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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Poland eyes Horizon launch October 22, 2013 07.26 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul HorizonUPC Polska will be ready to launch Horizon

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    Poland eyes Horizon launch
    October 22, 2013 07.26 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    HorizonUPC Polska will be ready to launch Horizon in 2014, according to Grzegorz Esz, a company board member.
    Quoted by Wirtualne Media, he added that a launch date has already been chosen and preparations are under way.
    These include negotiations with distributors to secure content rights for mobile devices, necessary in order to make the service Horizon will offer comparable to those from ipla and TVN player.
    Esz also said that UPC Polska plans to launch WiFi for all, though at this stage does not see itself becoming an MVNO.
    Separately, UPC Polska will start limited commercial trials of a 500 Mbps internet access service at the end of this month/beginning of November in four locations including Lodz and the capital, Warsaw.
    The service is likely to be offered to subscribers – 70% of who already opt for internet access of 30 Mbps or higher – from 2014.

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    Major Russian cable deal back on
    October 22, 2013 06.54 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    ER-TelecomER Telecom and the Renova Group have agreed to continue exclusive talks on the sale of Akado to the former until the end of the year.
    In a joint statement, the two parties say they are looking to develop an “optimal model for the interaction”, without going into any specific details.
    ER Telecom is one of the leading cable companies in Russia and acquiring Akado, which operates in Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, would allow it to enter the lucrative Moscow market.
    Renova-owned Akado has been on the market for over three years and in that time attracted interest from a number of prospective buyers, including Svyazinvest and MTS.
    A deal with ER Telecom was agreed earlier this year and exclusive negotiations got under way in the summer.
    However, the deal looked close to collapse as recently as last week.

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    Regional satellite operators outpace Big Four
    October 22, 2013 10.47 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent

    Dish for satellite TVTotal revenues among all satellite operators increased by 2.2% in US dollar terms from 2011 to 2012, with the combined revenues of all reporting operators boosted to US$11.39 billion in 2012.
    While the Big Four (Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, Telesat) still remain dominant, capturing 65.6% of revenues, regional players are slowly catching up, increasing their total market share from 33.2% of revenues in 2011 to 34.4% in 2012, accroding to NSR’s Satellite Operator Financial Analysis (SOFA), 3rd Edition.
    “Organically, regional satellite operators are growing at a much faster rate than the Big Four—in 2012 the figures were 6.8% growth for regional operators, and 0.3% growth for Big Four. Clashing head-on with this trend is the phenomenon of acquisition, which we saw with the announcement of Eutelsat acquiring Satmex in 2013. Moving forward, further acquisitions may be a key way for the Big Four to increase their market share compared to regional operators, as this trend of faster growth by smaller operators was by no means isolated to 2012,” stated Blaine Curcio, NSR analyst and report author.
    Further, satellite operators collectively saw qualitative metrics improve, with metrics like Average Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite increasing by nearly US$1 million, to just over $44.5 million. Notably, for metrics like Revenues per Satellite and Revenues per Leased Transponder, the very top echelon of operators tended to be regional ones, able to capitalize on unique market tendencies or prime orbital slots in order to fight their way to the top of the rankings.
    With regional operators also tending to focus more on raw capacity leasing, rather than the value-added services that complement the offerings of the Big Four, these smaller players also found themselves at the top of metrics such as EBITDA margin, with AsiaSat, Hispasat, and APT Satellite taking the top 3 spots, respectively, in this metric.
    Presenting data from FSS operators relating to revenues, EBITDA, debt ratios, CAPEX, and more, SOFA3 provides a comprehensive snapshot of the FSS sector in 2012. Supplemented by annual data from 2007 to H1 2013, the report also allows the reader to understand the way that today’s trends have evolved in recent years, and the direction these trends will lead the FSS sector into the future.

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    Connectable STB market set to double
    October 22, 2013 10.14 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent

    The global market for connectable STBs is expected to surge by 91% from 2012 through 2017, driven by a number of factors including the adoption of multimedia home gateways (MHGs).
    Worldwide shipments of connectable STBs are forecast to rise to 125.6 million units in 2017, up from 65.8 million in 2012, according to the latest Set-Top Box Market Monitor report from IHS. A total of 45% of all STBs shipped in 2017 will be connectable, up from 26% in 2012. The figure below presents the IHS global forecast of connectable STBs.
    IHS Figure--Connectable STB Forecast_Page_1
    A connectable STB is a set-top box that can be linked to an internet protocol (IP) network. Such boxes typically integrate an Ethernet port or Wi-Fi, allowing a connection to networks located within homes. All types of pay-TV operators—i.e., cable, satellite and IPTV providers—are distributing connectable STBs.
    “Consumers increasingly are demanding connectivity from their electronics devices, and STBs are playing a central role in the networking of products,” said Daniel Simmons, senior principal STB analyst at IHS. “Connected STBs perform all kinds of useful functions, including distributing digital video recorder (DVR) streams to televisions in multiple rooms, as well as delivering video on demand (VoD) and web content to various platforms. Furthermore, MHGs and their associated thin clients, which also employ connectivity, are being used by pay-TV operators to provide advanced services and content to all kinds of IP-connectable devices, including mobile products like smartphones and media tablets.”
    MHGs and thin clients for cable systems will represent a major growth driver for connectable STBs. These devices will account for 25% of connectable box shipments between 2013 and 2017.
    An MHG is a converged STB/residential gateway device that directly processes video signals for all IP distribution and routing to multiple client devices within a home. A thin client is a partner device to an MHG that is used to interface between the IP-based, in-home video signals and a television. Thin clients do not contain broadcast tuners or hard disk drives.
    In 2013, IPTV pay-TV operators will account for the largest share of the connectable STB market, with 39% of shipments. However, the coming years will see a rapid increase in shipments of cable HD STBs by Chinese operators and MHG migration throughout the rest of the world. Because of this, cable will be the major driver of growth in connectable STB, with shipments rising at a rate of about 25.4%t a year to reach 45.8 million shipments in 2017.
    North America is at present the largest market for connectable pay-TV STBs, accounting for an estimated 41% share of global shipments in 2013. The region is expected to retain its global lead through 2017.
    “In mature pay-TV markets like North America, operators are seeing IP-based services as an opportunity to differentiate their products, and this is driving shipments,” said Wajahat Abbassi, STB analyst for IHS.
    However, Asia-Pacific is expected to experience the fastest growth during the period from 2012 to 2017, with shipments expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.2%.

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    Pace acquires Aurora Networks for $310m
    October 23, 2013 09.41 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Allan LeightonPace has purchased optical transport and access network solutions provider Aurora Networks in a $310 million cash deal.
    The company generated revenues of $217 million in the year ending March 31, 2013.
    The deal allows Pace to further widen out its business beyond that of customer premises equipment as operators look for cost effective delivery of ever-increasing amounts of bandwidth.
    Commenting on the Acquisition, Allan Leighton, Chairman of Pace, said there remained significant opportunity for the development of the core business. “The acquisition of Aurora represents an important evolution in this process and enhances our strategy to grow a broader platform across Hardware, Software and Services. Acquiring Aurora will allow Pace to expand beyond our core business and build deeper and more embedded relationships with our customers, which the Company believes will strengthen Pace’s position as a market leading solutions provider for the PayTV and broadband industries.”
    Aurora will continue to be run by its existing management team, retaining the Aurora brand, and becoming a strategic business unit within Pace.

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    Telenor buys Tele2 Sweden cable and fibre business
    October 23, 2013 09.23 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    tele2Tele2 Sweden has agreed to sell its residential cable and fibre operations, including residential customers to Telenor.
    The SEK 794 million deal does not include Tele2′s fibre infrastructure or business customers. 220,000 cable TV customers will now receive their service from Telenor.
    Thomas Ekman, CEO of Tele2 Sweden, said: ”I am very proud that we have been able to reach an agreement with Telenor. By selling our residential cable and fibre operations, we clearly establish our position as a mobile operator with a strong focus on mobile services. Moreover, the gains from this transaction will enable us to invest further in our mobile network, which is the very backbone of our operations. Through this deal, we take yet another step in our strategic direction to offer our customers first-class mobile connectivity.”
    Tele2 Sweden’s residential cable and fiber operations showed a turnover of approximately SEK 530 million in 2012. The customer base amounted to approximately 125 000 customers in fixed broadband and 75 000 digital TV customers, at the end of 2012. The transaction will result in a capital gain of approximately SEK 250 million.

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    PBS America looks to Benelux
    October 23, 2013 08.54 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    pbs_americaPBS America is looking to expand its distribution outside the UK and Ireland.
    The UK broadcaster, which specialises in documentaries from US public broadcaster PBS, has started talking to operators in the Benelux, including Telenet, UPC, Ziggo, KPN and others.
    PBS America has hired Linda Brouwers of VCI Media to negotiate carriage deals with the various distribution platforms in the Netherlands and Belgium.
    The channel hopes to build on its successful two years in the UK and is looking to make a dedicated feed for the low countries with Dutch subtitles.
    Programming will mainly consist of US made documentaries including the Nova science series, Frontline, Martin Scorsese’s Blues and others.
    For the moment, the daily US news programme Newshour is not carried in Europe due to time differences and the need to edit the newscast to comply with European regulation: the original broadcast contains sponsor messages, which are not allowed in newscasts in Europe.
    In the US, PBS is funded by public donations as well as government grants. In Europe, PBS America is paid out of advertising and carriage fees.
    The plan to launch the channel in the Netherlands was initiated by Amsterdam based US documtary filmmaker Daniel Hart and Dutch journalist Bernard Hammelburg.
    According to Brouwers, talks are in a very early stage and no firm commitments were made.
    The UK PBS channel is a joint venture between Canadian-born entrepreneur and venture philanthropist, David Lyons, and PBS Distribution (PBSd), which holds the international rights to the majority of PBS’s programming.

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    SES renews contract with Sony
    October 22, 2013 20.51 Europe/London By Robert Briel
    SES has renewed its contract with Sony Entertainment Television (SET) Asia.
    The new agreement will enable SET Asia to serve its subscribers in the UK and Ireland at SES’ prime orbital arc of 28.2/28.5 degrees East, as well as distribute its platform to affiliates across Europe.
    SES serves almost 13 million satellite households across the UK and Ireland from its constellation of four satellites positioned at the orbital arc of 28.2/ 28.5.
    The company is in the process of a full fleet renewal at the prime orbital location: Astra 2F was launched September 2012 while Astra 2E has just launched successfully on September 30, 2013. Astra 2G will be launched in Q1 2014.
    SES’ Chief Commercial Officer, Ferdinand Kayser, commented, “We are delighted that SET Asia has chosen SES to continue to deliver their premium service at the orbital arc of 28.2/28.5 degrees East. This long-term partnership shows SET Asia’s confidence in our ability to provide leading edge technologies that will ensure seamless delivery of their service to subscribers.”
    “Our prime service, SET Asia, has been on Astra satellites since 1999,” said Neeraj Arora, Executive Vice President of SET Asia.
    “We have found the reliability and coverage offered by SES to be exemplary and we are very pleased to have renewed our contract.”

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    International channels to earn $5.5b by 2018
    October 23, 2013 10.02 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Viacom ($749 million) will reap the highest revenues of any international channel group in Europe in 2013, according to a new report from Digital TV Research.
    Covering 225 international channels/networks from 11 groups, the TV Channel Revenues in Europe report estimates that Viacom will be followed by Eurosport ($651 million) and Discovery ($620 million).
    chrevs 2013 pr pdf_Page_1Viacom will remain the largest channel group (growing to $975 million in 2018), again followed by Eurosport ($801 million) and Discovery ($772 million) – (although Discovery and Eurosport may have merged operations by then).
    Nicholas Moncrieff, report author, said: “The recession has hurt some regions more than others. The UK is buoyant overall, but no growth is expected in Spain & Portugal and Italy until next year. The estimates and forecasts in this report have been prepared using an analysis of a database of hundreds of financial records.”
    Total revenues for Europe’s top pay TV channels reached $4.21 billion in 2012, and will grow by 31% to $5.52 billion by 2018. Although it provides the bulk of the total, carriage fee revenue growth is slowing as markets mature. Carriage fee revenues will climb by 14.1% from $2.91 billion in 2012 to $3.32 billion in 2018. Advertising revenues will increase by 69% from $1.30 billion in 2012 to $2.20 billion by 2018.
    The UK and Ireland combined are the largest country group. Perhaps more surprising to some is that Eastern Europe is already the second largest region, and it is expected to gain ground on the UK & Ireland over the next five years.
    For more information about the TV Channel Revenues in Europe report, please see the Broadband TV News webshop.

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    Amino to integrate Vudu’s VOD movie service
    October 24, 2013 10.18 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Amino Communications is to integrate Vudu’s subscription-free, VOD movie service into its Live Home Media Centre IPTV platform.
    The new service element will allow Amino’s network operator customers to deliver Vudu’s catalogue of blockbusters, Hollywood classics and independent films to customers deploying the new IPTV set-top box.
    Pre-integrated with user interfaces from leading middleware providers, consumers will be able to step into the world of HD movies without a subscription. The dual core power of the Live platform allows for Vudu content delivery without compromising traditional middleware features such as recording and multiscreen streaming.
    “This landmark agreement with a global leader will be warmly welcomed by our customers as they strive to deliver new and innovative services,” said Amino CEO Donald McGarva, in a statement.
    “Vudu’s brand and content is a hugely exciting addition to our Live Home Media Centre and we look forward to introducing this powerful combination of device and rich content to the market.”
    Vudu also offers users to a wide range of access to Rotten Tomatoes reviews, Wikipedia movie details, current theatrical trailers, free previews plus strong parental controls.
    The Live Home Media Centre is Amino’s new IPTV platform.


 

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