However, reports TelecomDaily, quoting Alexei Volin, deputy minister of communications and mass media, the idea was abandoned after negotiations with the satellite industry.
It adds that the main reason for doing so was that such an operator broadcasting unencrypted DTH signals would have dealt a serious blow to the satellite industry in Russia.
Volin said that at present 800,000 homes in the country are unable to receive DTT services. This is equivalent to around 1.6% of the population.
Satellite operators have offered to provide residents of remote areas access to the first and second DTT multiplexes for free and around 300,000 homes currently receive satellite TV services in this way.
Last December President Putin signed a law obliging DTH operators to provide the services on the first and second multiplexes to homes unable to receive DTT signals.
The initiative for this came from the operators themselves.
German broadcaster High View is expanding its Ultra HD (UHD) offer: After Deluxe Music, Planet and Waidwerk will also show UHD content on DTH satellite platform HD+.
Pay-TV documentary channel Planet will kick off the new slate of UHD programmes by broadcasting Costa Rica – Nature under the Rainbow on March 18, 2019 at 21.15 CET in parallel on UHD1 by HD+ in Ultra HD resolution.
Waidwerk, the subscription video-on-demand service for hunters and fishermen, will follow on April 8, 2019: The documentary River Jaws – Giant fish in our rivers will be shown on UHD1 by HD+ at 20.15 CET.
Deluxe Music has been present with selected programmes on the Ultra HD channel operated by HD+ on Astra (19.2° East) since 2016.
“The technical development is progressing rapidly. There are already over 10 million UHD TV sets on the market today. Through the cooperation with UHD1, we have the ideal partner at our side to show the viewers of Planet, Waidwerk and Deluxe Music even more content in high-resolution in future,” said Alexander Trauttmansdorff, managing director of High View.
Georges Agnes, managing director operations and product development at HD Plus, added: “More and more broadcasters are producing their formats in UHD quality. The first choice for broadcasting is currently UHD1. We provide broadcasters with an excellent infrastructure for testing their UHD productions in top quality. At the same time, viewers can choose from an ever-increasing range of UHD formats on their UHD TV set with HD+. That’s a good thing, because viewers appreciate the development and are increasingly demanding better picture quality.”
The boutique service provider was able to successfully re-launch the Kurdish TV station in SD and HD on a global scale – US, Latin America, Middle East and Europe. In addition, they also provided Kurdsat with their OTT platform, iKOFLiX.
“We were looking for the most professional and complete solution to reclaim our #1 ranking in the Kurdish market. iKO provided us with the expertise, knowledge and experience needed to reach and grow our audience on a global scale.” Amanj Kamal CEO Kurdsat
“We are proud to re-launch one of the leading Kurdish channels on a global scale. We are confident that our collaboration with Kurdsat will assist in returning the channel to its leading position in the local and global market.” David Treadway, Chairman, Iko Media Group.
Kurdsat Broadcasting Corporation is the second Kurdish language satellite television station in Iraqi Kurdistan, broadcasting since 2000. It belongs to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and is based in Sulaymaniyah.
The channel broadcasts programs in Kurdish language. Other languages such as Persian and Arabic are also used in some programmes. Kurdsat was among the Kurdish satellite stations in Kurdistan. Kurdsat maintains a website for recent news and commentaries in Kurdish, Arabic and English.
Julie will oversee Eutelsat’s legal, compliance, regulatory and governance issues by heading the company’s teams in charge of these functions. She will succeed Edouard Silverio, who has decided to pursue new professional projects beyond Eutelsat.
As a senior counsel member (“maître de requêtes”) to the French Conseil d’Etat, Julie Burguburu was, up until now, a State rapporteur to the Administrative Litigation Division. She has held several top management positions in the French State administration. From 2014 to 2016, she was Deputy Chief-of-Staff to Claude Bartolone, President of France’s National Assembly, then from 2016 to 2017, to Bernard Cazeneuve, in his role of Interior Minister and then Prime Minister.
Julie previously spent four years in Shanghai, China, where she was Vice-President of Veolia China, with the responsibility of transforming the company. In particular, she steered the reorganisation of the Chinese and Japanese structures as well as the merger of Veolia’s water and waste management entities in China. Prior to that, she had served seven years at the French Conseil d’Etat from 2003 to 2010.
“The appointment of Julie Burguburu to Eutelsat marks a new chapter for our Group and our top management,” commented Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO.
“In light of the increasing standards, laws and ongoing developments in the regulations related to compliance and governance, in a constantly changing industry, Julie’s contribution will be decisive in providing us with the support and guidance we need to carry out and accelerate our Group’s transformation. I would also like to express my gratitude to Edouard for his significant contribution to the success of our company over the past eight years.”
Despite being described by the company as “a gradual process that is expected to spread over several years”, the decision will still come as a blow to troubled satellite operator Spacecom. Yes currently uses Amos 3 and 7 from 7 degrees West.
In a statement, Yes said it would monitor market conditions and make changes to its plan as appropriate.
“The resolution of the yes Board was taken in light of trends in the TV content market that include lower barriers to entry, the emergence of new players, the establishment of OTT broadcasting technologies, changes in the value chain, and change in consumer habits.”
Bezeq said its study had taken into account satellite technology, the set-top box market, content rights, broadband speeds and the current regulatory environment.
Described as a “gradual process” the company said there were no guarantees as to when the process would take place, but said it would lead to savings.
Launched in 2000, Yes currently has in the region of 600,000 subscribers.
As part of the agreement a number of HD channels will be broadcast over Benin, making it the first HD channels to be available over Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service across Africa. This marks an important step forward in the digital switchover for the country, which intends to switch off analogue service in 2020.
To meet the high service availability and nationwide coverage requested by Benin, SES will be utilising powerful spot-beam capacity on SES-14. This satellite with a high throughput payload will deliver video feeds to the DTT infrastructure across Benin, with Direct-to-Home service filling in any gaps of DTT coverage. SES-14 was launched in January 2018 and is located at 47.5 degrees West.
“SES has delivered a creative solution to us to ensure the introduction of digital television with HD channels. This is an important milestone as we move toward our deadline for the analogue switch-off,” said Darius Quenum, Chairman of the DTT Steering Committee at Presidency of the Republic of Benin.
“We are very pleased to be working with SES, which has both the technical capabilities and required experience to support our ambitious plans to set new standards for broadcasting.”
“We are excited to be working with the committee leading the digital television transition of Benin to deliver such high-quality service to the people of Benin,” said Clint Brown, Vice President, Sales & Market Development for Africa, SES Video.
“Launching HD service can be complex, and we are dedicated to providing innovative solutions to respond to market needs. Launching this DTT and DTH service is an important step for Benin and we are in the best position to successfully deliver the complete set of services required.”
Telearabia Pro, Mondo Globo’s new TV platform of Arabic-language SD channels, specifically targets the European hospitality sector. It comprises six premium Arabic lifestyle and entertainment channels, including three MBC Group channels. Fully-assembled through Eutelsat Cirrus, the platform is available on Eutelsat’s Hotbird neighbourhood located at 13 degrees East and features live channel broadcasting, channel numbering, programme information and content security.
This offer has been confirmed by the luxury hotel brand Edwardian Hotels London and will be made available to guests who want to enjoy their favourite MENA channels while staying in the UK.
Gerry O’Sullivan, Eutelsat’s Executive Vice President, Global TV and Video: “I am very pleased that our new TV solution has already found its first home with Mondo Globo. The selection of Eutelsat Cirrus by Mondo Globo illustrates its benefits as a one-stop shop solution for greenfield platforms looking to take a fully-integrated solution to market.”
Cedric Aoun, President of Mondo Globo/MCNC: “Eutelsat Cirrus is the ideal delivery system for our new Telearabia Pro offer, combining the strengths of traditional DTH with next-generation features, which will greatly benefit from the reach of Eutelsat’s Hotbird neighbourhood. By adopting this turnkey assembly solution, we have been able to offer the first comprehensive Arabic TV offer to the hospitality market in Europe.”
Nick Kalsi of Edwardian Hotels London: “Edwardian Hotels London is delighted to have partnered with Mondo Globo/MCNC and Eutelsat to provide a true ‘home away from home’ experience for our guests from the MENA region. This partnership is an innovative response to feedback from our Middle Eastern guests who regularly express to us a desire to catch up with their favourite Arabic programmes while staying in our hotels.”
The joint solution will enable content providers and operators to offer live-TV services, without sacrificing stream quality, in situations where it was previously unavailable due to limited bandwidth – such as high-speed trains, inflight entertainment, off-shore sites and university campuses.
This complete OTT-over-satellite solution includes Anevia’s Genova smart transcoder and Nea-Live packager to prepare live channels. The OTT stream is delivered via satellite using Quadrille’s QuadriLive. On the receiving side, Anevia’s Flamingo embeds Quadrille’s software to re-transform the signal and enable a multi-screen viewing experience on any smart device. This scalable multiscreen TV solution provides ultra-low latency and high-quality video services, anywhere and at any time.
The latest collaboration between Quadrille and Anevia strengthens a partnership that started with the launch of an innovative approach to a Replay solution for Canal+ to address the hospitality and healthcare markets. This solution has already been deployed in many French hotels and hospitals and is being used by 20,000 unique viewers every day.
“Quadrille is a leader in delivering content over the air, so our DNA has always been broadcast,” said Xavier Battas, CEO, Quadrille.
“Working alongside Anevia is an excellent opportunity to expand our OTT offerings to help content providers keep up with consumer expectations and their viewing habits.”
“Consumers increasingly want to watch TV anywhere, at any time, all with a high-quality viewing experience,” added Ivonne Prugnaud, VP Sales Worldwide Enterprise, Anevia.
“From live streaming to video on demand, the growing partnership between Quadrille and Anevia will help service providers deliver a unique experience across any network.”
The Antitrust Authority focuses its attention on the Sky-Mediaset Premium transaction, initiating an investigation procedure “aimed at assessing the concentration transaction consisting in the acquisition of control of the company R2 S.r.l. (Mediaset Premium’s pay operation branch) by Sky Italia S.r.l. and Sky Italian Holdings S.p.A.”
The Authority intends to assess “the possible competitive effects of the acquisition by Sky, the dominant operator in the pay-TV market, of R2, i.e. Mediaset Premium’s digital terrestrial technical platform, which in the past was substantially Sky’s only competitor in the pay-TV market.”
It will therefore be determined whether the operation will strengthen Sky’s dominant position in the pay-TV sector and ‘in the market for wholesale access services to the digital terrestrial pay-TV technical platform’.
The R2 unit includes the technical maintenance and sales assets of Mediaset’s pay-TV subsidiary Premium and the transaction is part of a wider commercial deal between Mediaset and Sky signed nearly a year ago that gave the latter’s satellite customers access to Premium’s cinema and TV series channels at no additional cost and allowed Sky to launch a pay-TV service via DTT.
RT expands its partnership with Yahlive, the Abu Dhabi-based satellite joint venture between SES and the UAE satellite company Yahsat, by introducing RT France HD to French speakers in the MENA region via Yahlive.
For the next three years, RT France HD will be added to Yahlive’s existing bouquet of TV channels, and will reach more than 10 million households across Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. A long-term partner of Yahlive, RT renewed its agreement with Yahlive in 2018 to continue broadcasting RT International HD & RT Arabic HD.
“We are happy to arrive on Yahlive, and contribute to the diversity of their offer. This expanded distribution positions us even more as the reference information channel that offers the French-speaking audiences in the region with a wide range of stories and different perspectives on the news ” says Xenia Fedorova, President of RT France.
RT claims a weekly audience of 11 million people across 15 countries the in Middle East and North Africa region. In 2018, RT’s reach has increased across Yahlive’s Arabic-speaking communities, to 10.3 million DTH and 0.2 IPTV households or 42 million viewers, according to the SES Satellite Monitor, an annual market research conducted by the leading satellite operator. RT France will now bring local, regional, national and international stories to the French-speaking viewers in the region.
Ivan Lyssenko, Head of Distribution at RT says: “Since 2012, we have enjoyed incredible success with Yahlive as our partner and are continuously leveraging their growing viewership across the MENA coverage. This agreement is a step forward in consolidating our market presence and we are confident that Yahlive’s strong and growing footprint in the MENA region will allow us to engage with newer audiences.”
Ammar Baranbo, Chief Operating Officer at Yahlive, says: “We are excited to extend our long-term partnership and cooperation with RT and look forward to continuing to bring key regional and international stories to our audiences in the Middle East and North Africa. This partnership is a reflection of the technical excellence provided by Yahsat’s Al Yah1 satellite which allows us to deliver high-quality content based on our customer’s transmission needs, with the best possible signal quality.”
Samsung will offer integrated access to German DTH satellite platform HD+ on all new QLED and Ultra HD TV sets sold in Germany from the end of March 2019.
With the solution, viewers don’t need additional hardware such as a set-top box, CI+ module or TVkey or a smartcard to receive the subscription platform offered by Astra satellite operator SES.
Two weeks ago, HD+ already announced a corresponding cooperation with Panasonic. With Samsung joining, almost every second Ultra HD TV set sold in Germany will have HD+ embedded in future.
The TV channels are received through the TV set’s integrated satellite tuner via Astra (19.2° East). The HD+ channels are decrypted by a conditional access and digital rights management system integrated into the TV sets. To activate and validate access, the TV set must be connected to the internet.
Significantly, if the buyer of the new TV set opts for HD+ during the initial installation, the TV manufacturer’s portal does not appear when the device is switched on, but the electronic programme guide from HD+ (see image).
The technical basis is the HbbTV Operator App (HbbTV OpApp) which enables platform operators to apply their own user interface to TV sets and set-top boxes. Third-party offers and apps remain available on the TV set when the HD+ option is selected, for example Sky Deutschland, Netflix or maxdome.
Users of the direct access will also be able to use additional functions such as ‘instant restart’ and direct access to catch-up TV services.
As with Panasonic, buyers of Samsung’s TV sets will be able to test HD+ for 6 months free of charge and without obligation. After the free period, the regular monthly price of €5.75 applies.
MX1, the technical services subsidiary of Astra satellite operator SES, has formed a partnership with US production company IMS Productions to provide distribution services for the NTT IndyCar Series.
Over the next three IndyCar seasons, IMS Productions will be responsible for transmitting all NTT IndyCar Series races to international rights holders in more than 80 countries around the globe, and MX1 will provide both operational support and distribution services.
IMS Productions will supply technical and engineering expertise and facilities for the creation of IndyCar content and utilise its C- and Ku-band uplinks for the first mile of distribution, the point at which MX1 will receive the feed and distribute it to the world.
Comedy Central HD has become available on German DTH satellite platforms HD+, Diveo and Freenet via Astra (19.2° East) on March 1, 2019.
The free-to-air channel replaces sister channel Nickelodeon HD. Nickelodeon is still available in SD resolution free-of-charge and unencrypted to all platforms’ subscribers.
In addition, the free-to-air children’s channel can still be received on all major cable networks and on other platforms in both SD and HD quality.
German TV platform Freenet TV increased its customer base in 2018 compared to the previous year by around 12% to 1.014 million.
The target of one million customers by the end of 2018 was thus slightly exceeded. On September 30, 2018, the DVB-T2 and DTH platform had 901,500 customers.
The figures reflect the number of actual revenue-generating users (RGUs), a figure introduced last year.
Internet TV platform waipu.tv recorded 1.26 million registered users at the end of 2018, including around 252,000 subscribers, thereby reaching the target of over 250,000 subscribers at the end of the year.
For 2019, Freenet expects waipu.tv’s subscriber figure to grow to more than 350,000 and the number of Freenet TV customers to stabilise at over one million.
The satellite, which is designed with wide beams and high throughput beams, will join SES-8 at 95 degrees East. SES-12 is the latest satellite that SES has launched to that orbital position where it will operate under the authority of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The all-electric satellite will replace and augment the services currently being provided on SES’s NSS-6 satellite.
SES-12 is SES’s third hybrid satellite with both wide beams and high throughput payload. Like SES-14 and SES-15 which serve the Americas, the SES-12 high throughput payload is SES’s solution for enhancing cost-effective connectivity solutions for aeronautical and maritime customers across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. SES-12 will also be pivotal in enabling governments to provide connectivity programmes to bridge the digital divide, and in allowing telcos, mobile network operators and internet service providers to deliver reliable and enhanced cellular backhaul and faster broadband services.
Together with SES-8, SES-12 will reach key direct-to-home neighbourhoods. The satellites will provide pay-TV operators the reliability and scalability to improve viewing experiences by enhancing their content offerings, including delivering higher-quality picture quality to address the audience’s burgeoning demand for High Definition (HD) and Ultra HD content.
Ruy Pinto, Chief Technology Officer at SES said, “We are excited that SES-12 is now ready to serve our customers in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and would like to thank the Airbus and SpaceX teams for their hard work on making this possible. SES-12, with its high performance capacity, will be able to offer much more reliability and flexibility to our customers and enable them to deliver premium services.”
SES-12 has six wide beams and 72 high throughput user spot beams, and also has a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) to increase payload flexibility to provide much more customisable bandwidth solutions to SES customers. The all-electric SES-12 spacecraft was built by Airbus Defence and Space, and launched by SpaceX. It will join SES’s network of seven geostationary satellites and 16 MEO satellites across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
Its preference is for the week beginning May 27, when Elon Musk’s SpaceX is slated to launch the craft.
The Boeing-built Amos 17 is a replacement for Amos 6, which was destroyed in a launchpad accident in September 2016 two days before it was due to take-off from Cape Canaveral.
Amos 17 will operate from 17 degrees East and is designed to expand Spacecom’s coverage of the growing satellite service markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
It will offer Ka-band, Ku-band, and C-Band services.
Scandinavian platform operator Canal Digital has rolled out new features for OnePlace subscribers, enabled by German multiscreen software provider 3 Screen Solutions (3SS).
Launched in February 2018, Canal Digital’s OnePlace service delivers next-generation Ultra HD entertainment on set-top boxes and personal video recorders, based on Android TV, via satellite and OTT to viewers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. As part of the deployment, 3SS delivered a custom launcher for an enhanced Android TV user experience.
Now Netflix-integrated, OnePlace is deploying several new features. Recent enhancements include ‘start-over’ for additional viewing convenience, ‘coming soon’ teaser promotions to highlight future content assets which subscribers will be able to view when available and the display of already-subscribed services, so users know at a glance whether an item of content or service is already a component their package.
With the help of 3SS, Canal Digital is also deploying ‘MixPanel’, an analytics tool enabling Canal Digital to capture and analyse user behaviour across devices. As a result, marketing teams can offer OnePlace subscribers new cross-platform promotional offers closely aligned with individual viewing patterns and preferences. The interface between content management systems and subscriber management is also improved, ensuring Canal Digital’s in-house commercial teams have up-to-the-minute and accurate billing and payment data, according to 3SS.
Furthermore, Canal Digital has transformed its internal product development processes by employing the latest principles of agile development, introduced to the company by 3SS. At the core is ‘SAFe’ (Scaled Agile Framework), an experience-based software development framework designed to accelerate and optimise system deployments.
According to Parabola, all 12 channels – Doma HD, Joj Plus HD, TA3 HD, Wau HD, Lux HD, AMC HD, Sport 1 HD, Barrandov HD, CT24 HD, CT2 HD, Prima Cool HD and Prima Zoom HD – were previously available only in SD.
It adds that the channels, which use MPEG-4 compression, are shared with Orange TV.
However, the two platforms employ different conditional access systems, with Antik Sat opting for Conax and Orange TV favouring Irdeto.
Only one of the 12 HD channels (CT24 HD) is broadcast unencrypted.
ABS will use Eutelsat 53A’s Ku-band resources over Central Asia to provide nationwide coverage for the launch of its new DTH platform, Oqaab HD+. This platform will carry a mix of national and premium international channels. The capacity will also enable ABS to extend its DTT network from Kabul to all other Afghan provinces by feeding DTT network head-ends.
Andi Wilmers, ABS’s COO said: “With our new teleport in Kabul, we provide better signal quality for the local broadcasters across Afghanistan at compelling terms. Eutelsat’s resources over Afghanistan provide the needed signal strength so that people can receive all channels, even with a 45-cm satellite dish antenna. In 2019 we will offer enhanced services like Video on Demand (VOD) and other products to customers across the country.”
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat’s Chief Commercial and Development Director, added: “We are delighted to be supporting Afghanistan Broadcasting System in enriching the country’s TV landscape. This contract consolidates our presence in Afghanistan, where we have been present since 2014 in partnership with the Ministry of Communications in the data field. It also highlights the ability of satellite to deliver immediate
Eutelsat Communications has signed simultaneous multi-year contracts with the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation and the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters for video capacity on its Eutelsat 8 West B satellite.
The aggregate of these contracts represents multi-transponder capacity, including incremental resources.
Leveraging Eutelsat 8 West B satellite’s dedicated coverage of Ethiopia, both media groups will enjoy nationwide coverage for their free-to-air DTH platforms, representing a total of 30 channels. Introduced to the local market back in 2012, Eutelsat’s 7/8° West orbital position will now broadcast the vast majority of Ethiopia’s channels thanks to these new agreements.
A longstanding client of Eutelsat on the Hotbird position, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) is the country’s oldest and largest free-to-air broadcaster. Programming features news, sport, music and other entertainment, broadcast predominantly in Amharic,the official working language of the federal government. The Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), established in September 2018, is a group of privately owned, licensed broadcasters operating in Ethiopia. Members include Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS), Fana TV, Walta, Kana TV, Arts, Nahoo TV, Afrihealth, OBS, LTV, Ahadu, DWTV, Asham TV and Balageru.
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat’s Chief Commercial and Development Director, said: “We are proud to be working with leading broadcasters Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation and the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters in enriching the FTA experience for viewers across Ethiopia. These agreements also highlight the strength of Eutelsat’s 7/8° West orbital position. ”
“We are delighted to be working with an industry leader such as Eutelsat as part of our expansion into the untapped broadcasting public sphere within our territory and beyond,” said Messay Hurissa, EBC’s CTO.
“This partnership will allow EBC’s customers to benefit from a much better performance with high quality broadcasting and customer support.”
“Satellite technology plays a key role in reaching TV households across Ethiopia. One of AEB’s goals is to increase and strengthen the number of TV households in our country,” added Anman Fissehazion, CEO of AEB.
“This goal can be reached if all broadcasters operate from a common orbital position to reach their audiences, such as 7/8° West. Today’s signing is a major step in this venture and I am sure that our contract with Eutelsat will lead us to many more successes to better serve our viewers.”