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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

HbbTV: a Czech perspective JANUARY 13, 2014 09.09 EUROPE/LONDON BY CHRIS DZIADUL HbbTVHbbTV services were used by 60,000 people in

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    HbbTV: a Czech perspective
    JANUARY 13, 2014 09.09 EUROPE/LONDON BY CHRIS DZIADUL

    HbbTVHbbTV services were used by 60,000 people in the Czech Republic over the Christmas period, according to Petr Dvorak, the head of the country’s public broadcaster Ceske televise (CT).

    Quoted by Digizone, he added that CT is the leading provider of hybrid services in the country.

    In truth, the broadcaster has little if any competition, with only the music-based station Ocko having begun HbbTV trials in recent months.

    Some 30% of people in the Czech Republic who own a HbbTV receiver actually access HbbTV services, with the most popular one being the iVysilani video archive, offering nearly 3,300 days of programming and other content.

    The Czech Republic, along with Poland, is one of the pioneers of HbbTV in Central and Eastern Europe.

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    Netflix green-lights Lilyhammer for a third season
    Parent Category: News | 14-01-2014

    The Netflix original series Lilyhammer, the comic drama starring E-Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt as a mob fixer who enters the witness protection programme in Lillehammer, Norway, will return exclusively to Netflix for a third season in 2014.
    The series' eight-episode second season debuted in December in the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Latin America, Denmark and the Netherlands.
    "We are proud to bring back Lilyhammer for a third season," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix. "Lilyhammer is the type of global show that Netflix members around the world have discovered and love, and season three will see that world expand even more."
    Lilyhammer follows former gangster Frank 'The Fixer' Tagliano (Van Zandt) as he enters the federal witness protection programme, trading the mean streets of New York for the icy fjords of Norway, forging a new life among the locals of Lillehammer. Season two continues with Frank living under the alias of Johnny Henriksen, a successful nightclub owner and father of two. As if life couldn't get more complicated than balancing fatherhood with running a criminal operation, everything Frank cares for is threatened when his former mob associates find out he is still alive.

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    AT&T U-verse launches Ovation HD
    Michelle Clancy | 14-01-2014

    AT&T U-verse TV has launched Ovation, the arts-focused cable network, in high definition to its U-verse subscribers.
    Ovation HD is now available on channel 1385 in U300 and above TV packages, plus the HD Tech Fee. The HD Tech Fee is included with U450 and U450 Latino. U-verse subscribers already had access to Ovation in standard definition.
    In 2014, the network said that it will feature more original fare than ever before, all of which is filmed in HD. Ongoing original HD series include The Art Of, which is produced by Ovation Studios and is now airing a second season, and the upcoming series The Fashion Fund, featuring Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg, which will premiere on 22 January.
    "There's no doubt that our artful programming is particularly well-suited to HD. The arts look and sound even more spectacular in hi-def," said Brad Samuels, executive vice president of content distribution at Ovation. "We're thrilled that AT&T U-verse continues to support our efforts to make quality arts programming available to every household in America."
    The announcement comes just days after Time Warner Cable restored Ovation to its line-up after dropping the channel last year for lack of ratings. Now, it also shows on the No 2 pay-TV provider in both SD and HD.

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    Viasat shutters 3D channel
    JANUARY 15, 2014 10.06 EUROPE/LONDON BY JULIAN CLOVER


    Viasat-sportsViasat is to become the latest operator to close its 3D service.

    Digitalt.tv reports Viasat 3D will cease broadcasting later today. It screened mainly content from High TV, interspersed with the occasional Champions League match.

    The Modern Times Group platform was the first pay-TV operator in the Nordic region to launch a 3D service, going live om December 2010.

    A dedicated 3D channel, Viasat 3D, was launched on a linear basis, 24 hours a day in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

    Canal Plus France closed its 3D service early in 2012, while ESPN closed its US 3D channel at the end of 2013.

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    Clearleap announces new Euro hires
    JANUARY 15, 2014 09.52 EUROPE/LONDON BY ROBERT BRIEL


    clearleapClearleap, a provider of multiscreen video logistics solutions for the television industry, has appointed Mike Grieve as director of Sales, EMEA, and Ola Bergvall as programme director, EMEA.

    Effective immediately, the new hires will support Clearleap as it continues to deliver premium multiscreen solutions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    Mike brings over 23 years’ experience in broadcast sales and a strong grasp of technology to his new post, and will be responsible for developing strategy and sales tactics across the region. Now based in the UK, Mike has previously worked with a number of companies in the broadcast, film and TV sectors throughout his career.

    He joins Clearleap from international broadcast systems integrator TSL, where he worked as Worldwide Sales Director. Prior to this, Mike worked as sales director of EMEA and South America for Quantel, and worldwide sales and marketing director for FilmLight Ltd. Mike will report directly to Preben Schack, VP of sales, EMEA.

    Ola brings an extensive knowledge of the telecommunications and music industries to his new position, and has helped a number of well-established and start-up companies in Europe to develop valued-added services. Ola was previously responsible for the launch of Spotify as an add-on service for TeliaSoneras’s customers in Finland, Denmark and Norway, as well as the launch of mobile TV/VOD services in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

    He joins Clearleap from TeliaSonera Group, where he was global product manager for the mobility services division. Ola will be primarily responsible for the implementation of Clearleap’s platforms with customers across EMEA.

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    ZDF Enterprises signs deal with Watchever VOD service
    JANUARY 15, 2014 09.39 EUROPE/LONDON BY ROBERT BRIEL


    DigitAL on his way to the Broadband TV News offices in Cambridge
    Das VerbrechenZDF Enterprises and VOD-portal Watchever have signed a two year contract for the on demand streaming of top class feature films and popular series from ZDF Enterprises’ catalogue.

    The start of the collaboration between ZDF Enterprises and Watchever, an online S-VOD service for TV series and films, means that well-known, popular detective series such as Kriminaldauerdienst (KDD) which focuses on a workplace family of police officers, or the multi-part Danish/Swedish/German detective series ‘Bron | Broen’ (aka: The Bridge) are available on Watchever. The historical drama Krupp – Eine deutsche Familie (Krupp – A Family Between War and Peace), a multi-part series about one of the most powerful and controversial family dynasties in Germany, is also available.

    Other programming available includes the bestseller film adaptation of Das Verbrechen (Crime:Stories), the series Wolfblood and Dance Academy for teenagers, as well as the children’s series Wendy.

    “We are delighted about the collaboration with innovative partners such as WATCHEVER; we have many popular films and series in our extensive portfolio, offering the best prerequisites for success in the German SVOD market” said Alexander Coridass, President and CEO at ZDF Enterprises.

    “ZDF Enterprises has a large number of high quality German and international productions loved by the German public. The formats and content in this long-term deal are perfect for our product range. Our users can load the content at any time and even on up to three devices at once. While the parents are following ‘Crime:Stories’ by bestselling author Ferdinand von Schirach and the celebrated producer Oliver Berben on their smart TV, the children can be watching ‘Dance Academy’, for example, on their tablet or laptop”, explained Stefan Schulz, managing director of Watchever.

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    Sky AdSmart goes live
    JANUARY 15, 2014 09.33 EUROPE/LONDON BY JULIAN CLOVER


    Sky Terabyte boxSky has launched its new targeted advertising service, AdSmart, boasting an inventory of more than 40 brands.

    Tesco, Royal Bank of Scotland, Littlewoods, American Airlines and Audi have all signed to use AdSmart following a six month trial and an even longer gestation period.

    The Sky+ HD receiver is effectively being turned into a media server with segmentation being offered according to specified attributes and geographically.

    It works by sending a library of adverts via satellite to the Sky+HD set-top box. It then selects the adverts which best match a household’s profile and inserts them into a live ad break. The line-up of adverts is based on a customer’s postcode alongside publically available demographic information from third-party providers including the data services company Experian.

    16 standard TV regions and 15 large metropolitan areas are available, 13 household types based on their financial needs, behavioural influences and preferences are also available and there is segmentation according to life stage and age of children.

    At launch, the AdSmart ads will be carried on the Sky Movies channels, Sky Entertainment channels (Sky 1, Atlantic, Living Arts), plus Pick and Challenge.

    Andrew Griffith, Sky’s Managing Director, Commercial Businesses and Chief Financial Officer, comments: “With Sky AdSmart, we want to make TV advertising work better for viewers and advertisers. By enabling advertisers to better segment the TV audience, Sky AdSmart has the potential to open up TV advertising to many more brands and businesses. This helps both the brands that previously thought TV too broad a medium, as well as local advertisers who felt that TV wasn’t previously accessible to them.”

    In addition to the big national brands, Sky is also looking to local businesses who may have previously concluded advertising on TV wasn’t for them and brands that may have left TV advertising.

    Local advertisers who have signed up to use Sky AdSmart include insurance group First Central and the Hampshire car dealership Hendy Group. In total, one quarter of the brands that have signed up for Sky AdSmart are either new to TV advertising or had previously left the market. Those returning to TV advertising include Nestle’s confectionery brand Polo.

    At launch AdSmart will be available to one-fifth of UK households.

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    French MYTF1VOD service expands availability
    JANUARY 15, 2014 08.53 EUROPE/LONDON BY ROBERT BRIEL


    MYTF1VODTF1 Video’s Tristan du Laz is bullish about the future of the broadcaster’s on-demand service MYTF1VOD.

    Usage of the service was up 21% during 2013, he said. “A performance opposite the trend in the VOD market in France, which was expected to decline in 2013. We will further accelerate the development of our service in 2014 to make it even more innovative, playful and with rich premium content that will help develop the use of MyTF1VOD wherever we will be in a position to deploy.”

    Distribution will be expanded in 2014 with the addtion of apps for Xbox One consoles, and Samsung smart TVs. There will also be a HbbTV portal for direct access to the service for all HbbTV equipped TV sets.

    MYTF1VOD is already available on the internet, various IPTV platforms, and on an LG connected TVs.

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    Al Jazeera Arabic joins Freeview – in SD MPEG-4
    JANUARY 16, 2014 15.12 EUROPE/LONDON BY JULIAN CLOVER


    Al Jazeera Arabic studioAl Jazeera Arabic launched on the Freeview platform at noon Thursday, becoming both the first foreign language service to debut on UK DTT, and the first standard definition channel to use an MPEG-4 transport stream.

    It means the Doha-based channel will only be available to audiences that have opted for HD reception equipment.

    The channel is carried on the new digital terrestrial multiplexes awarded to Arqiva in 2013.

    Estimates suggest that by June 2014 approximately 3.2 million Freeview HD households across the UK will have access to Al Jazeera Arabic bringing its total reach in the UK to more than 6 million households.

    Dr Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network said: “As the major Arabic language outlet broadcasting various perspectives on current events from the Arab world, we are delighted to be able to reach more viewers in the UK through Freeview. We believe that there is a growing demand by audiences that understand Arabic in the UK for in-depth analysis and reporting, which we have bringing to our viewers for the past 17 years. The inclusion of Al Jazeera Arabic on Freeview has doubled its access to viewers in the UK market, which is a necessary step forward for our global presence.”

    Guy North, Marketing Communications Director at Freeview commented: “The addition of Al Jazeera Arabic extends the global news perspective available on Freeview and brings viewers even more subscription-free news content.”

    Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera English HD which were launched on Freeview in November 2013.

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    RTR eyes more channels
    JANUARY 20, 2014 11.24 EUROPE/LONDON BY CHRIS DZIADUL


    VGTRKThe Russian state broadcaster VGTRK (RTR) plans to launch three more digital channels this year.

    Quoted in the local media, its deputy CEO Dmitry Medvikov said the channels would be Modern Detective, IQ HD and the tentatively titles Living Planet, with the latter making its debut late this year or in early 2015.

    RTR already produces 10 channels under the ‘Digital Television’ brand, including Moya Planeta, Sport, Sport-1, Sarafan and Rossiya HD.

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