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Yesterday β€” December 13th 2019Telecom

Euroconsult: satellite capacity stabilised at lower rates of decline

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

Euroconsult’s latest research, FSS Capacity Pricing Trends, shows that as the growth of satellite capacity on orbit slows, pricing levels per megahertz (MHz) for regular capacity and per megabits per second (Mbps) for HTS capacity have both stabilised at lower rates of decline and are projected to continue that trend through 2020.

Based on hundreds of data points spanning nearly all segments, frequency bands, and regions, the report uncovered broadening price disparity. It cites capacity pricing as low as $800 per MHz per month for data applications in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, and Central Asia, and notes market resilience with pricing remaining as high as $8,000 per MHz per month in important orbital hot spots for video broadcasting. While the cost per Mbps for HTS capacity has trended lower in the past 12 months, demand for high-quality HTS capacity in certain bands and regions has exceeded supply, enabling stable pricing in those markets.

“The slowdown in supply growth has helped the market regain a certain degree of equilibrium with demand growth also contributing to the stabilization of pricing conditions underway today,” said Brent Prokosh, Senior Affiliate Consultant at Euroconsult. “Pricing ranges remain highly dispersed, although convergence in pricing levels for regular Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) capacity and HTS bandwidth for data applications has been observed.”

Euroconsult notes that the double-digit pricing declines that were observed in the years prior to 2018 are now rare and limited to several localised markets. However, the research firm projects that today’s pricing stabilization is likely to be short-lived for data-oriented applications as a massive volume of attractively priced supply from Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS) and Non-Geostationary-Satellite Orbit (NGSO) constellations currently under construction, is expected to enter service in 2021.

“The most frequent questions that our analysts are asked relate to the cost of capacity,” said Pacome Révillon, Chief Executive Officer of Euroconsult.

“Rather than just providing anecdotal evidence, we embarked on this in-depth research to delve into the details and more fully understand the changing dynamics of satellite capacity pricing. The report addresses the satellite bandwidth market with the perspective and authority that the industry has come to expect from Euroconsult.”

A+E Networks launches new OTT channel on Samsung TV Plus

By Robert Briel

A+E Networks has announced the launch of Lively Place, a new OTT channel available on Samsung TV Plus.

Lively Place curates non-fiction lifestyle programs from A+E Networks’ deep library of series and furthers the marketplace evolution of streamed offerings.

“We are thrilled to be joining Samsung TV Plus’ diverse lineup to reach a highly-engaged audience at scale. With consumer behavior and viewer demands as our north star, Lively Place meets our fans where they are with the content they crave,” said Mark Garner, EVP, Digital Content Licensing & Business Development, A+E Networks.

“Accessible to viewers across the United States, Lively Place enables new audiences to discover our popular lifestyle library content effortlessly, continuing our leadership position as a global content company.”

Lively Place is a fully-scheduled digital destination with a slate of programming that celebrates spirit, passion and positivity through themes that include home improvement, dating and romance, and outdoor enthusiast.

Lively Place is powered by Wurl. The agreement also includes global distribution through the Wurl Network and targeted advertising through Wurl’s AdSpring service.

CuriosityStream now serving over 10.5m paying subs

By Robert Briel

US-based SVOD platform CuriosityStream said it is now being delivered to 10,512,340 paying subscribers.

The paying subscriber count does not include registrants who are under free-trial. The company also announced that it has partnered with Millicom for upcoming launches in nine Latin American countries.

CuriosityStream, an independent media enterprise created by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, is undergoing rapid distribution growth due to its implementation of a bundled partnership fee plan through which distributors can provide the CuriosityStream SVOD service to all basic customers or to any significant customer segment.

In addition to its partnership with Millicom, CuriosityStream’s affiliate partners who have already implemented the new “bundled” distribution plan include Altice USA and Suddenlink in the US, StarHub in Singapore, Totalplay in Mexico, Airtel in India, Multichoice’s DStv across Africa, Liberty Global/Flow in the Caribbean, and REV TV on Cable Bahamas. Additional carriage agreements are expected to be announced in the weeks and months ahead.

ABS-CBN files $4m piracy suit in US

By Robert Briel

Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN has filed a $4m lawsuit against a Texas resident and a streaming service for allegedly pirating its content through illegal set-top boxes.

Anthony Brown and 1700 Cuts Technology were accused of selling the set-top boxes on Facebook, enabling buyers to access ABS-CBN’s live programming without paying appropriate fees.

The scheme was “not licensed or affiliated in any way with ABS-CBN,” said ABS-CBN Assistant Vice President and Head of Global Anti-Piracy Elisha Lawrence.

“What these pirates do is literally rob from this ecosystem of content creators, pretend to own the content, and scam customers by making money off that content. ABS-CBN is committed to stopping them and bringing them to justice,” said the company’s its Managing Director for North and Latin America Jun Del Rosario.

The only genuine ABS-CBN internet subscription services are The Filipino Channel on cable and satellite, IPTV and TFC.tv, said Lawrence.

Sky Deutschland launches low-price sports streaming package

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland has introduced a new, low-priced sports package on its streaming service Sky Ticket for €9.99 per month.

The Sport Ticket contains all live highlights coverage of domestic football league Bundesliga, 2nd division Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League as well as all live transmissions of Premier League and DFB Cup matches. Formula 1, handball, tennis and golf are also included.

Sports fans wanting to watch the games of the Bundesliga and Champions League individually in full length, can still opt for the Supersport Ticket, which costs €29.99 per month. The Supersport customers can now also use an additional parallel stream. The Sky Tickets can be cancelled monthly.

Sky Ticket customers who, for example, are only interested in individual Bundesliga or Champions League matches can book the Supersport Tagesticket offering access on a single day for €14.99.

IPTV dominates in Croatia

By Chris Dziadul

The number of IPTV subscribers in Croatia stood at 435,220 at the end of the third quarter, or 4.76% more than in the same period last year.

According to data published by the regulator HAKOM, 56% of pay-TV homes received IPTV services as of the end of September. Meanwhile, the number of cable homes fell by 1.08% year on year in the third quarter to 175,834 and the DTH total rose by 2.44% to 148,142.

The pay-DTT subscriber total fell by 5.46% to 68,058 and that for receiving standalone eservices by 33.26% to 145,464.

The total number of digital TV subscribers in Q3 stood at 653,251 (-3.51%) and total revenue from TV services HRK198,338,424 (€26,626,800), or 2.69% more than in the same period in 2018.

Telekom Srbija secures Bosnia asset

By Chris Dziadul

Serbia’s Competition Commission has approved the acquisition of the Banja Luka-based company Financ by Mtel, which is 65% owned by Telekom Srbija.

According to em>Nezavisne, Financ sells and distributes Telekom services in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It also provides internet and IPTV services.

Nezavisne adds that Mtel is one of the three national telcos operating in Bosnia & Herzgovina and had revenues of €223 million in 2018.

At the same time, Telekom Srbija had revenues of €1,059 million, of which €724 million were generated in Serbia.

The Competition Commission based its decision on the fact that Financ, majority owned by Milos Buzadija, has no presence in the relevant market in Serbia.

Russian ad market starts to recover

By Chris Dziadul

Russia’s TV ad market showed signs of improvement in the third quarter after a difficult start to the year.

According to the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia (AKAR), spend fell by between 4-5% in Q3, compared to 9-10% in the period January – June.

In the first nine months of 2019 the total TV ad spend amounted to between R119-120 billion (€1.69-1.71 billion), or 7% less than in the same period last year.

The main channels accounted for between R115-117 million (-7%) and thematic channels R4.8 billion (-4%).

At the same time, the internet segment showed the greatest growth, claiming between R169-171 billion (+21%) in the first nine months of this year.

Total ad spend between January-September came to R340-345 billion, or 5% more than in the corresponding period last year.

Chris Dziadul Reports: 2019 in CEE review

By Chris Dziadul

2019 was another eventful year for the TV industry in Central and Eastern Europe, with
several important M&As making the headlines.

Vodafone finally completed the acquisition of Liberty Global’s assets in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, while the Czech Republic’s PPF Group entered into an agreement to buy CME’s operations in five regional markets.

Modern Times Group (MTG) exited Central and Eastern European by selling Bulgaria’s Nova TV to the locally owned Advance Media Group and the Bulgarian incumbent Vivacom found itself with a new owner in the shape of United Group.

Other important transactions included the sale of Baltcom, one of the leading cable operators in the Baltic Republics, to Bite Latvija; Antenna Hungária acquiring a stake in Telenor’s former Hungarian companies; and RCS&RDS (Digi) agreeing to buy Romania’s largest independent cable operator AKTA. At the same time, Telekom Srbija continued its acquisition spree, both in its home market and in neighbouring countries.

As the year drew to a close, one of the most widely expected deals, namely the sale of a majority stake in Telekom Romania by Deutsche Telekom’s OTE, had yet to materialise. However, it was attracting interest from a number of potential bidders including Orange, Digi, United Group, PPF Group and the Bulgarian entrepreneur Spas Roussev and could happen in the near future.

With these M&As we have seen the emergence of key regional players such as PPF Group, whose TV interests were formerly confined to the Czech Republic, and the departure of others, including MTG and CME. United Group, under new ownership, has embarked on a high-profile acquisition spree that may soon also include Tele2 Croatia, while Liberty Global still remains in the region, albeit with a presence now confined to Poland and Slovakia.

In the final Chris Dziadul Reports of the year we will look at what 2020 may hold for the region’s TV industry.

ZDF launches premium catch-up TV service ZDF select on Amazon

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Marking the first rollout of its premium catch-up TV brand on a third-party platform, German public broadcaster ZDF has launched ZDF select on Amazon Prime Video Channels.

For €4.99 per month, Amazon Prime customers in Germany and Austria gain access to ZDF series, films and documentaries that are no longer available in the regular, free catch-up TV service ZDFmediathek. The offer can be tested free of charge for 14 days.

Integrated into ZDF select are ZDF’s existing Amazon Prime Video channels: ZDF Krimi (€2.99/month), ZDF Herzkino (€2.99/month), Terra X (€2.99/month) and ZDFtivi (€3.99/month). The individual channels remain available à la carte in parallel.

ZDF select, together with ZDFtivi, ARD Plus and ARD Plus Kids, debuted on Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV platform MagentaTV in October 2018 where it was offered exclusively until now.

Euroconsult: satellite capacity stabilised at lower rates of decline

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

Euroconsult’s latest research, FSS Capacity Pricing Trends, shows that as the growth of satellite capacity on orbit slows, pricing levels per megahertz (MHz) for regular capacity and per megabits per second (Mbps) for HTS capacity have both stabilised at lower rates of decline and are projected to continue that trend through 2020.

Based on hundreds of data points spanning nearly all segments, frequency bands, and regions, the report uncovered broadening price disparity. It cites capacity pricing as low as $800 per MHz per month for data applications in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, and Central Asia, and notes market resilience with pricing remaining as high as $8,000 per MHz per month in important orbital hot spots for video broadcasting. While the cost per Mbps for HTS capacity has trended lower in the past 12 months, demand for high-quality HTS capacity in certain bands and regions has exceeded supply, enabling stable pricing in those markets.

“The slowdown in supply growth has helped the market regain a certain degree of equilibrium with demand growth also contributing to the stabilization of pricing conditions underway today,” said Brent Prokosh, Senior Affiliate Consultant at Euroconsult. “Pricing ranges remain highly dispersed, although convergence in pricing levels for regular Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) capacity and HTS bandwidth for data applications has been observed.”

Euroconsult notes that the double-digit pricing declines that were observed in the years prior to 2018 are now rare and limited to several localised markets. However, the research firm projects that today’s pricing stabilization is likely to be short-lived for data-oriented applications as a massive volume of attractively priced supply from Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS) and Non-Geostationary-Satellite Orbit (NGSO) constellations currently under construction, is expected to enter service in 2021.

“The most frequent questions that our analysts are asked relate to the cost of capacity,” said Pacome Révillon, Chief Executive Officer of Euroconsult.

“Rather than just providing anecdotal evidence, we embarked on this in-depth research to delve into the details and more fully understand the changing dynamics of satellite capacity pricing. The report addresses the satellite bandwidth market with the perspective and authority that the industry has come to expect from Euroconsult.”

A+E Networks launches new OTT channel on Samsung TV Plus

By Robert Briel

A+E Networks has announced the launch of Lively Place, a new OTT channel available on Samsung TV Plus.

Lively Place curates non-fiction lifestyle programs from A+E Networks’ deep library of series and furthers the marketplace evolution of streamed offerings.

“We are thrilled to be joining Samsung TV Plus’ diverse lineup to reach a highly-engaged audience at scale. With consumer behavior and viewer demands as our north star, Lively Place meets our fans where they are with the content they crave,” said Mark Garner, EVP, Digital Content Licensing & Business Development, A+E Networks.

“Accessible to viewers across the United States, Lively Place enables new audiences to discover our popular lifestyle library content effortlessly, continuing our leadership position as a global content company.”

Lively Place is a fully-scheduled digital destination with a slate of programming that celebrates spirit, passion and positivity through themes that include home improvement, dating and romance, and outdoor enthusiast.

Lively Place is powered by Wurl. The agreement also includes global distribution through the Wurl Network and targeted advertising through Wurl’s AdSpring service.

CuriosityStream now serving over 10.5m paying subs

By Robert Briel

US-based SVOD platform CuriosityStream said it is now being delivered to 10,512,340 paying subscribers.

The paying subscriber count does not include registrants who are under free-trial. The company also announced that it has partnered with Millicom for upcoming launches in nine Latin American countries.

CuriosityStream, an independent media enterprise created by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, is undergoing rapid distribution growth due to its implementation of a bundled partnership fee plan through which distributors can provide the CuriosityStream SVOD service to all basic customers or to any significant customer segment.

In addition to its partnership with Millicom, CuriosityStream’s affiliate partners who have already implemented the new “bundled” distribution plan include Altice USA and Suddenlink in the US, StarHub in Singapore, Totalplay in Mexico, Airtel in India, Multichoice’s DStv across Africa, Liberty Global/Flow in the Caribbean, and REV TV on Cable Bahamas. Additional carriage agreements are expected to be announced in the weeks and months ahead.

IPTV dominates in Croatia

By Chris Dziadul

The number of IPTV subscribers in Croatia stood at 435,220 at the end of the third quarter, or 4.76% more than in the same period last year.

According to data published by the regulator HAKOM, 56% of pay-TV homes received IPTV services as of the end of September. Meanwhile, the number of cable homes fell by 1.08% year on year in the third quarter to 175,834 and the DTH total rose by 2.44% to 148,142.

The pay-DTT subscriber total fell by 5.46% to 68,058 and that for receiving standalone eservices by 33.26% to 145,464.

The total number of digital TV subscribers in Q3 stood at 653,251 (-3.51%) and total revenue from TV services HRK198,338,424 (€26,626,800), or 2.69% more than in the same period in 2018.

IPTV dominates in Croatia

By Chris Dziadul

The number of IPTV subscribers in Croatia stood at 435,220 at the end of the third quarter, or 4.76% more than in the same period last year.

According to data published by the regulator HAKOM, 56% of pay-TV homes received IPTV services as of the end of September. Meanwhile, the number of cable homes fell by 1.08% year on year in the third quarter to 175,834 and the DTH total rose by 2.44% to 148,142.

The pay-DTT subscriber total fell by 5.46% to 68,058 and that for receiving standalone eservices by 33.26% to 145,464.

The total number of digital TV subscribers in Q3 stood at 653,251 (-3.51%) and total revenue from TV services HRK198,338,424 (€26,626,800), or 2.69% more than in the same period in 2018.

Telekom Srbija secures Bosnia asset

By Chris Dziadul

Serbia’s Competition Commission has approved the acquisition of the Banja Luka-based company Financ by Mtel, which is 65% owned by Telekom Srbija.

According to em>Nezavisne, Financ sells and distributes Telekom services in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It also provides internet and IPTV services.

Nezavisne adds that Mtel is one of the three national telcos operating in Bosnia & Herzgovina and had revenues of €223 million in 2018.

At the same time, Telekom Srbija had revenues of €1,059 million, of which €724 million were generated in Serbia.

The Competition Commission based its decision on the fact that Financ, majority owned by Milos Buzadija, has no presence in the relevant market in Serbia.

Russian ad market starts to recover

By Chris Dziadul

Russia’s TV ad market showed signs of improvement in the third quarter after a difficult start to the year.

According to the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia (AKAR), spend fell by between 4-5% in Q3, compared to 9-10% in the period January – June.

In the first nine months of 2019 the total TV ad spend amounted to between R119-120 billion (€1.69-1.71 billion), or 7% less than in the same period last year.

The main channels accounted for between R115-117 million (-7%) and thematic channels R4.8 billion (-4%).

At the same time, the internet segment showed the greatest growth, claiming between R169-171 billion (+21%) in the first nine months of this year.

Total ad spend between January-September came to R340-345 billion, or 5% more than in the corresponding period last year.

ZDF rolls out premium catch-up TV service ZDF select on Amazon

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Marking the first rollout of its premium catch-up TV brand on a third-party platform, German public broadcaster ZDF has launched ZDF select on Amazon Prime Video Channels.

For €4.99 per month, Amazon Prime customers in Germany and Austria gain access to ZDF series, films and documentaries that are no longer available in the regular, free catch-up TV service ZDFmediathek. The offer can be tested free of charge for 14 days.

Integrated into ZDF select are ZDF’s existing Amazon Prime Video channels: ZDF Krimi (€2.99/month), ZDF Herzkino (€2.99/month), Terra X (€2.99/month) and ZDFtivi (€3.99/month). The individual channels remain available à la carte in parallel.

ZDF select, together with ZDFtivi, ARD Plus and ARD Plus Kids, debuted on Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV platform MagentaTV in October 2018 where it was offered exclusively until now.

Before yesterdayTelecom

Netflix polls 4 million subscribers in the Nordics

By Julian Clover

The Nordic region’s love of streaming services shows no sign of abating. Media consultancy Mediavision says 4 million subscribers now take the world’s leading streaming service, despite the arrival of several local rivals.

Half of all Nordic households now subscribe to a paid streaming service (SVOD). This represents an overall growth of approx. 15% compared last autumn.

Netflix has continuously added subscribers since the Nordic launch in 2012. Today, nearly 70% of the approximate 6 million Nordic SVOD subscribing households hold a Netflix account.

Meanwhile local players including Viaplay (Nordics), TV2 Play (Denmark), TV2 Sumo (Norway) and Ruutu+ (Finland) all added subscribers at a higher rate than the Nordic market average.

Given that the majority of Nordic households (70%) already subscribe to Netflix, the local services are generally stacked with subscribers taking more than one service.

Discovery channels pulled from OSN

By Julian Clover

Discovery branded channels will no longer be carried on the Middle Eastern DTH platform OSN after the two parties failed to reach agreement on a new carriage deal.

Discovery Channel, TLC, Discovery Science and Investigation Discovery have all been pulled from the satellite provider.

In a statement Discovery said: “Discovery has been a partner with OSN for more than 12 years. It proposed several different options to OSN to ensure that our MENA fan base could continue to watch the shows they enjoy.

“Unfortunately, OSN has refused to finalise negotiations. Due to this, and despite its best endeavours, Discovery has been forced to terminate the agreement.”

In February, OSN announced it was closing its own branded sports channels, with the exception of its cricket network.

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