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New Bottled Brews Delayed By Government Shutdown

By Hope Kirwan
Craft beer lovers may not see many new brews on the shelves in coming weeks. The government shutdown means new labels can

Brewmasters at craft breweries across the nation are bemoaning the government shutdown — the federal agency that has to approve new labels for new brews is closed, delaying all new releases.

(Image credit: Dave Martin/AP)

  • January 11th 2019 at 01:56

Mac 'N' Cheese Lovers: Costco Has Something That Might Interest You

The wholesale store is selling a bucket of pasta and cheddar cheese sauce, wrapped in separate pouches, weighing in at 27 pounds. It has a shelf life of 20 years.

  • January 11th 2019 at 13:03

No relaunch for CanalPlay

By Julian Clover

The chairman and CEO of Canal Plus Group has denied the French paycaster is planning a relaunch for CanalPlay.

Les Echos reported CanalPlay would be revamped in the spring as a 10-euro-a-month subscription video service for young people.

But Maxime Saada wrote on Twitter that while there was much within the article that was correct there would be no return for CanalPlay.

.@LesEchos Beaucoup de choses exactes dans cet article mais une chose inexacte et d’importance : il n’y aura pas de relance de @canalplay mais nombreuses idées à l’étude chez @canalplus dont une déjà évoquée par @Satellifax avant les fêtes https://t.co/nXIXI1fTw8

— Maxime Saada (@maxsaada) January 10, 2019

Canal has not been promoting its video service, instead concentrating its efforts on the newer MyCanal.

Appearing before the Senate Committee on Culture last June, Saada blamed a regulatory environment for preventing an exclusive deal with Netflix or Amazon that in turn had led to a collapse in subscriber numbers for CanalPlay from 800,000 to 200,000 over two years.

Saada also criticised the authority for previously preventing it from carrying exclusive content while paying taxes and employing thousands of people in France – while Netflix had no such burdens.

Spanish broadcasters face โ‚ฌ100m fines

By Chris Dziadul

Spain’s two leading broadcasters Atresmedia and Mediaset could each be fined up to €100 million for abusing their dominant market positions to the detriment of third parties.

According to El Economista, the regulator CNMC has told them they could be required to pay a sum of up to 10% of their sales in 2018.

However, industry sources believe the actual figures could be much lower, but still in the range €15-30 million each.

The only way to avoid the fines would be for Atresmedia and Mediaset to enter into a ‘conventional termination agreement’ that commits them to immediately cease these abusive practices. They in fact agreed to sign such an agreement a year ago but failed to do so.

Moreover, they have previously maintained that such commercial practices are common in the TV industry throughout the world.

The actions of Atresmedia and Mediaset relate to the contracts they have with advertisers and media agencies and have ben deemed by CNMC to be in violation of the Law on the Defence of Competition.

However, some of these contacts have since ben modified.

Both broadcasters have indicated they will appeal to the National Court should they be fined by the CNMC.

IMDb launches free US streaming video channel

By Julian Clover

IMDb, the Amazon-owned Movie and TV review site, is launching its own free-to-view streaming video channel.

Freedive will be available in the United States across laptop or personal computer and Amazon Fire TV devices.

The advertising-supported channel won’t be showing the latest content. A statement from IMDB mentions series Fringe, Heroes, The Bachelor and Without a Trace as well as movie titles Awakenings, Foxcatcher, Memento, Monster, Run Lola Run, The Illusionist and The Last Samurai.

“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” said Col Needham, Founder and CEO of IMDb. “With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free. We will continue to enhance IMDb Freedive based on customer feedback and will soon make it available more widely, including on IMDb’s leading mobile apps.”

Freedive will take advantage of X-Ray, the Amazon video feature, which allows users to call up actor bios and background information from IMDb directly onscreen.

Alchimie inks Motorsport TV deal

By Chris Dziadul

The content aggregation and distribution company Alchimie has entered into an agreement with Motorsport TV to distribute, promote and monetise over 1,000 hours of linear and non-linear Motorsport content.

The content will be distributed via Alchimie’s Speed & Race bouquet on Watchit, Alchimie’s subscription channel portfolio.

The deal builds on Motorsport’s existing partnership with Alchimie, which currently distributes Motorsport content in the UK, France and Germany.

Speaking to Broadband TV News, Nicolas d’Hueppe, CEO Alchimie, said that the company operates a B2B2C business model, working with over 120 TV channels, some of which are partners’ brands.

They include its new documentary-based OTT channel Big Name, the launch of which was announced by the company at Mipcom last October.

D’Hueppe revealed that Alchimie will enter into a partnership with a new military channel in Q1 this year.

The company will also establish a presence in Spain and Austria at the end of Q1/beginning of Q2.

HbbTV first for Czech Radio

By Chris Dziadul

Czech Radio (Cesky rozhlas) has become the first radio station in the country to use an interactive HbbTV application.

According to Cesky rozhlas, it is available in the Czech TV’s DVB-T Multiplex 1 in the programme position of Radio Wave and will in the near future also become available on other distribution channels such as the Astra 3B satellite and UPC Czech cable network.

Cesky rozhlas adds that Radio Wave was not selected at random as today marks its 13th anniversary.

HbbTV services can already be received in around 30% of Czech homes.

Why A Stellar Unemployment Report Isn't Always A Good Thing

By Stacey Vanek Smith

Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell and his two predecessors talk about the latest jobs report, and why they are not too worried about inflation — despite what the Phillips Curve may predict.

  • January 11th 2019 at 11:03

Setback for Hrvatski Telekom

By Chris Dziadul

The Croatian regulator HAKOM has decided to hold up approving the acquisition of the pay-TV platform evotv by the incumbent Hrvatski Telekom (HT).

Instead, reports Seebiz, it has asked for additional facts on the deal, which it believes could have a significant impact on the market.

However, HT’s senior VP Sinisa Duranovic is of the view that the outcome will be positive, with the telco eventually receiving the green light to buy evotv.

Furthermore, sources in Croatia have informed Broadband TV News that the buying process is not forbidden or suspended.Furthermore, it is not unusual for such a process to last more than 30 days.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, HT agreed to buy a 100% stake in HP Produkcija, the operator of evotv, in November 2018.

Launched in 2012, evotv had 71,185 subscribers and 30 employees as of June 30 last year.

Its revenues and market share in 2017 were HRK57 million (€7.67 million) and 6% respectively.

Some Mortgage Deals Are In Limbo As Government Shutdown Drags On

By Yuki Noguchi
A "for sale" sign is seen in front of a home in Miami on Jan. 24, 2018. The partial shutdown of the federal government is causing some financial problems for furloughed workers who can

Furloughed workers can't refinance or buy homes without the ability to verify their income. For a recently divorced couple, it means continuing to live together until financial issues are resolved.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • January 11th 2019 at 10:53

Digi raises sub fees

By Chris Dziadul

Romania’s RCS&RDS (Digi) has announced a series of increases in its cable and internet subscription fees.

According to Ziarul Financiar, they are the first in 10 years and will raise average tariffs by RON1-2 (€0.21-0.42) a month.

When they come into effect on March 1, existing customers will see their monthly subscription fees increase by an average of 3-7%.

Broadband TV News notes that RCS&RDS splits its services into those that are available in urban and rural parts of the country. From March 1, customers living in urban areas will be charged a maximum RON31 a month for a digital cable TV and RON25/26 for a DTH package.

On top of this, they will be able to access additional packages such as HBO (RON13) and Max Pack (RON15).

Cable subscribers will also be able to receive Digi 4K for RON5 a month.

Poland launches cable access consultation

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) has initiated a consultation into specifying conditions that ensure access to the infrastructure of country’s leading cable operators.

In a statement, it identifies the operators as Netia, UPC Polska, Multimedia Polska, Vectra Investments, Inea and Toya. It adds that the conditions for ensuring access to telecom cables in multi-dwelling buildings “constitute a universal set of rules and principles when applying for access to telecommunications cables”.

UKE continues: “The proposed regulation is designed to meet the needs of telecommunications undertakings, while not interfering with the operation of infrastructure operators. The consultation also covers a tool which will be used by telecommunications undertakings to determine access fees.

“The consulted draft decisions pursue the Strategic lines of actions of the President of UKE for 2017-2021. The intention of the regulator is to promote co-investments, support the development and sharing of infrastructure as well as to ensure efficient cooperation among operators. The drafts, preceded by an analysis of the terms of cooperation and a workshop with market players, implement the concepts of the Digital Agenda for Europe and Europe 2020 strategy. They also execute the concepts of the Framework Directive and the Telecommunications Act. Symmetric access to infrastructure is also one of the assumptions of the European Electronic Communications Code adopted last year”.

UKE concludes by asking for “precise and constructive comments supported by relevant arguments”.

It also does not rule out the possibility of conducting a second round of consultations.

Poland launches cable access consultation

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) has initiated a consultation into specifying conditions that ensure access to the infrastructure of country’s leading cable operators.

In a statement, it identifies the operators as Netia, UPC Polska, Multimedia Polska, Vectra Investments, Inea and Toya. It adds that the conditions for ensuring access to telecom cables in multi-dwelling buildings “constitute a universal set of rules and principles when applying for access to telecommunications cables”.

UKE continues: “The proposed regulation is designed to meet the needs of telecommunications undertakings, while not interfering with the operation of infrastructure operators. The consultation also covers a tool which will be used by telecommunications undertakings to determine access fees.

“The consulted draft decisions pursue the Strategic lines of actions of the President of UKE for 2017-2021. The intention of the regulator is to promote co-investments, support the development and sharing of infrastructure as well as to ensure efficient cooperation among operators. The drafts, preceded by an analysis of the terms of cooperation and a workshop with market players, implement the concepts of the Digital Agenda for Europe and Europe 2020 strategy. They also execute the concepts of the Framework Directive and the Telecommunications Act. Symmetric access to infrastructure is also one of the assumptions of the European Electronic Communications Code adopted last year”.

UKE concludes by asking for “precise and constructive comments supported by relevant arguments”.

It also does not rule out the possibility of conducting a second round of consultations.

Virgin Atlantic and Stobart swoop on Flybe

Basement offer sends shares plunging as groups join forces to create viable airline

  • January 11th 2019 at 08:44

Virgin Atlantic and Stobart swoop on Flybe

Basement offer sends shares plunging as groups join forces to create viable airline

  • January 11th 2019 at 08:44

My-HD DTH extends SPI International deal

By Robert Briel

My-HD-Pay TV platform in the MENA region will carry SPI International’s channels for another three years.

“SPI International and My-HD have been working together for three years and it is my pleasure to announce that we have renewed our channel distribution partnership in the MENA region until 2022,” said Murat Muratoglu (pictured), Head of Distribution for Middle East, Ex-Yugo, Baltic States, Bulgaria, Greece, India, Turkey, CIS Countries, APAC at SPI International.

Karam Hamad, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of My-HD added “this great partnership with SPI International has proven itself beneficial to My-HD subscribers. It is a privilege to have FilmBox, DocuBox, Fast&FunBox, FightBox and Gametoon on the My-HD platform. We are confident that the evolving programming of the channels will reward our multi-cultural viewers across the Middle East and North Africa with an even better Pay TV viewing experience.”

My-HD DTH extends SPI International deal

By Robert Briel

My-HD-Pay TV platform in the MENA region will carry SPI International’s channels for another three years.

“SPI International and My-HD have been working together for three years and it is my pleasure to announce that we have renewed our channel distribution partnership in the MENA region until 2022,” said Murat Muratoglu (pictured), Head of Distribution for Middle East, Ex-Yugo, Baltic States, Bulgaria, Greece, India, Turkey, CIS Countries, APAC at SPI International.

Karam Hamad, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of My-HD added “this great partnership with SPI International has proven itself beneficial to My-HD subscribers. It is a privilege to have FilmBox, DocuBox, Fast&FunBox, FightBox and Gametoon on the My-HD platform. We are confident that the evolving programming of the channels will reward our multi-cultural viewers across the Middle East and North Africa with an even better Pay TV viewing experience.”

Alstom-Siemens tie-up hangs on EU approach to China

Rail merger backers seek to convince Brussels of need to stand up to Beijing

  • January 11th 2019 at 06:00

Alstom-Siemens tie-up hangs on EU approach to China

Rail merger backers seek to convince Brussels of need to stand up to Beijing

  • January 11th 2019 at 06:00
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