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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

MLB nets hockey carriage Michelle Clancy | 06 August 2015 The National Hockey League and Major League Baseball Advanced Media

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    MLB nets hockey carriage

    Michelle Clancy | 06 August 2015



    The National Hockey League and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media arm of the MLB, have inked a deal for digital enablement.


    "As the market leader, MLBAM is uniquely qualified to assist us in giving hockey fans a richer, more immersive experience with the game," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "MLBAM is also the right partner because they have the expertise to help us deliver new and exciting products to our fans, who crave compelling digital content. We couldn't have North America better covered than with the power of NBC, Rogers, TVA and MLBAM - an incredible convergence of technical, creative and production talent that is great news for our fans."

    The partnership will create a fully integrated global hub of digital content that encompasses video, live game streaming, social media, fantasy, apps, along with statistical and analytical content. With an emphasis on deeper access into the game and telling the stories of NHL players, MLBAM and the NHL will collaborate on developing new digital products and platforms while enhancing current offerings.

    The deal also awards MLBAM rights to distribute live out-of-market games, including through the NHL GameCenter LIVE and NHL Center Ice subscription services in the United States and certain international markets. MLBAM will operate NHL.com, including the League's seven native language sites, and Club websites.

    "It is an honour for Major League Baseball to stand alongside the National Hockey League on this joint initiative," said Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. "All of us in sports share a desire to distribute our games and tell our stories as widely and broadly as possible. Because of our own experiences in delivering baseball to its loyal fans, MLB Advanced Media is uniquely suited to excel in a partnership of this magnitude."

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    Time Warner's Turner drives better-than-expected Q2 results

    Michelle Clancy | 06 August 2015



    Time Warner has released its second-quarter earnings, beating analyst estimates with revenue of $7.35 billion, an 8% increase in year-over-year sales and a roughly 3.5% increase sequentially.


    Earnings per share of $1.16 on net income of $971 million also beat the street and a represented a roughly 14% increase from $850 million in the second quarter of 2014.

    The Turner segment delivered 20% adjusted operating income growth, while the Warner Bros segment saw adjusted operating income jump a big 46%. Performance in the segment was propelled by the sale of original content on the Hulu streaming platform, which is co-owned by competitors Twenty First Century Fox, Disney and Comcast. Strong content performance easily offset a roughly 1%, or $12 million, decline in overall advertising revenues, but domestic ad sales actually increased due to solid performance from Turner's news channels and the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

    At Turner, TNT and TBS ranked as the No 1 and No 2 ad-supported cable networks, respectively, in prime time among adults 18-49, and together with Adult Swim claimed the top three spots in prime time among adults 18-34. Cartoon Network was again the only top three kids' network to grow its 6-11 audience during the quarter and claimed the No 2 spot for the first time. And CNN grew prime time viewership in its key 25-54 demo 25% with the help of its award-winning original programming. Warner Bros concluded a very successful upfront, with 62 programmes slated for the upcoming television season, including 29 on broadcast networks. That includes 20 returning shows, and makes Warner Bros the top supplier of broadcast series again this year.

    Higher subscription revenues also contributed to segment gains, and a 9% drop in programming costs contributed to operating margins improvement.

    Operating income performance from the HBO segment lagged a bit compared to the second quarter in the prior year.

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    21st Century Fox revs take post-Sky sale hit

    Joseph O'Halloran | 06 August 2015


    The contribution of the Sky pay-TV business to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox organisation has been shown clearly in its latest set of yearly accounts.


    For the quarter and financial year ended 30 June 2015, the company reported total revenues of $28.99 billion, a $2.88 billion decrease from prior year revenues. Excluding the net revenues from its DBS businesses, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland AG, which were sold in November 2014 to Sky plc, adjusted revenues increased $890 million, or 3%, over the $26.06 billion of adjusted revenues in the prior year. This increase was primarily driven by double-digit revenue growth at the cable network programming segment.

    On the upside, 21st Century Fox netted $7.3 billion in net proceeds from selling its stakes in Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland AG to Sky, and acquiring approximately $900 million of additional shares in Sky and Sky's 21% stake of National Geographic Channels International. This all resulted in annual total segment operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBA) of $6.72 billion, equal to the amount reported in the prior year. Excluding the OIBDA contributions from the DBS businesses in both years, OIBDA increased $197 million, or 3%, over the $6.29 billion of adjusted OIBDA in the prior year, due to higher contributions from the company's cable network programming and filmed entertainment segments.

    Commenting on the results, executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, who will be replaced in due course by son James, said: "We made clear operational strides over the last year that will further position us to benefit from the strong and growing global demand for high quality video content. We delivered a solid financial performance, driven by sustained gains in affiliate fees, while we continued to invest in building our new channels Fox Sports 1, FXX and Star Sports. The appeal of our new sports rights resonated with consumers globally, whether it was STAR Sports in India setting new records with hundreds of millions of viewers for the ICC Cricket World Cup, or the more than 25 million viewers who watched the Women's World Cup Final on FOX. Our company is well positioned for this time of opportunity in our industry."

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    Nativ launches international partner community

    Editor | 06 August 2015


    To further support the demand for its MioEverywhere product suite, media logistics platform (MLP) provider Nativ is launching an international reseller and partner network.


    Directed by head of sales, Phil Eade, the Nativ Partner Community will aim to bring together Mio users with independent specialists experienced in aspects of Mio configuration, deployment and support, and with companies that are seen to be able to add value to Mio solutions with their own integrated products. Through this community, Nativ believes that Mio users can access a services marketplace to help them compose TV everywhere solutions to best meet their business needs.

    "I am excited to formally launch our Nativ Partner Community," said Nativ director Jon Folland. "MioEverywhere is a powerful platform that can be deployed by a variety of companies that have large amounts of content to help them take back control of their workflows and content. Tapping into the expertise of resellers, systems integrators, consultants and technology partners around the world will help us reach more companies and grow even faster."

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    Freetime growth drives solid half year for Freesat

    Editor | 06 August 2015


    The UK's subscription-free satellite TV service Freesat has continued its positive momentum over 2015 with a 200% year-on-year increase in new connected customers, thanks to uptake of its Freetime product.


    Indeed the connected TV service grew sales by 48% year-on-year for the first six months of 2015 resulting in Freesat adding over 19,000 new homes in the first six months, giving over four million customers in the UK.

    Taking advantage of its hot product, Freesat said that Freetime's expansion will continue with several new manufacturer partnerships including Manhattan and Vestel who are on track to launch in the next 12 months. This complements already available boxes such as the Humax HDR-1100S set-top box launched in July 2015.

    Commenting on the results, Alistair Thom, the satellite firm's managing director, said: "It has been another strong quarter for the team at Freesat and our continued growth demonstrates the ongoing appeal of subscription-free connected TV. Expanding our partnership with manufacturers like Humax, Manhattan and Vestel enables us to offer our customers great telly and on demand services, for even better value."

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    Tele Columbus prepares further acquisitions

    Tele Columbus, the third largest German cable operator, gears up for further acquisitions following the recent completion of the takeover of Primacom.

    To finance the purchases, the company plans to implement a capital increase. An extraordinary shareholders’ meeting has been arranged for 14 September to decide about the move. The intended gross proceeds from the capital increase amount to €240 million.

    “The capital increase enables the company to continue its growth path in Europe’s most attractive cable market and to strengthen its position as the number three player in the German cable market,” Ronny Verhelst, CEO of Tele Columbus, said in Berlin. “We are confident that we will be able to make use of such additional potential in a way which creates value for both the company and its shareholders.”

    Without the proposed capital increase, Tele Columbus would currently not be able to provide financing for significant further acquisitions due to the current financing structure of the company.

    Should the takeover opportunities arise in the near-term, the proceeds from the capital increase could be directly used to pay the purchase price. Otherwise, the capital could be kept available or could be used to repay existing debt, thereby reducing the debt equity ratio of the company and enabling the company to take out new debt financing when the opportunity of further acquisitions arises.

    Industry insiders speculate that Tele Columbus may prepare the takeover of cable operator Pepcom. The company which was acquired by UK-based financial investor Star Capital in 2010 currently serves around 850,000 households throughout Germany.

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    Brazilians choose TV during free time

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 07 August 2015



    Watching TV, films and series occupies the majority of Brazilians' free time, with free-to-air (FTA) and pay-TV leading the ranking of preferred activities, according to the latest report from national cinema agency, Ancine.


    According to TelaViva, Ancine's president, Manoel Rangel, presented the report - which has not been officially published - during ABTA 2015.

    The report states that eight in ten Brazilians watch TV when they're not working, and nearly 70% prefer to watch films and series at home. These are the top two leisure activities across the country, according to the survey.

    The major obstacle for pay-TV penetration is price, says the report, especially when compared with the average salary. "The growth of salaries in recent years is the main reason behind the growth of pay-TV," explained Rangel.

    Among pay-TV subscribers, 34% choose premium TV because of the image quality, while 27% look for films, 22% for series and 15% for themed kids' channels.

    The report also stated that 66% of Brazilians have pay-TV at home, a figure higher than that recorded by official reports, which have recently placed penetration at around 50%.

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    Netflix preps first Brazilian-made 4K series

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 07 August 2015


    Leading subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform Netflix has announced its first original Brazilian series, 3%, which will start filming in Ultra HD in early 2016 and will debut exclusively on Netflix later in the year.


    Produced by Boutique Filmes, the first season of the dramatic thriller will be directed by Oscar-nominated Cesar Charlone (City of God, Blindness) and has been written by Pedro Aguilera.

    "Ultimately, the series questions the dynamics of society that imposes constant selection processes we all have to go through, whether we like it or not," said Charlone.

    "Netflix's willingness to invest in Brazilian content, local talent and creative storytelling is key for our growth as an industry," added Tiago Mello, the executive producer of the show. "The story was originally created a few years ago and now I am thrilled that it will turn into a completely new original Netflix series."

    "We look forward to working with such an acclaimed team for our first Netflix Original production entirely shot in Brazil," commented Erik Barmack, Netflix's VP for independent and local content. "We are confident that this fascinating premise will be widely enjoyed by our members internationally".

    Following a local-content strategy, Netflix will also premiere during August its first series produced in Latin America, Narcos, which will be available on-demand worldwide from 28 August.

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    Hispasat taps Goonhilly to widen satellite TV distribution

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 07 August 2015



    Spain's satellite communications operator Hispasat has reached an agreement with British teleport owners Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) to provide television distribution services throughout Europe.


    hispasat1eFor the next three years, a transponder from the Hispasat 1E satellite will provide the contracted capacity, which will be transmitted by means of one of the teleport antennas. The entire chain of transmission has been set up and will be provided by GES.

    "As part of our on-going investment in our site's capabilities we are delighted to offer the broadcast uplink market an alternative, attractive route to market," said Steve Jones, commercial director at GES. "Working alongside Hispasat, with our collective experience and knowledge, we aim to make it easier for channels to get their content to their customers."

    "The agreement enables us to widen our offer in Europe and provide television operators with adaptable and scalable solutions for every situation," added Ignacion Sanchis, Hispasat's chief commercial officer.

    With these solutions, Hispasat aims to increase flexibility for audiovisual content producers seeking to transmit their signals, either direct-to-home (DTH) or indirectly by transporting TV channels to cable headends. In addition, it enables transmissions in both DVB-S format and DVB-S2.

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    Imagine delivers next-generation OTT architecture for World Sport Group

    Joseph O'Halloran | 07 August 2015



    Asia's largest sports company, World Sport Group (WSG), has revealed that it is upgrading its online infrastructure to support the latest in streaming technology.


    From its headquarters in Singapore, WSG delivers almost 600 sporting events annually and over 5,000 hours of programming across more than 30 countries in Asia. The company provides complete broadcast and production services as well as customised coverage of major international sporting events for a global network of broadcast, broadband and mobile partners.

    The new platform relies on Imagine Communications' SelenioFlex Live encoders, designed to deliver massive amounts of sports content to multiple platforms. Live satellite feeds will be passed as HD-SDI with embedded audio to the SelenioFlex Live encoders which will see use creating over-the-top (OTT), mobile, Web and live streaming output formats which are then multiplexed and sent to WSG's content delivery network.

    WSG generates a significant volume of media content daily, and Imagine Communications believes that it will stand to benefit from enhanced encoding software and a platform that is simple to manage and largely hands-off. WSG will also use the SelenioFlex Live Manager software to centralise the management, monitoring and control of the encoders. The platform provides failover and self-healing recovery capabilities to help minimise disruption to the service.

    The SelenioFlex Live encoding platform was installed by the WSG digital media team in collaboration with engineering and services support from Imagine Communications and is now online.

    "As the exclusive marketing, media and event partner to the region's leading sporting bodies and media networks, World Sport Group aims to deliver the highest levels of content quality and service reliability," explained WSG president, ASEAN and head of media Mark Hardess. "A robust and reliable encoding platform is essential to us delivering desired expectations, and we are pleased that SelenioFlex encoders are not only reliable, but also simple to manage and monitor."


 

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