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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Maker Studios to shut down Blip DetailsMichelle Clancy | 21 July 2015 Disney-owned Maker Studios said that it will shut

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    Maker Studios to shut down Blip

    DetailsMichelle Clancy | 21 July 2015



    Disney-owned Maker Studios said that it will shut down its Blip online video service on 20 August 2015, and has encouraged users to export their videos.


    Founded in 2005, Blip was a first home for video bloggers, reaching 900,000 online video publishers on its platform at its height. YouTube has largely overtaken the site however, and it would appear that Maker has decided that the subsidiary doesn't hold the value that it thought that it did when it acquired it in 2013.

    As Variety pointed out: "Maker at the time painted the acquisition as a first step to build out a distribution platform capable of competing with YouTube." Those hopeful days are certainly long gone, judging by an email that Maker sent to Blip users.

    "As you may know, Blip was acquired by Maker Studios in September 2013 and the acquisition has allowed for additional, more expansive direct-to-consumer tools and products for content creators across the network," Maker said. "We encourage you to apply to the Maker Gen network if you have a YouTube channel to take advantage of Maker's tools and services."

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    SES, Armstrong claim cable-based Ultra HD breakthrough

    DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 21 July 2015



    Claiming a first of its kind in terms of architectures, satellite operator SES has begun a live and linear Ultra HD trial with US cable MSO Armstrong.


    During the test, Armstrong will examine the capability of SES's camera-to-screen Ultra HD ecosystem at its headquarters in the Pennsylvania. SES's Ultra HD offering combines broadcast and IP technologies in a managed, scalable service. The solution combines satellite's broadcast with the multicasting capabilities of the DOCSIS 3.0 advanced cable transmission standard in use by Armstrong.

    "We have a great long-term partnership with SES that enables us to innovate with satellite-delivered content solutions and provide exciting new potential offerings, explained Armstrong CTO Mike Giobbi. "We look forward to testing Ultra HD on our cable system and working closely with SES on this exciting solution."

    "We are very excited to have Armstrong as the first to test our linear Ultra HD solution in a real-world environment," added Steve Corda, VP of business development for SES in North America. "The outcome of these tests will support progress toward our objective of accelerating the roll-out of linear-live Ultra HD. The roll-out into cable TV households across North America will allow a very cost efficient, scalable and high performance delivery system."

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    SpotXchange, TV Insider team to boost programmatic online video

    DetailsEditor | 21 July 2015



    US digital TV destination TV Insider.com (TVI) has partnered with the SpotXchange programmatic video monetisation platform to sell ads across its suite of behind-the-scenes and TV companion video content.


    The sister site to TV Guide Magazine and operating under the umbrella of parent company TVGM, LLC, TV Insider is focused on giving television viewers expert recommendations about what's worth watching, as well as providing breaking news, exclusive photos and videos and behind-the-scenes details on their favourite shows. It boasts six decades of history and claims access to an 'unlimited' pool of TV talent and executives.

    Moving into the new world of online video, TVI chose SpotXchange to power programmatic sale of its growing library of video content, including exclusive daily video news content from Newsy, an EW Scripps Company brand, across desktop and mobile devices. SpotXchange's modernised ad server is able to house both programmatic and direct sold campaigns in a one-stop solution for publishers, allowing full transparency into yield maximisation across deal and inventory types.

    "TVI's exclusive content presents the ideal environment for brand advertisers to tap into the premium, hard-to-reach millennial and Gen X audience," explained TVI vice president of marketing Alain Begun. "As we ramp up our video content with partners like Newsy and Whip Clip in addition to our own exclusive behind-the-scenes and on-location videos, we'll look to the SpotXchange platform to fill our premium pre-roll inventory as a supplement to our direct sales efforts."

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    Buoyant Amino to acquire Entone for $73 million

    DetailsEditor | 21 July 2015



    As it released strong half-yearly results, UK IPTV, online TV and in-home multimedia distribution provider Amino Technologies is to buy out US rival Entone in a deal valued at £46.7 million ($73.0 million).


    The deal gives Amino access to Entone's broadcast hybrid TV and connected home solutions which see use in the US IPTV market as well as 150 global customers. In addition to increasing footprint and scale, the deal will garner anticipated EBIT synergies of approximately £1 million in first full year of ownership as well as supply chain enhancement and economies of scale that will lead to enhanced operational performance for the enlarged group.

    Entone had revenues of $43.4 million in the fiscal year ended 30 June 2014, up $14.2 million on the same quarter in 2013. In the 11-month period to 31 May 2015, Entone had revenues of $46.7 million and EBITDA of $5.1 million (unaudited management accounts). As at 31 May 2015, Entone had net cash of $12.0 million and net assets of $15.9 million. Amino expects the acquisition to be 'significantly earnings accretive in first full year of ownership (FY2016).

    "The proposed acquisition of Entone has the potential to transform our business and broaden our capabilities and market reach globally across IPTV, hybrid broadcast and a range of connected home solutions," commented Amino chief executive Donald McGarva. "It also aligns closely with our recent acquisition of cloud-TV platform provider Booxmedia in enabling us to meet the evolving needs of customers across a range of markets as they transition to cloud-based IP-driven multiscreen entertainment delivery. We anticipate a number of synergies between the two companies and expect the proposed acquisition to be earnings enhancing in the first full year of combined operations."

    Added Entone CEO Steve McKay: "Bringing together Amino and Entone would create a significant new presence in the pay-TV market with solutions and skill sets that are highly complementary. We share a very similar vision as to how our industry is changing and the kinds of solutions that are required to address both existing and new customers."

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    Vonetize channels come to NetRange smart TVs

    NetRange has signed an agreement with Vonetize to bring VOD content from channels such as Bollywood Movie Channel, Baby Channel or Total Music Channel, as well as a variety of 4K content, to its smart TV portal.

    “We look forward to bringing those fine contents to our users”, said Jan Wendt, CEO of NetRange.

    “The fact that Vonetize is accessible on almost 50% of the world’s Smart TVs underlines the value of this cooperation.”

    “We’re excited about teaming up with NetRange to offer users of their Smart TV Portals access to content from a diverse array of categories,” noted Vonetize CEO Noam Josephides.

    “Our company is committed to bringing the best content to users on any device worldwide, and our partnership with NetRange is going a long way to accomplish that goal.”

    The NetRange smart TV portal is available on a wide range of devices such as Sharp, Loewe, Changhong, Ikea, TCL, MSH, Thomson, Skyworth and HD+.

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    New player in Ukrainian digital transition

    Ukraine’s Broadcasting, Radiocommunications & Television Concern (BRT) plans to become a digital TV operator.

    According to Mediasat and Unian, it has applied to the National Council (Rada) for a licence and will be ready to construct digital broadcasting networks as soon as it receives one.

    They add that the regulator is expected to issue licences this autumn, with BRT set to become an operator or service provider of a multichannel digital network.

    Ukraine’s transition to digital broadcasting has been plagued with difficulties and in January BRT called for its postponement.

    This is something that the regulator subsequently did in early June.

    BRT is a state-owned operator of TV and radio broadcasting, radio and satellite communications.

    It lists the National Television Company of Ukraine, National Radio Company of Ukraine (NRCU), regional state and local broadcasters, independent commercial broadcasters and telco operators among its customers.

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    KPN reaches access agreement with Tele2 and M7

    KPN has reached agreement with wholesale parties Tele2 and M7 regarding access to KPN’s fixed network based on Virtual Unbundled Local Access (VULA) respectively Wholesale Broadband Access (WBA) for a period of seven years.

    These services are an alternative to the unbundled passive network access (MDF Access) that KPN offers to market parties. The VULA agreement will be considered as the basis for the reference offer by KPN. The ACM was not directly involved in the negotiations, but it will have to provide consent. This is expected in the short-term.

    The VULA (Virtual Unbundled Local Access) agreement enables Tele2 and M7 to offer new and existing customers higher fixed broadband speeds of up to 100Mb/s.

    Following consent by the ACM, the agreements with market parties will enable KPN to further upgrade its copper network using the latest technologies. This will result in access to higher speeds for KPN’s retail and wholesale customers and it improves KPN’s position on broadband and IPTV.

    Joost Farwerck, COO and member of the Board of Management of KPN: “We have been able to come to a commercial agreement with wholesale parties, which enables them to offer services to their customers. These agreements prove that we are able to enter into agreements for fixed access. Furthermore, this allows us to implement innovations in our fixed network in the interest of our customers.”

    Jeff Dodds, CEO Tele2 Netherlands, commented: “Tele2 started life as a fixed service provider in the Netherlands and over the years we have been very successful in challenging both the B2B and residential markets with innovative products for a great price. With this agreement in place we will be able to offer much, much faster fixed broadband services to a much larger number of homes. This increased choice is brilliant news for Dutch consumers and businesses. With our state-of–the-art fixed and mobile networks in place we will be able to offer our customers affordable, high quality internet wherever they are.”

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    DTT boost for Romanian cable

    The Romanian cable industry could gain over 100,000 subscribers this year as a direct result of the country’s transition to digital broadcasting.

    Quoting Dinu Malacopol, the CEO of Digital Cable Systems (AKTA), ZF reports that the demand is down to the fact that following analogue switch off on June 17 some parts of the country were left without TV signals.

    Only a third of rural homes in Romania were receiving cable services at the end of last year, while around 500,000 homes, mostly in rural areas, watch FTA services and do not subscribe to pay-TV.

    Should the prediction come true, it would result in a 1.5-2% national growth in Romania’s cable market.

    AKTA is one of the largest cable operators in Romania and its networks are found mainly in small cities and rural areas.

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    Dutch farmers get their own TV channel

    Channel hopes to contribute to increasing public support for the agricultural sector.

    Farm & Food TV Channel is a digital theme channel and video platform, which will go live in September.

    The channel is an intiative of Aleid Smid and Marcel van Rooijen, boardmembers of Farm & Food Productions, and is backed by Trend Office Bakas and ASTC Media, supported by CRV and LTO Noord from the industry and EMG Content Services and United from the media. The Dutch Commissariaat voor de Media has issued a broadcasting licence.

    Programming on the channel will include news and current affairs, debates, docusoaps, portraits of farmers and reports and documentaries about food production, food issues and local produce.

    The commercial broadcaster focuses on farmers, gardeners and other professionals in the agro-food chain and consumers with a special interest in the origin of food and food issues. “Our programmes evoke informative and entertaining themes where farmers have to deal with every day. We aim to bring farmers and citizens closer together and to show how impressive the Dutch top sector Agri & Food is,” said Smith.

    Van Rooijen and Smith conclude that the agricultural perspective often remains underexposed in mainstream consumer media.

    The Farm and Food Channel will initially launch as an online platform, but negotiations with major distributors are under way.

    NOTE – The trailer is in Dutch only


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    Romanian telcos: the stats

    Romania’s telco market is dominated by the multinationals Orange and Vodafone, along with the local company RCS&RDS.

    Quoting a study by RisCo.ro, Balkans.com reports that their combined market share in 2014 amounted to 80%.

    It adds although Orange Romania had the largest turnover (RON4.3 billion, or €0.9 billion), and net profit (RON403.6 million), the latter was down from RON500.8 million a year earlier. On the other hand, the turnover was RON17.6 million higher.

    Meanwhile, Vodafone Romania was in second place with a turnover of RON3.1 billion and profit of RON158.6 million.

    However, its turnover was down by RON147.9 million on a year earlier and profits by 60%, or RON272.1 million.

    RCS&RDS registered an increase in turnover – up by RON210.3 million to RON2.3 billion, though it also had a loss of RON71 million in 2014.

    Interestingly, both Orange and Vodafone shed employees in 2014, while RCS&RDS added to its total and ended the year with four times as many as its competitors.

    Although no data on Telekom was available, the study says it may gain market share this year at the expense of its rivals.


 

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