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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Lithuanian cable: an overview October 17, 2013 09.08 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, PIKE 2013, Lodz lithuania-flagThere are now 732,000 pay-TV

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    Lithuanian cable: an overview
    October 17, 2013 09.08 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, PIKE 2013, Lodz

    lithuania-flagThere are now 732,000 pay-TV homes in Lithuania, with cable accounting for 60% of the total, according to Juozas Jurelionis, VP and director of the Lithuanian Cable TV Association (LKTA).
    He added that only 25% of cable homes are digital and that while there had been growth in the cable sector up to ASO on October 29 last year, it had since slowed and will probably only pick up again when the economy starts to recover.
    Jurelionis also said that will subscription fees at around only €5 a month it is hard for operators in Lithuania to grow their business.
    What is more, they face competition from the IPTV, DTT and DTH sectors.
    This is particularly strong in the capital, Vilnius, where viewers could chose from services provided by six cable operators, one MMDS operator, the incumbent TEO (DTT and IPTV) and Viasat (DTH).
    Jurelionis also said that cable is a strong player in the internet sector, accounting for one third of the market.
    Lithuania itself is the number one country in Europe – and five in the world – in terms of internet speeds, with 10% of subscribers already receiving access of 100 Mbps or higher. On the down side, this tends to encourage piracy.

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    Polsat owner raises eyebrows
    October 16, 2013 09.11 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, PIKE 2013, Lodz

    Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, founder and owner of Polsat, surprised delegates at PIKE 2013 by speaking in support of the public broadcaster TVP, one of his main competitors.
    In his view, TVP should have the right to collect fees in order to fulfill its mission, with the amount fixed by the government.
    Furthermore, TVP should have the right to broadcast main sporting events in Poland, with the regulator deciding on which ones they should be.
    Solorz-Zak nevertheless dismissed TVP’s aim to have a combined audience share of around a third of the total for its channels as a monopolistic attitude.
    On other issues, when asked about the second digital dividend, he said that his favoured solution would be to have a consolidation of frequencies, with one operator providing equal access to those frequencies and the users competing subsequently on programming.
    Solorz-Zak also said he was undecided on whether two proposed additional multiplexes should in fact be used for data or video services, with the issue dependent on the market.
    In addition, he said that mobile internet was very much the way forward.

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    Romania sets out digital roadmap
    October 18, 2013 08.12 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Catalin MarinescuThe winners of a tender for licences to operate the five Romanian digital terrestrial multiplexes will be announced by April 30, 2014, according a schedule presented by the ANCOM president Catalin Marinescu.
    Speaking at the opening of the International Digital Forum in Bucharest and quoted by Media Expres, he also hinted that the government wants to sell the licences to commercial operators, saying that the auction will resemble the mobile phone tender organised last year in Romania and considered a success.
    In order to start the auction next month, Romania must enact three pieces of legislation: a government decision that will determine the charge and the way the auction will be conducted, an ANCOM decision that will detail tendering, and the Table of Specifications of the tender.
    Draft legislation debated in public for a month or more starting November, said Marinescu, and will be published in the Official Gazette in January 2013.
    The auction will end on April 30, 2014.
    There will be five multiplexes, four in UHF and one in VHF. The first, allocated to public TV, will cover the whole of Romania and the multiplexes will use the DVB-T2 standard.

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    Skylink targets Hungarian speakers
    October 18, 2013 07.51 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    SkylinkThe DTH platform Skylink will start offering Hungarian channels in November, according to Jaromir Glisnik, a member of the board of the M7 Group.
    Speaking to Parabola, he added that it is currently preparing a package of basic public and commercial Hungarian programmes for its subscribers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
    Although Glisnik could not specify the channels, as negotiations are still ongoing with broadcasters, he said there would be 7-10 and offered as a premium package, costing a maximum of CZK100 or €4 a month but free to some subscribers.
    Separately, Parabola reports that Skylink, which is the leading DTH platform in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, secured 102,000 new customers in the last 12 months.

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    Chris Dziadul Reports: PIKE conference review
    October 18, 2013 06.22 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The Polish Chamber of Electronic Communications’ (PIKE’s) 40th international conference and exhibition held in the city of Lodz earlier this week and took as its theme The Digital Promised Land.
    Despite being a cable event, it covered a wide range of industry related topics. What was more, there was a strong international element, with speakers/panelists from – amongst others – Cable Europe, ANGA and Hungarian (HCA) and Lithuanian (LKTA) cable associations, as well as a number of international content providers.
    The prestigious nature of the event means that it attracts delegates of the highest order, with one of the regular attendees being Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, the founder and owner of Polsat. His contribution as a panelist was perhaps most notable this year by the support he expressed for the public broadcaster TVP, which in his view should be allowed exclusive rights to show some of the larger, more general sporting events.
    When asked about the second digital dividend, Solorz-Zak put forward the idea that frequencies should be consolidated, with one operator providing equal access to them and users competing on programming.
    Given its importance in the marketplace, it was not surprising that other speakers also discussed TVP. Its funding remain a contentious issue and the head of KRRiT said the regulator favoured a solution in which 80% of the broadcaster’s revenue would be derived from new audiovisual fees paid by viewers.
    Crucially, it would also like to see TVP stop carrying advertising, though this could be a step too far.
    Despite its best public service intentions, TVP is undoubtedly one of the more commercially minded national public broadcasters in the CEE region and its aim, according to president Juliusz Braun, is to have a combined market share of around a third for its growing portfolio of channels.
    It’s interesting to note that TVP has also made progress in introducing HbbTV into Poland. The process began with Euro 2012 last year and now appears to be progressing rapidly.
    Poland completed the transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting this July has three multiplexes up and running. However, there seem to be question marks about two further ones it may launch and whether they will be used for data or video.
    Two recent DTT licence winners – ZPR and Stopklatka, which will operate new educational and movie channels respectively on the first multiplex – meanwhile both discussed their launch plans.
    Although there were strong contributions from many panelists on a wide range of issues ranging from copyright to pay-TV, along with of course cable – Vectra, Multimedia Polska, Inea and Toya, the latter of which hosted the event, were all present – we seemed to be left with more questions than answers.
    While the Polish cable industry is making significant progress in many areas, one can’t help feeling that the market would be hugely shaken up by the arrival of a service such as Netflix. That is something we may well find ourselves discussing this time next year, when the next major PIKE international event is held, most probably in Kraków.

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    Daytime drama to receive iPlayer premiere
    October 18, 2013 00.01 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    BBC One Daytime series Moving on is to become the first drama series to premier on the BBC iPlayer.
    Although broadcast in the afternoons, Moving On was created by the EMMY and multi-BAFTA winning writer Jimmy McGovern. The five standalone films have been able to attract considerable acting talent including Jo Joyner (EastEnders, No Angels), Lee Ingleby (Inspector George Gently, White Heat), Duncan Preston (Acorn Antiques, Love and Marriage) and Ray Fearon (Harry Potter, Silk).
    It is also significant that the series is drawn from BBC One, Britain’s most watched channel. Previous shows have been earmarked for BBC Three.
    The series premiere on BBC iPlayer is part of the BBC Trust’s approved trial to explore the role of online premiering across a range of genres and channels.
    Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content, BBC iPlayer said: “We couldn’t be more delighted that Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On will be the first drama series to premiere on BBC iPlayer, in its entirety. As an established drama in the Daytime schedule, the series premiere on BBC iPlayer will be both a gift to loyal viewers and an unprecedented opportunity for a wider audience to enjoy these five stand-alone films across multiple devices, and at a time that suits them. Over the last year, there has been 43% growth in BBC iPlayer usage across mobile and tablet – with Drama programmes driving almost a third of total viewing.”
    Moving On explores contemporary issues, from compulsive shoplifting and alopecia to sibling rivalry, family secrets and acrimonious divorce – all linked by the common theme of characters who reach a turning point in life and then move on.

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    CME execs to quit company
    October 18, 2013 10.00 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    cme-plasmaCME’s CFO David Sach will leave the company on October 29.
    David Sturgeon has been appointed the company’s principal financial officer and will become the acting CFO while CME looks for a permanent replacement.
    Anthony Chhoy, executive VP, strategic planning and operations, will also leave the company, on November 15.
    The general directors of each country operations will then report directly to Christoph Mainusch, co-CEO of CME.
    CME is one of the leading operators of commercial TV services in Central and Eastern Europe, having been present in the region for 20 years.

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    Netgem scores with new eircom IPTV service
    Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 19-10-2013

    French connected home technology provider Netgem is celebrating the launch of eircom’s new eVision TV IPTV service.
    As reported in Rapid TV News, eVision is claimed to mark the first time that Irish consumers can now get all their entertainment and communications needs - landline, broadband, mobile and television - from one Irish provider. The service offers basic customers 34 channels, including all the Irish channels, BBC, Channel Four, Discovery Channel, GOLD, Setanta Ireland, MTV and Film 4.
    The service comes with a free eVision+ set-top box and includes features such as the ability to pause and rewind live TV, the ability to record two channels at the same time, up to 240 hours of recording space and one touch record.
    For the deployment Netgem is providing eircom with its full TV solution, such as a customer friendly programme guide to access a variety of content and Netgem’s open SDK which will enable eircom to develop bespoke services. eVision TV is delivered on the Netgem 7700 series STB as well as on the PVR mediacenter 8000 series allowing eircom to offer both main room and multiroom options.
    Commented Christophe Aulnette, President of Netgem International: “We are delighted to partner with eircom in the launch of eVision. This deployment is a great illustration of how our customers can work with us, with ambitious time to market and within a competitive environment to secure and develop their subscriber base through great services and content. ”

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    AsiaSat 8 set for orbit in 2014
    Rebecca Hawkes | 19-10-2013

    AsiaSat 8 is on schedule for launch in April 2104 to bring extra satellite transponder capacity to broadcasters in Asia and the Middle East.
    The communications satellite has begun spacecraft thermal vacuum (SCTV) testing to ensure it will perform in a space vacuum environment and extreme temperatures, its owners Hong Kong-based Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company said.
    “AsiaSat 8 will bring new Ku-band capacity to AsiaSat 3S/AsiaSat 7’s orbital location of 105.5şE, an established AsiaSat slot for DTH, data broadcasting and telecommunications services. This new satellite will help meet the increasing demand for quality capacity from high growth markets in Asia and the Middle East,” said William Wade, president and chief executive officer, AsiaSat.
    Following launch, the new satellite’s high-powered Ku-band coverage will cover China, India, the Middle East and South Asia, with inter-beam switching to meet specific customer demands.
    The company claims that with the region’s most powerful amplifiers (Ku-band TWTAs at 210 watts), AsiaSat 8 will offer the highest downlink EIRP across Asia and the Middle East.

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    New TV dance show for India
    Rebecca Hawkes | 19-10-2013

    A new reality TV dance show called Bharat Ki Shaan has been unveiled by India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD).
    The Gajendra Singh-created concept, which sees classical Indian dance performances compete with Western dances, had its first airing on 14 October, and will be televised each Monday and Tuesday evening at 10pm.
    Indian classical dance legend Dr Sonal Mansingh has developed the show, and in her TV premiere, will appear in the show as ‘Guru Shrestha’, the supreme judge.
    “It is a strategy for me to bridge the gap between the popular and pure arts. I hope the show doesn’t only let the country discover new talents, but also discover dance in its diversity, richness and beauty,” said Dr Mansingh.
    Mansingh will be joined with two other judges, Sandeep Soparkar, who is an expert in Ballroom dance; and Sandeep Mahavir, a Kathak dancer/choreographer. They will help prepare the contestants for their televised performances.
    V K Jain, ADG (Publicity), Doordarshan added: “We are very happy to produce, Bharat ki Shaan – Rum Jhum. With this show, we want to expand Bharat ki Shaan in the form of dance.
    “The concept of doing Indian classical versus non-Indian dance was conceptualised by DD Director General, Tripurari Sharan. It was his idea to get the traditional and contemporary Indian dance versus other forms of dance to bring out the cultural values from different parts of the world.”


 

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