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Today β€” May 27th 2019Telecom

Home & Garden TV to join Vodafone and PΕΈUR

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Home & Garden TV (HGTV), which Discovery Deutschland will launch in Germany on June 6, 2019, will be available on the cable networks of Vodafone Deutschland and PŸUR.

The ad-supported channel will be offered as an unencrypted free-to-air SD service by both operators from launch, according to Discovery.

HGTV also recently concluded a carriage agreement with cable operator Unitymedia. DTH satellite distribution via Astra (19.2° East) is handled by SES subsidiary MX1.

Home & Garden TV to join Vodafone and PΕΈUR

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Home & Garden TV (HGTV), which Discovery Deutschland will launch in Germany on June 6, 2019, will be available on the cable networks of Vodafone Deutschland and PŸUR.

The ad-supported channel will be offered as an unencrypted free-to-air SD service by both operators from launch, according to Discovery.

HGTV also recently concluded a carriage agreement with cable operator Unitymedia. DTH satellite distribution via Astra (19.2° East) is handled by SES subsidiary MX1.

Croatia extends DTT tender deadline

By Chris Dziadul

The Croatian regulator HAKOM has extended a tender for three DTT licences on Mux 1 and 2 and L1 in the 470-694 MHz frequency spectrum.

In a statement, it says that its reasons for doing so are “to overcome the ambiguities and perceived errors in the mentioned documents, based on the requests for clarification of the tender documents”.

It adds that it “has also published answers to questions for clarifying the tender documentation”.

The new deadline is June 17 (10.00 CET) and a decision on the licences will be issued no later than July 12.

Croatia extends DTT tender deadline

By Chris Dziadul

The Croatian regulator HAKOM has extended a tender for three DTT licences on Mux 1 and 2 and L1 in the 470-694 MHz frequency spectrum.

In a statement, it says that its reasons for doing so are “to overcome the ambiguities and perceived errors in the mentioned documents, based on the requests for clarification of the tender documents”.

It adds that it “has also published answers to questions for clarifying the tender documentation”.

The new deadline is June 17 (10.00 CET) and a decision on the licences will be issued no later than July 12.

Czech countdown to DVB-T2

By Chris Dziadul

Almost half (43%) of households in the Czech Republic now have DVB-T2 reception equipment.

In a statement, the national transmission company CRa says this is up from around a quarter at the end of 2018, adding that it has certified most of the receivers and they have a verified DVB-T2 label.

CRa also says that almost half (46%) of people can expect to see terrestrial TV services in HD.

The public broadcaster CT already distributes content in native HD on the transition network and will offer full HD on its final DVB-T2 network.

Barrandov, Prima Group and Seznam will also broadcast content in HD.

The transition to DVB-T2 will start in the Czech Republic at the end of November and continue until mid-2020.

Viewers will be able to receive over 30 TV channels free of charge, along with a range of interactive services, following the transition to DVB-T2.

Czech countdown to DVB-T2

By Chris Dziadul

Almost half (43%) of households in the Czech Republic now have DVB-T2 reception equipment.

In a statement, the national transmission company CRa says this is up from around a quarter at the end of 2018, adding that it has certified most of the receivers and they have a verified DVB-T2 label.

CRa also says that almost half (46%) of people can expect to see terrestrial TV services in HD.

The public broadcaster CT already distributes content in native HD on the transition network and will offer full HD on its final DVB-T2 network.

Barrandov, Prima Group and Seznam will also broadcast content in HD.

The transition to DVB-T2 will start in the Czech Republic at the end of November and continue until mid-2020.

Viewers will be able to receive over 30 TV channels free of charge, along with a range of interactive services, following the transition to DVB-T2.

Ukrainian pay-TV: the stats

By Chris Dziadul

Ukraine had a total of 2,542,800 cable subscribers at the end of the first quarter, according to the country’s State Statistics Service.

At the same time, the number of IPTV and DTH subscribers stood at 281,000 and 81,300 respectively.

The most cable subscribers were located in Kiev (1,514,100), followed by Dnipropetovsk (147,600) and Odessa (83,100).

Meanwhile, there were also 26,380,500 internet subscribers in Ukraine at the end of Q1, of which 1,714,900 were in Kiev.

Ukrainian pay-TV: the stats

By Chris Dziadul

Ukraine had a total of 2,542,800 cable subscribers at the end of the first quarter, according to the country’s State Statistics Service.

At the same time, the number of IPTV and DTH subscribers stood at 281,000 and 81,300 respectively.

The most cable subscribers were located in Kiev (1,514,100), followed by Dnipropetovsk (147,600) and Odessa (83,100).

Meanwhile, there were also 26,380,500 internet subscribers in Ukraine at the end of Q1, of which 1,714,900 were in Kiev.

Starzplay comes to Apple TV in Europe

By Robert Briel

Starzplay is now available across Europe and Latin America including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia as an Apple TV channel.

The Lionsgate-owned on-demand service will also expand Starzplay International from the current 42 countries to 51 countries by July 1, said CEO Jon Feltheimer.

“We believe the international market is a $45 billion opportunity for us, resulting between 24 million and 25 million new Starz International subscribers by 2025,” Feltheimer said, “making Starzplay one of the three leading pureplay subscription video-on-demand services in the world.”

Launched in 2016, the streaming service has about four million domestic subscribers, excluding three million international (including 1 million for Starzplay Arabia), which Lionsgate co-owns.

Combined with pay-TV, Starz added 1.2 million total subs totaling 24.7 million subs, thanks to Amazon Channels, Roku, Apple TV, Hulu, Virgin Media in the UK, Orange and Vodafone in Spain, and Bell Media in Canada.

By adding an Apple TV channel in the Apple TV app, the potential customers can also be reached on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and Samsung Smart TVs.

Future Starz Original series will be exclusively available on Starzplay day-and-date with the US. New episodes of the series The Spanish Princess as well as the full second season of the award-winning series Vida, starring Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada are available now on Starzplay. These will be followed next month by the premiere of the supernatural, spy thriller The Rook starring Emma Greenwell, Joely Richardson and Olivia Munn on June 30. The second season of Sweetbitter will debut on July 14, with the sixth season of Starz #1 original series “Power” debuting in select territories on August 25.

In addition to the Starz Originals series, Starzplay features curated first run acquired content including the true-crime anthology series The Act starring Patricia Arquette, which will debut on June 14, as well as Catch 22 from director and executive producer George Clooney and Killing Eve. These series are offered alongside a library of movies such as The Hunger Games and Sicario across various territories at the touch of a button.

Starzplay comes to Apple TV in Europe

By Robert Briel

Starzplay is now available across Europe and Latin America including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia as an Apple TV channel.

The Lionsgate-owned on-demand service will also expand Starzplay International from the current 42 countries to 51 countries by July 1, said CEO Jon Feltheimer.

“We believe the international market is a $45 billion opportunity for us, resulting between 24 million and 25 million new Starz International subscribers by 2025,” Feltheimer said, “making Starzplay one of the three leading pureplay subscription video-on-demand services in the world.”

Launched in 2016, the streaming service has about four million domestic subscribers, excluding three million international (including 1 million for Starzplay Arabia), which Lionsgate co-owns.

Combined with pay-TV, Starz added 1.2 million total subs totaling 24.7 million subs, thanks to Amazon Channels, Roku, Apple TV, Hulu, Virgin Media in the UK, Orange and Vodafone in Spain, and Bell Media in Canada.

By adding an Apple TV channel in the Apple TV app, the potential customers can also be reached on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and Samsung Smart TVs.

Future Starz Original series will be exclusively available on Starzplay day-and-date with the US. New episodes of the series The Spanish Princess as well as the full second season of the award-winning series Vida, starring Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada are available now on Starzplay. These will be followed next month by the premiere of the supernatural, spy thriller The Rook starring Emma Greenwell, Joely Richardson and Olivia Munn on June 30. The second season of Sweetbitter will debut on July 14, with the sixth season of Starz #1 original series “Power” debuting in select territories on August 25.

In addition to the Starz Originals series, Starzplay features curated first run acquired content including the true-crime anthology series The Act starring Patricia Arquette, which will debut on June 14, as well as Catch 22 from director and executive producer George Clooney and Killing Eve. These series are offered alongside a library of movies such as The Hunger Games and Sicario across various territories at the touch of a button.

Belarus satellite TV pirate fined

By Chris Dziadul

A resident of the Belarusian city of Gomel has been fined over $1,200 for pirating the services of the Russian DTH platform Tricolor.

According to Mediasat, quoting Onliner, he removed the content protection in receivers and subsequently sold them on for around $46 each.

The receivers in questions allowed viewers to watch such channels as Rossiya 1, First Channel, NTV, Shop 24, Fifth Channel, Rossiya 24, OTR and TV Center.

In a similar incident last month also involving the hacking of Tricolor reception equipment, the pirate in question was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Tricolor is the leading pay-TV operation in neighbouring Russia in terms of subscriber numbers.

Belarus satellite TV pirate fined

By Chris Dziadul

A resident of the Belarusian city of Gomel has been fined over $1,200 for pirating the services of the Russian DTH platform Tricolor.

According to Mediasat, quoting Onliner, he removed the content protection in receivers and subsequently sold them on for around $46 each.

The receivers in questions allowed viewers to watch such channels as Rossiya 1, First Channel, NTV, Shop 24, Fifth Channel, Rossiya 24, OTR and TV Center.

In a similar incident last month also involving the hacking of Tricolor reception equipment, the pirate in question was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Tricolor is the leading pay-TV operation in neighbouring Russia in terms of subscriber numbers.

Amazon Channels to launch in France

By Julian Clover

Amazon Prime Video will debut its channels service in the French market on May 30.

Les Echos reports the channels will be available for a monthly fee of between 3 and 4 Euros without commitment. It anticipates channels from Lagardère (Canal J, TiJi, MCM), Mediawan, and the US Starz would be available at launch. Another wave of channels would be brought on in September.

Sources, quoted by the paper, suggest that revenues would be split with broadcasters on a 50/50 basis.

Amazon Channels are already available in the UK, Germany and Austria.

NHK World-Japan to take part in Nippon Connection 2019

By JΓΆrn Krieger

NHK World-Japan, the international English-language TV channel from Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, will participate in Japanese film festival Nippon Connection taking place from May 28 to June 2, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

In two exclusive screenings, NHK World-Japan will show documentaries at Nippon Connection 2019 focussing on the work and mission of two extraordinary people: 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki (Episode 1: Ponyo is Here) and The Pianist from Syria (pictured above).

The two documentaries will also be shown at a special screening at the Japan Cultural Institute in Cologne (Japan Foundation) on June 3.

The screenings at Nippon Connection 2019 and at the Japan Cultural Institute in Cologne follow NHK World-Japan’s recent launch on the cable network of Vodafone Deutschland, making the channel available nationwide throughout Germany. The move is part of NHK World-Japan’s ongoing initiative to expand its presence in Germany, giving German households an inside view into Japanese news, culture and lifestyle.

In addition to the two largest cable operators Vodafone Deutschland and Unitymedia, NHK World-Japan is available in Germany on the cable networks of NetCologne and wilhelm.tel and on Deutsche Telekom’s TV package for the housing industry. German viewers can also receive the channel via satellite on Astra (19.2° East) and Eutelsat Hotbird (13° East), on the NHK World TV app (iOS/Android), Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV as well as through a live-stream on its website at nhk.jp/world.

NHK World-Japan to take part in Nippon Connection 2019

By JΓΆrn Krieger

NHK World-Japan, the international English-language TV channel from Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, will participate in Japanese film festival Nippon Connection taking place from May 28 to June 2, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

In two exclusive screenings, NHK World-Japan will show documentaries at Nippon Connection 2019 focussing on the work and mission of two extraordinary people: 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki (Episode 1: Ponyo is Here) and The Pianist from Syria (pictured above).

The two documentaries will also be shown at a special screening at the Japan Cultural Institute in Cologne (Japan Foundation) on June 3.

The screenings at Nippon Connection 2019 and at the Japan Cultural Institute in Cologne follow NHK World-Japan’s recent launch on the cable network of Vodafone Deutschland, making the channel available nationwide throughout Germany. The move is part of NHK World-Japan’s ongoing initiative to expand its presence in Germany, giving German households an inside view into Japanese news, culture and lifestyle.

In addition to the two largest cable operators Vodafone Deutschland and Unitymedia, NHK World-Japan is available in Germany on the cable networks of NetCologne and wilhelm.tel and on Deutsche Telekom’s TV package for the housing industry. German viewers can also receive the channel via satellite on Astra (19.2° East) and Eutelsat Hotbird (13° East), on the NHK World TV app (iOS/Android), Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV as well as through a live-stream on its website at nhk.jp/world.

Before yesterdayTelecom

Virgin Media to screen Eurosport Roland Garros coverage in HDR

By Julian Clover

Rafael Nadal celebrated his tenth title at Roland Garros this year (Image: Getty Images)

Virgin Media is to become the first UK TV platform to broadcast an event in 4K Ultra HD (UHD) with High Dynamic Range (HDR).

It’s to make available Eurosport’s coverage of Roland Garros tennis.

Virgin Media will utilise Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) technology to broadcast all matches that feature on the renovated Phillipe Chatrier court in 4K UHD with HDR on its V6 set top box.

Viewers will need to press the red button on their remote control while viewing Eurosport 1 HD or Eurosport 2 HD.

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “We are upping our game once more this summer by broadcasting one of the most prestigious tennis competitions in the highest picture quality currently available. Our customers will be able to get even closer to the action with HDR technology on our V6 box bringing the action right into the homes of our customers.”

Eurosport’s live 4K HDR coverage will be available on each day of the two-week long tournament on all matches that appear on Phillipe Chatrier court.

Virgin Media screen Eurosport Roland Garros coverage in HDR

By Julian Clover

Rafael Nadal celebrated his tenth title at Roland Garros this year (Image: Getty Images)

Virgin Media is to become the first UK TV platform to broadcast an event in 4K Ultra HD (UHD) with High Dynamic Range (HDR).

It’s to make available Eurosport’s coverage of Roland Garros tennis.

Virgin Media will utilise Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) technology to broadcast all matches that feature on the renovated Phillipe Chatrier court in 4K UHD with HDR on its V6 set top box.

Viewers will need to press the red button on their remote control while viewing Eurosport 1 HD or Eurosport 2 HD.

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “We are upping our game once more this summer by broadcasting one of the most prestigious tennis competitions in the highest picture quality currently available. Our customers will be able to get even closer to the action with HDR technology on our V6 box bringing the action right into the homes of our customers.”

Eurosport’s live 4K HDR coverage will be available on each day of the two-week long tournament on all matches that appear on Phillipe Chatrier court.

DTH subscriber falls to spread from North America to Europe and Far East

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

Direct to Home satellite TV (DTH) subscriber falls will accelerate and spread from North America to Europe and eventually to the Far East, according to Rethink Technology Research’s Rethink TV service.

Where subscribers numbers rise there will be falls in ARPU.

The decline in DTH will turn out to be terminal, and yet it all began when cable TV began to churn around 2010, a story which spread to the US satellite operators a few years later.

Today the exodus is gathering speed and starting to spread to Europe, leaving operators scrambling to mop up their departing customers via the life rafts of low ARPU OTT.

This makes it impossible to maintain existing high ARPUs at historical levels, and the wheels have just come off for AT&T in the US as DirecTV Now, its stand-alone OTT is seen as an alternative to the main DTH service – both have now been losing subs after initial gains and investors are starting to ask if this is a permanent trend.

What is still true is that DTH continues to thrive where there are no competitive alternatives for premium content, or where one operator has hogged the most sought-after sports rights.

And in some parts of the world DTH continues to provide an engine of growth for pay TV – but only in developing markets and only for a short while longer, notably India.

Latin America with it artificially high pay TV ARPU looks less like India and more like the US and sustaining ARPU there will be a thankless challenge.

DTH saw rapid growth in pay TV until 2014 in Latin America, on the back of an expanding middle class in key markets. Now it is set for a period of decline and falling ARPU as OTT services continue to take off there and provide a direct threat.

This report looks at multiple geographies, the Americas, Europe, and developing countries in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa along with Oceania.

In Europe the picture is more mixed, with the decline well advanced for some operators such as France’s Canal+, whose base will be halved by 2024 from 2018. Some Eastern European markets have profiles more like developing countries, most notably Cyfrowy Polsat in Poland, set to continue gaining subs for at least the next few years. However, even these operators will run out of rope towards the end of the forecast.

In Asia Pacific DTH subscriber growth will be sustained throughout the period but with signs of flattening later around 2024. We anticipate some Asia Pac operators that are still growing subs now will reach a turning point during the forecast period with decline setting in just before 2024.

Squaring all the regions together there is still a global rise in DTH numbers, but this will come to an end during 2020, and move on to an accelerating decline as more and more DTH operators in Asia Pacific pass their summit.

DTH subscriber falls to spread from North America to Europe and Far East

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

Direct to Home satellite TV (DTH) subscriber falls will accelerate and spread from North America to Europe and eventually to the Far East, according to Rethink Technology Research’s Rethink TV service.

Where subscribers numbers rise there will be falls in ARPU.

The decline in DTH will turn out to be terminal, and yet it all began when cable TV began to churn around 2010, a story which spread to the US satellite operators a few years later.

Today the exodus is gathering speed and starting to spread to Europe, leaving operators scrambling to mop up their departing customers via the life rafts of low ARPU OTT.

This makes it impossible to maintain existing high ARPUs at historical levels, and the wheels have just come off for AT&T in the US as DirecTV Now, its stand-alone OTT is seen as an alternative to the main DTH service – both have now been losing subs after initial gains and investors are starting to ask if this is a permanent trend.

What is still true is that DTH continues to thrive where there are no competitive alternatives for premium content, or where one operator has hogged the most sought-after sports rights.

And in some parts of the world DTH continues to provide an engine of growth for pay TV – but only in developing markets and only for a short while longer, notably India.

Latin America with it artificially high pay TV ARPU looks less like India and more like the US and sustaining ARPU there will be a thankless challenge.

DTH saw rapid growth in pay TV until 2014 in Latin America, on the back of an expanding middle class in key markets. Now it is set for a period of decline and falling ARPU as OTT services continue to take off there and provide a direct threat.

This report looks at multiple geographies, the Americas, Europe, and developing countries in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa along with Oceania.

In Europe the picture is more mixed, with the decline well advanced for some operators such as France’s Canal+, whose base will be halved by 2024 from 2018. Some Eastern European markets have profiles more like developing countries, most notably Cyfrowy Polsat in Poland, set to continue gaining subs for at least the next few years. However, even these operators will run out of rope towards the end of the forecast.

In Asia Pacific DTH subscriber growth will be sustained throughout the period but with signs of flattening later around 2024. We anticipate some Asia Pac operators that are still growing subs now will reach a turning point during the forecast period with decline setting in just before 2024.

Squaring all the regions together there is still a global rise in DTH numbers, but this will come to an end during 2020, and move on to an accelerating decline as more and more DTH operators in Asia Pacific pass their summit.

Amazon Channels to launch in France

By Julian Clover

Amazon Prime Video will debut its channels service in the French market on May 30.

Les Echos reports the channels will be available for a monthly fee of between 3 and 4 Euros without commitment. It anticipates channels from Lagardère (Canal J, TiJi, MCM), Mediawan, and the US Starz would be available at launch. Another wave of channels would be brought on in September.

Sources, quoted by the paper, suggest that revenues would be split with broadcasters on a 50/50 basis.

Amazon Channels are already available in the UK, Germany and Austria.

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