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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

BBC hands 2016 Open Golf to Sky Sky Sports is to commence its coverage of The Open golf championship in

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    BBC hands 2016 Open Golf to Sky

    Sky Sports is to commence its coverage of The Open golf championship in 2016, one year earlier than planned, after the BBC opted out of its final year.

    It represents the latest loss of sports rights by the corporation that faces the need to make unprecedented cuts in the face of a frozen licence fee and governmental demands.

    Barbara Slater, the BBC’s head of sport, said it was critical the BBC targets its resources to ensure maximum choice and value for money for licence fee payers. “Following the announcement that Sky had been awarded the live TV rights to The Open and in light of financial developments since, the choice to amend the current contract from next year was a pragmatic one. We know that many fans are unhappy with the loss of rights and in an ideal world the BBC would still be the home of live coverage of The Open.”

    Sky will now begin its coverage with The 145th Open from Royal Troon. The premium channel already has coverage of all four Majors, the Ryder Cup, The European Tour and PGA Tour, as well as a host of other live events and programming.

    Barney Francis, Sky Sports Managing Director, said: “We’re pleased to begin our commitment to The Open a year early and look forward to bringing unprecedented coverage of this wonderful Championship. We have exciting plans to take coverage of The Open to the next level across our TV, mobile and digital outlets.”

    In February it was announced Sky would begin coverage of The Open in 2017 with the BBC providing a nightly two-hour highlights package.

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    MPEG-4 benefits for Cyfrowy Polsat

    Cyfrowy Polsat subscribers will benefit from the Polish platform’s switch to MPEG-4 by receiving an additional 16 channels in HD from the beginning of October.

    In total, they will be able to watch over 60 in the format. Twelve of the channels – BBC Earth HD,CBS Europa HD, Disney Channel HD, Travel Channel HD, Extreme Sports Channel HD, FightBox HD, Polsat Food Network HD, Discovery Turbo Xtra HD, Polsat 2 HD, TV 4 HD, Polsat Cafe HD and Polsat Play HD – have until now been available only in SD, while two – Nat Geo People HD and Discovery Historia – will be completely new services for Cyfrowy Polsat subscribers.

    They will only be available as of October 1, as will three new unencrypted music channels – 4fun Hits, 4fun Fit&Dance and Stars.tv.

    TNT and TNT HD will be added to the line-up on October 6, as will Discovery Science HD and the HD version of Cartoon Network on October 14.

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    Horizon Go enhances Czech offer

    Horizon Go users in the Czech Republic will be offered an additional eight channels from October.

    At the same time, the service will begin to transmit 11 channels in HD.

    Speaking about the change and quoted by Parabola, Jan Kohout, head of marketing at UPC Czech, said that when deciding what to add to the offer the operator chose a mix of the most watched programmes, sports, film and documentary channels.

    Overall, Horizon Go users will now be able to watch up to 80 channels.

    Horizon Go has over 25,000 users a week who play through a combined total of a quarter of a million programmes.

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    Vivendi relaunches German SVOD service Watchever

    French media company Vivendi wants to counter competition from Amazon Instant Prime, Netflix, maxdome and other players in the German subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) market through a relaunch of its SVOD service Watchever.

    Under the motto Es gibt noch so viel zu entdecken (translated: There is so much more to discover), the content on the platform is now bundled into 25 thematic channels to facilitate orientation for viewers. The channels feature programmes from content providers such as ABC, BBC Worldwide, Disney and ZDF Enterprises; further channels are compiled by the Watchever team.

    The portfolio includes channels branded, for example, ABC Studios, BBC First, CBS, BBC Doctor Who, ZDF Enterprises, Kinopalast, Mad Movies, Arthaus, Disney Movies, Docusphere, BBC Earth, Universal Music, medici.tv, Kids, Baby TV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Corner, BBC Brit, Jamie Oliver, Maker Studios and MTV. Further channels will be added gradually.

    The new channel-based Watchever is initially available on the web and on Apple TV with further platforms to follow. The monthly flat-rate subscription price remains at €8.99.

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    BBC iPlayer HTML5 trial offers Flash alternative

    The BBC has unveiled a beta trial of an HTML5 version for the iPlayer.

    HTML5 video has been used by the BBC to deliver video to iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad for sometime, but until now the BBC has felt the consistent experience and efficient media delivery offered by Flash outweighed the benefit of moving to HTML5 on the desktop.

    The move also follows the introduction of restrictions on the Flash format introduced by leading browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.

    The new HTML5 player is currently being tested with Firefox 41, Opera 32, Safari on iOS 5 and above, BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 and above, Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 and Google Chrome on all platforms.

    “Most programmes on BBC iPlayer should play in the HTML5 player from today, but there are some archive and late-delivered programmes which aren’t yet encoded for the new MPEG-DASH streaming technology,” explained James East, product manager, video playout, in a blog post. Viewers will be advised if an HTML5 version is not yet available.

    East said his team was now working to improve the HTML5 player to match the abilities of the Flash player, and to refine the functionality and design based on user feedback.

    The amount of content available via MPEG-DASH and HTML5 is set to increase as part of the rollout of the Video Factory and Audio Factory projects across the BBC.

    It’s planned to continue supporting Flash on the desktop for at least the next few years.

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    Real Madrid, Mediaset, Atresmedia get new HD DTT signal

    Spain's Ministry of Industry is to award three HD DTT channels to Atresmedia, Mediaset and Real Madrid TV, plus three SD signals to Secuoya, 13TV and another, as yet undisclosed operator.


    According to El Mundo, all the Spanish free-to-air networks have been informed about the awarded channels, even though the decision has not yet been made official.

    The committee responsible for evaluating the nine proposals presented to the ministry has sent its decision to the Spanish Government, which now needs to green light it.

    Bidding in the race to get one of the new six signals were Real Madrid TV, Radio Blanca, the shopping centre chain El Corte Inglés, Atresmedia, Mediaset, Prisa, 13tv, Grupo Secuoya (through its subsidiary Central Broadcaster Media) and Vocento's Net TV, which is rumoured to be the sixth awarded.

    Three more companies - Capelu, Alfa Salud and Primavera Córdoba - put in bids but were rejected due to technical issues.

    The process started in April, a year after the Government closed down nine DTT channels.

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    Televisa to re-launch OTT platform in 2016

    Mexico's Televisa is to revamp its over-the-top (OTT) video-on-demand (VOD) service, Veo, in 2016, increasing its catalogue with in-house content.


    Speaking during Foro Forbes, Manuel Gilardi, digital VP and new media at Televisa, said that Veo's relaunch will also affect how content is delivered, but didn't reveal more details.

    Televisa's plans may be focused on pushing Veo, which was launched in 2013, to become a leading platform in the Mexican OTT market, which is currently dominated by Netflix.

    Gilardi also said that Televisa is not worried about OTT competing directly with linear TV, as he believes people won't stop watching TV, but will add new experiences, several screens and innovative platforms which can coexist.

    Veo's platform is currently available via two different avenues: Veo Tele Para Llevar, a TV everywhere service available for free for subscribers of Izzi, Cablemás and Cablevision with 20 live signals; and Veo Play, available for about $6 per month and giving access to a catalogue of series, films and documentaries on-demand.

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    Tedial showcases Ultra HD media management

    Spanish independent media assets management (MAM) technology specialist Tedial is showcasing its Media IT platform Evolution, which supports 4K management, at the FIAT/IFTA 2015 World Conference in Vienna.


    The event, taking place between 7-10 October, provides an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience for industry professionals and to promote the study of topics relevant to the development and use of audiovisual archives and libraries.

    Tedial Evolution enables multi-site, multi-platform delivery and media business reporting, providing international broadcasters and global media companies with next-generation media IT tools.

    "Smart media professionals around the globe are now demanding more benefits from the business of media management," explained Esther Mesas, Tedial's COO. "They realise that the MAM of today needs to be so much more than the simple library and associated task menu of yesterday, and that perfect media management requires exceptionally well-integrated IT architecture."

    The solution also provides efficient content management for Ultra HD, managing multi-file formats (DPX), external audio tracks and HD proxy in a simple and intuitive way. 4K optimised workflows minimise media transfer in the network.

    "Smart Media professionals want a MAM that applies IT technology to broadcast and media, maximising the capabilities of their modern facilities. FIAT/IFTA is a very important platform for Tedial and we look forward to explaining how Tedial Evolution can assist broadcasters and global media companies with their archive and preservation requirements," she added.

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    Netflix reveals stepped deployment across Southern Europe


    After months of speculation, Netflix has announced it will gradually deploy its services throughout Southern Europe, kicking off on 20 October in Spain, then Portugal (21 October) and Italy (22).


    Prices will be similar to other European operations, with the Basic package, enabling one connection at the time and SD content, costing €7.99 per month; the Standard plan - two connections and HD quality - for €9.99; and the Premium package - Ultra HD and four connections - at €11.99.

    As with the rest of the territories in which Netflix is available, no commitment is required and customers are free to leave the platform when they want. In addition, the first month's subscription is free.

    The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) over-the-top (OTT) service is available for smart TVs, mobile devices, PCs, consoles, connected set-top boxes, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and, thanks to an agreement with Vodafone, it will also be available through the telco's TV service in Italy and Spain.

    Netflix will launch with a reduced portfolio - as many of its older productions have already been distributed by other operators – which will include Marvel – Daredevil, Sense8, Marco Polo, Club de Cuervos and Narcos, its first Latin America production.

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    Hindi, Tamil channels to launch on DStv in Africa

    Sub Saharan pay-TV operator MultiChoice is introducing Viacom18's Hindi channel Colors along with Star Tamil and Star Hindi to its satellite platform DStv.


    The three premium entertainment channels will launch on 15 October, with Colors available on DStv in 13 African territories and the two Star channels to subscribers in South Africa.

    "In the seven years since it first launched, Colors has been a game-changer in the television industry with path-breaking content that has appealed to viewer sensibilities. As the channel launches on DStv in Africa, the channel's global penetration in more than 135 markets, with shows syndicated in over 100 markets, further reinforces our belief in our offerings and ability to match viewing preferences of our audiences," said Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors.

    Colors, run by the 50:50 joint venture between Viacom and Network 18 Group, includes entertainment such as The Anupam Kher Show, Krishna Malram and Meri Aashiqui Tum se Hi.

    Gurjeev Singh Kapoor, president Star International, added: "The carriage deal with Multichoice reflects Star Network's continued commitment to expand our channel offering to viewers worldwide. We are very pleased with our decision to make our premium Hindi and Tamil channels available to viewers in South Africa and look forward to a continued long-term relationship with MultiChoice."

    Initially to be known as Star Tamil and Star Hindi, the channels will be re-branded Star Vijay and Star Plus from 1 December. They will carry popular content such as Mahabharat, MasterChef India, Coffee with Karan, Nach Baliye and SuperSinger.

    The three premium pay-TV channels are being introduced in South Africa as DStv refreshes its Indian content. A combination of North and South Indian channels will now be offered to subscribers as a single Indian package for ZAR319 per month or ZAR205 as an add-on to another DStv package.

    "The Indian community is very important to us – this is why we've reviewed our offering based on their feedback and created the new DStv Indian package. We thank our Indian customers for their loyal support over the years and trust you will enjoy the three additional entertainment channels," said Mark Rayner, COO, MultiChoice.

    The carriage deals were conducted on behalf of Viacom18 by IndiaCast, and on behalf of Star India by Star Network, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 21st Century Fox and MultiChoice.


 

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