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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Tennis Channel serves digital subscription offering Editor | 27 May 2014 Just as the action hots up at Roland Garros,

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    Tennis Channel serves digital subscription offering

    Editor
    | 27 May 2014

    Just as the action hots up at Roland Garros, the Tennis Channel has taken the covers off a 24-hour, TV-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and the associated lifestyle.

    Tennis Channel Plus can be accessed through the network's Tennis Channel Everywhere app or through Tennis Channel Everywhere and is said to be the first to pair a digital subscription service (costing $59.99 per year) with an authenticated TV everywhere stream. The network launched the Tennis Channel Everywhere app – free to all Apple and Android users – on opening day of last year's French Open and since the launch the company claims that three-quarters of the network's subscriber base can access TV everywhere through the app.

    Initial content will include access to the Roland Garros action with an eight-day multi-court mosaic that has over 70 live matches available. Throughout the year, users will have access to content that's not available anywhere else – not even on Tennis Channel. Programming offered on Tennis Channel Plus for subscribers also includes 300 live matches from close to 40 tournaments around the world, including ATP 250 and WTA International events as well as exclusive Davis Cup and Fed Cup coverage. In addition users can watch thousands of hours of recent and classic on-demand matches.

    "Tennis Channel has created the first TV Everywhere and digital subscription service in one app to not only keep up with fans' desire to see more tennis more of the time but to also enhance their viewing experience with tennis – a sport that is constant, with overlapping matches in international time zones," explained Adam Ware, senior vice president, head of digital media, Tennis Channel. "This service not only allows fans to access their Tennis Channel subscription through authenticated TV Everywhere but also purchase additional premium programming on an à la carte basis, in which our affiliates are profit participants. We believe we've created a new business model for this evolving sports-media ecosystem."

    In the future, Tennis Channel Plus aims to offer shows such as original series and documentary programming as well as an expanded roster of live and on-demand matches, with more mosaics to enhance live tournament coverage.

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    Cable TV pricing spikes 5% year-on-year

    Michelle Clancy
    | 27 May 2014

    Retail prices for cable TV service grew by 5% in 2013, while the average price per channel grew by 2%, according to the US Federal Communications Commission.

    The average price of expanded basic service grew at a compound annual rate of 6.1% over the 18-year period from 1995-2013, the FCC also notes.

    That said, over an 18-year period, channels offered with expanded basic service grew annually at 5.9%. That's more than double the general price inflation for the period, which was 2.4% over the 18 years.

    The average monthly price (excluding taxes and other charges) of expanded basic service for all communities surveyed increased by 5.1% over the 12 months ending 1 January 2013, to $64.41, compared to an annual increase of 1.6% in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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    Arby's smokes a record with 13-hour brisket ad

    Michelle Clancy
    | 27 May 2014

    Roast beef purveyor Arby's has set a Guinness World Record for the longest television commercial ever aired.


    The spot depicts the meat being used for its Smokehouse Brisket sandwich, Arby's featured limited-time offer this May, in a smoker for 13 long hours.

    The 13-hour spot aired on Saturday 24 May and the Guinness World Record was confirmed shortly thereafter.

    "We are thrilled to have 'smoked' a Guinness World Record," said Rob Lynch, brand president and CMO of Arby's Restaurant Group. "If there was ever a doubt that we actually pit smoke our brisket for 13 hours over real hickory wood, this ad makes it pretty mouth-wateringly clear that we do."

    On 28 May, Arby's will air a digital encore to the broadcast, at 13hourbrisket.com. It will offer $20,000 in barbecue-themed prize giveaways. The worldwide debut will include a "meat feed" with social commentary from Arby's at various smoking milestones, meat facts and prize announcements, including thirteen $1,300 cash prizes, smokers, barbecue books and cooking utensils.

    "The decision to make a 13-hour commercial was a step forward in our journey to surprise and delight our guests and fans," added Lynch. "What better way to show meat lovers our unique 13 hours smoking process in all its glory?"

    The previous holder of the Guinness World Record for the longest on-air television commercial was NIVEA, who aired a 60 minute spot in Switzerland in December of 2011. The Arby's commercial is among the first from its new advertising agency, Fallon, who was appointed earlier this year to lead the strategic creative development and implementation for the brand's television, radio, print and digital channels.

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    X-Men dominates weekend top box office

    Michelle Clancy
    | 27 May 2014

    The just-released X-Men: Days of Future Past ruled the US and global box office for the 25 May weekend, according to Rentrak's Box Office Essentials theatrical measurement services.

    "X marks the spot the world over as X-Men: Days of Future Past generates a global 2014 record debut of $261.78 million, in a whopping 72 global territories with $171 million from the international marketplace," said Rentrak's senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

    Warner Bros' Godzilla meanwhile crossed the $300 million worldwide mark. And, notably, Disney's Frozen passed Iron Man 3 to become the fifth highest grossing movie of all-time globally.

    Blended from Warner Bros came in third with a $14.2 million, followed by Universal's Neighbors with $13.9 million. Sony's Amazing Spider-Man 2 rounded out the top five with $7.8 million.

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    Rogers restructures with separate consumer division

    Michelle Clancy
    | 27 May 2014

    Canadian IPTV and communications provider Rogers Communications has unveiled a multi-year restructuring plan under the banner of 'One Rogers'.

    Rogers 3.0 is a long-term plan that reflects feedback from thousands of customers, employees and shareholders, the company said. It will be based on seven strategic priorities: be a strong Canadian growth company; overhaul the customer experience; drive meaningful growth in the business market; invest in and develop our people; deliver compelling content anywhere; focus on innovation and network leadership; go to market as One Rogers; and management structure.

    "Every day I marvel at what an amazing company Ted built," said Guy Laurence, president and CEO at Rogers. "The mix of assets, the culture of innovation and depth of employee pride is extraordinary. But we've neglected our customers, and we've let our legacy of growth and innovation slip. The plan I've laid out will significantly improve the experience for our customers and re-establish our growth by better leveraging our assets and consistently executing as One Rogers."

    To deliver the Rogers 3.0 plan, the company is creating separate consumer and enterprise business units whilst retaining the existing media business unit. All customer experience functions including customer care call centres, field operations, go-to-market and online channels will be brought together into one team, reporting to the CEO.

    "This structure will help streamline the organisation, clarify accountabilities and make us more agile," said Laurence. "We will focus on fewer, more impactful initiatives and execute with more precision to deliver on our game plan."

    Due to the communications portfolio being divided into three areas, Rob Bruce has decided to leave Rogers and agreed to help Laurence through a transition period until the end of year. In April, Phil Lind announced his plan to retire as EVP of regulatory at the end of 2014, but will stay on for at least three more years in an advisory capacity and will remain on the Rogers' board of directors and the Rogers' control trust. An internal and external search has begun for all interim appointments.

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    Eutelsat steps up UltraHD activity, launches 3B satellite

    Editor
    | 27 May 2014

    In what could be a significant spurt of activity, just as it announced the successful launch of its 3B craft, leading satellite operator Eutelsat is scaling up its UltraHD offerings.



    Eutelsat 3B was carried by a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by Sea Launch from the ocean-based Odyssey Launch Platform in the Pacific Ocean. After a one-hour flight, the six-tonne satellite was released into geosynchronous transfer orbit on its way to the 3° East neighbourhood.

    Said to be the first commercial satellite to assemble Ku-, C- and Ka-band payloads in a single platform, Eutelsat 3B will operate up to 51 transponders providing expansion capacity for data, telecom and video markets in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Brazil. The craft will replace the Eutelsat 3D satellite that will subsequently be co-positioned with Eutelsat 7A at 7° East.

    The expansion of the company's 4K/UltraHD services comes with the launch of what is claimed to be Europe's first demo channel encoded in HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) and broadcasting at 50 frames per second with 10-bit colour depth. The new channel has been launched at Eutelsat's HOT BIRD video neighbourhood which provides DTH reach in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The channel is also said to be the first that can be received direct by consumers using the latest 4KTV panels equipped with DVB-S2 demodulators and HEVC decoders. 
The Ultra HD content, encoded by ATEME, was co-produced by Wahoo Production and Château de Versailles Spectacles with the participation of France Télévisions.

    "The launch of this new channel is another milestone taking us closer towards the commercial roll-out of 4KTV channels that will propel broadcasting into a new era," said Michel Chabrol, Eutelsat's director of marketing innovation and digital cinema. "Immense progress has been made with partners in the broadcasting chain since the launch in January 2013 of the first demonstration UltraHD channel on a Eutelsat satellite. HEVC encoding combined with 50 frames per second are the next step the industry has been waiting for."

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    Vme TV to air viewer videos with Mensaje del Dia del Padre

    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia
    | 27 May 2014

    Vme TV, the US Spanish-language public television network, is celebrating Father's Day with viewer videos.



    The network will showcase original videos of viewers' "heartfelt wishes and dedications". Ten-second videos for Mensaje del Dia del Padre can be submitted before 1 June.

    "As a network that is committed to family values, Vme TV is delighted to celebrate and honour the father figures that have made a difference in our lives," said Ralph Parkman, Vme TV's vice president of marketing. "We are pleased to offer a special way for viewers to show appreciation for those that have not only filled their lives with love and support, but have also contributed to their personal development."

    Vme TV broadcasts an array of family-friendly programming and original content that encourages dual-language learning and self-improvement for Hispanic Americans nationwide. Its educational programmes are available in 43 markets and reach more than 70 million households in the United States.

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    Multilink debuts next-gen cable TV back-up power

    Michelle Clancy
    | 27 May 2014

    Multilink has released its newest Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for the cable TV market, the Multilink EB1s.

    The Multilink EB1s is an advanced emergency power system designed to provide MSOs with a means to ensure uninterrupted power to video, voice and data networks in the event of power disruptions, such as spikes, sags and outages.

    "The design of this power supply is our most advanced yet," said Multilink CEO Steve Kaplan. "Based on the specific needs of our customers and decades of experience in the industry, the Multilink EB1s offers MSOs the highest level of operation in every important category of UPS performance."

    Designed by the company's Elyria-based power engineers, the EB1s is available in seven models from 3.5 Output Amps to 22 Output Amps.

    The use of Multilink's own Synchronous Rectified Boost Technology creates 15% greater battery runtime than competing units, the company said, and provides lower-line mode energy consumption, and lower unit temperature when operating in battery mode.

    "The unit's greater battery runtime and lower operating temperature," explained Kaplan, "save money every day. Because the unit uses a battery's stored energy more efficiently, cable operators can purchase smaller batteries. And, because the unit operates 38% cooler than the competition, internal components have a longer useful life."

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    Mediaset taps WhatsApp for World Cup social TV

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 27 May 2014

    Spain's Mediaset and WhatsApp have announced an agreement to create the largest World Cup distribution list in the country. Mediaset will also be using WhatsApp to improve social TV through its football app.

    The 26 million-plus active users of WhatsApp in Spain will be able to receive live information and videos of the World Cup on their smartphones and will also be provided with a number to use to send their own pictures and comments, which will be uploaded to Mediaset's website.

    The agreement is an essential part of Mediaset's commitment to mobile and social TV for the World Cup. In addition to its free-to-air (FTA) broadcasting on Spain's DTT, the media group has designed special coverage on the group's websites and social networks.

    The official Mediaset World Cup site will offer the matches live and on-demand, with up to six streams at the same time. In addition, highlights, picture galleries, news, statistics and game analysis will be also available.

    All content will be also offered through Mediaset's app for smartphones and tablets, which is focusing on social TV interaction through Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

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    BBC First premieres August in Australia

    May 27, 2014 09.20 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    BBC MusketeersBBC Worldwide will launch its new premium drama channel BBC First in Australia on Sunday, August 3 with a box set screening of The Musketeers.

    BBC First, announced last year as a new service on the Foxtel platform, will feature first run content with shows including Peaky Blinders and the TV movie Burton and Taylor, set for the opening day of the channel.

    “A Sunday launch gives us the chance to reach as many viewers as possible on our first day,” said Natalie Edgar, director of television, BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, in a statement.

    “We wanted to mark this exciting occasion with a very special line-up for viewers which gives them a real taste of the channel and delivers content to them in a way we know they like to enjoy it.

    “Over the months ahead we will be offering viewers more opportunities to binge view by scheduling box sets of series and audiences’ will get the first chance to see premiere episodes of our biggest new programmes at 8.30pm.”


 

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