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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Fix&Foxi channel to launch on Ma Télé in Africa Fix&Foxi, the children and family channel operated by German media company

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    Fix&Foxi channel to launch on Ma Télé in Africa

    Fix&Foxi, the children and family channel operated by German media company Your Family Entertainment (YFE), will launch an exclusive version of the channel under the name Ma Télé Toonz in French-speaking Africa on DTH platform Ma Télé.

    Ma Télé Toonz will be offered as a free-to-view, subscription-free service over an initial 1-year launch period on the satellite-delivered pay-TV platform operated by digital television reception equipment manufacturer Strong Technologies on Eutelsat 16A (16° East).

    “This launch with our partner Ma Télé from Strong Technologies further expands the reach of Fix&Foxi Channel with a dedicated service in African French and marks the continued and sustained growth of the brand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as we roll out our high-quality learning-based kid’s channel around the world,” said Paul Robinson, YFE’s executive vice president international channels.

    The launch on Ma Télé follows the launch of the Fix&Foxi Channel under the name My TV Toonz on satellite-delivered pay-TV platform My TV across the Sub-Saharan Africa region on September 1, 2015. Both My TV and Ma Télé are operated by Strong Technologies.

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    Czech regional multiplex expands

    The Czech regional DTT multiplex 8 has strengthened its coverage in central Bohemia and added a new channel, named Regionalnitelevize.cz, to its line-up.

    Both developments took place quicker than had originally been planned.

    Multiplex 8 is operated by the national transmission company Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa) and already offers viewers the channels Noah, Sport 5, Slovak Sport 2, Ockem Expres, Mnam TV and Barrandov Muzika.

    Regionalnitelevize.cz focuses on recent reports on economic, cultural and sports events from all municipalities, cities and counties in the Czech Republic.

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    Ericsson teams up with UPC Hungary

    UPC Hungary has signed a managed services contract with Ericsson for certain field operations and maintenance service.

    This is the first such contract signed by Ericsson in Hungary. Valid for five years, it will make the company responsible for certain field and site maintenance activities in UPC’s network and contribute to premium customer experience to its subscribers.

    Severina Pascu, CEO of UPC Hungary, said: “We are choosing partners, both local Hungarian companies and also larger multinational partners to always have the best fit in providing superior experience to our customers in the ever changing digital world. Ericsson can bring the expertise that will allow us to further improve how our innovation and services are delivered to our customers.”

    Gábor Éry, head of Ericsson Hungary, added: “Ericsson has transition and transformation experience from managed services contracts in more than 100 countries, and we will bring our global processes, methods and tools into this co-operation. We are excited by the challenge of living up to the expectations in this partnership. By offering managed services to UPC, we will further improve UPC’s network quality through the use of our innovative technologies like Analytics, in which we have unique competence at our R&D site in Budapest.”

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    Swisscom upgrades to VCAS Ultra

    Swisscom is deploying the Verimatrix VCAS Ultra content security architecture as part of its new Android-based set-top box system, the security company has announced.

    The so-called Swisscom 2.0 launched in April 2015, initially with Verimatrix VCAS. The upgrade to VCAS Ultra comes as Swisscom launches a new line of UHD and high dynamic range capable Android set-top boxes that enable subscribers to watch premium UHD content as a part of the TV Swisscom 2.0 service.

    The Android-based set-top features Marvell’s ARMADA 1500 Ultra (88DE3218) system-on-chip (SoC) platform has been integrated with the Verimatrix Videomark forensic watermarking solution. Swisscom currently has more than 1.24 million customers, and is gaining new subscribers at a rate of 1,250 customers a day.

    “Our Swisscom TV 2.0 deployments represent a successful, best-of-breed partner ecosystem that delivers the most innovative technology, while still providing ultimate flexibility to continually launch leading-edge services,” said Peter Fregelius, head of TV Development and Technology at Swisscom. “VCAS Ultra from Verimatrix is the only solution today that is able to meet the unique needs of our network and satisfy stringent security requirements for UHD/4K content.”

    VCAS Ultra is designed to extend the operator’s reach to premium UHD services and advanced hybrid network deployments to meet or exceed content providers’ requirements for protection of UHD content.

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    Barb launches ‘gold standard’ for online viewing measurement

    BARB has launched the first joint-industry, audited measure of online TV viewing. The TV Player report is BARB’s first publication of data for viewing that takes place on laptop & desktop PCs, tablets and smartphones. It focuses on activity at a device level, rather than a person. The viewing data are generated by an online TV measurement system developed by Kantar Media.

    James Purnell, Director of Strategy & Digital at the BBC, said: “The BBC welcomes BARB’s extension to include a gold standard measure of online viewing. We believe it is vital to capture how people are now viewing on whatever device they choose and this is a big step towards that goal. We also look forward to BARB’s future planned developments in this area which will ultimately help us to fully understand the complete picture and so enable us to optimise the value we deliver for different audience groups.”

    Among the most watched on-demand programmes during the week ending 20th September are The Great British Bake Off, Made in Chelsea LA, Doctor Foster and Coronation Street.

    Initially the report is being produced in beta form as the researcher recognises further developments are needed to ensure its comprehensive nature.

    The report currently includes data from the following TV players; All 4 (Android app, Apple iOS app and Website player), BBC iPlayer (Apple iOS app and Website player), ITV Player (Android app, Apple iOS app and Website player), Sky Go (Apple iOS app) and UTV Player (Website player). Data from SkyGo include viewing to all broadcasters available through this TV player. Other TV players and platforms are currently being audited and will be added to the report in the coming weeks.

    This on-going development will allow BARB customers to build their understanding of online TV viewing. The data will sit alongside data from BARB’s panel of over 11,500 people in 5,100 homes.

    The TV Player Report is the first output from Project Dovetail, which is at the heart of BARB’s development strategy to deal with increasing audience fragmentation.

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    Russian TV holding restructures

    The Russian holding YUTV has begun to restructure in order to ensure its business complies with the 20% foreign ownership rule that comes into force at the beginning of 2016.

    Kommersant reports that the assets are being split 60/40 between Alisher Usmanov and Ivan Tavrin and his partners.

    It adds that Tavrin established a company named New Media Holding, in which he has a 94% stake and his father Vladimir 6%), this July .

    Last month, he filed a petition to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to acquire the right to carry on business in four companies, namely Spektr, YUTV Media, UTV Management and YUTV Holding.

    Meanwhile, Usmanov as an individual filed an application to take a 60% interest in New Media Holding.

    YUTV holding was established by Usmanov and Tavrin in 2009 and its main assets are currently the national TV channels YU and Disney, the cable channel Muz-TV and music video service ClipYou.

    As previously reported in Broadband TV News, Disney has already found a solution to comply with the upcoming foreign ownership rule change.

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    Altice provides financial update

    Altice has announced that it has successfully priced $8.6 billion of new debt in connection with its acquistion of Cablevision Systems Corporation.

    The new debt has been split into $3.8 billion of seven year senior secured term loan B; $1 billion of 10 year senior guaranteed notes; and $3.8 billion of seven-year and 10-year senior unsecured notes.

    Altice adds that the Cablevision financing has an average cost of 7.6% and the average tenor is 7.9 years. When combined with the retained debt at Cablevision ($5.9 billion), the total Cablevision debt financing is equal to $14.5 billion, with an average tenor of 6.6 years and average cost of 7.5%.

    In addition, Cablevision has secured a 5 year $2 billion revolving facility, ensuring ample room to meet Cablevision’s liquidity needs.

    Separately, Altice has launched a 10% capital arising in new A and B shares by way of an accelerated book building targeted at institutional investors.

    As previously announced, the proceeds of the placing will be used to finance in part the acquisition of Cablevision.

    The value of the new shares will amount to at least €150 million.

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    RTL to rebrand Passion in Germany

    German commercial broadcaster Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will change the name of its pay-TV channel Passion into RTL Passion on November 12, 2015.

    The name will then equal sister channels RTL Living and RTL Crime which already carry the RTL brand.

    RTL acquired the 49.6% stake of TV production company UFA in Passion on December 31, 2014, thereby turning the channel into a 100% subsidiary. This is now also reflected in the channel’s name which didn’t carry the RTL brand because of the UFA shareholding.

    With the name change of Passion, all three pay-TV channels will also adopt a new design (illustrated above).

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    UPC Austria to launch free Wi-Fi service

    Austria’s largest cable operator UPC Austria will offer its customers the possibility to surf the net for free using other customers’ Wi-Fi networks.

    Following the trial in Graz, the company will gradually set up an additional hotspot on its whole base of installed UPC Wi-Fi modems across Austria from October 19, 2015.

    Following registration for Wi-Free at customer service portal My UPC, customers can use all hotspots of other UPC Austria customers in Austria and further 6 million hotspots of customers of UPC sister companies in Europe free of charge.

    UPC Austria Wi-FreeWi-Free is based on a second wireless network. The separate network is independent of the customer’s home network and activated through a software update. The bandwidth (downstream: 10Mbps, upstream 2Mbps) will be provided additionally and doesn’t influence the bandwidth of the customer’s private hotspot.

    Wi-Free is already available in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Ireland. All 475,000 internet customers of UPC Austria can use Wi-Free following registration. Customers not wanting to be part of the Austria-wide network can deregister from the service at My UPC any time.

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    Alexander Müller-Gastell new president of Signalhorn

    Signalhorn, a German provider of global network services and communications solutions using terrestrial, satellite and wireless technologies, has appointed Alexander Müller-Gastell as its president and chief operating officer (COO).

    Müller-Gastell will report to Robert Kubbernus, CEO and chairman of Signalhorn.

    “Alexander’s enthusiasm for this new opportunity and his drive for success plus discipline demonstrate the necessary spirit from the top down into the organisation to accelerate Signalhorn’s future success,” said Kubbernus. “This move allows me to more closely work with our customers, sales efforts and strategic growth plans.”

    Müller-Gastell joined Signalhorn (formerly called GE Satcom/Satlynx) in May 2013 as chief financial officer. In his new role, he will direct and control Signalhorn’s daily operational business and give strategic guidance and direction to ensure that the company’s objectives and goals are achieved.


 

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