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Ziggo launches free Wi-Fi in The Hague June 5, 2014 06.47 Europe/London By Robert Briel Ziggo wifi hot spotsDutch cable

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    Ziggo launches free Wi-Fi in The Hague

    June 5, 2014 06.47 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    Ziggo wifi hot spotsDutch cable operator Ziggo is offering free Wi-Fi for all in The Hague during the months of June and July during WC Hockey and WC Football.

    Ziggo has activated an extra public Wi-Fi network through the 500 street cabinets in the city. The network has been given the special name Ziggo_gratis_WK_Wifi and will allow visitors and supporters in The Hague free access to the internet.

    Visitors and residents of The Hague will also be able to use these 500 Wi-Fi access points during the WC Football. Moreover, visitors to Copa Village – the very epicentre of the 2014 World Cup on the beach at Scheveningen – will be able to enjoy live coverage of the FIFA World Cup Football on a huge screen or make use of the Internet at the specially set up Wi-Fi hotspots. During the World Cup 2014, the beach at Scheveningen will be transformed into the World Cup location in the Netherlands: a whole month of music, dance, partying, activities and, of course, football! Ziggo is one of the sponsors of this event.

    Ziggo has invested significantly in its Wi-Fi network.The result is approximately 1.2 million Wi-Fi Spots via Ziggo customers, making it the largest Wi-Fi network in the Netherlands.Ziggo wants to expand their services to include busy public locations such as city centres.

    Since October 2013, Ziggo, in collaboration with the city of The Hague, has already provided public Wi-Fi in several districts of The Hague and using existing Ziggo street cabinets and cables.

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    Electronic sell-through market reaches $1 billion

    June 5, 2014 06.53 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent



    The electronic sell-through (EST) TV and movie market has grown since 2012 to more than $1 billion with EST sales now representing almost 14% of the 2013 physical and digital home video purchases, according to The NPD Group’s EST: Analysis and Perspective.

    EST movie transactions grew 68% year-over-year in Q1 driving most of the total EST sales and accounting for 10% of all physical and digital movie purchases. Despite the improved growth of EST movies, EST TV show unit volume is still a much more significant part of the total EST market.



    “Much of the growth in EST is being driven by new digital buyers being drawn into the market,” said Mark Kirstein, president of entertainment for The NPD Group. “Most of the 11 million EST consumers are purchasing digital transactions in addition to physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs; only a small percentage exclusively purchase digital.”

    The EST market is getting a boost as new multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) and digital retailers join the market and new titles get early release windows.

    “Comcast joined Verizon as the second major MVPD to offer EST and we expect more to join the EST market moving forward,” said Kirstein.

    “EST will become an important complement to Video-on-Demand, TV Everywhere, and traditional pay TV services, as it drives incremental revenue and contributes to subscriber retention.”

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    N24 launches on DTT in Stuttgart

    June 5, 2014 08.40 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger



    N24 logoGerman entertainment channel Anixe has terminated its digital terrestrial television (DTT) distribution in metropolitan area Stuttgart.

    Transmitter network operator Media Broadcast has already reoccupied the slot: News channel N24 is now available on terrestrial airwaves in Stuttgart.

    Besides the public broadcasters’ channels, DTT households in the capital city of federal state Baden-Württemberg can only receive two further commercial channels unencrypted: Tele 5 and QVC. RTL’s encrypted subscription DTT package viseo+ will not be continued.

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    Inmarsat and Hellas Sat aim for 39 degrees East hott spot

    June 5, 2014 09.49 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    Hellas SatInmarsat and Hellas Sat have signed an agreement together to launch a joint satellite for 39 degrees East.

    The satellite will carry two missions; first, the S-band payload (designated ‘EuropaSat’), which represents Inmarsat’s commitment to deploy an integrated telecommunications network to deliver aviation passenger connectivity services on a EU-wide basis and, second, a 44 Ku-band transponders payload designated Hellas Sat 3 for Hellas Sat, a majority owned subsidiary of Arabsat that will replace the existing Hellas Sat2 satellite and provide more growth capacities to its customers with diversified footprints in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The satellite will be manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and work will commence immediately to be launched in 2016.

    “This agreement represents the first milestone in fulfilling our commitment to our shareholders to capture additional growth opportunities, especially after the acquisition of Hellas Sat. Hellas,” said Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat President & CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Hellas Sat, in a statement.

    “Sat 3 also represents our commitment to Hellas Sat’s existing and loyal customers and partners in maintaining and expanding their business and continue to establish 39 degrees East as one of the leading DTH hotspots in Europe. This is the first satellite contract among our announced four satellites’ programme; Negotiations with Inmarsat started last November and was just recently concluded. The flexible design of our programme’s bid in terms of process and selection criteria has allowed for this agreement to realise and to be carved out of the bid.”

    Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat CEO, said, “North America has seen rapid take-up of in-flight passenger connectivity. The success of the GoGo air-to-ground network has already triggered the building of a second competing network by AT&T, one of the world’s largest telecommunications operators. Independent research predicts that in-flight connectivity services will be a multi-billion dollar revenue sector by 2020. Inmarsat’s initiative announced today represents a major new business opportunity that is expected to deliver incremental profitable growth in the years to come and to deliver a strong return on investment.”

    ”Hellas Sat will continue to develop the location 39degE to be the leading DTH hotspot in Europe, Hellas-sat 3 will cater for additional capacities and services for HD and free to air channels and will guarantee additional room for our existing customer base to grow,” added Christodoulos Protopapas, CEO of Hellas Sat.

    “Hellas Sat will leverage 39 degrees East by adding another satellite; Hellas-sat 4 with wide coverage and intensive Ku- beams over Europe, Middle East and Africa for different types of broadcasting and telecommunication services, in addition to a multi spot Ka-beams payload for broadband and business networks. The constellation of both Hs-3 and Hs-4 will provide extensive redundancy and backup capacities to further secure DTH networks and customer base and guarantee the sustainability of the business and provide competitive advantage to its customers in Europe and other areas. Hs-4 is currently included in the 4 satellite program’s bid earlier announced by Arabsat.”

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    Freeview & Digital UK plan YouView rival

    June 5, 2014 10.00 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    Retuning_a_Freeview_TVFreeview and Digital UK have announced plans to develop a new Freeview-branded connected TV service that will immediately draw comparisons with the existing YouView platform.

    Digital UK provides the operational support for the UK DTT platform including management of the Freeview electronic programme guide. It’s owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva, all of which are directly involved in Freeview and YouView.

    The companies are backing a five-year plan to support the development and marketing of a connected TV proposition.

    The new offer will give viewers easy access to both broadcast and on-demand TV, including a range of popular catch-up players.

    Ilse Howling
    Ilse Howling

    Freeview managing director Ilse Howling has been appointed as managing director, Connected TV at Digital UK and will lead a new team to develop the product specification for the new service working in close co-operation with manufacturers and industry bodies and based on open standards.

    Freeview’s former marketing communications director, Guy North, has taken over the role as managing director of Freeview.

    It’s planned for manufacturers to launch a new range of connected Freeview HD televisions and boxes which consumers will be able to buy in store.

    Details on launch timing and a brand name for the new service are to be confirmed.

    “The company is well placed to develop the next generation specification and work with the supply chain to support a new, mass market service to make connected TV available free, for everyone,” said Howling.

    The former Freeview boss has made no secret of her desire to continue pushing Freeview towards connectivity. As long ago as June 2012 she was putting the case for Freeview to continue well beyond the DTT switchover. Howling has referred to ‘Freeview Connect’, which has emerged as the working title for the project.

    The arrival of telco shareholders BT and TalkTalk in the YouView platform initially established by the public broadcasters has brought about a rethink. But last month the BBC Trust backed the BBC’s continued involvement in the platform, but with conditions.

    These included the swift introduction of new specifications that will allow content providers to deliver content without being required to use BT or Talk Talk’s delivery network, subject to the minimum quality standard.

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    RTL expands catch-up TV on German cable

    June 5, 2014 10.10 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger



    RTL Now Familie (Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland)German commercial broadcast group Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland now provides the customers of Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland with its complete portfolio of catch-up TV services.

    RTL II Now, Super RTL Now, RTL Nitro Now and n-tv Now were integrated into Kabel Deutschland’s video-on-demand (VOD) portal Select Video. RTL Now and VOX Now have been available on the platform since December 2013.

    RTL NowThrough RTL’s catch-up TV services which Kabel Deutschland offers in TV broadcast quality viewers can access full-length TV programmes – in most cases after their initial broadcast, in some cases ahead of their TV airing. After seven days, the programmes are shifted into the archive.

    “With the integration of further Now services of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, our video-on-demand offering Select Video becomes even more attractive. The content of all major commercial TV broadcasters is now also available at Kabel Deutschland at the touch of a button,” said Rolf Wierig, vice president content & co-operations at Kabel Deutschland. “We thereby take into account both the extended TV viewing habits of our customers and the expansion of the business models of our channel partners.”

    Select Video is currently available to 3.7 million households in the coverage area of Kabel Deutschland.

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    BBC R&D to trial World Cup Ultra HD

    June 5, 2014 10.36 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    BBC World Cup 2014BBC R&D is to run a series of Ultra HD trials during the World Cup. The closed user trials will cover three games from the Maracanã stadium in Rio – a last 16 match, a quarter final and the final.

    It’s planned to work closely with strategic research partner, Arqiva, major consumer electronics vendors and technology providers to explore the delivery of live UHD content over broadcast and broadband networks.

    It will be the first time that Ultra HD coverage has been delivered simultaneously over Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and Internet Protocol (IP) technologies ‘to the home’. The live UHD streams will be transported from Brazil by satellite to the UK where they will be decoded and distributed, via existing broadcast and super-fast broadband infrastructure, to a number of compatible consumer UHD TV sets in selected R&D facilities.

    Matthew Postgate, Controller, BBC R&D, said: “BBC R&D has an outstanding track record as a catalyst for bringing the industry together and delivering the future of television to audiences. These trials are an excellent example of that tradition as a major technical achievement, such as distributing UHD TV over DTT and IP simultaneously from Rio, can only be made possible by close collaboration with a range of organisations. The trials will prove hugely valuable in furthering our understanding of UHD technology, and potential distribution models for the future, as well providing real benefits for licence fee payers in the near-term.”

    Steve Holebrook, Managing Director of Terrestrial Broadcast for Arqiva, added: “By trialling Ultra High Definition with the BBC, Arqiva can demonstrate how future UHD live-events could be delivered to millions of UK homes via the leading television platform – DTT. This is the first over-air demonstration of live UHD in the UK and uses new High Efficiency Transmitters and HEVC coding technology.”

    The trial will examine the use of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) for distribution over both DTT and over the top IP networks.

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    ProSiebenSat.1 takes maxdome to Xbox One

    June 5, 2014 10.36 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger



    maxdome Screenshot MicrosoftGerman video-on-demand (VOD) service maxdome will in future also be available on the Xbox One.

    The users of Microsoft’s games console will be able to access the whole maxdome offering on their TV screen through the device’s internet connection from summer 2014.

    With the Xbox One app, the OTT VOD service operated by German TV group ProSiebenSat.1 will be available on a total of more than 35 million devices including connected TV sets, smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs.

    “The agreement with Microsoft is a next logical step for maxdome in the reach development on games consoles,” maxdome’s managing director Andreas Heyden said in Munich. “With the launch on the Xbox One, maxdome will reach nearly 100% coverage across all devices.”

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    Slovak Telekom opts for Intelsat

    June 5, 2014 15.27 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    Slovak TelekomSlovak Telekom has signed a multi-year agreement with Intelsat to expand its DTH service.

    As part of the agreement, the telco will operate multiple transponders at the one degree West position.

    In addition, IntelsatOne, Intelsat’s terrestrial network, will provide an uplink from the operator’s teleport in Fuchsstadt, Germany, with fibre contribution from Bratislava and a provision for disaster recovery uplink services.

    Commenting on the deal, Dusan Svalek, Slovak Telekom’s CMMO, said: “Intelsat’s global scale and portfolio of services enabled them to rapidly respond and meet our needs for a cost-efficient solution that will deepen and expand our relationships with new and existing subscribers.

    “The prime video neighbourhood, reliability of the IntelsatOne network and benefits from the economies of scale were instrumental in our decision to move our service to Intelsat. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Intelsat going forward.”

    Jean-Philippe Gillet, VP, EMEA, added: “Slovak Telekom’s decision to move their services to Intelsat further demonstrates that 1degree West is the orbital location of choice for the CEE region.

    “We look forward to providing them with the capacity and solutions they need to increase their subscriber base within the region.”

    Intelsat at one degree West reaches a potential 17 million households in 17 northern, central and eastern European countries.

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    CME fills key post

    June 5, 2014 15.45 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has appointed David Sturgeon as its CFO.

    Sturgeon has been acting CFO since October 2013 and was deputy CFO from July 2009.

    He sits on the board of directors of CME’s main operating subsidiaries and prior to 2013 also served as its financial officer of the company’s broadcasting and new media divisions.

    Sturgeon joined the company as group financial controller in 2005, prior to which he was with Equant N.V. and Arthur Andersen’s Technology, Media and Communications practice.

    In a joint statement Michael Del Nin and Christoph Mainusch, co-CEOs of CME, said: “We are pleased to finalise this key appointment in the management team. The depth of Dave’s knowledge of the company and its operations has been instrumental to our progress in improving the efficiency of our businesses. We will leverage his extensive experience in the media industry as we focus on our core broadcast assets and continue strengthening our leading brands in each country in which we operate.”

    Sturgeon added: “I’m excited to continue working in this new role as CME forges ahead with the execution of its operating priorities.”


 

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