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Today β€” April 20th 2018Telecom

Sky Deutschland keeps DFB Cup rights

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will show all matches of German football tournament DFB Cup live for another three years.

The new agreement with German football association DFB covers the TV rights for the 2019/20 to 2021/22 seasons. The contract enables Sky to continue broadcasting all 63 matches of the competition live, 50 of them exclusively on German television. Financial details were not disclosed.

The rights deal covers transmissions via cable, satellite, IPTV, internet and mobile TV.

The free-to-air TV rights for selected matches were acquired by public broadcaster ARD and commercial sports channel Sport1.

Sky Deutschland keeps DFB Cup rights

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will show all matches of German football tournament DFB Cup live for another three years.

The new agreement with German football association DFB covers the TV rights for the 2019/20 to 2021/22 seasons. The contract enables Sky to continue broadcasting all 63 matches of the competition live, 50 of them exclusively on German television. Financial details were not disclosed.

The rights deal covers transmissions via cable, satellite, IPTV, internet and mobile TV.

The free-to-air TV rights for selected matches were acquired by public broadcaster ARD and commercial sports channel Sport1.

Yannick BollorΓ© steps up to Vivendi chair

By Julian Clover

Yannick Bolloré has been appointed as chairman of French media giant Vivendi, replacing his 67 year old father Vincent.The Board also confirmed Philippe Bénacin as Vice-Chairman.

Yannick Bolloré is a graduate of Paris Dauphine University. He is also chairman and chief executive officer of the Havas Group.

Before joining Havas he spent five years with Bolloré Media, which ran the D8 and D17 channels, prior to their sale to Vivendi subsidiary Canal+.

Changes at the top for Hispasat

By Chris Dziadul

Hispasat has announced changes to the composition of its board of directors following the completion of the sale of Eutelsat’s stake in the company.

As a result of the sale, Eutelsat’s representatives – Rodolphe Belmer, Michel Azibert, Ariane Rossi, Almudena Arpon de Mendívil and Edouard Silverio – have left the board.

The new board members nominated to represent Abertis are Aristoteles Aunon, Martí Carbonell, Jose Luis Viejo, Laura Grau and Sebastian Morales.

Furthermore, a new board member, Marta Casas, has also been added to represent Abertis and to replace Francisco Reynes, who resigned on February 6 after leaving his position as head of Abertis.

Hispasat is now 89.68% owned by Abertis, with Sepi holding the remaining 7.41% and CDTI 2.91% of its shares.

Changes at the top for Hispasat

By Chris Dziadul

Hispasat has announced changes to the composition of its board of directors following the completion of the sale of Eutelsat’s stake in the company.

As a result of the sale, Eutelsat’s representatives – Rodolphe Belmer, Michel Azibert, Ariane Rossi, Almudena Arpon de Mendívil and Edouard Silverio – have left the board.

The new board members nominated to represent Abertis are Aristoteles Aunon, Martí Carbonell, Jose Luis Viejo, Laura Grau and Sebastian Morales.

Furthermore, a new board member, Marta Casas, has also been added to represent Abertis and to replace Francisco Reynes, who resigned on February 6 after leaving his position as head of Abertis.

Hispasat is now 89.68% owned by Abertis, with Sepi holding the remaining 7.41% and CDTI 2.91% of its shares.

Amazon Prime delivering to 100 million customers

By Julian Clover

13 years after its launch Amazon’s Prime service has now exceeded 100 million members across the world.

In a letter to shareholders, founder and CEO Jeff Bexos said more than five billion items had been shipped in 2017, while more members joined Prime than in any other previous year.

What began as an extension to its parcel delivery service, promising unlimited free two-day shipping, has expanded into streaming music and, significantly, video.

In March, documents obtained by Reuters revealed the US audience for video streamed on the Prime service amounts to around 26 million and has become a key tool in both member adoption and retention.

Last Prime Channels launched in the UK and Germany and the service is constantly linked with big sports acquisitions.

This week it was announced that Amazon had acquired the exclusive live rights to US Open Tennis in the UK and Ireland.

Amazon Prime delivering to 100 million customers

By Julian Clover

13 years after its launch Amazon’s Prime service has now exceeded 100 million members across the world.

In a letter to shareholders, founder and CEO Jeff Bexos said more than five billion items had been shipped in 2017, while more members joined Prime than in any other previous year.

What began as an extension to its parcel delivery service, promising unlimited free two-day shipping, has expanded into streaming music and, significantly, video.

In March, documents obtained by Reuters revealed the US audience for video streamed on the Prime service amounts to around 26 million and has become a key tool in both member adoption and retention.

Last Prime Channels launched in the UK and Germany and the service is constantly linked with big sports acquisitions.

This week it was announced that Amazon had acquired the exclusive live rights to US Open Tennis in the UK and Ireland.

Amazon Prime Video wins US Open tennis rights in the UK

By Julian Clover

Amazon has signed an exclusive agreement with the organisers of the US Open Tennis Championships.

The five-year deal with the USTA gives the streaming service live rights to the tournament in the UK and Ireland. Prime members will have access to live matches and on demand highlights.

“We are proud to partner with the USTA to add the US Open to the growing portfolio of sports available on Prime Video,” added Alex Green, Managing Director, Channels & Sports, Prime Video Europe. “This prestigious event, along with the other exciting tennis coming this year and next, makes Prime Video a destination for tennis fans in the UK and Ireland.”

“This new partnership allows the USTA to showcase our live and on-demand content to Amazon Prime members throughout the U.K. and Ireland,” said Lew Sherr, USTA Chief Revenue Officer. “We are excited to market the telecasts via Prime Video and provide fans more ways to watch tennis matches.”

Up until 2016 the rights had been shared between Sky Sports and Eurosport, before Eurosport took on the coverage exclusively in 2017.

Amazon is also said to be in conversation with the Premier League over one or more of the two unsold packages in the 2019-22 rights round.

Amazon Prime Video wins US Open tennis rights in the UK

By Julian Clover

Amazon has signed an exclusive agreement with the organisers of the US Open Tennis Championships.

The five-year deal with the USTA gives the streaming service live rights to the tournament in the UK and Ireland. Prime members will have access to live matches and on demand highlights.

“We are proud to partner with the USTA to add the US Open to the growing portfolio of sports available on Prime Video,” added Alex Green, Managing Director, Channels & Sports, Prime Video Europe. “This prestigious event, along with the other exciting tennis coming this year and next, makes Prime Video a destination for tennis fans in the UK and Ireland.”

“This new partnership allows the USTA to showcase our live and on-demand content to Amazon Prime members throughout the U.K. and Ireland,” said Lew Sherr, USTA Chief Revenue Officer. “We are excited to market the telecasts via Prime Video and provide fans more ways to watch tennis matches.”

Up until 2016 the rights had been shared between Sky Sports and Eurosport, before Eurosport took on the coverage exclusively in 2017.

Amazon is also said to be in conversation with the Premier League over one or more of the two unsold packages in the 2019-22 rights round.

Anton Fedotov joins Russia’s STS Media

By Chris Dziadul

Russia’s STS Media has announced the appointment of Anton Fedotov as the general producer of its flagship TV channel STS.

He will report to the general director of STS, whose duties are performed by Vyacheslav Muugov, the general director of STS Media.

STS Media, which at one stage was majority owned by Modern Times Group (MTG), is one of the leading broadcasters in Russia, where it operates the TV channels STS, Domashny, Che and STS Love.

In addition, it operates Channel 31 in Kazakhstan and the international versions of STS, Domashny and Peretz, and has a number of digital entertainment assets.

Earlier this week, it was reported in the local media that Darya Legoni-Fialko had resigned from the position of director of STS.

Anton Fedotov joins Russia’s STS Media

By Chris Dziadul

Russia’s STS Media has announced the appointment of Anton Fedotov as the general producer of its flagship TV channel STS.

He will report to the general director of STS, whose duties are performed by Vyacheslav Muugov, the general director of STS Media.

STS Media, which at one stage was majority owned by Modern Times Group (MTG), is one of the leading broadcasters in Russia, where it operates the TV channels STS, Domashny, Che and STS Love.

In addition, it operates Channel 31 in Kazakhstan and the international versions of STS, Domashny and Peretz, and has a number of digital entertainment assets.

Earlier this week, it was reported in the local media that Darya Legoni-Fialko had resigned from the position of director of STS.

Inea secures new funding

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish cable operator Inea has obtained credit totalling PLN930 million (€223.2 million).

According to Wirtualne Media, it will be used to pay off existing debts and invest in the company’s fibre-optic infrastructure.

It adds that the funding is being provided by eight banks, with an agreement having been signed on March 29 and the credit obtained by April 17.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, Inea, which is the largest cable operator in Wielkopolska (Western Poland) was recently acquired by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (ME1F5).

The deal was approved by Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) in January this year.

Inea secures new funding

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish cable operator Inea has obtained credit totalling PLN930 million (€223.2 million).

According to Wirtualne Media, it will be used to pay off existing debts and invest in the company’s fibre-optic infrastructure.

It adds that the funding is being provided by eight banks, with an agreement having been signed on March 29 and the credit obtained by April 17.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, Inea, which is the largest cable operator in Wielkopolska (Western Poland) was recently acquired by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (ME1F5).

The deal was approved by Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) in January this year.

Inea secures new funding

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish cable operator Inea has obtained credit totalling PLN930 million (€223.2 million).

According to Wirtualne Media, it will be used to pay off existing debts and invest in the company’s fibre-optic infrastructure.

It adds that the funding is being provided by eight banks, with an agreement having been signed on March 29 and the credit obtained by April 17.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, Inea, which is the largest cable operator in Wielkopolska (Western Poland) was recently acquired by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (ME1F5).

The deal was approved by Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) in January this year.

Chris Dziadul Reports: Spotlight on United Group

By Chris Dziadul

United Group’s decision to invest an additional €293 million in Serbia over the next five years is certainly a vote of confidence in the country.

Backed by the global investment fund KKR, with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) a minority shareholder, United Group is already an important player in Serbia’s electronic communications industry, and indeed South Eastern Europe, or more specifically the countries of the former Yugoslavia, as a whole.

Founded in 2007 by the merger of Serbia Broadband (SBB) and Telemach Slovenia, it was subsequently enlarged by Telemach Bosnia and Telemach Montenegro.

More recently, it has grown still further through a number of acquisitions in the region, including the cable operators M-kabl in Montenegro in 2016 and Ikom in Serbia last year.
On the other hand, it also disposed of assets. Earlier this year, for instance, it sold Total TV, the Dutch parent company of Croatia’s Totalna Televizija, thereby exiting the non-core Croatian retail pay-TV market.

This paved the way for the Croatian authorities to finally approve United Media’s acquisition, through a subsidiary named Slovenia Broadband, of the national commercial broadcaster Nova TV from CME. The deal, first announced last year, had originally run into difficulties due to concentration concerns.

The engine for United Group’s growth has undoubtedly been KKR, which has been its majority owner since 2014. Even before this week’s announcement, the operation in Serbia had already benefited in investment to the tune of €264 million since it took over the company.

By now publicly committing additional funds to Serbia, United Group has arguably underlined its intention to remain the leading alternative telco in the region. Its business, which spans both platforms and media (content and advertising), is likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future.

Thomas Arnoldner nominated as Telekom Austria CEO

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Thomas Arnoldner will be nominated as the new CEO of A1 Telekom Austria Group by the Austrian telco’s two main shareholders, América Móvil and Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungen (ÖBIB).

The supervisory board will confirm the nomination at its next meeting following the upcoming annual general assembly. Arnoldner is expected to take up his new position on September 1, 2018.

Arnoldner, currently Vice President Sales & Service at T-Systems Austria, will replace Alejandro Plater who held the CEO position in addition to his COO position since 2015 and will subsequently focus on the latter.

Yesterday β€” April 19th 2018Telecom

RTL Nederland to merge OTT services

By Robert Briel

RTL Nederland is to merge its two OTT activities, Videoland, RTL XL, into a single platform.

Just recently RTL terminated its catch-up service RTL Gemist, which was available for free on a number of smart TVs as well as on various distribution platforms including KPN and Ziggo.

The combined platform provides the basis for further online activities. Videoland is a SVOD service offering movies and TV series, priced at €8.99 a month, while RTL XL offers catch-up programming as well as paid-for premieres of TV series.

The move is part of a new strategy outlined by RTL in the Netherlands, where under the banner ‘fan centric’ the viewer and RTL fans are at the centre of the broadcaster’s decision making process.

“Videoland is growing faster than ever. We have to, because not only do we want to be the market leader on TV, we also want to be the local number 1 in video on demand,” said RTL Nederland CEO Sven Sauvé.

“Our video on demand activities have taught us a lot about ‘fan centric’ working. It is about continuous testing while you are developing something, learning from your mistakes and sometimes it means to kill your darlings if that is in the interest of the consumer. By talking to our subscribers, we know that they want to have one place where they can see everything and where a lot of attention is paid to Dutch content. This year we are taking the step of merging all our online activities.”

RTL Nederland to merge OTT services

By Robert Briel

RTL Nederland is to merge its two OTT activities, Videoland, RTL XL, into a single platform.

Just recently RTL terminated its catch-up service RTL Gemist, which was available for free on a number of smart TVs as well as on various distribution platforms including KPN and Ziggo.

The combined platform provides the basis for further online activities. Videoland is a SVOD service offering movies and TV series, priced at €8.99 a month, while RTL XL offers catch-up programming as well as paid-for premieres of TV series.

The move is part of a new strategy outlined by RTL in the Netherlands, where under the banner ‘fan centric’ the viewer and RTL fans are at the centre of the broadcaster’s decision making process.

“Videoland is growing faster than ever. We have to, because not only do we want to be the market leader on TV, we also want to be the local number 1 in video on demand,” said RTL Nederland CEO Sven Sauvé.

“Our video on demand activities have taught us a lot about ‘fan centric’ working. It is about continuous testing while you are developing something, learning from your mistakes and sometimes it means to kill your darlings if that is in the interest of the consumer. By talking to our subscribers, we know that they want to have one place where they can see everything and where a lot of attention is paid to Dutch content. This year we are taking the step of merging all our online activities.”

NBC, Fox, Turner and Viacom create joint ad data

By Julian Clover

Four major US broadcasters are combining to offer advertisers automated buying, advanced formats and cross-platform measurement and currency for new platforms.

The move has been instigated by NBCUniversal which has dropped its previous reluctance to join the OpenAP platform. NBC will now join with OpenAP, alongside Fox, Turner and Viacom, bringing with it data capabilities from its own Audience Studio.

Krishan Bhatia, Executive Vice President, Business Operations and Strategy, NBCUniversal, said, “We have spent the last four years developing the industry’s best tools to empower advertisers to better target their marketing campaigns to desired audiences. We’re excited to unleash the capabilities of our Audience Studio for the rest of the industry and share our underlying technology to propel the entire business forward.”

In a joint statement, Fox’s President of Ad Revenue Joe Marchese, Turner’s President of Ad Sales Donna Speciale, and Viacom’s Head of Marketing & Partner Solutions Sean Moran said: “OpenAP was formed with a clear mission: to bring the industry together in order to advance the experience, efficiency and effectiveness of advertising. With NBCUniversal aligning with the consortium, we are all accelerating the industry’s efforts in providing more premium scale to drive greater adoption of advanced audience targeting, while laying the groundwork for future innovation.”

Giving advertisers a consistent platform, OpemAP helps them identify the viewers they want to target, using data from Nielsen and comScore to reach the same audience segment across their network.

HSE24 owners said to favour sale over IPO

By JΓΆrn Krieger

US investment group Providence is moving ahead with plans to sell German home shopping TV network HSE24.

Providence has selected Apax, BC Partners and Pamplona as second-round bidders, reports Reuters with reference to several people close to the matter.

The suitors will get management presentations next week with a view to getting ready for final bids in a few weeks for the asset which is expected to fetch more than €1.5 billion, according to the report

The simultaneous preparations for a pre-summer flotation (IPO) of HSE24 on the Frankfurt stock exchange are currently not the first choice, but may be revived if final bids come in below expectations, reports Reuters.

HSE24 launched in 1995 as Germany’s first home shopping channel under the name H.O.T. (Home Order Television). The broadcaster which mainly competes with Liberty’s QVC also covers Austria and Switzerland and operates subsidiaries in Italy and Russia. In 2012, Providence acquired the majority stake.

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