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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Altice grows Numericable share November 19, 2013 09.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover numericableofficeAltice, the investment vehicle of Patrick Drahi, has

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    Altice grows Numericable share
    November 19, 2013 09.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    numericableofficeAltice, the investment vehicle of Patrick Drahi, has taken its share in French cablenet Numericable to 40%.
    The company has acquired shares from funds controlled by Cinven Ltd and Carlyle Group.
    A fortnight ago Numericable raised €652.2 million to fund investments in its network and pay off debt.
    The transaction is subject to anti-trust approval and a waiver from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). It is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2014.
    Patrick Drahi, Founder of Altice said: “Bringing together all of our key investments in the telecommunications space under Altice will strengthen our ability to advance our global strategic vision, enabling us to implement best practices across our international portfolio of companies and realize operational synergies. The combination of our controlling stake in the Numericable Group with the Altice VII Restricted Group under one corporate parent is in line with our strategic objectives and will maximize our flexibility of access to the capital markets to finance future growth.”
    Altice will become the parent company for the Numericable Group and Altice VII and its subsidiaries. As part of the reorganization, the results of operations of Altice will reflect the consolidation of the Numericable Group with the Altice VII Restricted Group.

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    14 new channels join Sky Go
    November 19, 2013 08.57 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Sky has added an additional 14 channels to its mobile TV service Sky Go. The channels that include Comedy Central, MTV, Dave, Watch, Gold, Discovery, Nat Geo and History are available across a variety of devices in line with customer subscriptions.
    It brings the total number of available channels to 57 including 50 in the entertainment genre, six Sky Sports channels and 11 Sky Movies channels.
    Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s Brand Director of TV Products, commented: “Sky Go has gone from strength to strength since it launched in July 2011 and now attracts over 3 million unique users quarterly. The addition of these new channels is part of our continued commitment to provide our customers with a great TV experience whenever and wherever they want it, all at no extra cost. Customers now have even more choice and flexibility whether they want to watch TV Box Sets, live Barclays Premier League football, the latest blockbusters from Sky Movies or awarding-winning drama from a wider range of entertainment channels.”
    Sky Go continues to enjoy several million On Demand viewing requests, with just over 3 million requests to watch shows and movies On Demand during early October (7-13th) as The Blacklist continued on Sky Living and preview episodes of crime thriller The Tunnel and Stephen Merchant’s Hello Ladies became available.
    Sky Go Extra, which increases the number of devices on which content can be viewed, also proved popular with users with 219,000 upgrading to the new service in the last quarter.

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    Czech stations swap TV rights
    November 19, 2013 08.24 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The Nova Group has entered into a rights exchange agreement with the Czech public broadcaster CT.
    Under it, the CME-owned company, which operates the leading TV station in the Czech Republic, will make the Olympic ice hockey tournament in Sochi available to CT in exchange for a number of popular Czech films.
    The Sochi Winter Olympics will now be broadcast for 24 hours on the free-to-air channels CT1 and CT2, as well as Nova’s premium channel Nova Sport.
    This is the first such agreement between the two broadcasters and was, according to Nova Group, initiated by an approach from CT.

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    T-Mobile sells broadband business to CDS
    November 19, 2013 09.37 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    T-Mobile Netherlands is selling its broadband business Euronet/Online to the Canal Digital Satelliet Group.
    Euronet, the holding company for the T-Mobile activities which operate under the brand names Euronet (B22) and Online (consumer), will remain an independent company alongside CanalDigitaal. The division serves around 270,000 customers.
    “The purchase of Euronet enables us to strengthen our fixed internet and telephony business in the Netherlands,” said Roderik Schlösser, CDS Group.
    “As a new business unit, Euronet will further strengthen the offer f Canal Digital.”
    With the planned sale of Euronet T-Mobile is now able to continue to focus on mobile telecommunications and specifically mobile internet.
    “Our strategy is to be the leader in mobile internet., “ said Thomas Berlemann, managing director of T-Mobile Netherlands.
    “The sale of Euronet to the CDS Group ensures that we can focus even more to achieve this goal. With the sale the future of Euronet is guaranteed. ”
    The transaction is expected to close early 2014 and is subject to approval by the company’s workers council and the Dutch telecom and consumer authortiy ACM. No financial details were disclosed.

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    Kurth: broadband/OTT alliances show cable strength
    November 20, 2013 01.18 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, IP Cable Summit, London

    Matthias KurthVodafone’s recent takeover of KDG and Virgin Media’s agreement with Netflix are just two examples of the fact that the cable industry is on the winning side, according to Matthias Kurth, executive chairman, Cable Europe.
    Speaking in a panel discussion at the IP Cable World Summit entitled “What is the impact of multiscreen on cable business models?” he added that it is a misconception that cable is a dying business.
    It has customer relationships and broadband connections much better than those offered by DSL.
    Thanks to the latter, it is now even picking up subscribers in Germany.
    Kurth said was of the view that it would be stupid to block such services as Netflix and that there would be more alliances between OTT players and cable.
    He gave the example of HBO GO, which has partnered up a number of operators in CEE.
    Kurth also said his main concern was copyright, with the landscape being every fragmented throughout Europe and being a “hurdle we have to overcome”.
    Speaking in the same session, Adrian Jezina, member of the board for multimedia, cloud and fixed access at Vipnet, said that his company’s biggest task was to provide customers with a seamless experience via different platforms.
    He also said that Vipnet had already partnered up with several OTT players including HBO Go, Voyo and RTL Group locally.

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    Success for BT Sport app
    November 19, 2013 23.46 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, IP Cable Summit, London

    BT Sport DiscussionThe BT Sport digital app has already been downloaded over one million times and is used by 700,000 customers, according to Jerome Tassel, TV architecture and security director, BT.
    Asked about the red button and blue button, in the latter case to go between platforms, he said that BT would probably make more channels available.
    Moreover, it now has multiscreen for sport and is looking to see if it can also be used for other services.
    Tassel in addition said that BT plans to offer more OTT services in the future.

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    Spanish operator R reviews progress
    November 20, 2013 03.28 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, IP Cable Summit, London

    The revenues generated by the regional Spanish cable operator R in the last few years would have been “unfeasible” without quad play, according to Alfredo Ramos, the company’s CMO.
    R added mobile to its portfolio in 2008 and in March 2012, a full six months before the incumbent (Movistar, a subsidiary of Telefónica) reviewed its portfolio.
    It then decided to offer discounts of up to €15 a month in fixed services for customers who also bought mobile from R and in 18 months saw its mobile take-up double to 300,000, overtaking Movistar.
    Commenting on the other services offered by R, Ramos said that pay-TV accounts for only 8% of revenues but reduces churn by half.
    It launched VOD and catch-up in 2012 and has recently deployed a HD set-top box from Technicolor with just one tuner.
    It is also working on an OTT solution, with its aim being to launch with linear channels.
    Ramos also said R has been working on a cloud set-top box for the last three years.

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    Polish cablecos merge
    November 20, 2013 07.45 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    IneaThe Polish cable operators Inea and Tesat have announced they are to merge.
    As a result, Tesat subscribers will have access to the full range of Inea services from January 4, 2014.
    Poznan-based Inea is one of the top five cable operators in the country and currently reaches over 360,000 homes in Wielkopolska, with its services being received in over 170,000 homes.
    Tesat traces its roots back to 1990 and the construction of a cable network in the Wilda district of Poznan.
    The company itself was formed two years later and in 2006 was one of the first to launch triple play services in Poland. It introduced internet access of up to 100 Mbps in 2010 and thanks to FTTH technology today has the potential to offer 1Gbps.
    Its network passes around 100,000 homes in Wielkopolska.

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    MTS loses TV subs
    November 20, 2013 06.59 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    MTSRussia’s MTS ended the third quarter with 2,678,000 pay-TV subscribers, or 274,000 less than a year earlier.
    On the other hand, its fixed broadband subscriber total rose by 166,000 to 2,385,000 over the same period.
    ARPU for residential subscribers to fixed line services in Q3 amounted to R309 (€7), compared to R286 a year earlier, while for corporate clients the figure was R8,661 (R8,051).
    The company notes that the residential growth was attributable to the migration of pay-TV subscribers to the digital TV platform, as well as the upselling of broadband subscribers through the modernization of fixed networks in the regions.
    MTS as a whole had revenues of R103.4 billion in Q3, up from R99.4 billion a year earlier, thanks to growth in consumption of data and voice services.
    OIBDA was R46.3 billion (R44.3 billon) and net income R18.1 billion (R21.0 billion).

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    History debuts in Russia
    November 21, 2013 09.11 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The A+E Networks channels History and History HD have made its debut in Russia.
    They are initially being offered by the DTH platform NTV-Plus and will also become available on Rostelecom’s network before the end of the year.
    Commenting on the launch, Dean Possenniskie, MD, Europe, said: “The rollout of History in Russia marks an important milestone for A+E Networks.
    “Russia is an important territory for us and we’re looking forward to bringing the highest quality factual entertainment to the market.”
    Liz Higgins, director, strategy & business development, Europe, added:
    “We’re excited to launch History in Russia and to be working with our launch partners.
    “We look forward to rolling out the channel across Russia and the CIS territories this year.”
    History is available in more than 330 million households in over 160 territories and 39 languages worldwide.


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