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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Simplestream goes international after £2m injection Simplestream is planning an international rollout for its TVPlayer OTT platform. The London-based aggregator

  1. #4921
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    Simplestream goes international after £2m injection

    Simplestream is planning an international rollout for its TVPlayer OTT platform. The London-based aggregator has received an additional £2 million in equity funding from a consortium including investment capital firm Beringea and AMIM-listed YOLO Leisure and Technology.

    It’s also planned to release a while label version of TVPlayer.

    Rob Hodgkinson, Investment Manager at Beringea, who will join the Simplestream board, commented: “The success of TVPlayer to date demonstrates there is significant demand for a multi-device aggregator of live TV in the UK market and internationally. We have been impressed by the progress made by Adam Smith and his team and are delighted to support the continued development of Simplestream and TVPlayer.”

    Beringea’s previous investments have included Fjordnet, Espresso Education, Saffron Digital and Mergermarket.

    Adam Smith, founder and CEO of Simplestream, added: “With the support of these value added investors, which gives Simplestream significant credibility, we are particularly excited by our sales pipeline as major broadcasters increasingly recognise the ability to access a younger demographic of audience through Simplestream’s live streaming and automated catch-up capabilities.”

    Simplestream clients include Discovery Networks, Scripps Networks, Box Television, QVC, At The Races and Turner Broadcasting amongst others.

    Its cloud-based Media Manager solution is designed to enable broadcasters to securely live stream broadcast content to any device with minimal latency and gain significant workflow efficiencies through the automated creation of multi-bitrate, multi-platform video files from the live stream.

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    Vodafone contests KPN takeover of Reggefiber

    Netherlands has filed a lawsuit with the Court of Rotterdam against the Dutch regulator ACM over the approval of KPN’s takeover of FTTH operator Reggefiber.

    Last October the Autoriteit Consument en Markt (ACM) approved KPN’s acquisition of a controlling 60% stake in Reggefiber with a further option to obtain full ownership of the FTTH network.

    Last November KPN has reached an agreement with joint-venture partner Reggeborgh to acquire the remaining 40% stake and obtain 100% ownership.

    Vodafone is a wholesale customer of Reggefiber for its triple play services including Vodafone TV. However, Reggefiber is subject to wholesale access regulation.

    Commenting on the lawsuit, Vodafone spokesperson Joost Galema told local press “During the coming years we investing hundreds of millions to obtain a good position in the fixed market. Therefore we would like security. “

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    Spain eyes second digital dividend

    The Spanish National Commission on Financial Markets and Competition (CNMC) has urged the country’s Ministry of Industry to keep the 700 MHz band free for mobile communications in anticipation of a second digital dividend.

    Quoted in El Economista, the regulatory body says that the band is the “most attractive” to fulfill the goal of reducing the digital divide and contributing to the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

    These are to ensure that all citizens will have access to broadband services of at least 30 Mbps by 2020.

    However, a Royal Decree approved last September established that DTT services should use frequencies in the 470-790 MHz band.

    The Ministry of Industry currently says that new channels should try to avoid using the 470-790 MHz “as far as possible”.

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    German RTL launches free VOD via HbbTV

    German commercial media group Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has launched an advertising-financed video-on-demand (VOD) service on which owners of connected TV sets can watch full-length movies free of charge.

    Clipfish Filme, as the service is called, offers more than 800 movies, both current productions and classics.

    The lineup comprises, for example, US thriller Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes, Monster with Oscar winner Charlize Theron and Action movie Hostage with Bruce Willis. The stock will be constantly expanded.

    Clipfish Filme can be accessed by all households with a connected TV set compliant with interactive multimedia standard HbbTV and connected to the internet.

    Besides the catch-up TV services under the NOW brand, interactive music TV channel dooloop.tv, Fitness & Yoga Channel and the four Clipfish channels Music, Comedy, Anime and Serien, Clipfish Filme is RTL’s eleventh HbbTV video service.

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    KPN reaches two million TV homes

    Dutch incumbent KPN said it has reached two million TV subscribers during 2014 by adding 83K IPTV homes.

    However, the company remains vague about the number of DTT homes it still serves. Last October we estimated that the total number of DTT subscribers was below 500,000.

    “In consumer residential, the commercial initiatives implemented in Q3 resulted in high growth and IPTV base growth,” said Eelco Blok, chairman and CEO, during an investor’s call.

    “Two weeks ago, we announced the introduction of our innovative TV everywhere application. Our IPTV customers are able to watch live TV while out of home. They will be able to stream their previously recorded programs, you starred-over TV, etcetera and this is truly a unique service in the Dutch market enabled by our cloud-based PVR functionality, our large interactive TV base and the high quality KPN 4G network.”

    KPN’s Steven van Schilfgaarde added: “The high sales numbers in the fourth quarter both on mobile and on broadband and TV were driven by additional promotions of KPN and additional marketing spends. And I don’t know if it was really impacted by the merger of Ziggo and UPC.

    “We became somewhat more aggressive and also looking at quality level and functionalities of our propositions. We are very well positioned in the market. We have the best TV proposition in Dutch market and have not ranked by our sales, but by the largest consumer organisation.”

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    Moldovan DTH platform banned

    The DTH platform Focus-Sat has been banned from providing pay-TV services in Moldova for six months.

    It has also been fined MDL8,000 (€380.6).

    In a statement, the regulator ANRCETI says that this follows a decision by the Court of Appeal in Chisinau, following on from an original decision on September 30 that was upheld by the court on December 2 last year.

    According to Newsmaker, the action against the Focus-Sat stemmed from a number of complaints from customers about substandard service and the impossibility of contacting the platform.

    It adds that Focus-Sat is the third largest provider of pay-TV services in Moldova, claiming 7,300 subscribers and a 3.7% share of the market.

    Another Moldovan regulator – the Coordination Council on Television and Radio (CCA) has also received complaints about Focus-Sat and imposed a maximum fine of MDL5,400 on the platform last December.

    Focus-Sat is majority owned by Kronos Business Group (53.68%), with Media Horizons (26.94%) and the cable operator Sun Communications (9.38%) being the next largest shareholders.

    Smaller shareholders include Eastern Space Systems (Romania) and Eastern Space Systems Bulgaria (Bulgaria), with the company’s authorised capital being MDL50.7 million.

    Industry sources now believe Focus-Sat faces the real prospect of being closed.

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    German RTL to test regional advertising

    German commercial broadcaster RTL will for the first time show commercials not nationwide, but solely in regional target areas.

    The first advertiser to make use of the new service is German beverage company Waldemar Behn: Additional spots for its liquor Kleiner Feigling will be shown in major carnival-celebrating regions in the Rhineland region as part of the currently running nationwide advertising campaign.

    Viewers in the other regions will instead see RTL programme trailers. The regional spots which RTL’s advertising sales subsidiary IP Deutschland offers as part of a trial are transmitted in the target areas on cable networks, an IP Deutschland spokeswoman told Broadband TV News.

    Germany’s Federal Administrative Court approved the placement of regional advertisments by nationwide commercial TV broadcasters at the end of 2014.

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    Teleste revenues close to company record

    Teleste has recorded the second highest fourth quarter in the company’s history. The Finnish technical and infrastructure provider came close to last year’s sales high.

    Q4 sales came in at €53.9 million, a decrease of 0.3%. Operating profit totalled €3.5 million, an increase of 0.1%.

    Profits for the year-ending December 31, 2014 reached €11.1 million, an increase of 0.8%.

    The new DOCSIS 3.1 communications standard is helping the company grow revenues, though changes in the value of the Euro against the US dollar and the Chinese renminbi have put pressure on revenue.

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    Adrian Sarbu charges outlined

    The Romanian prosecutor (ICCJ) has provided details of the charges faced by the media entrepreneur Adrian Sarbu.

    As previously reported by Broadband TV News, the former head of CME was detained for 24 hours earlier this week. He has since been placed “under preventative arrest” for 30 days.

    In a statement published by Mediafax, one of the companies that Sarbu owns, the prosecutor alleges that monies from tax avoidance and evasion was used to pay bonuses to senior executives at companies owned by Sarbu, and especially Sarbu himself.

    The prosecutor also says there were irregularities in contracts and abuse of the VAT system.

    The total damage to the government budget by criminal activity undertaken by Sarbu and other defendants is alleged to have amounted to RON16,809,964 (€3,809,850).

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    TDC grows TV base

    TDC’s new emphasis on TV and home entertainment has paid dividends with the addition of 76,000 new residential TV and broadband customers during 2014, including 45,000 in Denmark.

    The acquisition of Norwegian cablenet Get has also helped with the ambition to become Scandinavia’s leading provider of communications solutions and home entertainment. TDC Group’s combined share of the TV market in Denmark and Norway now totals almost 40%.

    “We are satisfied with meeting our financial targets for 2014. This included high cash flow generation, continued opex savings, and a substantial increase in TV and broadband customers in the Danish consumer market,” says CEO Carsten Dilling, TDC Group.

    TDC Group attracted 26k new customers in Denmark, while Get added an additional 3,000 TV customers and 6,000 broadband customers.

    The TDC TV IPTV platform brought in 40,000 customers, even if spindown resulted in a fall in ARPU of DKK8 as customers moved to new, cheaper packages.

    TDC/Fullrate brand TDC and Fullrate achieved revenue growth of 14.2% or DKK112m to DKK903m in 2014.

    14,000 customers were lost from TDC’s Danish cable operations YouSee, evenly split between individual customers and housing associations. As of January 1, TDC lost 14,000 antenna association customers, though TDC refers to these as ‘low ARPU’.


 

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