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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Chris Dziadul Reports: Bulgaria’s long road October 4, 2013 07.52 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul Bulgaria is a market in transition

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    Chris Dziadul Reports: Bulgaria’s long road
    October 4, 2013 07.52 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Bulgaria is a market in transition and clearly still has some way to go before it resembles those in West European countries.
    That was arguably the main conclusion to be drawn from the Business Briefing on digital TV distribution held in Sofia on October 1. Organised jointly by Broadband TV News and Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, it brought together leading local industry players and highlighted the many challenges they continue to face.
    Pay-TV services are currently received in 85% of TV homes in Bulgaria, with Bulsatcom (DTH), Blizoo (cable) and Vivacom (DTH) claiming the most subscribers. IPTV is still in its infancy, with Telekom Austria-backed M-Tel the leading provider, and there are still numerous smaller companies offering viewers services.
    The main trend in the last few years has been a huge growth in the take-up of DTH and at the same time contraction in cable. On the other hand, the DTH market has been volatile and seen platform closures – Satellite BG, the most recent, went under earlier this year – while cable has become more sophisticated, thanks largely to the large amount of money invested in Blizoo by its Swedish owners EQT.
    The Sofia Business Briefing was timely in the sense that it took place literally hours after Bulgaria had completed its transition to digital broadcasting – prematurely, many would argue, as it left thousands of homes, especially in the countryside, with blank screens.
    It also came against the backdrop of on on-going row between Bulgaria and the European Commission over the controversial awards of multiplex licences. The Commission is in the process of taking legal action against the country, and even if the whole thing comes to nothing it casts a shadow on Bulgaria and its TV industry.
    However, the main problem facing the industry – and one that became apparent almost straight away in the Business Briefing – is finance in all its shape and forms. The reality is that services such as VOD and OTT, the latter provided by HBO Go and Voyo, are all now found in Bulgaria.
    On the other hand, subscription fees are among the lowest in Europe and ARPU so low one wonders how TV businesses can continue to grow.
    Yet despite this, Bulgaria is almost certainly moving in the right direction. There is an enthusiasm in the industry and foreign investors such as CME, MTG, Telenor and Telekom Austria all appear fully committed to the cause and will help the country get up to speed.

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    International growth at Netgem
    October 4, 2013 09.32 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Sales of the new T-Box in Australia and client subscriber growth in Europe and Latin America grew Netgem’s international business on the quarter as French revenues continued to slip.
    In the period to September 30, 2013, Netgem delivered consolidated revenues of €24.1 million, taking its nine-month figure to €57.9 million. 75% came from international sales.
    Last month the French company showed visitors to IBC its new DuoTV (end-to-end low-cost connected TV offer) and TotalTV (premium multiscreen offer).
    Its now consolidated Videofutur has launched a version of DuoTV as La Box Videofutur at a cost of €10 per month.
    The service will also be distributed from mid-November onwards through partner networks such as the Virgin Mobile national network, and from local operators such as Ozone and Cityplay.

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    Eutelsat Awards
    October 4, 2013 09.50 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Eutelsat TV AwardsThe jury has selected the nominees for the Eutelsat TV Awards 2013. The winners are to be announced on November 15.
    A cross-industry jury of the Eutelsat TV Awards debated from 27 to 28 September during a screening of 100 channels from 20 countries.
    Now in its 16th year, the Eutelsat TV Awards is a unique international event identifying and rewarding excellence in satellite broadcasting. Winning channels in nine thematic categories will be honoured at a ceremony in Venice on November 15 presented by UK television journalist Kate Silverton.
    Duilio Giammaria, RAI television presenter and Jury Chairman of the Eutelsat TV Awards said: “From channels with a 20-year legacy to new entrepreneurial ventures in emerging markets, the jury assessed the quality of content creation, innovative programme packaging and how channels are leveraging technology to engage with their audience.”
    This year’s shortlist spans 12 countries: China, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Turkey, UK, USA.
    All participating channels in the Eutelsat TV Awards can now compete for the People’s Choice Award that will be won by the channel generating most votes from the viewing public. Voting opened on October 1 and will continue until October 30 via participating channel websites as well as the official competition website –

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    FOX unveils new management structure
    October 4, 2013 09.40 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    FIC_Logo_CMYKFOX International Channels (FIC) has unveiled a new organisational structure of the company’s executive team in Europe and Africa.
    Under the leadership of Jesús Perezagua, president of FOX International Channels Europe and Africa, the new structure groups the business into four structured entities, and appoints four, newly upped EVPs with oversight as follows:
    Diego Londono, a 16-year FIC vet, who also serves as COO for Europe and Africa assumes the role of president of Western and Northern Europe, with oversight of the UK, Italy, Germany and the Nordic region.
    Carlos Ortega, who for the past four years served as General Manager of Central Europe, becomes EVP of Central and Eastern Europe, charged with the management of central European countries as well as Russia, the Balkan countries, Baltic Republics and Eurasia.
    Adam Theiler, who has served as general manager of several European FIC markets over the course of his 11-year career at FIC, becomes EVP of Southern Europe & Africa, covering Iberia, Turkey, Greece and Africa.
    Adrian Herzkovich, who over the past 15 years has been General Manager of FIC Argentina and most recently of FIC Netherlands, takes on the role of EVP Benelux and France.
    “FIC has grown incredibly fast and has become a global leader in entertainment. We hold an enviable position in Europe and Africa, but at the same time recognize that in order to grow our business, we need to adjust to meet the demands of an increasingly complex business and organization”, said Perezagua.
    “Diego, Carlos, Adam and Adrian have each tirelessly contributed to FIC’s exponential growth. Their extensive track record, business acumen and dedication make them the perfect set of senior managers to take us to the next level.”
    The European Executive Team also includes existing heads, Georgina Twiss, SVP Affiliate Distribution (Distribution Direction); Deborah Armstrong, EVP Advertising Sales (Commercial Direction); and Sergio Falcón, SVP Digital Media.
    In a related development, FIC has appointed FOX Sports ad sales veteran Todd Siegel as EVP of International Ad Sales and Partnerships US. Siegel will spearhead efforts to build global ad sales partnerships with US-based clients for FOX International Channels and National Geographic Channels International.
    “Our channels reach 1.6 billion households worldwide. Our rapid growth and expansion, especially in our core channel brands of FOX, National Geographic Channels and FOX Sports, means we can really use the talent and experience of an accomplished sales executive like Todd, ” said FIC Chief Operating Officer Ward Platt.
    “He will connect US-based advertisers to the global and pan-regional opportunities we have across our entire FIC portfolio.”
    Based in New York, Siegel will team with FIC’s existing ad sales leaders Deborah Armstrong in Europe, Hector Costa in Latin America and Simeon Dawes in Asia-Pacific to complete FIC’s global ad sales footprint.

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    Discovery and Viacom start Dutch ad sales house
    October 4, 2013 09.34 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Discovery Networks Western Europe and Viacom International Media Networks are launching a strategic partnership in the Netherlands, a joint sales house called BrandDeli.
    The new company is 50% owned by both companies and will be launched on November 1, 2013.
    BrandDeli will replace both Discovery and Viacom’s existing local ad sales businesses in the Dutch market and will represent eight linear TV channel brands from both companies: Comedy Central, Comedy Central Family, Discovery Channel, ID, Nickelodeon, MTV, TeenNick and TLC. In addition to linear television, BrandDeli will offer partners online representation for various platforms.
    The BrandDeli portfolio will consist of targeted brands that span the demographic spectrum – all of which have passionate fan bases in the Netherlands and around the world. The new entity will represent the ad sales business for a portfolio of brands that has a combined share of viewing of more than 11% in the 20-49 y/o audience.
    Allard Ruyl, VP Ad Sales Discovery Networks Benelux, has been appointed CEO of BrandDeli, and Boris Hendriksen, VP Ad Sales at VIMN, has been appointed COO. The new entity will have approximately 65 employees and will be based in Amsterdam.
    Dee Forbes, president and anaging director, Discovery Networks Western Europe, said in a statement: “Both Discovery and Viacom have strong businesses in the Dutch market with well-known flagship brands. Creating BrandDeli means we can offer greater choice, differentiated brands and a new service to the Dutch advertising market.”
    “BrandDeli will offer partners the unique opportunity to access a wide range of demographics through DNB and VIMN’s strong, targeted and complementary media brands,” added Patrick Alders, SVP VIMN Northern Europe, “We have incomparable expertise in, and access to, the audiences our partners are looking to reach.”

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    Eutelsat ceases operation at 28.5° East
    Editor | 05-10-2013

    The row between aureole’s two leading satellite operators Eutelsat and SES over the rights to broadcast over certain frequencies at 28.5° East has been resolved.
    During the night of 3-4 October, and acting in what it says was the best interests of customers, Eutelsat ceased operations of transponders using frequencies under a German filing on the Eutelsat 28A satellite. All transponders using other frequency bands on Eutelsat 28A continue full operations.
    The move comes only less than two weeks since SES won an appeal with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) after its arch rival filed a request for arbitration with regard to what it asserted was a breach by SES of the 1999 Intersystem Co-ordination Agreement for services at the neighbourhood. Rejecting any notion of a breach, SES maintained that it had been granted full rights to use German Ku-band orbital frequencies at 28.5° East effective from 4 October 2013 as part of a 2005 agreement with German media service provider Media Broadcast which held a licence for these frequencies issued by German regulator the Bundesnetzagentur.
    Outlining just how high the stakes were in the battle, Eutelsat also revealed that revenues from the disputed frequencies were expected to be approximately €20 million for the remainder of the fiscal year 2013-2014 and approximately €25 million for each of the two following years. Eutelsat and SES are in discussions to find a solution regarding the subject matter of the arbitration.

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    First ever quarter-to-quarter dip in LCD TV panel shipments
    Editor | 05-10-2013

    In what is said to be for the first time ever, the global LCD TV panel market suffered a quarter on quarter fall in shipments for Q3 2013, according to a new LCD Market Tracker report from HIS.
    And making this unprecedented event more worrying, said the analyst, was that it happened in what is normally a strong period of the year.
    In a preliminary estimate IHS calculated that worldwide LCD TV panel shipments during the third quarter of 2013 amounted to 58.0 million units, down from 58.8 million in the second quarter. In the quarter 12 months earlier, shipments totalled 60.0 million, up markedly from 54.5 million during Q2 2012.
    “LCD TV panel shipments went through a soft period in the third quarter,” revealed Ricky Park, senior manager for large-area displays at IHS. “The downshifting of the market comes as a surprise because the third quarter is usually a time when things start heating up, in preparation for the furious upcoming fourth-quarter selling season. However, consumers have not been buying as many new television sets as originally hoped, leaving TV brands with panels that they haven’t been able to move.”
    The survey also revealed that stockpiles held by brands have been aggravated in particular by the large panel shipments made to them by LCD TV panel makers during the first half of the year. It noted that the weak third-quarter numbers will be especially hard on panel makers that serve Chinese TV brands. IHS observed that TV sales in China have been on the decline since the end of the second quarter, and does not expect sales to improve much despite the upcoming China National Day in October.
    Overall, IHS regards panel suppliers whose main customers are outside China as set to enjoy relatively better prospects than panel makers whose main clientele are the Chinese. It cited Samsung Display and Japan’s Sharp, with the lowest percentage of Chinese TV brands as customers, who it thinks will see their share of the LCD TV panel market enlarge in the third quarter.

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    Thuuz brings sports content to Google Glass
    Editor | 05-10-2013

    In what may be a way in which it can rebut criticism that its latest product is a technology looking for an application, Google has revealed the availability of the Thuuz sports app for its much-mocked Glassware product.
    Thuuz, which already has a reputation for building a mobile and connected TV service, says that its sports application may revolutionise how sports fans discover and connect to sports programming. Among the first sports Glassware to be available on Google Glass, the product is designed to alert Glass owners to trending games in their favourite sports as well as provide them with score updates for their favourite teams. Glass Explorers can enable Thuuz Sports via MyGlass.
    The launch has been timed to coincide with the peak part of the US sports calendar with coverage for NFL football NCAA, MLB playoffs, NHL, NBA, NCAA Basketball, European soccer and more. The company sees Thuuz Sports Glassware working in two scenarios: for people who are mobile and want to track what’s going on with their favourite sports through their Glass; and two, for people who are at home watching TV or working around the house with their Glass and want to get alerted when to tune into an exciting game.
    “Thuuz Sports was designed to help fans navigate the growing proliferation of sports programming and platforms,” explained Thuuz founder and CEO Warren Packard. “Today there’s an abundance of sports programming that fans can watch on TV, online or on their mobile device. Since Thuuz is already on smartphones, tablets and television sets, Glass was a natural extension for us to reach our TV-loving sports fans.”

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    Sky-D makes marketing appointments
    October 9, 2013 09.54 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Sky Deutschland has announced two new appointments in its marketing and commercial distribution departments.
    Anthony Liow has been made senior vice president, marketing with responsibilities for all marketing and brand communications, including direct marketing, point of sales, sports marketing, social media activities and media planning. The 39-year-old Briton reported to Marcello Maggioni, executive vice president, Customer Group.
    Liow has gained experience over 12 years in the UK, Italy, the Middle East and Germany and played a major role in the launches of both Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland.
    Simin Lange becomes head of commercial distribution with responsibility across all distribution platforms.
    The 43-year-old lawyer has more than 12 years experience in the media sector. Among other things, she was the head of distribution at ProSiebenSat.1, where she was responsible for the distribution of all free-TV and pay-TV channels.
    Previously the Berlinner worked as a lawyer at the international law firm Taylor Wessing. She reports to Dr Holger Ensslin, chief legal officer, Regulatory & Distribution.

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    BBC unveils next generation iPlayer
    October 9, 2013 09.26 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    BBC iPlayer Oct 2012The BBC has announced plans for a next generation iPlayer, with an extended viewing window, the ability to pause and resume on separate devices and new user playlists.
    In his first major speech as director-general, Tony Hall also confirmed the launch of a time-delayed version of BBC One, and BBC Playlister where audiences can add and save their favourite tracks heard on the BBC to a personal online playlist.
    More recommendations will be added and viewers will be able to build their own playlists.
    Subject to the approval of the BBC Trust it is planned to bring the iPlayer into line with many commercial players the catch up window will be extended to 30 days – currently the BBC allows viewers seven days in which to download a show and up to 30 to watch them back.
    BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, says: “The new generation of BBC iPlayer is set to transform our relationship with audiences. In the coming years, for many people BBC iPlayer is going to be the front door to our programming and the experience they have is going to be a world away from that of a traditional ‘one to many’ broadcaster.”
    The BBC plans to ‘experiment’ with pop-up channels around specific events or festivals such as Glastonbury, curated by key talent, new online channels such as the new Radio 1 TV, but also on the arts and science.
    Following the success of comedy pilots for BBC Three, more content will initially be developed for online viewing. This will include content based around popular BBC shows including EastEnders, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing.
    The BBC iPlayer launched on Christmas Day 2007. It is now available on over 1,000 devices and platforms, and in August, over 30 per cent of programme requests were from mobiles and tablets.


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