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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Discovery appoints Turnbull as MD Fatafeat May 6, 2014 16.27 Europe/London By Robert Briel Amanda TurnbullDiscovery Networks Central & Eastern

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    Discovery appoints Turnbull as MD Fatafeat

    May 6, 2014 16.27 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    Amanda TurnbullDiscovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) has appointed Amanda Turnbull as the new MD for Fatafeat, a food network across the Middle East.

    Beginning her role from May 7, Amanda will be responsible for the strategic and operational management of Fatafeat and become the primary point of contact for day to day business development.

    To ensure long term growth and to maximize advertising sales revenues, Amanda will manage the Fatafeat team from their new office in Dubai Studio City and work in partnership with the senior Discovery Networks CEEMEA team in London and Warsaw. Amanda will report into James Gibbons, SVP & Country Manager, Emerging Business, Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

    “After an extensive search to find the right candidate, we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Amanda to the team, ready to take on the exciting position of Managing Director at Fatafeat,” said James Gibbons.

    “Amanda will be responsible for the strategic and operational management of Fatafeat, spearheading the network’s Ad Sales and overall business goals in order to cement its position as the number one food channel across the Middle East.”

    “I am thrilled to take on the role of Managing Director at Fatafeat,” said Amanda Turnbull. “This is an exciting time in the channel’s history and I look forward to working closely with the entire Fatafeat team here in Dubai and in Cairo to take the business to the next level.”

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    D-Smart ruling to shake Turkish pay-TV

    May 6, 2014 17.39 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul


    SinemaTVTurkey’s pay-TV market is set for a huge change following a decision by the media regulator RTUK (Radio and Television Supreme Council).

    According to SinemaTV, which operates a group of six HD pay-TV channels, the DTH platform stopped working with it on January 1 after a fruitful relationship of over five years.

    At that time, SinemaTV had 430,000 subscribers on the platform.

    It adds that the move triggered concerns from the regulatory authorities and at the same time led to thousands of complaints from viewers, especially those who had committed to 24-month contracts.

    The Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) acted to protect consumers by ruling that D-Smart should provide an option for customers to terminate their subscriptions without incurring penalties.

    Meanwhile, the RTUK clarified D-Smart’s obligations under the law and warned D-Smart to enforce non-discriminatory conditions for accessing the platform.

    SinemaTV believes RTUK’s decision will set a precedent for future cases and is expected to pave the way for pay-TV subscribers in Turkey to access a great variety of content from rival providers in a single platform and to bring market rules closer to those in EU or US.

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    Horizon, TiVo boost for Liberty

    May 7, 2014 06.06 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul


    HorizonBoxLiberty Global gained over 250,000 more next generation Horizon TV and TiVo customers in the first quarter.

    As a result, the customer base exceeded 2.6 million, or 20% of total digital subscribers, with over 550,000 opting for Horizon TV, in the four countries it is present in, and 2.1 million for TiVo with Virgin Media in the UK.

    In its latest set of results, the company says that from a subscriber perspective its video RGU loss was, at 71,000, the lowest since 2007, with the Netherlands nearly halving its loss to 17,000 and Switzerland posting its strongest video result, at +5,000, in six years.

    Consolidated revenues increased to $4.5 billion in Q1, compared to $2.7 billion a year earlier, thanks largely to the inclusion of Virgin Media and, to a lesser extent, positive European foreign currency movements versus the US dollar. Operating income increased by 10% to $582 million, compared to $528 million in 2013, while the net loss attributable to shareholders was $79 million ($1 million).

    Commenting on the results, CEO Mike Fries said: “We’re off to an excellent start this year with robust subscriber and cash flow growth.

    He added: “Our first quarter financial performance in OCF and Adjusted FCF was particularly strong, as we generated 8% rebased OCF growth and a 47% increase in Adjusted FCF on a combined basis. Based on this strong start to 2014, we remain confident in our ability to achieve our public guidance targets, which include an acceleration of rebased OCF growth and the delivery of $2.0 billion of Adjusted FCF for the full year.”

    Fries also spoke about M&A’s, saying: we understand that the European Commission has nearly completed its phase one investigation into our proposed acquisition of Ziggo N.V. (“Ziggo”), the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, and that the case is likely to move to a second phase at the EU level. No final decision has been taken, but we continue to expect closing to occur in the second half of 2014. We plan to officially launch the tender offer in about one month’s time, and look forward to demonstrating the benefits that this strategic combination will bring to Dutch consumers and businesses.”

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    UPC loses DTH subscribers

    May 7, 2014 05.43 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul


    freeSAT by UPC DirectLiberty Global’s UPC DTH lost DTH subscribers in three of its four markets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the first quarter.

    Results published by Liberty Global show that it ended March with 329,200 DTH customers in Romania, or 11,800 fewer than three months earlier.

    Its subscriber totals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia meanwhile stood at 103,000 (-3,800) and 65,800 (-700) respectively.

    Only in Hungary did the company see a slight increase in the quarter, up 2,200 to 266,800.

    Liberty Global operates the freeSAT platform in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, UPC Direct in Hungary and Focus Sat in Romania.

    In total, it lost 14,100 DTH subscribers in the four countries in the first quarter.

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    Sky D grows, but drops into the red

    May 7, 2014 08.21 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger


    Sky DeutschlandGerman pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland increased its subscriber figures in Q1 2014, but higher costs led to a negative EBITDA and deeper loss.

    The customer number grew in Q1 2014 by 64,000 to 3.73 million – a stronger increase than in Q1 2013 when 42,000 new subscribers were added. The number of Sky Premium HD customers rose by 80,000 to 2.11 million, thus, more than half of the Sky customers (56%) have now opted for the Sky HD proposition (Q1 2013: 49%). Following the latest additions TNT Glitz HD, Disney Junior HD and Spiegel Geschichte HD, Sky HD now contains 88 channels.

    The customer number of digital video recorder Sky+ climbed by 96,000 to 1.58 million (Q1 2013: 1.07 million). 42% of Sky customers now have the device (Q1 2013: 31%). 443,000 customers (Q1 2013: 375,000) use a second smartcard enabling them to watch the Sky channels in several rooms at the same time.

    Sky Deutschland increased its turnover in Q1 2014 by 16% to €421 million. The operative result (EBITDA), however, dropped into the red with a loss of €8.6 million while in Q1 2013 a positive EBITDA of €5.8 million was reported. The net loss rose from €38 million to €53 million. The reasons for the increased expenses are the expanded Bundesliga rights and the costs for an additional Bundesliga match day which was brought forward to Q1 2014 due to the upcoming FIFA World Cup, according to the broadcaster.

    This year, Sky Deutschland wants to win a total of 400,000 to 450,000 new subscribers and achieve a positive EBITDA between €70 million and €90 million. The broadcaster, however, still does not give any information on the crucial question as to when it expects to reach black figures below the line.

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    Unitymedia Kabel BW: 40,000 new Horizon subs

    May 7, 2014 08.58 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger


    Unitymedia Kabel BWGerman cable operator Unitymedia Kabel BW reports growing demand for its multimedia box horizon in Q1 2014 with more than 40,000 new customers having opted for the device which acts as the central hub for providing the household with media content.

    In total, over 100,000 customers now have the box which was introduced in federal states North-Rhine Westphalia and Hessen in September 2013. More than half of them signed up for a premium package with 150Mbps high-speed internet.

    In Q1 2014, Unitymedia Kabel BW gained 11,000 new customers. From the total of 7.1 million customers, 82,000 signed up for an internet subscription and 62,000 for a telephone subscription in Q1 2014. The Liberty Global subsidiary now counts a total of 2.7 million internet and 2.6 million telephone subscribers. From the internet customers, almost every second one has opted for a data rate of at least 50Mbps.

    1.2 million customers now have HD hardware from Unitymedia Kabel BW. In Q1 2014, 68,000 customers signed up for the HD option which enables them to receive more HD channels. 110,000 customers now use the TV everywhere service Horizon TV through which they can access linear TV channels and a video-on-demand service on their PC and mobile devices.

    In the second half of the year, Unitymedia Kabel BW wants to introduce the Horizon box in Baden-Württemberg, the remaining federal state it serves. Also this year, the maximum internet download speed will be increased from 150 to 200Mbps.

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    MTG signs up key executive

    May 7, 2014 09.13 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul


    mtg-logo-landscapeModern Times Group (MTG) has announced the appointment of Rotem Hakim as director of business development at Viasat Broadcasting’s Pay-TV Emerging Markets, effective May 26.

    In his new role, Hakim will focus on expanding the geographical footprint of MTG’s pay-TV channels and increase their digital presence. He will also look at M&A and partnership opportunities, and support the Pay-TV Emerging Markets’ central and local management.

    Aleks Habdank, COO Pay-TV Emerging Markets MTG, commented: “Rotem is a top performer with a unique understanding of how content and technology can complement one another, gained in a 20 year long career in the media, technology and IT industries. His extensive commercial and technical expertise in all aspects of digital content services – across TV, web and mobile – make him the ideal person to grow our pay-TV business further.”

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    China's Baidu plans IPO for IQiyi video platform

    Rebecca Hawkes | 07 May 2014

    Chinese company Baidu is to hold an initial public offering (IPO) for its video streaming site IQiyi within the next three years.

    Baidu, the owner of China's largest search engine, wants its video streaming site to continue to compete for the country's 618 million mainland Internet users with Youku Tudou, which recently announced a US$1.22 billion investment led by the Alibaba Group.

    "We want to have the largest market share and revenue share in the industry," Gong Yu, chief executive, IQiyi told Bloomberg. "By the time of the IPO, if our market share and revenue are both larger than Youku, we should have a bigger valuation than it does."

    IQiyi expects to spend at least ¥300 million in 2014 to produce its own content aimed at viewers under 30. It already offers popular international content such as Mad Men and the South Korean drama My Love From the Star.

    Mainland China's online video market is expected to reach ¥17.8 billion this year, and then double to ¥36.6 billion in 2017, according Internet consultant IResearch.

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    IAB, Endemol hold connected TV seminar

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 07 May 2014

    IAB Spain and Endemol Beyond are presenting a connected TV seminar looking at new business models through TV and the Internet.

    The advertising, marketing and digital communication association and the content producer, which recently joined IAB's network, aim to educate industry about adapting advertising to connected TVs. "The entertainment industry in general has completely changed thanks to the digital revolution and nowadays offline devices only gather 40% of ad investment," said Antonio Traugott, IAB's general director in Spain.

    The seminar is being produced by Francisco Asensi, Endemol's director, and Javier Clarke, director for mobile and new media at IAB Spain. During the 32-hour programme, participants will analyse different technological models associated with connected TV, namely hybrid TV (HbbTV), smart TV and online TV. The event will focus on business models, market players, TV apps, commercial exploitation and audience measurement.

    Among the speakers will be Javier Herrero, Magicbox's CEO; Pablo Varela, managing director at ADN Stream; Juan Antonio Orgaz, legal consultant at Canal+; Carmen Heredia, legal director at Entertainment One; Cristina Valbuena, marketing manager at Adconion; and Paula Jordán, mobile manager at Smartclip

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    Millicom provides World Cup coverage to LATAM

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 07 May 2014

    Sweden's Millicom has purchased the broadcasting rights for the FIFA World Cup, enabling Tigo customers in seven Latin American countries to enjoy live coverage of the event on their mobiles and via the Internet.

    Millicom has exclusive mobile transmission rights for Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras - whose national teams have succeeded in qualifying for the tournament - as well as Guatemala, El Salvador and Paraguay, whilst in Bolivia these rights are non-exclusive. Millicom also has the non-exclusive broadband Internet rights in these same countries.

    While the tournament is running (from 12 June) Tigo customers in Latin America will be able to access all 64 matches live, with multi-angle views, live statistics, dedicated social media, news and schedules. To this end, Tigo will launch a dedicated FIFA app for smartphones and tablets, running on Android and iOS.

    "With the FIFA World Cup this year, the interest and excitement will be huge. Our customers will want to see the action wherever they are, so we are delighted to give them that service as part of their digital lifestyle," commented Millicom's president and CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht.

    "This is fantastic news for football fans in Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Paraguay and Bolivia, as it makes the 2014 FIFA World Cup far more accessible for fans in these territories as they need not to worry about missing any of the vital moments from the 64 matches," added FIFA TV director Niclas Ericson.


 

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