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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Telefónica eyes Czech exit October 15, 2013 06.02 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul telefonica_campusTelefónica is in talks to sell its 69%

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    Telefónica eyes Czech exit
    October 15, 2013 06.02 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    telefonica_campusTelefónica is in talks to sell its 69% stake the Czech incumbent for a fee initially put at $3.6 billion (€2.7 billion).
    Bloomberg reports that Golden Sachs Group and Societe General are helping the Spanish telco find a buyer for the stake, which is likely to attract interest from a number of companies.
    However, two of those already present in the Czech market – Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone – are unlikely to win regulatory approval for any deal.
    Russia’s Sistema hinted at the possibility of buying an assets in the Czech Republic back in July, and others in the frame include the Czech Republic’s PPF Group, which is headed by the local billionaire Petr Kellner, along with Russia’s Vimpelcom.
    Telefónica acquired its stake in Cesky Telecom, and what is now Telefónica O2 CZ, in 2005.
    It is currently in the process of reorganising its European assets in order to focus on the main markets.
    The Czech subsidiary’s interests include O2 TV, the country’s largest IPTV operation.

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    Second screen takes off in Poland
    October 15, 2013 10.59 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, PIKE 2013, Lodz

    ToyaThe second screen is now playing an increasingly important role in Poland, with 73% of viewers using it while watching TV.
    Although this is not much lower than in the UK (75%) and US (77%), there are some important differences between the three markets, according to Jacek Kobierzycki, general director of the Toya Group, one of Poland’s leading cable operators and host of this year’s PIKE conference and exhibition.
    For instance, laptops are the second screen of choice in Poland (69%), followed by smartphones (48%) and tablets (16%), due to the still relatively low penetration of the latter two.
    Kobierzycki said that the decision operators have to make in the second screen space is whether to watch developments or become an active participant in the

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    ARRIS secures exclusive Sling Media agreement
    October 16, 2013 14.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    ARRIS has signed an exclusive agreement to become the sole source of Sling Media’s placeshifting technologies for cable and telco providers.
    It follows the recent agreement between the two companies that witnessed the launch of the ARRIS MS4000, bringing multiscreen, placeshifting capabilities to the ARRIS Whole Home Solution with MOXI.
    “Our exclusive agreement with Sling Media further solidifies our position as the leading provider of transcoding solutions for the future of multiscreen…everywhere,” said John Burke, SVP Corporate Strategy & Development; President Cloud Solutions Business, ARRIS. “We selected Sling Media for their complementary expertise in placeshifting technology. This collaboration rounds out our broad multiscreen portfolio in the cloud, network, and home to give global providers a variety of ways to let consumers enjoy their media, their way.”
    A spokesman for Sling Media confirmed to Broadband TV News that retail Slingbox products would continue to be produced by Sling Media/EchoStar as is the Hopper with Sling, which is sold to US satellite platform Dish.
    “We are very pleased to announce this agreement with ARRIS– which will enable our two companies to closely collaborate on a range of integrated and standalone video solutions that deliver HD-quality content across multiple mobile devices, accessible anywhere,” said Michael Hawkey, Vice President and General Manager Sling Media.
    ARRIS is planning a phased rollout of the Sling Media technology to global service providers, with the launch of the MS4000 in early 2014, followed by video gateway offerings and technology licensing for multivendor devices.

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    Ziggo rejects “inadequate” Liberty offer
    October 16, 2013 13.50 Europe/London By Robert Briel & Julian Clover

    ziggo-hqDutch cablenet Ziggo has thrown out a takeover bid from rival operator Liberty Global.
    Responding to recent market speculation the operator said: “The potential offer was considered inadequate and there is no certainty that Ziggo will receive any revised offer. Further announcements will be made if and when relevant.”
    Liberty Global, which operates in the Netherlands under its UPC brand, has gradually built a 28.5% in the Dutch net. It acquired its first shares in March this year.
    Ziggo went through an IPO in March 2012 and was listed on the AMX exchange in September that year.

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    Eircom launches eVision TV service
    October 16, 2013 13.00 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    130516_M1_011mx-200x150Former incumbent eircom is launching its fibre IPTV service positioning eVision TV as a low-cost alternative to Sky and UPC.
    The new TV service is priced at €10 per month offering a range of the most popular channels in Ireland “at significantly lower prices than the competition.” The new service will compete with Sky’s DTH platform and with UPC cable.
    The offer includes HD Channels, Sky Sports, Sky Movies and Setanta Sports. Add-on channel packs are available with only a one month commitment and no downgrade fees. Customers can also watch all their eVision channels in a second or third room with Multiroom boxes for an additional fee of €5 per month per room.
    The eVision Essential Pack offers customers 34 channels, including all the Irish channels, BBC, Channel Four, Discovery Channel, GOLD, Setanta Ireland, MTV, Film 4 and many more, for €10 per month. All customers who sign up to eVision before December 31 will receive the first six months of Essential pack free of charge. The new TV service will be delivered through eFibre, eircom’s superfast fibre broadband service.
    eVision comes with a free eVision+ set-top box and includes features such as the ability to pause and rewind live TV, ability to record two channels at the same time and up to 240 hours of recording space and one touch record. The service has an on-screen guide and will be installed free by specially trained eVision technicians
    “eVision is a game changer for eircom. Consumers in Ireland are paying too much for TV. We are changing that by delivering the most attractive offer in the market,” said Herb Hribar, CEO, eircom Group, in a statement
    “We’ve listened to our customers and we are giving them exactly what they are looking for – a great value viewing experience. This is just one more example of eircom delivering on its commitment to enable the ‘always on experience’ with great content, superfast fibre broadband at home, 4G and wireless hotspots on the move. No other company can deliver on this promise.”
    Kevin White, managing director, eircom consumer, said “eVision will fundamentally change the television landscape in Ireland; offering all consumers an exciting new TV service at an unprecedented price – representing not just real choice, but real value for money, for the very first time. eircom is the only provider in the country now offering great value TV as part of our “quad play” customer bundles, enabling consumers to get all their entertainment and telecommunications needs in one place- landline, broadband, mobile phone and television.
    “eVision is a huge milestone not just for eircom, but for Irish consumers. Our eVision team know what Irish people love and what they want from their television. Our eVision offering delivers just that – giving consumers the television they want, when they want, how they want and now at a price they want.” he concluded.
    The service will only be available to Eircom eFibre customers. At the moment some 50,000 irish homes can receive the service, but that this will rise to 1.2m by 2015.

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    Cyfrowy Polsat revamps offer
    October 16, 2013 10.49 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Cyfrowy Polsat NewPoland’s leading DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat has introduced a number of important changes to its programme offer.
    Under them, subscribers to the Familijny Max HD with Film HD and Cinema HD package are being provided with HBO HD (six channels), the monthly VOD catalogue and Sport HD package for four months.
    After this period, they will be able to receive over 130 channels and VOD for a combined fee of PLN99.90 (€23.89) a month or stay with the film offer for PLN59.90 a month.
    Those who opt for the new offer will receive the name propriety HD 7000 PVR for a reduced fee of PLN49, without any subsequent monthly payments.
    The Familijny Max HD with Film HD and Cinema HD package has meanwhile been reduced by PLN10 to PLN69.9 a month and now includes IPLA MIX and HBO GO free of charge for three months.
    Cyfrowy Polsat currently has over 3.5 million subscribers.

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    NOW TV box enters retail
    October 16, 2013 10.26 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    NOW TV Box 01Sky’s NOW TV set-top, bundled with content passes for either Sky Sports or Sky Movies, is now available in UK retail stores.
    The Roku-based streaming unit can be purchased in branches of John Lewis, Currys PC World and Argos. It has been available on mail order since July.
    It is the first time that the NOW TV Box is bundled with content passes, with customers able to choose from either a Sky Sports Day Pass or 3 months Sky Movies Pass.
    A NOW TV Box plus Sky Sports Day Pass will be £14.99, providing unlimited access to all six Sky Sports channels for 24 hours. A NOW TV Box and a 3 month Sky Movies Pass is £24.99.
    The device features apps covering the BBC iPlayer, BBC News, Demand 5, Spotify, Facebook and flickr.

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    UPC Ireland counters eircom’s eVision
    October 17, 2013 07.28 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    UPC Ireland has launched a new budget product to counter eircom’s eVision TV product.
    UPC launched its new triple and dual play products called Basics Collection to defend its postion against eircom’s low cost alternative.
    UPC’s Basics 3-Play Pack has over 50 digital TV channels, including the BBC and ITV channels, Sky One, Sky News and Channel 4, with unlimited 50Mb broadband and home phone for a monthly fee €60.
    Dual play customers also have new products with a 50Mb broadband and phone with unlimited downloads being introduced for €30 per month, and the introduction of a new TV and phone service for €36.
    “UPC is the market leader, we’re constantly setting new standards and today is no exception,” said Mark Coan, VP, sales and marketing, UPC Ireland.
    “The launch of our Basics Collection maintains our position as the value leader in the Irish marketplace and extends our product range to consumers we didn’t reach before.”
    Interestingly, UPC Ireland announced on Monday, October 14, that its entry-level broadband speed would be 120 Mbps, up from 50 Mbps.

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    UPC Polska hit by copyright fine
    October 17, 2013 05.04 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    centrum_upc_head_office_warsawThe Polish Filmmakers’ Association (SFP) has won a significant legal victory against UPC Polska, the country’s leading cable operator.
    In a statement, the association says that the Warsaw Court of Appeal pay the SFP compensation for the non-contractual rebroadcasting of audiovisual works.
    The actual amount, though not specified, will according to the SFP run into many millions of zloty.
    The SFP adds that the UPC case marks a significant step in cable retransmission in Poland.
    It is also the final confirmation that the existing market rate of 2.2% is an appropriate amount for the use of copyright protected by the SFP.
    The association points out that a few months ago it signed an agreement with Multimedia Polska, Poland’s third largest cable operator, confirming the rate at 2.2%.
    UPC Polska is expected to appeal the court’s decision.

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    US video viewing analysed
    October 17, 2013 09.21 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, PIKE 2013, Lodz

    Netflix FamilyThe ways in which viewers access Netflix and Hulu tends to differ significantly, according to studies undertaken by Nielsen.
    Speaking at PIKE 2013, Davide Crestani of Nielsen Media Research said that while Netflix users in the US did so via PCs, the figure was a much higher 81% in the case of Hulu users. Users also tended to access Netflix much more via game consoles (26% v 4%), Blu ray (14% v 5%) and other devices than Hulu users.
    Other findings in the Nielsen studies, focused on the US, included that viewers on average access content for an average of 39 hours a week across TV, online and mobile.
    They also found that TV still dominates video viewing, accounting for an average of 159 hours a month in Q2 this year.
    This compared to 6 hours 28 minutes for laptops and 5 hours 45 minutes for smartphones.
    Looking at time shifting, the studies found that 1% of cable viewers did so by more than seven days.
    Other findings confirmed that viewers aged 18-24 tended to use TVs much less after buying a tablet than those aged 25-54 who also did so. They also showed that VOD services are becoming increasingly popular in the US, with availability having risen from 38% of households in 2008 to 60% this year.


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