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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Proton and Sealauch unaffected by sanctions May 1, 2014 07.31 Europe/London By Robert Briel ProtonLaunchBaikonourThe newly imposed US sanctions against

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    Proton and Sealauch unaffected by sanctions

    May 1, 2014 07.31 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    ProtonLaunchBaikonourThe newly imposed US sanctions against Russia will not affect the work of the International Launch Services (ILS) and Sealaunch.

    Scheduled launches of Astra and Eutelsat satellites will go ahead as planned. “International Launch Services has all the necessary permits from the US Department of State to execute the previously scheduled launches till 2016,” SES spokesperson Yves Feltes told RIA Novosti.

    “Any new licenses will be considered by the US Department of State on a case-by-case basis. As for the current sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department against Russian citizens and companies, they did not affect our work.”

    ILS sells commercial contracts for satellites on the Russian Proton rocket. The company is majority owned by Russia’s Khrunichev, which builds the Proton launch vehicles. ILS uses the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

    Sea Launch, the world’s only ocean-based space launch company, also said it does not anticipate any impact on operations for the foreseeable future. The company is a consortium of four companies from Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the US. The company’s Zenit 3SL rocket was set to launch the Eutelsat 3B communications satellite into orbit April 15, but the ;aunch was delayed pending investigation after a rocket component was damaged during preflight testing.

    The US announced new sanctions against Russia on Monday, April 28. “Effective immediately, the department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls will deny pending applications for export or re-export of any high technology defense articles or services. In addition, the department is taking actions to revoke any existing export licenses which meet these conditions. All other pending applications and existing licenses will receive a case-by-case evaluation to determine their contribution to Russia’s military capabilities,” US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

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    Global pay-TV market surpasses 900 million

    May 1, 2014 07.53 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent

    vintage_tv-setThe global pay-TV subscriber base increased over 5% in 2013, raising the total to 901.1 million, according to ABI Research.

    However the average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped slightly to $23.80 in 2013 from $24.10 in 2012.

    “In general, the pay-TV market grew both in terms of subscribers and service revenue across all pay-TV platforms. Overall pay-TV service revenue reached almost $250 billion in 2013,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting, ABI Research.

    Pay-TV ARPU in North America increased around 4% to $76.00 in 2013. According to major pay-TV operators in North America, the growth in ARPU is due to a growth in the proportion of customers with advanced pay-TV set-top boxes and upgraded High Definition programming packages. Unfavourable currency exchange rates in Latin American countries have contributed to a US Dollar equivalent decline in the pay-TV ARPU for the region at the end of 2013 to $34.6 (5% reduction from 2012).

    Subscription of HD-TV services continue to grow in 2013 accounting for 41% of total pay-TV subscriber base in 2013. ABI Research forecasts that the subscriber base of HD-TV services will continue to increase to 57% of total pay-TV subscribers in 2019. As competition in the pay-TV market has increased, operators continue to offer more HD programing services, advanced set-top boxes and innovative services to boost pay-TV ARPU.

    ABI Research anticipates that the worldwide pay-TV subscriber base will reach 1.1 billion subscribers in 2019. Increasing broadband connectivity will help IPTV market growth. “The IPTV market is likely to grow at a faster pace than other platforms, with a CAGR of 9% over the next five years to reach 160 million subscribers in 2019. The global pay-TV market is expected to generate $317.5 billion in 2019,” added Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst, ABI Research.

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    Richard Desmond to sell Channel 5 to Viacom

    May 1, 2014 08.05 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Channel 5UPDATED. UK media entrepreneur Richard Desmond is selling Channel 5 to the US broadcaster Viacom for £450 million (€546 million) later today.

    US media group Viacom, which owns channels including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, has confirmed it will buy the UK’s Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd. for £450 million from Desmond’s Northern & Shell Media Group.

    Under the agreement, Viacom will acquire all brands and assets of Channel 5 Ltd., including TV channels Channel 5, 5*, 5USA, Milkshake! and Demand 5. The takeover will be financed by Viacom’s existing cash balances and is expected to be accretive immediately after closing, the company said.

    “The acquisition of Channel 5 accelerates Viacom’s strategy in the UK, one of the world’s most important and valuable media markets,” said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman.

    “Channel 5’s momentum is indisputable, with impactful programming, increasing popularity and a growing digital platform. Channel 5’s management and employees have done an outstanding job building their brand and we are pleased to welcome them to our team. Viacom’s global resources, technology and expertise will help Channel 5 develop even more compelling programming and provide content to consumers in exciting new ways. In addition, we will introduce our popular content to new UK audiences and create a comprehensive offering for our commercial partners on-air and on-line.

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    Kids VOD Kymba launches on Philips smart TVs

    May 1, 2014 08.22 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    KYMBA_ScreenKymba, a subscription based VOD services for children, has launched on Philips smart TVs.

    The service is available for Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK, and offers both subscription and transactional services. Philips TVs from 2012 and more recent can receive the service.

    Kymba focuses on children aged 2 to 14 years and offers animation and live action films in different languages such as German, English and Dutch.

    The service launched about a year ago in April 2013.

    In a related development, a new video app in Romaina called: was launched, available on all devices 2k12 and up.

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    Half of Sky homes connecting to internet

    May 1, 2014 09.01 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    sky_hd_boxSky’s connected TV strategy has resulted in more than half of its installed base hooking up their Sky+HD receivers.

    The third financial quarter to March 31, 2014 saw the addition of 74,000 net new TV customers and 108,000 net new HD customers. There were also an additional 284,000 Sky Go Extra customers, the upgrade that allows content to both be downloaded and viewed on additional devices.

    Usage of On Demand has tripled over the last 12 months, buoyed by the addition of TV boxed sets from popular series such as The Sopranos and 24. In March, Game of Thrones Series 1-3 became our most downloaded box set ever.

    Weekly downloads in the third quarter were three times higher than a year ago – the average viewer downloads three pieces of content per week – while on demand viewing now accounts for 5% of viewing in Sky homes.

    The latest means to watch Sky content will be via the PlayStation4. Owners of the gaming device will be able to watch NOW TV from the summer with, significantly, Sky Go being added later in the year.

    “Our investment in connected TV services is delivering results. Almost 50% of Sky homes are now connected and this is transforming their viewing experience: connected customers are watching more TV, they’re more loyal and they’re more likely to recommend Sky,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch.

    There are now 10.6 million Sky TV customers in the UK and Ireland. However, while revenues increased by 6.6% the additional investment in connected TV and the cost of Premier League rights dented profits.

    £5,666 million in revenues in the nine months to March 31, 2014 delivered £910 million from £994 million in 2013.

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    ICASA grants five provisional pay-TV licences

    May 1, 2014 09.12 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    flag-of-south-africaThe Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has granted provisional subscription TV broadcasting licences to five new applicants.

    The five operators, Close-T Broadcast Network Holdings, Kagiso TV, Mindset Media Enterprises, Mobile TV and Siyaya TV, had applied for pay-TV licences in 2012 and also participated in ICASA’s public hearings in 2013.

    Each licence is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions. “ICASA has specified a time frame in which certain conditions need to be fulfilled and thereafter the licence will be issued,” said Mia Groenewald, director of Close-T Broadcast Network Holdings. Close TV plans to offer the country’s first pay-TV bouquet for the LGBTQIA community.

    Siyaya TV is working with Motive Television to implement its services. Leonard M Fertig, CEO of Motive Television commented, “The award of the provisional licence is another important step toward the launch of Siyaya’s business, and as a participant in the upside Motive is delighted with this news.”

    Each licence is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions. Siyaya has been required to submit more research from other provinces, not only Gauteng where Siyaya has been running a trial, as its intended service is national in scope.

    On 27 March 2014 the Company announced that it has begun installing Motive’s Content Express™ platform in South Africa in anticipation of commercial operations beginning in autumn 2014. The provisional licence award is in response to application and hearings held in July 2013. Motive executives attended the hearings in support of Motive’s client Siyaya.

    Siyaya intends offering South African and African content, along with football, for a monthly subscription fee starting at ZAR70 (approx. £4) per month, targeting black South Africans with an average age of 30 and a monthly household income of between ZAR4,000 and ZAR10,000.

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    Antenna Group appoints Tariq Syed

    May 1, 2014 09.20 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Tariq SyedAntenna Group has appointed Tariq Syed, as MD of Digital Assets and Thematic Channels.

    Tariq will lead all digital investments of the Group, as well as further developing Antenna’s presence in thematic channels within existing and new territories.

    Tariq joins Antenna Group from Universal Networks International at NBC, where he served as MD, Central Europe, respsonsible for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, Romania and the Balkans. Prior to this, he held the position of VP of International Business Development of NBC Universal. He began his career at British Telecom.

    Antenna Group is currently growing and investing significantly in entering new markets in South-East Europe with plans to grow globally. The expansion drive follows recent successes such as its investments in Serbia, Montenegro, Romania and Slovenia.

    Commenting on Tariq’s appointment, Pete Smith, MD of Antenna Group, said: “The appointment of this role shows our continued focus on growth. Having worked closely with Tariq in the past, I am very excited to welcome him to our team and confident that his wide knowledge and extensive experience will contribute significantly to our ambitious goals. He is a valuable addition to the ANTENNA family and we are very excited for the great prospects that lie ahead.”

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    Tricolor TV success continues

    May 1, 2014 09.52 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Tricolor-TV-MapThe leading Russian DTH platform Tricolor TV ended the first quarter with 3.44 million subscribers to its HD services.

    Furthermore, 99% of its new customers opted for its HD offer.

    According to the platform, its active subscriber total increased by 340,000 in the first quarter, compared to 312,000 in the same period last year.

    Meanwhile, 410,000 new customers opted for its basic service in the first quarter.

    Its active customer base stood at 10.44 million and the total number of homes offered services 14.48 million.

    Tricolor TV adds that it gained 380,000 new customers in Q1, with another 30,000 exchanging MPEG-2 for HD reception equipment.

    It also says that its SMATV service was received in over 70,000 homes and ARPU was around R3,000 (€60.8) for legal entities. Commenting on specific content, Tricolor TV says that its unique service Nash Futbol had over 420,000 subscribers, the movie-based Kinozal 670,000 subscribers and Nochnoy 750,000 subscribers.

    Its children’s and music packages were meanwhile received by almost 190,000 and over 16,500 households respectively.

    Tricolor TV added that it is not resting on its laurels and has embarked on a massive national advertising campaign, including in Siberia, where it has recently begun broadcasting using the next Extress-AT1 satellite.

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    Hungarian broadband take-up grows

    May 1, 2014 11.01 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    HungaryHungary ended March with 975,574 broadband cable subscriptions, of which 454,110 were via DOCSIS 3.0.

    Its FTTx broadband subscription total was 364,496 and there were, in addition, 780,511 xDSL subscriptions.

    Magyar Telekom remained the undisputed market leader in the provision of fixed broadband internet, with a share of 35.6%.

    It was followed by UPC and Digi with 21.8% and 14% respectively, with Invitel, the next largest player, claiming 9.4%.

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    Sky TV growth spikes with Paramount, PlayStation deals set to kick in
    Joseph O'Halloran | 01-05-2014

    UK pay-TV giant BSkyB has resuscitated its previously flat-lining TV service in what it has described as a strong quarter of growth despite falls in profit.

    In addition, and indicating where it sees the key future areas of growth to be, it has reported record viewing figures for English Premier League football for which it holds premium rights. It has also struck a key content deal with Paramount Pictures and inked a deal with Sony Computer Entertainment UK to make the multiscreen Sky Go and the NOW TV over-the-top (OTT) services available on the PlayStation (PS4) game console.

    Regarding financial performance, for the nine-month period ended 31 March 2014, Sky generated revenue of £5.666 billion, up 6.6% year-on-year. However the £1.2234 billion EBITDA and operating profit of £910 million were down by 2.4% and 8.5% respectively compared with the corresponding period a year earlier.

    For the third quarter of the year, Sky added 764,000 new paid-for subscription products, meaning 2.4 million in the year to date. Among these were 74,000 net new TV customers, more than double growth in QI 2013. Sky added that connected TV services were ahead of plan and delivering clear benefits and that almost half of its TV customers were now connected and that on-demand usage tripled year-on-year. By the end of the quarter there were a total 3.7 million Sky Go unique users, up 13% year-on-year.

    The pay-TV firm also revealed that its flagship SkySports service has already set new records for live Premier League football with two weekends remaining as what it calls the most exciting Premier League season in years reaches its climax. Sky Sports customers have set new records for viewing across TV and mobile and based on data for the season so far, average audiences for live matches on Sky Sports are up 7% on last and dispute huge competition from a buoyant BT, Sky noted that 49 of the season's 50 most-watched Premier League matches were live on Sky Sports.

    Commenting on the year to date Jeremy Damrosch, chief executive, said: "We have had a strong third quarter and continued to grow at an accelerated rate as customers respond to the quality and breadth of our offering. Nine months into our plans for the year, we have added almost a third more new paid-for subscription products than in the same period last year. We are making good progress in developing new revenue streams. Our targeted advertising service, AdSmart, is attracting many new advertisers to Sky while our new Buy & Keep service in Sky Store opens up the DVD purchase marketplace for the first time."

    The new multi-year licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures will bring Sky Movies customers exclusive access, during the first pay-TV window, to current hit titles such as Noah, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, as well as future releases such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Sky Movies will be the first subscription service in the UK and Ireland to show new Paramount Pictures movies. Sky Movies customers will be able to enjoy exclusive access to new titles from Paramount around eight months after they are released in cinemas. Once on Sky Movies, the films will be available exclusively on the service for more than a year.

    As part of the Sony deal, Sky users will be able to watch NOW TV on the PS4 from this summer with Sky Go becoming available later in 2014. NOW TV customers will be able to connect their PS4 to their TV and home Wi-Fi to watch the OTT service's content on their main TV as part of their subscriptions. Meanwhile Sky TV customers will be able to watch TV from Sky Go on a PlayStation3 (PS3) or PS4 for the first time.


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