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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Mike Fries not pleased about Ziggo Liberty Global is finding the Netherlands a tough and highly competitive market with incumbent

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    Mike Fries not pleased about Ziggo

    Liberty Global is finding the Netherlands a tough and highly competitive market with incumbent telco KPN making life difficult for the new Ziggo.

    “We’re not pleased with what we’ve been experiencing in Holland. It was sort of a perfect storm on some level which some of it was avoidable and some of it wasn’t, ” said Mike Fries during this week’s investor call.

    “The network integration and harmonisation challenges, the customer quality and customer satisfaction issues, are things that we should have managed through better or anticipated better.”

    Talking about KPN, Ziggo’s biggest competitor in the market, who is giving Ziggo a run for their money with new products and heavy promotional campaigns. “Are they irrational or are they rational? I think they are; in their minds, they’re being rational.

    “They think they’re doing the right thing, building market share, focused principally on market share and not on financials under the assumption that, I don’t know, maybe they’re going to be sold. Maybe that’s the right way for them. Maybe that’s how they’re compensated. I don’t know.

    “It is, in fact, a singular strategy. And when you look at a business that continues to have negative results, on the financial side you scratch your head. Having said that, they’re good at what they do. The Dutch consumers are demanding and we have to do better. We will do better.

    If you look back quarter to quarter to quarter, this has always been a market where we’re trading blows like a boxing match. For the last three quarters, we’ve been getting punched and three quarters before that we were punching them.”

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    Reggefiber now passes 2.1 million homes

    Dutch FTTH provider Reggefiber, wholly owned by KPN, has added 52,000 homes pasedto its FTTH network during the second quarter.

    The network reached 2.1 million homes passed on June 30. The quarterly growth was slightly better than 49,000 homes added during the first quarter of this year, but still one of the lowest quarterly additions since the first quarter of 2011.



    Reggefiber’s homes activated total grew by 45,000 during the second quarter, reaching 771,000 at tbe end of the quarter. KPN reported a growth of 35,000 homes activated on the Reggefiber networks.


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    YouSee losses, Get gains for TDC

    TDC’s YouSee lost 51,000 subscribers in the year to June 30, while its Norwegian operation Get gained 10,000 during the same period.

    Results published by the Danish telco show that TDC’s brand TV customer base grew by 12.4% to 271,000 in the year to June 30 and its ARPU fell by 3.2% to DKK306 (€41).

    YouSee, on the other hand, saw its customer base eroded by 4.4% to 1,113,000, though ARPU rose by 3.8% to DKK243.

    YouSee’s losses were attributed to both individual customers and antenna associations, including one of the latter with a low ARPU (-14,000) in Q1 this year.

    The group has 1,394,000 retail TV customers in Denmark as of the end of the first half, down from 1,415,000 in the same period last year.

    Meanwhile in Norway, Get ended Q2 with 426,000 TV subscribers, up 2.4% on the 416,000 posted a year earlier. Residential ARPU rose by 2.6% to NOK280 (€31) over the same period.

    TDC notes that the latter was driven mainly by increased subscription fees that came into effect at the beginning of this year.

    TDC Group’s revenues in the first half amounted to DKK12,223 million (€), down from the DKK11,443 million posted in the same period last year.

    EBITDA stood at DKK4,887 million (DKK4,805 million) and its profit was DKK1,081 million (DKK2,115 million).

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    Al Rayyan's camel-racing broadcasts get a boost from Calrec

    Fay Sutton | 20 August 2015



    Qatari broadcaster Al Rayyan TV has installed a Calrec Artemis console at the Al Shahaniya camel racetrack as part of an upgrade to its studio there.


    The Artemis, which replaces a basic analogue desk, will allow greater signal-processing possibilities, improved connectivity between the desk and communications systems, and the capability to produce multiple mixes simultaneously.

    Richard Whiston, head of sound at Al Rayyan TV, said: "Camel racing is a major part of Qatar's cultural identity and a source of national pride, which is why it is so important to produce a high quality broadcast — for our own people and for the viewers in neighbouring countries. We needed a console that provided seamless connectivity, smooth mixes and far more outputs than we had with our old console.

    "The Artemis's extra outputs let us produce simultaneous mixes for local and international TV and radio. The connectivity with our Overline and communications systems, alongside the signal-processing capabilities, has enabled us to produce a soundtrack that keeps the nation enthralled."

    The Artemis console is installed in a sound control room that covers two studios, ambience from the track and commentary from a roving vehicle. Al Rayyan's former analogue desk lacked the processing power and outputs required to send numerous mixes, so operators had to use a submixer and patching to achieve a similar result, but with fewer channels of compression. The Artemis is said to eliminate that practice because every input and output can be compressed appropriately and numerous mixes created simultaneously on one board.

    "The number of outputs has proven to be the most important part of the console," said Hamza Guerfala, sound engineer at Al Rayyan TV. "It gives us the flexibility to patch between sources and destinations quite easily, which speeds up our workflow considerably."

    Anthony Harrison, international sales manager at Calrec Audio, commented: "The move from analogue to digital greatly improves Al Rayyan's ability to capture and transmit fantastic sound, and choosing the Artemis means they have plenty of resources and flexibility to do it smoothly and efficiently. We're honoured that Al Rayyan has chosen Calrec to be such an important part of Qatar's national pastime."

    Al Rayyan has also purchased a second Artemis desk for a new OB truck destined for delivery in the autumn. The truck will cover a variety of programming including Qatar National Day. For that project, Al Rayyan will use the new truck alongside its existing vehicle to cover a full TV studio as well as a large concert hall. The new OB truck will also serve as an alternate control room when the time comes to upgrade Al Rayyan's main studio facility.

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    SplitmediaLabs to support Intel RealSense for live streaming

    Joseph O'Halloran | 20 August 2015



    Aiming to boost performance of its live streaming and recording applications, SplitmediaLabs has announced upcoming support for Intel RealSense technology across its key video applications.


    Hong Kong-based SplitmediaLabs specialises in the development of multimedia applications and technology, such as XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster which allow users to upload and share gaming moments to popular online video services such as Twitch and YouTube.

    With a user base ranging from hobbyists to prominent professional casters in more than 150 countries, XSplit Broadcaster is one of the most popular and widely used applications for live Internet broadcasting, XSplit allows users to record or live stream any type of media, while taking advantage of TV-like broadcasting features. The Intel partnership is seen as providing a particular fillip to graphics performance.

    "We are excited to be working with SplitmediaLabs in bringing immersive streaming experiences to the Twitch community," said Intel RealSense Technology director of marketing Anil Nanduri. "The automatic background removal capabilities provided by Intel RealSense technology relinquish the need for a green screen."

    "We're delighted to forge this new relationship with Intel and excited to work with the Intel RealSense ecosystem to give gamers and broadcasters even more freedom to customise their live broadcasts and recordings in a simple way," added SplitmediaLabs CEO Henrik Levring.

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    Media and entertainment deal volumes recover ground in Q2

    Michelle Clancy| 20 August 2015



    When it comes to consolidation and investment in the entertainment, media and communications space, deal volumes in Q2 rebounded from a sluggish start in 2015, as deal values reached their highest point in over two years.


    According to a report from PwC, deal volumes recovered some lost ground in Q2, increasing by 6% to 208 deals. Deal values reached $76 billion in the quarter, compared to $39 billion last quarter, driven largely by the announced acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Charter Communications.

    In total, there were seven megadeals (defined as those worth more than $1 billion) announced in second quarter, which accounted for 94% of total announced deal value during the time period.

    "While deal volumes typically soften over the summer months, we anticipate the M&A market to remain robust into Q3'15 and beyond," PwC said in the report.

    The top deals for the video sector cited were: Charter Communications/Time Warner Cable; Liberty Broadband/Charter Communications; Verizon Communications /AOL; Altice SA/Suddenlink.

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    US TV advertising slumps in July

    Michelle Clancy | 20 August 2015



    Cable TV advertising saw an ever-so-slight increase of 1% in July, even as overall TV ad spending was up 7% compared to the previous year.


    According to Standard Media Index, the bump was largely thanks to a strong showing by MTV and the Discovery Channel.

    James Fennessy, chief commercial officer for SMI, told Broadcasting & Cable that many cable networks are suffering double-digit ratings declines over the summer, even as a hardy few are turning in stellar results. It has all balanced out to the 1% growth.

    SMI also reported that broadcast advertising was down 2% in July, despite the success of the Women's World Cup, Special Olympics and the ESPY Awards.

    Nielsen said that overall TV viewership — for both broadcast and cable channels — dropped 3% this summer compared with the same period last year, averaging just 94.7 million viewers. That's also down 6% from the summer of 2013.

    August may see a turnaround; Nielsen noted that the recent Republican presidential primary debate was the highest rated non-sports cable telecast of all time. FOX News saw more than 24 million viewers for the night

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    Muvi launches live video streaming platform

    Michelle Clancy | 20 August 2015



    Muvi has released its Live Video Streaming Engine, available on the Muvi Studio video streaming platform.


    The feature targets broadcasters, TV channels and TV networks, which will be able to launch their own-branded IPTV and linear channels into a digital format, for the Web, mobile and connected TVs.

    "Live streaming has seen extensive growth in recent years both in terms of B2C and C2C adaptation," the company said. "With more and more TV networks and broadcasters going live with their TV channels, sports and events [are] being live-streamed across the world to a much wider audience in an instant. Live streaming is everywhere and is now becoming the de-facto mode of consuming video content worldwide."

    To put the launch into context, Muvi cited Adobe findings from the Q4 2013 video benchmark, showing 37% of TV everywhere content streams were for sporting events. Overall, sports video streams were up 640% year-over-year. It noted that NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app saw 24.6 million video viewers (160% higher than the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and 8% higher than the 2012 London Summer Games).

    "Recognising this trend and already seen successful adaptation of its on-demand services, Muvi decided to launch the Live Streaming Engine to complement its existing video on-demand (VOD) platform offering, enabling its customers to offer a 360° content experience to their viewers," Muvi noted.

    Muvi Studio handles provisioning of the IT Infrastructure, and the build, deploy and management of front end applications.

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    Bravo, E! and Oxygen partner with Dubsmash

    Michelle Clancy | 20 August 2015



    Bravo Media, E! and Oxygen Media have unveiled a new second-screen social TV initiative with mobile app Dubsmash in a first-of-its-kind cross-network partnership.


    Fans will have the opportunity to become part of their favourite Bravo, E! and Oxygen shows by creating their own Dubsmashes of buzzy moments from upcoming episodes.

    The partnership launched with The Real Housewives of New York City Reunion Part 1. After it aired this week, Dubsmash launched a dedicated category for the show on the platform's trending page. There, fans can watch moments from the episode that they can use to create their own Dubsmashes and share across social channels with the show's official hashtag, #RHONY.

    The network will gather a selection of the top viewer submissions for use in a special on-air Dubsmash Social Edition, where the fan-generated videos will appear on-screen during the broadcast.

    "Viewers today are incredibly engaged on social, so we're constantly seeking new ways to deliver them relevant and exciting content on their preferred platforms," said Ellen Stone, EVP of marketing at Bravo and Oxygen Media. "Dubsmash has become a cultural phenomenon, and this partnership will give our passionate fan base recognition in a fun, quirky and interactive way, all while celebrating their favourite shows."

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    CMT outsources TV production to former music chief

    Michelle Clancy | 20 August 2015



    Country music-focused US cable net CMT has signed a new multi-year production deal with CMT veteran producer John Hamlin's newly formed Switched On Entertainment.


    As part of the deal, Hamlin will executive produce the cable company's music events, including the CMT Music Awards, CMT Artists of the Year and the long-running CMT Crossroads. Furthermore, he will develop new events and specials.

    Prior to forming Switched On Entertainment, Hamlin served as CMT's SVP of music events and talent overseeing all live music and event programming, talent booking and label relations for events and series.

    "John has contributed a singular, indelibly-strong point of view to all of CMT's best music franchises," said CMT president Brian Philips. "Hamlin is an unparalleled producer, my trusted friend and co-conspirator. He brings new creative angles and ideas into the building every day. We celebrate and support the launch of John's new entrepreneurial venture, and thankful our most noteworthy shows remain in his capable hands."

    In addition, two of CMT's senior executives, Jayson Dinsmore and Leslie Fram, will oversee new roles in the music, talent and event departments.

    Philips added: "These are easy and opportunistic organisational moves. Jayson Dinsmore, aside from his history as developer of CMT's biggest hits ever, brings broadcast background with events and alternative programming at NBC. My long-time colleague Leslie Fram needs no introduction to anyone in Nashville music, nor to anyone in any sector of the industry. She has cultivated and nurtured music talent her entire brilliant career, and it feels right to bring this key CMT division under her proven leadership."


 

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