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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Antenna Hungária starts HbbTV pilot Europe/London By Robert Briel Hungarian transmission services provider Antenna Hungária is launching a HbbTV services

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    Antenna Hungária starts HbbTV pilot
    Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Hungarian transmission services provider Antenna Hungária is launching a HbbTV services platform on its DTTV network.
    It is a six months trial starting from October 2013 with the system provided by Sofia Digital, the Finnish pioneer of interactive television.
    The trial marks another deployment of the Sofia Backstage HbbTV platform on the market. The HbbTV applications within the trial are accessed via the familiar red button functionality or with a full-screen portal application.
    The Antenna Hungária HbbTV trial will cover almost the entire territory of Hungary and target devices are HbbTV 1.0 (and potentially 1.5) receivers including connected TVs and set-top boxes.
    Sofia Digital HbbTV platform includes the Sofia Backstage HbbTV play-out server and HbbTV application services. The end-user applications included in the trial phase are news, Enhanced EPG, on-demand video content, live video and audio streaming and local weather services integrated into the portal.
    The weather services for HbbTV are provided together with Sofia Digital by a leading digital weather data provider Foreca Ltd. Weather data interface of Foreca is supported in Sofia Digital HbbTV platform to enable new innovative user interfaces with embedded weather data including support for location-based queries in different languages.

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    Skylink seeks more subs
    October 1, 2013 11.24 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    SkylinkThe leading Czech and Slovak DTH platform Skylink, which is backed by the Luxembourg-based M7 Group, has introduced two special offers.
    The first, valid from today (October 1) until the end of November, gives customers the opportunity to order its Mixbox package, consisting of nine channels, four of which are in HD, for half the regular price.
    This translates into CZK729 (€28.3) when ordered for six months and CZK1,458 for a whole year.
    The second special offer gives customers the chance to purchase the Kombi and HBO packages for a discount of 25% from now until the end of the year.
    The former, consisting of 53 channels, 11 of which are in HD, costs CZK290 a month if ordered for a whole year.
    HBO Standard and HBO MaxPak are meanwhile included in the HBO offer.
    Skylink is also making its HD MPEG-4 receivers available for a third of the usual price to customers who purchase any basic Skylink package, including Kombi with a 25% discount, for a year.

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    December lauch for SES and Hispasat
    October 2, 2013 07.09 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s next dual-payload heavy-lift mission has begun its assembly at the Spaceport for a mid-December launch with satellites from SES and Hispasat.
    As with the 71 Ariane 5s previously launched from French Guiana, this vehicle’s build-up employed a well-established integration flow, with the core cryogenic stage being positioned over one of two operational launch tables, followed by rollout and mating of the two solid propellant boosters.
    These steps will be followed by positioning of the cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay as a single unit atop the core stage, completing the initial assembly process in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building. The Ariane 5 then will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building for installation of both satellite passengers.
    The December mission is designated Flight VA216 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, representing the 216th liftoff of an Ariane since this series of vehicles began operation in 1979.
    Riding in the upper position of Ariane 5′s payload “stack” will be Astra 5B, which is to extend SES’ transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern European and neighboring markets for direct-to-home, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks.
    Built by Astrium, Astra 5B also carries a hosted L-band payload for the European Commission’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). With a design lifetime of 15 years, Astra 5B will have an estimated liftoff mass of 5,800 kg. and is to be positioned at an orbital location of 31.5 degrees East.
    The lower passenger on Arianespace’s Flight VA216 is Hispasat’s Amazonas 4A, to be located at an orbital position 61 deg. West after its deployment by the Ariane 5. This Orbital Sciences Corporation-produced telecommunications platform will enhance Hispasat’s relay capacity over Latin America to provide an extended range of communications and television services. With a launch mass of 3,000 kg., Amazonas 4A has a design lifespan of 15 years.

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    Viacom launches fully-owned MTV Russia
    October 2, 2013 07.01 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has launched its fully owned and operated service in Russia with the re-launch of MTV.
    The news was announced by David Lynn, EVP and managing director, VIMN UK and marks a major milestone in VIMN’s 15-year history in the market.
    Previously operated under license, the new-look MTV brings VIMN’s portfolio of owned and operated channels in the Russian market to 11.
    MTV Russia in available in both SD and HD through local distribution partnerships with Rostelecom, NTV Plus and Megafon. The channel will be available via basic tier packages to more than 2.3m households across the country.
    “Russia is a high growth market and key investment priority for VIMN, and the launch of our first-ever owned and operated MTV main channel, together with the success of Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy, not only demonstrates our commitment to the market, but is also testament to our Moscow and London-based team’s vision and dedication,” commented Lynn.
    “It’s fitting that as we celebrate 15 years in the market, Russian audiences are able to enjoy our three powerhouse global brands – MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy – as truly authentic, globally aligned channels.”

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    Ginx TV acquires the Player Channel
    October 2, 2013 07.00 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Videogaming TV Channel GINX is now available to over 26 million households in Europe and Asia after acquiring the Player Channel.
    Ginx TV is adding 19 million households to its global network, replacing Player Channel’s programming with its own video gaming shows.
    Following the deal, Ginx TV is now available in almost all French multichannel households having signed up 13 million homes with Bouygues, Free, Numericable, Orange and SFR. The full Ginx channel will also be available for the first time in over 3.5 million homes in Germany. In addition the transaction sees Ginx extending its footprint in numerous other European countries.
    On the back of this distribution growth, Ginx will open its doors to advertisers with specific ad-windows for the UK, France and Pan- Europe.
    “Videogaming is about to enter another golden age with the upcoming launches of next-generation gaming consoles,” commented Michiel Bakker, Ginx TV CEO. “But even before they are here, we have seen the extraordinary success of the Grand Theft Auto V game taking over $800 million on its first day, making it the biggest entertainment release of all time.
    “So it goes without saying that videogaming has resolutely entered the mainstream. Ginx is dedicated to bringing the world of video games to TV screens around the world and I am very excited to be able to announce this huge leap in our global footprint today”.

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    Slovak boost for Russia Today
    October 2, 2013 05.54 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    upc-logo-rightRussia Today has secured carriage on Slovakia’s leading cable network.
    It is now being offered to subscribers in a new UPC Digital package simply called News that also includes CNN, BBC, CNBC, Euronews, Deutsche Welle, France 24, TV5 and TV8 and is being made available for a discounted price of €1.90 a month.
    UPC Digital, operated by UPC Broadband Slovakia, currently offers viewers 150 channels, 20 of which are in HD.
    As of October 1, two of those channels – AXN Sci-Fi and AXN Crime – have bee rebranded AXN Crime and AXN White.

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    De Ruyter new SVP German langauge FIC
    October 2, 2013 07.14 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    image001Marco de Ruiter is the new managing director and SVP of Fox International Channels (FIC) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
    In his new role, De Ruiter, a television industry professional with years of international experience, will be responsible for all areas of FIC’s regional unit, which currently operates the channels Fox, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Baby TV.
    As managing director, De Ruiter will focus on the development, distribution and marketing of the existing TV channels, as well as the expansion and further development of business in the German-speaking territories. De Ruiter will report to Diego Londono, COO, Fox International Channels Europe and Africa.
    “The German market is already one of our most important markets in Europe”, said Diego Londono. “With his many years of senior management experience in multinational corporations, Marco is the right man to sustainably position and expand our globally unique product in the German market. We are now in an excellent position to secure the continuing growth of Fox International Channels Germany.”
    Marco de Ruiter comes to FIC from Viacom International Media Networks, where he held senior management positions since 2002. He was appointed COO for Northern Europe in 2008 where he was also responsible for operations in the German-speaking market. Prior to working for Viacom, de Ruiter worked for various international companies including Shell and Ceteco. He was born near Rotterdam, Holland, and holds a degree in Business Economics.

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    Bulgarian pay-TV: the way forward
    October 2, 2013 09.30 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    BlizooConsolidation in the Bulgarian pay-TV market is a foregone conclusion, with the market likely to reach West European levels in terms of business models and competition within the next 3-5 years.
    The assessment, offered in a personal rather than institutional capacity, was given by Dimitar Radev, president of the Bulgarian Association of Cable Communication Operators (BACCO).
    Speaking at the Sofia Business Briefly, jointly organised by Broadband TV News and Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, he added that despite challenges in the pay-TV and broadband sectors, including having some of the richest content offers/fastest broadband speeds despite the lowest ARPUs in the EU, there were significant opportunities to explore in Bulgaria.
    ASO, for instance, is fuelling further adoption of digital pay-TV.
    The digital switchover, which was completed on September 30, was nevertheless one of the more controversial subjects discussed at the briefing.
    It has reportedly left hundreds of thousands of households with blank screens and is likely to benefit the take-up of DTH, cable and IPTV services in the country.
    Also speaking at the briefing, Didier Stoessel, vice chairman of Nova TV’s board of directors, said the MTG-backed broadcaster is now the leading internet and online provider in Bulgaria.
    Leiv Svenning, head of CEE, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, meanwhile provided insights into his company’s strategy in the region, including Bulgaria, and Neven Dilkov, MD Neterra, spoke about its white-label platform, operated in partnership with Telenor.
    Boyko Vassilev Petrov, chief editor, current affairs at BTN, described the financially-challenged public broadcaster’s strategy, which includes multimedia and a migration to HD, while Stefan Lager, general manager of Zentario and VP sales of Zentario Group, described his company’s activities.
    Bulgaria’s digital TV market is dominated by the DTH platform Bulsatcom; cable operator Blizoo, which some reports say is up for sale; and DTH platform Vivacom TV, operated by the incumbent telco Vivacom (BTC).
    Together, they have around 1.5 million subscribers.
    Also present in the marketplace is M-Tel, which is backed by Telekom Austria and has an IPTV service.
    Representing Telekom Austria at the briefing, Stanislav Georgiev, said that satellite TV represents the next level of convergence.

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    Eutelsat and Astra switch 28 East frequencies
    October 4, 2013 08.09 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Astra uplinkEutelsat has ceased transmissions on the disputed German-controlled frequencies at 28.5 degrees East. They have now been adopted by SES.
    The move follows last months decision by the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce of Paris.
    It a statement, SES said the two satellite operators had collaborated in the best interests of customers to ensure a smooth transition of operations. As of October 4, SES is operating and Eutelsat has ceased operating on these frequencies. The transfer was successfully completed in the night of 3-4 October.
    The frequencies, held through the German operator Media Broadcast, are used to broadcast to the UK, largely for the BSkyB and Freesat platforms.
    Eutelsat said revenues from the disputed frequencies are expected to be in the region of approximately €25m for each of the two following years.
    SES and Eutelsat are in continuing discussions to find a solution following the arbitration.

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    Telecom Italia chairman quits
    October 4, 2013 08.48 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    Franco Bernabè has resigned from his position as chairman of Telecom Italia.
    In a statement, the company says its board of directors, chaired by its deputy chairman, Aldo Minucci, has started the search for a new chairman.
    In the meantime, Marco Patuano, the MD and CEO, will temporarily take on the powers and orgnaisational responsibilities previously assigned to Bernabè.
    Minucci will remain in charge of the board until a new chairman is elected.
    Reports say that Bernabè left the company after clashing with shareholders, headed by Telefónica, over its strategy, and in particular his attempts to raise capital.
    Bernabè headed Telecom Italia for nearly six years.


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