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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

$293 million loan framework for AMOS-6 November 12, 2013 08.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover Amos MCRSpacecom has announced plans for

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    $293 million loan framework for AMOS-6
    November 12, 2013 08.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Amos MCRSpacecom has announced plans for an AMOS-6 satellite after signing agreements with banks and the satellite’s future manufacturer.
    The loans, to the value of a little over US$293 million will cover the satellite’s construction, launch, insurance and financing.
    The consortium is led by Export Development Canada (EDC) which will loan up to US$140 million; Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) which will loan up to US $106 million and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with a loan up to US $47 million.
    IAI will be responsible for the manufacture and preparation for the launch of the satellite that will be positioned at 4 degrees West, current home to AMOS-2 and AMOS-3.
    IAI is responsible for manufacturing and preparing for launch of the satellite whose launch date is scheduled for 2015 to the AMOS 4įW ‘hot spot,’ current home to the AMOS-2 and AMOS-3.
    “Creating the loan framework with the leading export banks of the USA and Canada is recognition that Spacecom’s AMOS-6 is an important project for the satellite industry,” David Pollack, president and CEO of Spacecom commented. “AMOS-6 is an important building block of our forward looking business strategy and growth. We are excited to grow further in our program toward becoming a global satellite operator. We thank both EDC and EXIM for their trust and support”
    AMOS-6 will be both larger and more powerful than AMOS-2 and AMOS-3 combined.
    Its addition will extend Western Europe and multi-beam coverage over parts of Africa to existing Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East coverage.

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    RTL grows digital, expands in Croatia
    November 12, 2013 08.17 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    RTL catch-up TV on HbbTVRTL Group is continuing to grow its digital business and also has plans to launch a new TV channel in Croatia this winter.
    Results published by the company show that it performed strongly across all digital platforms in the first nine months of this year.
    Catch-up TV services and websites, including the Youtube Multi-Channel Network (MCN) Broadband TV, attracted a total of 10.1 billion online vide views, or 122% more than a year earlier.
    FremantleMedia’s 135 Youtube channels meanwhile attracted 4.6 billion views, up 77% on a year earlier, and online video advertising was 53% up in Germany, 20% in France and 33% in the Netherlands year-on-year.
    In September 2013, FremantleMedia acquired a minority stake in Divimove, the second largest MCN on Youtube in Germany, with the potential of further investments in the future. This strengthens RTL Group’s position as the fourth largest MCN operator globally
    The company also says that RTL Hrvatska, its Croatian subsidiary, plans to launch RTL Kockica, a new children’s and family channel, this winter.
    Further investments are planned for Asia. RTL Group’s partnership with CBS Studios International, announced in August 2013, is advancing. The first channel, RTL CBS Entertainment HD, is already on air in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines
    RTL Group’s revenues in the first nine months of the year were €4,048 million, or 1.5% less than in the same period in 2012.
    However, its reported EBITDA was up by 6.4% over the same period to €714 million and net profit by 41.2% to €535 million.

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    Lithuanian cableco sees profit cut
    November 13, 2013 08.22 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Balticum TVThe Lithuanian cable operator Balticum TV has posted a pre-tax profit of LTL2.2 million (€637,610) for the first nine months of this year.
    This was 13.6% lower than in the same period last year, when, according to VZ, its net earnings reached LTL2.5 million.
    Quoting Virginijaus Jurgeleviciasus, Balticum TV’s director of administration, it adds that this was due to the acquisition of the telco Rygveda in August, which entailed covering some of the latter’s obligations and also resulted in the shedding of some staff.
    Balticum TV’s income in the first nine months of the year amounted to LTL23.5 million, or 1.7% more than in the same period in 2012.
    Its most lucrative market was the city of Klaipeda, with revenues of over LTL2 million a month, followed by the capital, Vilnius, with LTL400,000 a month.
    Balticum TV is one of the longest established cable operators in Lithuania, tracing its roots back to the first cable network in Klaipeda in 1989.
    A founder and permanent member of the Lithuanian Cable Television Association (LKTA), it currently has at least 85,000 cable and 25,000 internet subscribers.

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    Mixed fortunes for Altice cablecos
    November 13, 2013 00.39 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Israel’s HOT remains by far and away Altice’s most lucrative cable asset.
    The latest set of results published by the Luxembourg-based company shows that its Israeli operation generated €669.4 million in revenues in the first nine months of the year, up from €634.9 million in the same period last year.
    Of this, cable-based services accounted for €527 million (€509.6 million) of the total and mobile services €142.4 million (€125.3 million).
    According to Altice, the increase in cable-based services revenue in Israel was mainly due to a 7.7% ARPU increase, due to increased focus on multi-play offerings; more triple-play subscriptions; and increased take-up of higher speed broadband services.
    On the other hand, there was a net decrease in total cable RGUs “as our third party customer service and technical support provider had not allocated sufficient resources to manage the intake and connection arrangements for potential new subscribers.”
    Altice’s HOT had 1,145,000 cable subscribers, of who 448,000 received triple-play services, in Israel as of the end of September.
    The corresponding figures for its operations in Belgium and Luxembourg were 115,000 and 51,000 respectively, and 240,000 and 136,000 respectively in Portugal, where the company has owned Cabovis„o since February 2012.
    Total revenues in Belgium and Luxembourg in the first nine months of the year amounted to €53.1 million (€45.2 million in 2012), with cable-based services accounting for €45.7 million (€45.2 million) of the total.
    The corresponding figures for Portugal were €159.6 million (€174.6 million) and €83.4 million (€88.6 million).
    In Portugal, the company lost around 64.000 RGUs due to intense competition from other cable providers.
    On the other hand, the company managed to reduce its operating expenses in Portugal by 19.6% year-on-year to €47.2 million in the first nine months of 2013.
    Altice in total had consolidated revenues of €1.47 billion across the seven territories it operates in in the first nine months of the year.
    Consolidated EBITDA amounted to €573 million

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    MYTF1VOD launches on Xbox One
    November 13, 2013 06.12 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    MYTF1VODFrance’s MYTF1VOD service will launch on Microsoft’s Xbox One on November 22.
    The premium VOD portal will offer recent movies, TV series including ‘instant US series’, which can be requested 24 hours after the original US broadcast.
    The announcement comes at the time when Microsoft unveils all its Xbox One content partners in France, which include TV d’Orange, 6Play (from the M6 group), Canal+/CanalSat, Pluzz (from public channels France 2,3,4,5), Machinima, MUZU TV, MyTF1, SFR TV, TED and Twitch.
    “We set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home. The one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps,” said Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer.
    “Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them in a way that is seamless and easy to use.”

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    DIRECTV Play brings multi-network TV everywhere to Latin America
    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 13-11-2013

    DIRECTV is launching DIRECTV Play, the first TV everywhere platform in Latin America that integrates multiple feeds into one single platform.
    Content will be included from different providers, such as HBO GO, Moviecity Play, Fox Play, Fox Sports Play, Space Plus, TNT Plus, ESPN Play and DIRECTVSports (with exclusive live matches of the major leagues).
    The satellite provider selected the Toolbox Cloud Hub technology to support the service, which allows online access to more than 5,000 movies, TV shows, sports programming, news and kids programming from one digital portal, available over devices.
    Cloud Hub integrates with the content management systems of different content providers, and then collects, indexes, adapts and unifies all the metadata into the same logic in order to develop a single point of access with content from multiple providers.
    Toolbox technology streamlines authentication into a one-time validation process, allowing users to access six different platforms with a single login.

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    Rovi seals HEVC integration deal with Panasonic
    Michelle Clancy | 13-11-2013

    Rovi has signed an agreement with Panasonic to integrate Rovi's DivX HEVC technology into its next-generation digital television and Blu-ray disc ICs. The announcement marks the first licensing agreement for DivX HEVC technology.
    The combined solution enables consumer electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to release devices that support streaming and playback of HD 720p and 1080p and 4K UltraHD HEVC content.
    "Representing a continuing evolution in compression technology, HEVC is a key to delivering consistently high quality video experiences across a broad range of devices," said Koji Kitamura, general manager of the Solution Development Group, Division 2 at Panasonic. "Integrating DivX HEVC streaming and playback support into our chipsets is very instrumental to high quality video applications and services."
    Rovi's solution includes MainConcept encoding SDKs for professional content creators; the DivX Video Service with DivX DRM for protected content delivery for service providers, mobile operators and content retailers across multiscreen devices; DivX 10 software tools for PC-based DivX HEVC creation and playback; and an extension to the DivX Certification program to allow IC and OEM customers to bring to market mobile and consumer electronics products that support DivX HEVC playback.
    DivX HEVC Certified Devices will support an advanced feature set for media playback including multi-language subtitles and audio tracks, trick-play track for smooth fast forward and rewind, chapter points for quick scene navigation, and resume playback across devices. To date, over one billion DivX devices have shipped worldwide — representing more than 30,000 unique models from multiple major consumer electronics brands.
    "We continue to make progress in helping accelerate HEVC adoption across the video ecosystem," said Kanaan Jemili, senior vice president of product management at Rovi. "Rovi has delivered tools to help consumers and professionals create HEVC content, and now with this agreement, we are bringing HEVC streaming and playback capability to the IC ecosystem to support the next-generation entertainment experience."

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    French launch for A+E channels
    November 134 2013 05.26 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    A+E Networks and Canal+ has launched Planete+ A+E and Planete + Crime+ Investigation (CI) in France.
    Both channels will carry original content from A+E Networks’ factual entertainment catalogue, along with local productions.
    Commenting on the development, Dean Possenniskie, MD, Europe, A+E Networks, said: “The rollout of Planete+ A&E and Planete+ CI in France marks an important milestone for A+E Networks.
    “We’re looking forward to working closely with Canal+ to bringing French audiences the highest quality factual entertainment programming and strengthening our viewership in this vital market.”
    Olivier Stroh, Canal+ director of factual theme-based channels, added: “The Canal + Group Factual Channels are excited to provide our viewers with programs from the A+E Networks catalogue that will enrich the diversity of the Planete + A&E and Planete + CI editorial offer.”
    Planete+ A&E will offer programming from the A+E Networks content catalogue, including Duck Dynasty, Storage Wars, Billy the Exterminator, My Ghost Story, Pawn Stars, and Counting Cars among others.
    Some of the programmes that will air on Planete+ CI include: Cajun Justice, Crime 360, Casanova Killers, Escaping Evil: My Life in a Cult, Gangsters: America’s Most Evil and I Killed My BFF.

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    Rai and Eutelsat to expand HD offer in Italy
    November 14, 2013 07.49 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Rai and Eutelsat Communications have sealed an agreement enabling Italy’s public service broadcaster to deliver its new portfolio of HD channels across Italy via the TivýSat DTH platform that already reaches into 1.7 million television homes.
    Rai will broadcast its three flagship channels in HD – Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3 – via TivýSat that transmits through Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellites. This latest agreement between Rai and Eutelsat marks a new phase of collaboration in satellite broadcasting that has stretched over almost 30 years, spanning analogue, digital and now HD.
    Italian satellite TV homes will automatically receive Rai’s new HD channels on a free-to-air basis through HD compatible set-top boxes receiving TivýSat. Launched in 2009, TivýSat is a free-to-view digital satellite platform that offers a wide range of Italian and international channels.
    Renato Farina, CEO of Eutelsat Italia, declared: “This new step underscores Eutelsat’s longstanding commitment to playing our part in the digitisation of broadcasting in Italy and to constantly enhancing the viewing experience. The launch of this initial test phase of Rai’s new HD content at our Hot Bird neighbourhood ensures immediate 100% coverage of Italian territory and underscores the increasing penetration of HD content across our broadcasting satellites.”

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    Astra 5B launch delayed to January
    November 14, 2013 07.42 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Arianespace has informed SES that the launch of the Astra 5B satellite will be delayed to January 2014.
    The reason is the non-availability of Astra 5B’s co-passenger satellite for launch on board an Ariane 5 booster from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana.
    The original launch date was set on December 6, 2013. Astra 5B’s co-passenger is Hispasat’s Amazonas 4A satellite.
    Hispasat has informed Arianespace that its Amazonas 4A satellite requires additional verification.
    The Astra 5B spacecraft, which arrived in Kourou on November 6, 2013 in order to be readied for launch, will now be put into safe storage until the launch preparations can resume.
    Astra 5B was built by EADS Astrium in Toulouse, France, based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform. The satellite will be located at the orbital position of 31.5 degrees East and is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent) as well as 6 Ka-band transponders.
    Astra 5B will extend SES’ transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern European and neighbouring markets for DTH, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks. The spacecraft also carries a hosted L-band payload for the European Commission’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).


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