From January 1, 2019, women’s channel TLC will offer an advertising window for viewers in Austria.
As with sister channel DMAX, operating company Discovery has decided to cooperate with Goldbach’s Vienna-based team to sell the advertising slots.
“We are delighted to be able to offer our advertising customers the female counterpart to DMAX with TLC,” said Goldbach Austria’s managing director Josef Almer. Both channels have a clear profile, offering advertisers a distinct environment, he added.
TLC Austria will be available from January 1, 2019 via Astra (19.2° East) on transponder 87 (12.148 GHz H, SR 27,500, FEC 3/4). The free-to-air channel is also distributed on Austrian cable networks and on Austrian DVB-T2 platform simpliTV.
Designated Flight VA246 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, it delivered the ISRO GSAT-11 relay platform for Ku- and Ka-band communications, along with KARI’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A – which is to provide meteorological and space weather monitoring data.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to two very special partners since the beginning of their space ambitions: ISRO and KARI,” said Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël in post-launch comments from the Spaceport.
Israël noted that GSAT-11 was the 22nd ISRO satellite orbited by Arianespace and Ariane-series launchers, tracing the relationship back to India’s APPLE small experimental communications spacecraft, which had a liftoff mass of 670-kg. and was lofted in 1981 by an Ariane 1 version. On today’s Ariane 5 mission, GSAT-11 weighed in at 5,854.6 kg. – the largest and heaviest satellite ever built by the Indian space agency.
Deployed first during Ariane 5’s 33-minute mission to geostationary transfer orbit, GSAT-11 will be positioned at 74 deg. East, providing communications services in Ku- and Ka-bands in both forward and return links. The satellite was designed and manufactured by ISRO, with its multi-spot beam coverage over the Indian mainland and nearby islands to bring significant advantages to users when compared with existing India’s INSAT/GSAT satellite systems. GSAT-11’s design lifetime is more than 15 years.
GEO-KOMPSAT-2A was carried in Ariane 5’s lower payload position and released second in the sequence for Flight VA246. Developed by KARI at its South Korean facility in Daejeon, this 3,507.2-kg. satellite will deliver meteorological and space weather monitoring from an orbital position of 128.2 degrees East as part of a Korean government national programme.
“We’ve launched our last satellite,” John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, said during a presentation to analysts, reports Space News.
He and other AT&T executives said the rampant growth of internet-delivered video services that bypass satellite and cable networks is so significant that it is now the company’s future.
“We are seeing shifts in viewing from traditional TV viewing — cable, satellite — to on-demand viewing, and streaming on-demand viewing,” said Randall Stephenson chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc.
Those shifts, he said, have accelerated an overhaul of business models among media companies that are “recognising that they no longer have the luxury to rely exclusively on wholesale distribution of their content to customers going through satellite and cable companies.”
Broadband TV Views. Television viewing is shifting from linear to on-demand – slowly, but surely. This is bad news for satellite operators, where around 50% of turnover is coming from video delivery services. Viewers are demanding more personalised and on-demand services, which satellites can’t deliver. Add to that the facts that broadband access is becoming more widespread and new delivery techniques such as 5G will reach more people.
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s 10th mission of 2018 is now in the launch zone at French Guiana.
This heavy-lift launcher was transferred from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, enabling the final countdown to begin for its late afternoon departure on December 4 during a 1-hour, 16-minute launch window that opens at 5:37 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Riding in the upper payload position for the 33-minute mission to geostationary transfer orbit is GSAT-11 (pictured), built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). With a liftoff mass set at 5,854.5 kg., it is ISRO’s largest and heaviest communication satellite ever, configured on the space agency’s next-generation I-6K satellite bus. It will be positioned at 74 deg. East after deployment by Ariane 5, providing communications services in Ku- and Ka-bands in both forward and return links.
Ariane 5’s lower passenger is the 3,507.2-kg. GEO-KOMPSAT-2A, which is designed for meteorological and space weather monitoring missions as part of a Korean government national program. Produced by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) at its facility in Daejeon, South-Korea – and to be stationed at the 128.2 deg. East orbital location – GEO-KOMPSAT-2A will be the seventh satellite launched by Arianespace for South Korea.
Designated Flight VA246, the upcoming mission is the 246th launch of an Ariane family vehicle and Arianespace’s sixth in 2018 using the workhorse Ariane 5. The heavyweight launcher will deliver a lift performance of more than 10,200 kg., which includes the mass of its two satellite passengers as well as the Ariane 5’s dual-payload deployment system and integration hardware.
With Insight UHD, German DTH satellite platform Diveo has added the first Ultra HD channel to its line-up on Astra (19.2° East).
The channel is available to all customers regardless of the TV package they subscribe to. The precondition for reception is an Ultra HD TV set with a satellite tuner and the Diveo CI+ module. The Diveo set-top-box is not suitable for Ultra HD/4K.
Diveo’s operating company M7 Group recently expanded its carriage agreement with Insight TV enabling it to make the channel available to Diveo customers.
In addition to the Ultra HD version, Insight TV is also offered in HD resolution by Diveo. Further additions to the portfolio are six pay-TV channels such as VH1 and VH1 Classic as well as several MTV channels.
“NHK BBS4K will be an entry point channel for ultra-high-definition television, with image quality at a different level to what has been available until now, accessible by a wide range of viewers. On the other hand, BS8K will boast the highest quality images and sound in the world, becoming a flagship channel for NHK and delivering a completely new and astounding visual experience. BS4K will broadcast from 6am until midnight, 18 hours a day, showing only programmes that have been made in 4K,” said Yukinori Kida, Executive Director of Broadcasting at NHK.
The channel was first announced at the MIPCOM in Cannes in October 2017.
BS8K will broadcast for approximately twelve hours every day, from 10 am to 10.10 pm. “For 8K, the strategy will be for high quality programmes to be rigorously selected and carefully produced. The time slots will not be set for particular genres, but scheduling will depend on the content of individual programmes. The highlight of BS8K will be Golden Time (primetime) on Sunday. Every week on Sunday evening from 7 o’clock, a new programme selected from a variety of genres will be presented,” according to Yukinori Kida.
“At different times on weekdays, for those who missed the Sunday programme, as well as those who want to watch it again, it is scheduled to be rebroadcast in a ‘selection’ slot. Because 8K is at the moment based around watching at the time of broadcast, we plan to increase the number of chances to watch through rebroadcasts. Firstly, in the field of music Sekai Sandai Orchestra no Hibiki (The Sound of the World’s Three Great Orchestras) will present moving performances by the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw in 22.2 channel immersive sound that will create the feeling of really being there. In addition, a broadcast of complete performances of all five troupes from the leading Japanese theater group the Takarazuka Revue will be broadcast.
“In terms of art programmes, an international co-production with France Louvre Bijutsukan Bi no Dendo no 400-nen (The Louvre Museum – 400 Years of the Palace of Beauty), a four-part series, is being made and will be broadcast, as well as programmes about the works of painters Hokusai and Ito Jakuchu. A series on the golden treasures of Tutankhamun of Egypt, said to be the greatest collection of its kind in the world, is also scheduled to be broadcast.”
According to Digital TV Info, it will, as its name suggests, give customers 24-hour access to all of Cosmote TV’s sports channels. The activation process will be through the Cosmote TV GO application, with the service being available on any fixed or mobile network.
Cosmote Sports Daily Pass is expected to cost €10 for 24 hours access and will join Cosmote TV’s four other OTT services.
These are Cosmote TV Go sports Pack, costing €25 a month; Cosmote TV GO Movie Pack, €10 a month; Cosmote TV GO Documentaries Pack, €5 a month; and Cosmote TV GO Kids Pack, €3 a month.
In a statement provided to Broadband TV News, the Kosice-based company says that the service is included on the CEE beam, which covers most of the region, using one of Amos’s transponders (F:12297, H, SR: 45000).
It adds that the test channels are Fashion One 4K in the HEVC format and the Slovak national commercial services Joj HD and Wau SD.
The tests will last until November 30 and can be prolonged on evaluation.
Insight TV has renewed its partnership with M7 Group, expanding the carriage agreement to include German DTH subscribers.
The move will see Insight TV’s UHD and HD channels offered to customers of M7’s German DTH platform Diveo with fully localised feeds, in addition to the continued availability through the platform operator’s other satellite TV services including CanalDigitaal (The Netherlands), TV Vlaanderen and TéléSAT (Belgium), Skylink (Czech Republic and Slovakia) and HD Austria/AustriaSat (Austria).
Insight TV’s 4K UHD and HD channel originally launched on M7 platforms in spring 2017.
“We are committed to working with broadcasters like Insight TV to continuously enhance viewing experiences for our subscribers,” said Bill Wijdeveld, Vice-President Business Development at M7 Group. “We look forward to launching a host of exciting new Insight TV shows in 2019, which are currently in production and now also available to subscribers of our German Diveo platform.”
German music channel Deluxe Music HD is now available on DTH satellite platform Freenet TV via Astra (19.2° East).
Customers can watch the channel at no extra cost. The package now comprises a total of 23 channels. To get Deluxe Music HD on the TV set, viewers have to perform a channel search on their reception device.
Customers of the DTT version of Freenet TV can also receive Deluxe Music. However, the channel is not transmitted terrestrially but via the internet through hybrid service Freenet TV Connect.
The face-to-face interviews were conducted with 3,000 households in Nigeria, 2,000 in Cameroun and 2,000 in Ivory Coast, representative of the population of the geographical area surveyed.
Satellite television reception is the dominant technology in Ivory Coast reaching 68% of TV households (1.5 million households) and is also a major technology in Nigeria reaching 41% (10.3 million households) and in Cameroon with 38% households (1.3 million households).
“Eutelsat is pleased to have established a strong presence in the regional audiovisual landscape, providing millions of households with access to a wide range of local and international channels,” said Nicolas Baravalle, Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa at Eutelsat.
“This study confirms that Eutelsat’s 16° East position is the leading position for free-to-air broadcasting in Cameroon and Ivory Coast and that Eutelsat’s three positions, 36° East, 7° East and 16° East, serve the largest combined audience in the Nigerian market. It is a testament to our long-standing partnership with many of Africa’s leading TV channels and bouquets. We look forward to strengthening these partnerships to develop our services as these dynamic markets continue to evolve.”
German music broadcaster Deutsches Musik Fernsehen wants to offer a new entertainment channel in addition to its current channel which launched in 2008.
German media regulator KEK gave the green light to the venture at its latest meeting in Berlin.
According to KEK, the channel called Nice Gold TV will be broadcast free-to-air via the Astra satellite system (19.2° East).
Further details are not known at this stage.
Econet said they will now focus on three core services, Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play.
“In order to maintain its position as a leader in broadcasting innovation in Africa, Econet Media has reviewed its business strategy and service offerings to align them with the changes in the global digital and satellite broadcasting sector, and growth in access to mobile and fixed broadband on the continent,” according to a press statement from the company.
KFS is Africa’s largest free-to-air TV service, Kwesé iflix is Africa’s leading mobile video-on-demand sports and entertainment platform while Kwesé Play is a video streaming service with more than 200 sports, entertainment, kids and news channels including Red Bull TV, NBA, YouTube, TED and Bloomberg.
With increased focus on the above three services, Econet Media will streamline its direct-to-home satellite television service. “This will see the reduction of third-party channels available on the bouquet, as well as the removal of Kwesé branded sports (excluding KFS) and general entertainment channels.
“The broadcaster’s new bouquet will carry FTA, religious and free news channels, which will be available to viewers for a minimal fee, as the broadcaster will waive monthly subscription fees. Kwesé subscribers who have already paid their subscriptions for the month of November, or in advance, will receive a full refund.”
Kwesé has built a satellite TV business with presence in 11 markets and a free-to-air business across 27 countries. The business has also managed to secure leading sports rights and general entertainment channels to build a compelling content offering across its platforms.
Joe Hundah, Group President and Chief Executive of Econet Media, says the business’ repositioning is perfectly timed in response to market trends.
“We believe these changes will safeguard the future success of our business as we continue to make an indelible impact on Africa’s media industry. The revised business strategy will also ensure that Kwesé TV continues to remain competitive within the industry. Refocusing our business offering across markets, is a strategic move which aligns our business to OTT and video-on-demand trends which present significant growth opportunities for Kwesé. This renewed focus on digital services will see us providing new compelling offers for our customer’s enjoyment.”
The test on the Türksat 4B and Turksat-3A satellites (50 degrees East and 42 degrees East was carried out with the assistance of Kizil Elektronik, Vestel and Socionext.
Images of historical and natural Istanbul were captured for the ultra high definition broadcast, which was seen on a Vestel display at the Türksat booth at Globalsatshow (Istanbul, November 1-3).
Turkey is one of the first countries in the world to transmit broadcasts in the 8K format.
Sky Deutschland is embarking on a major HD offensive and will be the first TV broadcaster in Germany to commence switching off SD channels in the DTH satellite market.
While on German cable, analogue switch-off is still running and the discussion about SD switch-off on satellite has only just begun, the step would confirm Sky Deutschland’s role as a technological first-mover. The pay-TV operator benefits from the fact that all current Sky receivers and flat-screen TV sets are HD-capable.
As a first step, Sky intends to activate all Sky subscribers for HD reception by November 15, 2018 at no extra charge, as Broadband TV News has learned from distribution partners affected by the move. This clears the way for the closure of 14 SD feeds on November 29: Disney Junior, Beate-Uhse.TV, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, 13th Street, Fox Series, TNT Series, Syfy, NatGeo Wild, Spiegel Geschichte, Sky 1, TNT Film, Disney Cinemagic and Sky Atlantic.
From November 15, these channels will carry a text caption with SD shutdown information. The channels will continue to be available to Sky subscribers in HD quality. Other SD channels on Sky are not affected and will continue to be offered in standard resolution.
In addition to the former SD channels, which Sky customers will then be able to receive in HD quality, the HD channels E! Entertainment HD, Eurosport 1 HD, History HD, Sky Arts HD, TNT Comedy HD and Universal HD will be added for new Sky subscribers and existing customers of the Sky Starter package. All Cinema customers will in future always have the channels TNT Film HD and Disney Cinemagic HD included in their package. Activation will take place automatically and without extra charge.
The SD switch-off is part of a major transponder reorganisation by Sky Deutschland on November 29 on the Astra satellite system (19.2° East), through which the pay-TV broadcaster serves DTH satellite households and distribution partners such as cable operators and IPTV providers, who will also be affected by the move. The SD switch-off and reshuffle enables Sky to vacate two transponders. It is, however, not known what Sky will do with the bandwidth at this stage.
As part of the reorganisation, Sky will discontinue the HD channels Sky Select HD, Blue Movie HD and Sky 1+1 HD. Sky Select content in HD will in future be offered via the Sky Store video-on-demand service. Select channels 1-9 and the Select portal are not affected by the changes. Blue Movie content in HD will then be available via the 18+ app on Sky Q. Sky 1+1 HD will be replaced by the series on-demand offer on Sky On Demand and Sky Go.
At the same time, many Sky channels will change transponders. If the channel listing is not automatically updated by the receiver, viewers should perform a channel search on their reception device.
A Sky Deutschland spokesman did not want to comment on the changes when approached by Broadband TV News, but pointed to an upcoming press release on the subject.
“Eutelsat is ready to put in place an incentive plan to facilitate the moving of local television channel to the Hot Bird postion in order to stem the most extreme consequences arising from the liberation of the 700 MHz band,” Eutelsat Italia CEO Renato Farina told website DDay.
“The satellite platform has transmission capacity and adequate bandwidth not only to ensure uniform coverage of the territory, but also to convey the signal of regional broadcasters in high definition. Soon there will be new developments after a season marked by the increase in HDR content transmitted by Sky and 4K content transmitted by Tivùsat, which also broadcasts the HD versions of Mediaset’s flagship channels.”
Eutelsat Hotbird already takes an important place in the Italian television landscape with both pay-TV from Sky Italia and TivùSat, the free-to-view satellite platform. Pay TV in 4K and HDR is on satellite, public TV is on satellite in HD, and Italians who have access with a satellite dish to Hotbird 13 degrees East are almost 10 million.
Local TV channels are still missing, which today differentiates satellite from DVB-T, but things may change soon. If local TVs were to switch to satellite, the satellite’s offering would be much wider and more complete than that of DVB-T.
The digital terrestrial television is in the middle of changes, with a switchover from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 from January 1, 2020, to make room for future mobile networks on the 700 MHz. band. However – to the surprise of many insiders – the Ministry has decided not to switch to DVB-T2 HEVC, but adopting the MPEG4 codec on the DVB-T transmission mode, despite the fact that the government made it compulsory for manufactures to equip all TV sets with DVB-T2 and HEVC.
Trading conditions in international markets continue to be challenging for SES’s video business. Recently launched customer platforms are struggling to build traction, while competition to established platforms remains intense.
In its latest set of results, the company notes that SES Video had underlying revenues of €967.5 million in the year to September 30, or 2.8% lower than in the same period last year at constant FX. In addition, it had periodic revenues of €9.9 million.
Meanwhile, its Q3 underlying revenues at constant FX were 3.8% lower at €12.4 million.
Underlying revenues for video distribution for the first nine months of this year were, at €724.8 million, 4.7% lower a year earlier, and those for video services 3.5% higher at €242.7 million.
On the operational side, SES delivered a total of 8.020 TV channels as of the end of September (+4% year-on-year), of which 2,795 (+7%) were HD and 40 commercial UHD (+67%). Almost two-thirds (65.4%) of TV channels were broadcast in MPEG-4 (63.5% in Q3 2017).
SES Video accounted for 67% of the company’s revenues in the first nine months of the year, down slightly from 68% in 2017.
SES Group’s revenues YTD were €1,469.4 million (-3.8%, +0.4% contact FX) and EBITDA €927.7 million (-6.7% reported, -2.9% constant FX).
The net profit, at €303.7 million, was 23% lower than in the corresponding period in 2017.
In his commenting on the results, Steve Collar, president and CEO, said: “Our focus on execution continues to generate strong financial performance, delivering growth in absolute and underlying revenue, and we remain on track to deliver on our year-end financial outlook”.
On SES Video he added that it had, “signed important renewals and new business this quarter with now 96% of 2018’s expected total revenue secured, including an important renewal with Channel 4 in the UK Video Services contributed positively in Q3 with growing traction for our MX1 360 platform. International video distribution remains challenged with some platforms struggling to achieve market traction and strong competition for all new platforms. We remain focused on growth opportunities while reinforcing our core neighbourhoods that are among the best and most penetrated DTH neighbourhoods in the world”.
German DVB-T2 and DTH satellite platform Freenet TV has added the video-on-demand service maxdome to its offer.
maxdome is offered as a combined package with Freenet TV including CI+ module and access to Freenet TV and maxdome for six months each for a total price of €89. This corresponds to a saving of €30, according to Freenet TV.
Existing Freenet TV customers can sign up for maxdome at a monthly price of €6.99. The Freenet TV Entertainment Package is available from local retailers and online at www.freenet.tv.
The maxdome subscription can be booked by existing customers through the Freenet TV customer portal.
Sahar will lead the region wide development of NENT Group’s Viasat satellite operator business, which offers pay TV services to customers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
In her new role, Sahar will hold commercial, strategic and business development responsibility for Viasat’s satellite operator activities in the Nordic region. Local teams will continue to lead execution across the Viasat organisation, which also includes channel distribution and broadband access (Sweden) business areas.
Sahar joined NENT Group in 2007 and has held several leadership roles at the group, most recently Head of Viasat Sweden. In February 2018, she was named Female Role Model of the Year at Sweden’s Telekomgala industry awards. Sahar will report to NENT Group President & CEO Anders Jensen and will be a member of the Group Executive Management team.
Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “Every day, NENT Group reaches millions of customers through our streaming and broadcasting services. We see huge potential in Viasat, which is one of the most recognisable entertainment brands in the Nordic region today. Sahar’s know-how, commercial acumen and unique ability to inspire will be huge assets as we maximise the impact of our Viasat offering by combining central focus with local execution.”
Sahar Kupersmidt, NENT Group SVP & Head of Nordic DTH TV: “It’s been a privilege to lead the amazing Swedish Viasat team and to achieve such great things together. Now I can’t wait to work with my talented colleagues across the whole region. Our people, content and technology will ensure that we shape this highly competitive market for years to come.”
Following Sahar’s appointment, Mahmoud Mustapha, previously Viasat Sweden’s Director of Product and Customer Experience, has been appointed VP & Head of Pay TV Sweden.
Mahmoud Mustapha, NENT Group VP & Head of Pay TV Sweden: “I’m honoured to follow Sahar Kupersmidt in leading the Viasat Sweden success story. We have an unrivalled position in pay TV and have rapidly developed a world class broadband product. We want Viasat’s offering of the very best sports, films and series to be as broadly available as possible. Our priorities are to reinforce our position in satellite, expand our broadband footprint and work even more closely with our partners.”
Both Sahar Kupersmidt and Mahmoud Mustapha take on their new roles with immediate effect.
(On the picture Sahar Kupersmidt and Mahmoud Mustafa)
As part of the agreement, the channel is distributed via the M7 platform at 9 degrees East for the digital delivery of Playboy TV Europe to third party operators within the footprint of the Eurobird 9B satellite.
For this purpose, M7 Platform Services provides a full end-to-end satellite distribution solution, including encryption, encoding and multiplexing as well as first level help desk support for third party operators.
Moreover, from the December 1, 2018 Playboy TV Europe will be included in the M7 Germany offering, targeting B2B customers in the German speaking markets, while M7’s Austrian B2C platform HD Austria will add Playboy TV Europe to its linear OTT offering, available via hybrid set-top boxes and the M7 smart TV app (already available via Samsung and LG smart TV’s). Other M7 markets to follow shortly.
Playboy TV Europe features European localised content, original series and new TV shows focusing on lifestyle and social media. Playboy TV Europe is already partnering with exclusive European directors, photographers and models, and takes great pride to bring a unique European touch to its programs through fresh new faces.
“We are delighted with this technical partnership with M7”, said Gregory Dorcel CEO of Marc Dorcel.
“Playboy TV Europe is a premium quality channel that requires a flawless infrastructure and the highest technical service standards. This collaboration with the M7 Group, allows us to guarantee this values to all our customers.
“We are very happy with this new agreement. Playboy TV Europe is a world-wide renowned brand and we are proud to be selected at its satellite distribution partner for Europe. Furthermore, the channel is an attractive addition to the line-up for our various channel bouquets and we look forward to a fruitful cooperation”, added Bill Wijdeveld, VP Business Development of M7 Group.