[Contact]

Daily breaking news

πŸ”’
❌ About FreshRSS
There are new available articles, click to refresh the page.
Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

Peter Einstein joins Anthem Sports & Entertainment

By Julian Clover

Former MTV and Showtime executive has joined Anthem Sports & Entertainment as its chief operating officer.

Einstein’s brief will be to develop and the speciality sports business into new markets and platforms. Its channels include Fight Network, Pursuit Channel and FNTSY Sports Network.

“The addition of Peter to our team signals our commitment to continued growth as a sports media and entertainment company, targeting passionate communities and surveying premium content,” said Leonard Asper, CEO and founder of Anthem. “Peter brings incredible expertise and experience to our company, including in global operations and digital media, which is key as we expand and develop our assets across all platforms. I couldn’t think of a better person to add to our executive suite.”

Einstein added: “I am thrilled to be joining Leonard and Anthem at this critical juncture in its growth trajectory. We have an excellent team and a wealth of opportunities before us, and I am looking forward to focusing and driving the company as it executes its expansion
strategy.”

Spending 16 years at MTV in the United States and Europe – including the launch of MTV Europe – Einstein went on to spend a decade as President of Showtime, before setting up Einstein Media Consulting Partners (EMCP) in 2007.

EMCP was one of the first investors in GINX Esports TV, which is now the world’s largest TV channels of its kind, where Einstein still serves as Chairman.

FRK takes anti-trust action against ARD/ZDF in carriage fee row

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator association FRK wants to achieve that small and medium-sized cable operators receive carriage fees from public broadcasters ARD and ZDF just like the two largest players Vodafone and Unitymedia.

FRK accuses ARD and ZDF of unequal treatment as the broadcasters are unwilling to pay carriage fees to smaller cable companies and has announced to take the case to the Federal Cartel Office.

“It is not acceptable that public broadcasters abuse their market power and deny SMATV operators and small and medium-sized cable companies the payment of fees they grant to the two dominant cable operators,” said FRK chairman Heinz-Peter Labonte.

As an out-of-court agreement could not be reached between FRK and the public broadcasters, the association will now have this practice reviewed by the Federal Cartel Office with the support of law firm Schalast.

The move follows the end of the long-standing carriage fee dispute between ARD and ZDF and the two major cable operators Vodafone (formerly Kabel Deutschland) and Unitymedia. In the settlements announced in April 2018, the parties agreed on new, long-term partnerships for cable distribution and the addition of HD channels and catch-up content from the public broadcasters to their line-up. According to Vodafone, the agreements with ARD and ZDF include carriage fees for the cable distribution of the regular, linear channels.

As part of the settlements, ARD and ZDF pay Vodafone €100 million while ARD pays Unitymedia €31.2 million in compensation for unpaid carriage fees during the legal dispute. No agreement is yet in place between ZDF and Unitymedia with the legal case continuing.

FRK represents almost 140 small and medium-sized cable operators as well as infrastructure providers serving a total of more than five million households in Germany with cable TV.

Heinz-Peter Labonte stays FRK chairman

By JΓΆrn Krieger

The board members of German cable operator association FRK have confirmed Heinz-Peter Labonte as the chairman at this year’s general meeting in Königswinter.

Ralph Buder (managing director of Info-Kabel, Bischofswerda), Daniel Niebuhr (managing director of KNM Kabelnetmanager, Lauchhammer) and Rico Gerhardt (mayor of the town Oberschöna which operates its own cable system) were newly elected to the board.

FRK elects its board every two years. The members also thanked Frank Mietho (Mietho & Bär) for his more than 20 years of work as the association’s deputy chairman. Bernd Nitzschner, long-time member of the board of directors, managing director and shareholder of LKG and other companies of the Lausitzer Mediengruppe in Lauchhammer, was elected as the new deputy chairman.

Reinhardt Plückhahn (aep Plückhahn Service) and the treasurer Franz Ziener (RFD) were confirmed as deputy chairmen. Wolfgang Lenk was confirmed as assessor.

“With these elections, FRK has initiated a clear generation change in order to tackle the challenges in the market even better with new minds and ideas and to lead our association into a secure future,” said Labonte.

Heinz-Peter Labonte stays FRK chairman

By JΓΆrn Krieger

The board members of German cable operator association FRK have confirmed Heinz-Peter Labonte as the chairman at this year’s general meeting in Königswinter.

Ralph Buder (managing director of Info-Kabel, Bischofswerda), Daniel Niebuhr (managing director of KNM Kabelnetmanager, Lauchhammer) and Rico Gerhardt (mayor of the town Oberschöna which operates its own cable system) were newly elected to the board.

FRK elects its board every two years. The members also thanked Frank Mietho (Mietho & Bär) for his more than 20 years of work as the association’s deputy chairman. Bernd Nitzschner, long-time member of the board of directors, managing director and shareholder of LKG and other companies of the Lausitzer Mediengruppe in Lauchhammer, was elected as the new deputy chairman.

Reinhardt Plückhahn (aep Plückhahn Service) and the treasurer Franz Ziener (RFD) were confirmed as deputy chairmen. Wolfgang Lenk was confirmed as assessor.

“With these elections, FRK has initiated a clear generation change in order to tackle the challenges in the market even better with new minds and ideas and to lead our association into a secure future,” said Labonte.

FRK calls for open access after Liberty Global/Vodafone deal

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator association FRK has called for open access to be imposed as one of the concessions for regulatory approval of the rumoured acquisition of Liberty Global’s German cable subsidiary Unitymedia by Vodafone.

The move would allow competing network operators to use the nationwide cable network emerging from the merger between the cable assets of Vodafone Deutschland (formerly Kabel Deutschland) and Unitymedia.

With their broadband infrastructure that can be upgraded quickly and with a manageable amount of investment into Gigabit networks in the coming years, the companies hold one of the most important keys for the development of Germany into a Gigabit society in their hands, said FRK Chairman Heinz-Peter Labonte (pictured). “We therefore expect the competition and regulatory authorities to thoroughly examine the planned takeover and to strengthen competition.”

Other interesting and important issues are the further increase in market power against TV broadcasters and the question of carriage fees, said Labonte.

In general, FRK would welcome the takeover of Unitymedia by Vodafone as a “step towards market transparency and integrity”. “What was sold individually, is growing back together,” said Labonte with reference to the nationwide cable network formerly owned by Deutsche Bundespost having been split into several units before being sold to commercial investors.

New senior management team at Eurosport

By Chris Dziadul

Discovery has announced an update to the senior management team of Eurosport follwoing the departure of CEO Peter Hutton (pictured), senior VP content and production, Arnaud Simon, and VP Olympic relations, Geraldine Filiol.

It sees Emir Osmanbegovic appointed senior VP, sports content and production; Dave Schafer assume the role of senior VP, sports operations and planning; and Laurent Prud’homme, senior VP, take on an expanded role that will now include additional responsibility for IOC and media services, and interim oversight of Eurosport’s events business, as well as continuing to oversee its rights acquisition and syndication groups, including the Olympics.

Schafer, who has already directed the planning and operational delivery of the company’s inaugural Olympic Games, will now lead all sports operations activities across the Olympics and Eurosport’s year-round calendar of premium live sports events. Both he and Osmanbegovic will re-locate to Eurosport in Paris.

Jean-Briac Perrette, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, said: “As the first record-breaking chapter of our Olympic journey is complete, it’s proven to be an opportune time to reconsider our leadership and organisation with the goal of continuing to improve and grow the Eurosport business and brand. While the Olympics is a key part of Eurosport’s offering, one of our greatest strengths is that we showcase Olympic sports all-year round and these appointments will help usher in another great phase of growth for Eurosport.

“Emir and Dave, two world class sports leaders, will re-locate to Paris and bring a fresh perspective on how we maximise the value of our unique combination of talented central or Paris-based resources and local experts based in the markets. I am delighted to welcome them into their new roles. Laurent Prud’homme is also a fantastic and respected industry leader who knows the Eurosport brand inside out and will play an integral rights and commercial development role as we look to continue to develop Discovery’s premium sports brand.”

Discovery has also confirmed the upcoming departure of CEO Peter Hutton, while senior VP content and production, Arnaud Simon, and VP Olympic relations, Geraldine Filiol, will also depart the company to pursue other opportunities.

JB Perrette added: “I would like to thank Peter, Arnaud and Geraldine for their great partnership and commitment to help Eurosport transform into a more premium sports brand, culminating in Eurosport delivering its first Olympic Games to millions of fans across Europe.”

Discovery and Eurosport have launched an external search to fill the vacant CEO role. In the interim, the Eurosport leadership team will report directly to Perrette.

Space Gets an Artificial Star. Astronomers Ask: Do We Need More?

By CHRISTINA CARON

The launch of a spinning geodesic sphere called the Humanity Star has set off concerns about the growing number of bright objects illuminating the dark sky.

Facebook poaches Eurosport’s Peter Hutton

By Robert Briel

Facebook is stepping up its efforts to acquire streaming rights to top sports events for its Watch platform by appointing Eurosport’s Peter Hutton.

The news comes at a time when non-traditional players are increasingly competing with incumbent broadcasters in acquiring rights to original movie and series productions, and now live sports rights as well.

Last year, Facebook failed to acquire the Indian Premier League cricket coverage, and now the company raises the stakes by hiring a heavyweight, who knows the sports rights business inside and out. Hutton has been at the helm of Discovery Communications’ Eurosport and before that he (co-)headed the sports rights group MP & Silva, and worked at ESPN and Fox.

At the moment, Facebook has some sports rights, including Major League Soccer, Mexico’s top football league and, with Fox Sports, selected Champions League matches.

Meanwhile, Amazon is also mopping up selected live sports rights. Last November it added four years of live ATP Tour tennis, an d the platform also has the rights to live stream Thursday night NFL games. Next month, Amazon is also expected to bid for the UK Premier League rights at next month’s auction.

Meanwhile, reports in the UK press suggest that Hutton would join Facebook after the close of the Winter Olympics, to which Eurosport has most of the European rights, and also after the February 9 deadline for bids for the TV and digital rights for Premier League matches from 2019-22. Interestingly, the Premier League has created two packages of games rights offering two rounds of games for streaming simulcast.

Weather channel to launch in Switzerland

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Peter Wick, CEO and owner of Switzerland’s largest commercial weather service Meteonews, will launch a TV weather channel on December 1, 2017.

Wetter.tv (translated “Weather.tv”) will report about the current weather conditions 24 hours per day with the schedule also comprising documentaries, discussion rounds and landscape images.

“Regarding the weather, the focus of interest is on current events: tempests, thunderstorms or the question when it will snow this week,” Wick told Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten. “When a storm sweeps over Switzerland at night, we will be able to react and report live.”

The channel will be available on Swiss cable networks and on local OTT platforms such as Zattoo, Wilmaa and Teleboy.

Neighbouring Germany already has its own weather channel: wetter.com TV, backed by media company ProSiebenSat.1.

Germany’s FRK wants OTT players to pay for carriage

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator association FRK wants streaming providers such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook und YouTube to participate in the costs of upgrading their networks for the gigabit future through a carriage fee, arguing that business models based on the idea of free data highways must come to an end.

At the FRK Broadband Congress in Leipzig, the interest group of medium-sized cable operators proposed a monthly fee of up to 1€ per customer or, alternatively, a volume-based payment.

“In the long term, no business model based one-sidedly on the idea of free data highways will work if the private operators of these infrastructures lack the money needed to maintain and expand their infrastructure”, stressed FRK Chairman Heinz-Peter Labonte.

“Through broadband networks, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Google and Facebook are developing into global TV giants evading any responsibility and regulation, not only in Germany. At the same time, these providers threaten the existence of functioning national structures of TV markets, TV channels and network operators in the long run,” said Labonte. “The contribution to the infrastructure upgrade should not be placed onto consumers, but on providers generating billions of euros at the expense of network operators and, ultimately, the general public.”

“From a rational point of view, these providers and other interest groups regard the private property of network operators as public domain equally available to all users, ideally at a small flat rate,” Labonte continued. “But the questions really important for the operator and, ultimately, the user are completely ignored: How can I refinance the investments needed for expansion? How can data streams be managed intelligently? How do I ensure the quality and security of data transports on my network in the long run?”

The payments from OTT players called for by FRK would “ultimately benefit both consumers and companies equally as excellently upgraded network infrastructures are an important precondition for the competitiveness of the German economy and society and also contribute to the future viability of our country,” said Labonte. “To achieve this, it is necessary for all market players to join forces.”

Constantin Medien CEO Fred Kogel to step down

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Fred Kogel, CEO of German media company Constantin Medien, will resign from his position with effect as of September 22, 2017.

Furthermore, the chairman of the supervisory board, Dr Dieter Hahn, and the five other members of the supervisory board, have resigned from their positions at today’s general meeting.

The move is meant to end the battle between Constantin Medien’s major shareholders Dieter Hahn and Bernhard Burgener about the future strategy of the company.

Dr Paul Graf was elected the new chairman of the supervisory board at the general meeting with Thomas von Petersdorff-Campen being his deputy. The other four members of the new supervisory board are Markus Prazeller, Edda Kraft, Dr Gero von Pelchrzim and Andreas Benz.

Merlin Koene to become new ProSiebenSat.1 spokesman

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Merlin Koene (47) will head the communications of German media company ProSiebensat.1 Group as Executive Vice President and Corporate Spokesman from October 1, 2017.

Koene is taking over the responsibility from Ralf Peter Gierig, Deputy Group CFO, Executive Vice President Group Finance & Investor Relations, who has been heading the department on an interim basis since end of April 2017 following the departure of Julian Geist who held the position since 2009.

Koene will report directly to ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling. He started his professional career as a journalist, including working as a reporter for CNN, 3sat, ORF and Spiegel TV. As the head of Reuters Business TV, he regularly reported to camera on economic matters for BBC World and n-tv.

After working at global strategic communications consultancy CNC, Koene moved into the field of corporate communications. In the last eight years, he worked at Unilever, most recently as Director of Sustainable Business & Communications and member of the management board, and was responsible for external and internal communications as well as public affairs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Last year, Koene headed global media relations and financial communications on an interim basis for Unilever in London and was also jointly responsible for the digital communications strategy.

Koene will be supported in his work at ProSiebenSat.1 by Stefanie Rupp-Menedetter (36), who started as Deputy Corporate Spokeswoman on July 15, 2017 and heads corporate and financial communications. Rupp-Menedetter was previously Head of Communications at Allianz Capital Partners.

❌