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Yesterday β€” September 17th 2019Broadband TV News: Telecom

NBC’s streaming service is Peacock

By Julian Clover

NBCUniversal has announced its new streaming service will be called Peacock.

The name is a nod to the station’s logo. The channel is sometimes known in the United States as ‘The Peacock Network’.

Details of a broad content slate have also been released with archive shows such as The Office and Parks and Recreation featuring prominently. It will also feature movies from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation. There’s also news, sports, late night shows and reality TV.

In essence, parent Comcast has created an on demand broadcast network.

“The name Peacock pays homage to the quality content that audiences have come to expect from NBCUniversal,” said Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises. “Peacock will be the go-to place for both the timely and timeless – from can’t-miss Olympic moments and the 2020 election, to classic fan favourites like The Office.”

Original drama comes in the shape of Dr Death, based on the true-crime podcast starring Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater; a reboot of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Battlestar Galactica from Mr. Robot and Homecoming executive producer Sam Esmail and Brave New World, based on the dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley and starring Alden Ehrenreich.

There are also reboots of Saved By the Bell from 30 Rock’s Tracey Wigfield featuring original cast members including Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez, and Punky Brewster, starring Soleil Moon Frye as a grown-up version of her former character.

But an on demand service is nothing without the library, which will include NBC’s The Office, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond and Will & Grace.

Pricing is still to be determined as well as a launch date, not least for European audiences, who can expect the Peacock to reveal its feathers on the Comcast-owned Sky.

Michael Schuld new head of Deutsche Telekom’s TV unit

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Michael Schuld will take over the management of Deutsche Telekom’s TV business unit.

From November 1, 2019, Schuld will be responsible for all issues relating to IPTV platform MagentaTV and Deutsche Telekom’s television business in Germany. Previously, he was responsible for communications and sales marketing.

Schuld succeeds Wolfgang Elsäßer, who has moved to Swisscom in Switzerland.

“With MagentaTV, Deutsche Telekom offers a compelling TV platform that is constantly coming up with innovations. I am pleased to further expand this important pillar of our growth strategy,” Schuld said.

Channel 4 to use Sky AdSmart

By Julian Clover

Channel 4 has become the latest broadcaster to sign up to Sky’s targeted advertising platform, Sky AdSmart.

The agreement, which had been expected, is part of a multi-year deal that will also see the continuation of Formula 1 highlights and live coverage of the British Grand Prix on Channel 4. There will also be an expansion of the All 4 on demand service with more box sets being made available to Sky customers.

Channel 4 Sales also represents UKTV and BT Sport, adding further opportunities for advertisers. AdSmart allows brands to show different ads to different households watching the same programme, enabling advertisers to target campaigns based on thousands of combinations of demographic, location, interest and lifestyle attributes.

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, Channel 4 said: “This landmark new partnership with Sky is a fantastic example of how broadcasters can work together to extend the reach of our content and innovate for the benefit of both viewers and advertisers. I’m particularly thrilled that we are extending our collaboration with Sky on Formula 1, which secures highlights of all races and live coverage of the British Grand Prix on free-to-air television.”

Sky and Channel 4 have agreed to work together leading to the involvement of the public broadcaster in Sky’s existing and future TV products.

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK and Ireland, Sky said: “We’ve long thought that collaboration benefits both consumers and the industry – today’s news does exactly that. Together, Sky and Channel 4 will connect their viewers to more of the content they love, while bringing brands better ways to reach audiences. We look forward to working even more closely with Channel 4 and, we hope, other British broadcasters to bring more innovation and content to consumers over the coming years.”

This strategic partnership builds on increasing collaboration between Sky and Channel 4 which, most recently, saw the two broadcasters share rights to the final of the Cricket World Cup.

BBC to drop Red Button teletext

By Julian Clover

The BBC is to remove the text elements of its Red Button service, 45 years after the original Ceefax made its debut.

Ceefax ceased its service of news, sport and entertainment when analogue signals were switched off in 2012. However, the Red Button text service continued alongside video content, such as additional tennis coverage from Wimbledon and live stages from Glastonbury.

A BBC spokesperson said: From early 2020, viewers will no longer be able to access text-based BBC News and BBC Sport content by pressing red.

“It’s always a difficult decision to reduce services, and we don’t take decisions like this lightly, but we have taken it because we have to balance the resources needed to maintain and develop this service with the need to update our systems to give people even better internet-based services.”

Broadband TV Views: This is a tricky one for the BBC, it’s information is available online and through digital TV services such as the BBC News Channel. The text based information, particularly when viewed on the Sky Q box, simply doesn’t look as rich as it does within, for example, the BBC Sport app.

How will the six new SVOD players use original content?

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

A profile of six new SVoD players launching in the American market from late 2019 to the first half of 2020 has just been published by Ampere Analysis.

Four of these new players are studio-led: Disney+, Viacom’s BET+, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCU’s streaming service. Only Apple TV+ and short-form start-up Quibi are new to the streaming market. The report examines their differing content commissioning strategies and looks at the role of original content versus a reliance on back catalogues and acquired content.

How do the six players’ content strategies stack up?

Disney+ leads the way in original productions
The largest player by some margin in terms of originals, Disney+ has 61 upcoming original series and titles, despite its vast back catalogue. The studio is focusing its streaming offer on TV and movies, with TV spin-off The Phineas & Ferb Movie, and a live-action remake of The Lady & the Tramp movie. Over one third of its original content is unscripted.

Quibi plays the advantage of short-form content
The mobile-only platform can compete with Disney+ in terms of number of titles, albeit at a much shorter length of approx. 10 minutes per series episode. Quibi is entirely reliant on the success of its original titles as its short-form nature means there’s no back catalogue and no acquisition targets. The start-up has the highest proportion of unscripted content of the six players at 40% and is targeting it at a youth-skewing audience.

Apple TV+ flashes the cash
Without a studio library to access, Apple TV+ is focusing on extremely high-budget, big name flagship scripted series, such as The Morning Show featuring Jennifer Aniston. 87% of commissions to date are scripted.

HBO Max led by premium scripted content
Buoyed by its existing catalogue, Ampere expects HBO Max to be led by premium scripted content, although it has recently announced its first two unscripted original commissions.

NBCU’s as yet unnamed service
With under five originals, Ampere expects the service to be mainly catalogue-focused. It has just commissioned a third season of high school comedy A.P Bio, previously cancelled at sibling linear network NBC. To date all announced content is scripted.

BET+ bets on its existing catalogue at launch
Just like NBCU, BET+ has less than five originals to its name to date, and so will also rely on its existing catalogue rather than original content. Another similarity with NBCU is that all announced content is scripted.

Fred Black, Analyst at Ampere Analysis said: “Several of the services are setting out to target specific audiences. Disney+ is focused particularly on family content, with nothing higher than a 13-years age rating, with more mature content left to the bundle-able platforms Hulu and ESPN+. Quibi’s mobile-only short-form strategy is designed to target teenagers and young adults in the 16-40 years age bracket, while BET+ will be hoping to target the same African American audience as the successful linear equivalent. WarnerMedia, having decided to use the HBO brand name, will similarly be aiming to convert some of that linear audience to streaming subscribers.”

Reality, documentaries and unscripted content
Three of the six new streamers have announced unscripted content. Disney+ and Apple TV+ have a strong focus on Documentary titles. Disney+ has named National Geographic a core brand and has also announced science history series The World According to Jeff Goldblum. Apple TV+ too has a heavy focus on documentaries, announcing dinosaur doc Prehistoric Planet. In contrast, Quibi’s unscripted slate includes ten reality titles, including motoring challenge show Elba vs Block. The player is the only new service to offer daily News & Current Affairs via partnerships with NBC and BBC.

The search for originals
It’s tempting for the studios to rely on in-house labels and brand recognition, and Ampere’s analysis of upcoming originals by source materials shows the skew to this approach, particularly in the Disney+ service. Two thirds (66%) of the service’s content originates from its existing source material, such as movie brands and literary adaptions, which is more than any of the other three studios in the report. In comparison, 47% of Apple TV+ and 43% of HBO Max’s commissions are original concepts. Both players have turned to literary adaptions to build prestige, scripted content. For instance, at Apple TV+ there’s Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story, and at HBO Max, there’s Alissa Nutting’s Sci-Fi drama Made for Love. In complete contrast, only 24% of Quibi’s commissioning is originals based on source material. They include four literary adaptations and three movie remakes, among them How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. NBCU has yet to commission any original concepts.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy and Crime & Thriller dominate scripted commissions
More than one quarter (27%) of scripted commissions across the six new services are Sci-Fi & Fantasy, followed by Crime & Thriller at 21%. These genres have proved particularly successful for Netflix and Amazon, so it’s not surprising these new competitors have prioritised the genres. HBO Max has Gremlins spin-off Secrets of the Mogwai, while Apple is combining Sci-Fi and Crime with Drama. For Disney+, Children & Family content will dominate alongside Sci-Fi & Fantasy. Disney+ originals are being used to drive early subscriber growth, leveraging well-known brands such as Marvel super-hero titles Loki and The Falcon & the Winter Soldier and Toy Story spin-off Lamp Life.

HBO Max has the highest proportion of female-led content
43% of HBO Max titles with lead characters feature a female lead. HBO Max is the only platform where female-led content is the most prominent category. Disney+’s focus on spin-offs and reboots from older titles has left it with a more male-centric set of commissions, with 39% of titles with lead characters featuring a male lead. Mixed gender group casts are however common at Disney+ (23%), as well among Apple TV+ (29%) and HBO Max (33%) commissions. This contrasts to Quibi, where titles wiht protagonist groups account for only 4% of commissions. With episodes roughly 10 minutes long, titles by necessity tend to focus more on a specific male or female protagonist.

Fred Black, Analyst at Ampere Analysis said: “Across the six platforms the two most popular genres for commissioners have been Sci-Fi & Fantasy and Crime & Thriller, showing a willingness from the new players to take on Amazon and Netflix’s original content head-to-head. This is particularly the case for Quibi, HBO Max and Apple, with the two genres accounting for over half of scripted commissions for each platform. Disney+ is pursuing a more family-centric approach, with nearly half of scripted originals in the Children & Family genre, although a raft of Marvel commissions propels Sci-Fi & Fantasy into second place.”

Belarus eyes foreign TV ad ban

By Chris Dziadul

Belarus is planning amendments to its law on advertising that would see a ban imposed on commercials carried by foreign TV channels.

Quoting the parliamentarian Oleg Levshunov, TV News reports that the reason for the proposed ban is that foreign advertisers, placing commercials on foreign channels that are broadcast on cable networks in Belarus, do not bear the cost of distributing such commercials in the country.

TV advertising of imported goods in Belarus is distributed and the income from this received exclusively by foreign and not domestic TV companies.

This makes Belarusian goods less competitive than their foreign counterparts.

Local advertisers are at a disadvantage to their counterparts in Russia, where there is a ban on advertising on cable channels.

Furthermore, advertising on foreign TV channels does not always comply with legislation in Belarus.

Tom Craig steps down as Tele2 EVP Sweden Business

By Robert Briel

Tom Craig steps down from his role as EVP Sweden Business of Tele2 to spend time with his family.

Fredrik Stenberg, Executive Vice President Transformation & Operational Excellence, becomes acting EVP for the Sweden Business unit.

Tom Craig started working for Tele2 as a Strategic Advisor to the B2B business in 2018. He assumed the position as Executive Vice President Sweden Business when the merger between Tele2 and Com Hem was completed on 5 November 2018. Tom Craig has now decided to step down from his role to spend time with his family, but he will remain available to support Tele2 in an advisory role.

“I thank Tom for his efforts during this very transformational period for Tele2’s Sweden Business unit and I am glad that he will continue to share his knowledge and experience with us. At the same time, I am certain Fredrik Stenberg will do a great job until we have appointed a permanent successor,” said Anders Nilsson, President and CEO, Tele2.

“The Sweden Business unit is changing rapidly, becoming leaner, more efficient and focused on the services and solutions where we can provide outstanding customer experiences. I know my Sweden Business colleagues will do a fantastic job going forward and I am confident we have set ourselves up for future success,” added Tom Craig, EVP Sweden Business.

Fredrik Stenberg, Executive Vice President Transformation & Operational Excellence, becomes acting Executive Vice President Sweden Business until a permanent successor has been appointed.

TV not yet fully penetrated in sub-Saharan African homes

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

Among the 215 million households of the region, around 102 million have access to television in 2018, according to research by Dataxis.

Even though the penetration is progressing, reaching 42% in 2018 compared to 40% in 2017, television has not yet fully penetrated into sub-Saharan African homes.

Skyworth partners with SERAPHIC

By Chris Dziadul

Skyworth has expanded its partnership with SERAPHIC by adopting the latter’s Sraf Android HbbTV solution to launch Android-based smart TVs in Europe.

Commenting on the development, Zhilong Hou, vice dean R&D Centre Software Institute at Skyworth, said: “We are glad to co-work with SERAPHIC on Android HbbTV products. SERAPHIC’s strong technical support and rich experience in HbbTV deployment as well as close collaboration with SoC vendors will be a big plus for us. We look forward to providing the best entertainment service for our end consumers.”

Xinwen Xue, VP product management at SERAPHIC, added: “SERAPHIC is proud to work as a strong partner of Skyworth. We believe that Android TV, though with special and strict technical specification requirements, is a good alternative smart TV platform and application eco-system. SERAPHIC will continue to leverage our strength in hybrid TV field and empower more Android TV devices with the latest HbbTV 2 capacity.”

Pro Plus, Pink top SE Europe TV chart

By Chris Dziadul

CME’s Slovenian subsidiary Pro Plus and Serbia’s Pink International are the leading private broadcasters in revenue terms in South East Europe.

According to data produced by Mediadaily.biz and published by Capital, the former, which consists of the stations Pop TV and Kanal, had revenues of €68,808,202 in 2018, up from €61,868,302 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the latter’s revenues amounted to €66,615,933, up from €52,305,345 a year earlier. The Croatian broadcasters Nova TV and RTL Hrvatska were in third and fourth place, with revenues of €56,469,921 (€52,468,452) and €46,211,785 (€40,742,537) respectively.

There was only one new station in the top 20 – BN TV from Bosnia & Herzegovina – and no broadcasters from Montenegro featured in the list.

The biggest growth in revenues was achieved by Slovenia’s Antenna TV (Planet TV) and ASPN (Sport TV) at 33.76% and 29.28% respectively, followed by Pink International (27.16%) and RTV BN (24.43%) from Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Significantly, Pro Plus was also the most profitable broadcaster, registering €13,270,274 in 2018, up from €4,063,896 a year earlier. It was followed by Pink International with €10,191,931 (€7,370,564) and Croatia ‘s Nova TV (€7,006,991, up from €3,549,040 a year earlier).

Serbia was the most lucrative market in 2018, with revenues of €166,33,684, followed by Croatia with €112,447,198.

TV ad market contracts in Russia

By Chris Dziadul

Russia’s TV ad market will continue to lose out to the internet in the long term despite making a recovery in the second half of this year.

Data produced by the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia (AKAR) and published by Kommersant shows that TV ad spend in the first half of this year fell by 9% to R81-82 billion (€1.15-1.16 billion), while internet spend rose by 20% to R109-110 billion.

Total ad spend during the period increased by 3% to R226-228 billion thanks solely to the internet.

Meanwhile, TV’s share of the ad market fell from 41.5% in the first half of 2018 to 36% in H1 this year.

Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: Telecom

World-first for i4Things

By Chris Dziadul

i4things has launched the world’s first Smart Home as a Service (SHaaS) solution designed for telecommunication, internet, pay-TV, insurance and utility service providers.

It will help capitalise on a $150 billion a year new business opportunity within an innovative and fast growing market.

Commenting on the launch, Rob Wolters, managing partner at i4Things, said: “The smart home market is growing rapidly but is currently fragmented between multiple brands with competing and often incompatible technologies.

“Our strategy is to provide a fully managed, secure, scalable and future proof platform that allows any service provider to launch an attractive smart home service. This – in telco terms – “Penta-play” service proposition, allows them to tap into new revenue streams, to reduce churn and to outpace competition.”

He added: “With security built-in by design including fully encrypted communication, automated device password rotation and deep privacy settings, service providers can overcome many of the fears that consumers may have. With its easy setup and self-installation by the user, Consolomio is truly designed for the mass-market. It offers a single, intuitive user interface to manage your entire Smart Home at home and on the go. We provide a broad range of affordable devices and integrate with the major Smart Home retail brands, such as Sonos, IKEA, Philips hue and Amazon Alexa.”

“Communication and utility services providers are in the perfect position to capitalise on the smart home revolution through their existing subscriber relationship, billing and trusted brands.

“i4Things provides a completely open and modular Smart Home as a Service platform allowing the service provider to define own use-cases and sell pre-packaged Starter-Packs (e.g. Security, Comfort, Energy and Care). Consolomio also integrates with existing back-end systems of the service provider: our “Operator Console” provides a unique service monitoring and management tool for full transparency of the service and pro-active aftersales support.”

At IBC Consolomio is shown with a variety of use-cases, devices and scenarios. On top of that i4Things there launches its brand new “Smart Home TV Dashboard” which combines the best of two worlds – IPTV and Smart Home – in a single TV user interface. Another highlight at IBC is the Consolomio Control Panel, a wall mount touchscreen device providing the end-user an overview of his Smart Home and the convenience of control at a central spot in the home.

Wolters continued: “We put a lot of development effort to create the best-in-class Smart Home experience for the mass-market.

“Therefore i4things takes care of the life cycle management of all integrated smart devices and UI’s within the ecosystem. The service provider and their customers should not need to worry about ongoing device integrations, updates of firmware and API’s, security and on-going support. This makes Consolomio a true fully-managed service offering.”

i4Things is demonstrating its solution at IBC 2019 and can be found at booth B33 in Hall 14. Rob Wolters, and Oliver Soellner, head of sales and business development, are available for interviews.

Investigative report: Arabsat transmits beoutQ’s pirate broadcasts

By Robert Briel

A joint statement by FIFA, the AFC, UEFA, the Bundesliga, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, LFP and the Premier League has been issued following the publication of an investigative report into the operations of beoutQ.

These organisations have commissioned MarkMonitor to conduct research and produce a detailed and independent technical analysis of beoutQ’s operations.

The report confirms that Arabsat has transmitted beoutQ’s pirate broadcasts and calls for the satellite operator to cease carrying these channels.

Arabsat, according to the report, has provided the infrastructure for illegal beoutQ broadcasts. The most direct damage has been to Qatar’s beIN Sports, which estimated the cost of piracy in the Middle East at $1 billion.

The study by MarkMonitor also reveals that the illegal channel’s coverage was not limited to Saudi Arabia, but extended to the entire region. The analysis proves that any individual viewer could easily buy a decoder, which receives the signal through Arabsat satellites or via internet.

The full statement reads as follows: “As rights holders of globally followed sports events, whose intellectual property rights have been breached on a systematic and widespread basis by the pirate broadcaster known as beoutQ, we have commissioned a leading industry body, MarkMonitor, to conduct research and produce a detailed and independent technical analysis of beoutQ’s operations.

“The report confirms without question that beoutQ’s pirate broadcasts have been transmitted using satellite infrastructure owned and operated by Arabsat.

“The contents of the report are today being published in full on the rights holders’ websites to provide transparency about the facts of the case and to demonstrate the seriousness with which we, as global rights holders, view this issue.

“As previously communicated, we have been frustrated in our attempts to pursue a formal copyright claim against beoutQ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, while we have received reports that beoutQ transmissions are currently disrupted, we nevertheless call on Arabsat and all other satellite providers to stop (and going forward agree to refrain from) providing a platform for piracy, which harms not just legitimate licensees, fans and players but also the sports that it abuses.

“Cutting off its access to transmission services would be a major step in the fight to stop beoutQ. We all, individually and collectively, remain committed to bringing an end to international sports piracy.”

The full report can be dowloaded here.

MIPCOM announces more keynote speakers

By Robert Briel

Reed MIDEM has announced four more keynote speakers for its MIPCOM 2019 conference.

Max Conze, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1, Bibiane Godfroid, CEO, Newen, Maria Kyriacou, President, ITV Studios International, and Jed Mercurio, Screenwriter and Showrunner join the line-up of industry names bringing their perspective to this year’s theme The Streaming Offensive.

MIPCOM takes place in Cannes from 14-17 October 2019. Under the umbrella theme of The Streaming Offensive, the conference will bring sharp focus to the seismic changes in global distribution models, their impact on content production and licensing, and the global response to the direct-to-consumer challenge. The keynote speakers announced today bring a wealth of experience from across the spectrum of the industry from digital services and platforms to international acquisitions, world-class content and A-list talent.

Joyn is Germany’s largest freemium streaming platform offering live streams of 55 public and private free TV channels as well as several originals and exclusive series in one app. This winter, the premium version with an additional subscription model will follow. In a keynote speech on Monday 14 October, Max Conze, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1, will explain why this offer – a joint venture between ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery – is unique in Germany, discuss the role of Joyn in ProSiebenSat.1’s digital strategy and share some insights of how local content remains key to win with audiences.

Newen, part of the TF1 Group, is France’s leading producer of audiovisual content, working in every genre on the full spectrum of channels and platforms. It has broadened its reach on the domestic and global markets with the acquisition of stakes in production outfits Tuvalu Media (Netherlands), Pupkin (Netherlands), Nimbus (Denmark), De Mensen (Belgium) and Reel One (Canada). Bibiane Godfroid, Newen’s CEO, will talk about the Group’s ambitions and greatest challenge in a keynote speech on Tuesday 15 October entitled “How to keep endlessly adapting in order to offer the best possible content on an ever-changing audiovisual landscape?”.

Maria Kyriacou, President of ITV Studios International, oversees ITV Studios’ production companies across Europe and Australia, its growing US scripted business and ITV Studios international distribution arm, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which distributes over 45,000 hours of prestigious content to 3,000 broadcasters around the world.

During a keynote titled The evolution of television – shaping culture around the world, on Wednesday 17 October, Maria Kyriacou will discuss the way that content can connect with audiences on a deeper level – from Love Island (the world’s most tweeted about reality show ever) which has defied the trend for young adult audiences moving away from linear television, to dramas like Noughts + Crosses, which offers a thought-provoking lens on racism and prejudice, and World on Fire, which tells the story of the ordinary families caught up in events which were not of their making during World War Two. In this session Maria will look at what it takes to move hearts and minds and why it matters.

Jed Mercurio, a four-time nominee as Best Drama Writer for both the Royal Television Society and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, is one of the few British screenwriters to work as a showrunner. His most recent productions, the serial award-winners Bodyguard and Line of Duty, have broken audience records in the UK, with Line of Duty being nominated for 10 BAFTA Awards. Jed’s other credits include Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Critical, Strike Back, RTS Award-winning Bodies, The Grimleys and Cardiac Arrest.

In his keynote session, titled Talent Behind the Camera, Jed Mercurio will discuss writers’ and showrunners’ many responsibilities as they write and/or executive produce, supervise other writers, manage talent and maintain relationships with studios, channels and platforms. At the end of the session on Wednesday 17 October, Jed Mercurio will be presented with a World Screen Trendsetter Award, in partnership with MIPCOM, in recognition of his contribution to the international television industry.

These speakers join James Farrell, Head of International Originals for Amazon Studios; Farhad Massoudi, CEO/Founder and Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer of Tubi; and Twitter’s Kay M. Madati, Global VP and Head of Content Partnership, announced as keynote speakers for MIPCOM 2019 last month.

NHK to showcase UltraHD 8K screenings at MIPCOM 2019

By Robert Briel

Japanese public broadcaster NHK is organising a series of screenings and talks on ultrahigh-definition 8K video at MIPCOM 2019 as part of the showcase Live the Story: NHK 8K.

MIPCOM takes place in Cannes, France, from 14-17 October 2019.

To stage the ultra-HD showcase, MIPCOM is for the first time hosting the NHK 8K Theater, complete with a 248-inch 8K screen and a 22.2 multichannel sound system, located on the third floor of the Palais des Festivals.

The screenings will feature the international premiere of a dramatisation of Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel An Artist of the Floating World in 8K HDR (high dynamic range). Japanese actor Ken Watanabe will be on hand to share his experience of playing the lead role.

Another highlight will be NHK’s 8K Talks sessions involving international producers who have partnered with NHK, plus the opportunity to see the resulting 8K content. These sessions will highlight the transformation of 8K production, which until recently has been seen as requiring huge commitments of equipment and money. The sessions will turn the spotlight on 8K production in China, in music and art, one of the first genres to use 8K, and in natural history and science, an area ripe to enter a golden age thanks to ultrahigh definition.

NHK launched the world’s first 8K channel in 2018. The public broadcaster plans to broadcast the 2020 Olympic Games from Tokyo in 8K, in an historic first.

Yukinori Kida, NHK’s Executive Director of Broadcasting, said: “8K has mostly gained attention for the exceptional quality of its images and sound. By working with international creators, I have come to believe that 8K HDR is a tool for enhancing viewers’ sensory and emotional perception. It offers a new way of storytelling — one that creates the ultimate immersive viewing experience.”

The schedule for NHK’s 8K events at MIPCOM 2019 is as follows:

International Premiere Drama Screening: “An Artist of the Floating World”
Monday 14 October, 11AM to 1PM
The screening of this NHK 8K dramatisation will be followed by Q&A and a networking lunch.
Guests: Ken Watanabe (actor), Yuki Fujimoto (scriptwriter), Kazutaka Watanabe (director)

8K Talks: Co-Pro and Acquisition
Monday 14 October, 4:30PM to 5:30PM
NHK began broadcasting daily in 8K in December 2018. How has it secured content, and what is the potential for international 8K co-productions and acquisitions in different territories and different genres?
Speakers:
Guo Haojun, Technical Director, Beijing TV Station (China)
Amos Rozenberg, CEO, Paramax Films (France)
Atsushi Murayama, Chief of Secretariat for 8K Productions, NHK (Japan)
Takeshi Shibasaki, Senior Producer, Science Programs Division, NHK (Japan)
Moderators:
Andrew Eborn, Writer and producer
Sayumi Horie, Executive Producer, Global Content Development Division, NHK (Japan)

Cocktail: Waves of 8K Sound (by invitation only)
“Sting & Shaggy: Live in Philadelphia”
Monday 14 October, 5:30PM to 7:15PM

8K Talks: Natural History
Tuesday 15 October, 11:30AM to 12:30PM
Attendees will hear what 8K means for natural history programming.
Speakers:
Brad Bestelink, Filmmaker, Natural History Film Unit (Botswana)
Alastair Fothergill, Company Director, Silverback Films (UK)
Masahiro Hayakawa, Executive Producer, Natural History & Science Programs, NHK Enterprises, Inc.

Canal+ to offer Netflix subscription from October

By Julian Clover

Starting next month Canal+ is to offer Netflix to subscribers to its Cine/Series package.

Debuting on October 15, it will initially be a part of Canal’s packages in France, but under the agreement with the US streamer it’s intended to expand the offer at a later date starting with Poland.

Maxime Saada, CEO, Canal+ Group, said: “We are very pleased to partner with Netflix to offer our subscribers the richest cinema and series offer on the market. This offer complements our general proposition of recent cinema, major live sports events, world-class series, including our original series, and consolidate our role of as an aggregator of content and services. ”

The new exclusive pack will include the Netflix Standard Offer (featuring 2 screens and the HD option) at a cost of €15 per month.

The offer is similar to Sky’s Ultimate On Demand that’s priced at £12 per month.

Reed Hastings, Founder and CEO of Netflix, said, “We share the same passion for entertainment and this partnership will make it easier for CANAL + subscribers to access the Netflix experience – all in one subscription.”

Canal+ subscribers already subscribing to Netflix will be able to subscribe to the new pack and enjoy all their video services in one subscription. Canal+ subscribers who would like to subscribe only to Netflix can also do so on their most recent decoders.

New milestone for Polish SVOD service

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish SVOD service CDA Premium reached a record 207,000 paid subscribers at the end of August.

Launched at the beginning of 2016, it offers customers close to 6,500 movies, while the CDA app is available on an increasing range of mobile devices as well as smart TVs.

CDA says that in the last half year the number of partner outlets where customers can buy access to CDA Premium for one or three months has grown considerably.

Of particular note is its cooperation with Euronet Polska.

Online video to set new records

By Chris Dziadul

Online video viewing will for the average person reach 100 minutes a day in 2021.

According to Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts 2019 report, this will be up from 84 minutes this year and be the equivalent of watching 25 continuous days of video in 2021.

The report notes that China and Sweden have the keenest online video viewers, with the average person in each country expected to spend 103 minutes a day watching online video this year. These are the only countries where online video viewing exceeds 100 minutes a day, but by 2021, Zenith expects Canada, India, Mexico, the UK and the USA to join the list.

According to Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith, “the consumption of online video is growing rapidly, and the average person will spend half as much time viewing online video as they spend viewing conventional television this year.

“This fast-expanding supply of audiences is fuelling rapid growth in demand from advertisers, making online video the fastest-growing digital channel by advertising expenditure.”

Zenith also forecasts that ad expenditure on online video will rise from $45 billion this year to $61 billion by 2021, at an average rate of 18% a year, compared to 10% a year for internet advertising as a whole. Meanwhile TV ad spend will shrink from $183 billion to $180 billion over the same period, as ratings continue to drop in key markets. Online video will therefore rise to the equivalent of a third of the entire TV market in 2021, up from a quarter this year.

Zenith also notes that video inventory is in high demand, and to meet the need, publishers have supplemented video ads that appear before, during or after video content with in-stream ads – video ads that pop up beside other content, such as text, images or social media posts – and out- stream or ‘in-read’ ads. Out-stream ads are now common and, in some markets, comprise the majority of video advertising: in the UK, 57% of video ad spend went to out-stream advertising in 2018. The balance may soon start to shift back towards in-stream advertising, though, as social platforms invest in their mobile TV products, such as Snapchat’s Shows.

Zenith argues that brands need to make clear distinctions between the way they use in-stream and out-stream ads. In-stream ads reach consumers who are actively seeking to view video, and are leaning forward to pay attention to it.

Out-stream ads reach consumers who are primarily interested in the content that the ads sit alongside, and who can quickly and easily scroll past them. These ads are commonly viewed with the sound off.

Looking beyond in-stream and out-stream, social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat are making Augmented Reality (AR) accessible to both consumers and brands through their AR video ads.

New iOS app from Digi TV

By Chris Dziadul

The Czech TV operator Digi TV has launched a new and improved app for viewers who watch Digi2Go on iOS.

It allows them to use AirPlay to share the programme they’re watching on Apple TV, manually switching picture quality and much more.

Commenting on the development, Iveta Slapalova, director of customer service at Digi TV, said: “We’ve been working on upgrading the iOS app for a long time. In particular, we tried to speed up the application, improve its stability and improve user comfort.

“Our customers will especially appreciate the new feature where they can share the program on their Apple TV, as well as the ability to manually select the picture resolution or a clear list of current broadcasts directly in the player. I believe our developers have done a very good job and I believe our customers will welcome the change”.

Alteox launches B2B VOD service

By Chris Dziadul

Alteox has rolled out a new B2B on demand service on the cloud-based white label Alteox.stream.

Targeting operators and platforms that are looking to expand or launch VOD on their networks, it gives them access to a wide range of up to date content from Hollywood Blockbusters, family shows, series to adult content.

The VOD service will provide a one-connection offer of over 25,000 titles and is available on TVOD, SVOD or EST. Its main advantage is that operators and providers can access a a diverse range of content without the need for multiple contract negotiations or multiple technical integrations.

Commenting on the development, Sven Breckler, CEO of Alteox Media Consulting, said: “Our team at Alteox does the content negotiations and aggregations directly with studios and content aggregators. Once the deals are made, we connect our cloud service to their services via interfaces or they deliver their files to our platform. And from our platform, multiple providers can access this content with ease”.

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