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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Viasat World expands in Africa Viasat World’s female-skewed entertainment channel Viasat Life has launched today (March 7) on DStv and

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    Viasat World expands in Africa

    Viasat World’s female-skewed entertainment channel Viasat Life has launched today (March 7) on DStv and Gotv in Africa.

    It has made its debut as part of the rewards offered on MultiChoice’s brand new customer loyalty programmes, DStv Thanks and GOtv WOW, also launched on March 7.

    Viasat Life made its debut in Africa on January 2 this year. Aimed at young families and kids and adults afed 25-49, almost 75% of its content consists of exclusive premieres.

    Commenting on the latest launch, Emma Jones, VP of commercial affairs, said: “We are extremely excited about launching Viasat Life on DStv, and spreading our audience reach ever-further across 43 African territories. With its aspirational style of programming, featuring big names from the worlds of food, fashion, movies and music, we believe Viasat Life will resonate with audiences across Africa.”

    Brand De Villiers, CEO of MultiChoice Africa, added: “We’re delighted to launch this exciting channel as a reward for our loyal customers. Viasat Life will not only enhance our customers’ television viewing experience but also solidify their connection to our platform through the DStv Thanks programme. We will continue to bring more value and quality entertainment to our valued customers to show them our appreciation for their ongoing support.”

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    Romania’s AKTA outlines strategy

    Romania’s largest independent cable operator AKTA plans to invest €17 million this year, according to its CEO Dino Malacopol.

    Speaking to ZF, he added that this will be more than the €15 million in 2016, with investment primarily going towards the organic growth of its network, using GPON technology.

    The AKTA group, which consists of the companies Digital Cable Systems (DCS) and AKTA Telecom, will also continue to pursue acquisitions where they make sense and bring synergies to existing operations.

    AKTA is in addition planning to launch mobile services as an MVNO this year, as well as a TV channel named CineMaraton TV that will have an annual budget of €1 million and offer only Romanian films.

    AKTA’s revenues in 2016 anounted to RON226 million (€49.8 million), or 13% more than a year earlier.

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    Former execs claim MX1 pays bribes

    Former senior executives of RR Media claim that before the company was acquired by SES, the company paid under the table bribes to various agents and organisations.
    These claims are the answer of former RR Media (now MX1) executives Shmuel Koren, Shlomi Izkovitz and Rami Goldberg, in a court case, which was launched last December. Munich-based MX1 alleges its former managers stole its customers.

    According to the Globes website, the defense statement says, “Following the demands of parent company SES prior to completion of the merger process, bribes paid under the table by the plaintiff to agents and other organisations close to customers, which ‘took care’ of continued dealings between the sides, were reduced (and sometimes stopped). Consequently many customers stopped their dealings with the plaintiff, although after the merger the bribery payments continued by it. Other customers stopped their dealings with the company after they learned about the bribes paid in order to create/maintain dealings.”

    In answer to these claims, the law firm that represents SES/MX1 said in a statement: “Now that they have been found out, the defendants are attempting to throw mud at the CEO and his good name, through allegations, that as well as being completely false, are irrelevant to the case and are simply being claimed for the sake of publicity.

    It is regrettable to see how senior employees choose to behave after years in which they were generously remunerated and even earned handsome bonuses for the sale of control (in the company).”
    MX1 is the result of a merger between SES Platform Services and RR Media. In Feburary 2016, SES Platform Services GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of SES S.A. has agreed to merge RR Media’s operations with those of SES Platform Services. SES acquired RR Media for $13.291 per share, leading to an enterprise value of $242.2 million.

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    Half a million DVB-T2 boxes sold in Germany

    The switchover of DTT in Germany from DVB-T to successor system DVB-T2/HEVC on March 29, 2017 drives the sale of compliant set-top-boxes.
    In January 2017, around 165,000 DVB-T2 receivers were sold – more than twice as many as in December 2016 (79,000 boxes), reports industry association Deutsche TV-Plattform with reference to figures from GfK Retail & Technology.

    81% (134,000) of the boxes sold in January 2017 were equipped with the green DVB-T2 HD logo and therefore capable of receiving both the unencrypted public and the encrypted commercial channels on the Freenet TV platform.

    From early 2016 until the end of January 2017, a total of 503,000 DVB-T2 set-top-boxes were sold of which 351,000 (70%) carried the DVB-T2 HD logo.
    “The rising sales figures and the high share of boxes sold with the green DVB-T2 HD logo are positive developments. Customers increasingly prefer devices capable of receiving all channels, both public and commercial,” said

    Carine Chardon, managing director of Deutsche TV-Plattform.
    “The total sales figures, however, also show that most DVB-T households had not made the transition at the end of January 2017. That’s a good opportunity for retailers to generate additional revenues,” added Chardon.
    Around 3.4 million German households use DVB-T and are therefore affected by the changeover. The current DVB-T receivers are not suitable for reception of DVB-T2.

    Deutsche TV-Plattform issues the green logo on request to manufacturers of TV sets, set-top-boxes and aerials. In early March 2017, the association had certificated more than 1,400 device models from over 30 manufacturers. Devices not carrying the logo can only receive the unencrypted channels.

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    Vodafone Spain adds Insight TV on 4K UHD TV Platform

    Vodafone Spain is adding Insight TV to its 4K UHD TV service on its Vodafone IPTV platform.

    Insight TV is one of the first 4K channels to be included in the new 4K HDR Vodafone TV line-up.

    “We’re the first operator in Spain to launch a 4K HDR TV service. We want to provide our subscribers with original UHD content made to the highest technical standard with vivid cinematography, Insight TV captures these qualities perfectly,” said Vodafone TV Spain Director, Ignacio García-Legaz.

    Rian Bester, CEO, Insight TV adds, “We’re very excited to be chosen by Vodafone Spain as a key part of its new 4K UHD platform. Consumers want the latest technology to enjoy the unparalleled picture quality brought by natively shot and produced UHD. We have a strong track record of providing compelling content that takes the viewer on a journey to explore, be educated and entertained. This announcement reflects our global expansion and this is one of several major releases in the run up to MIPTV in April 2017.”

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    Eutelsat signs up for Blue Origin’s New Glenn launcher

    Eutelsat Communications has announced at the Satellite 2017 Convention in Washington D.C. the conclusion of a contract with Blue Origin for a launch on the New Glenn rocket that is expected to initiate flights in 2020.
    The new partnership with Blue Origin reflects Eutelsat’s longstanding strategy to source launch services from multiple agencies in order to secure access to space and partner with launch agencies that combine the highest levels of performance, flexibility and competitiveness.

    The agreement with Blue Origin covers the launch of a geostationary satellite in the 2021-2022 timeframe. The New Glenn launcher will be compatible with virtually all Eutelsat satellites, giving flexibility to allocate the mission 12 months ahead of launch.

    “Blue Origin has been forthcoming with Eutelsat on its strategy and convinced us they have the right mindset to compete in the launch service industry,” commented Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO.
    “Their solid engineering approach, and their policy to develop technologies that will form the base of a broad generation of launchers, corresponds to what we expect from our industrial partners. In including New Glenn in our manifest we are pursuing our longstanding strategy of innovation that drives down the cost of access to space and drives up performance. This can only be good news for the profitability and sustainability of our industry.”

    “Eutelsat is one of the world’s most experienced and innovative satellite operators, and we are honoured that they chose Blue Origin and our New Glenn orbital launch vehicle,” said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin founder.

    “Eutelsat has launched satellites on many new vehicles and shares both our methodical approach to engineering and our passion for driving down the cost of access to space. Welcome to the launch manifest, Eutelsat, can’t wait to fly together.”

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    Nagra protects Moviestar on trains

    Spanish pay-TV operator Telefónica has launched PlayRenfe an on-board infotainment service, available to travellers on Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) high-speed trains operated by Renfe, the state-owned rail network.

    The entertainment streaming platform is available to passengers equipped with an open device (smartphone, tablet or PC) via a downloadable PlayRenfe application and web portal. The new Movistar service is powered and secured by the NAGRA MediaLive platform and studio-approved DRM.

    “Our goal for this project was not only to provide a unique and high-quality experience to Renfe passengers, but to deliver a reliable and advanced service in a highly challenging environment–this required an expertise that few technology companies can provide. NAGRA is one of these companies and the launch of PlayRenfe would not have been possible without their support,” said Fernando Enrile, TV Product Director at Telefónica. “By leveraging our existing OTT video platform powered by NAGRA’s technology, we are able to deploy a reliable and secure solution for Renfe with exclusive content and the best mix of entertainment and information services for their passengers.”

    PlayRenfe is currently available on the Madrid-Sevilla rail line and will progressively roll out to the full Renfe AVE network which includes 100 high-speed trains. It provides connectivity, entertainment and information services to passengers with a choice of two packages – basic or premium – featuring exclusive content tailored to Renfe travelers including live TV, films, popular TV series, sports, current events and travel shows.

    “We are thrilled to be a part of this unique and exciting launch and support Telefónica and Renfe as they roll out their service to the entire AVE fleet,” said Thierry Legrand, SVP Sales EMEA at NAGRA. “Our MediaLive Suite delivered on the requirements of a very complex project, leveraging the current OTT infrastructure we deployed at Telefónica. The result not only allows Telefónica to extend their service offering beyond the home, and in this case in the public transportation sector, but to deliver a one-of-a-kind, on-board consumer TV experience that connects people to the content they love, anywhere they go – even on trains traveling at more than 300 kilometers per hour.”

    In March, GoMedia, launched a similar service on the London-Paris Eurostar route.

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    BT Sport: Petter makes case for social media

    BT Sport plans to again show the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals live on social media and is looking for the right partner, according to John Petter, CEO, BT Consumer.

    In a wide-ranging interview at a Royal Television Society (RTS) event in London, he added that in terms of monetisation there was a need for a mixed free and pay model.
    Petter stressed that the benefits of using social media included obtaining marketing data and that it should be seen as part of an ecosystem.

    While games from the two competitions other than the finals would not be shown live on social media, highlights and clips, even live ones, would be used as a recruiting tool.

    Petter dismissed the suggestion that Sky may not have bid for the rights and also said that although BT Sport had paid considerably more for them than last time it had also obtained more.

    The rights are now exclusive and there will be up to 35% more broadcasting slots, with two matches being shown each evening – at 18.00 and 20.00 – rather than running simultaneously.

    Petter said that showing the finals live on YouTube last year had attracted a collective audience of 12 million and given younger people access to the events.

    Asked about BT’s content strategy, Petter said that the business case for genres other than sport is more challenging.

    However, the company has a deal in place with AMC that will come to its fruition with the broadcast of a number of new series this year.
    It may look at moving into drama but in partnership with others rather than on its own.

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    Liberty joins Iflix backers in $90m funding round

    Liberty Global has joined a $90 million*funding round for Iflix, the subscription OTT service targeting the emerging markets.

    Iflix launched in May 2015, initially in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, The new funding round plans to take it across Asia.

    Users have unlimited access to tens of thousands of hours of content from a library of Hollywood, Asian regional and local TV shows and movies.

    The service is available on multiple connected mobile devices including tablets and smart phones.

    Also participating in the round is the Kuwait-based mobile phone operator Zain and previous investors Sky, Catcha Group and Evolution Media Capital. The fund backed by CAA and TPG Growth,
    Sky invested $45 million in Iflix last year.

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    CME hit by Bulgarian fine

    Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) has fined the CME-owned broadcaster bTV Media BGN2.92 million (€1.49 million) for abusing its dominant market position when negotiating with cable operators.

    In a case that also involved an investigation of Nova Broadcasting Group, for which the CPC eventually found no wrongdoing, the regulator looked at complaints from Virginia-Er En (Burgas), Vaytal-I (Sandarski), Digital Cable TV (Plovdiv) and Cable Sat-Zapad (Blagoevgrad).

    The CPC imposed three separate sanctions on bTV, each of almost BGN972,000.

    Local reports say the CPC is currently investigating another complaint against bTV, filed by the media agency Piero 97 in early February this year.


 

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