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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Kudelski delivers double-digit rev growth in strong first half of 2015 Editor | 20 August 2015 Expanding distribution capabilities in

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    Kudelski delivers double-digit rev growth in strong first half of 2015

    Editor | 20 August 2015



    Expanding distribution capabilities in public access and continued optimisation of integrated digital TV (iDTV) activities have led to robust results for media content protection company Kudelski in the first half of 2015.


    For the period ended 30 June 2015, the company grew its consolidated revenues and operating income in spite of significant exchange rate volatility by 10.4% and 9.7% respectively. Group revenues and other operating income for the first half increased by CHF24.9 million to CHF425 million. Revenue increases were primarily driven by the 24.2% constant currency growth of the public access segment.

    Further underlying its strength in 2015, the company noted that the performance at the same stage of 2014 was boosted by one-time licensing revenues from the Cisco patent licensing agreement.

    Core TV market revenues also benefitted from the underlying growth of the core digital TV business, to CHF324.4 million. Operating income for the segment improved by 17.9%, reaching CHF52.6 million. During the last six months Kudelski entered into several new contracts and completed new deployments in Europe, confirming, it said, the role of its NAGRA technology as platform of choice for merged entities.

    Indeed pay-TV firm Altice Group confirmed NAGRA's strategic supplier position through a framework agreement allowing Altice to benefit from NAGRA's latest generation of security solution for all types of devices and all types of broadband networks. NUMERICABLE-SFR selected Medialive Secure Player as a multiscreen solution to deliver its TV services across all connected devices. The MediaLive-powered Yomvi by Movistar+ platform was rolled out to Telefónica's existing subscribers, used for live sports events including supporting half a million unique devices for a Real Madrid-Barcelona football match.

    In the first half, the group's iDTV units also completed first deployments of next generation technologies including 4K/Ultra HD, video transmission over all-IP fibre networks, dynamic ad insertion (DAI) and Wi-Fi conditional access modules (CAM).

    For the full year 2015, the Group expects growing iDTV revenues, as the momentum of this first half is expected to continue in the second half year. Second half iDTV revenues are forecasted to be higher than in the first half.

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    DirecTV launches first 4K/Ultra HD STB

    Editor | 20 August 2015



    As it tries to establish itself as part of the AT&T family, US satellite firm DirecTV is claiming to have made it easier for more customers to watch Ultra HD programming on nearly any 4KTV with a new set-top box (STB).


    DirecTV launched 4K/Ultra HD programming in November 2014 through its Genie HD DVR, which is currently in millions of customers' homes. The Genie HD DVR allows receiver-less connections to support DIRECTV 4K-ready TVs from Samsung with instant access to DirecTV 4K VOD. LG, Sony and other manufacturers will soon be added to the portfolio. The new 4K Genie Mini STB, about the size of a paperback book, will support full 4KTV capability with Dolby Digital Plus audio decoding.

    "Customers who want the best picture quality are creating more demand for 4K," said Henry Derovanessian, senior vice president Consumer Premise Engineering, DirecTV, part of the AT&T family. "The new 4K Genie Mini allows us to meet that demand by expanding 4K access to more of our customers nationwide."

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    Restart comes to Sky Movies

    Sky Movies is to add a restart feature to Sky Movies as part of a new update to Sky+ that begins its rollout today.

    Also included is a new recommendation service and a personalist watchlist.

    The new functionality is part of a new update to the Sky+HD receivers; the third such update this year and relying in part on having the box connected to broadband.

    The much-touted restart service is branded as Watch from Start and has already proven itself on Sky Italia.

    More Like This is a movies recommendation service that offers suggestions based on a single title selected. It works on the press of the Yellow Button.

    The Watchlist os a personalised movie library that allows customers to add a new movie at the touch of the Green Button.

    Luke Bradley-Jones, director of TV Products said: “This is just the latest in a series of enhancements we’re rolling out every few months to make sure Sky+ continues to make TV watching a brilliant experience in homes up and down the country. The pace at which we’re developing for Sky+ has never been quicker – so customers can look forward to more updates later this year and into 2016.”

    Later this year Rotten Tomatoes audience scores will appear as star ratings.

    The software update will be gradually rolled out through the autumn.

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    End of the road for YouSee analogue channels

    Danish cable network YouSee is to switch off its remaining analogue channels – seven years after the country’s terrestrial network made the switch to digital.

    Screens will go black on February 9, 2016, unless the subscriber has connected a digital box to their TV set.

    The TDC-owned operator says that while Denmark switched off its analogue television service in 2009 the operator continued to distribute a limited number of channels in the analogue format – it says as a courtesy to customers – though to do otherwise would have led to an additional expenditure in set-top boxes.

    The removal of the channels will create more space on the network for services such as the on demand YouSee Play.

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    Serbian TV station sold

    The Belgrade-based broadcaster Studio B has been sold to the marketing agency Maxim media.

    According to Balkan Insight, the deal, worth €530,000, is the largest to date in the recent media privatisation programme, with the sale of the news agency Tanjug and Novi Sad-based daily Dnevnik having failed.

    Maxim media, which already owns four radio stations, was the only bidder for Studio B.

    Studio B is a long-established TV and radio broadcaster and came to prominence during the Milosevic era in the 1990s.

    The media privatisation programme has proved less successful than hoped, with only nine of 72 state owned assets sold to date. As a result, the deadline for the programme was put back from July 1 until the end of October.

    The Studio B deal will still have to be approved by the Serbian regulatory authority.

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    ProSieben Maxx expands DTT distribution in Germany

    German commercial free-to-air TV channel ProSieben Maxx has launched on DTT in federal state North-Rhine Westphalia.

    Transmitter network operator Media Broadcast distributes the 24 hour service on the transmitter sites in Cologne and Bonn on channel 53 and in Essen, Dortmund, Langenberg, Wesel and Düsseldorf on channel 55 within the ProSiebenSat.1 bouquet.

    The capacity was made available through a technical optimisation of the multiplex. To access the new channel, viewers are recommended to initiate a channel search on their DVB-T reception device.

    With movies, series, documentaries and original productions, ProSieben Maxx targets a male audience between 14 and 39 years of age.

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    Changes ahead for UPC Romania

    UPC Romania is looking into the possibility of outsourcing its technical field activities.

    Quoting an unnamed source in the telecom market, ZF reports that Ericsson and Huawei are in the picture, though no decision has yet been taken.

    It adds that UPC Romania is one of the few leading industry players in Romania to have not yet outsourced some of its activities.

    For instance, Telekom Romania, formerly known as Romtelecom, opted for Ericsson in 2009, while more recently Orange and Vodafone have selected Ericsson and Huawei respectively.

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    Vodafone rolls out NetRange’s smart TV portal

    Vodafone customers can now use the services of the smart TV portal offered by German provider NetRange including video-on-demand and apps.

    The portal, developed and run by NetRange especially for Vodafone, is integrated in the Vodafone GUI and available via all Vodafone TV centres. It forms part of the telco’s service and is free of charge for Vodafone customers.

    “Vodafone ranges among the top brands worldwide and is therefore one of our most prestigious customers. Again, we can prove that we fulfill the highest demands of our customers concerning the quality of service”, Jan Wendt, CEO of NetRange, said in Hamburg.

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    DIRECTV launches 4K for all

    DIRECTV has launched a new 4K set-top that makes it possible to view the satcaster’s 4K content on virtually every 4K set in the market.

    The new 4K Genie Mini, described as “about the size of a paperback book” and as far away from the beast of a box previously seen in the US as you can get. It also supports Dolby Digital Plus audio decoding.

    “Customers who want the best picture quality are creating more demand for 4K,” said Henry Derovanessian, senior vice president Consumer Premise Engineering, DIRECTV, part of the AT&T family. “The new 4K Genie Mini allows us to meet that demand by expanding 4K access to more of our customers nationwide.”

    DIRECTV launched 4K UHD programming in November 2014 through its Genie HD DVR, but subscribers found the content could only be viewed through a limited number of TV displays. The receiver initially supported Samsung 4K models, with plans to extend this to LG and Sony models later.

    The new model extends DIRECTV 4K viewing to devices that don’t include the DirecTV RVU technology that allows viewers access DirecTV services without an external receiver.

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    Kudelski on the up

    Kudelski has posted revenues of CHF425 million (€395 million) for the first half of the year, or 6.2% more than in the same period in 2014.

    Its operating income was up by 9.7% to €30.4 million over the same period, while its net income of CHF9.8 million in H1 contrasted with one of only CHF0.6 million a year earlier.

    The group notes that compared to the strong first half 2014, which was supported by the one-time licensing revenues from the Cisco patent licensing agreement, integrated Digital TV segment (iDTV) constant currency revenues for the first half 2015 grew by 6.8.

    They benefitted in particular from the underlying growth of the core digital TV business, to CHF324.4 million.

    Meanwhile, operating income for the segment improved by 17.9%, reaching CHF
    52.6 million.

    Looking to the future, Kudelski expects H2 iDTV revenues to be higher than those in the first half. It has updated its total revenue guidance from CHF845 to 875 million to a new range of CHF920 to 940 million.

    It has also raised its operating income guidance from CHF50 to 65 million to CH70 to 80 million.


 

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