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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

World Cup to be $4BN bonanza and set new quality standards Joseph O'Halloran | 13 June 2014 A senior consultant

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    World Cup to be $4BN bonanza and set new quality standards

    Joseph O'Halloran
    | 13 June 2014

    A senior consultant in Deloitte's sports business group has calculated that the World Cup will net $4 billion in broadcast and commercial revenues as it drives new standards in the quality of broadcast production.

    Analysing the effect of the tournament, Austin Houlihan said that a number of key parameters would drive record revenues for word football governing body FIFA. In particular, he believes that the kick-off times for this year's edition are conducive to driving strong audiences in areas such as North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East

    "The World Cup's ability to generate such audiences means that broadcasters and sponsors pay premium rights fees to secure rights to broadcast, or be associated, with the tournament," Houlihan said. "The World Cup is a premium property for free-to-air broadcasters in particular, due to its ability to generate high audiences in many territories."

    Such an example offered was the German audience for the 2010 World Cup semi-final between Germany and Spain which exceeded 30 million viewers, the first time a single German broadcaster had generated an audience of this size.

    Yet as well as driving record broadcast and sponsorship revenues, the Deloitte sports business group also expected the tournament to help drive new standards in the quality of broadcast production. Houlihan noted particular innovations in 4KTV/UltraHD, even 8K, and observed that the tournament would also cater for the increasing trend for audiences to view content through mobile devices. He forecast greater numbers of viewers being able to access match footage — such as live, highlights, video-on-demand, clips and associated content — through tablets and smartphones.

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    Slovakia takes to terrestrial TV

    June 13, 2014 08.12 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    DVB-T services are growing in popularity in Slovakia and now received in almost a third of households.

    Quoting research produced over the course of a year by GfK, Digizone reports that 30% of households, with people aged 15-79, watch DTT services.

    The greatest concentration of viewers is found in towns with 20,000-50,000 and 50,000-100,000 inhabitants, at 39% and 38% of the population respectively.

    There are several reasons why this may be the case. The first is the introduction of a so-called service charge by the M7-owned DTH platforms Skylink and CS Link.

    Secondly, an increasing number of channels, including Wau, RA3 and Slovak Sport 3, are now available to Slovak viewers free of charge on what are three FTA multiplexes.

    The fourth multiplex is meanwhile used by Plustelka, Slovakia’s pay-DTT service.

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    Digital TV grows in Hungary

    June 13, 2014 08.26 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Over two thirds (68%) of homes receiving subscription TV in Hungary in April opted for digital services, according to the latest data produced by the regulator NMHH.

    As of the end of the month there were 2,024,307 cable and IPTV subscribers, based on data supplied by the eight main market players, with 1,048,689 of these being digital.

    At the same time, there were 902,488 DTH subscribers, while the pay-DTT platform MinDig TV Extra service was received in 124,240 homes.

    The total number of digital TV subscriptions stood at 2,093,835.

    When examined irrespective of technology used, UPC (26.2%), Magyar Telekom (24%) and Digi (23%) were the leading providers of subscription services, with the next most popular player (Invitel) claiming a 3.8% market share.

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    TVP adds World Cup app

    June 13, 2014 08.46 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The Polish public broadcaster TVP has launched a new HbbTV app for the World Cup.

    According to, Brazylia 2014 the latest such app aimed at sports fans, following on from Euro 2012, Londyn 2012, TV Zagle (TVP Sails) and Sochi 2014.

    TVP is showing live matches and highlights from the World Cup in Brazil on TVP1 HD, TVP1, TVP Sport TVP Info and TVP Regionalna.

    However, Brazylia 2014 is being offered on all its DVB-T channels, as well as on selected cable services that receive HbbTV signals.

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    Telenet close to acquiring SBS Belgium stake

    June 13, 2014 08.54 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Telenet builingBelgian operator Telenet is close to buying the 33% share in De Vijver Media holding now owned by Sanoma publishing.

    De Vijver Media is the holding company for the Flemish television channels from SBS Belgium, consisting of Vier and Vijf (Four and Five), production house Woestijnvis and the weekly TV guide Humo. The company is currently owned by founders Wouter Vandenhaute and Erik Watté (33%) and publishing and printing house Corelio (33%), with the remaining 33% now up for sale by Sanoma.

    The deal would give the cable operator access to the former SBS channels as well as to the content library of Woestijnvis. According to local press reports, the sale is about to be closed within the next few weeks.

    However, it is unclear if regulatory approval is needed for such a deal.

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    Framework for BBC commercial services

    June 13, 2014 09.07 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    BBC Broadcasting HouseThe BBC Trust has published a draft framework that sets out the remit and requirements of the BBC’s commercial services – BBC Worldwide, BBC Global News Ltd and BBC Studios and Post Production. It’s the first time such requirements have been published and will mirror the service licences already in place for broadcast services BBC One and Radio 2.

    The commercial services framework stipulates five key principles to ensure that the operations of the BBC’s commercial services are consistent with the principles of licence fee-funded services, and that the services operate fairly in relation to the wider market.

    The Trust will now seek views on the draft from industry stakeholders and interested members of the public, before publishing a final framework later this year.

    BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Services Committee Suzanna Taverne said: “The way that the Trust sets and monitors clear expectations for every BBC service across TV, radio and online has successfully driven improvements for audiences. We want to apply the same principles to the BBC’s commercial services, which play an important role in both upfront investment and delivering profits back into programmes for UK audiences. This will mean there are clear, published requirements that we can review performance against and make sure that commercial activity is always appropriate and doesn’t damage the BBC or the wider market.”

    The five principles are:
    •Strategic alignment of commercial services and public service activities – commercial activity must be consistent with the BBC’s public purposes; and uphold the good reputation of the BBC.
    •How, where and when commercial business can be conducted – commercial activity should principally focus on securing a return from BBC content and brands. When exceptions are considered the Trust will require a clear rationale. If acquisitions or equity investments are proposed, the Executive Board must be satisfied that they are necessary to meet business objectives and that all other options have been considered. Larger or more significant proposals will be subject to approval from the Trust.
    •Generating a return for licence fee payers – through a mix of upfront investments and dividends for reinvestment in licence fee-funded public services.
    •Commercial efficiency – the Trust will set a baseline requirement for commercial efficiency which each commercial subsidiary must meet. The BBC Executive Board must set commercial targets for each business and regularly report on progress to the Trust.
    •Separation between publicly funded BBC activity and its commercial services – there must be appropriate financial and operational separation between publicly funded and commercial activities to comply with state aid law and ensure the commercial services do not gain an unfair advantage in the market as a result of their links with the BBC.
    •Source: BBC Trust

    BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm of the BBC. BBC Global News Ltd includes the BBC World News commercial TV channel, and BBC Studios and Post Production provides TV studios, post production and digital media services to the industry.

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    New growth in Portugal pay-TV

    June 13, 2014 09.26 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    AnacomThe number of subscribers to pay-TV services in Portugal increased by 1.2% in the first quarter of 2014. As of the end of March regulator Anacom reported 3.21 million subscribers, 38,700 more than in the previous quarter, and 80,700 year on year.

    The growth has been attributed to offers for fibre-optic based services (FTTH/B) and xDSL, where the number of subscribers increased from the previous quarter by 8.2% and 2.8% percent respectively. At the same time, the number of subscribers with cable TV and satellite distribution fell.

    The growth reported in the service stems from offers supported over optical fibre (FTTH/B) and xDSL, where the number of subscribers increased from the previous quarter by 8.2% and 2.8% percent respectively. Meanwhile, the number of subscribers with cable TV and satellite distribution fell.

    Cable TV remains the most popular means of taking pay-TV with 43.5% of total subscribers (1.396 million), while xDSL had 705,000 customers (22% of the total), and satellite 598,000 (18.6 % of the total). Fibre had 511,000 customers, 15.9% of the total.

    In the same period, Grupo ZON Optimus (NOS) reported the largest share of subscription TV subscribers (46.4%). In terms of share, NOS is followed by PTC, Cabovisão and Vodafone with shares of 41.6%, 6.9% and 5%, respectively. Vodafone was the provider that added the largest number of subscribers in net terms during the quarter

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    ARD and ZDF leave Hot Bird for FIFA World Cup

    June 13, 2014 10.06 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger

    ARD+ZDFGerman public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have removed their main channels from Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellite system at 13 degrees East due to rights restrictions regarding the FIFA Football World Cup 2014.

    ZDF will transmit its digital channel ZDFneo on Hot Bird during the World Cup, a spokesman of the broadcaster told Broadband TV News.

    ARD ZDF caption World Cup 2014 Hot BirdARD doesn’t air a replacement channel, but instead shows a text caption informing viewers that its main channel Das Erste unfortunately can’t be transmitted on this satellite during and shortly after the FIFA Football World Cup, concretely between June 12 and July 21, for licence reasons.

    The German public broadcasters’ unencrypted satellite distribution on Astra (19.2 degrees East) which serves DTH satellite viewers in Germany is not affected. ARD and ZDF air all 64 World Cup games live and unencrypted on the Luxembourg-based satellite system on their main channels and on digital channels Einsfestival and ZDFinfo both in standard resolution (SD) and in high definition (HD).

    The reason for the withdrawal from Hot Bird is the satellite system’s larger footprint which reaches regions not covered by Astra, specifically in the Middle East and Northern Africa where pay-TV broadcaster beIN Sports from the Al-Jazeera group has obtained the exclusive live broadcast rights from FIFA.

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    ITV Player fails during World Cup opener

    June 13, 2014 10.29 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    ITV World CupFootball fans have been angered after the ITV Player failed to cope with the volume of traffic during Thursday’s World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia.

    Fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration at the glitch, angry that ITV had failed to realise the volume of traffic hitting the servers used by the online service.

    The commercial broadcaster posted its own message to those affected by the outage.

    “We apologise for any inconvenience, we’re working hard to resume normal service.”

    Later adding: “We’re so sorry for the disruption tonight. It wasn’t planned and we know it came at a crucial time during the match. apologies again.”

    ITV has a history of inadvertently interrupting its football coverage. In the last World Cup its HD feed ran an advert just at the moment Steven Gerrard scored England’s opening goal against the USA.

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    Hungarian ad tax row escalates

    June 13, 2014 11.02 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Both local and international criticism of the controversial new advertising tax in Hungary is growing.

    Approved by the country’s parliament earlier this week, it will impact on all media companies but particularly RTL Klub, the leading broadcaster, which will be required to pay 40% of its advertising revenues into the state coffers.

    BBJ reports that RTL Klub, which is backed by Germany’s Bertelsmann, has now decided to openly criticise the government through its various media outlets.

    Its situation contrasts with that of TV2, Hungary’s other national commercial broadcaster, which is seen as broadly in favour of the Fidesz party-led government and has been given a tax break in the new law.

    The law has also drawn strong criticism from bodies outside the country. Speaking after the annual assembly of the Association of Commercial Television (ACT), its DG Ross Biggam said:

    “By surcharging advertising-based revenues at rates of up to 40%, this legislation must call into question the ability of the Hungarian market to attract the necessary investment to sustain independent and pluralist news media.?Television programming requires significant investment. Between 40% and 50% of European broadcasters’ advertising revenues are spent on high-quality programme content – news, local drama, sports, documentaries and entertainment.?Our meeting was particularly concerned by the lack of consultation with affected stakeholders, and the lack of objective grounds for the tax. Responsible media companies do not question the societal obligation to pay a reasonable level of tax. But rushed and disproportionate measures such as the Hungarian tax on advertising revenues are a threat to the sustainability of media services in Hungary.”

    The ACT, a number of whose member companies are active on the Hungarian media market, agreed at its General Assembly to bring this issue to the attention of the EU institutions.

    Meanwhile, The European Publishers Council (EPC) has called on the European Commission to challenge Hungary’s new controversial advertising tax, which it says will further erode press freedom and cripple the country’s media industry.

    It points out that it is the latest in a series of clampdowns instigated by Hungary, with its parliament having passed a law in 2010 that threatened fines on media who engage in “unbalanced coverage”. The EU threatened legal action and Budapest gave assurances that it would amend the controversial media law in line with EU norms.

    EPC executive director Angela Mills Wade said: “This is another attempt by the Hungarian Government to undermine the freedom of the press, a freedom that is highly prized by Europe’s democratic Member States. A free, independent and pluralistic media relies on the income from advertising to invest in programme production and quality, authoritative, accountable journalism. We are also extremely concerned to hear reports of pressures brought to bear on journalists and media outlets who have written unfavourable articles about politicians, and we will be asking the European Commission to take appropriate action to stem these blatant erosions of press freedom.”


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