German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland has reached an agreement with Discovery regarding the distribution of Bundesliga channel Eurosport 2 HD Xtra, but this only covers the gastronomy sector.
Private Sky subscribers continue to require a subscription and hardware (set-top box/CI+ module) from DTH satellite platform HD+ for reception.
The partnership between Sky and Discovery runs until the 2020/21 Bundesliga season and enables Sky sports bars, hotel bars and clubhouses with satellite reception to show Eurosport 2 HD Xtra in their premises.
The channel transmits 40 mostly exclusive Bundesliga matches, mainly on Friday evening.
Prior to the cooperation with Sky, gastronomy businesses were able to show the Eurosport Bundesliga matches via OTT service Eurosport Player by signing up for an end-consumer subscription. According to Discovery, this option no longer exists with the Sky deal.
Both have a modern design, are intuitive and give access to the multimedia services Cyfrowy Polsat GO and HBO GO, containing thousands of VOD titles.
The receivers, which are produced by Polsat’s InterPhone Service in Mielec, include software supplied by ADB and employ Unicable technology.
Commenting on the development, Dariusz Dzialkowski, a member of the management board at Cyfrowy Polsat responsible for technical affairs, said: “Cyfrowy Polsat’s hardware offer continues to expand. We want to give customers the opportunity a choice tailored to their needs, convenient technological solutions that allow you to watch TV in the best quality, with the help of modern devices, also providing access to a wide range of premium content on VOD services. The combination of high-quality set-top boxes with a wide range of TV packages and a wide library of multimedia services, giving the users freedom, flexibility and convenience in accessing favorite content is the direction our subscribers expect and in which we have been consistently developing for many years”.
The receivers are available in sale points throughout Poland and cost from PLN1 (€0.23).
Ukraine’s delayed first communications satellite Lybid could now be launched in August 2019, according to Pavel Detyarenko, head of the Space Agency of Ukraine (GKAU).
Quoted by Mediasat, he added that this nevertheless depends on whether the Canadian contractor MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) resumes work on the project before the end of the year.
On the other hand, a worst scenario would see the dispute between the two parties end up in the London Court of International Arbitration.
Were the GKAU to win the case and have its money returned, it would go on to build a new satellite.
GKAU and MDA signed an agreement signed an agreement in 2009, with the latter acting as the general contractor and agreeing to transfer the satellite to Ukrkosmos after its launch.
This was initially planned for 2012 but then subsequently put back for various, including financial, reasons.
Lybid has been built and is currently located in Krasnoyarsk and under the custody of the Russian company Information Satellite Systems (ISS) – Reshetnev.
Significantly, it was reported in the Ukrainian media last month that the GKAU has no plans to sell Lybid to an international operator in order to settle the dispute with MDA.
Bulgaria’s Vivacom has entered into an agreement with Stream Television Company to deliver its international feed for pay-TV platforms across Europe and the CIS.
As a result, Vivacom, the largest telco in Bulgaria operating one of Europe’s few Tier 3 certified teleports in Europe, will distribute the international version of the hunting and fishing channel Rybalka I Okhota.
Commenting on the development, Dmitry Sokolov, Stream Television Company CTO, said: “With Vivacom, we have now found a partner to help us deliver the international version of the popular TV channel in the best way, increasing the footprint, reliability, and providing outstanding service”.
Vladimir Rangelov, head of broadcasting in Vivacom, added: Vivacom’s MCPC platform on Eutelsat 36E, provides unique wide coverage over the whole of Europe, Middle East and part of Asia, allowing content providers to reliably distribute their channels across large number of head ends in an efficient and cost-effective way”.
Stream Television Company is based in Russia and owns 17 channels, including Rybalka I Okhota.
As of today, Insight TV’s 4K UHD content is available on a 24/7 basis in English, Spanish and Portuguese to all cable, IPTV and DTH providers who are working with SES in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.
Launched in April, SES’s new Ultra HD platform is an all-in-one package of pre-configured Ultra HD content, reception equipment, and satellite distribution hosted on SES-14 that will enable quick and easy Ultra HD deployments throughout Latin America.
“We have been partners with Insight TV since 2015. From launching Ultra HD channels in Europe via SES satellites, to joining SES’ North American Ultra HD platform to grow its audience beyond Europe in 2016, we are delighted to have the Ultra HD channel on our Latin American UHD platform so it can expand further,” said Steve Corda, VP, Media Platform North America at SES Video.
“In Latin America, demand for Ultra HD content doesn’t cease and has reached a critical mass since the World Cup. We are dedicated to helping industry players satisfy this demand as our satellites are the optimal way to deliver Ultra HD content to large audiences, and our platform the ideal solution for Pay-TV operators and channels to get started in the region.”
“Insight TV is excited to bring its immersive and exciting action sports, entertainment and lifestyle specials and series to viewers across Latin America and South America via SES’ Ultra HD platform,” said Robert Gold, VP for Americas of Insight TV.
“Building on the incredible growth we have experienced in Europe, North America and Asia, this new distribution platform gives Insight TV a strong foothold in all of Latin America and enables us to deliver award-winning programming to millions of new 4K viewers.”
Like SES’ North America Ultra HD solution, the SES Latin America UHD platform is an end-to-end delivery system and is distributed over SES-14 at 47.5 degrees West. SES-14 provides delivery throughout Latin America and is home to SES’ leading Latin American Pay-TV neighbourhood. In Latin America, SES carries over 900 channels, of which almost 400 are in HD and Ultra HD.
The new agreement will enable the launch of new High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services in the Middle East and Africa, including Enterprise and VNO services, IP Trunking and mobile backhaul for 3G and 4G services.
Under the partnership, Arabsat will deploy a Newtec Dialog platform with a variety of Newtec’s DVB-S2X Wideband modems. The specific modem used for each customer will depend on the market being served, with Newtec’s portfolio providing vertical-specific solutions to deliver the best connectivity experience for any satellite application.
“Expanding our partnership with Newtec in this way will help us meet rising market demand for high-throughput and high-performance services, pushing the boundaries of what is available today,” said Khalid Balkheyour, CEO at Arabsat.
“We chose to partner with Newtec after careful consideration of the market. We are confident that Newtec’s proven expertise will enlarge our addressable market and maximize the benefits of HTS to achieve highest efficiency and throughput. This helps us provide the high-quality, cost-effective services our customers expect.”
Once launched, the new services will use Arabsat satellite capacity, with the initial hub expected to be installed in Europe within the next month.
Newtec Dialog is a multiservice VSAT platform which enables operators to build and adapt satellite networking infrastructures according to specific needs. With Newtec’s modems, it provides a choice of three return technologies, including MF-TDMA, SCPC and Newtec’s unique, dynamic Mx-DMA which combines the best qualities of both to provide dynamic bandwidth allocation with the highest level of efficiency.
“Our Newtec Dialog platform has a strong association with maximizing revenues to achieve the highest profitability, and with minimized risk, especially when being used to maximize the benefits of HTS networks,” said Thomas Van den Driessche, CEO at Newtec.
“We are proud Arabsat has chosen us to enlarge its addressable market and serve its most demanding customers, building on our long-term and very valued partnership.”
(Picture shows Wael Al Buti, VP & Chief Commercial Officer at Arabsat, and Thomas Van den Driessche, CEO at Newtec)
MX1, the technical services subsidiary of Astra satellite operator SES, has joined forces with German video distribution solutions provider Smart Mobile Labs (SML) to bundle satellite and LTE technology.
Targeting broadcasters and event organisers, the new service combines MX1 OU Flex’s 150 Mbps of bandwidth supplied by SES’ satellites fleet with SML’s 5G-ready LTE/Wi-Fi hotspot solution, enabling HD and UHD content to be distributed to a specialised mobile application on the smartphones of thousands of event spectators and audiences around the world.
SML’s LTE technology is based on the company’s core technology, Edge Video Orchestrator (EVO), which allows switching of real-time video streams with a low latency and will extend OU Flex connectivity on-location to deliver video, audio, and data streams through a local mobile network for rebroadcasting and Content Delivery Network (CDN) distribution. The combined solution is proven with 4G LTE technology, according to the partners.
OU Flex, which was launched in March 2018, provides a video distribution and bidirectional IP connectivity solution for broadcasters, live event producers, event organisers and remote operators. The solution works even when terrestrial and mobile networks are congested and in remote areas to ensure that over-the-top streaming and social media updates can be executed from the field while also distributing video feeds to TV sets globally.
The new OU Flex feature can be used for a variety of applications. One is extending a network to mobile cameras that deliver focused views of an event to OU Flex-connected spectators onsite and audiences around the world. The mobile application can then offer these shots in a split-screen mode, directed by the viewer’s choice. Additionally, the customer can add sponsor information, graphic elements or social media conversations to the video feed in real time.
“We enhanced the audience experience at a major baseball game with our EVO technology by enabling spectators to use their smartphones or tablets to choose the camera angle from which they’d like to view the game — whether from the pitcher’s, catcher’s, or cheerleader’s point of view,” said Andreas Westhoff, CEO of SML. “By combining our solution into MX1’s OU Flex, we can go further because of satellite’s reliability and reach. Now we will be able to deliver our unique capabilities to customers in remote locations or in network congested situations.”
Strong will roll out a 4K UHD tivùsat satellite receiver in Italy based on the latest HbbTV 2.0.1 technology in early October 2018.
The SRT 7840 is designed for reception of free-to-air DTH platform tivùsat offering a huge line-up of national and international channels.
The highlight of the box is the HbbTV-based tivùon application. It can be accessed directly by pushing the tivùon button on the remote control. With an internet connection, tivùon offers interactive services such as an advanced search function, 7-day catch-up and a TV guide with individual recommendations.
To access tivùsat, apart from a certified receiver, consumers need a satellite dish pointed at Eutelsat Hotbird (13° East) and an activated tivùsat smartcard.
Strong, a member of the Skyworth Group, will show live presentations of its 4K UHD tivùsat receiver at IBC 2018 in Amsterdam at the Skyworth booth in hall 1, D.15.
Under the long-term extension agreement announced by SES, Kiwisat is leasing additional capacity to transmit the 60 additional channels via SES-10, which is already delivering Kiwisat’s current TV package of about 130 channels. This brings the new Kiwisat content line-up to about 190 channels, of which about 140 are in HD, with a mix of content in three languages: English, French, and now Spanish.
Launched in April this year on SES-10, Kiwisat offers the largest HD bouquet in the Caribbean region. By extending its channel line-up, Kiwisat will be able to offer different targeted TV packages adapted to the islands’ population and main language. With the support of resellers across the Caribbean, this will allow the platform to cater to various consumers’ needs in the region and reach a wider audience.
“With these new channels, we are not only bringing an even wider array of choice than before to viewers, but we are also offering more high picture quality content,” said Andrew Wang, CEO of Kiwisat.
“With more channels, more reception equipment, and more points of presence in the Caribbean islands, we are on the path to exponential growth, and we are very pleased that our partner SES is accompanying us on this journey.”
“We could not be more excited about Kiwisat’s success!” said Jurandir Pitsch, Vice President, Sales & Market Development for Latin America and Caribbean of SES Video.
“As the first DTH platform designed for the Caribbean, Kiwisat has won viewers’ hearts with its accessible, top-quality TV entertainment offer, and now it’s ready to expand. We are very proud to contribute to our customer’s growth, and to help bring more content in high resolution to audiences in the Caribbean.”
The audiovisual service provider Panaccess has launched a DTH platform in cooperation with Hispasat and Belinter Media and targeting the Slovak and Czech markets.
Distributed by Hispasat 30W-5 at 30 degrees West, Pantelio is initially offering 40 SD and 60 HD channels and uses state-of-the-art technology that allows telco providers to offer such additional services as Ultra HD, HbbTV, VOD and seven-day catch-up. The launch of the platform was announced today (Wednesday, September 12) in an event in the Slovak city of Zvolen in which it was presented to key partners and installers.
Commenting on the development, Ignacio Sanchis, CCO of Hispasat, said: “the deal with Panaccess and Belinter Media for the distribution of Pantelio is an important milestone for us, as it is the first time we provide broadcast services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This will help us diversify our presence in the European broadcast market. We are convinced that Pantelio, with its wide and innovative pay-TV offering and unique features, will be a great success.”
Roland Shlichting, founder and CEO of Panaccess, added: “we are thrilled to partner with Hispasat and Belinter Media for the launch of Pantelio. The high performance and the coverage of Hispasat satellites are ideal for distributing content and providing connectivity in Europe. This, together with the high quality of service and operation standards it provides, has made very easy for us to deploy the platform in a record time.”
The Pantelio platform will have a dedicated space at Hispasat (1C37) and Panaccess (5B22) stands in the IBC 2018.
Televisa will use high-throughput (HTS) Kuband beams on Intelsat 35e for their European distribution needs.
As part of the new, multi-year agreement, Grupo Televisa will leverage Intelsat’s global hybrid network to distribute its pay-TV programming to viewers throughout Europe via Intelsat 35e located at 325.5°East and the IntelsatOne terrestrial network.
Intelsat will transport the signals from Televisa’s master control in Mexico City via IntelsatOne’s terrestrial network to the company’s teleport in Fuchsstadt, Germany, for turnaround services of its content throughout Europe.
Intelsat is providing a fully managed service offering for Televisa’s European distribution, including monitoring the signal and providing immediate response to ensure efficient, reliable and high-quality content delivery at all times.
“In order to further expand Televisa’s international business and meet our global transmission needs, we need an end-to-end solution that is quick to scale and can reliably distribute high quality, secure content to our viewers,” said William Aguirre, director of satellite operations, Televisa.
“Intelsat’s world-class global network and managed media solutions have enabled us to expand into new markets, cost efficiently distribute high quality content to viewers across Europe.”
“As broadcasters and programmers adjust their business models and distribution platforms to meet their viewers’ changing needs, it is critical to provide them with a managed solution that can quickly, simply and cost-effectively deliver their content anytime or anywhere they need it”, said Rob Cerbone, Intelsat’s vice president and general manager, media.
“We greatly appreciate our continued partnership with Grupo Televisa and the trust that they have placed in Intelsat’s global network to meet their current distribution and future programming needs around the world.”
For Europe, a part of Northern Africa and a large part of the Middle East BVN will continue to transmit via the Eutelsat Hotbird.
“We understand that your organisation needs some time to organize reception via the Hotbird satellite. For this reason BVN will be still available on both satellites until September 19, 2018,” the international broadcaster said in a statement.
After September 20, 2018 BVN will cease to be available via Astra 1L.
Speaking at the event, Gerry O’Sullivan, executive VP, global TV and video, Eutelsat, said that satellite has an edge over OTT/IP in terms of cost efficiency and universal reach. It can also deliver a huge amount of bandwidth simultaneously.
Eutelsat has been talking to its customers and concluded that even broadcasters that have launched advanced services are finding it a burden to maintain them. Their focus should be on content, which is where their real strengths lie.
Eutelsat Cirrus is an inclusive end-to-end platform and today sees the launch of two unique services, namely a turnkey distribution service and multiscreen via OTT. The former, which provides satellite TV broadcasters with end-to-end video distribution combined with cloud-based service management, is modular and fully scalable, and skinned applications enable quick-to-market time. Furthermore, all iOS and Android devices are supported with continuous innovation. With Turnkey TV, all features are multilanguage in English, French and Arabic.
Multiscreen meanwhile complements traditional DTH broadcast with simultaneous OTT streaming through a native hybrid platform. It allows end-users to watch video content on devices such as mobile phones and tablets, access multiple programmes, record and rewind and view a rich array of programme information.
Meanwhile, Bruno Cattan, director of terminals and solutions, said that Cirrus is a three-layer platform, composed of the core, open APIs and ecosystem. He also revealed that it has been produced in partnership with Nagra, Irdeto and CenturyLink.
O’Sullivan added that Cirrus includes many features, including seven-day backwards EPG.
The launch on September 6 is for in Europe, MENA and sub-Saharan Africa, and other regions will follow. Eutelsat will in due course announce its first customers for the new solution.
Eutelsat Cirrus will be demoed by Eutelsat at IBC 2018, Hall 1 Stand D.59.
German telco Deutsche Telekom has chosen the operating system from Swedish TV solutions provider Zenterio for the hybrid set-top-box used for the new satellite version of its IPTV platform Entertain TV.
The high-end 4K receiver combines DTH satellite with IPTV and OTT and includes new client- and cloud-based features such as OTT video-on-demand (YouTube, Netflix, and more), hybrid local/network PVR, HTML5 apps and other broadcast and streaming services.
The new Entertain TV Sat comprises more than 300 channels, interactive functions like time-shift, restart, and 7-day replay, on-demand offers, sports content, streaming services and broadcasters’ catch-up services. With the set-top-box, TV channels are broadcast via satellite and are also available over the IPTV network. The box decides which reception method is best for the desired channel based on reception conditions and customer preference.
Keeping with Deutsche Telekom’s strategy to embrace client software harmonisation in Germany and across its European TV footprint, the Zenterio operating system provides the telco with a platform for future enhancements and full control of its managed client devices.
“Innovation is ongoing at Deutsche Telekom, and we are proud to be a part of this ambitious project to harmonise client software across all countries where DT has television services,” said Jörgen Nilsson, CEO of Zenterio. “4K service launches are just starting to penetrate the German market, and with the introduction of this new 4K hybrid IP-satellite STB powered by Zenterio OS, DT can meet the growing consumer demand for higher quality, richer featured television services, and drive new revenue streams.”
SES’s high-powered SES-14 satellite, positioned at 47.5 degrees West, is now serving Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, North Atlantic and West Africa.
The all-electric satellite, which has both C- and Ku-band wide-beam coverage and Ku-band high throughput spot beam coverage, is SES’s second hybrid satellite to serve the Americas, with the first being SES-15.
The satellite is expanding the reach of SES’s second cable neighbourhood in Latin America, and provides new capacity for DTH services.
It is also delivering more high-speed connectivity to the aeronautical market and other traffic-intensive applications in the maritime and cellular backhaul markets.
In addition, it carries a hosted payload for NASA’s Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission. GOLD will provide imaging of the Earth’s upper atmosphere from geostationary orbit to deepen scientists’ understanding of the boundary between Earth and space.
SES-14 at 47.5 degrees West is replacing and augmenting services currently provided on NSS-806. The licence to operate at this Brazilian orbital location was the result of SES’s successful participation in a spectrum auction in 2014.
Commenting on SES-14, Martin Halliwell, CTO at SES, said, “Thanks to the Airbus, Arianespace and SES teams, SES-14 is able to fulfil its planned satellite mission of bringing better picture quality TV content to people across Latin America, as well as delivering high-speed broadband services to airline passengers flying over the Americas and North Atlantic routes. Enterprises and communities within the region will also be able to access the reliable connectivity provided by SES-14. SES-14 is key to SES’s future growth trajectory and is part of our on-going strategy to develop innovative capabilities for specific and growing markets.”
SES-14 was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. It was built by Airbus Defence and Space and is an all-electric satellite.
The satellite also features a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP), which increases payload flexibility and will provide customised connectivity solutions to SES’s customers.
German commercial broadcaster Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is expanding the reach of its Ultra HD channel RTL UHD.
The channel, which is broadcast on DTH satellite platform HD+ via Astra (19.2° East), will become accessible by customers subscribing to HD+ through Sky Deutschland. This was confirmed to Broadband TV News by an HD+ spokesman.
A Sky Deutschland spokesman added that the activation of RTL UHD for Sky satellite customers signed up for HD+ will take place on September 4, 2018.
RTL UHD was previously only directly accessible via HD+, but not through the partnership with Sky Deutschland, which allows Sky customers to add HD+ to their Sky subscription as an option and receive it using Sky’s smartcard and receiver or CI+ module.
To receive RTL UHD, Sky subscribers need the Sky Q UHD receiver and an UHD TV set in addition to their satellite dish.
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland recently decided to continue offering RTL UHD next year, originally limited to the end of 2018, and to expand its programme line-up. At the same time, the partnership with HD+ for exclusive distribution to DTH satellite households in Germany was renewed.
German commercial broadcaster Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will continue to offer its Ultra HD channel RTL UHD next year.
At the same time, the programme line-up will be expanded. In addition to the Formula 1 qualifying rounds and races, RTL UHD will for the first time show all international football matches of the German team broadcast by RTL as well as several UEFA Europa League games in 2019.
The second season of RTL’s original production Sankt Maik will also be shown. The series will air in spring 2019.
Subscription TV platform HD+ will remain RTL UHD’s exclusive distribution partner for DTH satellite households on Astra (19.2° East). After UHD1 by HD+ and Travelxp 4., RTL UHD is the third UHD offering HD+ customers can receive exclusively via satellite.
RTL UHD launched on April 28, 2018 as a test channel initially limited until the end of this year.
The new satellites will launch in 2021, according to a Eutelsat earnings presentation. They would provide the same amount of Ku-band capacity as the current three satellites, along with improvement like better resistance to signal jamming. The two greatest cost savers on the new Hotbird satellites are electric propulsion, which makes it possible to replace three existing satellites with only two, and Airbus’ new Eurostar NEO platform.
Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO, said the company’s “design to cost” strategy — applied to the new Airbus satellites — has been more fruitful than first expected.
(The picture shows Eutelsat’s current Hotbird configuration of three satellites)
Meltzer brings over twenty five years of experience in the satellite industry, including serving as a board member for both a regional satellite operator and for a mobile satellite operator. Previously, he served for 16 years in various business and legal roles at Intelsat, culminating in serving as Intelsat’s General Counsel and EVP for Regulatory Affairs.
Most recently, Meltzer served as the General Counsel and Chief International Officer of the American Red Cross where he led its legal, international disaster relief and development activities.
“On behalf of all the members and Board of Directors, we are excited to welcome Mr. Meltzer,” said Dr. Arunas Slekys, GVF’s Chairman of the Board.
“He brings a unique mix of industry and non-profit management experience on the international stage and we are confident that he will add significant value to GVF as a leading voice of the rapidly growing satellite industry—a vital part of the telecom and Internet fabric that connects the world.”
The broadcasts of DAZN 1 HD and DAZN 2 HD on Hotbird are encrypted with NDS/Videoguard, and are only intended for business-to-business distribution (to Sky sports bars). This is the same set-up as between Sky Deutschland and DAZN.
However, all Sky Italia subscribers can sign up for DAZN as an OTT service. Sky is offering the DAZN service for a promotional price of €7.99 a month (instead of €9.99), buying a three month ticket costs €21.99 if bought before September 3 (regular price €29.99) or a nine month season ticket for €59.99 (regular price €89.91). Sky Italia offers DAZN also to its Sky Q subscribers.
Last June, Perform Group’s DAZN acquired exclusive multi-platform Serie A rights in Italy.
As part of a new agreement between Sky and DAZN three Serie A games, where DAZN holds the rights, will be included in Sky’s commercial bars and hotels package. They will not be available to domestic subscribers.
DAZN’s OTT service can be received on connected devices including Apple TV4, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Sony Playstation 3 and 4, Roku and Roku TV (canada only), Microsoft Xbox, Google Chromecast, Android TV and smart TVs from LG, Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic.