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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

NTV-Plus reduces Ukrainian offer The Russian DTH platform NTV-Plus is continuing to reduce the number of channels it provides viewers

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    NTV-Plus reduces Ukrainian offer

    The Russian DTH platform NTV-Plus is continuing to reduce the number of channels it provides viewers in Ukraine.

    AKTR and TDaily report that from April 4 its line-up in the country will no longer include NTN and Channel 5.

    Earlier this year it also withdrew TV5 Monde and – following a ruling by the Ukrainian regulator – First Channel. World Network.

    A much larger number of channels were dropped in 2014 by NTV-Plus, which remains the only Russian satellite operator to provide services in Ukraine.

    NTV-Plus is believed to have had around 20,000 subscribers in Ukraine as of October 2014.

    Significantly, NTV-Plus has also reduced the number of channels it offers in Russia itself over the past year.

    This is understood to be down to the company’s uncertain future, with its owner Gazprom-Media considering a possible restructuring of what is the longest-established DTH platform in Russia.

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    UPC boosts Slovak sport offer

    UPC Broadband Slovakia has added Sport 1 HD to its channel line-up.

    As a result, the cable operator now provides its subscribers with up to 19 sports channels, six of which are in HD.

    Sport 1 HD, which is available in UPC Digital’s basic package, features Formula 1 racing, for which the channel holds broadcasting rights until 2017.

    The UPC Digital offer in total consists of over 150 channels of all genres, nearly three-dozen of which are in HD.

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    AMC launches Eva on DStv

    AMC Networks International – Zone (AMCNI – Zone) will launch Eva, its brand new telenovela channel available exclusively on DStv throughout Africa.

    The 24-hour channel is set to begin broadcasting on Monday, March 23, on MultiChoice’s DStv platform, on channels 141 (English) and 508 (Portuguese).

    From launch, Eva will offer first run Latin American telenovelas exclusively to DStv customers, fully dubbed into English and Portuguese. Viewers will be able to catch at least three unique episodes every weekday.

    “We’ve been partners with MultiChoice for many years and currently have several channel brands on the DStv platform including CBS Reality, CBS Action, CBS Drama, AMC and JimJam,” said Louise Cottrell, VP, affiliate sales for AMCNI – Zone.

    “We’re very pleased to be able to introduce Eva to Africa, a fresh and up to date television channel dedicated to romance and all its associated drama, which will be a perfect fit with DStv customers.”

    Chris Sharp, Chief Content Officer, AMCNI – Zone addedd: “With the launch of Eva, we aim to satisfy the African audience’s growing appetite for telenovelas. We have hand-picked high quality serial dramas, cooperating with some of the best Latin telenovela producers including Azteca, Caracol Televisión and Venevisión.”

    “The launch of Eva will definitely satisfy the on-going viewer demands for more telenovelas. Audiences love watching telenovelas – they simply can’t get enough. We know that our Premium, Extra, Compact and Family customers will be thrilled with the brand new, never before been telenovelas that Eva will bring to their screens.“ commented Aletta Alberts, GM Content for MultiChoice South Africa.

    Eva is the tenth channel brand from the AMC Networks International portfolio in Africa, and joins CBS Reality, CBS Action, CBS Drama, AMC, Outdoor Channel, JimJam, Extreme Sports Channel, Odisseia and Natura.

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    VIMN Africa launches localised BET

    Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa has partnered with MultiChoice to launch a new localized BET channel exclusively on DStv in South Africa.

    The new channel will serve as the tenth channel and multimedia entertainment brand on the continent operated by VIMN Africa.

    BET will begin airing on April, 2, 2015 on DStv and will exist alongside sister channel BET2, formally BET International. The new 24 hour channel, aimed at viewers 20 – 49, “is designed to respect, reflect and elevate the rich variety and positive values of African and African-American culture, and will feature a blend of both local and international productions including drama, family-friendly sitcoms, stand-up comedy, talk shows, documentaries and more.”

    images“The launch of this new BET channel is a great addition to our portfolio in Africa – it brings a localised touch to a popular brand and broadens our entertainment offering in the region,” said Raffaele Annecchino, managing director and EVP, VIMN South Europe, Middle East and Africa.

    “This is a momentous milestone as the launch of a tenth channel coincides with the celebration of VIMN Africa´s tenth anniversary.”

    “VIMN Africa is delighted to announce the launch of this new BET channel – our tenth channel and multimedia entertainment brand in Africa,” commented Alex Okosi, SVP and managingdDirector, Viacom International Media Networks Africa.

    “BET will connect viewers with international trends, talent and thought leaders, whilst simultaneously celebrating Africa’s talent and creativity. This evolution for the BET brand on the continent significantly broadens our general entertainment offering and provides a dynamic and compelling new destination for viewers.”

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    Cable industry thrives amidst increasing competition

    Despite increased competition by traditional satellite providers and newcomers such as IPTV platforms, the cable industry continues to show growth.

    Speaking at the opening press conference of this year’s Cable Congress in Brussels, Caroline van Weede said that “this is a healthy sector, alive and kicking, and showing very good results.”

    During the past year the industry added €1 billion in total revenue to a total of €21.51 billion, representing 4.6% revenue growth, according to research done by IHS in 28 European countries.

    The fast changing industry also means a shift in income: last year, telephony and internet is almost 50% of revenue, but all products still continue to show growth: telephony was up 5.3%, internet plus 9%, total TV income up 1.8%, mainly due to migration successful to digital TV, (which was up 6%, and VOD up 13.7%)

    In terms of subscribers, there were 2.7 million RGUs added in the year to a total of 112.5 million. The total number of TV subs was 55.9 million.

    57.8% of TV subscribers are now digital. Digital TV plus VOD services now generate 74% of TV revenue.

    “Our sector is growing through a time of tremendous change both in terms of the speed of technological development and new market entrants. Over-the-top players delivering services through the internet are reinventing business models and shaking up the traditional competitive scene,” commented Manuel Kohnstamm, president of Cable Europe.

    “Consumers on the other hand expect affordable prices, good quality service and great content. Our smart investments to build superior networks are paying off in the form of state-of-the-art broadband access and a better-than-ever content experience.”

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    UPC Cablecom advances analogue switch-off

    Switzerland’s largest cable operator UPC Cablecom will terminate analogue TV distribution in the Basel region in April 2015.

    16 of the remaining 21 analogue TV channels will be switched off on April 21. The remaining five channels SRF 1, SRF zwei, SRF Info, Telebasel and joiz will follow on April 28.

    UPC Cablecom wants to complete analogue switch-off across its whole cable network by mid-2015.

    Cable customers are offered more than 70 unencrypted digital TV channels which they can access with any reception device of their choice. If the TV set contains a DVB-C tuner, they won’t need a separate box. For older TV sets, UPC Cablecom lends its customers a converter device free of charge.

    If viewers want to access encrypted channels and additional services, they need a conditional access module (CI+) for their TV set or a digital receiver, for example multimedia box Horizon.

    UPC Cablecom has already completed analogue switch-off in Eastern Switzerland, the Biel region and in Central Switzerland.

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    Swiss SRG to launch SRF info HD in March

    Switzerland’s public radio and TV broadcaster SRG SSR will launch an HD version of its information channel SRF info on March 23, 2015.

    SRF info HD will be distributed on Swiss cable networks and via satellite on Hot Bird (13° East). A caption on the channel’s future slot at 12.399 GHz H (SR 27,500, FEC 3/4) announces the upcoming launch (see image).

    In contrast to SRG’s other channels, SRF info is transmitted unencrypted via satellite.

    SRF info has been the last SRG channel not simulcast in HD quality. On February 29, 2016 SRG wants to switch off the SD feeds of its channels on satellite.

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    Free launched Android 4K receiver

    Free has launched its new Freebox 4K Android powered set-top box, for the same price as the existing model, €30 per month.

    The new device comes equipped for ADSL2+, VDSL 2 or fibre and Wi-Fi of up to 450 Mbps. It also carries a Femtocell to give a boost to mobile phones in poor reception area and a promise of 200 channels, 49 of them in HD.

    But the surprise to some was the inclusion of Android TV, which was the subject of disparaging remarks at a conference last October. But CEO Xavier Niel says he was not rubbishing the system, telling local media that Free had been working with Google for the last 12 months.

    From Android TV comes access to the Google play Store, Films, Games, Music and of course, YouTube.

    Freebox is bringing its own apps that include its own Video Club VOD services and instant access to content from Canal+ and the CanalSat bouquet of channels.

    For the adventurous there is voice control, those less so can use the mobile app, or a standard remote.

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    Now TV comes to EE smart box

    NOW TV is to be made available on the EE smart box as of Thursday. The mobile firm’s recently launched receiver already features 70 linear channels pulled from the Freeview DTT platform and 18 on demand apps.

    By signing for NOW TV, EE gives its customers instant access to Sky’s low-cost streaming service, and its Entertainment, Sky Sports and Movie passes.

    Pippa Dunn, Chief Marketing Officer, EE TV, said: “We’ve developed the EE TV service so that exciting new content and services can be regularly added to enhance our customers home TV viewing experiences. The NOW TV app is a great addition to our current content line up – providing customers with opportunities to watch some of the world’s most popular TV series, live sports action and international movie blockbusters.“

    Gidon Katz, Director of NOW TV commented: “With Game of Thrones, the world’s most talked about show available to watch from the very beginning, there couldn’t be a better time for EE TV customers to enjoy NOW TV. Whether you’re a film fan and want access to Sky Movies or want to watch the biggest games on Sky Sports, its great news for TV fans as NOW TV offers something for everyone.”

    The EE TV smart box is free for new and existing EE mobile customers who also subscribe to EE Broadband plans of £9.95 a month or above.

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    Cable wants to collaborate with disruptors

    Is the rise of OTT services as well as new content providers a threat to existing platforms – or are there opportunities to be explored?

    During the opening session View from the Top, Unitymedia’s CEO Lutz Schüler was clear about it: “We are partners of maxdome, the No.1 VOD service in Germany and we also want Netflix on our platform. Let’s give the customer what he wants. I don’t see Netflix as a disruptor, they are only disruptive if we handle them wrong. Consumers want to watch more content in addition to watching linear content.”

    “People still want to see stories, but the way it is delivered has changed dramatically. You can now watch the news at eight o’clcik and then watch an entire series during the weekend with coke and chips. And looking at Netflix, who could image five years ago the new content this has generated.”

    Manuel Cubero, CEO Kabel Deutschland, was a bit more cautious, speaking of a ‘frenemies’ situation. “Cable is growing because of broadband, but the traditional TV business is under threat, it is a very tough thing.”

    Matt Brittin, president EMEA business and operations, Google Europe, suggested “We can be partners to innovate.There is a revolution of choice for the consumer: bringing more content, more choice and obviously more disruption. We make it possible for people to make the most of the web. We are partners, as you see with YouTube into a set-op box and Android powered TVs.”

    “We want to help you find new types of content, and content is now also apps and games. And we and bring these things to TV in a way that works.”


 

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