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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Kudelski assures future of Conax brand Editor | 09 May 2014 Just over a month after signing a definitive agreement

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    Kudelski assures future of Conax brand

    Editor | 09 May 2014

    Just over a month after signing a definitive agreement to acquire the security company in a $250 million deal, the Kudelski Group has confirmed the longevity of the Conax brand it now owns.

    In a positioning statement, André Kudelski, chairman & CEO of The Kudelski Group, revealed that Conax will not disappear and confirmed that the Oslo-based pay-TV security firm company will be maintaining its corporate identity which he said was "widely recognised and respected in the industry".

    Kudelski stated that his company had no plans to change the current structure and organisation of Conax including office locations, though he did reserve the right to "carefully examine any possibilities to create synergies on a case-by-case basis". Furthermore, Kudelkski will run Conax as a company within its corporate structure and will continue to be run from Oslo by the existing management team with current Conax CEO Morten Solbakken reporting to André Kudelski who added that over the coming weeks the two management teams will jointly define a strategy and a structure leading to what he called "a close alignment" of the two organisations.

    Shedding more light on the acquisition, Kudelski said: "Since 2011, one of our key priorities has been to further expand our footprint in emerging markets. In this context, the decision to acquire Conax was a logical one for the Group as Conax has focused on emerging markets and their solutions are suitable even for smaller to mid-size operators, which perfectly complements our existing product portfolio. With this acquisition, the Kudelski Group now has probably the best product portfolio in the industry to address both the needs of the new emerging market as well as the complex needs of advanced economies operators."

    For his part, Conax CEO Morten Solbakken added: "For more than 20 years, Conax has established a strong reputation by developing and delivering state-of-the-art, cost-effective and easy-to-deploy conditional access systems ... I am looking forward to Conax playing an important role as part of the group by increasing the group's overall market share, footprint and range of solutions."

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    TiVo drives ONO to No 3 in Spain

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 09 May 2014

    ONO's income increased by 2.8% in Q1 2014, with customers gained in every business sector. The cable company, recently bought by Vodafone, is now the third pay-TV option in the country, right behind Movistar TV, mostly thanks to its TiVo platform.

    As with many other operators, quad-play packages are driving the growth. ONO added 283,000 new customers between TV, telephone, Internet and mobile, reaching more than 5.5 million clients.

    In spite of the growth in income (€410 million by the end of March), ONO's profits dropped €24 million, although the company insists that the new convergent strategy is being welcomed by the market. Profits have also been affected by the company's investments, totalling €83 million in Q1.

    Nearly two million clients are paying for ONO's convergent packages, in which fibre Internet and pay-TV are acting has the main hooks. ONO's Internet service has 1.56 million customers, while 1.3 are also paying for mobile packages.

    With over 700,000 customers, ONO's pay-TV growth is mostly driven by the interactive service TiVo, which currently represents 49% of the company's TV services. In addition to the interactive set-top box features, TiVo clients have access to over-the-top (OTT) and video-on-demand (VOD) services through ONO TV online.

    "We have made an important commercial effort, thanks to which we have increased our customer base and consolidated our strategic products," said Rosalía Portela, CEO. "So far it has been one of the best commercial quarters for the company".

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    Telefónica posts positive results in Spain

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 09 May 2014

    After several quarters of being shored up by its Latin American business, Telefónica has finally confirmed positive results for Q1 2014 in Spain, thanks to its pay-TV and quad-play offers.

    Telefónica's global income grew for fourth quarter in a row to reach €12,232 million, mostly driven by mobile data income, which grew 8% during first three months of the year.

    Telefónica's profit reached €692 million in March 2014, consolidating its business in most areas. "The first months of the year confirms we are moving forward in our strategy for 2014, continuing our investments in infrastructures and networks and reinforcing the differentiation of our products and services," said César Alierta, Telefónica's president.

    In Spain, the inter-annual figures still show a falling business, but Q1 raised the year's figures by 3.7%. Fibre and pay-TV are behind this improvement, with Movistar Fusion (Telefónica's quad-play offer) reaching a customer base of 3.2 million.

    During Q1, 108,000 new clients were attracted to Telefónica's fibre plans which currently have 701,000 customers, nearly double the number in Q1 2013. Investment in improving the network is also growing. The company now reaches 4.1 million homes with FTTH and plans to achieve 7.1 million by the end of the year.

    Since 2013, Movistar TV has gained 11% more customers. In Q1 it added 58,000, reaching 730,000 and consolidating Telefónica's pay-TV as Spain's second option, ahead of ONO but behind Canal+, which has recently been purchased by César Alierta's company.

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    TVE taps Secuoya for regional news production

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 09 May 2014

    Spain's Grupo Secuoya is managing content production for TVE's news programmes in ten Spanish regions, after winning four new contracts in a public bid.

    Through its various subsidiaries, Secuoya has won the contracts for news production in Castille La Mancha, Murcia, Melilla and Aragon. In the three first regions, the production will be by Wikono, while Aragón Media will be in charge of production in Aragon.

    The group won four of the five contracts for which it had bid, missing out only on the production deal for Catalonia. Through these agreements, Secuoya will provide pictures and graphic information for the regional news programmes over the next 12 months.

    Wikono has also managed to extend the exclusive production contract for the Basque Country, Cantabria and La Rioja. Together with the Wikono operations in Galicia, Valencia and Navarra, these contracts reinforce Secuoya as a major content provider.

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    CenturyLink adds 24K IPTV subs for Q1

    Michelle Clancy | 09 May 2014

    No 3 US telco CenturyLink has added 24,000 Prism TV customers and 66,000 high speed data customers in the first quarter of 2013.

    Prism TV now has nearly 200,000 customers and more than six million high speed Internet customers. The carrier said that it plans Prism TV at 300,000 addressable homes in 2014.

    Revenue came in $4.11 billion and operating revenues were up slightly to $4.54 billion, from $4.51 billion year-over-year.

    "We expect to continue to invest in our high speed Internet and Prism TV capabilities with plans to continue to push fibre into our network and add approximately 300,000 Prism TV addressable homes in 2014," president and CEO Glen Post said in a briefing with analysts.

    The company's revenue growth was primarily a result of growth in "strategic and data integration revenue," partially offset by "lower legacy revenues due to access line losses and lower minutes of use," explained CFO Stewart Ewing.

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    William Shatner sells Brown Bag Web series to Ora.TV

    Michelle Clancy | 09 May 2014

    The former Captain Kirk, beloved actor and sometime Priceline pitchman William Shatner has signed a development deal with Internet TV network and production studio Ora.TV.

    Shatner's Brown Bag Wine Tasting Web series will move exclusively to Ora.TT, with new episodes debuting starting 23 June. The series joins a line-up that includes shows featuring Larry King, Governor Jesse Ventura and Haylie Duff.

    The two also signed a deal to develop and produce original content based on Shatner's "various interests".

    Brown Bag Wine Tasting follows Shatner's adventures as he asks willing participants to blindly taste wine and describe it in terms of their occupation, with the goal of making the show fun, interactive and a social experience.

    "Brown Bag Wine Tasting is close to my heart, and I am delighted to partner with Ora.TV on this show," Shatner said. "I look forward to launching it in the near future and to developing new ideas with their talented team."

    Ora.TV CEO Jon Housman added: "Brown Bag Wine Tasting is a great addition to our programming. It has a light heartedness and sense of humour that will resonate with our viewers, and of course Bill's amazing chemistry with his guests and his charisma on screen."

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    Comcast's thePlatform appoints co-CEOs

    Michelle Clancy | 09 May 2014

    Comcast subsidiary thePlatform has announced that Marty Roberts and Jamie Miller have been appointed as co-CEOs.

    Ian Blaine, co-founder of the multiscreen TV enablement company, will transition from CEO to strategic advisor to the company from 20 June.

    "Marty and Jamie are exceptional leaders, with the proven background, vision and passion to guide thePlatform into the future," said Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer of Comcast Cable. "Over the years, thePlatform has played an important role in the growth of multiscreen video for both Comcast and the broader industry, and I am confident that will continue under the leadership of Marty and Jamie."

    Roberts and Miller will jointly manage overall corporate strategy and execution, but each will also focus on specific areas of functional responsibility.

    Most recently, Roberts served as senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at thePlatform. As co-CEO, he will add to his responsibilities the leadership of the company's engineering and technology activities. Alan Ramaley, CTO, and Mike Horwitz, senior vice president of engineering will both report to Roberts. Prior to joining thePlatform in 2006, Roberts served in leadership positions at GiftCertificates.com and RealNetworks.

    Miller most recently served as COO and CFO at thePlatform, overseeing the company's administrative organisations, as well as ownership of the company's consulting services business. In his role as co-CEO, he will add to those responsibilities oversight of expansion in Europe and the Middle East. Simon McGrath, general manager of Europe will report to Miller.

    Before joining thePlatform in 2010, Miller was the president of the desktop division of blinx and served as the CFO and COO of Microsoft's largest US business applications consultancy.

    "I've spent a third of my life focused on thePlatform, and I'm making this transition now because I can do so on a high note, and with the confidence that the company will continue its success under the leadership of Marty and Jamie," said Blaine. "Marty and Jamie have proven that they can grow the business, maintain our culture and chart new territory, which were essential prerequisites for succession planning. Together with the rest of our remarkably talented team, I know they will continue to serve our customers and partners with utmost devotion."

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    AT&T U-verse launches drawing app for babies and toddlers

    Michelle Clancy | 09 May 2014

    AT&T U-verse TV Kids is going after a younger demographic — in fact the youngest demographic — with an app for iPhone or iPad that allows kids to throw drawings made on mobile devices to the TV.

    BabyFirst's U-verse App is built for the six month to four-year-old crowd, enticing growing children to colours, animals and shapes. AT&T said that it was developed by child development experts, and that it enhances hand-eye coordination.

    "We are excited to bring to AT&T U-verse families a truly state-of-the-art app that provides endless hours of interactive fun and imagination," said Guy Oranim, CEO of BabyFirst. "The app combines the most current technology with traditional creative activities. It makes watching BabyFirst on AT&T U-verse an extraordinary experience for children and parents alike."

    The BabyFirst App has two sections: The Activity Room, where children can create their own designs; and Colouring Pages, where children can choose from several colour and shape choices.

    "This is an exciting step in children's programming," said Stephen Ryes, vice president of video development at AT&T U-verse. "The addition of the BabyFirst App delivers a fun and educational interactive viewing opportunity exclusive to our subscribers. It's a great complement to the BabyFirst programming."

    The BabyFirst Channel is available in the U-family and U300 packages and above on Channel 310 in SD.

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    Pakistan to overhaul media code of conduct

    Rebecca Hawkes | 09 May 2014

    Pakistan's media code of conduct is to be revised by a committee appointed by the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, under direction of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

    The committee's mandate is to remove ambiguities in the code of conduct and to devise an effective implementation mechanism, with a revised composition of the complaints commission, according to the Express Tribune.

    Minister for Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid met with the president of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), the president of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the president of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), and PEMRA officials on 8 May to discuss the new code.

    The government believes in freedom of expression and considers media as its partner in the development of the country, Pervaiz Rashid said, adding that a unanimously agreed code of conduct for media should be adopted and enforced with full consensus of all stakeholders.

    Among the areas that need tightening include editorial control in electronic media and the empowerment the television Ombudsman, according to those attending the meeting.

    Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui will chair the new committee, with the next meeting to discuss feedback from the country's major media bodies scheduled for 19 May 2014.

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    ETV2, ETV3 renamed as Indian state is born


    Rebecca Hawkes | 09 May 2014

    The Eenadu TV (ETV) Group has renamed two of its news channels in recognition of the new Indian state of Telangana, which will become reality on 2 June 2014.

    The country's 29th state gained parliamentary approval on 20 February 2014 by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.

    In response, the recently launched ETV3 has been now been renamed ETV Telangana while the existing ETV2 will become ETV Andhra Pradesh (AP).

    The news channels will now focus on their respective states, however the main bureaux for both ETV Telangana and ETV Andhra Pradesh will remain in Hyderabad.


 

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