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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Positive start to 2015 for Belgacom Belgacom gained 65,000 TV subscriptions in the first quarter, with the total TV customer

  1. #5071
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    Positive start to 2015 for Belgacom

    Belgacom gained 65,000 TV subscriptions in the first quarter, with the total TV customer base climbing to 1,657,000.

    According to the telco, the increase corresponded to the total number of set-top boxes and included multiple units.

    Belgacom’s share of the digital TV market in Belgium stood at 33.9% in Q1, up 1.9 percentage points on the total a year earlier. Its Scarlet product attracted 16,000 former Snow customers in the quarter.

    Belgacom’s underlying revenues in Q1 amounted to €1,479 million, or 5.5% more than in the same period last year. Its underlying core revenue increased by 3.3% thanks largely to growth in TV and internet services, and EBITDA was €423 million (+3.8%).

    Commenting on the results, Dominique Leroy, CEO of Belgacom Group, said: “I’m proud to announce we had a successful start of the year 2015, with both financial and operational achievements supporting our 2016 ambition to return to sustainable growth.

    “Besides a continued growth in our Mobile customer base, the commercial performance of our Fixed products was particularly strong in the first three months of the year, driven by our main brands Proximus and Scarlet. Where Proximus continued to benefit somewhat from the year-end promotions, and a positive rebranding effect, Scarlet achieved a record customer gain by successfully attracting former Snow customers.

    “The sustained rise in our customer base also benefited our financial performance, with both Fixed and Mobile service revenue showing growth versus last year. Moreover, the financial performance of the Group was favourably influenced by a strong result for BICS. This, however, was largely driven by positive though volatile impacts from currency and voice trading.

    “Overall I’m pleased and encouraged by our achievements so far. The company is making good progress on our ‘Fit for Growth’-strategy, and is already reaping some of the benefits. We can therefore with confidence reiterate our 2015 outlook.”

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    Thaicom Strengthens Q1 2015 Performance

    Moving Forwards with "Connecting the Future" Strategy
    Nonthaburi, Thailand, May 08, 2015 – Thaicom, one of Asia’s leading satellite operators, today released its operating results for Quarter 1 of 2015, recording a consolidated net profit of 540 million Baht – a 35.3 per cent increase when compared with results from the first quarter of 2014.
    For the same period in 2015, consolidated revenue from the sale of goods and rendering of services totaled 3,074 million Baht, an increase of 229 million Baht (8.0 per cent) compared to 2,845 million Baht in Quarter 1 of 2014.
    Suphajee Suthumpun, Chief Executive Officer at Thaicom, said: “The first quarter of 2015 has been another solid quarter for Thaicom and resulted in an operating profit (EBIT), mainly due to revenue growth from THAICOM-7 which has been generating income since November 2014. Our value-added services, for examp le, teleport services including tape playout and digital signal compression, and sales of satellite equipment to broadcasting satellite operators have also contributed to these results.”
    The revenue growth achieved mainly came from Thaicom’s satellite, Internet services and media businesses, as well as efficient selling and administrative expense control. Thaicom will now move forward with its strategy for 2015, “Connecting the Future”, which will connect all key parts of the business. More HD channels will also be made available to Thaicom customers and further developments in UHD will be made throughout 2015.
    “As we head further into 2015, the future and connecting our customers to it will be a key focus for us. Our sustained growth is fueled by new partnerships and acquisitions, allowing us to serve the individual needs of each customer more effectively and efficiently than ever before. Our long-term aim continues to be to realize ubiquitous connectivity through our technology and we are committed to taking every possible measure to achieve this,” Suphajee added.
    In other areas of Thaicom’s operations, its Internet and media subsidiary, CS Loxinfo PLC (CSL) saw a continued increase in the number of subscribers for corporate leased lines and Internet Data Center (IDC), with a growth of 1 per cent and 4 per cent from the previous quarter, respectively. This was due to the growth of new customers and bandwidth usage for corporate customers.
    DTV, Thaicom’s Direct to Home (DTH) operator, will focus on new products and services including “Digital Head-End” solutions for cable TV and IPTV operators, hotels, condominiums, and educational institutions, targeting customers who decide to upgrade from analog to digital, reducing their investment costs.
    Lao Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (LTC), Thaicom’s telephone operation in the Lao PDR has successfully increased its mobile phone subscriber base, thus maintaining its leading market position with 47.48 per cent market share, up from 46.93 per cent at the end of 2014. Furthermore, the company could significantly increase the number of Internet subscribers, especially Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) Fixed Wireless subscribers.

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    Strong growth, low churn for Virgin Media

    Virgin Media and UPC Ireland saw a combined subscriber increase of 115,000 to their next generation connected TV services TiVo and Horizon respectively in the first quarter.

    As of the end of March, two thirds (67%), or 2.8 million, of their combined TV customer base were receiving the services.

    While Virgin Media has 23,000 ARPU additions in Q1, UPC Ireland had a loss of 9,000, in part due to increased competition.

    Total revenues of the combined Virgin Media/UPC Ireland operations stood at £1,129.8 million (€1,345.4 million) in Q1, up 2.5% on the same period last year.

    Combined churn was 14.5%, thanks largely to a third successive quarter of record low UK churn (14.3%), compared to 15.4% in Q1 2014.

    The company notes that following the announcement of Project Lightning in February, it has seen “an encouraging level of early interest from potential customers and businesses in areas not covered by our cable network.

    “We expect to focus on demand driven new build in the second half of the year, supported by marketing initiatives in select areas”.

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    RTL grows digital business, sells sports asset

    RTL Group’s catch-up TV services, websites and MCNs attracted a total 18.7 billion online video views in Q1, up 160% year-on-year.

    Of these, FremantleMedia’s more than 220 Youtube channels attracted 2.7 billion views, up 69% year-on-year.

    RTL Group’s revenues as a whole amounted to €1,308 million in the first quarter, 0.4% down of the same period last year.

    EBITDA was €194 million (+1.6%) and profit €121 million (+12%).

    Separately, RTL Group has sold UFA Sports to Lagardère Unlimited for an undisclosed amount.

    According to Sport Business, the deal is still subject to regulatory approval from the German competition authorities and may take between four top six weeks to complete.

    UFA was founded in 2008 and has until now been RTL’s European-based sports marketing subsidiary.

    Under its new owners, it will continue to operate its football marketing activities in Germany as a separate and independent entity within the Lagardère Unlimited network of businesses.

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    US OTT service targets multilingual viewers

    YipTV has launched a new OTT broadband television service that brings live channel broadcasts from around the globe to millions of multilingual
    consumers in the US.

    YipTV, which is short for Your Individual, Personalized TV, provides access to international programming content for $14.99 amonth, with no long-term service commitments or contracts.

    It can be viewed on smart TVs, laptop/desktop computers, mobile Android or iOS devices, as well as a traditional TV screen using an Apple TV or Google Chromecast device.

    At launch, its offer consists of 50 channels including beIN Sports (Global), Azteca (Mexico, Global), Antenna 3 (Spain & Global) ,RT News (Russia, Global), Hola TV(Spain, Global), TYC Sports (Argentina, Global), NTN24 (Colombia, Global) and Canal Sur (Latin America, Global).

    Commenting on the launch, Michael Tribolet, CEO and co-founder of YipTV, said: “Advancements in technology have made the world seem smaller and smaller.
    “YipTV is now using the latest technology to expand entertainment options and provide value to the customer.

    “We are not just reorganising the way people access channels that have been available for years,” he added. “With YipTV, people withemotional and family ties overseas can watch programmes that they are familiar with at a reasonable price. They can watch live news broadcasts from the city where they grew up, or share an experience with loved ones back home.

    “YipTV provides more than just high-quality programming; it is also a way to stay connected with your local community and home town.”

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    Ofcom approves London TV plan to trim local programming

    The UK's broadcasting regulator Ofcom has approved a request from ESTV, the provider of the London Live UK local TV service, not to increase, as promised, its amount of local programming.


    The issue goes back July 2014 the owner of the London Live local TV service provider asked Ofcom for permission to cut back on its commitments to broadcast content directly related to its locale. The request was made just six months after London Live had been in service and followed a number of indignities such as in some cases a zero audience rating for some of its programming.

    In gaining its licence, ESTV had committed to broadcast eight hours of first run, local programming per day in its first year of broadcasting and then guaranteed to increase the hours of first run, local programming by one hour per day in its second year and a further hour per day in its third and subsequent years.

    In August 2014 ESTV submitted a request to Ofcom not to make this increase. Having carefully assessed ESTV's request, Ofcom concluded that the variations to the licence would not amount to a departure from the character of the service and has approved ESTV's request.

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    ATSC makes progress on 3.0 next-gen TV spec

    The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has voted to elevate the System Discovery and Signalling portion of the ATSC 3.0 spec to Candidate Standard status.


    The element is part of the physical layer transmission piece for next-generation TV broadcasts. It will remain a Candidate Standard for nine months while prototype equipment is built and tested, before being voted on for becoming part of the final standard.

    “The Candidate Standard process for ATSC 3.0 is officially under way,” said ATSC president Mark Richer.

    The technology is a “bootstrap,” he added. It provides a universal entry point into a broadcast waveform for all receiver devices. It carries information to enable processing and decoding the wireless service associated with a detected bootstrap signal, as well as a flag that indicates that an Emergency Alert is in effect.

    “Simply put, the bootstrap is a low-level signal that tells a receiver to decode and process wireless services multiplexed in a broadcast channel,” he explained. “It’s designed to be a very robust signal and detectable even at low signal levels.”

    He added, “Many other services, at least some of which have likely not yet even been conceived, could also be provided by a broadcaster and identified within a transmitted signal through the use of a bootstrap signal associated with each particular service. This new capability ensures that broadcast spectrum can be adapted to carry new services in the years ahead,” Richer said.

    Other physical-layer pieces, including the modulation system, error correction algorithms, constellations and other aspects, are expected to be balloted for ATSC Candidate Standard status this summer.

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    UltraFlix signs deal for a slew of Bollywood hits in 4K

    NanoTech Entertainment has inked a licensing agreement with Film Karavan to distribute Karavan’s stable of full-length feature Bollywood movies for its UltraFlix 4KTV service.


    The agreement also covers ongoing new releases from Karavan’s film partners around the globe.

    The Bollywood hits being added to the UltraFlix network's growing library of 4K content include a variety of genres, including action, romance and drama.

    "Film Karavan has been one of the most recognised and successful distributors of top-selling Indian films for years,” said Aaron Taylor, NanoTech's EVP of sales and marketing. “With a vast catalogue of top quality films and well established film studio partnerships, we are adding a large quantity of quality films to the UltraFlix network."

    "UltraFlix is an exciting new all 4K network that allows studios like ours to deliver the best quality customer experience with the digitally enhanced renditions of their films," added Pooja Kohli, director of content acquisition and distribution of Film Karavan. "The 4K TV market is poised for tremendous growth this year, now forecasted to reach over 7M sets just in the US, and double that worldwide. Thanks to UltraFlix, many award winning Indian films will for the first time ever have the ability to stream in 4K to any and all of these 4K TVs."

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    Endemol Beyond plots new digital series

    Endemol Beyond US plans to launch two new digital-first networks, including pop culture-focused Looksy, and Smasher, a sports and gaming network.


    Looksy will focus on young Hollywood pop culture with a slate of original programming. It will deliver trending news, memes, parodies, fan creations and what the company calls “the fierce fun of everything in the now."

    It will also feature a scripted series, Neurotica, from the writers/producers of the Office and HBO’s Hello Ladies, and reality series True Internet Tales, from producer Michael Lynn (E! True Hollywood Story).

    Smasher meanwhile will be led by digital stars Toby Turner and Jesse Wellens, who combined have nearly 30 million YouTube subscribers. Billed as a “guilty pleasure for millennial men,” Smasher’s slate features international imports like Rule'm Sports and Legends of Gaming from Endemol Beyond UK.

    “Brands are looking for new ways to work with premier global production partners like Endemol Beyond,” said Vivi Zigler, president of digital, brand and audience development at Endemol Shine North America. “We have rapidly expanded our capabilities and are ready to leverage our unrivaled worldwide assets in the service of building exceptional value for brands in a way that is premium, targeted and authentic.”

    Endemol Beyond USA is also set to launch two new series with Pitbull in 2015: MasterClass and Pitbull Presents.

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    Ericsson files patent breach suits against Apple

    Communications and broadcast technology provider Ericsson has asserted patents rights against Apple suits in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands against the CE giant's products.


    ericsson mwcExplaining the rationale for its move, Ericsson said that for more than two years it had been trying to reach an agreement with Apple on a global licence for Ericsson's patents on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND). Apple does not yet have any licence for Ericsson's technology, yet said the suit, continues to sell products, for which its licences have expired, on a global scale.

    Ericsson believes a global system of fair and reasonable compensation through licensing is vital for providing the necessary industry incentive to continue to innovate and develop new technologies for the benefit of consumers. It stated that it had offered to enter into arbitration with Apple to reach a mutually beneficial global licensing agreement for its standard-essential patents, but that offer had now expired.

    The proceedings in the three countries refer to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards, as well as other technology that is not standardised, but is related to, for instance, the design of semiconductor components and non-cellular wireless communications.

    "Apple continues to profit from Ericsson's technology without having a valid licence in place," asserted Ericsson chief intellectual property officer Kasim Alfalahi. "Our technology is used in many features and functionality of today's communication devices. We are confident the courts in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands will be able to help us resolve this matter in a fair manner."


 

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