German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will transmit selected live sports coverage from streaming portal DAZN via satellite for Sky sports bars in Germany and Austria.
As part of the three-year collaboration, Sky will offer two linear DAZN channels in HD quality on Astra (19.2° East). Sky sports bars visitors can thus continue to watch all matches of the German teams in the UEFA Champions League as well as all top games of the UEFA Europa League live.
Additionally, games from international leagues such as the UK’s Premier League and the Spanish La Liga as well as the Tennis WTA Tour, darts, NBA and other sports will be shown on the two DAZN satellite channels – up to 14 hours of live sports per day.
Besides Astra, the two linear DAZN channels will in future also be made available to sports bars served by cable networks.
German commercial broadcaster RTL willl transmit four football matches live on its linear Ultra HD test channel.
The first match will be the friendly game between record champion FC Bayern Munich and Manchester United in the Allianz Arena in Munich on August 5, 2018. The coverage will start at 20.00 CET.
On August 28, Bastian Schweinsteiger (pictured) will play his farewell match in which his current club Chicago Fire will take on FC Bayern Munich.
RTL UHD will also show games of Germany’s national team, starting with the friendly match against Peru on September 9. On November 15, the German team will meet Russia in Leipzig.
RTL UHD can be received via satellite exclusively on German DTH platform HD+ on Astra (19.2° East). The football matches are broadcast using the HDR format Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG).
RTL UHD which launched in April 2018 also shows all Formula 1 races of the current season live.
Technical services provider MX1 has expanded its partnership with ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion following the conclusion of a new framework agreement.
Through the contract with the subsidiary of Astra satellite operator SES, ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion secures satellite capacity on occasional use basis for the worldwide distribution of sports and live events. MX1 provides the satellite capacities flexibly and at short notice as required, according to the technical services subsidiary of German commercial broadcast group ProSiebenSat.1.
“Live TV draws millions of people to the screen at the same time. It is particularly important to ensure seamless transmission,” said Dr Martin Emele, managing director of ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion. “MX1’s services and years of experience in premium sporting events allow us to broadcast our live programmes without interruption and ensure that our viewers never miss a second.”
Christoph Mühleib, responsible for sales of MX1’s services in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, added: “In a complex digital world, satellite distribution is the fastest, most reliable and safest way to deliver sports and live events. We are able to provide ProSiebenSat.1 and other media companies with excellent viewing experiences of the highest possible quality.”
According to BFM Business, the two parties have come to an agreement following a long dispute over transponder leases for nc+ in Poland and Canal+ Reunion in Africa.
Canal+ is renting 16 2/3 transponders on Eutelsat’s Hot bird for distribution of the bouquet’s 77 channels. Canal Reunion rents transponder space on Eutelsat 16 A for a bouquet of 97 channels.
The conflict began in early 2016, a few months after Rodolphe Belmer, former head of Canal+, took over as head of Eutelsat. NC+, the Polish subsidiary of Canal Plus, stops paying its satellite operator. In June 2016, Eutelsat gave notice to Canal Plus and NC+ to pay EUR1.1 million in arrears, failing which satellite distribution would be cut. NC+ then agrees to settle a large part of its dues. In April 2017, Eutelsat threatened to cut Canal Réunion’s signal due to unpaid bills, but was paid.
In the meantime, in December 2016, Canal Plus and NC+ attacked Eutelsat before the Paris Commercial Court, claiming EUR15.5 million in damages, and accusing it of all evils: “abuse of a dominant position”, “abuse of economic dependence”, “anti-competitive agreement”, “excessive prices”, “significantly unbalanced economic relationship”, “refusal to renegotiate the contract”, “excessive contract durations” (6 to 13 years in Poland, and 10 years in the Indian Ocean).
But Eutelsat counter-attacked. The satellite operator examines NC+’s accounts and notes that the money paid to Eutelsat “represents less than 7% of turnover and costs, which excludes any economic dependence”.
Eutelsat also asks Canal Plus to provide the court with proof that the “takeover” by the Bolloré group of the encrypted channel and its parent company Vivendi has indeed been “notified to the competent competition and regulatory authorities”. A request not without malice, because Eutelsat is well aware that Vincent Bolloré never notified anyone of his takeover…
When asked, Canal Plus did not reply, while Eutelsat “welcomes the fact that a satisfactory agreement between the stakeholders has been reached”.
German commercial broadcast group ProSiebenSat.1 will launch its Ultra HD (UHD) service on July 22, 2018 with a special edition of science programme Galileo.
Galileo Spezial will be transmitted at 19.05 CET in UHD/4K in HDR format for DTH satellite households free-to-air via Astra (19.2° East) on showcase channel UHD1 by HD+, Nicole Agudo Berbel, Chief Distribution Officer & Executive Vice President Digital Publishing, told Broadband TV News.
The UHD version of Galileo Spezial – focussing on different types of holidays – will be broadcast in parallel to its regular SD and HD distribution on the ProSieben channel. It will also be offered on ProSieben’s own digital platforms including the website, app and smart TVs (HbbTV).
The kabel eins format Rosins Restaurants will also air in UHD quality, according to Agudo Berbel.
Agudo Berbel announced another highlight to be shown in UHD: The Sat.1 original movie Amokspiel (working title) based on the novel of the same name by Sebastian Fitzek. The thriller featuring actors such as Franziska Weisz, Eko Fresh, Johann von Bülow and Christian Tramitz is directed by Oliver Schmitz and produced in UHD by TV60Film. The film shootings began on June 19, 2018 in Berlin and are scheduled to run until July 18.
The Sat.1 original movie Hilfe, meine Mutter bekommt mein Kind! (working title) featuring Andrea Sawatzki will also be produced and shown in UHD.
There is strong interest in the market in ProSiebenSat.1’s UHD programmes, said Agudo Berbel (pictured), with many platform operators asking for distribution possibilities, but no decision has been made yet regarding carriage by third parties beyond broadcasting on UHD1 and ProSiebenSat.1’s own digital platforms for on-demand reception of the content in UHD. The demand for catch-up access to original content of ProSiebenSat.1 via mobile, online or HbbTV is increasing steadily, Agudo Berbel said.
ProSiebenSat.1’s first UHD move was in August 2017 with kabel eins documentary series Abenteuer Leben made available to smart TV owners in the new format through the red button (HbbTV). After the broadcast, the programming remained accessible on-demand on the channel’s catch-up service.
Competing broadcaster RTL launched a linear UHD test channel on April 28, 2018. The opening event was the live broadcast of the Formula 1 race from Baku in Azerbaijan. RTL UHD will show all Formula 1 races and qualifying rounds of the current season live. On May 5, the test channel screened the final of talent show Deutschland sucht den Superstar (DSDS) live in UHD.
The leading global satellite operators Intelsat, SES and Eutelsat have aligned on a market-based proposal for the future use of the lower C-band spectrum in the US.
Eutelsat has agreed to join the proposal initiated by Intelsat, Intel and SES.
The proposal was developed in response to a proceeding initiated by the FCC. It reflects the unique US telecommunications environment and aims to protect the quality and reliability of the extensive services provided by satellite operators in the C-band spectrum to US broadcasters, media, and data companies. It also establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to quickly access spectrum in the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz frequency band in the US, speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.
C-band spectrum plays an essential role in the US broadcasting ecosystem, delivering video and audio programming to more than 100 million households.
The proposal specifies the use of a consortium, which is open to all satellite operators delivering services in the C-band downlink frequencies in any part of the lower 48 United States. The consortium will oversee the governance of the initiative, define and implement the methodology for spectrum clearance, and serve as the sole interface for market-based transactions with parties interested in deploying terrestrial mobile services in specific portions of the C-band.
With Eutelsat, the three satellite operators will continue to work with customers, other stakeholders, and the FCC on the market-based proposal.
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are pleased to be joining this proposal which aims to create fair conditions for the shared use of C-band with mobile operators in the US while protecting the quality of services provided to our customers over the long term.
“By joining this collaborative process, we will be able to advance our interests and those of our clients and contribute to the momentum of the initiative.”
In a joint statement, Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler and SES president and CEO Steve Collar, said: “We are pleased to have Eutelsat join Intelsat and SES in this endeavour, demonstrating that the industry is able to unite, collaborate and fully implement our market-driven proposal. Our solution is the only one which will maintain the high quality of the hundreds of incumbent services operating in the C-band today, protect the significant investments in space and ground infrastructure delivering these crucial services while also supporting the US goal of accelerating the 5G era.”
With it, Hispasat will join Asia’s largest satellite operator Sky Perfect JSat in the growing trend for satellite operators to future-proof their communications solutions through the development of low earth orbit (LEO) capabilities. The two operators will now accelerate a number of key activities including vendor selections for customer premise equipment and ground operations, as well as further optimisation of the satellite platform.
Commenting on the development, Mark Rigolle, CEO of LeoSat said: “We are delighted that Hispasat, with its reputation for quality, efficiency and reliability and its strong presence in Europe, North Africa and Latin America, has chosen to invest in LeoSat to expand its network capabilities. ’Always-on‘ connectivity, increasing digitisation and the move to cloud-based operations and smart data analysis and management, all require resilient and future-proof networks to deliver connectivity and services. Whilst the perception of satellite for data communications is often seen as a last resort, LeoSat will change that by pairing the speed of fibre with the ubiquity of satellite and adding a new dimension of ultra-security. Hispasat recognises that we will not only bring a paradigm shift in expanding the existing satellite services market, we will open up new markets for space-based data networking for telecoms, tech and media across the globe.”
Carlos Espinós, CEO of Hispasat, added: “With the current and future growth of data traffic, we see the strategic importance of investing in new infrastructure to enable our existing and future customers to substantially increase their communications capabilities. LeoSat has distinguishing features from the other constellations that makes it especially interesting: high capacity, low latency, high security and a meshed network that simplifies its architecture. LeoSat’s system design, combining satellite and networking technology to provide a network in space, is a departure from existing solutions today and we see this as a key opportunity for us to open-up new markets and deliver business growth. This investment in LeoSat demonstrates our belief that there will be very strong demand for LeoSat as it is the best solution to address the Enterprise market. It will allow Hispasat to strengthen and expand our existing GEO satellite services and position the company at the forefront of the new digital infrastructure. In addition, Hispasat and SKY Perfect JSAT have a relationship of complementarity, understanding and mutual trust that will ease our joint leadership in this initiative.”
Koki Koyama, senior managing executive officer of Sky Perfect JSat, commented: “This is an exciting time and we are delighted to welcome Hispasat on board LeoSat which will provide the first enterprise-grade, extremely high speed and secure data service worldwide. Both Sky Perfect JSat and Hispasat will support LeoSat in ensuring the successful launch of this unique new next-generation network.”
The new R&S PKU amplifier from German technology group Rohde & Schwarz was used for the uplink signal transmission during the first broadcast of an 8K TV signal by Astra satellite operator SES.
Using the DVB-S2X standard, SES transmitted the 8K TV signal on a single 36 MHz transponder via its Astra 3B satellite at 23.5° East during the SES Industry Days in Luxembourg in May 2018.
The demo video with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels (8K) – four times higher than a 4K signal – was encoded in HEVC and transmitted at a rate of 80 Mbit/s. The 8K content was broadcast with a frame rate of 60 frames per second and 10-bit colour depth. A native IP-formatted signal was used additionally to learn about the requirements to be met for a fully IP-based broadcast infrastructure.
The Rohde & Schwarz R&S PKU amplifier was employed to send the HEVC-encoded signal to the satellite. The R&S PKU combines the strengths of solid-state amplifiers and the compactness and low weight of tube amplifiers, according to Rohde & Schwarz. If individual transistors fail, for example, the amplifier continues operating at reduced power. It features adaptive linearization for improved signal quality, enabling network operators to transmit significantly more data using the same signal bandwidth – ideal for 8K transmission.
“Even though 8K resolution is not yet commercially relevant, we have shown that our satellite network is able to deliver 8K content,” said Thomas Wrede, vice president, new technology & standards at SES Video. “We are proud to provide an insight into the future of television. Rohde & Schwarz has made a valuable contribution to this achievement.”
Scoop Network’s programme schedule will consist of a mix of light entertainment magazines with movie, music, fashion and celebrity news. For a truly pan-African feel, the channel will be fully localised with African voice overs, a daily locally produced entertainment news show and other local productions.
Scoop Network, which is already available in multiple territories around the world, will join Kwesé TV’s entertainment line-up with an exclusive tailor-made feed produced by a dedicated editorial team from Dutch Indie FCCE based in Nairobi, Kenya for English speaking African territories.
“It’s the first fully localised feed of Scoop Network and we’re very confident the local audience will enjoy the mix of national and international content.” said Justus A. G. Verkerk, CEO of FCCE.
“Around the world we meet cable and mobile operators, all looking for new and exclusive options. We offer an affordable turnkey solution. We’re really proud to work with Kwesé as a partner in 18 African countries. The new editorial team in the FCCE Nairobi office, our own studio facilities, local crews and local presenters and reporters will guarantee the local tone of voice and content. The talent search campaign is something that is really in the DNA of our company; we hope we can give young people from the African continent a platform to showcase their talent. And maybe, we even facilitate a spring board to the international markets. We already received screen tests that can compete in any other market. We’re very excited about all these new opportunities.”
Joseph Hundah, Econet Media President and Group CEO said “Kwesé prides itself on offering exclusive cutting-edge entertainment programming to cater for our dynamic young audiences. Scoop is a channel enjoyed by many across the globe and we are excited to be the first TV network to introduce it to the African market.”
Nicer Dicer TV, a new shopping channel for the German-speaking market, has launched on Astra (19.2 East).
Technical services provider MX1 supplies the satellite capacity and handles the satellite uplink of the free-to-air channel for cooking and kitchen appliances.
The subsidiary of Astra satellite operator SES is already responsible for the satellite distribution of sister channel Genius Plus TV.
German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will remove pay-TV channels RTL Crime, RTL Passion and RTL Living from its line-up on July 17, 2018.
No agreement was reached regarding further distribution, parent company Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland said in a statement.
“We very much regret that our channels RTL Crime, RTL Passion and RTL Living, which are among the most popular and most watched pay-TV channels in Germany and Austria, can no longer be received via Sky from July 17, 2018,” said Dr Klaus Holtmann, head of digital thematic channels at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. “Unfortunately, despite intense efforts, we were unable to reach a commercial agreement for the renewal of the cooperation.”
The axing of the RTL channels follows Sky Deutschland’s removal of the pay-TV channels operated by ProSiebenSat.1 in July 2016, further reducing its number of third-party channels. Other third-party channels dropped by Sky include Goldstar TV, Sport1 US HD, AXN, MGM Channel and – most recently – Sky Sport1+ HD.
Through the move, RTL Crime, RTL Passion and RTL Living will no longer be available to DTH satellite viewers on Astra (19.2° East), resembling around half of Germany’s TV households.
The channels continue to be carried by cable and IPTV platform operators including Vodafone, Unitymedia and Entertain TV. In Austria they are available via UPC Austria and in Switzerland via UPC and Teleclub.
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland also operates pay-TV channel GEO Television, distributed via Entertain TV, Vodafone and Amazon Prime Video Channels.
Eutelsat Communications has confirmed it is evaluating a possible bid for Inmarsat.
The mobile satellite communications operator has been in play since it emerged in a Stock Exchange filing that Charlie Ergen’s Echostar had accrued a 3% stake in the London-based company.
Inmarsat said that the bid had seriously under-valued the company that has since seen its market value climb to £2.7 billion.
Under rules set by the UK’s takeover panel, Echostar has until July 6 to make a firm bid; Eutelsat will have until July 23.
The US firm ViaSat has also been touted as a possible bidder, but it’s thought there could be others.
In his new role, Grenot will work closely with Globecast’s customers in France both on the technical and client service side to ensure that the company is meeting their needs in this rapidly evolving media landscape.
Grenot brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Globecast, with 20 years in the telecoms industry and B2B Sales for French and international companies. Since 2005, he’s been part of the Orange Business Services large accounts division, working as Global Account Manager in charge of the customers AXA and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Prior to that, he worked as an account manager at Equant France on the French multi-national side of things, eventually moving to Equant New York, where he worked on the North American market.
Philippe Bernard, CEO at Globecast commented, “Francois-Regis’ leadership skills and ability to motive and manage people in competitive markets will be a huge asset to the already strong sales force we have. He has the background necessary to help our customers understand the changing times of this dynamic market, especially as we see a shift toward IP, virtualization and cloud services. We’re delighted to welcome him to our growing team.”
Grenot commented, “Globecast has such a solid portfolio and a truly talented leadership team in place that I’m happy to become part of. I’m looking forward to building upon the company’s success in France and working closely with our customers so they can harness the power of IP and the cloud and evolve with the changing times.”
Grenot reports directly to CEO Philippe Bernard and sits on the Globecast Executive Committee.
Vivacom provides the turnkey solution for the signal transmission, encoding, multiplexing and uplink for BNT World, which is operated by publicly owned Bulgarian National Television (BNT).
Vivacom operates several MCPC video distribution platforms for Europe and Africa and partners with Eutelsat on different satellite positions.
It has a long-term partnership with BNT for several broadcasting services and in 1999 began uplinking TV Bulgaria (now BNT World) from its Earth station Plana.
Eutelsat’s navigation app Sat.tv has won the European Digital Forum 2018 award at the 15th European Digital Forum in Lucca, Italy.
The jury selected the Sat.tv app as the winner in the hybrid category the most user-friendly pan-regional EPG platform in the hybrid category, increasing visibility of the more than 70 Italian free-to-air TV channels on Eutelsat’s Hotbird satellite system (13° East) through a simple and intuitive application allowing viewers to have a ‘smart’ guide to the channels and to benefit from interactivity thanks to the HbbTV standard.
Sat.tv, available for smart TV sets, tablets and smartphones, helps viewers navigate through the hundreds of free-to-air satellite channels broadcast on Hotbird (13° East) and 7/8° West neighbourhood, allowing them to search for and store their favourite channels in a personalised way.
Thanks to the adoption of HbbTV, the app opens its doors to interactive services increasingly requested by viewers, ranging from catch-up TV to pay-per-view offered by broadcasters through smart TV sets and set-top-boxes.
“We are delighted and honoured that the jury of leading European broadcasters has awarded Sat.tv as the most user-friendly pan-regional EPG,” said Markus Fritz, Eutelsat’s Executive Vice President Commercial Development. “This is great customer feedback and proof that our innovation roadmap and enhanced video services are well-matched with our customer and market requirements.”
FIFA has launched an attack on piracy, threatening to take action against the Saudi TV channel BeoutQ which has been illegally broadcasting the opening games of the World Cup via the Arabsat satellite.
Doha-based Qatar’s beIN Media Group holds the exclusive rights to the 20187 World Cup games in the Middle East region, but the broadcaster has been plagued by piracy following the boycot of Qatar by a number of Arab countries. Late May, beIN urged FIFA to take legal action against what it called pirate broadcasters in Saudi Arabia ahead of the World Cup. According to the Qatar media group, Arabsat facilitates satellite broadcasts by the Saudi-based piracy network, known as BeoutQ.
Last year, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have banned the sale of beIN Sports receivers, smartcards and subscriptions in their markets, paving the way for illegal broadcasts for football fans in these countries.
FIFA has now started to take action and in a statement, the football’s governing body said: “FIFA is aware that a pirate channel named BeoutQ has illegally distributed the opening matches of 2018 FIFA World Cup in the MENA region. FIFA takes infringements of its intellectual property very seriously and is exploring all options to stop the infringement of its rights, including in relation to action against legitimate organisations that are seen to support such illegal activities. We refute that BeoutQ has received any rights from FIFA to broadcast any FIFA event.”
Meanwhile, Egypt has decided to broadcast 22 World Cup 2018 games, including those of the national team, on Egyptian television, even without a proper rights contract.
In response, beIN announced it was broadcasting 22 World Cup matches for free across the MENA region as millions faced missing out. But this move does not seem to have impacted illegal piracy broadcasts of the matches.
Because of these rights issues, piracy seems abundant in the Middle East, with BeoutQ now also illegally distributing Premier League matches, UEFA Champions League and FA Cup Final matches. BeoutQ broadcasts exactly the same transmission as beIN, with the same studio pundits, only with a 10-second delay and new logo.
According to the Gulf Times, BeoutQ claims to be a Colombian and Cuban venture, but investigations have shown it to be linked to Saudi companies and promoted by Saud al-Qahtani, Media Adviser to the Saudi Royal Court.
Tom Keaveny, beIN Managing Director for MENA, said: “The pirated signal is being transmitted by the Riyadh-based satellite provider Arabsat, whose largest shareholder is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” He added that the BeoutQ operation “takes industrial scale knowledge and ability and multi million dollar funding. This isn’t someone in their bedroom.”
According to Kommersant, the internet offer, including digital TV, online services and gaming applications, will be R2,000 (€27.1) a year.
It adds that in offering it, Tricolor TV has teamed up with GS Group, which is developing a new line of OTT receivers, the cost of which (between R2,000-9,000) will be comparable to those already available on the market.
OTT is one of the fastest growing sectors in Russia’s TV market.
Other leading pay-TV operators to also offer services include Orion, NTV Plus and Rostelecom.
German public broadcaster ZDF will show selected Ultra HD (UHD) programmes on Eutelsat’s UHD showcase channel 4K1 on Hotbird (13° East) during trade fair ANGA COM 2018.
ZDF’s original series Bergdoktor and Bergretter will be screened in a loop free-to-air on the satellite channel from June 12 to June 14.
The test transmissions take place as part of an innovation partnership between ZDF and Eutelsat, according to the satellite operator. The companies want to use the broadcast to test UHD distribution, signal chain and video quality.
4K1 is using the frequency 12,539 GHz H (SR 30,000, FEC 5/6). For reception, viewers need a satellite dish pointed at 13° East and an UHD TV set. ANGA COM visitors can see the transmission on Eutelsat’s ANGA COM stand (Boulevard MB1).
“As an UHD pioneer in Europe, we are very pleased about the sustainable innovation partnership with ZDF. The four episodes of the popular series Bergretter and Bergdoktor are an attractive addition to our extensive range of high-quality German and international 4K productions in the highest picture quality on our Ultra HD channel 4K1 on Hotbird,” said Markus Fritz, Executive Vice President Commercial Development & Strategic Partnerships at Eutelsat.
Astra Deutschland and Glasfaser ABC have launched a joint solution for serving multi-family houses and housing estates with satellite TV using a single dish (SMATV).
The channels are received from the Astra satellite system at 19.2° East and distributed to the apartments through the inhouse fibre-optic network (FTTH). Users have free choice of reception devices.
The first joint project is the residential town of Asemwald near Stuttgart, one of the largest privately owned housing estates in Germany. Glasfaser ABC and Astra serve more than 1,000 residential units at this location.
In addition to TV supply via Astra, the fibre-optic in-house network also offers bandwidths for other providers and services equipping the apartments for example with telephony and internet.
The two companies will present their solutions at trade fair ANGA COM 2018 in Cologne (hall 8/stand R10).
Joyne was launched in July 2017, and is using the Eutelsat 9B satellite to reach viewers in the Netherlands and across Europe, and is now adding Belgian customers with a specific offer.
The Belgian offer is starting now and is available free-of-charge until the official launch date of August 1, when its Joyne Travel BE bouquet will be available.
In addition to the three public channels, Joyne will offer VTM, Ksoom, Vitaya, Q2, CAZ, Cadet, Vier, Vijf, Zes, Ment, TV Oranje, Schlager TV, Nashville TV, 192TV and Dusk TV.
Joyne is using Conax encryption and CI module are available for €99. Subscription start at €10 a month when signing a 12-month contract. A one-time registration fee of €30.00 is payable.
The new service will be competing with the DTH platform TV Vlaanderen, which is operated by the M7 Group.
UPDATE June 12. In order to accommodate the Belgian channels, Joyne will lease a third transponder one the Eutelsat 9B satellite. The platform will also use this additional capacity to increase the number of Dutch channels with the addition of three premium sports channels, Ziggo Sport Voetbal, Ziggo Sport Racing and Ziggo Sport Golf