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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Constantin blocks Sky Deutschland takeover of Plazamedia Joseph O'Halloran | 19 May 2014 In a surprise twist to a deal

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    Constantin blocks Sky Deutschland takeover of Plazamedia

    Joseph O'Halloran
    | 19 May 2014

    In a surprise twist to a deal long-thought to be settled, Constantin Sport Holding has issued Sky Deutschland with a withdrawal notice regarding the sale of PLAZAMEDIA and Sport1.

    On 5 December 2013, Constantin Sport Holding announced that it had agreed to sell for €57.5 million to Sky 100% of the Plazamedia GmbH TV and film and TV production company well as a its 25.1% equity stake in Sport1 GmbH and Constantin Sport Marketing.

    Plazamedia is one of the leading sports TV producers in the German-speaking markets and provides production services for more than 1,000 football matches for Sky Deutschland each year as well as Sky's studio shows such as Sky90 and Samstag LIVE!. It is also a production partner for the Sky football multi-match conference as well as Formula One.

    When the deal was announced it was stated that it was expected to close in the first half of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.

    Commenting on Constantin's move, Sky Deutschland dismissed the withdrawal notice as 'invalid' and assured that it still intends to close the transaction based on the binding terms and conditions agreed in December 2013.

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    AT&T agrees to buy DirecTV in $48.5BN deal

    Michelle Clancy
    | 19 May 2014

    US communications company AT&T has at last agreed to buy No 2 US pay-TV operator DirecTV for about $48.5 billion, adding to the consolidation frenzy that's shaping up in the country.

    The boards of both companies approved the merger on Sunday (18 May), with AT&T agreeing to pay the satellite leader's shareholders $95 per share – $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share worth in AT&T stock. Including DirecTV's debt, the total value of the transaction is actually about $67.1 billion.

    Shareholders will receive 1.905 AT&T shares if AT&T stock price is below $34.90 at closing, or 1.724 AT&T shares if its stock price is above $38.58. If AT&T's stock price at closing is between $34.90 and $38.58, DirecTV shareholders will receive between 1.724 and 1.905 shares of AT&T stock, equal to $66.50 in value.

    "This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chairman and CEO, in a statement on Sunday.

    The acquisition surprised some who expected the telco to quest instead after DISH Network, which holds valuable nationwide spectrum that AT&T can use to further its LTE ambitions. But the DirecTV seems to be all about the triple-play, giving AT&T a nationwide video install base to which it can sell broadband, a service DirecTV doesn't have. And, it expands its video presence significantly from existing U-verse IPTV markets. In short, AT&T will have more flexibility in bundling services.

    AT&T has about 5.7 million video customers in 22 states. DirecTV has about 20 million customers nationwide and is the second-largest pay-TV provider behind Comcast. It also has 18 million customers in Latin America, a region AT&T has no existing business in.

    If approved by regulators, DirecTV will operate as AT&T's subsidiary and continue to be based in its current headquarters in El Segundo, Calif.

    The announcement comes as Comcast attempts to win approval to buy No 2 cable MSO Time Warner Cable for about $45 billion. Conventional wisdom holds that if the Department of Justice and other regulators say yes to Comcast then it will be forced to also say yes to AT&T.

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    New look for Cyfrowy Polsat’s ipla

    May 19, 2014 08.02 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul


    iplaPoland’s leading online on demand service ipla is now available in a new version.

    According to its operator Cyfrowy Polsat, it includes 36 channels, new packages and modified, clearly laid out content that will make it easier to search for and watch videos.

    One of the new points for viewers is that they can now watch thematic packages for 14 days on a trial basis without paying any fees and before making a final decision on what they would like to subscribe to.

    The new version of ipla includes 10 new TV channels ¬ – AXN HD, AXN Spin, AXN White, AXN Black, Sundance, Da Vinci Learning, Polsat Viasat Nature, Polsat Viasat Explore, Polsat Viasat History i Duck TV – along with over 1,400 feature films, popular serials before they are premiered on TV, the newest programmes from over 30 channels and live sports.

    There are a total of nine thematic packages covering seven categories, namely serials, film, sport, entertainment, news, knowledge and kids.

    Viewers interested in a cheaper way to access more content can meanwhile chose between two packages: Ipla Mini and Ipla Max.

    Introductory offers are now giving access to ipla for PLN2.90 (€0.69) a month to Cyfrowy Polsat subscribers and PLN4.90 a month to other customers.

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    Euronews BBM Channel debuts

    May 19, 2014 08.19 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    EuronewsEuronews has launched its official BBM Channel on BBM, a leading mobile messaging platform for private and secure communications.

    The channel brings the most important international news to BBM users across BlackBerry, Android and iPhone smartphones round-the-clock.

    With the launch, Euronews can now reach an audience of more than 85 million active BBM users per month. Launched first in English, the Euronews BBM Channel will be promoted by an international campaign in 50 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    Commenting on the launch, Damien Marchi, director of product marketing and innovation at Euronews, said: “Our presence on BBM perfectly fits with our strategy to offer the right content, in the right place, at the right time. The Euronews BBM Channel lets us reach in real time the 85 million monthly active users of BBM, whose popularity goes well beyond the circle of BlackBerry smartphones users and now includes Android and iPhone devices users.”

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    42 million US TV homes connected to internet

    May 19, 2014 08.41 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent



    During the first quarter of 2014 there were 42 million US households with a TV connected to the internet, either via a video game console, Blu-ray disc player, streaming media player or the TV itself.

    According to the NPD Connected Intelligence Connected Home Report, between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014 the number of homes with a TV connected to the internet grew by six million. The vast majority of this increase was driven by growth in the number of homes with Connected TVs and streaming media players.

    For the first time, there are now more US households with streaming media players than Blu-ray disc players connected to the Internet. As a result, the streaming media player platform now reaches a larger digital audience than the app-related content on Blu-ray disc players.

    “Consumers want devices that can deliver high-quality content to their TVs,” said John Buffone, executive director, Connected Intelligence. “The increase in connected TV and streaming media player penetration is proof that consumers are investing in solutions that can provide app-related content in the simplest, most effective way.”

    Having the ability to connect these devices wirelessly is the most important feature for a consumer. According to the Connected Intelligence Connected TV User Experience Report, 67% of Connected TV users said having a device that can connect with Wi-Fi influenced their decision regarding the device they preferred to use for apps on TV. Ease of use features, whether device-centric or related to searching for content, were four of the top 10 features highlighted by consumers. These features include an easy to use remote, easy to use home screen, the ease of finding an app or channel the viewer is looking for, and the ease of finding new apps.

    “In some ways the TV viewing experience consumers want has not changed, although how they receive it continues to, and an app experience is no different,” said Buffone. “Consumers want easy to find, entertaining programming and a quality picture that does not buffer. While device manufacturers cannot solve all of the challenges inherent in Internet content delivery, they can ensure viewers have an easy to use remote and home screen as well as facilitate content discovery.”


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    Constantin cancels Plazamedia & Sport1 sale to Sky D

    May 19, 2014 08.43 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger


    Constantin MedienGerman media company Constantin Medien has decided not to continue the negotiations with pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland regarding the transaction agreed on December 5, 2013.

    The agreement comprised the sale of 100% of the shares of production company Plazamedia as well as the sale of 25.1% of the shares of TV broadcaster Sport1 and marketing company Constantin Sport Marketing.

    The transaction with a total volume of €57.5 million was subject, among others, to the conclusion of a new multi-year production framework contract between Sport1 and Plazamedia. But no agreement has been reached on this arrangement.

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    Get ranked as the fastest growing company in Norway

    May 19, 2014 08.50 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    Gunnar Evensen, CEO GetThe Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority’s new report The Norwegian Ecom Market in 2013, positions Get as the fastest growing TV operator and internet service provider in Norway regardless of the technology.

    “Companies are always looking to expand their share of the market. We are very pleased to be customers’ first choice when they choose a television and broadband provider. It is a strong vote of confidence from the Norwegian people that we appreciate very much,” said Gunnar Evensen, CEO of Get.

    Post and Telecommunications Authority’s report shows that Get is the only company in Norway to increase market share in both broadband and TV markets.

    “Last week we were awarded Norway’s best customer service for broadband, and now we are ranked as the fastest growing company within our sector in Norway. It’s very inspiring to see that the work we do is appreciated, and I would like to thank all our employees who do a fantastic job every day providing the best customer experience possible,” added Evensen.

    Figures from The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority Report on the Norwegian Ecom Market 2013 show the year-end market share for the fixed broadband retail market, as measured by number of subscriptions. Includes all forms of access:

    2011 2012 2013

    Telenor Norge 48,2 % 46,1 % 45,0 %
    Get 11,5 % 12,6 % 15,1 %
    NextGenTel 10,2 % 9,3 % 8,1 %
    Viken Fiber* 1,1 % 2,1 % 5,3 %
    Lyse Fiber 3,2 % 3,3 %3,3 %
    Others 25,8 % 26,6 % 23,3 %

    Year-end market share for the television retail market, as measured by number of subscriptions. Includes all forms of access:

    2011 2012 2013

    Telenor 46,4 % 45,9 % 45,7 %
    Get 17,0 % 17,1 % 17,5 %
    RiksTV 13,3 % 13,1 % 12,8 %
    ViaSat 7,2 % 6,7 % 6,1 %
    Viken Fibernett* 0,9 % 1,5 % 3,6 %
    Lyse Fiber 2,1 % 2,3 % 2,3 %
    NTE Marked 1,1 % 1,1 % 1,2 %
    Others 11,9 % 12,2 % 10,8 %

    * A merger between Skagerak Fiber, EB Kontakt, BOF and Viken Fiber in 2013

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    Andreas Bartl to become new head of RTL II

    May 19, 2014 09.01 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger



    Neues 3D-On-Air-Design von RTL IIJochen Starke, managing director of RTL II, will leave the German commercial TV channel on May 31, 2014.

    The separation takes place in best mutual agreement with the shareholders following 10 years as the head of RTL II, the broadcaster announced in Munich. “I will now first of all devote myself to my young family,” Starke said.

    The new managing director of RTL II will be Andreas Bartl, former head of commercial channels kabel eins and ProSieben as well as executive board member of TV group ProSiebenSat.1. Bartl has been working as a self-employed media entrepreneur since 2012.

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    Kabel Deutschland: 100Mbps internet in demand

    May 19, 2014 09.42 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger



    Kabel DeutschlandHalf of the new internet customers of Kabel Deutschland now opt for the high-speed access with a data rate of 100Mps, Germany’s largest cable operator reported at the presentation of its business figures for the period between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014.

    In total, the number of internet and telephony customers rose by 329,000 to 2.3 million in the past 12 months. In the previous year 308,000 customers were added.

    The number of premium TV customers (pay-TV and DVR) grew by 232.000 to also 2.3 million. 1.7 million customers have signed up for the HD versions of the commercial free-to-air channels which are available for an additional monthly fee. Kabel Deutschland currently distributes a total of 65 HD channels.

    The Vodafone subsidiary invested €575 million (2012/13: €472 million) in the past 12 months, mainly into the upgrade of its cable network. Almost the whole coverage area (96%) is now provided with 100Mbps internet. 3.6 million of the total of 8.3 million customers can access video-on-demand service Select Video.

    In December 2013, Kabel Deutschland launched a trial in the city of Mainz offering internet access with a data rate of up to 200Mbps.

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    NetRange joins forces with ABOX42 for IPTV and OTT

    May 19, 2014 09.52 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger



    Netrange smart TV portalsNetRange, a German provider of connected TV portals, has formed a close partnership with ABOX42, a German manufacturer of IPTV and OTT set-top-boxes.

    NetRange will offer its white-label connected TV solution to any B2B customer instantly on all IPTV and OTT set-top-box platforms provided by ABOX42.

    Through the agreement, ABOX42′s customers will gain immediate access to hundreds of local and international apps for each market and more than 2,000 live TV channels from around the world. The portfolio also comprises a white-label and completely customisable app store.


 

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