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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

MENA pay TV subs climbing – despite piracy The number of pay TV homes in the Middle East and North

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    MENA pay TV subs climbing – despite piracy

    The number of pay TV homes in the Middle East and North Africa will double between 2010 and 2020 to 21.3 million, according to a new 208-page report from Digital TV Research. Turkey will account for 37% of the 2020 total.



    (Note: North Africa = Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia. Gulf States = Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE. Levant = Jordan, Lebanon, Syria. Eurasia = Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan)

    According to the fourth edition of Digital TV Middle East & North Africa Forecasts, 18% of TV households legitimately paid for TV signals by end-2014. This proportion will climb to 24% by 2020. Qatar will record 72% pay TV penetration by 2020, with Israel (71%) also high. However, pay TV penetration will be below 10% of TV households in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.

    Legitimate pay TV revenues for the 20 countries covered in the report will grow by 75% between 2010 and 2020 to $5.63 billion. Turkey and Israel are expected to contribute 51% of the region’s pay TV revenues in 2020; down from 61% in 2014.

    Satellite TV will continue to dominate pay TV revenues, taking two-thirds of the 2020 total (similar to the 2014 proportion). Satellite TV revenues will be $3.76 billion in 2020. Turkey will account for $1,572 million of these revenues, followed by Saudi Arabia with $674 million. Saudi Arabia will take second place from Israel in 2015.

    Pay satellite TV penetration will climb from 6.9% in 2010 to 11.8% in 2020, with subscriber numbers doubling from 5.01 million to 10.32 million. Of the 10.32 million total in 2020, Turkey will contribute 5.32 million and Saudi Arabia 1.24 million. Penetration in 2020 will reach 37% in Qatar, but will be less than 5% in 10 other countries.

    Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Pay satellite TV has grown due mainly to the expansion of OSN and beIN Sports. We estimate that OSN had 1,162,000 residential satellite subscribers [excluding non-residential satellite subscribers and subscribers to non-satellite platforms] at end-2014, with beIN Sports providing a further 819,000.”

    He cautioned: “Piracy remains a major problem, despite many efforts to eradicate it. There are 34.3 million free-to-air satellite TV homes in the Middle East and North Africa sub-regions [excluding Israel, Turkey and Eurasia]. We estimate that at least 10% of these homes also receive pirated premium satellite TV signals. This represents considerable revenue loss to the legitimate players.”

    There will be 6.16 million legitimate IPTV subs across the whole region by 2020; triple the 2014 total. Turkey (1,631,000 subscribers – five times as many as 2014) will be the IPTV subscriber leader in 2020. However, Qatar (35%) will lead in penetration terms by 2020. IPTV revenues will grow tenfold between 2010 and 2020 – to $1,071 million.

    For more information on the Digital TV Middle East & North Africa Forecasts report, please see the Broadband TV News webshop.

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    Charles Padgett appointed new CFO Verimatrix

    Verimatrix has named Charles Padgett as the new chief financial officer.

    In this role, Padgett is responsible for leading the company’s global accounting and finance functions and providing strategic guidance on new market opportunities. He brings the experience of his 30-year career, in which he has led and managed organizations during periods of high growth in revenue, geographical expansion, and headcount.

    Padgett joins Verimatrix from Cascadia Technology Group, where he served as founder and CEO, and led the sale of Cascadia Project Management in 2014. He has also previously served in senior management positions at Kofax, EMC, and Captiva Software. As a member of Kofax’s executive management team, he was responsible for developing and executing the company’s M&A program, including the integration of acquired companies and the divesture of the legacy hardware business in 2011.

    In addition, he has served as CFO of Aviarc, CFO of WFI (EMEA), an Entrepreneur in Residence at Boeing Technology Ventures and managing director of The Walter Group. Padgett also spent four years in public accounting as a CPA for KPMG.

    “Charles brings a wealth of financial and leadership experience from the telecommunications, wireless, and software sectors to our team,” said Tom Munro, CEO, Verimatrix. “I am confident that Charles’ experience will serve us well as we continue to capture new market share and apply our revenue security solutions to new market segments.”

    He holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Alaska in history, finance and accounting. Padgett serves on the board of directors for several technology startups.

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    Ownership change at Ukraine’s Inter

    The Ukrainian station Inter is now fully controlled by Group DF, in which the Dmitry Firtash and Sergei Levochkin hold majority and minority stakes respectively.

    According to a statement by the company, this follows the group’s acquisition of the 29% stake in Inter owned by the Russian broadcaster Channel One for $100 million, as well as a 10% stake held by the Ukrainian company Pegasus TV for an undisclosed fee.

    It adds that the agreement (sale) is part of the management’s overall strategy to develop Group DF.

    Press reports note that last month the Ukrainian parliament introduced a bill prohibiting Russian companies from owning stakes in Ukrainian broadcasters.

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    Spotify gives Russia a miss

    The music streaming service Spotify has cancelled plans to open offices and launch in Russia.

    Quoted by RBC and The Moscow Times, Alexander Kubaneishvili, who had ben hired to head the business in Russia, said: “With regret I inform you that Spotify has decided against launching in Russia for the foreseeable future. There are several reasons — the economic crisis, the political situation, new laws and the regulation of the internet”.

    Spotify had originally planned to launch in Russia last October.

    However, its debut was then put back to this spring, apparently because it had failed to reach agreements with mobile operators.

    Kubaneishvili, who has previously worked for Google, Microsoft and Gigafone Technologies, will leave Spotify this month.

    Spotify was launched in 2006 and is currently present in 58 markets.

    It has over 15 million paying subscribers and over 60 million active users.

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    Quad-Play accelerate TalkTalk growth

    TalkTalk has declared its “best-ever results” after a quarter that saw significant adds across TV mobile and broadband.

    Between September and December, 115,000 more homes signed up to TalkTalk TV, 50,000 took mobile and 88,000 signed up to broadband. The number of overall broadband customers increased by 15,000, while churn fell to its lowest ever reported level.

    TV was once more a key driver as TalkTalk continued to be the standard bearer if the YouView platform. The telco-PSB platform counts 1.3 TalkTalk customers.

    Sky Movies was the most popular ‘Boost’ add on during September and December, followed by a combined Sky Sports and Movies Boost. Disney’s Oscar-nominated Maleficent was the most popular film rental, followed by Mrs Browns’s Boys D’Movie and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

    Dido Harding, chief executive, TalkTalk said: “Today’s results demonstrate the strong and growing demand for our value-for-money products, as we saw our strongest ever quarter of TV, mobile and fibre adds with our lowest ever reported churn. We are excited about the future of quad-play. TalkTalk is ideally positioned to push home its strategic advantage in an industry undergoing major changes. Our customers recognise the significant savings they can make on all four products from TalkTalk. We have the largest unbundled network in the UK, a new long-term mobile access agreement, and one of the broadest ranges of film and TV content, all of which is underpinned by a pro-competition regulatory environment.”

    TalkTalk launched its quad-play package in November combining mobile and fixed line telephony, broadband and TV.

    The movie line-up also includes Netflix and TalkTalk recently acquired Blinkbox from supermarket chain Tesco.

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    German ISP 1&1 offers IPTV package

    German internet service provider (ISP) 1&1 has commenced offering its customers an IPTV package in addition to telephony, internet and mobile services.

    1&1 Digital TV – provided by Telekom is available to VDSL customers with a 50Mbps telephony and internet subscription for €5.00 per month, a 1&1 spokesman confirmed to Broadband TV News. The minimum contract period is 24 months.

    The basic package contains more than 100 TV channels of which over 20 are in HD quality. The lineup includes all major German public and commercial TV channels as well as thematic and foreign channels.

    The customers can also access video-on-demand (VOD) service Videoload which offers more than 19,000 movies and series (around 4,000 in HD quality) for rent or purchase.

    1&1The technical precondition for signing up to the TV service is that the customer’s internet access is routed through a line 1&1 has rented from Deutsche Telekom. The reason: 1&1 Digital TV is based on Telekom’s IPTV platform Entertain.

    Customers can sign up for additional packages with pay-TV channels costing between €4.95 and €19.95 per month. The HD option is available for €4.95 per month. All add-on subscription packages can be cancelled monthly.

    The 1&1 IPTV MediaCenter required to access the TV service can be purchased for €49.99 as a special introductory offer. The price will rise to €99.99 in the next couple of days, according to the 1&1 spokesman. Customers can also order the 1&1 IPTV Receiver, an optional set-top-box to connect further TV sets, for €89.99.

    1&1 Digital TV will become available to existing customers of further 1&1 tariffs soon. In the medium run, the TV service will also be offered to new customers.

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    FilmBox expands distribution with FilmOn

    Three new channels will be added to SPI International’s agreement with FilmOn Networks to distribute its FilmBox channels.

    Fast&FunBox HD, 360 TuneBox and FilmBox Arthouse have joined the channels already available at filmon.com: FightBox HD, DocuBox HD and FashionBox HD.

    All six channels from SPI will be accessible to Filmon.com’s 65 million monthly users around the world.

    “We are very pleased to add three new channels to our current line-up available on FilmOn. FilmOn Live TV makes it possible for our channels to gain new viewers worldwide,” said Loni Farhi, SPI president.

    “We have been observing a healthy increase in the number of subscribers of the first three channels carried by FilmOn and we are certain the newly added channels will share the same success.”

    “We are very excited to extend our carriage deal with SPI International into our third year,” Kim Hurwitz, SVP, programming for FilmOn said.

    “They provide us with 6 premium HD channels for our subscription package which satisfy our most popular verticals: Sports, Movies, Music and Fashion, and they do so with such an engaging global content.”

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    Wyplay integrates Netflix for Proximus TV

    Wyplay is deploying Netflix on Proximus TV, the IPTV service from Belgacom.

    The integration will take place over a period of several months. Gradually Proximus TV customers will have direct access to Netflix via their usual menu.

    The integration of Netflix significantly enriches Wyplay’s innovative software solution enabling TV operators to offer their customers a high added-value TV experience that is rich in content.

    In addition, this creates a unique opportunity to accelerate the time-to-market for all TV operators who wish to add Netflix to their offering.

    “We are very proud to have successfully completed the integration of Netflix for the benefit of Proximus TV,” said Following this, Jacques Bourgninaud, CEO of Wyplay, in a statement.

    “This significant project not only demonstrates a strong sign of confidence from a long-term client, but it also broadens the range of apps available. We are now set to support any other TV operators willing to deploy Netflix throughout their set-top boxes’ network, with an unrivalled speed of execution and a high added-value service that fits end-customers’ demand for a comprehensive and
    seamless TV experience.”

    Belgacom selected Wyplay in early 2011. Since then, Wyplay had the opportunity to update the operator’s installed base of Proximus TV STBs with its latest generation software.

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    Adrian Sarbu detained

    The Romanian media entrepreneur Adrian Sarbu has been detained for 24 hours on charges of tax evasion, money laundering and embezzlement.

    According to HotNews, the charges relate to a major tax evasion case involving Mediafax Group, the company Sarbu owns.

    It adds that Sarbu rejects the charges, claiming that Prime Minister Victor Ponta and the politician and businessman Sebastian Ghita have fabricated them against him.

    Sarbu has played a prominent role in the Romanian TV industry for over two decades.

    He launched Pro TV, the country’s leading broadcaster, in 1995 and went on to head Central European Media Enterprises (CME), Pro TV’s owner, from 2009-2013.

    In a statement published by Mediafax, Sarbu claimed that the case against him and Mediafax was aimed at destroying the media institutions he had built over the last 25 years.

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    Rawlins elected as chairman of Space Data Association

    Eutelsat’s director of communication system operations, Mark Rawlins, has been elected as the new chairman of the Space Data Association (SDA).

    Rawlins succeeds the current SDA Chairman, Ronald Busch, the vice president of Network Engineering for Intelsat.

    “The SDA is making a significant contribution to enhancing the safety of satellite operations, and safeguarding the operational environment in space communications,” said Rawlins. ”Our membership has steadily grown to embrace a broad range of members and participants. One of our key challenges going forward will be to enhance the services provided by the SDA to make for a better working environment for all space borne services for all industry sectors with a particular focus on the Radio Frequency environment. This will need to happen in the same spirit in which the SDA was created, to be able share data in a safe way that improves the efficiency and coordination of activities.”

    The SDA was set up in 2009 by the international commercial satellite operator community to coordinate activity and safeguard space-based infrastructure in the space environment in which satellites are operating.


 

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