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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Data issue adds to iPlayer fall TV viewing on the BBC iPlayer fell in March, but while the figure is

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    Data issue adds to iPlayer fall

    TV viewing on the BBC iPlayer fell in March, but while the figure is the second consecutive fall, it’s likely the 9% drop is related to measurement issues.

    The BBC said it estimated around 10 million requests were likely to be missing from the 278 million requests made to the iPlayer in March.

    With the assumed requests included the total is still lower than the 299 million requests recorded in February and the 301 million from March 2014. However, there have been minor fluctuations throughout the lifetime of the player. The high watermark of 343 million was recorded in January 2015 as viewers caught up with Christmas television.

    In March it was the controversial motoring show Top Gear and talent contest The Voice that drew in the audience. The remake of BBC drama Poldark (pictured) drew 1.2 million requests for its first episode.

    It’s not the first time that data has gone absent. Some TV request data is also missing for 2014 – about 3.5m requests in August and 11.5m requests in September from computer devices, and about 6m requests are missing in November, across all device types.

    There were also issues in the radio data after changes in the playout system removed live sport from some streaming devices.

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    Russia eases TV ad ban

    Russia has signaled a further relaxation of its ban on advertising on cable and satellite TV channels.

    It would, reports Vedomosti, quoting the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), effectively see it lifted for sports channels.

    In the case of foreign services, Russian commentary would allow them to be classified as “national content” and therefore permissible under existing rules.

    The original ban, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, was soon afterwards amended so that channels showing 75% Russian content were allowed to carry commercials.

    The new relaxation will have little effect on Russian sports channels, with the largest owners of such services – RTR and NTV-Plus – already having been issued with licences by Roskomnadzor classifying them as essential services and therefore allowing advertising.

    However, it will impact on Eurosport and Eurosport 2, which are the first and third most popular sports channels distributed via cable and satellite in Russia.

    Although their Russian language versions have until now not carried advertising, this was not the case for those in English.

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    Ofcom to give access to ‘dark fibre’

    Ofcom is planning to open up the £2 billion market for business broadband.

    BT would be required to grant physical access to its fibre-optic cables, the so-called dark fibre, which would be directly connected to competitor equipment.

    The regulator says the measure is designed to promote competition for ‘leased lines’ – dedicated, high-speed data links used by large businesses and mobile and broadband operators to transfer data on their networks.

    The exception to the new proposal is London, where Ofcom already deems there to be sufficient competition.

    “High-speed, fibre optic leased lines are invisible to most people. But they form a critical building block in the UK’s infrastructure that underpins people’s personal and working lives,” said Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom competition group director. “Today’s proposals should help businesses across the UK who rely on high-speed data lines. We want to see more innovation, faster installations and more competition, by providing operators with the opportunity to deploy the technologies of their choice.”

    BT is already required to open up its domestic network and Ofcom has also published a new minimum quality of service performance requirements on Openreach, the division of BT that installs and maintains connections to BT’s network on behalf of competing providers. Its looking to speed up the time it takes to install equipment; Ofcom says Openreach has been missing initial dates.

    As part of the dark fibre proposals, Ofcom would require BT to publish a draft ‘reference offer’ for industry, containing wholesale pricing and terms for access, in mid-2016.

    Today’s proposals are subject to consultation, closing on 31 July 2015. Ofcom expects to publish its final decisions in the first quarter of 2016, taking effect in April 2016.

    This would then be subject to negotiation between BT and other providers, with a view to BT publishing a final reference offer before the end of 2016. Dark fibre access would then be available to telecoms providers from April 2017.

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    Cyfrowy Polsat on the up

    Poland’s Cyfrowy Polsat ended the first quarter with 4,405,464 contracted pay-TV subscribers, a 4% increase on the same period last year.

    Of these, 872,628 (+16.5%) opted for multiroom services.

    The number of contracted RGUs stood at 12,394,712 (+3.4%), while the contracted and pre-paid total was 16,429,469 (+0.6%).

    Cyfrowy Polsat had revenues of PLN2,329 million (€569.5 million) in Q1, or 222% more than a year earlier, while EBITDA was PLN897 million (+218%).

    Its operational profit was PLN428.7 million, compared to PLN219.4 million a year earlier.

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    Martina Rutenbeck to leave M7/KabelKiosk

    Martina Rutenbeck, managing director of M7 Deutschland, will leave the operator of direct-to-cable platform KabelKiosk.

    “After eleven intense and good years, I have decided to take new directions,” Rutenbeck writes in an e-mail to business partners and colleagues. “I’m proud and thankful for the chance to contribute to digitalisation and competitiveness of our business segment in these dynamic times. This was possible only together with constructive and challenging clients and partners – and a fantastic team.”

    M7 Deutschland confirmed Rutenbeck’s departure to Broadband TV News, adding that she will leave the company on May 15, 2015 at her own request. “For more than a decade, Martina Rutenbeck has developed the cable business under the KabelKiosk brand into the leading independent digital channel and service platform for the European cable market,” said an M7 Deutschland spokesman.

    “In this period, the platform has developed into a key driver for digitalisation on cable and the introduction of innovative, non-linear services and multiscreen services for network operators,” he added. “M7 thanks Martina Rutenbeck for this extraordinary engagement and wishes her all the best for the future.”

    Rutenbeck’s managing director colleague Alessandro Lanfranconi remains on board and contact person for all business matters relating M7 Deutschland.

    KabelKiosk provides cable operators and IPTV platform providers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol and Luxembourg with TV channels, video-on-demand services and multimedia offerings. Luxembourg-based media company M7 Group acquired KabelKiosk one year ago from satellite operator Eutelsat.

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    Cablecos fill pay-TV hole with broadband

    US cable firms may be struggling with their pay-TV offer but when it comes to broadband they have got their game according to new survey data from the Leichtman Research Group.


    The research found that the seventeen largest cable and telephone providers in the US added over a million broadband subscribers in the first quarter of 2015, accounting in all for over 88.5 million subscribers.

    The leading cable companies contributed about 53 million of this total, around 86% of the net broadband additions for the quarter compared with the top telephone companies, and added over 1,000,000 broadband subscribers in Q1 2015. This represented 104% of the net additions for the top cable companies in Q1 2014. By comparison the leading telcos companies added about 160,000 subscribers, 81% of the total net additions for the top telephone companies in Q1 2014.

    LRG also found that the top cable broadband providers now have a 60% share of the market versus telcos for the first time since Q2 2005. Of the latter AT&T and Verizon added 573,000 subscribers from their U-verse and FiOS offerings in 1Q 2015, while having a net loss of 463,000 DSL subscribers. U-verse and FiOS broadband subscribers now account for 54% of telco broadband subscribers, compared with 40% two years ago. Comcast was the leading cable firm with 22.369 million customers, adding 407,000 subs in the quarter.

    "Cable companies had another strong quarter for broadband in 1Q 2015, adding over 1,000,000 subscribers in the quarter. This was the first quarter with over a million net broadband adds for cable since 1Q 2008," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for the Leichtman Research Group . "Cable also accounted for 90% of the 3,000,000 broadband additions over the past year, growing their market share versus telcos back to 60% for the first time in nearly a decade."

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    Sky Sports continues iron grip on Premier League viewing

    As the English Premier League ends on the pitch, off the pitch Sky has revealed that despite intense competition from BT it has shown 49 of the top 50 most watched matches in the season.


    SkysportsayAll 20 teams in the football league were featured in the 49 matches screened by the pay-TV firm, underlining said the broadcaster, the importance to viewers of coverage of clubs at both ends of the table. Record numbers viewed Sky Sports on mobile devices this season. Sky Go saw a 5% year on year increase in viewing peaks from Premier League matches while Sky Sports On Demand Football content also saw a 152% increase in downloads.

    "We've offered 49 of the top 50 matches two seasons running now, showing that Sky Sports continues to be the home of the matches that matter," said Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis. "Football fans should expect more of the same from Sky Sports next season and of course, more matches and an even stronger selection of picks from 2016/17."

    In February 2015, Sky Sports secured exclusive rights to the Premier League from 2016-17 to 2018-19, winning five of the packages available and increasing the number of games to 126 per season. Next season, Sky Sports will offer 148 live games from the Sky Bet Football League, Capital One Cup and Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

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    Netflix shares soar on rumours of Chinese launch

    News that the Netflix juggernaut is about to roll into China has led to a spike in the SVOD leader's share price.


    NetflixOrangeAccording to reports in the Wall Street Journal, Netflix has been in talks with a Chinese media company backed by Jack Ma and other possible partners as it seeks entry into what could be near $6 billion online video market. It added that Netflix has held discussions with companies including Wasu Media Holding Co, not confirmed by any of the parties concerned.

    Analysts believe that partnerships will be essential for Netflix to have any chance in a market characterised by strict controls on content.

    "China is too big to have an asterisk next to it," the WSJ quoted Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos as saying at the Cannes Film Festival. "There are a lot of operating constraints in China that are different to anywhere else. We don't have any operating partners anywhere else in the world, so that would be a new skill for us too...We are also aware that there are unique operating models we've not worked in before, we've not acquired companies, we've not worked with partners before in any of our territories. If that's the cost of doing business in China we will figure that out."

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    Cellcom unveils triple-play service as Israel opens telecom, Internet market

    DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 18 May 2015


    Israeli mobile operator Cellcom has launched a triple-play bundle of phone, Internet and television services to add potential revenue streams in what is a fiercely competitive market.


    The Israeli Government opened up the wholesale telephony and Internet market on 17 May 2015, meaning that incumbent Bezeq Israel Telecom must lease its infrastructure to competitors.

    Cellcom introduced its over-the-top (OTT) television service last December, providing a basic package of linear TV and subscription video-on-demand (VOD) services for NIS99 (US$25.3) a month. This has expanded with the launch of a landline phone and high speed Internet access for between NIS149 and NIS169 a month.

    Cellcom claims to have attracted almost 30,000 subscribers to its OTT TV service, along with approximately 600,000 household Internet customers and over 150,000 active landline telephony customers.

    "We are leveraging our existing customer base, as well as our existing sales and marketing infrastructure and we are establishing a solid foothold in the TV market," said Nir Sztern, CEO, Cellcom.

    Ami Erel, chairman, Cellcom, added: "This is a significant move with the possibility of real growth from the entry of our triple-play, which has huge potential in a market dominated by the HOT/Bezeq duopoly."

    Cellcom's entry into the TV sector offers the first alternative competition for 15 years to cable operator HOT and Bezeq-owned satellite platform YES, which charge NIS250 or more a month for their TV services.

    The company says its triple-play offer represents a saving of some 50% on existing options.

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    Sorele's AzaTV readies for SA launch

    DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 18 May 2015

    Sorele Media is to launch an online television platform called AzaTV in South Africa on 20 May 2015.


    "AzaTV is an online TV platform that aims to deliver the very best in entertainment, lifestyle, talk, and inspirational content to Africans by Africans," said Salamina Mosese, director and co-founder, Solere. "We want people to know that we are serious about Africa."

    AzaTV will be available through the company's website, as well as via a free mobile app.

    The platform will initially host original content, with future plans to acquire content from producers across the continent, according to My Broadband.

    "Shows such as Aza Muzika, Yummy Mammi, and The Sit Down will ensure that viewers have access to relevant and authentic shows right at the tip of their fingers," said Mosese.


 

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