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Today β€” January 17th 2019Telecom

Broadcast suspension row in Romania

By Chris Dziadul

Romania’s National Audiovisual Council (CNA) has taken the unusual step of requiring Realitatea TV to go off the air for 10 minutes on Thursday, January 17, between 19.00-19.10.

This follows from what it says are violations of audiovisual legislation pertaining to the coverage of an anti–corruption rally in the capital, Bucharest, in August 2018.

According to Mediafax, CNA’s decision has been widely condemned by both Realitatea TV and opposition politicians.

It adds that the regulator has since confirmed its decision to impose the 10-minute blackout on Realitatea TV.

Commenting on the decision, Realitatea TV’s director Edward Pastia said: “We are confused with the decision of the CNA, it is very difficult to find words in such a situation. The CNA instigates censorship, we cannot present reality as the CNA wishes or as PSD or PSD wants through the CNA. We present it as it is. If the CNA thinks that other posts that have been subjected to violence by August 10, they seem OK and are sanctioned with RON5,000-10,000, and we have to close our broadcast. Shutting down a TV station without any proof, it’s incredible what’s going on at the CNA. We do not understand why this has happened”.

Broadcast suspension row in Romania

By Chris Dziadul

Romania’s National Audiovisual Council (CNA) has taken the unusual step of requiring Realitatea TV to go off the air for 10 minutes on Thursday, January 17, between 19.00-19.10.

This follows from what it says are violations of audiovisual legislation pertaining to the coverage of an anti–corruption rally in the capital, Bucharest, in August 2018.

According to Mediafax, CNA’s decision has been widely condemned by both Realitatea TV and opposition politicians.

It adds that the regulator has since confirmed its decision to impose the 10-minute blackout on Realitatea TV.

Commenting on the decision, Realitatea TV’s director Edward Pastia said: “We are confused with the decision of the CNA, it is very difficult to find words in such a situation. The CNA instigates censorship, we cannot present reality as the CNA wishes or as PSD or PSD wants through the CNA. We present it as it is. If the CNA thinks that other posts that have been subjected to violence by August 10, they seem OK and are sanctioned with RON5,000-10,000, and we have to close our broadcast. Shutting down a TV station without any proof, it’s incredible what’s going on at the CNA. We do not understand why this has happened”.

New website details extent of beoutQ piracy

By Julian Clover

BEIN Sports has created a new website that it claims “exposes the industrial scale theft of world sports and entertainment” carried out by the Saudi pirate TV channel beoutQ.

The website shows a timeline of the last 18 months from the barring of access to BEIN’s own content through to the staging of the 2019 Asia Cup.

There is also a list of content alleged to have been ‘stolen’ by beoutQ including Champions League, Bundesliga, Premier League, Formula 1 and NFL.

Yousef Al-Obaidly, Chief Executive Officer, beIN MEDIA GROUP, said: “For the past 18 months beoutQ has brazenly stolen on a daily basis the commercial rights of almost every major sports rights holder and every movie studio around the world; and attempted to sabotage our broadcast business at the same time. We have a very simple message on behalf of the whole sports and entertainment industry:- we will not cease our fight against this unprecedented piracy operation until it is eradicated.”

The site, lists not only sport, but also entertainment properties including Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros. Pictures), The Incredibles 2 (Disney), Wonder (Lionsgate), Game of Thrones, Westworld (HBO), Altered Carbon (Netflix), American Horror Story (20th Century Fox), The Equalizer 2 (Sony), Elementary (CBS), Victoria (ITV) and Doctor Who (BBC).

Tom Keaveny, Managing Director, beIN MENA, said: “What started out as a concerted and targeted campaign against beIN has now morphed into the largest commercial theft that’s ever been seen in the world of sport and entertainment, affecting everyone from the biggest organisations in sport to Hollywood movie studios and international broadcasters. This Saudi-supported plague of piracy represents an existential threat to the economic model of the industry because every day that beoutQ exists piracy is becoming more normalised across the world. We, at beIN, will not let that happen and this new website of evidence shines a light on the shocking extent of beoutQ’s ongoing theft. Piracy cannot pay; the international rule of law should apply to all, not the few.”

BeoutQ was launched in August 2017, shortly after the boycott and has illegally broadcasted World Cup soccer matches as well as Hollywood entertainment. According to BeIN, beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia. In August, digital security and technology companies Cisco Systems, Nagra and Overon all confirmed with technical evidence that proves beyond any doubt the involvement of Riyadh-based Arabsat.

New website details extent of beoutQ piracy

By Julian Clover

BEIN Sports has created a new website that it claims “exposes the industrial scale theft of world sports and entertainment” carried out by the Saudi pirate TV channel beoutQ.

The website shows a timeline of the last 18 months from the barring of access to BEIN’s own content through to the staging of the 2019 Asia Cup.

There is also a list of content alleged to have been ‘stolen’ by beoutQ including Champions League, Bundesliga, Premier League, Formula 1 and NFL.

Yousef Al-Obaidly, Chief Executive Officer, beIN MEDIA GROUP, said: “For the past 18 months beoutQ has brazenly stolen on a daily basis the commercial rights of almost every major sports rights holder and every movie studio around the world; and attempted to sabotage our broadcast business at the same time. We have a very simple message on behalf of the whole sports and entertainment industry:- we will not cease our fight against this unprecedented piracy operation until it is eradicated.”

The site, lists not only sport, but also entertainment properties including Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros. Pictures), The Incredibles 2 (Disney), Wonder (Lionsgate), Game of Thrones, Westworld (HBO), Altered Carbon (Netflix), American Horror Story (20th Century Fox), The Equalizer 2 (Sony), Elementary (CBS), Victoria (ITV) and Doctor Who (BBC).

Tom Keaveny, Managing Director, beIN MENA, said: “What started out as a concerted and targeted campaign against beIN has now morphed into the largest commercial theft that’s ever been seen in the world of sport and entertainment, affecting everyone from the biggest organisations in sport to Hollywood movie studios and international broadcasters. This Saudi-supported plague of piracy represents an existential threat to the economic model of the industry because every day that beoutQ exists piracy is becoming more normalised across the world. We, at beIN, will not let that happen and this new website of evidence shines a light on the shocking extent of beoutQ’s ongoing theft. Piracy cannot pay; the international rule of law should apply to all, not the few.”

BeoutQ was launched in August 2017, shortly after the boycott and has illegally broadcasted World Cup soccer matches as well as Hollywood entertainment. According to BeIN, beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia. In August, digital security and technology companies Cisco Systems, Nagra and Overon all confirmed with technical evidence that proves beyond any doubt the involvement of Riyadh-based Arabsat.

Media Group Ukraine strikes piracy blow

By Chris Dziadul

Media Group Ukraine (MGU) has achieved an important victory in its fight against piracy.

Quoting the Vinnytsia Court of Appeal, the broadcaster says that the court has upheld the decision of the city court to arrest the owners of VinAsterisk.

Following an investigation, it was found that the latter violated copyright and related rights when retransmitting MGU channels without its consent.

These included Futbol 1 and Futbol 2 over the internet in 2018.

Criminal proceedings were initiated following a statement by MGU to the National Police.

Violation of copyright and related rights is punishable from a fine to imprisonment of up to six years.

Media Group Ukraine strikes piracy blow

By Chris Dziadul

Media Group Ukraine (MGU) has achieved an important victory in its fight against piracy.

Quoting the Vinnytsia Court of Appeal, the broadcaster says that the court has upheld the decision of the city court to arrest the owners of VinAsterisk.

Following an investigation, it was found that the latter violated copyright and related rights when retransmitting MGU channels without its consent.

These included Futbol 1 and Futbol 2 over the internet in 2018.

Criminal proceedings were initiated following a statement by MGU to the National Police.

Violation of copyright and related rights is punishable from a fine to imprisonment of up to six years.

Diffusion: Netflix price increase will test SVOD ceiling

By Julian Clover

New research from The Diffusion Group suggests Netflix’s current round of price increases may have significant implications.

It says that with an increase of $1 or more per month, some 16% of Netflix subscribers are likely to downgrade, or cancel their subscription altogether.

The data comes from Quantum Viewing Behavior, a survey of 1,940 US adult broadband users completed in December 2018.

On Monday, Netflix announced its Basic, Standard and Premium plans will all rise by between one and two dollars.
Anticipating an increase in 2019, in December 2018 TDG tested price sensitivity toward monthly Netflix cost increases. Top-line results are featured below.
As part of its study, Netflix subscribers were split into three exclusive groups, with each asked of their likely intentions should the cost of service increase by either $1, $3, or $5 per month. Each respondent answered for only one random price assignment.

An an increase of $1 per month, 8% of Netflix subscribers say they would downgrade their plan, with 8% saying they would cancel service altogether. At an increase of $3 per month, the rate of likely cancellations doubled, while the rate of likely downgrades nearly tripled. At an increase of $5 per month, the rate of likely cancellation increased another six points (38%), while the rate of likely downgrade increased only three points (17%).

“While TDG believes that Netflix will endure any short-term backlash from these increases, it is undoubtedly reaching a level of price resistance across all tiers,” notes Michael Greeson, President of TDG. “At an average increase of $3 per month, 33% of Standard tier subscribers are likely (though not certain) to downgrade to a less expensive plan and 10% are likely to cancel the service altogether, compared with 28% and 6% of Premium tier subscribers, respectively. These variances are not insignificant.”

Greeson adds that other SVOD providers should pay close attention to these results, as they set a benchmark for the entire SVOD market space. “Netflix is the most highly valued SVOD service and enjoys the most loyal subscribers. As such, if it encounters resistance at these pricing levels, undoubtedly others will, as well.”

Netcity access conditions agreed

By Chris Dziadul

The Romanian regulator ANCOM has announced an agreement on the technical and economic conditions for access to Bucharest’s telecom infrastructure Netcity.

It requires Netcity to provide operators and third parties access to the infrastructure under the same conditions.

It has also given Netcity a maximum of 60 days of ANCOM’s decision to settle contracts in force with the provisions of the decision.

In addition, ANCOM has revised the structure of tariffs for FTTB and FTTB connections.

Commenting on the development, Sorin Grindeanu, the president of ANCOM, said: “The adoption of this decision is the result of a particularly laborious process that has been taking place over several years in the context of the adoption of new legislation in the field of electronic communications network infrastructure. I hope that in the coming months, we will all see the changes this decision will make in Bucharest. The decision facilitates real competition at the capital level, which will be reflected in more attractive prices and competitive services”.

Netcity access conditions agreed

By Chris Dziadul

The Romanian regulator ANCOM has announced an agreement on the technical and economic conditions for access to Bucharest’s telecom infrastructure Netcity.

It requires Netcity to provide operators and third parties access to the infrastructure under the same conditions.

It has also given Netcity a maximum of 60 days of ANCOM’s decision to settle contracts in force with the provisions of the decision.

In addition, ANCOM has revised the structure of tariffs for FTTB and FTTB connections.

Commenting on the development, Sorin Grindeanu, the president of ANCOM, said: “The adoption of this decision is the result of a particularly laborious process that has been taking place over several years in the context of the adoption of new legislation in the field of electronic communications network infrastructure. I hope that in the coming months, we will all see the changes this decision will make in Bucharest. The decision facilitates real competition at the capital level, which will be reflected in more attractive prices and competitive services”.

Hisense to bring TV games to smart TVs

By Robert Briel

24i Media have partnered with Hisense to bring the TV games portal to Hisense’s next generation of smart TV models equipped with a VIDAA system preinstalled as of March 2019.

The TV games portal, powered by 24i Media, is a cross-platform collection of in-house developed games optimized for TV remote controls. The service has over one million games played worldwide daily. With the partnership with Hisense, TV Games will strengthen its footprint in the APAC region and South Africa.

Games on Smart TVs is on the rise and the fragmentation that poses a challenge also presents an opportunity, in the form of more sophisticated ad targeting and video advertising. 24i Media is a partner in big screen video monetization and is working closely with several SSP and DSP partners to define the ad sector.

“TV games and advertisement on smart TVs is a new and exciting road full opportunities as well as unknown grounds. We are thrilled to join forces with Hisense,” said Petr Mazanec, Head of the TV games product at 24i Media.

Jaromir Soukup founds political party

By Chris Dziadul

Jaromir Soukup, the owner of the Czech national commercial broadcaster Barrandov TV, has set up his own political party.

According to idnes.cz, he announced his decision at the beginning of a news programme on Barrandov TV, adding that the party, which will be named after him, will aim to defend Czech national interests against corrupt politicians and oligarchs.

However, the Czech Interior Ministry said that it had received any registration of a new political party in the country since last November.

Soukup has also announced his candidacy for the European parliament.

Soukup founded Empresa Media in 2000 and bought Barrandov TV, of which he is also the head, seven years ago.

Jaromir Soukup founds political party

By Chris Dziadul

Jaromir Soukup, the owner of the Czech national commercial broadcaster Barrandov TV, has set up his own political party.

According to idnes.cz, he announced his decision at the beginning of a news programme on Barrandov TV, adding that the party, which will be named after him, will aim to defend Czech national interests against corrupt politicians and oligarchs.

However, the Czech Interior Ministry said that it had received any registration of a new political party in the country since last November.

Soukup has also announced his candidacy for the European parliament.

Soukup founded Empresa Media in 2000 and bought Barrandov TV, of which he is also the head, seven years ago.

Jaromir Soukup founds political party

By Chris Dziadul

Jaromir Soukup, the owner of the Czech national commercial broadcaster Barrandov TV, has set up his own political party.

According to idnes.cz, he announced his decision at the beginning of a news programme on Barrandov TV, adding that the party, which will be named after him, will aim to defend Czech national interests against corrupt politicians and oligarchs.

However, the Czech Interior Ministry said that it had received any registration of a new political party in the country since last November.

Soukup has also announced his candidacy for the European parliament.

Soukup founded Empresa Media in 2000 and bought Barrandov TV, of which he is also the head, seven years ago.

Connected TV usage drives FuboTV engagement

By Robert Briel

User engagement on FuboTV reached an all-time high in December 2018, jumping nearly 3x over December 2017, the live TV streaming service said.

Connected TV usage was the largest driver of this engagement, exceeding 70 hours per subscriber in December, nearly 2.5x higher year-over-year (YoY). Users spent nearly 90 hours in December on the leading connected device in that category.

For the second consecutive year, CTVs were the most popular with FuboTV subscribers. In December, entertainment was the most watched content type on these devices (47%), followed by sports (33%) and news/talk (20%).

Product innovation, improved user experience and a broader programming offering powered FuboTV’s increased engagement, an important marker as it continues to capture market share from traditional cable providers.

In 2018, FuboTV was the first – and still only – virtual MVPD to offer streams in 4K HDR. It was also the first to launch “dynamic discovery” – a patent-pending interface through which subscribers can browse live entertainment, news and sports programming via an in-progress preview directly on the home screen and seamlessly click to full video.

Fubo also upgraded its apps and recently launched a new home page showcasing the full breadth of its sports, entertainment and news programming. Additional innovations will be announced in the coming weeks.

FuboTV expanded its programming portfolio in 2018, adding national networks to its base package such as AMC, TBS, TNT, CNN and Cartoon Network, and premium add-ons including AMC Premiere, NBA League Pass and FX+. This expansion underscores FuboTV’s evolution from its initial launch in 2015 as a streaming soccer service, to a sports-first virtual MVPD that today is a leading cable replacement for the entire family.

“Fubo subscribers leaned into our innovative product launches and expanded programming last year spending significantly more time on the service,” said David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, FuboTV.

“Our record user engagement proves consumers crave the kind of premium viewing experience that only a total cable replacement product can offer.”

Simon Pollock joins Sucherman Group

By Robert Briel

Consulting and executive search firm Sucherman Group is acquiring Simon Pollock & Co., London-based search firm.

Effective immediately, Pollock will become Managing Director, International, based in London.

Building on its 30 years as partners and advisors in the US, Sucherman will now provide that same level of service across Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Pollock will lead the firm’s global practice, providing worldwide executive search and consulting services to US-based companies while also supporting international companies expanding in the US.

“No matter where you operate in the world today, talent is the key to success in these dynamic times. For more than 30 years, Sucherman Group has been helping companies make the right moves with the right executives who can meet their company’s unique challenges and thrive in their business culture,” said CEO Erik Sorenson.

“With Simon on our team, we are now positioned to extend that top notch advice and service to organizations around the globe.”

Stuart F. Sucherman, Chairman and Founder, said, “Because content travels as never before, media and entertainment companies are truly global today. Regardless of where clients are based, they require trustworthy expertise across the globe. We have great confidence that Simon will serve our global clients with the same qualities of integrity, honesty and discretion that have defined our success for the past three decades.”

The acquisition grows out of a partnership established between the two companies last year. During that time, the team secured a number of mandates, including helping secure a London- based executive for a Los Angeles entertainment company – and at the same time leading a project for a Paris-based company looking for a senior business leader in the US.

Simon Pollock said, “I have great admiration for Erik and Stuart and what they have built. In my new leadership role, I hope to extend their unique approach to consulting and search around the world, achieving success not only for our firm, but, most importantly, for our clients.”

Simon Pollock has more than 30 years of media and entertainment industry experience, having held senior international roles at Disney, Sony and A&E Networks. Before founding Simon Pollock & Co., he was the London-based head of Practice, Media and Entertainment for global search firm Heidrick & Struggles, based in London. Simon also has served on the board of OSN (the leading provider of PayTV in the Middle East) in Dubai.

Yesterday β€” January 16th 2019Telecom

Brexit: DAZN applies for licences in Germany

By JΓΆrn Krieger

DAZN intends to operate its European sports streaming services under German licences in future.

At Berlin-based media authority MABB, Perform Investment Germany has applied for licences for DAZN in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain as well as for the DAZN 1 Bar HD and DAZN 2 Bar channels targeting the hospitality industry.

The submission was received by MABB on December 20, 2018 and brought forward to regulatory body KEK on January 14, 2019, according to KEK.

The DAZN services have so far been operated under licences from UK-based media authority Ofcom.

Due to the unclear validity of the Ofcom licences in other European countries in the course of Brexit, Turner Broadcasting System and NBC Universal had also applied for German licences for their international channels previously licensed by Ofcom. Bavarian media authority BLM granted the licences in mid-December 2018.

Discovery recently opted for the Netherlands.

Brexit: DAZN applies for licences in Germany

By JΓΆrn Krieger

DAZN intends to operate its European sports streaming services under German licences in future.

At Berlin-based media authority MABB, Perform Investment Germany has applied for licences for DAZN in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain as well as for the DAZN 1 Bar HD and DAZN 2 Bar channels targeting the hospitality industry.

The submission was received by MABB on December 20, 2018 and brought forward to regulatory body KEK on January 14, 2019, according to KEK.

The DAZN services have so far been operated under licences from UK-based media authority Ofcom.

Due to the unclear validity of the Ofcom licences in other European countries in the course of Brexit, Turner Broadcasting System and NBC Universal had also applied for German licences for their international channels previously licensed by Ofcom. Bavarian media authority BLM granted the licences in mid-December 2018.

Discovery recently opted for the Netherlands.

Sky Deutschland to launch Sky Cinema Awards

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will accompany this year’s Academy Awards with a pop-up channel featuring numerous Oscar-winning films.

From February 15 to 24, 2019 Sky Cinema Awards will screen 57 productions which have won a total of 145 Oscars.

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama The Shape of Water, awarded four Oscars in 2018, will be the highlight of Sky Cinema Awards on February 24, the evening of this year’s awards ceremony, at 20.15 CET. The channel will also show almost all the other Oscar winners of the past year on this day.

Sky Cinema Awards will temporarily replace Sky Cinema Emotion. Many of the films will also be available on demand and on streaming service Sky Ticket.

Sky Deutschland to launch Sky Cinema Awards

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will accompany this year’s Academy Awards with a pop-up channel featuring numerous Oscar-winning films.

From February 15 to 24, 2019 Sky Cinema Awards will screen 57 productions which have won a total of 145 Oscars.

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama The Shape of Water, awarded four Oscars in 2018, will be the highlight of Sky Cinema Awards on February 24, the evening of this year’s awards ceremony, at 20.15 CET. The channel will also show almost all the other Oscar winners of the past year on this day.

Sky Cinema Awards will temporarily replace Sky Cinema Emotion. Many of the films will also be available on demand and on streaming service Sky Ticket.

Discovery Denmark adopts Clipsource for metadata

By Julian Clover

Discovery Networks Denmark has appointed mediatech specialists Clipsource, to provide a comprehensive metadata and press platform for its linear and on demand channels in Denmark.

The new platform allows Discovery Networks Denmark to automatically structure and share metadata and PR content across a range of recipients.

“We were looking for a provider able to deliver agile and flexible solutions demanded to serve the many new digital media outlets, such as news publishers, EPG’s and TV guides, and Clipsource was able to deliver on all parameters,” said Lena Bøgild, Manager PR & Digital, Discovery Networks Denmark. “The automation of internal collection and external sharing of rich metadata allow us to distribute more attractive information about our content, to a larger number of recipients, which is crucial in a changing media landscape.”

The delivery to Discovery Networks Denmark includes the collection and merging of data from various internal systems into one coherent metadata structure and sharing process for all Discovery channels and programs, and the automated distribution of schedules and marketing metadata to external parties.

“We are very happy to welcome Discovery Networks Denmark as a customer, and will make sure their teams get super efficient and smooth workflows for their metadata and PR. They will have full access to our platform, to which we constantly introduce new features and functions to serve the fast-changing market for TV and VOD”, said Ola Scholander, Chief Commercial Officer at Clipsource.

Discovery Networks Denmark runs 13 channels in the Danish market including Kanal 5, Kanal 4, 6’eren, Canal 9, Eurosport 1 & 2 and Discovery-branded Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet as well as the streaming services Dplay and Eurosport Player.

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