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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Movistar completes LATAM OTT expansion Telefónica has launched Movistar Play in Ecuador, finalising expansion plans that have brought the over-the-top

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    Movistar completes LATAM OTT expansion



    Telefónica has launched Movistar Play in Ecuador, finalising expansion plans that have brought the over-the-top (OTT) service to eight Latin American countries in the past year.


    movistar play ecuadorThe move has been brought forward, as it was initially scheduled for December, and Ecuador follows Uruguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile and Brazil in getting access to the streaming platform.

    Targeting a mobile and multi-screen audience, Movistar Play will work on computers, iOS, Android and Windows tablets and smartphones and, initially, also for some Samsung and LG smart TV models. It also supports Google Chromecast and Apple TV.

    Each account, which will be bundled with a Movistar phone subscription, will allow up to five registered devices and two simultaneous streams.

    The regular video-on-demand (VOD) catalogue will be available for a monthly subscription of $6.50 in Ecuador, and premium pay-per-view titles will cost $1.99 or $3.99 each, depending on their original premiere date.

    At this stage, the telco has not unveiled any further plans to take the platform to more territories.
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    Irdeto, Harmonic support CSA3 to enable premium Ultra HD content distribution



    Aiming to give pay-TV operators the freedom to launch advanced formats like 4K/Ultra HD, Irdeto and Harmonic have launched what they call the world’s first integrated and proven Common Scrambling Algorithm v3 (CSA3).

    The implementation of encryption technology combines Harmonic’s, ProStream X stream processing platform with Irdeto’s conditional access solution and aims to support the growing adoption and distribution of 4KTV and UHD services. The companies say that while the growing adoption of 4K/Ultra HD is great news for consumers and content providers alike, pirates were evolving their piracy strategies. Moreover, asserted the two parties, with CSA1 and CSA2 content encryption becoming increasingly more vulnerable, it was becoming essential for operators to adopt CSA3 to protect premium content.

    “Operators are under constant pressure to not only offer innovative solutions and services to customers, but also maintain optimal security to protect valuable content assets,” said Steeve Huin, VP of strategic partnerships, Irdeto. “As a result, operators must implement a 360° security strategy that includes the most advanced content encryption technology available. Our partnership with Harmonic provides operators with advanced Conditional Access technology with support for CSA3, allowing them to innovate freely and continuously improve upon their robust service offerings.”

    “As 4K UHD becomes more common, it is increasingly important for operators to implement future-proof technology to prevent theft of valuable content,” added Harmonic senior vice president, video products Bart Spriester. “By partnering with Irdeto, we are enabling operators to expand offerings to meet consumer demand by providing the most advanced encryption technology in the market. This is critical to protect both current and future premium content formats.”
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    Discovery has joined Conecta, Spain’s association of themed pay-TV channels.


    discovery networksThe Asociación de Canales Temáticos de Televisión de Pago en España aims to increase pay-TV visibility in Spain and drive the development of the country’s audiovisual industry.

    Conecta has 42 member channels from 10 different media groups, including AMC Networks International, Fox Networks, Sony Pictures Television Networks, The Walt Disney Company, Turner International, NBC Universal International Networks and Viacom International Media Networks, whose senior VP, Manuel Gil, is currently heading the trade body.

    “Counting on Discovery Channel is very important to reach our main goal: increasing pay-TV and our channels' awareness in Spain,” said Gil.

    Conecta has been representing content producers and themed pay-TV networks operating in Spain since 2007, promoting channels among advertisers and agencies and driving investments in pay-TV.
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    HBO outguns Netflix in SVOD customer satisfaction



    HBO Now 20 Jan 2017It may have just released robust results for 2016, cementing its leadership in subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) but Netflix is not at the vanguard when it comes to customer satisfaction says Strategy Analytics.

    In its Digital Media Strategy Analytics Strategies service report, the analyst ranks HBO Now as highest for customer satisfaction in 11 of the 14 categories of SVOD services examined. The report measured customer satisfaction is select categories across three key areas: the number and availability of TV shows/films, how easy it is to find them, and the overall value of the service.

    HBO Now had the highest score for all but three of the categories examined – availability of children’s programming where OTT service Hulu led; content recommendations and the cost of the subscription, which were both topped by Netflix. Hulu outscored Netflix in six of the 14 categories, while Amazon Prime was at the bottom in every one. When compared with the other three services, HBO Now also scored particularly highly in the availability of current and past season’s TV shows as well as the number of hit movies and original programmes. Yet when subscribers were asked to give a single “overall” score for the services, however, Netflix came out on top, with Hulu very narrowly ahead of HBO.

    “HBO Now has successfully positioned itself as a go-to-service for quality programs, especially movies,” noted Strategy Analytics digital media strategies analyst Zhaowen Wu. “Though HBO Now has a much smaller library than other SVOD services, it has more blockbuster movie and hit series such as Game of Thrones and Westworld.”

    Added Digital Media Strategies director Michael Goodman: “When considering the bigger picture, Netflix clearly benefits from its brand ‘halo’ whilst HBO Now suffers from a negative association with cable’s legacy issues, however, once one gets into the weeds, the reality is that HBO subscribers are the most satisfied with nearly all elements that make up a strong SVOD service. People have been talking about [SVOD] being a Netflix vs. Amazon battle in terms of which service viewers choose, with the others left to pick up the scraps. However, if HBO continues on this vein, we’re more likely to see a situation where people will have one blockbuster service like HBO or HBO Now and either a Netflix or Amazon in support.”
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    Research reveals huge lack of consistency in global pay-TV pricing


    sky results 2 One size does not fit all in the global pay-TV industry, with research from Teligen, covering 115 providers in 31 OECD countries, showing significant price differences between countries and providers.


    The Strategy Analytics division’s new report, Pay TV Prices in OECD Countries, November 2016, not only revealed significant differences in package prices between providers in the same country but also showed great variation in the structures and underlying technologies of the pay-TV offers, even when benchmarking the most basic offers from each provider.

    Fundamentally pay-TV has remained stable in most countries over a period of time, despite the introduction of skinny bundles driving the minimum price down in select countries such as Canada and Denmark. This was also the case the last time Strategy Analytics investigated the phenomenon.

    In the latest research and when selecting the most basic set of user requirements — without specific requirements for content or technical capabilities like HD or recording — the 10 countries with lowest prices are Poland, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Austria, Denmark, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Mexico. Yet even among the cheapest offers per country there are pay-TV packages that include more advanced properties like HD and recording. The range of offers may vary significantly between countries. For the most basic requirements the average monthly price across the 31 countries is US$/PPP 21.41 including VAT/tax. This does not include the TV licence fee found in many countries.

    “We continue to see a trend towards skinny bundles and pick-and-mix offers in countries where the pay-TV market is more mature, and where providers are concerned about the growing trend of ‘cord-cutters’, particularly the younger consumers who are increasingly watching content through OTT services such as Netflix,” remarked Teligen benchmarking consultant Edouard Bouffenie.
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    Facebook to prioritise longer videos in News Feed


    Social media behemoth Facebook is making yet another move to make video a central part of its content mix, with a tweak to its algorithm to prioritise longer clips in the News Feed.


    According to product manager Abhishek Bapna and research scientist Seyoung Park the social network has long ranked those clips that garner higher completion rates higher, but now it’s cross-referencing that metric with the length of the video.

    “One of the signals we look at is ‘percent completion,’ — the percentage of each video you watch — to help us understand which videos you enjoyed,” the two said in a blog post. “If you watch most or all of a video, that tells us that you found the video to be compelling — and we know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one. As we continue to understand how our community consumes video, we’ve realised that we should therefore weight percentage completion more heavily the longer a video is, to avoid penalising longer videos.”

    The company also ranks videos by a range of other factors, whether people choose to turn on sound, and if people open the video in full screen. As such, length isn’t everything, and while some shorter videos may see a slight dip in News Feed distribution, most pages will not see significant changes in distribution as a result of the update, the company said. But, people who find longer videos engaging may be able to discover more of them in News Feed.

    This change to the News Feed's algorithms is the latest in a series of moves that Facebook has recently made on the video front. For instance, it recently started giving publishers the ability to show mid-roll ads, and last year it made considerable changes to its Live functionality to make the offering more broadcast-like.

    The move also comes as Facebook is considering investing in its own original long-form shows.
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    SPI boosts Ultra HD library with content from Paramax Films and Principal Media


    Keeping up its rapid distribution of 4K content, SPI International/FILMBOX Channels Group has expanded its Ultra HD offering with new acquisitions from Paramax Films and Principal Media.


    spi 28 Jan 2017SPI International/Filmbox Channels Group has been committed to expanding its library of Ultra HD content to boost programming of the group’s FUNBOX Ultra HD linear channel, which is broadcast in Ultra HD qualitywhich is broadcast in Ultra HD quality, as well as a stand-alone streaming app that gives users access to native Ultra HD content on Ultra HD streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV.

    From Paramax, the on-demand aggregator has acquired rights to three 4K recordings of live concerts performed at the prestigious Singapore Jazz Festival. One of the concerts features multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer Taylor McFerrin, the eldest son of famous jazz singer Bobby McFerrin; the other two present performances by Toronto-based jazz, hip-hop trio BadBadNotGood and Seun Kuti, whose father Fela was the founder and undisputed king of Afrobeat.

    With Principal Media, SPI has signed an agreement acquiring worldwide rights to 4K videos shot by the time-lapse guru Randy Halverson. Shot over an eight-month period, the videos give a mind-boggling look at the night sky in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah. Photographer Randy Halverson captures the rural heartland of the American Mid-West against the backdrop of the Milky Way.
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    beIN SPORTS to air exclusive Women’s Tennis Association coverage


    Furthering its sports proposition for the US, beIN SPORTS has announced coverage plans for the 2017 season of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).


    maria sharapovaUnder its five-year deal with the WTA, the broadcaster will air exclusive coverage of more than 40 tournaments, which will be available live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT, the network’s streaming service, on a dedicated WTA channel within the platform.

    Select tournaments will also air on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español, including the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany this April. The tournament will feature defending champion Angelique Kerber, and the return of former WTA World No 1 and three-time event champion Maria Sharapova, who recently accepted a wildcard to compete in the tournament.

    “In this new year of stellar sports programming, we’re thrilled to welcome the Women's Tennis Association to our family,” said Antonio Briceño, deputy managing director of beIN SPORTS. “With the 2017 WTA season kicking off this month, we are proud to say that beIN SPORTS will broadcast more women's tennis than any other network.”

    In all, beIN SPORTS will showcase 43 WTA events, including 17 premier tournaments, including the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, live from Russia in January, and the Rogers Cup in Toronto, taking place on 5-13 August.
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    Turner boosts social TV plans for SAG Awards


    TNT and TBS have unveiled an extensive digital and social media slate to enhance the networks' live simulcast of the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards today, 29 January.


    sag awardsThe Turner channels will show two SAG Awards red carpet live streaming pre-shows: the newly expanded People, EW and TNT's SAG Awards Red Carpet Live webcasts, and a new interactive pre-show on Facebook Live, presented by TBS and Refinery29.

    To help spread the word and build excitement for the SAG Awards, Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Underground, True Blood) is set to serve as this year's SAG Awards Social Media Ambassador. Plus, comedian Matt Bellassai (host of To Be Honest and headliner of the Drunk and Alone stand-up comedy tour) will give fans an inside look at the awards as the official correspondent for Instant, People's recently launched video platform. The SAG Awards will also entice fans this year with three special camera elements: a Thank-You Cam, 360 Red Carpet Fashion Cam and an Actor POV Cam.
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    Univision is No 1 Spanish-language network in US


    Blue DemonUnivision has taken home the ratings honours as the No 1 Spanish-language network for the 2016 US broadcast season to date.


    Nielsen numbers show that the network also outperformed all other Spanish-language networks in primetime for the months of November, December and January to date among the important adult 18-49 demographic.

    On a season-to-date basis, Univision is averaging 807,000 adults aged 18-49 during Monday to Sunday in primetime, and in the weeknight 10 pm hour, Univision is up by 13% among that critical demo.

    The network also is outperforming Telemundo, its closest Spanish-language network competitor, by 7%. Breaking it down further, so far this month, Univision is out-delivering Telemundo with the biggest margins since October 2016 during the Monday-Friday 9pm hour (19%), at 977,000 v 819,000.

    “A major factor in this success is Univision’s commitment to listening to consumer research that showed a desire for more authentic and relatable stories, and shorter formats with character-driven narratives that depict women in a position of strength,” the network said.

    Univision continues to work closely with Televisa to refine and develop modern dramas, such as Vino el Amor (Then Came Love). The show is about an immigrant family, and set in a Napa Valley vineyard.

    The network has also been focused on introducing more unscripted reality and biopics such as Dolores la Jenni que yo Conocí – the limited series about Jenni Rivera - and Blue Demon – the real life story of the Mexican pro-wrestling legend – both which premiered recently to much success.

    As far as future programming plans, next month, Univision is moving its popular kids’ reality competition series Pequeños Gigantes USA to weekdays from Sunday nights for the first time, and will premiere La Piloto – the first series from W Studios, Univision’s joint venture with Patricio Wills. In April, Univision will premiere El Chapo – a highly anticipated co-production by Univision Story House and Netflix.

    The network has had positive results on the digital front as well; Univision News also closed 2016 with a significant audience increase across its digital platforms. It registered a yearly average audience increase of 46% for digital and mobile platforms, while recording a 121% growth on Facebook, 172% on Twitter and 56% on YouTube.
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