speaking in a statement to RTV Pink and quoted by, Rasim Ljajic, the country’s deputy PM and minister of foreign and internal trade and telecommunications, said that a meeting held today (August 16) established the dynamics of digitisation.
    This now envisaged that 60% of Serbia would be served by digital signals by October 1 and a further 20% by the end of the year.
    Ljajic spoke of the many benefits that digitisation would bring to the population.
    The most obvious one was a greater choice of programming in a market where over half (53%) of households still had access to only 2-3 channels.

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    Bidders line up for Serbia Broadband
    August 19, 2013 08.43 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Serbia flagTelekom Austria has emerged as one of the frontrunners to buy Serbia Broadband (SBB), which is currently backed by London-based Mid Europa Partners (MEP).
    Quoting unnamed sources, Bloomberg reports that the telco is vying with a number of private equity firms including Providence Equity Partners, Cinven Advisers and Altice Finco to buy SBB, which could fetch up to €1 billion.
    Telekom Austria already has a strong and growing presence in the CEE region, owning mobile operators in Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Slovenia.
    Its assets include Croatia’s Vipnet, which operates the country’s leading cable operator and has a DTH platform.
    SBB meanwhile is the leading cable operator in Serbia and also has a pan-regional DTH platform named Total TV.
    Should it be acquired by Telekom Austria, the latter would probably have to sell new shares to fund the purchase.
    The due diligence process analysing bids for SBB could take until the end of September.

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    MTG extends Premier League deal
    August 19, 2013 11.33 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    mtg-logo-landscapeModern Times Group (MTG) has extended the exclusive TV broadcasting rights to the Barclays Premier League in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on all platforms for this and the following two seasons.
    The rights include exclusive coverage of all 38 rounds of the Barclays Premier League each season.
    Approximately 100 matches will be broadcast with local commentary on the premium pay-TV sports channel Viasat Sport Baltic.
    MTG will also get access to additional programmes featuring highlights, profiles and analysis.
    MTG has broadcast the Barclays Premier League in the Baltics since the start of the 2010/2011 season.
    The rights have been acquired from Saran Holding, a leading Turkish business conglomerate, which is active in a broad range of sectors including media and sports.
    MTG also holds the TV broadcasting rights to the Premier League in Sweden, Denmark and Bulgaria.
    Commenting on the development, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, president and CEO of MTG, said “The Barclays Premier League is the best domestic club football competition in the world, and we are very excited to be able to continue offering it to our viewers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Our portfolio of premium sports rights in the Baltics is unrivalled and the new agreement cements our position for the next years to come.”
    The current season of the Barclays Premier League started last Saturday, August 17.

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    Get puts channels on the iPad
    August 19, 2013 11.26 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    get-multiscreenNorwegian cablenet Get has made available 28 of its most popular channels over broadband to the iPad.
    The new service is available free to anyone that subscribes to one of the operator’s broadband packages.
    “Ease of use is important to make use of new features, and we see that customers appreciate innovative solutions that are easy to use. This commitment to the iPad is a step towards even better everyday entertainment for our customers, where they have access to the Get-experience anywhere, anytime,” said GET CEO Gunnar Evensen.
    A study on Norwegian television habits conducted by Norstat found 70% of respondents had changed the way they watch TV in the last few years. More than half also said they used devices such as laptops/iPads/TV etc simultaneously.
    Almost 1.5 million Norwegians have access to a tablet or tablets. Many have purchased the iPad, the most purchased tablet in Norway, to have something smaller and lighter than the laptop to transport. Yet it is the most commonly used home, according to TNS Gallup.

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    Fox takes 5% stake in Vice Media
    August 19, 2013 11.14 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    vice-logo21st Century Fox has taken a 5% stake in Vice Media in a deal that values the company at $1.4bn (EUR1.2bn).
    “I want us to be the next MTV, ESPN and CNN rolled into one – and everyone always rolls their eyes,” Shane Smith, Vice’s co-founder and chief executive told the Financial Times.
    “The reality is that MTV was bought by Viacom and CNN went to Time Warner. We have set ourselves up to build a global platform but we have maintained control,” he added.
    Vice started out as a print publication in 1994, but most of its recent success has been online, especially in video including a show on HBO as well as other broadcasters, such as Germany’s ZDF. The company generated revenue of about $175m in 2012 with around 80% coming from its digital activities.
    Minority shareholders own 25% of Vice Media, including the advertising giant WPP, The Raine Group, former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, and comedian Bill Maher, with the founders and senior management holding on to the rest.

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    BAI revives Irish commercial DTT
    August 19, 2013 11.11 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Broadcasting Authority of IrelandThe Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is discussing the possibility of reviving plans to have a commercial DTT multiplex operator.
    The Irish Times reports that the London consultancy Oliver & Ohlbaum is currently drafting a report that will be made available to the BAI later this month, ahead of a board meeting in September.
    Public broadcaster RTE currently runs the Saorview DTT platform, but separate plans to run a commercial service were abandoned in 2010 after the BAI failed to find an operator.
    At the time three consortium, Easy TV, a joint venture between Liberty Global and RTE; OneVision, led by the telco Eircom, and the Swedish Boxer had all entered the original ‘beauty contest’ in 2008.

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    Call for Polish DTT changes
    August 19, 2013 11.07 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Poland should launch a further DTT multiplex and generally distribute more digital channels terrestrially, according to Father Rydzyk, co-founder of the Lux Veritas Foundation.
    In a wide-ranging interview with Nasz Dziennik, he said that this would be in keeping with the DTT strategy adopted in countries such as Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Croatia and allow the Foundation to apply fro a licence to operate a children’s channel.
    The Lux Veritas Foundation recently secured a licence on the first multiplex for its channel TV Trwam after a long campaign and according to Father Rydzyk is now ready to launch on the multiplex.
    However, the actual timing depends on when the public broadcaster TVP vacates the slot.
    He also revealed that the Foundation is paying almost PLN16 million (€3.8 million) for the 10-year concession for TV Trwam.

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    10,000 pubs toast Premier League on BT Sport
    August 19, 2013 10.52 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    BT Sport DiscussionBT Sport signed 10,000 pubs and clubs before the kick-Off of the Premier League season on Saturday lunchtime.
    The telco has been banking on the retail trade to boost numbers and promotion of its three-channel sports package – arguing that it is close to 76% cheaper than the Sky equivalent – even if on a per Premier League game basis the cost is not that different.
    Bruce Cuthbert, director of Commercial Customers, BT Sport, said: “Pre-season has gone incredibly well for the BT Sport team. Signing up more than 10,000 commercial customers before a ball is kicked in the Premier League is a fantastic achievement. BT Sport is an affordable and exciting new service for pubs, clubs and their customers. Interest has been phenomenal and underlines the value, quality and broad appeal that we offer.”
    On Friday it was announced that BT Sport would be made available to Virgin Media customers, brining in a potential 3.8 million further homes.
    BT’s coverage of Liverpool v Stoke City pulled in an audience of 764,000, compared to the 3.1 million that watched Sky’s first match.
    However, the figures compare favorably to the 713,000 who watched last season’s opener between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur on ESPN.
    The coverage was marred by technical issues with BT Sport’s smartphone app, though BT said the problems were limited.


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