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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Zattoo revamps its OTT service October 30, 2013 08.06 Europe/London By Robert Briel zatoo epgSwiss based OTT service Zattoo has

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    Zattoo revamps its OTT service
    October 30, 2013 08.06 Europe/London By Robert Briel
    zatoo epgSwiss based OTT service Zattoo has relaunched its live streaming online TV service.
    The new look Zattoo claims to be faster and has started to offer recommendations for viewers in Germany. This feature has been available to subscribers in Switzerland for some time and is now also available in Germany.
    Zattoo said its new player automatically recognises the device on which it is accessed, be it a computer, smart phone or tablet, and automatically adjusts the live streams for optimal viewing.
    Users of the Zattoo HiQ premium service can also use the arrow keys on their keyboard for faster zapping between channels and, in the case of Swiss subscribers, can also use the Restart function. This allows viewers to go back to the beginning of a programme.
    “The relaunch represents an important milestone for Zattoo,” said Nick Brambring, CEO of Zattoo, “The new website will help us especially on mobile devices in attracting additional users and with the further improved WebPlayer we our lead over our competitors in terms of performance and functionality.”
    Zattoo’s main competitor in the German market will be Swedish Magine, which is currently available in beta for viewers in Germany.

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    Africabox launches OTT offer
    October 30, 2013 07.40 Europe/London By Robert Briel
    Africabox TV
    AfricaboxAfricabox has started to offer its two channels as an OTT service, on the web, smartphones and tablets, either live or on demand.
    Africabox offers thematic pay-TV channels dedicated to the culture of sub-Saharan Africa. It was introduced on IPTV networks in 2009 with the pay TV music channel Africabox TV, available from major cable providers, and has recently launched Africabox Séries, a second channel devoted to cinema and fiction.
    Africabox is now partnering up with TDF Media Services to make all its contents available as an OTT offering.
    To that effect, the companies that make up TDF Media Services (Cognacq-Jay Image, Qbrick, and SmartJog) have developed a fully integrated solution. Africabox subscribers will have unlimited access to Africabox TV and Africabox Séries, either live or on-demand, 24/7. They will be able to view both channels at the same time, and to rewind up to three hours after the beginning of a programme.
    “Our comprehensive offer, which includes content acquisition for both channels, transcoding, catalog management, and content delivery network (CDN), allowed us to offer Africabox a turnkey solution”, explained Michael Da-Silva, business development manager.
    “In addition to providing efficiency, reliability and quality, TDF Media Services manages the production’s value chain from start to finish, meaning we only have to speak to one provider who is furthermore an expert on these matters. This allows us to focus on our core activity,” adds Maria-Laureine Aboke, general manager of Africabox.
    Subscriptiona to Afrocabox are starting at €3.99 per month.
    Earlier this month, Thema has launched Le Bouquet Africain La Box TV in partnership with Alpha Networks. This bouquet also targets French-speaking viewers from sub-Saharan Africa with an offer of 20 channels.

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    OTE TV enhances service
    October 30, 2013 08.55 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    ote_tv_logoGreece’s OTE TV will launch a new PVR set-top box at the beginning of November.
    According to Digital TV Info, it will be the Technicolor (formerly Thomson) DSI 810 with a 320 GB internal hard disk drive, though only 250 GB will be available for recording, the remainder being reserved for future services such as Cinema on Demand.
    The new box will cost new and existing OTE TV subscribers an additional €4 a month.
    According to Dimitris Michalakis, OTE TV’s general manager, the platform already has more than 230,000 subscribers.

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    TEO goes multiscreen
    October 30, 2013 08.32 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    gala-brollyThe Lithuanian incumbent TEO has announced the launch of a new multiscreen service named
    Available to its customers from November, it will initially give viewers access to around 20 channels, with a three-day catch-up available, via PCs, smartphones and tablets anywhere in Lithuania.
    The channel line-up will in due course be expanded and VOD added to the offer next year. is being made available in test mode to over 100,000 Interactive GALA TV subscribers who have opted for Mano TEO before its full debut.
    TEO quotes the results of a study by SIC that shows viewing video and TV over the internet is becoming increasingly popular in Lithuania.
    Viewing videos and movies is 33% higher than year than in 2012, while TV show viewing has risen by 66%.

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    CME slumps to new low
    October 30, 2013 07.09 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
    cme-plasmaThe new management team at Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has described the company’s latest set of results as “unacceptable”.
    In a statement accompanying them, Michael Del Nin, co-CEO, commented: “Christoph (Mainusch) and I find this level of performance unacceptable and have directed all of our energy since starting with CME a few weeks ago to addressing the major reasons for these financial results and making changes to improve them going forward.”
    Christoph Mainusch, co-CEO, added: “Our leading audience shares give us a strong advantage over our competition, and we intend to capitalise on this by concentrating our efforts on improving the monetization of our audiences. Improving the performance of our Czech operations is the top priority. We believe that rebuilding our relationships with agencies and clients while protecting price increases achieved during the year is an essential step to improving our competitive position in that market.”
    The results saw CME post net revenues of $135,838,000 (€98,635,600) in the third quarter, compared to $140,092,000 in the corresponding period last year. OIBDA went from a positive $3,508,000 to negative $32,444,000 over the same period and operating loss from $18,401,000 to $44,967,000. The net loss was reduced from $32,637,000 to $23,273,000.
    Results for the first nine months of the year were equally disappointing, with the net loss year-on-year growing from $43,309,000 to $173,324,000.
    Of major concern to CME is the way the Czech Republic, for many years its cash cow in the CEE region, is now performing so badly.
    Indeed, its revenues in Q3 of $39,363,000 contrasted with $51,566,000 a year earlier, while those in its other markets, with the exception of Slovakia, either rose or remained constant.
    Interestingly, Romania has now overtaken the Czech Republic in revenue terms.
    CME is one of the longest established operators of commercial TV services in the CEE region.
    It currently has a presence in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia.

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    Tough times for Croatian incumbent
    October 31, 2013 08.45 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Hrvatski TelekomGrowth in its TV business was one of the few highlights in what was an otherwise challenging first nine months of the year for Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT).
    The Croatian incumbent ended September with 361,748 residential TV customers, or 9.9% more than a year and 2.4% more than in Q2 2013.
    Its business TV customer total was meanwhile 21,566, representing increases of 7.9% and 2.4% on a year and three months earlier.
    T-HT saw its residential broadband subscriber total fall by 4% year-on-year to 521,453 and rise by 4.3% year-on-year in the business segment to 109,455.
    Although T-HT maintained its leading market position in residential mobile, fixed line ands IP, its financial performance was disappointing.
    Group revenues in the first nine months of the year amounted to €689 million, down from €753 million a year earlier. EBITDA was down by 19.5% to €284 million and net profit nu 30.6% to €128 million.
    Commenting on the results, Ivica Mudrinic, president of the management board (CEO), said: “During the third quarter of 2013 there was again no improvement in Croatia’s national economy and in the absence of any signs of recovery, a third credit ratings agency downgraded Croatia to sub-investment grade. On 1 July 2013, Croatia became a member of the EU and in light of the country’s fiscal challenges Croatia will enter the EU’s Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). EU accession and the related adoption of the EU regulatory framework has impacted the Group’s performance, with a greater fall in visitor revenue than had been expected. Consequently, revenue for the third quarter of 2013 fell 12% and EBITDA before exceptional items was 21.6% lower.?
    “Whilst the imminent move into EDP may hasten the implementation of structural reforms in Croatia’s economy over the medium term, given the Group’s third quarter results we have amended our Outlook for the full year. We now expect an EBITDA before exceptional items margin of between 42% to 43%. However, the remainder of the Outlook is unchanged. ?Despite the current economic challenges, the Group has nevertheless held on to its leading market position.
    “We continue to focus on developing new products and innovative services in line with the business transformation strategy currently underway. The Group will endeavour to remain at the forefront of technological development to ensure we provide services that both anticipate and meet our customers ever evolving requirements, and maintain our position as the leading provider in our markets.”

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    Motorvision HD expands to France
    October 31, 2013 08.35 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Motorvision HD logo weißMotorvision HD will be launching with Orange on its IPTV platform in France this November.
    Orange S.A. and German Car TV Programm GmbH, which operates the car channel, have signed a distribution agreement during MIPCOM 2013 in Cannes. Orange will be the first TV-operator in France to launch the channel.
    Motorvision HD” will be available within Orange´s two sport channel Packages: the Bouquet Sport and the Pack Sport and will be broadcast in a French language version. The pay-TV channel offers a
    high-definition insight into the world of cars, engines, trucks, bikes, and motor sports.
    “It is a milestone for us to launch our channel in France and we are very delighted to be partnering with one of the leading European operators in this important and increasing market”, explained Raimund Köhler,
    CEO of German Car TV Programm GmbH.
    “After successfully operating a German and an English channel in various countries, the launch of our channel in a French version gives us the opportunity to reach a new audience for our high quality program.”
    Studio 555 based in Marseille produces the French language version of the channel. The distribution deal with Orange was arranged by Gorse & Co (Nicolas Gorse) and USMedia (James Wells).
    Motorvision operates a number of TV channels that are distributed via Sky in German-speaking Europe, and in the Middle East and North Africa via Orbit Showtime Network. Motorvision HD is broadcast throughout many Asian countries through networks such as Thailand’s Truevisions. In Europe Motorvision HD is available on OTE in Greece, Telekom Slovenije and Orange Romania.

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    English Club TV secures UPC Austria carriage
    October 31, 2013 10.19 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    UPC Austria has begun to carry edutainment programmes made by English Club TV in its VOD offer.
    Commenting on the development, Andrew Semchenko, CEO of English Club TV Ltd, said: “Our multinational team follows the strategy to expand the territory of broadcasting. We are happy that this summer finishes with signing a contract with UPC Austria.”
    He added: “This is not only the beginning of a new academic year, but also the start of the new television season in autumn. According to the statistics provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, every 7th student in Austria studies in English. I believe that our programmes help to overcome the language barrier and make learning of the English language interesting and fascinating for more and more people. I think that our programmes will be useful for pupils, students, teachers of English, businessmen, travelers etc. And I am persuaded that all the little viewers and their parents will enjoy our kids’ module that was developed to help children learn English in a fun way and develop their creative potential.”
    English Club TV and ECTV are brands of English Club TV Group, which encompasses a number of production, education and distribution companies that operate worldwide in the field of English language teaching.
    English Club TV is available in Europe, Asia and Africa and has a HD version, launched in November 2012.
    Liberty Global-backed UPC is meanwhile the leading cable operator in Austria.

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    Court bans Deutsche Telekom throttling
    October 31, 2013 09.05 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    judgement hammerThe Landgericht Köln has ruled that Deutsche Telekom can not throttle internet speeds with its flat-rate products.
    The consumer watchdog organisation Verbraucherzentrale NRW has started proceedings against a clause in the contracts for fixed-line internet access at flat rates, which gives Telekom the right to throttle broadband access speeds when a certain limit has been reached. The clause does not apply for Telekom’s own IPTV service Entertain.
    The throttling makes using OTT services almost impossible and even access to regular internet sites take a long time to load, according to the watchdog.
    The Court agreed with the consumer group that the clause does pose a ‘unreasonable disadvantage’ to customers and told Telekom to remove it in order to establish a level playing field for all services.

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    BT Sport touches 4 million homes
    October 31, 2013 10.17 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    BT Sport DiscussionBT Sport is now available in some four million homes, the telco has announced.
    Subscriber numbers are split evenly between 2 million BT Sport retail customers that include those watching via satellite, BT TV, online or via the app.
    Another 2 million viewers have been secured following BT Sport’s recent agreement with Virgin Media.
    The three-channel bouquet, comprising BT Sport 1 & 2 and ESPN, is available free to BT broadband subscribers. It can also be purchased for viewing by non-BT subscribers for viewing over Sky and broadband.
    BT TV, the former BT Vision, added 70,000 new TV customers to reach an installed base of 900,000.
    156,000 retail broadband customers were added on the quarter, representing 93% of the DSL and fibre broadband market net additions, taking BT’s broadband customer base to around 7m. BT added 195,000 retail fibre broadband customers taking the total around 1.7m.


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