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

NBC’s streaming service is Peacock

By Julian Clover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BBC to drop Red Button teletext

By Julian Clover

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

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

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

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

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

Canal+ to offer Netflix subscription from October

By Julian Clover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: Channels

NHK to showcase UltraHD 8K screenings at MIPCOM 2019

By Robert Briel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flix Snip debuts in Asia with a Singapore launch on Toggle

By Robert Briel

Short-form content app and VOD service, Flix Snip has announced a partnership with Mediacorp to host content on its digital entertainment platform, Toggle.

The partnership marks the expansion of Flix Snip to the Asian market.

Toggle subscribers can now enjoy the cutting edge, international selection of films from Flix Snip, without the hassle of having to install a set-top box. Created for life’s little breaks, Flix Snip offers a large curated and premium collection of short form movie and series.

All in an under 20 minute format, Flix Snip is adapted to the modern way of consuming entertainment. Flix Snip brings global content of short format movies, animations and mini-series available in multiple genres such as Drama, Family, Comedy, Romance, Thriller, and Sci-Fi.

Flix Snip will be fully accessible within Toggle, available on mobile devices, computers, Smart TVs, Apple TV and ChromeCast.

Orby TV launches new DTH platform for the US on Eutelsat 117 West A

By Robert Briel

Eutelsat Americas has been selected by Orby TV for capacity on the Eutelsat 117 West A satellite.

The multi-year, multi-transponder agreement between the companies was announced at IBC 2019 following Orby TV’s recent launch of its new and affordable satellite service across the lower 48 continental United States.

Orby TV has two base programming packages priced at $40 (Essentials) or $50 (Extras) per month for up to four rooms, with optional premium network programming packages and DVR service available. All fees and taxes are included in the monthly prices. Local channels and unlimited use of the Orby TV interactive program guide is provided at no additional charge, even if the subscriber decides to turn off the monthly paid Orby TV service. Orby TV hardware is available for purchase in all US Best Buy and select Target US retail locations, with select independent dealers, or online with free shipping at www.OrbyTV.com.

Michael Thornton, CEO of Orby TV, said: “Orby TV is very pleased to enter into a multi-year agreement with Eutelsat to help us reliably deliver a quality, best in-class pay-TV experience that is affordable with no Internet streaming required. With Orby TV prices starting at just $40 per month and the flexibility of the prepaid model to turn the service on/off, while always enjoying free local programming and use of the interactive guide, Orby TV is filling a void in the US marketplace.”

Mike Antonovich, CEO of Eutelsat Americas, added: “We are delighted that Orby TV selected Eutelsat 117 West A for the first major mainstream English language DTH bouquet to launch in the US market in over 20 years. This groundbreaking deal showcases the important role satellite continues to play in TV distribution, even in well-established markets. We look forward to supporting Orby TV as their innovative business and offerings continue to grow.”

Crime+Investigation launches on Poland’s Play Now

By Julian Clover

A+E Networks UK has expanded the distribution of Crime+Investigation. The channel has launched on the Play Now service from Play, the largest mobile network operator in Poland, with some 4 million subscribers.

The launch schedule includes a new season of documentary series Once Upon A Crime, in which seven best-selling Polish crime writers review true crime cases. Journalist Michal Fajbusiewicz returns to Crime+Investigation with a new series of interviews with popular Polish crime writers as well as a new series of hit series Killer Women, featuring high profile crime cases that shocked Poland.

“Crime+Investigation has a fiercely loyal and passionate fan base in Poland,” said Izabella Wiley, General Manager, A+E Networks UK, Poland and CEE. “We are thrilled to partner with Play to launch Crime+Investigation on their PLAY NOW platform. With Play we are excited to bring more core viewers and new audiences to Crime+Investigation and some of the greatest investigations of our time”.

August 2019 was a record month for Crime+Investigation in Poland delivering its best-ever ratings in the commercial 16-49 demographic since channel measurement was launched in 2012; the channel grew by 110% year-on-year reaching over 1.3 million people 16-49 and 3.1 million 4+.

Karina Rompa, Content Manager, Play said: “We’re delighted to have extended our relationship with A+E Networks and to launch Crime+Investigation to our channel line-up. Access to even more great content, including crime shows, is another step in our firm ambition to grow our TV offering.”

Crime+Investigation on Play joins the previously available HISTORY2 and Lifetime in the Extra tier and HISTORY is available in the Basic package.

Orange Cinema Series renews Canal+ distribution agreement

By Julian Clover

Orange Cinema Series has renewed its multi-year distribution agreement with Canal+.

The pay-TV distributor is the greatest contributor to the OCS subscriber base of 3.3 million as at June 30, 2019.

“We are delighted to have renewed our distribution agreement with the Canal+ Group, which since 2012 has been a major partner of OCS. This agreement strengthens the links between our two groups and allows us to acquire new subscribers together,” says Serge Laroye, President, OCS.

“We are delighted to continue our association with OCS, which is one of the pillars of our Cinema/Series offering,” added Canal+ director for France Frank Cadoret. “Our ambition is to aggregate at the same place the best premium content to offer to the largest number of subscribers. ”

Launched in late 2008, OCS offers a 4-channel service that features first run films, screened 6 months after their cinema release, exclusive series direct from the United States, including new HBO series and the HBO catalogue on demand.

Dutch viewers get first free taste of Disney+

By Robert Briel

The Direct-to-Consumer & International division of The Walt Disney Company today makes Disney+ exclusively accessible in the Netherlands via a free trial period, prior to its launch on 12 November 2019.

During this free trial, everyone who registers can enjoy a selection of films and series from the Disney+ collection.

Dutch consumers are – as expected – the first in the world to have exclusive access to the streaming service. The trial period is free and starts on 12 September and runs until the launch on 12 November. During the trial period, Dutch consumers will have access to a selection of films and series from the Disney+ collection. The trial period is intended to technically optimise the platform before the official launch of Disney+ on 12 November.

Dutch consumers can register immediately for this free Disney+ trial period. During the trial period, consumers can stream a selection of films and TV series from the collection of The Walt Disney Company brands Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, and titles such as Avengers: Infinity War, The Lion King, Black Panther, Beauty & The Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Incredibles 2 and Frozen.

This Disney+ trial period is supported on various mobile devices and TV sets, including streaming media players, smart TVs and gaming consoles. More options will be available from the launch on 12 November.

From November 12, subscribers will have full access to the huge collection of feature films, series, documentaries and short films. As well as films and series made especially for Disney+, for only €6.99 per month or €69.99 per year.

In the first year, Disney+ will release more than 25 of its own series and 10 new films and documentaries, including The Mandalorian by executive producer and writer Jon Favreau and Lady and the Tramp, a new version of the timeless animation classic from 1955 – both to be seen from 12 November.

Subscribers will automatically switch to a paid subscription from November 12, and will then have access to the full range of Disney+ with the option to unsubscribe at any time.

Telekom secures Slovak channel licence

By Chris Dziadul

Slovak Telekom has obtained a satellite channel licence from the country’s Broadcasting and Retransmission Council (RVR).

According to Zive, the channel, provisionally named Comedy House, will be coproduced by Slovak Telekom and the Czech Republic’s Digi TV and make its debut by the end of the year.

It is likely to be distributed by Magio TV, Magio Sat and probably Digi TV in Slovakia and Digi TV and T-Mobile in the Czech Republic.

Slovak Telekom’s channel portfolio already includes Digi Sport, Tuki and Folklorika.

Altice channels back on Freebox

By Julian Clover

Agreement has been reached between Altice and Iliad, parent company of Free, over the retransmission of BFMTV , RMC Découverte and RMC Story.

The channels will now return to the Freebox having been absent since August 27.

The agreement refers simply to the linear channels and not any on demand services that are now being treated separately.

“This agreement allows the distribution by Free of the channels BFMTV, RMC Discovery and RMC Story to which are added the two local channels BFM Paris and BFM Lyon Métropole, Altice said in a statement.

Last week the channels also returned to Orange after a much shorter absence.

waipu.tv offers restart function and new channels

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German internet TV platform waipu.tv has introduced a restart function enabling viewers to set an ongoing TV show back to the beginning.

The function is available on all regular TV channels, but selected programmes on the ProSiebenSat.1 channels are excluded for legal reasons.

Restart can be used by all customers starting with the Perfect package and in the M and L tariffs of o2 TV powered by waipu.tv.

waipu.tv also plans to launch eight new channels in autumn 2019. The first is Watch4Crime, an advertising-financed service with national and international action and crime series. The new channel is available in all waipu.tv packages.

Premier Sports brings LaLiga channel to UK & Ireland

By Julian Clover

Live games from LaLiga will be shown on Premier Sports 1 and 2 following a three-year agreement with the Spanish football league.

Premier Sports will also launch LaLiga channel as an OTT service on its Premier Player in October and on Sky by January 2020. It will be available for £11.99 per month as part of the Premier Sports bundle or £5.99 as a standalone service.

“LaLiga is enjoyed across the globe, with an especially passionate fanbase in the UK and Ireland. Through our long-term partnership with Premier Sports, we’re happy to give fans of Spanish football a chance to enjoy LaLiga’s world-class content in a variety of formats,” said LaLiga President, Javier Tebas.

There had been doubts over the coverage of LaLiga in the UK market after ElevenSports pulled out of its contract at the end of last season. ITV picked up the season climax and has screened the first three weeks of the new campaign.

Richard Sweeney, CEO of Premier Sports said: “We are thrilled to be announcing this truly unique and game-changing agreement with LaLiga that signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Spanish football in the UK.”

Premier Sports will run a full programme of live matches from LaLiga Santander across Premier Sports 1 and 2 HD channels this weekend with extensive coverage in future weeks.

ProSiebenSat.1 and Vodafone trial addressable advertising via HbbTV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

[Watch Video] German media company ProSiebenSat.1 brings bumper ads, the short advertising spots from the online world, to its TV channels.

For Vodafone Deutschland and the new mobile phone tariff CallYa Digital, ProSiebenSat.1 advertising subsidiary SevenOne Media is rolling out an addressable TV advertising campaign. The Vodafone commercials will run on the ProSiebenSat.1 channels until the beginning of October 2019.

“Addressable TV adds completely new possibilities to TV advertising. The new short-form spots are one of these possible applications alongside targeting,” said Thomas Wagner, CEO of SevenOne Media. “Together with Vodafone and Wavemaker, we are now testing bumper ads on TV for the first time and are gathering experience in this area together with our customer – for example with regards to the advertising effectiveness. After a successful trial, such a product could go into regular operation in the next few months.”

Anne Stilling, head of marcomms and media at Vodafone, added: “With a broad-based TV campaign to launch a product like CallYa Digital, we are quickly achieving high reach. Addressable TV also enables us to address the young target group directly through new, fast formats and appropriate targeting. This is a promising combination! We are curious to see the results of the accompanying research study.”

Technically, the solution is based on HbbTV, as a ProSiebenSat.1 spokesman confirmed to Broadband TV News. On smart TV sets suitable for the HbbTV standard and connected to the internet, the entire advertising block is sent out online, enabling the exchange of individual spots for specific target groups.

Apple TV + launches on November 1 at $4.99/€4.99 a month

By Robert Briel

Apple has unveiled details about its streaming video service: the Apple TV+ service is going to launch in 100 countries on November 1.

In the US, the service will be priced at $4.99 per month, in Europe for €4.99, and in the UK for £4.99, but will be free for a full year for anyone who buys a new Apple device. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription.

Apple TV+ will offer a number of original shows, movies and documentaries, including The Morning Show, Dickinson, See, For All Mankind and The Elephant Queen.

“With Apple TV+, we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds, and we know viewers will find their new favorite show or movie on our service,” said Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video.

“Each Apple TV+ original offers its own unique story, fresh perspective and powerful message — all meant to entertain, connect and inspire cultural conversations.”

“Apple TV+ is an unprecedented global video service with an all-original slate,” said Jamie Erlicht, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video.

“We look forward to giving audiences everywhere the opportunity to enjoy these compelling stories within a rich, personalised experience on all the screens they love.”

Subscribers can watch Apple TV+ originals both online and offline, ad-free and on demand, on the Apple TV app, which comes pre-installed on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and iPod touch and will soon be on Mac with macOS Catalina.

The Apple TV app is also available on select Samsung smart TVs, and will come to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and Vizio platforms in the future. Customers can also sign up and watch Apple TV+ originals on the web at tv.apple.com.

BET+ sets launch date and US pricing

By Julian Clover

BET Networks new SVOD service BET+ will go live in the United States on Thursday 19 September.

Priced at a monthly £9.99 it will feature more than 1,000 hours of premium content including new original programming, movies and specials.

“We are thrilled to offer a streaming experience of content curated for the underserved African American audience with BET+. African Americans have a higher SVOD adoption rate than any other consumer base on the market, which is why BET+ is a natural complement of BET’s linear network, which has been and continues to be the leading home of black culture for decades,” said Scott Mills, President of BET Networks.

In addition to its mix of African American-focused dramas, sitcoms, film, stand-up comedy, and specials, BET+ will also be home to the collected works of actor-producer Tyler Perry.

BET+ programming will be ad-free, with new titles added on a monthly basis.

BET+ will be available at launch on mobile and connected TV devices with a dedicated web experience coming later this year.

Viacom adds two Comedy Central channels in German-speaking markets

By Robert Briel

Viacom has expanded its Pluto TV streaming service with two new channels featuring content from Comedy Central.

While Comedy Central Pluto TV shows highlights from the worldwide Comedy Central portfolio, Comedy Central – Made in Germany is exclusively designed for Pluto TV to spotlight local productions and German-language talent from Comedy Central’s library.

These include formats such as Comedy Central Presents: Standup 3000 and stand-up classics from NightWash. The international catalogue will feature formats such as the cartoon reality show Drawn Together, Takeshi’s Castle Thailand and the sitcom Detroiters.

“We’re thrilled to bring some of the best comedic talents from around the world to Pluto TV viewers”, stated Olivier Jollet, managing director Europe at Pluto TV.

“Those still believing that Germans lack a certain sense of humour should turn on Comedy Central – Made in Germany, the place that gives German comics centre stage.“

The two channels are the latest additions to Pluto TV’s offer in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which has already been expanded to include further Viacom content from the Nickelodeon and MTV portfolio. Pluto TV is currently available on Amazon Fire TV, Sky Ticket, Apple TV and the iOS App Store.

Discovery names Mike Rich as Head of Sports Marketing Solutions

By Julian Clover

Discovery has announced the appointment of Mike Rich as Head of Sports Marketing Solutions.

In the new role, Rich will lead Eurosport’s commercial sales organisation.

He’ll take up the London-based role on September 23 and will report to Andrew Georgiou, who joins next month as President, Eurosport and Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Solutions.

Rich joins Discovery from Fox Networks where he served as Executive Vice President, Sales & Content Partnerships in Asia. During his time at Fox Asia, he developed their product offering, social media and digital video and created an in-house content creation studio.

Rich has also worked for GroupM Entertainment Sports & Partnerships and Publicis Content Ventures.

NLZiet adds regional public channels

By Robert Briel

The Dutch OTT streaming service NLZiet, that combines both public and private broadcasters, is adding the live and replay streams of all thirteen regional public broadcasters.

As a result, NLZiet’s offer has grown to 34 livestreams and to more than 100,000 on demand programmes.

“The channels of the regional broadcaster with news, culture and events can reach even more viewers through the cooperation with NLZiet,” said Gerard Schuiteman (Chairman of the Board of the Regional Public Broadcasting Foundation, RPO).

“The thirteen regional broadcasters together produce about 9.5 hours of new programmes every day. In addition to news, the wide range of programmes also consists of programmes on, for example, culture, nature, history and sports. In addition, more than 200 events and more than 70 documentaries are broadcast every year. The cooperation with NLZiet enables us to further strengthen our valuable programmes within the online domain.”

The regulation on innovation and cooperation between regional public media institutions makes this cooperation possible.

The addition of regional broadcasting to NLZiet is in line with Minister Slob’s ambition for Dutch media to cooperate more in order to provide Dutch people with a good and varied range of media.

Niels Baas, CEO NLZiet, added: “I am very pleased with this cooperation, with which the programmes of regional broadcasters will soon also be shown at NLZiet. NLZiet is therefore even more the place where all Dutch content comes together, both public and commercial”.

All thirteen regional broadcasters will soon be present in NLZiet: RTV Noord, Omrop Fryslân, NH Media, RTV Drenthe, RTV Oost, Omroep Gelderland, Omroep Flevoland, RTV Utrecht, Omroep West, Rijnmond, Omroep Zeeland, Omroep Brabant and L1 Limburg.

North Macedonian TV station closes

By Chris Dziadul

The North Macedonian national station 1TV has ceased broadcasting.

Balkan Insight reports that as of last Friday (September 6) its main entrance was padlocked and frequency blank, though its web page was still active. Broadband TV News notes that 1TV’s site was still up as of Tuesday, September 10.

1TV was launched in March 2018, soon after a new government led by the Social Democrats (SDSM) took power.

It quickly became one of the most popular TV stations in the country.

However, it experienced financial difficulties and its informal owner Bojan Jovanovski was arrested in July as the main suspect in a profile extortion affair.

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