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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Now Music comes to Samsung smart TVs October 24, 2013 10.12 Europe/London By Robert Briel Now Music on SamsungSamsung is

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    Now Music comes to Samsung smart TVs
    October 24, 2013 10.12 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Now Music on SamsungSamsung is bringing decades of pop hits to the big screen with the launch of its smart TV App from Now Music.
    The new App provides music fans with on-demand access to Now’s huge music library, including some of the biggest hits of all time from the last 30 years of Now That’s What I Call Music compilation albums. All videos are powered by Vevo through a syndication deal.
    Available from the Smart TV store, Samsung Apps, the Now Music Smart TV App gives viewers access to current chart music along with accessing bespoke Now playlists, which span all genres of music across three decades. Curated Video playlists and charts are also available.
    Commenting on the partnership, Guy Kinnell, head of TV and AV, Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland said: “When you pair the biggest selling compilation series of all time with the most awarded TV brand3, viewers will get the very best in picture and sound quality for the living room. Our 2013 Smart TVs include more vibrant and richer colours, higher contrasts and a brighter picture quality than ever before plus built-in sub woofers providing customers with the greatest music experience for the home.’’
    Alex McCloy, head of digital for Now Music said: We are really excited to be working with Samsung and Vevo in bringing Now fans the biggest and best curated music video playlists straight to their living room, as well as utilising every aspect of the Samsung Smart TV platform to create an engaging an innovative product.
    The announcement of the Now app for Samsung coincides with the launch of the Now That’s What I Call Music TV channel in the UK on October 23, on both Sky and FreeSat.

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    Telenet reports lower basic TV losses
    October 24, 2013 09.30 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Telenet builingBelgian operator Telenet said that organic loss rate of basic cable TV subscribers dropped to 4,100 in Q3 2013.
    The figure represents the lowest level since early 2007 despite increased competition, most of which are low-cost alternatives.
    Effective April 1, 2013, Telenet reclassified 166,400 digital cable TV subscribers to analogue cable television subscribers to reflect a change in the definition of basic digital cable television subscribers. As of Q2 2013, Telenet’s analogue cable TV subscriber base also includes subscribers who may use a purchased set?top box or other means to receive its basic digital cable channels without subscribing to any services that would require the payment of recurring monthly fees in addition to the basic analogue service fee.
    As of September 30, 2013, approximately 70% of Telenet’s basic cable TV subscribers were generating incremental ARPU on our interactive digital TV platform, including access to additional thematic content packs, movies and sports channels and the VOD library .
    Subscribers to the Telenet Digital TV platform grew 8% year?on?year to 1,466,600 at the end of September 2013. Over the first nine months of 2013, the operator attracted 66,400 net digital TV subscribers, of which 13,400 were added in Q3 2013.
    The cabler’s performance in Q3 2013 was impacted by a one?time clean?up of 3,500 inactive subscribers. Relative to the first nine months of last year, Telenet recorded sharply lower net subscriber growth as last year’s commercial performance was significantly boosted by the implementation of the analogue channel reshuffle.
    At the end of September 2013, 205,000 customers subscribed to the premium sports channels Sporting Telenet, representing an increase of 6% as compared to September 30, 2012. Since the acquisition of the Belgian football broadcasting rights, Telenet has recorded a 65% increase in the number of subscribers to Sporting Telenet.
    Subscribers to total basic analogue and digital cable television services were 2,093,400 at the end of September 2013, which represented approximately 72% of homes passed by the network. This represented a net organic loss of 24,200 basic cable TV subscribers since the start of 2013.
    “All our fixed services continued to enjoy a strong uptake in Q3 with 17,400 net subscribers for broadband internet and 13,400 for digital TV, which was impacted by a clean?up of 3,500 inactive subscribers,” said John Porter, CEO, Telenet, in a statement.
    “ Following the start of the new football season, our new campaigns were very successful and attracted another 8,900 net subscribers to Sporting Telenet, bringing the total base much over 200,000 now. Fixed telephony grew significantly by 31,700 net subscribers, the best quarterly growth since early 2009, fueled by the introduction of our new bundles and our new VoIP app. Despite new competition in the lower end of the market, our basic cable TV churn in Q3 2013 was at its lowest level since early 2007, representing a net subscriber loss of 4,100.”

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    Polish internet market consolidates
    October 24, 2013 09.11 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Wirtualna PolskaOrange Polska has agreed to sell the internet company Wirtualna Polska to O2 for PLN375 million (€89.8 million).
    The transaction is being financed by the private equity group Innova Capital and should be finalised in Q1 2014.
    However, it will require the agreement of the competition authority UOKiK. In a statement, Orange Polska says the sale of Wirtualne Polska will help it concentrate on its core activities.
    Wirtualna Polska is the longest-established internet company in Poland and the second most popular, with over 13 million users.
    Krzysztof Krawczyk, a partner at Innova Capital, said that merging Wirtualna Polska with O2 would create the largest internet company in Poland.
    He added that the group is looking for more investment opportunities.

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    Eutelsat revenues hit by lack of capacity
    October 30, 2013 09.32 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    Eutelsat - Communications System Control Centre (Rambouillet, France)Lack of capacity and a high fill-rate at key neighbourhoods resulted in Eutelsat’s video application revenues in Q1 2013-14 being virtually unchanged on the same period a year earlier.
    Results published by the satellite operator show that they amounted to €217.1 million in the three months to September 30, a modest increase of 0.4% year-on-year. On the other hand, revenues from data and value added services grew by 8.5% to €66.3 million over the same period, with the latter increasing by an impressive 42.2%.
    Total revenues in Q1 amounted to €323.5 million, a 2.9% increase year-on-year. In the video application sector, there was particularly strong growth in the number of channels broadcast from 16 degrees East, up by 23% year-on-year to 728 as of the end of September.
    Those at 7/8 degrees East and 36 degrees East increased by 17% to 688 and 9% to 786 respectively.
    As of the end of September, Eutelsat satellites broadcast a total of 4,713 channels (+7% y-o-y), of which 439 (+15.8% y-o-y) were HD.
    According to Eutelsat, professional revenues were slightly down as the first quarter of the previous fiscal year benefitted from additional demand for capacity generated by broadcasters and service providers delivering coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
    It also says coverage of Russia will be further enhanced with the entry into service of Express-AT1 (at 56 degrees East) and Express-AT2 (at 140 degrees East) in the second half of the current financial year, on which 16 transponders have already been contracted to Tricolor TV.
    Commenting on the results, Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat chairman and CEO said: “Eutelsat delivered first quarter 2013-2014 revenues in line with objectives. The performance of video applications reflects the lack of available capacity for this activity, which will be addressed with future fleet deployments. The Group’s main video neighbourhoods saw good channel growth, demonstrating the positive underlying trend in our main application. Data and Value-Added Services revenues were underpinned by the growing contribution from Value-Added Services, up 42% in the quarter. Revenues also factored in the effect of the acquisition of EUTELSAT 172A for data Services and Multi-usage.
    “This quarter saw the announcement of the acquisition of Satmex which, together with our multi-band Eutelsat 65 West A satellite to be launched to 65 degrees West will equip us to scale up our presence in the dynamic Latin American markets. Our in-orbit resources for North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia markets continues to expand with the entry into service today of the Eutelsat 25B satellite launched in August. Our deployment plan for the remainder of the current and the coming two years is on track, bringing additional capacity that will principally serve video markets in the fastest growing regions, notably Russia, the Middle East and Africa.
    “Our financial objectives remain unchanged for the current and following two years. They will be adjusted once the Satmex acquisition is closed, and if necessary in the context of the current discussions with SES on the 28.5 degrees East situation.”

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    France 24 launches new iOS app version
    October 30, 2013 10.21 Europe/London By Robert Briel
    France 24 iOS appFrance 24 is launching a new version of its iOS app, compatible with all Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPad Air and iPod Touch) available now for free.
    The new trilingual application (French, English, Arabic) features streamlined design and very fast video loading for greater user comfort.
    Optimised for Retina Display, this version has been completely redesigned for navigation on tablets and all video content (streaming or on demand) is now compatible with the Apple TV Air Play service.
    In addition to free access to articles, reports and all France 24 programmes, mobile users can now personalise their navigation thanks to a new Favourites page that lets them create a catalogue of content and build up lists of articles using keywords. They can also use the Tweets tab to follow the activity of France 24 news team journalists in real-time on Twitter.
    Users can share news items of their choice on the social networks. To follow breaking international news as it happens, users can also sign up for news alerts in the language of their choice.
    A pioneer in mobile broadcasts, France 24 has been available on iPhone since February 2009. The international channel was the first in the world to broadcast its programmes live on these devices and launched an iPad application on the day the new tablets came onto the market.

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    UPC Nederland launches free Wi-Fi spots
    October 30, 2013 09.07 Europe/London By Robert Briel
    WiFiUPC is following in the footsteps of Ziggo by launching a network of free Wi-Fi spots across its footprint.
    On Monday, October 28, the service is wolling out in the city of Zutphen, where the operator carried out a pilot during the past few weeks. Next will be the provinces of Flevoland and Friesland, to be followed by the remainder of the country. Early 2014 UPC hopes to have reached 500,000 free Wi-Fi spots across its footprint.
    The hot spots offer free Wi-Fi access to UPC customers when travelling within the operator’s footprint.However, only people who allow their own Wi=Fi router at home top be used as a free Wi-Fi spot, have access to the other sites.
    Earlier this month, Ziggo has announced it had reached one million active free Wi-Fi spots across its footprint.
    Duriong last month’s CTAM EuroSummit 2013, UPC Peter Dorr suggested that two opeators might join foces “Why not connect the two networks?” he said, “and all of a sudden we have a free Wi-Fi network for all cable customers. Unlimited wireless internet at many locations with a one-off authentication. And at the next level we can do it for other countries.”

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    AMC Networks to buy Chellomedia
    October 30, 2013 10.07 Europe/London By Robert Briel
    chello-officeAMC Networks has reached a definitive agreement to acquire all of Chellomedia, the international content division of Liberty Global, for €750 million.
    The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 and is subject to limited closing conditions. It is not dependent on any regulatory approvals. Last May Liberty Global put its Chellomedia television-channel business up for sale and was expected to bring in between €580 and €750 million.
    Liberty Global has said that it expects to realise cash proceeds for the above-described assets that are approximately equal to the agreed upon enterprise value of €750 million ($1,035 million). The consolidated assets to be divested generated approximately €350 million of revenue during the last twelve-months ended June 30, 2013.
    The agreement includes the acquisition of Chellomedia’s operating businesses including: Chello Central Europe, Chello Latin America, Chello Multicanal, Chello Zone, the ad sales unit Atmedia and the broadcast solutions unit Chello DMC, based in Amsterdam. In addition, Chellomedia’s stakes in its joint ventures with CBS International, A+E Networks, Zon Optimus and certain other partners are also part of the transaction.
    Liberty Global will retain its Dutch premium channel business, which consists of its Film1 and Sport1 channels.
    AMC Networks owns and operates a number of channels including AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv and owns hit shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. The acquisition provides AMC Networks with an extensive array of television channels that are distributed to more than 390 million households in 138 countries. The channels span a range of genres, including movie and entertainment networks, providing significant long-range opportunities for AMC Networks to distribute its popular original programming from its channels across an expansive global footprint.
    “Chellomedia has developed a remarkable portfolio of popular channels that reach hundreds of millions around the world. As AMC Networks has expanded internationally, we have had a great desire to do something we consider fundamentally strategic, which is to take our content and put it on channels we own. This acquisition allows us to secure a large, global platform on which to distribute our increasingly successful original programming through a collection of strong, well-established and well-managed assets worldwide,” said Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks.
    “Together, we can grow these assets and make them even more popular and valuable around the world.”
    “AMC Networks are content professionals with an excellent creative and business track record,” added Chellomedia President Niall Curran, “They are highly enthusiastic about the business we have built at Chellomedia and are ambitious to develop it further, making AMC Networks a great owner and partner for Chello’s next phase of growth.”
    Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global, said: “This is a great transaction for all parties. Chellomedia is one of the largest international channel groups with distribution to more than 390 million households in 138countries and I have no doubt that the management team will continue to build tremendous value as part of AMC. For Liberty Global, this transaction is attractive from both a valuation and liquidity perspective. It also simplifies our business and allows us to focus on our core markets and more strategic programming opportunities.”
    Chellomedia’s portfolio of channels includes movie channels: Canal Hollywood , CBS Drama, Cinematk, Europa Europa, Film Café, Film Mania, MGM, Somos, XTRM ; Entertainment channels: Buzz, Canal A, CBS Reality , Film&Arts, Horror Channel, MOV, Sol Musica; Sports channels: America Sports, Extreme Sports Channel, Sport1(in various territories); Children’s channels: Panda Biggs, Jim Jam, Megamax, Minimax, Panda; Lifestyle channels: Canal Cocina, Casa, Cosmopolitan, Decasa, El Gourmet, Ella, Outdoor, Spektrum Home, TV Paprika ; and documentary channels: Bio, Crimen & Investigacion, Historia, Natura, Odisea, Odisseia, Reality TV, Spektrum

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    New digital landmark for Hungary
    October 30, 2013 08.59 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    HungaryTwo-thirds (66.8%) of pay-TV subscribers in Hungary were receiving digital services as of this September, according to data published by the regulator NMHH.
    Based on data provided by suppliers covering 88% of the broadcast market, there were a total of 3,378,000 TV subscriptions in the country as of September.
    Cable and IPTV claimed 1,965,460, with 965,473 of these digital, while the number of DTH and MMDS subscriptions amounted to 924,735.
    Pay-DTT is now an established feature of the Hungarian market, with the MinDig TV Extra service operated by Antenna Hungária claiming 118,305 subscribers.
    The total number of digital subscriptions in September stood at 2,008,513.
    UPC remained the leading provider of pay-TV services irrespective of technology, with a market share of 26.3%.
    It was closely followed by Magyar Telekom and Digi, with 23.6% and 22.8% respectively.

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    Russian broadband battle intensifies
    October 30, 2013 08.37 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    VimpelcomVimpelCom has lost its position as one of the top three providers of broadband services in Russia.
    Quoting data produced by Telecomdaily, Vedomosti says the company now finds itself in fourth spot, claiming just over 2.3 million subscribers as of the end of Q3, or 48,000 fewer than three months earlier.
    Third spot is now held by MTS, which gained 35,000 subscribers in the third quarter to end September with 2,330,000.
    Rostelecom remains the market leader with over 9 million broadband subscriber at the end of Q3, followed by the cable operator ER Telecom with over 2,630,000 subscribers.
    VimpelCom occupied second spot as recently as the end of 2012, before falling behind ER Telecom and now MTS.
    The changes in position are due to growing competition in the regional broadband market and at the same time MTS sttengthening its position in Moscow.
    However, VimpelCom is now selling broadband services in over 100 cities – and pay-TV in 36 – and could bounce back, especially if it restructures its business.

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    Ukrtelecom profits fall
    October 30, 2013 08.19 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    UkrtelecomThe Ukrainian incumbent Ukrtelecom has posted revenues of UAH4.936 billion (€432.4 million) for the first nine months of this year.
    This was slightly down from the UAH5.099 billion in the same period in 2012 and due to the continuing trend of lower income from fixed line telephony services.
    Ukrtelecom says its main focus remains the provision of internet and data services, with revenues from these amounting to UAH983 million in the first nine months of this year, or UAH41 million more than a year earlier.
    It adds that its net profit in the first nine months of this year was UAH113 million, with Q3 contributing UAH86 million to the total.
    Significantly, under IFRS this is reported by Interfax to be only a third of the figure posted for the same period in 2012.
    EBITDA was meanwhile UAH1.045 billion, with Q3 contributing UAH404 million.
    Ukrtelecom was acquired by the SCM Group earlier this month for a fee believed to be in the region of €1 billion.
    The deal was first announced in June.


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