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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

KPN launches Videoland Unlimited S-VOD November 5, 2013 07.40 Europe/London By Robert Briel videoland VODDutch IPTV provider KPN Interactieve TV

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    KPN launches Videoland Unlimited S-VOD
    November 5, 2013 07.40 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    videoland VODDutch IPTV provider KPN Interactieve TV is launching the Videoland Unlimited S-VOD service on Monday, November 11.
    The service costs €10 a month and offers viewers a ‘all you can eat’ choice out of 2,000 movies and TV programmes from the Vieeoland library. The service is set to compete with Netflix, which launched last September offering an unlimited subscription for €7.99 monthly.
    Last August, RTL announced that the broadcaster has acquired 65% in The Entertainment Group (TEG), the company that owns and operates the on demand activities of Videoland.
    At the moment, Videoland is part of the KPN IPTV service and is available on PCs and Macs and a number of smart TVs including Philips and Samsung (under the MovieMax brand).
    The service will compete with the S-VOD services from the premium channels Film1 and HBO, that each offer on-demand content alongside the linear channels.
    Other players on the VOD scene in The Netherlands include Pathe Thuis (owned by the Patrher cinemas), SBS Broadcasting’s Veamer portal and Ximon, which specialises in Dutch TV and movie content.

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    New exec joins Fox International Channels
    November 5, 2013 07.02 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Mitzi BerberiMitzi Berberi has been appointed head of business & legal affairs, UK, France and Africa/head of legal production, Europe, by Fox International Channels Europe & Africa.
    In her new role, she will be based in London and report directly to Gabriella Dore, SVP, general counsel, Fox International Channels.
    For the past five years Berberi worked as head of legal and business affairs at Zodiak Rights, the international distribution and rights distribution arm of Zodiak Media.
    Prior to that, she was VP of business and legal Affairs at the Canadian company Distraction Formats, one of the leading television format distributors in Europe and Canada.
    She also served as legal counsel to international importer-exporter SAMFET Group, and has worked as an attorney at Canadian law firm Campbell, Cohen, Léveillé.

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    Philippines confirms ISDB standard
    November 5, 2013 07.35 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    The Philippines will use the Japanese ISDB standard for the transmission of digital television services.
    The move was confirmed by the National Telecommunications Commission, following a public meeting held on October 29. It said there had been no opposition from stakeholders.
    Two years ago, following the official adoption of the technology, the Commission had been ordered to examine the possibility of using DVB-T2.
    The Commission will now issue a formal circular on the adoption that will take effect by the end of November.

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    UTV HD to reach all platforms
    November 5, 2013 07.31 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    UTV_hqUTV has announced that from Monday, November 4, it will be available in HD on both the Sky and FreeSat platforms in Ireland.
    UTV was the first broadcaster based in Ireland to launch an HD channel in October 2010, when the Queen officially started the service in Northern Ireland.
    “Northern Ireland’s favourite television station will be a little brighter, clearer and crisper for many, as UTV goes HD on satellite across Freesat and Sky,” said Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television.
    “Sky and Freesat viewers will enjoy a new dimension to their viewing, with even greater picture clarity on UTV HD.”
    He added: “Viewers have already been able to access UTV HD via the Freeview and Virgin platforms.
    “Bringing HD to the two additional platforms of Sky and Freesat represents a significant investment by UTV and one which we think our viewers will enjoy immensely.
    “I’d like to thank our team of engineers and transmission crew, the ITV team and all our other technology partners for delivering the service. And I’d like to thank viewers for watching UTV; we hope you continue to enjoy our great line-up of programmes – now in HD for all.”

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    Tricolor TV rebrands channels
    November 5, 2013 07.26 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Tricolor-TV-MapThe leading Russian DTH platform Tricolor TV has rebranded three of its proprietary film channels Kinopokaz, Kinopokaz-HD1 and Kinopokaz HD-2.
    Plans to rebrand the channels were announced as far back as Q1 2012, when Tricolor TV acquired the business part of Pervogo TVC, responsible for producing the three channels.

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    Azam TV to launch in Tanzania
    November 5, 2013 13.48 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Azam TV logoEutelsat and Azam Media have signed a long-term contract for capacity on the Eutelsat 7A satellite.
    Azam Media will use 108 MHz of capacity connected to the satellite’s African footprint as the platform to broadcast its new TV venture, AzamTV, into sub-Saharan Africa, starting in East Africa, from its base in Tanzania.
    Azam Media is in the final stages of preparation to launch AzamTV, a platform of over 55 African and international channels for a monthly subscription of the local equivalent of $8. The platform will include three home-grown channels, Azam One, Azam Two and Sinema Zetu (films in Kiswahili). It will also broadcast live and recorded Tanzania Premier League matches and carry the top free-to-air channels in each of the countries it covers. From its target home market in Tanzania, the platform will be commercialised rapidly across East Africa before being extended across sub-Saharan Africa.
    AzamTV will be compressed in MPEG4 and uplinked by Eutelsat to the Eutelsat 7A satellite from its Cagliari teleport in Sardinia. In addition to capacity and uplink services, Eutelsat has developed a training programme for installers called ‘Satëlite’ to ensure that subscribers to AzamTV receive the best service for the installation of their DTH equipment. Over the last two weeks of October the ‘Satëlite’ team successfully trained over 500 installers from across Tanzania.
    Commenting on the launch, Rhys Torrington, CEO of Azam Media, said: “The arrival of AzamTV as a trans-continental pay-TV platform finally marks the availability of affordable and high-quality digital channels for viewers in Tanzania and way beyond. With the footprint and the services provided by Eutelsat we benefit from a solid platform and unrivalled DTH experience that will help transform into reality our vision of delivering exceptional entertainment at a great price into ordinary TV homes across the region.”
    Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat’s CCO, added: “We are delighted to forge this new relationship with a leading Tanzanian company poised to accelerate East Africa’s transition to digital and offer viewers the dual benefits of increased choice and exceptional signal quality. The African footprint and power of Eutelsat 7A combined with our knowledge of building audience reach and installer training will support this exciting new venture in Africa’s dynamic broadcasting market.”
    Azam Media belongs to Bakhresa Group, one of the leading industrial houses in Tanzania.

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    Telefónica sells Czech operation
    November 5, 2013 11.22 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    telefonica_campusTelefónica has agreed to sell a 65.9% stake in its Czech subsidiary to PPF Group NV for €2,467 million in cash.
    Of this, €2,063 million will be payable upon completion of the deal and €404 million after four years.
    Before transferring the shares, Telefónica will also receive an additional payment of €260 million this month for the dividend declared.
    Significantly, it will maintain a 4.9% stake in Telefónica Czech Republic and remain its industrial and commercial partner for the next four years.
    This will be despite the expectation that PPF will launch a mandatory offer for the remaining capital.
    The sale, which includes Telefónica’s interests in neighbouring Slovakia, will see Telefónica Czech Republic and Telefónica Slovakia change their names but continue to trade under the O2 brand for a maximum of four years.
    The company will also join Telefónica’s Partners Programme, an initiative offering other operators the opportunity to benefit from Telefónica’s scale and cooperate on key business areas.
    The deal is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

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    Alden to head Wananchi Holdings
    November 5, 2013 10.26 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Richard AldenWananchi Group Holdings LTD (WGH), the company behind the ZUKU pay-TV brand, has appointed Richard Alden as new Group CEO of the regional media and ICT Company.
    Alden who has been the Group’s chief operating officer takes over from Richard Bell who has led the company for the last two years. Bell will take a new role as a non-executive vice chairman of the board.
    Alden was one of the founding directors of Spanish cablenet ONO and was also CFO of Groupe Videotron, Optel Inc.
    “Richard has done more than we asked him to do and has done it in record time under some of the most challenging circumstances, considering much of the fundraising was done in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008 when it was extremely difficult to attract investments especially into the TMT sector in Africa. Today we are happy to see that the company is sitting on a solid foundation and ready to move to the next level,” said group chairman Ali Mufuruki.
    Established in 2008, Wananchi Group Holdings serves East Africa from its base in Nairobi, Kenya.

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    ANACOM accused of mishandling Portuguese switchover
    November 5, 2013 10.09 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    AnacomPortuguese regulator ANACOM has defended itself against charges that it mismanaged the transition to digital television, saying it did everything possible.
    Consumer champion DECO says the regulator should have ensured a continuity of reception, at an affordable price, and provide information to consumers. But failed at all three.
    “The poor quality of service is a reflection of all the current failings: the regulator made a few measurements before total shutdown and concentrated on the coast, harming the rural population, most in need of a television service. Despite the actions after the switch-off, consumers continue to complain about the poor signal they receive in their homes,” DECO said in a statement.
    ANACOM said the migration to DTT was a technically complex process, pointing to its direction of operator PT Comunicações to improve the network, which resulted in the installation of new transmitters and further initiatives.
    It also made clear that DECO was heavily involved in the transition: “Throughout the process, DECO worked in partnership with ANACOM, bringing information to the population about the migration process: ensuring people knew what to do, what equipment they needed, and that people knew there was more than one type of coverage and about the available subsidy programmes.”
    ANACOM said it had contributed €75,000 to a scheme that had seen DECO conduct 100 information sessions around the country.
    DECO was one of the entities that took part in the Grupo de Acompanhamento da Migração para a Televisão Digital (Digital Television Migration Monitoring Group); chaired by ANACOM hand set up to oversee the switchover process.

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    Ultra HD: Sky sounds note of caution
    November 5, 2013 09.44 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    4K_shoot_2_300wBSkyB will not rush into Ultra HD until it can be sure it can deliver a lot more to consumers than at present, according to Chris Johns, the company’s chief engineer, broadcast strategy.
    Speaking in a debate organised by the International Moving Image Society (BKSTS) entitled The Merging of Film & TV, he added that the current situation contrasted with the introduction of HD, which was a ‘perfect storm’ as it came at the same time as CRT sets were being replaced by flat screens.
    He added that the HD services now offered in the UK are of a very high quality and it would be pointless to provide another good product (Ultra HD) on sets on the market that are of poor quality.
    Sky does not want to jump too quickly and “wants to make sure that Ultra HD is a big step change when (it) moves to live events.”
    Andy Quested, the BBC’s head of technology for BBC HD and UHDTV, also expressed caution about the introduction of Ultra HD, saying it was not just about producing pictures that have more pixels.
    Alison Hutchins, senior propositions manager at BT Media and Broadcast, meanwhile said that it would be best to initially show 4K services in cinemas, clubs and pubs, focusing on special events.
    There will subsequently be opportunities to monetise such services in homes when broadcasting football.


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