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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Africa gets extra dose of Latin soaps Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 06 May 2014 Azteca and Cisneros Media Distribution have

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    Africa gets extra dose of Latin soaps

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 06 May 2014

    Azteca and Cisneros Media Distribution have launched Romanza+Africa in partnership with digital content distributor AfricaXP. The new network targets English-speaking audiences in Africa and will broadcast some of the most successful telenovelas of recent years.

    The channel, available through AfricaXP's multiple digital distribution platforms, will offer the very best in original programming from both Cisneros Media Distribution's and Azteca's catalogues.

    "This unprecedented partnership with Azteca and AfricaXP reinforces our presence in Africa, a market where our proven telenovelas have performed well through the years, amassing a loyal following," stated Cesar Diaz, VP at Cisneros Media Distribution. "Now with the launch of Romanza+Africa, the telenovela genre will be at the forefront of the many audiovisual entertainment options available in the African market."

    Marcel Vinay Hill, VP of international sales at Azteca, commented: "Telenovelas have become very popular in the region in recent years and through a dedicated channel such as Romanza+Africa we will give fans instant access to a vast library of content."

    AfricaXP will focus on designing and rolling out a channel packaged specifically for the African market and then delivering Romanza+Africa to the continent's English-speaking countries. Initial focus will be on key markets such as South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria, but they are also working on opportunities in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Mauritius and The Seychelles.

    "As multichannel DTT and IPTV platforms roll out rapidly in Africa, there is a growing demand for premium themed channels and a number of our broadcaster clients have expressed interest in a 24/7 telenovela channel," added Craig Kelly, founder and CEO of AfricaXP.

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    Costa Rica starts digital broadcasting

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 06 May 2014

    After several delays, Costa Rica's DTT is finally working, with Canal 13 already broadcasting using the Brazilian-Japanese standard ISDB-Tb, and three new digital channels expected to air this month.

    The DTT deployment was scheduled to begin in July last year, but several technical issues postponed the launch. The country's president, Laura Chinchilla, signed a decree last week authorising Canal 13 to start broadcasting.

    "It will mean a change for the TV industry in Costa Rica, and will bring several benefits to viewers as soon as they can use all the services available through the new standard," Rodrigo Arias, president of the national radio and TV company, told EFE.

    The only broadcasting centre operating so far has been set up by Japan and is installed in the Irazú volcano, in the centre of the country. According to the government, the ISDB-Tb standard is the best option for the country due to the signal stability. The Brazilian standard is used in nearly all Latin American countries, although Colombia has chosen the European standard.

    Costa Rica's analogue switch-off is scheduled for 2017. In order to deploy the equipment needed in three years, the government is said to be studying how to finance the purchase of DTT set-top boxes

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    Connected TV stars as Freesat boasts strong first quarter

    Joseph O'Halloran | 06 May 2014

    The UK's free satellite TV service, Freesat, has announced robust first quarter 2014 results with its Freetime connected TV offer being the star performer.


    For the three-month period ended 31 March 2014, Freesat had hit 1.84 million households in the UK, a rise of 18,00 in the quarter, and is watched by more than 3.8 million viewers every week.

    The company believes that its continuing growth demonstrates the strong appeal of premium TV on a subscription-free basis. The stand-out for the quarter was the Freetime connected TV service that now accounts for 41% of all Freesat set-top box sales which more than doubled year-on-year. Freetime offers access to the UK's on-demand players, and allows viewers to pause and rewind live programmes and roll-back the TV guide to watch shows from the past seven days.

    The company also revealed growth in demand for its mobile app, with total downloads of over 200,000 since launching just over 100 days ago. The app works as a remote control, acts as a guide to what's on TV and lets viewers set recordings remotely.

    "I'm delighted that Freesat's strong 2013 momentum has continued into the first quarter of 2014. Free TV has never been so vibrant or compelling. TV fans are switching on to our Freetime service and switching away from pay-TV and the expensive contracts that go with it," commented managing director Emma Scott. "I'm proud to see that Freetime has been adopted by leading television manufacturers such as Panasonic and Vestel, demonstrating that Freesat remains at the forefront of the connected TV market. The huge popularity of our award-winning mobile app shows that Freesat matches anything available from pay-TV companies."

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    TiVo: Mums in charge in the living room

    Michelle Clancy | 06 May 2014

    According to TiVo's annual Mother's Day survey, when the family watches television together it's usually mum controlling the remote control — by a 41% to 24% margin over dads.

    And while computers are playing a bigger role in the family dynamic, the survey found that families still fight over control of the remote more than they fight over control of the family laptop, by a differential of 53.1% to 24.9%.

    TiVo's survey also discovered that more than two-thirds (67.2%) of US mums have a DVR in their home, making the technology the third device they cannot live without, behind mobile phones and laptops.

    Half (50%) of mums surveyed said their children know how to use their DVR better than they do. And, more than half (50.9%) said if they had their family DVR to themselves for a week, they would most likely use it to catch up on their own recorded TV shows. But with a free hour while the kids watch their favourite TV show, one-third of mums said they would use the time to catch up on housework (31.5%), ahead of reading (14.9%).

    And when it comes to content, the Big Bang Theory emerged as the top show that respondents said their whole family enjoys watching together (22.5%), followed by American Idol (16.6%) and Modern Family (11.8%).

    That said, cooking reality shows retained their top spot for mums on their own, with shows like Top Chef being the most popular among 35% of moms polled — both to watch and participate in. One-third of the mums in the survey named Bobby Flay as their most wanted in-home personal chef from Food Network.

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    Monetising multiscreen means overcoming big hurdles

    Michelle Clancy | 06 May 2014

    The core component of multiscreen – portability – poses serious challenges regarding the ability to drive profit from digital content, according to a survey from CSG International.

    When it comes to the extent to which communications providers have transformed their operations and business models to become digital service providers (DSPs), about 31% of telecoms and 44% of cable organisations believe that enabling content portability is key to becoming a provider of digital lifestyle services, according to the research. Yet the key obstacles include personalisation, device authentication and multi-device access to content from a single account.

    The CSG survey polled decision makers at the top 100 communication service providers (CSPs) in North America and revealed that aside from content portability, key requirements for successfully delivering and growing revenue from digital lifestyle services include settling charges and revenues among complex partner ecosystems, and driving revenue through cloud- or machine-to-machine-based services.

    A majority (62%) said that they see growth in digital content delivery coming from business services, such as cloud-based or machine-to-machine-based services. And 66% estimated a 50% or more increase in the number of content partners that require revenue settlement capabilities over the next three years. Meanwhile, 39% cite the ability to settle those revenues and charges as a primary hurdle to clear in order to achieve successful and profitable digital content delivery.

    About half (54%) noted that the importance of managing network traffic sources in real-time as a top capability needed in their revenue management system, followed by multichannel sales support.

    "Service providers of all stripes are in the midst of monumental business transformation to ensure their networks, billing and operational systems can keep pace with changing — and growing — consumer demand," said Chad Dunavant, vice president of product management at CSG. "The increased need for portable video content, apps, music, and more across a wide range of devices means the deployment of high quality systems to support the customer experience, revenue generation and partner management is key to profiting from today's digital lifestyle." inShare4

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    Sony targets LatAM expansion in Televisa production deal

    Joseph O'Halloran | 06 May 2014

    The lure of Latin America has now attracted Sony Pictures Television (SPT) to ink a huge production deal with Mexican broadcaster Televisa.

    The broadcaster claims to be the largest of its kind in the Spanish-speaking world operates four broadcast television in Mexico. In addition to producing and distributing pay-TV brands in its domestic arena it also exports programmes and formats to the United States through its Univision subsidiary.

    Under the terms of a five-year contract whose precise value has yet to be revealed, the Sony production, acquisition and distribution subsidiary, which makes shows such as Breaking Bad and Blacklist, will produce 840 hours of programming which will be premiered in Mexico before global distribution. In addition the deal will also see Spanish language programmes offered to the huge Hispanic audiences in the United States through Univision.

    Commenting on the deal, Televisa president of television and content José Bastón said: "We believe that this new deal complements the capability of our production companies and will generate a variety of innovative and high quality content that is distinct from the programming genres we traditionally produce and will provide for more programming choices in the growing Mexican television broadcasting market.

    "This ground-breaking agreement has Sony Pictures Television producing in one of the most important countries in the world," added SPT president of international production Andrea Wong. "The size of this commitment is indicative of the significance and evolution of our partnership."

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    Qatar plans London-based rival to Al Jazeera

    Rebecca Hawkes | 06 May 2014

    Qatar is to launch a new television station as a counterweight to its globally successful network Al Jazeera, amid criticism that the latter is too supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The Arabic language broadcaster, called Al Arabi, will be based in London and distributed across the Arab world, under the patronage of the young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, reports The National.

    Palestinian Azmi Bashara, who served as member of Israel's Knesset before fleeing in 2007 under accusations of treason, will head-up the new channel.

    Bashara is currently director of the Doha-based Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, and is said to be a close advisor of the emir. Bashara is reportedly also involved in establishing a Beirut-based website under the name Al Arabi al Jadeed (The New Arab).

    The move follows the diplomatic split with Qatar by fellow Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain who withdrew their ambassadors from Doha in March.

    Like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, and have criticised the airtime given to the group by Al Jazeera and the alleged political support it received from Qatar during the Arab uprisings

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    ALi partners with Prime for emerging markets

    May 6, 2014 06.27 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    ALi_CorporationALi Corporation has joined forces with Prime Electronics and Satellitics, a manufacturer specialised in developing and manufacturing digital communication products.

    The aim of the partnership is to provide various set-top box solutions targeting emerging markets worldwide.

    Mass production shipping of a DVB-T2 set-top box solution manufactured by Prime and powered by ALi chipset was initiated earlier this year to a national telecommunication operator for deployment in the Republic of Belarus, with about 3.7 million television households nationwide. This collaborated solution will provide DVB-T2 receivers to the people in the Republic of Belarus and open up opportunities in the growing STB markets in surrounding CIS member states.

    ALi and Prime are also making ready a DVB-T2 free-to-air solution for Thailand, where the T2 system is expected to be up and running in 2014. According to the Thailand National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), 84% of the population in Thailand have access to television, 50% of which is via terrestrial or free TV. Prime is one of the first five manufacturers approved by the NBTC to provide set-top boxes in Thailand. With ALi’s chipset, the partnership platform aims at offering set-top boxes at affordable price points with enhanced performance to the Thailand market.

    Looking forward, both companies are jointly working with a Tier-1 conditional access system vendor to offer advanced security solutions for the booming pay TV markets in Southeast Asia and Latin America, where pay TV penetration is estimated to reach 53% by 2018 and revenue to exceed US$26.7 billion, according to Digital TV Research.

    Daniel Hsieh, General Manager of Prime Electronics and Satellitics, stated, “With superior R&D and manufacturing capabilities, Prime continues to provide top-class end products customised to meet all market demands. Now partnering with ALi, experienced and proficient at developing innovative STB SoC solutions, we will be combining the strength of both companies and expanding into greater market opportunities.”

    Tony Chang, General Manager of ALi’s International Business Unit, commented, “ALi continues to work with world-class partners like Prime in providing best of breed, total solutions that ease development effort and shorten time-to-market. Prime’s revolutionary hardware/middleware designs powered by ALi’s innovative chipset solutions will bring high-quality, affordable STB technology within reach for viewers in high growth emerging countries around the globe.”

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    Freesat reaches 1.84m homes

    May 6, 2014 06.54 Europe/London By Julian Clover


    Freesat-App-Showcase-16.01.14Freesat is closing in on two million homes after the free-to-air platform added a further 18,000 homes in the first quarter.

    The subscription free satellite service argued viewers were turning away from “expensive pay-TV packages”, though with Sky numbers rising and Virgin yet to report there is little sign that the appetite for pay-TV is diminishing.

    Six years since its launch, Freesat is now available in 1.84 million households. Its Freesat and Freetime boxes giving viewers access to over 200 channels.

    Freesat’s connected TV service Freetime now accounts for 41% of all Freesat set-top box sales, and sales of Freetime boxes more than doubled year-on year. The award-winning service offers access to On Demand players, and allows viewers to pause and rewind live programmes and roll-back the TV guide to watch shows from the past seven days.

    A new agreement withPanasonic means that Freetime is the preferred TV guide in the new range of VIERA TVs, across both Freesat and its terrestrial equivalent Freeview. In addition, Freesat agreed a partnership with Vestel, the global TV manufacturer, which will see Freetime included on a wide range of televisions and set-top boxes, including those sold by Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Argos. Vestel is also the biggest volume supplier to John Lewis and Dixons.

    Emma Scott, Freesat’s Managing Director, commented: “I’m delighted that Freesat’s strong 2013 momentum has continued into the first quarter of 2014. Free TV has never been so vibrant or compelling. TV fans are switching on to our Freetime service and switching away from pay TV and the expensive contracts that go with it. “

    “I’m proud to see that Freetime has been adopted by leading television manufacturers such as Panasonic and Vestel, demonstrating that Freesat remains at the forefront of the connected TV market. The huge popularity of our award winning mobile app shows that Freesat matches anything available from pay TV companies.”

    Demand for Freesat’s mobile app has been strong with total downloads of over 200,000 since launching just over 100 days ago. The app works as a remote control, acts as a guide to what’s on TV, and lets viewers set recordings remotely.

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    B-TV debuts in Czech Republic

    May 6, 2014 06.58 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul


    Czech flagA new regional station named B-TV has been launched in the Czech Republic.

    According to Digizone, it is being distributed by the country’s fourth DTT multiplex and available in the Slovackó (Moravian Slovakia) part of the country, which borders on Slovakia.

    The fourth multiplex, which is operated by Digital Broadcasting, itself owned by the entrepreneur Radim Parizek, currently offers regional services in four of the country’s 13 regions.

    However, Parizek expects this number to rise.


 

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