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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Sling TV adds cricket pack, Indian Premier League broadcasts In a move set to delight the growing number of US

  1. #6181
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    Sling TV adds cricket pack, Indian Premier League broadcasts


    In a move set to delight the growing number of US cricket fans, Sling TV has enhanced broadcasts of the popular VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) just in time for the new season to kick off in April.


    ipl cricketThe IPL is viewed by millions worldwide and Sling TV claims to be always been the top destination for cricket matches and tournaments in the US. “Through our partnership with Willow TV, our cricket offerings got even stronger,” said Izabela Slowikowska, vice president of international programming. “Willow, the leading provider of cricket in the US, recently acquired the exclusive media rights for the VIVO Indian Premier League 2017.”

    The addition comes as Sling TV also launches special pricing of the new World Cricket standalone pack. Viewers can get six months of the package for one payment of $40 or 12 months for $60. These packages include both Willow and Willow Extra and will bring subscribers the latest matches and tournaments, including the ICC Champions Trophy, India vs. West Indies, India vs. Sri Lanka, India vs. Australia.

    In addition to the World Cricket package, subscribers can catch the VIVO IPL 2017 and other matches featuring India through any of Sling TV’s programming packages that include Willow TV. This includes Hindi, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Kannada language packages.
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    E!’s premiere of the Arrangement racks up viewers


    The series premiere of E!’s new one-hour scripted drama, The Arrangement, delivered a combined L3 audience of 2.2 million total viewers and 1.2 million adults 18-49 across all airings on 5 March.


    the arrangementE!’s strong night began with the global phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey, leading into The Arrangement. The debut posted L3 averages of 1.3 million total viewers and 735,000 adults 18-49. The Arrangement also ranks as the second biggest new scripted series launch of 2017 to date among women 18-34 (294,000). The premiere episode aired later in the evening on sister networks Bravo and USA.

    E!’s basic cable exclusive premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey delivered 1.3 million total viewers and 696,000 adults 18-49, marking the network’s most-watched movie run in seven years.

    As part of its premiere strategy, E! debuted the full episode of The Arrangement on a variety of non-linear platforms for two weeks leading up to the television premiere. The episodes garnered more than 6.2 million views across YouTube, Facebook and video on demand. E! also participated in a first to market collaboration with Snapchat where the full episode was available to watch on the platform. Across all non-linear and linear platforms combined, the total average audience for the show was 3.4 million total viewers and 2.2 million adults 18-49.

    “Our launch strategy allowed viewers to sample The Arrangement across every possible platform, and it's been exciting to see the momentum build both leading into Sunday night and following the television premiere,” said Adam Stotsky, president, E! “The Arrangement tells a dark, complicated Hollywood love story that is rooted in E!'s pop culture and celebrity sweet spot. We will continue to take an innovative approach throughout the season to drive storytelling and deepen viewers' connection to the show.”
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    Cultural revolution for Chinese online video market as SVOD rises


    Netflix china 12 MarchThe notion of paying for online video content may be to date a novelty in a country where piracy has been rife but subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) is becoming a force in China, says analyst Futuresource.


    In a round-up of a market with vast potential, Futuresource says that after a period where the legal market has long been dominated by ad-funded on-demand services, the Chinese home video market is in the midst of a cultural revolution, with the growing acceptance and uptake of legal paid-for SVOD services.

    The key drivers for this, says Futuresource, are a combination of demand from younger viewers and the fact that SVOD is another battleground in the fight for consumers between heavyweight Chinese companies Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. Alibaba acquired the Youku Tudou SVOD service in 2015 while Chinese search engine giant Baidu owns the iQiyi SVOD service. Also active is online gaming and social media platform Tencent and technology company Le TV. Each is estimated to have in excess of 10 million paying subscribers and is continuing to grow fast.

    Futuresource also notes that conspicuous by their absence are the leading global SVOD players Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, both of whose expansion into China, the analyst says, is hamstrung by local legislation dictating that 70% of the content carried must be local content and that overseas organisations operating online in China must use local data storage facilities and domestic equipment. In addition to ownership regulations stipulating that foreign companies establishing an operation in China must be part of a joint venture with a Chinese company, such companies can only hold a maximum 51% stake in the venture.

    This has all led, says Futuresource, to the major domestic SVOD services marching ahead establishing in-house content production divisions and augmenting their local content offering through licensing deals with the major Hollywood studios; Tencent with Paramount and Sony, Youku with Universal and iQiyi with Fox. US and international feature film content is another key driver for consumer SVOD adoption with 56% of Chinese SVOD users citing this as the main reason for subscribing to a service (Futuresource research Q3 2016).

    Looking ahead, Futuresource sees the Chinese SVOD market as having huge potential for growth, given more fuel by its finding that two-thirds of SVOD users are in the 16 to 35 age group, a demographic increasingly interested in high quality, premium content and crucially not deterred by the concept of paying for access.

    However, the analyst warned that there could be some gating factors. Piracy, both in terms of illegal streaming and downloads, persists and even though the VOD sector has been traditionally relatively free of the strict censorship controls that have impacted the TV and feature film segments, there are indications that the Chinese government is beginning to tighten regulations in line with the rest of the media industry.
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    Mobile devices drive AVoD viewing

    According to the findings of the Q4 2016 Global Video Index from video monetisation specialist Ooyala, mobile devices attract the most video views for advertising video-on-demand (AVoD) services with global distribution. The report also shows variances of viewing habits across devices in different regions and continues to track the upward trajectory of mobile as the primary device for video.

    Global AVoD Services: Go Mobile

    The report examines several large AVoD customers across sports, news, and entertainment distributing ad-supported video in every geographical region. The results show patterns in how AVoD content performs in each region across devices. Globally, mobile devices, an accumulation of smartphones and tablets, represent 56 per cent of all AVoD video views. Smartphones make up the bulk of AVoD consumption at 45 per cent, slightly usurping desktops at 44 per cent with tablets taking the remaining 11 per cent. Regionally, the study finds:

    In APAC, mobile AVoD viewing trends slightly higher than the global average at 58 per cent
    EMEA sees the highest mobile AVoD viewing at nearly 60 per cent with tablets having the highest consumption than any other region at 12 per cent
    In LATAM, mobile represents 56 per cent of all AVoD viewing
    In North America, AVoD viewing on mobile devices lags the most at nearly 50 per cent. That’s 6 per cent behind the global average and nearly 10 per cent behind EMEA. This is due in part to the maturity of the market and more users using a wider range of devices, particularly connected TV.
    Total Plays and Long-Form Viewing Increase Across Mobile

    As of Q4 2016, mobile viewing now makes up 54 per cent of total global video plays, irrespective of business model, up from 46 per cent one year ago. For more granular growth, in November 2016, mobile devices hit 56 per cent of all video views, and in December it grew to an impressive 58 per cent. Based on this growth, Ooyala expects nearly 60 per cent of all video views to be on mobile devices by Q1 2017.

    Long-form content, too, continues to grow on mobile devices. While connected TV and tablets continue to be the platform of choice for long-form content, 96 per cent and 65 per cent respectively, mobile devices are no longer for short-form video only. Long-form content made up 47 per cent of all mobile plays in Q4, outpacing short-form video plays at 40 per cent. Content providers must tailor their strategy around mobile, particularly as it becomes a go-to device for longer videos.

    “We see a steady increase of premium subscription and ad-supported content coming over the top, and the consumer is determining which will be the winner. Based on our data and feedback from customers, we see the modern TV model evolving into one that involves both, a hybrid of SVoD and AVoD and accessible on every device,” said Ooyala Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant, Jim O’Neill. “The bottom line is TV of the future will not be anything like the legacy TV market we all grew up with.”

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    Bouygues denies it is in talks with Orange

    French construction-to-telecoms conglomerate Bouygues has categorically denied that it is in talks with other French operators after news service La Lettre de l’Expansion reported that Orange CEO Stéphane Richard and Martin Bouygues had talks about possible consolidation at the beginning of March.

    “Following the article published in La Lettre de l’Expansion on 13 March 2017 entitled ‘Orange-Bouygues, un accord en vue’, Bouygues wishes to categorically deny the existence of any discussions with other operators with a view to consolidating the French telecoms market,” said the company.

    La Lettre de l’Expansion reported that Bouygues’ bankers were looking for a deal that would see Bouygues Telecom valued at about the same level as when negotiations were taking place last year – about €10 billion.

    Any deal would be expected to involve the other main French telecom players – Free and SFR – to allay competition concerns. The most widely discussed scenario involves the Free Mobile taking over Bouygues wireless spectrum while Orange and SFR share the fourth operator’s subscribers and retail outlets.

    Bouygues broke off talks with Orange early last year after failing to find agreement with the larger player on key elements including the level of participation of Bouygues in Orange post the acquisition, the risks of execution and the value placed on Bouygues Telecom, as well as the fate of its employees.

    Bouygues said at the time that it would pursue a standalone strategy in a market that still had growth potential.

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    New Standard Helps MoCA 2.0, DOCSIS 3.1 Live in Harmony

    SCTE/ISBE, MoCA team on interoperability, coexistence effort

    The SCTE/ISBE and the Multimedia over Coax Alliance have issued a “standards operational practice” aimed at ensuring interoperability between MoCA 2.0 and DOCSIS 3.1, which can both live in frequencies above 1 GHz.
    They said the work, under the label of SCTE 235 (Operational Practice for the Coexistence of DOCSIS 3.1 Signals and MoCA Signals in the Home Environment), addresses the need to prevent degradation of failure of signals due to shared spectrum above 1 GHz.

    The issue arises as MSOs look to use RF spectrum above 1.2 GHz for downstream DOCSIS 3.1 capacity, creating shared frequency zones and setting up potential conflicts with MoCA and D3.1 in the 1125-1675 MHz range.
    Cable operators and other types of MVPDs have used MoCA for whole-home DVRs and other in-home content distribution applications. DOCSIS 3.1 is a next-gen access spec for HFC networks that enables multi-gigabit speeds.
    SCTE 235, they said, explains the need for sufficient isolation” and suggests proper location and required performance of filters to prevent MoCA signals from one residence to leak over to a nearby residence, and to prevent overload of DOCSIS receivers and MoCA receivers.

    Among the key recommendations of SCTE 235 is the use of non-overlapping channels. They said the calculations are valid for DOCSIS 3.1 and for MoCA 1.1 and 2.0 single channel operation.
    The operational practice is based on a technical study by MoCA in cooperation with CableLabs, and created by a Special Working Group on HFC Readiness for DOCSIS 3.1 within the Network Operations Subcommittee (NOS) of the ANSI-accredited SCTE/ISBE Standards Program. It was the result of a multi-year effort.

    Per the SCTE 235 documentation (PDF), areas identified for further investigation include an analysis of MoCA 2.5 signals, recommendations for filters in “mid-split” systems (when the upstream ceiling is raised to 85 MHz), and the coexistence of DOCSIS 3.1 technology with other home networking technologies such as G.hn and HomePlug, among others.

    “DOCSIS 3.1 and MoCA are important enabling technologies that support more powerful, flexible services,” Rob Thompson, director, network architecture for Comcast Cable, MoCA Board member, and chair of the Technical Work Group at MoCA, said in a statement. “SCTE 235 is designed to create home environments in which both technologies can perform as intended to meet customer demand.”

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    C4’s Abraham to step down

    Following an earlier initial tweet from UK public service channel Channel 4’s Twitter account – quickly deleted – the broadcaster confirmed mid-afternoon March 14th that its Chief Executive David Abraham intends to step down from his role by the end of 2017 in order to develop personal plans to launch a media enterprise in 2018. Abraham will remain in role until a new Chief Executive has been appointed and is in post.

    Abraham has been a strong opponent of the Conservative administration’s mooted privatisation of the broadcaster, declaring that Channel 4’s funding model was sustainable and that it could actually make Channel 4’s remit less sustainable and would have a negative impact on the UK economy and UK viewers.

    Charles Gurassa, Channel 4 Chair said: “David Abraham has been an outstanding Chief Executive of Channel 4 over the last seven years. Under his leadership the Channel has delivered record revenues, record programme investment, award winning creative renewal and industry leading digital innovation. He leaves the organisation in excellent creative and financial health and with a strong and highly experienced team in place. We wish him well in his future new enterprise. My colleagues on the Board and I will be undertaking a comprehensive recruitment process over the next months to ensure that Channel 4 continues to have outstanding leadership into the future.”

    Abraham said: “I had three priorities when I joined Channel 4 in 2010: to build an independently sustainable business while still delivering strongly to our public remit; to assemble a team capable of delivering creative renewal post Big Brother; and to become world leaders in digital and data innovation. After several successive years of positive momentum and with revenues now of c£1 billion, investment in content of £700 million and sustained creative performance, I have decided that 2017 is the right year for me to hand over this important public job to my successor.

    “I have enjoyed every day of my time at C4, in particular working with the insanely talented and committed people whom it’s been my great privilege to lead. We run a world-class public service broadcaster that offers viewers and producers the opportunity for so much richness, delight and value, across so many genres – and long may that continue. Channel 4 matters and I am confident that our stakeholders recognise the unique and significant contribution it will make to the future of UK broadcasting and to the creative industries more broadly.

    “I now look forward to working with the Channel 4 Board to support and hand over to my successor and then begin the next phase of my life – back in the private sector where I hope to build an organisation that makes use of all that I learned from leading different kinds of innovative creative businesses.”

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    Analyst: 22% US homes non-pay-TV users

    According to a report from analyst firm The Diffusion Group, the proportion of US broadband households not subscribing to a Legacy Pay-TV (LPTV) service has more than doubled in the past five years.

    In 2011, 9 per cent of the 85 million US broadband households qualified as Cord Nils (literally, ‘zero’ use of TV services from cable, satellite, or telco-TV providers). At year-end 2016, the number of US broadband households topped 100 million, with 22 per cent qualifying as Cord Nils. In other words, the number of broadband households living without Legacy Pay-TV has grown from just under eight million in 2011 to 22 million by year-end 2016.

    “Wall Street and the media are myopically focused on the quarterly drip of Legacy Pay-TV subscribers, which unfortunately overlooks a larger and more dangerous trend,” notes Michael Greeson, TDG Co-Founder and Director of Research. “As TDG noted long ago, where broadband (and broadband video) goes, Legacy Pay-TV subscriptions will increasingly decline. This is indeed what has transpired.”

    While this should not be ‘news’ to legacy operators, Greeson argues that the extent of the disruption has been largely overlooked. Consequently, the vast majority of MVPDs are being forced to rely on ARPU-killing ‘skinny’ TV services to save their dual-service relationships. Comcast is the one exception to this rule, as it invested early in IP-enabled set-top boxes and features; a strategy from which it has greatly benefited (and will continue to do so). Unfortunately for other US MVPDs, the stickiness of the Internet/TV bundle appears to be in decline, even before Broadband Pay-TV services gain serious footing.

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    ivi shines in Russian OTT market

    The Russian OTT operator ivi saw its net revenues in 2016 increase by 50% to R1.5 billion (€23.9 million).

    Speaking in a press conference and quoted by ComNews, its CEO Oleg Tumanov added that gross revenues last year amounted to R2.1 billion.

    In his view, these figures were very good for an online movie service and not something all IT companies can boast.

    Indeed, ivi’s average rate of revenue growth in the last six years stands at 61%.

    Experts project ivi’s net revenues for 2017 to be between R2-2.5 billion.

    Ivi had 33 million users monthly in 2016 and became available globally at the end of the year.

    TVOD, EST and SVOD are becoming increasingly popular in Russia.

    Furthermore, cooperation is increasingly being seen between OTT services and related industries such as telecoms, retail, film distribution and copyright holders.

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    UPC outlines Romanian plans

    UPC Romania aims to increase the reach of its fixed network by 250,000-300,000 households each year as part of Liberty Global’s general expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.

    Quoted by ZF, CEO of UPC Romania and UPC Hungary, said that the company still plans for its fixed network to eventually cover half of the homes in Romania.

    At present in reaches about 30% of the country’s 7.4 million homes, having added 800,000 to the total since 2013.

    Severina Pascu, CEO of Liberty Global’s operations in Central and Eastern Europe, added that the company’s strategy was one of expansion, planning to reach a minimum of 40% of households across the region.

    However, it was hard to say if it could reach 50% or even 60% in the next 3-5 years.

    UPC Romania is the second largest provider of cable TV services in the country after Digi.

    It is the third largest player in the fixed internet market after Telekom and Digi.


 

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