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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Com Hem takes TiVoToGo past 100 channels June 13, 2014 11.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover TiVo Com HemAnother 38 channels

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    Com Hem takes TiVoToGo past 100 channels

    June 13, 2014 11.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    TiVo Com HemAnother 38 channels have been added to Com Hem’s multiscreen service TiVoToGo. The cablenet says the additions to the TV app makes it by far the largest selection of channels on the Swedish market.

    The new channels include Disney Channel, Eurosport, TCM and the entire Viasat offering.

    “We now have rights to display all the channels in our channel packages, and beyond that all the channels from Viasat. It makes TiVoToGo to the strongest TV app on the market. Our customers can now be more flexible in their television viewing than ever and receive the channels that they have been watching in the living room to whatever screen they want, says Asanga Gunatillaka, product director at Com Hem.

    TiVoToGo is included in all Com Hem TiVo subscriptions and is available to download for both Android and iOS.

    On a TiVo subscription, you can connect up to five mobile phones, tablets or computers and watch the two of them simultaneously.

    Besides the possibility to watch over 100 channels live, you can in TiVoToGo restart variety of programs for up to seven days, watching a catchup channel as well as program TiVo recordings remotely.

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    ARD adds rewind function to mobile app

    June 13, 2014 11.43 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger


    Das Erste-App Juni 2014German public broadcaster ARD has equipped its app for smartphones and tablets with new functions.

    The live-stream of ARD’s main channel Das Erste has gained a rewind function: Viewers who have turned on a programme too late can rewind it back by up to 30 minutes at any time and start watching it from this point in time onwards.

    The vast majority of Das Erste’s programmes can also be accessed in full length after their broadcast through the app including all games from the FIFA Football World Cup 2014 which the channel transmits live.

    A new feature is also the bundling of the videos into topical categories: news, detective series, movies, sports, advisory programmes and children’s shows. The EPG informs about the programmes of the next four weeks.

    The new version of the free-of-charge app can be downloaded from the app stores of Apple and Google Play. It is for the first time also available for Windows Phone and Windows 8.

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    Belgian Jupiler Pro League games to joint operators

    June 13, 2014 13.53 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    Jupiler Pro LeagueThe live rights to all Belgian Jupiler Pro League games have been awarded to all three major TV platforms in the country, Telenet, VOO and Belgacom TV.

    The three operators have acquired the non-exclusive rights to the games for the next three seasons, starting with 2014/15. Until now, Telenet owned the exclusive rights for Flanders for its Sporting Telenet channel.

    “We are glad that the outcome of this dossier is positive for all football fans,” said Inge Smidts, SVP residential marketing, Telenet.

    “Because the rights were granted on a non-exclusive basis, everyone, regardless of his/her operator, is able to enjoy Belgian top flight football. Football will receive more resources over the coming seasons and be watched by more supporters: this is excellent news for the sport and fans alike. But above all, we are very happy to confirm to our Sporting Telenet customers that they will also be able to enjoy all Belgian top flight matches for the next seasons.”

    For Belgacom TV, the new agreement means a return of the league to their offer.

    “I’m very happy with the Jupiler Pro League Live rights being allocated to several operators, as it enables Belgacom to fulfill her football for everyone ambition and offer its subscribers access to all the matches of Division 1 for the next three seasons,” said Dominique Leroy, CEO Belgacom.

    With the new deal in place, Belgacom is expanding its football offering by broadcasting all Division 1 matches, including the top matches and all matches of RSC Anderlecht, Standard and Club Bruges. The operator already holds the rights to the Belgacom League (Division 2), all of the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish and Portuguese first-division matches, the English League Cup and the Spanish Cup.

    The highlights of the Jupiler Pro League games have been awarded to pubic broadcaster RTBF for the French speaking part of the country, but a decision about the rights to the Flemish channels still has to be taken. It is believed that the submitted bids were deemed too low. Until now, public broadcaster VRT has these rights.

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    Stingray Digital acquires Dutch music channels

    June 13, 2014 14.24 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    lite TVStingray Digital has entered into an agreement to acquire Archibald Media Group of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    Archibald Media Group owns and operates three TV services: LiteTV, 100% NL TV and XLNT Radio. 100% NL TV is a joint venture with RadioCorp, a local media company.

    “We have been committed to serving the European market since our acquisition of Music Choice International back in 2011,” stated Eric Boyko, president and CEO of Stingray Digital.

    “This latest acquisition strengthens our service offering with the addition of music TV channels that we will offer to our many customers across Europe. This will also allow us to be closer to many of our most important partners and provide even greater local market expertise, now with an operation in Amsterdam.”

    “Stingray is the perfect company to acquire the services we have launched and grown over the years,” commented Robert Herder, president of Archibald Media Group.

    “Stingray brings multi-national scale in content acquisition and product innovation that can be combined with our local-market music knowledge and television channel programming expertise resulting in improved products and service for existing and new customers.”

    Archibald Media Group programs and distributes the music channels XLNT Radio through operators such as Ziggo and KPN in the Netherlands and Telenet in Belgium.

    LiteTV is a 24/7 music video channel for the adult pop music enthusiast and can be found on Ziggo, UPC, Delta, Vodafone and many more.

    100% NL TV is a television channel featuring the best of Dutch music and is available from several operators as well. Archibald’s various television properties reach approximately four million customers across the Benelux region.

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    Fox International announces Star Sat launches and renewals

    Editor
    | 14 June 2014

    After concentrating on Europe over the last few months FOX International Channels (FIC) has turned its attention to South Africa in an enhanced partnership with Star Sat.
    The new deal between 21st Century FOX’s international multimedia business and On Digital Media’s recently relaunched digital television platform will increase the number of brands available to South African subscribers to seven. It includes retention of flagship channel FOX, alongside FX, BabyTV and Fuel as well as three additional channels namely FOX Crime, Nat Geo Gold and Fox Movies.

    FIC claims that it will make it the most relevant channels supplier of Star Sat with channels on almost all genres, such as entertainment, documentary, sports and kids. The Lifestyle channel will be launched at a later stage.

    The deal also increases FIC’s footprint and supports the global corporate strategy of channels remaining non-exclusive. Moreover, it comes after the company recently announced the purchase of a controlling stake in Setanta Africa to increase the variety in its local portfolio of channels to include sport.

    “This move is very encouraging for us as a distributor of powerhouse channel brands globally,” said Alessandro Tucci, SVP and General Manager for FIC Africa.“The FIC Africa strategic plan has been to ensure increased distribution of our key channel brands to all platforms, thus strengthening our presence,” he added

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    EBS bags global QVC EPG data service deal

    Editor
    | 14 June 2014

    Leading UK shopping channel QVC has expanded its contract with EPG data service provider EBS to cover all of its platforms and channels worldwide.

    QVC already sends its EPG data to EBS’s team who proofread and edit the schedules to ensure that they comply with stringent platform regulations and then add features, such as series linking, before distributing via its Mediator scheduling application to press and platform outlets. This includes Freeview, Sky, Freesat, Virgin, UPC, TalkTalk and Connect TV. The EPG team at QVC also has direct login access to Mediator to enable out-of-hour changes, following full training from EBS. Under the terms of the new deal, EBS will enable EPG data services for QVC Beauty, QVC Style and QVC Extra and now provides services for the main QVC channel.

    “Our relationship with EBS is really important because they have the responsibility of making sure that our EPG schedules are sent accurately, on time and in the correct format for the platform,” explained QVC MCR manager Neha Sudra-Patel. “They provide us with solutions for problems relating to the EPG schedule such as the clock change, which is a real challenge. Prior to working with EBS we had to take care of this manually but now it’s handled by the EBS team.”

    Added EBS business development manager Matt Smith: “We’re delighted to be the sole EPG data provider for all four QVC channels. The aim of our business is to provide channels like QVC with a personal service that means they can tailor their EPG requirements to suit the needs of their business. Platforms are very strict about the data that they receive and we are able to meet those requirements quickly.”

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    OTT firm Visual Unity captures $7.2MN from 3TS Capital Partners

    Editor
    | 14 June 2014

    Over the top (OTT) platform and multiscreen solution provider Visual Unity has been given a huge boost in the form of a $7.2 million cash investment by growth capital technology fund 3TS Capital Partners.

    3TS is initially acquiring a minority stake in Visual Unity and commits to supporting the company at both a strategic and operational level. Visual Unity says that it will use the investment to strengthen its delivery of end-to-end OTT solutions on a global scale and achieve its goal of being the leading provider of OTT and multiscreen solutions. In particular, the funding will support the growth of an international customer base and hasten leading-edge development for its flagship OTT platform vuMedia.

    "This is an exciting time for Visual Unity, with 3TS taking a key role in the future success of our company,” said company founder and CEO Tomas Petru. “Our robust, end-to-end product is already used by our customers worldwide. We support close to 10.000 different screens and devices in conjunction with every conceivable monetisation method. 3TS’s diligent examination of, and investment into our product portfolio not only attests to its innovation, but will be instrumental in fuelling our sales, marketing and development expansion."

    3TS’s investment derives from its Cisco, EBRD, EIF and OTP backed growth capital fund, which focuses on investments in fast growing technology companies primarily in Central and Eastern Europe.

    "Our strategic investment into Visual Unity will enable a strong focus in product development, while reaching previously untapped markets around the world," added managing partner of 3TS Capital Daniel Lynch. "We look forward to establishing Visual Unity as a global leader in OTT and multiscreen products and services."

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    Eutelsat extends UltraHD reach to Asia with the first 4KTV channel

    Editor
    | 14 June 2014

    As part of its plan to extend UltraHD to the region, Eutelsat will be introducing its 4KTV channel on its 70B satellite that reaches across South-east Asia and Australia.

    The leading European satellite operator will be working with in partnership with ST Teleport, one of Asia's leading full-service satellite, fibre and IP communications solutions providers, with content on the 4KTV channel encoded in HEVC by ATEME and Thomson Video Networks at 50 frames per second with 10-bit colour depth.

    The 4KTV channel will offer a library of documentary, cultural and sports content filmed by television channels, production companies and Eutelsat to showcase the viewing experience of UltraHD. The service will be on show at the forthcoming CommunicAsia 2014 show using a Samsung 65-inch TV and can be received directly by 4KTV panels equipped with DVB-S2 demodulators and HEVC decoders.

    “The remarkable technology progress of the last 18 months is creating a favourable economic environment for the commercial launch of UltraHD that is poised to propel broadcasting into a new era,” commented Eutelsat director of marketing and commercial development Markus Fritz. “We are delighted to partner with ST Teleport to demonstrate to Asia’s broadcast community the newest phase of 4KTV development.”

    "Bringing high-performing and innovative solutions that our customers need has been a key criteria in our service offerings,” added ST Teleport managing director Joseph Chan. “[We are] pleased to work with Eutelsat to bring this new Ultra HD service to customers in Singapore and the Asian region. Combining ST Teleport's deep earth station expertise and Eutelsat's technologically superior product, companies in the broadcasting chain will now be able to offer a far more immersive experience to their customers."

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    NanoTech adds Hollywood vet Riegel to advisory board

    Michelle Clancy
    | 14 June 2014

    4K specialist NanoTech Entertainment has added Hollywood innovator Rod Riegel to its Content Advisory Board. Riegel will provide strategic guidance to NanoTech on its content acquisition partnerships as the company continues to build its library, which it offers via its UltraFlix dedicated 4K channel.

    Riegel’s career began with Turner Broadcasting on the marketing side of the business. Eventually he moved to 20th Century Fox, where he moved into the position of senior vice president of marketing and strategic affairs for the company’s global entertainment businesses. After his 15-year stint with FOX, he moved to the Sony Pictures Studio Lot as part of the joint venture with Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation. Riegel now serves as vice president of global market development and strategy for the joint venture’s 3D channel and UHD production studio businesses.

    “UltraFlix is poised to become a key driver of next-generation entertainment distribution services for Ultra HD programming - a revolutionary format destined to become the de-facto standard for content consumption,” said Riegel. “I’m thrilled to join NanoTech’s advisory team, and look forward to helping the company maximize their efforts in the 4K content space and deliver on the mandate to pioneer ‘The Future of Television.’”

    “We are privileged to have Rod joining our team,” added Alan Stone, COO of NanoTech. “He has a unique insight into the changing landscape of digital video content, and has been at the forefront of the 4K movement. Assembling a world class team of Hollywood experts is helping us elevate and expand our brand that will help us to exceed the goals that we have set for our media division and the company overall.”

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    Pay TV operators dominate STB development

    Michelle Clancy
    | 14 June 2014

    When it comes to home CPE distribution, pay-TV operators are at the top of the set-top box (STB) food chain, with hardware OEMs and semiconductor vendors both functioning in a supporting role. As the biggest customers for STBs, pay-TV still controls the design and functionality direction of the devices, and in turn, the user experience to a large extent.

    According to ABI Research, the largest operators are responsible for the functional definition and direction of STBs, and have significant ownership over at least the logical layers of the implementation. Multi-source supply agreements, in which operators purchase functionally equivalent units from multiple vendors, are the norm today. Therefore, operators have multiple bids whenever they need to purchase new units.

    “The current large-scale pay-TV operators we are seeing, including Comcast-Time Warner, AT&T-DirecTV and Liberty Global’s acquisition of Virgin Media and Ziggo, will in the long term better align set-top box requirements across larger markets,” said ABI Research practice director Sam Rosen.

    The consolidation afoot in the operator space will have a ripple effect in the STB space as well.

    “Hybrid set-top boxes, which leverage cable or satellite as well as IP capabilities, have largely become the norm in mature markets – but will be more important from a service delivery perspective especially as the result of the AT&T-DirecTV merger,” Rosen said.

    ADB Global and Netgem, two European OEMs collectively responsible for only 3% of the market, are two vendors who have led truly multi-network boxes, he added.

    Meanwhile, RDK, a joint venture of Comcast, Time Warner and Liberty Global, is developing a shared source operating system for set-top boxes.

    “Similar to the impact of Android in the smartphone market, RDK will improve compatibility between different hardware boxes and even down to the set-top box chipset level,” continued Rosen. “While today’s set-top box market is highly fragmented, these common platforms will enable efficiencies leading both consolidation through further mergers and acquisitions, but will also force some natural consolidation.”


 

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