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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

ESPN considers kicking off OTT with Major League Soccer Michelle Clancy | 28 May 2014 ESPN may use its recently

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    ESPN considers kicking off OTT with Major League Soccer

    Michelle Clancy
    | 28 May 2014

    ESPN may use its recently acquired digital rights for Major League Soccer to anchor an over-the-top (OTT) strategy for the first time in its history.

    The network recently signed an eight-year carriage deal with the MLS for the broadcast rights to national games, the ability to sell a premium package of 200 out-of-market games via pay-TV providers, and full digital rights to the games.

    "You saw us buy MLS digital rights," ESPN president and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks John Skipper said at a recent event. "It was a clue, but we still don't know what we will do with that. That's a direct-to-consumer package we bought. We could do it just like it's done now through multichannel distributors or we can do something different with it to go direct to consumer."

    According to a Reuters' source, it could include a consumer-facing special section within the ESPN3 online video app.

    "We've just got to think about other business models," Skipper said. "We're not far along on any them, but we do think about how we might capture more money direct from consumers."

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    Telecable chooses NAGRA for Mexican multiscreen TV

    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia
    | 28 May 2014

    Hevi Group's Telecable in Mexico has chosen NAGRA's end-to-end multiscreen solution, NAGRA MediaLive, to enable a suite of next generation TV services.

    As NAGRA's first cable system win in Mexico, the deal will give Telecable subscribers access to linear TV, video-on-demand (VOD), over-the-top (OTT), start-over and catch-up PVR features. It will also support multiple screens, including smartphones, tablets, connected TVs, set-top boxes and game consoles.

    NAGRA MediaLive includes a range of platforms, including NAGRA MediaAccess conditional access and studio-grade DRM, OpenTV 5 HTML5 Client ConnectWare and the MediaLive service platform.

    "We are excited to be the first media company to launch such a comprehensive multiscreen offer to viewers in Mexico," said Luis Vielma, COO at Telecable. "By partnering with NAGRA, we are assured of the best broadcast and OTT content protection available, and combined with a flexible and modular solution such as OpenTV 5, we are ensuring a unique, seamless and interactive user experience across all screens, while giving us room to grow, innovate and extend new services on our platform."

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    Televisa preps touchscreen analysis tool for World Cup

    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia
    | 28 May 2014

    Mexico's Televisa is planning a touchscreen-based football analysis tool for coverage during the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup.

    Televisa Deportes recently gave viewers in Mexico a preview of the technology. Calling it 'Realidad Alternativa' technology, the network used an interactive touch table on-air during a Mexico-Nigeria friendly match on 5 March. The touch table allowed the anchors to analyse plays and discuss team strategy and play as it happened, in real time. The effect for viewers was better analysis and a clearer understanding of the game and how it's played.

    Some of the unique features of the touch table include multi-touch functionality that allows the talent to extract a player dynamically from the table with a touch of the finger and have that player's image appear as a life-sized hologram with his personal statistics and his value to the team.

    "We're always looking for immersive tools and technology that helps our talent tell the story of the game better, and engages fans more closely," the company said. "It allows the talent to emphasise key moments and strategies of a game, which gives the viewer a better understanding of what's happening."

    The touch table leverages Vizrt's Viz Virtual Studio for the virtual players and Viz Engine, the real-time compositing engine, rendering the touch screen graphics. This same virtual technology is also increasingly being used by TV broadcasters around the world to create complex 2D and 3D virtual sets that include the same type of immersive graphics found in the Televisa touch table. The same Vizrt technology from Viz Engine is also used by broadcasters that have large interactive touchscreens on set for the talent to use for their reporting.

    Televisa was already a user of Vizrt technology for its football and other sports coverage. Last summer, Televisa used Vizrt's Virtual Presenter technology for the first time during the network's coverage of the 2013 Confederation Cup tournament in Brazil.

    Virtual Presenter is a unique feature that is made up of two separate Vizrt software products: Viz Libero and Viz Engine. When combined, the technology is used to virtually place talent on the field with the players in a sports analysis clip. It was used at Televisa to break down the key moments of the tournament. The clips were branded as HIPERVISIÓN in Televisa's prime time sports show La Jugada de la Confederaciones.

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    Alcatel-Lucent to power 1Gbps FTTH installation

    Michelle Clancy
    | 28 May 2014

    Bolt Fiber Optic Services, the fibre-to-the-home subsidiary of Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, is rolling out a 1Gbps network to communities in rural north-eastern Oklahoma, to support IPTV, voice and broadband.

    Powered by Alcatel-Lucent's gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology, Bolt Fiber Optic Services' new network will be around 100 times faster than the average connection speed in the United States, the company said.

    "Bolt's goal is to create an infrastructure that will support improved education, economic development, telemedicine opportunities and faster business services in order to improve the quality of life as well as attract and keep jobs in their community," it said. "Alcatel-Lucent's triple-play solution will also enable Bolt to offer members of the cooperative linear television, video-on-demand (VOD) and pay-per-view TV services."

    The service area of Bolt's new network will encompass rural communities, tribal areas and a lake resort area. It will begin availability in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is scheduled for completion by April 2017.

    "The legacy of the rural electric cooperatives is that of bringing vital utilities to under-served communities," said Sheila Allgood of Bolt. "In the 20th century the need was for electricity, and today the need is for high speed, high capacity broadband. Providing access to ultra broadband will attract jobs and investment, improve lives through services like telemedicine and e-learning, and allow families to stay in the communities they love."

    Alcatel-Lucent is providing its 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager, 5520 Access Management System, Triple Play Express and Video Systems Integration solutions. It is also the systems integrator for the project, providing end-to-end architecture, design, engineering and installation services and third-party solutions for the headend, OSS/BSS, fibre mapping and Mediaroom middleware and software for IPTV services.

    "Alcatel-Lucent has a long history of partnering with municipalities, utility companies and communities to help connect the unconnected," said Danny Rollins, vice president of national accounts sales for Alcatel-Lucent. "In this case, Bolt took the bold initiative of bringing 1 gigabit ultra broadband to their cooperative members. Thanks in part to Rural Utility Service funding and support, this community will be able to take advantage of Bolt's capacity and deploy ultra broadband much more cost effectively."

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    Broadcom expands STB market domination worldwide

    Michelle Clancy
    | 28 May 2014

    Broadcom, once thought of as primarily strong in the North American cable set-top box market, has extended its global market share according to ABI Research.



    The survey data says that Broadcom now leads in the cable, satellite, IPTV and DTT markets worldwide and also dominates in the closely related home networking market. With the exception of MStar, all of the other vendors in the market saw revenues nearly flat or falling during 2013.

    "Most set-top vendors remain very optimistic about their prospects in either the latter half of 2014 or mid-year 2015," said ABI Research practice director Sam Rosen. "This optimism is well placed in OEM designs that are being tested by operators. However, especially in this environment where pay-TV operators are pursuing large-scale mergers (as well as mergers within smaller operators), less designs go to production while achieving higher unit volume."

    That's not to say that Broadcom won't have competition. "Looking to 2014, we do expect to see Entropic and MStar experience growth," continues Rosen. Entropic has more highly integrated designs, resulting from the Entropic-Trident acquisition while MStar is well positioned within the free-to-air markets and gaining ground in some low-cost pay-TV markets as well.

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    Buoyant Freesat accelerates Freetime set-top box roll-out

    Editor
    | 28 May 2014

    Days after announcing robust quarterly results, the UK's free-to-air satellite TV service Freesat is to manufacture a new line of set-top boxes for its Freetime connected TV offering.

    Freetime offers access to the UK's on-demand players — including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, and Demand 5 — and allows viewers to pause and rewind live programmes and rollback the TV guide to watch shows from the past seven days. The quarterly results showed that Freetime now accounts for 41% of all Freesat set-top box sales which more than doubled year-on-year.

    To tap into this demand Freesat has reached out to long-term partner Manhattan Technology, the largest UK-owned manufacturer of set-top boxes which supplies independent retailers via its sister company Eurosat, as well as all the major retailers and supermarkets, including Dixons, Argos, John Lewis, Amazon and Tesco. Owners of the new Manhattan Freetime range will be able to use Freetime to roll back the TV guide for the past seven days, access all the major on-demand services and watch Showcase, Freesat's programme recommendation service. The Freesat mobile companion app will also work in conjunction with the Manhattan Freetime set-top boxes, offering the ability to plan, record and manage programmes to watch and directly control the TV.

    "We're delighted to confirm that we are working with another Freetime manufacturing partner, following the recent Freetime announcements with Panasonic and Vestel," commented Freesat managing director Emma Scott. "Having worked with Manhattan for five years now, they are an important partner for us and it's great to see our Freetime service proving so popular amongst both industry and consumers alike."

    Abbas Arbab-Zadeh, chairman and CEO at Manhattan Technology, commented: "Freesat's Freetime technology provides a world class TV experience, with access to a roll back guide and multitude of on-demand services, so we're delighted to confirm this news today. Freetime puts Manhattan at the cutting-edge of the UK television industry and we look forward to releasing a full range of high performance Freetime receivers and recorders, all with integrated Wi-Fi. "

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    Haivision unveils next-gen multisource media platform

    Michelle Clancy
    | 28 May 2014

    Haivision has announced the latest version of Calypso, a multisource media recording and distribution platform designed to capture and share video content in real-time.


    "Ideal for situational learning and assessment, consultative diagnosis, and skills improvement in medical, enterprise and educational environments, Haivision's Calypso is designed to easily record and review interactions between two or more people," the company explained. "More traditional video recording and sharing processes fall short in workflow efficiency, prohibit remote access control and increase budgetary costs related to personnel. Calypso provides a secure, unobtrusive, efficient and cost-effective way to capture, organise and share media."

    Users can export videos directly to Haivision Video Cloud's Video Content Management System (VCMS), and manage, publish and distribute content to viewers online. New advanced search functionality enables users to customise metadata by creating categories and tags to ensure that video is easily and quickly discoverable. And with a command-line API, organisations can create custom recordings and streaming workflows through industry standard control systems such as Crestron, AMX or custom designed applications.

    The new release also features video editing capabilities, where users can trim out important segments through mark in/mark out editing directly from the browser interface. Asset import/export functionality enables users to import video from third-party editors and export .mp4 or .ts files into third-party media workflows, while preserving metadata.

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    Digital rollout could damage East European TV industry

    Editor
    | 28 May 2014

    New research is claiming that broadcast media throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union stand to suffer when the transition to digital broadcasting takes place in 2015.

    According to IREX's 2014 Media Sustainability Index (MSI) for Europe & Eurasia, even though digital broadcasting promises new channels, the way several governments are implementing the switch may actually result in fewer broadcasters being able to reach audiences and create a more restricted news environment.

    The research also asserted that many consumers in the region have been kept in the dark about transition plans, with some audiences unlikely to receive clear directions or subsidies for the set-top boxes or new receivers required to continue enjoying free-to-air television.

    The research highlighted fears in some countries in the region that conglomerates close to some governments or the state itself could assume monopoly control of the multiplexes carrying digital signals. Some of the media professionals counselled in the report voiced frustration about on-going unfair distribution of frequencies and situation where digital licences were denied to regional television channels and radio stations with ten to 20 years of history.

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    Channel 4, Google Play Music to offer ad-break takeover

    Editor
    | 28 May 2014

    Channel 4, Google Play, MediaCom, The Outfit and the Universal Music label are to team in a world broadcasting first to stream live an entire ad break takeover.

    The collaboration will see BRIT Award-winning singer Sam Smith's biggest London performance to date broadcast on 30 May 2014 during a three-and-a-half-minute bespoke ad-break on the UK's fourth largest broadcaster. It will showcase the singer songwriter's headline single Stay With Me from his debut album In The Lonely Hour as he performs it live at London's Roundhouse.

    The unique break, produced by creative agency The Outfit, will air at approximately 10:45 pm during a break in Alan Carr: Chatty Man which boasts a consistently high share of Channel 4's core 16-34 year old viewers.

    Google Play branding will be visible on screen throughout the ad making viewers aware the gig will be available to download via the Google Play Store – where the entire performance will be streamed live. The gig will also be live streamed on Google's Lightbox ads.

    Commenting on the project, Danny Peace, Agency Principal, Channel 4 said: "This unique partnership builds upon Channel 4 Sales' heritage of delivering innovative ad breaks for our commercial partners that go beyond the traditional ad execution to create an exclusive must-see event that our viewers will want to make an appointment to watch."

    Added Google UK's Stephen Rosenthal said: "Through Google Play Music, we're looking to shake up the way music lovers connect with the bands and tracks they love. What better way to show our ambition than lay on this world first with Sam Smith, one of the hottest acts on the planet today."

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    Council of State rejects Interkabel deal with Telenet

    May 27, 2014 22.13 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    judgement hammerThe Belgian Council of State (Raad van State) has rejected the procedure in which Interkabel transferred around 800,000 TV subscribers to Telenet.

    The Council ruled in a case started by Belgacom, who tried to stop the takeover by filing a complaint with the authorities claiming the municipalities should have started an open tender rather than exclusively negotiate with Telenet. The telco argued that the cable networks making up the Interkabel consortium are owned by a number of municipalities, and under European law, as public companies, they should have started an open tender rather than make a deal between closed doors.

    Partly based on the reply of the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, the Council of State sided with Belgacom that this transaction should not be done without market survey and consequently wrongly refused to enter into negotiations with Belgacom

    In 2008 Telenet signed an agreement with the municipal cable operators and their joint venture Interkabel to acquire the TV activities of the networks, consisting of four networks – Integan, Intermedia, PBE and WVEM – all based in Flanders and serving about 800,000 homes.

    In a statement, Telenet said that the deal is not annulled, but only the decision that the four municipalities did not start an open market procedure.

    Belgacom is now free to start civil proceedings in order to have the agreement annulled and claim damages. For the time being, such court action will not impact the day-to-day business of Telenet.


 

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