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Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: IPTV

DAZN launches on Swisscom TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Swiss telco Swisscom has integrated sports streaming service DAZN into its IPTV platform Swisscom TV.

The move marks the first time DAZN becomes available as an app on a third-party platform. Customers can use the service at home with the Swisscom TV box and on the move with the Swisscom TV app on smartphones and tablets.

DAZN costs CHF12.90 (€11) per month and can be cancelled monthly. Billing via Swisscom is not yet possible at the start, but the telco wants to offer this option in future.

Deutsche Telekom sees stronger growth in IPTV again

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Deutsche Telekom acquired a total of 51,000 new customers for its IPTV platform Entertain TV in Q3 2018.

The total number of customers amounted to 3.24 million as of September 30, 2018, as the company announced during the presentation of its quarterly figures.

Growth was stronger than in Q2 2018, when 47,000 new customers were acquired. In Q3 2017, however, Telekom recorded an increase of 65,000 customers.

It remains to be seen whether the recent transformation of Entertain TV into MagentaTV and the additional commercialisation as an OTT product will accelerate customer growth again.

Swisscom increases number of TV customers

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Swiss telco Swisscom acquired a total of 9,000 new customers for its IPTV platform Swisscom TV in Q3 2018.

This is significantly more than in the third quarter of the previous year, when 6,000 new customers were added. Over the past 12 months, the number of Swisscom TV customers rose by 57,000 to 1.51 million.

Swisscom also increased its number of fixed-line broadband customers by 30,000 to around 2.03 million.

Telekom operates new ARD/ZDF catch-up services

By JΓΆrn Krieger

The new catch-up TV services ARD Plus, ZDF select, ARD Plus Kids and ZDFtivi, which Deutsche Telekom offers within its redesigned IPTV and OTT service MagentaTV, are not operated by the German public broadcasters, but by Telekom.

The programmes available on the services are licensed to MagentaTV by the commercial subsidiaries of ARD and ZDF, as spokespeople from ARD and ZDF confirmed to Broadband TV News.

“As with the content licensed to Telekom in the past by ZDF Enterprises GmbH to supplement the ZDFmediathek, the new offers are not channels organised by ZDF or ZDF Enterprises GmbH, but a completely normal programme licensing process,” explained a ZDF spokeswoman. “ZDF Enterprises GmbH, the commercial subsidiary of ZDF, has licensed the corresponding programmes to MagentaTV. The sole operator of MagentaTV is Deutsche Telekom.”

An ARD spokesman said: “The new offers are operated by Telekom. ARD licenses the content and the ARD Plus brand as well as the right to offer the content under the brand. The choice is made by Telekom.”

Telekom offers ARD Plus, ZDF select, ARD Plus Kids and ZDFtivi to its customers exclusively, as a Telekom spokesman confirmed to Broadband TV News. This dashes hopes that the new catch-up services will also be available to other platform operators.

The licensing of programme content from the public broadcasters to commercial video-on-demand services is a common practice in the industry. However, the fact that a company operates its own business models under the ARD and ZDF brands could be seen as a more controversial move.

Public licence fee payers could be surprised that the new ARD/ZDF services are not accessible on the open internet or on other platforms and could see this as contradictory to the public service obligation. No doubt: The deal between ARD, ZDF and Telekom is likely to spark discussions.

Deutsche Telekom makes major OTT move

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German telco Deutsche Telekom will launch the OTT version of its IPTV platform Entertain TV on October 24, 2018, and, at the same time, rebrand its TV offer into MagentaTV.

For €7.95 per month, the OTT version of MagentaTV will offer a scaled-down version of the IPTV service. The line-up will comprise around 75 TV channels, 45 of them in HD quality, catch-up TV and access to the video-on-demand services.

New to the line-up will be ARD Plus, ZDF select, offering a larger library of on-demand content from ARD and ZDF than the public broadcasters provide on their regular catch-up services. There will also be to additional catch-up services featuring children’s content from ARD and ZDF: ARD Plus Kids und ZDFtivi.

The OTT service will initially be available through iOS and Android apps, through Chromecast and the web browser. Further operating systems will follow, including Smart TV apps.

Deutsche Telekom announced the landmark move to make its IPTV service available as an OTT product in August 2018. The offer has previously been tied to a fixed-line broadband internet subscription from Telekom.

The IPTV version of MagentaTV, which is available to Telekom’s broadband customers through a set-top-box, will continue provide the full portfolio of around 300 TV channels, more than 100 of them in HD quality, Ultra HD/4K content and interactive functions such as time-shift, restart and 7-day replay.

Deutsche Telekom serves ABG Frankfurt with FTTH and cable TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Deutsche Telekom will connect all of ABG Frankfurt Holding’s new housing projects to its fibre-optic network over the next 10 years.

The housing company signed an exclusive contract with the telco to serve around 10,000 new apartments. The fibre-optic cables will not only be laid to the basement of the respective building, but directly into each apartment (FTTH).

“With currently around 52,000 apartments, ABG is the largest landlord in the Rhine-Main region. It thus offers living space for almost a quarter of Frankfurt’s population,” said Frankfurt’s Mayor Peter Feldmann. “Over the next 10 years, the real estate group will build around 10,000 new apartments. In my opinion, every second apartment should be a subsidised apartment, primarily for employees with a normal income.”

For these housing projects, Deutsche Telekom will exclusively supply the complete network infrastructure to each individual apartment. The Bonn-based company will not only install a fibre-optic cable for internet, telephone and IPTV (Entertain TV), but also a second one for the reception of classic cable television from Telekom (Zuhause Kabel Fernsehen Fiber).

“Data-intensive applications and the growing use of internet-enabled devices will lead to a further increase in demand for bandwidth among our tenants in the coming years,” said Frank Junker, CEO of ABG Frankfurt Holding. “By relying entirely on fibre-optic infrastructure for our new housing projects, we are also perfectly prepared for future developments in the long term.”

Hagen Rickmann, managing director business customers of Telekom Deutschland, stressed: “A basic TV service based exclusively on fibre optic wiring is unique in the cable market. All the more reason for us to be pleased that we were able to convince such an important company as ABG of our offer.”

Ginx Esports TV launches on Swisscom TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Ginx Esports TV has launched on Swisscom’s IPTV platform, marking the channel’s first carriage agreement in Switzerland.

“We’re delighted to have Ginx Esports TV on board as an eSports channel that provides regular, up-to-date reporting on the most important sports news as well as interesting insights behind the scenes of the gaming world. If a well delivered and professionally edited show is what you are looking for, you’re sure to find it in Ginx TV,” said Michel Siegenthaler, Head of Offers and Marketing at Swisscom.

Iza Piotrowska, Director of Affiliate Sales at Ginx TV, added: “We’re very excited to bring Ginx Esports TV to Switzerland for the first time. Our channel offers a unique mix of TV and esports experience and aims to provide the best esports content, for eSports fans to the highest TV standards. We look forward to be working with Swisscom to establish GINX Esports TV as the eSports destination in the market.”

Ginx Esports TV is available in over 40 countries, reaching more than 55 million homes including the UK, France, Scandinavia, Italy, the Middle East, South Africa and – through a partnership with Super Channel – Canada.

Digi TV gains more FilmBox channels

By Chris Dziadul

SPI/FilmBox international and the Czech operator Digi TV have extended their long-term cooperation agreement.

As a result, Digi TV’s offer will be enhanced by four more channels from the FilmBox portfolio. The channels – FilmBox Extra HD, FilmBox Family, DocuBox, and FightBox – will be made available on Digi TV’s DTH service and its IPTV platform Digi2Go, joining the three FilmBox channels FilmBox,FilmBox Plus and FilmBox Premium HD already offered by Digi TV.

Commenting on the development, Tamas Fulop, CE regional director of operation for SPI International, said: “Our partnership with Digi TV has proven successful, so after a common agreement, we decided to continue with it. We are delighted to be able to provide interesting channels and programming offer to our viewers in this platform even in the future. After our success with three channels now we are adding four more channels. SPI is becoming a one stop shop strategic partner for operators to deliver more value to subscribers”.

Vladimír Rusnák, executive director of Digi TV, added: “By adding more channels from the FilmBox family, we will please the broad community of our users, whether they want the latest TV series, film classics, or exciting documentaries. Now our viewers have a wider array of channels of different genres that offer engaging content, while those seeking top image quality get more HD resolution channels.”

NTV-Plus TV goes international

By Chris Dziadul

The Russian online service NTV-Plus TV can now be viewed outside the country.

According to its operator NTV-Plus, subscribers can watch a new ‘International’ package that contains 25 news, information and entertainment-based channels, with the number set to increase as geographic restrictions on the broadcasting of other channels are removed.

The ‘International’ package costs £3.99 a month and can be received via iOS and Android mobile apps, with the app itself determining if the viewer is abroad. Subscribers can use of standard functionalities of NTV-Plus TV, which include catch-up, pause and rewind.

Commenting on the launch, Konstantin Smirnov, director of NTV-Plus digital products department, said that it had recorded dozens of subscriptions on its first day, which “inspires optimism”. The most difficult thing is obtaining rights to channels before adding them to the International package. However, “we are constantly working on this and will try to increase the consumer value of the new service.

NTV-Plus TV is operated by NTV-Plus, Russia’s longest-established DTH platform.

eoTV launches on Entertain TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

European Originals Television (eoTV), the German free-to-air TV channel for fans of European movies and series, is now available on Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV platform Entertain TV.

The move increases the channel’s reach by 3.2 million households.

eoTV shows classics and premieres of European TV productions. Two sports programming windows are offered in cooperation with Motorvision TV and DAZN.

Andorra Telecom selects Ruwido remote control

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Andorra Telecom, the national telco of the Principality of Andorra, has opted for a remote control developed by Austrian company Ruwido to enhance the user experience.

The remote control was especially tailored to the needs of the user interface of Andorra Telecom in terms of key mapping, printing and look and feel, enabling seamless interaction.

Bluetooth over the air update support ensures that users always have high quality control and navigation capabilities.

“We’re committed to delivering next-generation IPTV services for our customers, and that includes how they interact with their favourite content,” said Carles Casadevall, B2C Marketing Manager, Andorra Telecom. “By partnering with Ruwido we’re enabling Andorra’s citizens to easily connect to and enjoy TV services.”

Andorra Telecom is the company exclusively providig universal public telecommunications service to the Principality of Andorra including IPTV, broadband and LTE mobile services for consumers and enterprises.

Salt to launch Ultra HD with Zattoo

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Swiss telecommunications company Salt will expand its IPTV offer with Ultra HD/4K content using Zattoo’s technical platform.

The launch is planned for October 2018, with HEVC/H.265 used as the video codec.

For its IPTV platform launched in March 2018, Salt uses Zattoo’s white label solution for network operators in conjunction with the Apple TV 4K box issued to customers and used with operator login for the first time outside the US.

Zattoo operates the entire TV product for Salt as an end-to-end solution, including platform operation, management of the TV application on the Apple TV 4K box, and ongoing development of the platform and all front-end applications.

“We are very pleased to announce that we are introducing 4K/UHD, starting with Salt as the first B2B customer and that we will jointly continue pursuing this new chapter of television,” said Gernot Jaeger, Chief Officer B2B TV Solutions at Zattoo. “We will continue to develop and implement further product innovations as Salt’s partner.”

With the launch at Salt, the 4K/UHD extension (live TV and on-demand) presented for the first time at ANGA COM 2018 will also be available to other Zattoo B2B customers.

At its booth G.04 in hall 14 at IBC 2018 in Amsterdam, Zattoo will demonstrate live the 4K/UHD upgrade of its white label solution for network operators.

Deutsche Telekom integrates Amazon Prime Video into Entertain TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German telco Deutsche Telekom is now offering Amazon Prime Video’s streaming service as an app on its IPTV platform Entertain TV.

A Telekom spokesman confirmed this to Broadband TV News, stressing an important aspect: “The content is deep-integrated, thus it can also be found through the overall search.”

Through the move, Entertain TV users no longer have to switch over to the separate Amazon Prime Video app when they want to access series, films or other Amazon content, but can use it directly via the Entertain TV user interface.

Deutsche Telekom announced the integration of Amazon Prime Video at the end of August 2018. Competitor Netflix has been part of Entertain since 2014.

Sparql teminates its IPTV service

By Robert Briel

Dutch TV service provider Sparql has stopped selling subscriptions and said it plans to migrate existing customers to the Canal Digitaal platform.

Started four years ago, the company tried to develop an independent TV platform to compete with market leaders KPN and Ziggo. However, the high costs of content and developing its own platform made it difficult to differentiate its service enough.

In April 2014 Sparql was launched as a new Dutch IPTV provider, on the Tweak DSL network, to take on Ziggo and KPN,

In a statement, the company said that it was important to offering something different from the media giants and big providers, as “since we started, choice in the Netherlands has only gotten smaller”. The company blames the power of the broadcasters and the high costs for building and maintaining a TV platform. Lacking the procurement power of Ziggo or KPN, it was unable to keep its prices competitive.

All Sparql’s subscribers will be migrated to Canal Digitaal’s IPTV service from November. Customers will be informed by their dealer of the change and can take the new TV service through the providers A2B Internet, Breedband Arnhem and Tweak.

ran Fighting launches at waipu.tv

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German TV platform waipu.tv has added combat sports channel ran Fighting to its line-up.

A corresponding agreement was reached with 7Sports, the sports business unit of operating company ProSiebenSat.1.

The pay-TV channel is available to all customers of waipu.tv’s Perfect package at no extra charge.

ran Fighting, which launched as a streaming service in October 2015, shows matches, events and live broadcasts from the fields of boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts and wrestling as well as reports and documentaries from the world of combat sports 24 hours per day.

With ran Fighting, waipu.tv now offers a total of over 90 TV channels.

Deutsche Telekom chooses Zenterio for hybrid DTH box

By JΓΆrn Krieger

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.”

LIWEST opts for Ocilion IPTV solution

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Austrian cable operator LIWEST has chosen the IPTV system solution from Ocilion for the expansion and development of its TV service.

The Austrian service provider uses its on-premises end-to-end system for the IPTV integration, which is hosted locally on LIWEST’s servers and adapted to the network operator’s requirements.

This includes software, complete system environment, hardware, apps for smartphones and tablets and accompanying services.

The two companies want to announce further details about the new TV offer before marketing commences.

Deutsche Telekom selects Quantenna for UHD over Wi-Fi

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Deutsche Telekom has chosen the high-performance QSR10GU chipset from US Wi-Fi solutions provider Quantenna Communications for its Speedport Pro router.

The solution enables the German telco to provide consumers with fast and reliable Wi-Fi capable of delivering multiple Ultra HD (UHD) video streams to multiple users simultaneously, according to Quantenna.

The Speedport Pro works with Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV platform Entertain TV, provides Wi-Fi coverage for smartphones, tablets and laptops, bundles DSL and LTE mobile services and serves multiple users with high-speed internet. Like all other Telekom routers, Speedport Pro supports automatic configuration.

“The Speedport Pro is our flagship device for the best access combining DSL and LTE. Therefore, we selected a premium Wi-Fi solution to distribute this bandwidth into the home of our customers,” said Dirk A. Böttger, senior vice president of connected devices at Deutsche Telekom.

Deutsche Telekom turns Entertain TV into OTT service

By JΓΆrn Krieger

In a landmark move, German telco Deutsche Telekom will offer its IPTV platform Entertain TV as an OTT version from autumn 2018.

The offer can then be booked without fixed-line broadband internet access from Telekom for the first time.

Entertain TV will be available as an app for devices with operating systems iOS and Android. The content will mirror the IPTV version. The functions time-shift, restart and replay will, however, remain reserved for IPTV customers.

Further details regarding Entertain TV as an OTT product will be announced in October 2018.

“Our strategy of bundling content on one platform as an aggregator is paying off. This is demonstrated by the growing number of customers and the positive user reactions,” said Michael Hagspihl, head of consumers at Telekom Deutschland. “That’s why we’ve decided to open up Entertain TV to new target groups. A flexible OTT service is perfect for the trends that are driving a whole new TV generation. We can now give even more people the opportunity to access our platform and our exclusive content.”

Entertain TV customers will also soon have direct access to series and films from Amazon Prime Video. The Amazon content will also be accessible via the Entertain TV search function.

Netflix has been part of Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV platform since 2014.

GEO Television joins Teleclub/Swisscom TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German pay-TV channel GEO Television is now available in Switzerland on Teleclub/Swisscom TV.

Viewers can subscribe to the documentary channel as part of the extended Teleclub Family package. In addition to the linear channel, the programmes are also available on-demand.

With GEO Television, all pay-TV channels operated by German broadcaster Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland can be received on Swisscom’s IPTV platform. These include RTL Crime, RTL Passion and RTL Living.