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Today β€” May 27th 2019Broadband TV News: Channels

NHK World-Japan to take part in Nippon Connection 2019

By JΓΆrn Krieger

NHK World-Japan, the international English-language TV channel from Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, will participate in Japanese film festival Nippon Connection taking place from May 28 to June 2, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

In two exclusive screenings, NHK World-Japan will show documentaries at Nippon Connection 2019 focussing on the work and mission of two extraordinary people: 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki (Episode 1: Ponyo is Here) and The Pianist from Syria (pictured above).

The two documentaries will also be shown at a special screening at the Japan Cultural Institute in Cologne (Japan Foundation) on June 3.

The screenings at Nippon Connection 2019 and at the Japan Cultural Institute in Cologne follow NHK World-Japan’s recent launch on the cable network of Vodafone Deutschland, making the channel available nationwide throughout Germany. The move is part of NHK World-Japan’s ongoing initiative to expand its presence in Germany, giving German households an inside view into Japanese news, culture and lifestyle.

In addition to the two largest cable operators Vodafone Deutschland and Unitymedia, NHK World-Japan is available in Germany on the cable networks of NetCologne and wilhelm.tel and on Deutsche Telekom’s TV package for the housing industry. German viewers can also receive the channel via satellite on Astra (19.2° East) and Eutelsat Hotbird (13° East), on the NHK World TV app (iOS/Android), Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV as well as through a live-stream on its website at nhk.jp/world.

Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: Channels

Virgin Media screen Eurosport Roland Garros coverage in HDR

By Julian Clover

Rafael Nadal celebrated his tenth title at Roland Garros this year (Image: Getty Images)

Virgin Media is to become the first UK TV platform to broadcast an event in 4K Ultra HD (UHD) with High Dynamic Range (HDR).

It’s to make available Eurosport’s coverage of Roland Garros tennis.

Virgin Media will utilise Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) technology to broadcast all matches that feature on the renovated Phillipe Chatrier court in 4K UHD with HDR on its V6 set top box.

Viewers will need to press the red button on their remote control while viewing Eurosport 1 HD or Eurosport 2 HD.

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “We are upping our game once more this summer by broadcasting one of the most prestigious tennis competitions in the highest picture quality currently available. Our customers will be able to get even closer to the action with HDR technology on our V6 box bringing the action right into the homes of our customers.”

Eurosport’s live 4K HDR coverage will be available on each day of the two-week long tournament on all matches that appear on Phillipe Chatrier court.

France TΓ©lΓ©visions to launch France TV Sport UHD 4K

By Julian Clover

France Télévisions is to launch a dedicated UKD 4K channel for the duration of Roland Garros 2019.

France TV Sport UHD 4K will run for 24-hours-a-day and will run in partnership with the French Tennis Federation.

14 Ultra High Definition cameras will be placed on the central Philippe Chatrier court.

“This channel is the culmination of 9 years experimentation. Roland Garros has always been for France Televisions an experimental laboratory and today this becomes concrete and visible to the public,” said Frédéric Brochard.

There’s an estimated 5 million UHD TVs in France, a figure that is increasing by 1 million a year.

The channel is being distributed on DTT, satellite (Fransat) and Orange. It’s expected to return for the 2020 Olympic Games.

BBC and ITV to share FA Cup rights

By Julian Clover

The BBC and ITV have agreed to share the rights to the FA Cup from 2021.

The four-year deal means an end to the current arrangement that has seen the BBC share the rights to the cup competition with BT Sport.

ITV will broadcast around 20 matches per season from the first round through to the final, which will be shared with the BBC.
BBC Sport will have coverage of 18 matches per season together with highlights and online clips.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “We are delighted to be able to broadcast the FA Cup once again. We are particularly pleased that we shared The FA’s vision of a completely free-to-air competition and look forward to bringing new viewers all the along the road to Wembley Stadium.”

The BBC will have first and fourth picks of matches in the first, third and fifth rounds as well first pick of the semi-finals, with ITV having the first and fourth picks in the second and fourth rounds plus the quarter-finals.

In March, the BBC announced a new four-year deal with the Football Association to show the FA Cup until 2025.

The two broadcasters already share rights to 6 Nations Rugby.

KPN continues to carry Fox channels and Disney Channel

By Robert Briel

Dutch IPTV and DTT provide KPN has signed a last-minute deal to continue carrying the Fox channels and Disney Channel.

Last April, KPN said it would withdraw five Fox channels from its various distribution platforms. But now the operator confirmed a new carriage deal was signed to keep distributing Fox NL, 24Kitchen, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Baby TV.

At the same time, spokesperson for the operator also said that the Disney Channel would continue to be available to its subscribers. Until now, there was no publicity about a possible distribution spat between KPN and Disney.

Without a deal, subscribers to KPN’s IPTV service, and to its sub-brands XS4All and Telfort, would be affected, while National Geographic and Fox would also stop on KPN’s DTT platform Digitenne.

Nigeria’s Premium Free provides 13 more channels

By Robert Briel

Nigeria’s free-to-air local channel bouquet, Premium Free, has enabled local television broadcast audiences access to 13 new premium channels which are custom-made for African viewers.

These include multinational language channels like Cinema Hausa, and popular African lifestyle channels such as True African.

Delivered via SES satellites, this bouquet is supplied by AfricaXP, an independent African network, which is well-known for its Nollywood catalog and longstanding partnerships with West African producers.

CEO of AfricaXP, Craig Kelly, said: “orking with SES has enabled Premium Free to achieve the maximum possible reach in Nigeria and that the company is confident that localization, coupled with the firm’s fresh international rights, will provide the kind of content blend that modern West African audiences demand. Transmitted free-to-air via satellite, this is obviously a great offer at a price point that can’t be beaten.”

Clint Brown, VP of Sales and Market Development, Africa for SES Video, added “The Nigerian FTA market in particular offers great opportunities for growth, and the company is proud to have engaged with Premium Free to deliver a differentiated content package for Nigeria and offer more choice for viewers. New initiatives such as this, which focus on delivering local and international content that is attractive for the end-consumer and is offered in high picture quality, will further develop consumer choice in Nigeria.”

NEP Switzerland selects Net Insight for live streaming

By JΓΆrn Krieger

NEP Switzerland will deploy a solution for transporting professional live media over the internet from Swedish media service provider Net Insight.

NEP Switzerland, a provider of outsourced production services supporting producers of live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events, will use Net Insight’s Nimbra-based network for streaming professional live content and will build a fully redundant solution.

The system will be used for event activities to locations where fibre or satellite uplinks are either not available or cost prohibitive. The new network is scheduled to be operational at the end of July 2019.

“We selected Net Insight after a thorough investigation and evaluation of different solutions and we see that there is great future potential for this type of network solution over the internet,” said Trond Hermansen, CTO at NEP Switzerland. “The service type flexibility, elasticity as well as embedded security functions of the Nimbra platform is outstanding.”

Henrik Sund, CEO of Net Insight, added: “NEP Switzerland will now be able to deliver broadcast media quality services over the most challenging network conditions. We are very pleased to add yet another leading, global production company among the users of our award-winning media transport over internet solution.”

Sky Deutschland to launch Sky Cinema Tierisch HD

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Films with animal heroes are the focus of a pop-up channel German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will launch on June 24, 2019.

Sky Cinema Tierisch HD will show around 40 movies 24 hours per day during one week, including titles such as Antz, Babe, Ferdinand, Peter Rabbit and the Free Willy franchise.

The channel will replace Sky Cinema Family during this time. Most films will also be available on demand on Sky Go and Sky Ticket.

Eurosport secures ATP tennis in the Nordics

By Julian Clover

Eurosport will screen the ATP Tour in the Nordic region for four years from 2020.

The deal with the ATP and ATP Media, along with its coverage of all four Grand Slams, means fans in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland watching on Eurosport’s platforms will be able to enjoy year-round tennis coverage.

Last October, Eurosport agreed a similar deal for rights to the men’s tour in the French market, which began in January. It also has a three-year agreement in place in Russia.

Laurent Prud’homme, SVP Rights Acquisitions & Syndication – Eurosport, said: “This new agreement with the ATP and ATP Media deepens our association with one of our key sport verticals and serves to highlight how Discovery powers people’s passions. Fans watching Eurosport in the Nordics will now be able to enjoy more than 40 weeks’ worth of tennis exclusively every season, strengthening Eurosport’s position as the go-to destination for all passionate fans of the sport.

The agreement between the ATP, ATP Media and Eurosport in the Nordics region includes nine ATP Masters 1000 events, 13 ATP 500 events, up to 19 ATP 250 events, the end-of-season Nitto ATP Finals tournament as well as the Next Gen ATP Finals, cementing Eurosport’s position as the Home of Tennis in the region.

India’s first blockchain VOD platform myNK adds new content

By Robert Briel

MinersINC has unveiled India’s first blockchain powered film VOD platform ‘myNK’ at the Cannes Film Festival after a beta launch during MIP-TV.

myNK comprises of a curated library currently consisting of 200+ films and growing – most of which have never before been released into India. Content includes critically acclaimed and award-winning films from festivals including Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance and Berlinale for Indian world cinema lovers for whom the realm of cinema goes beyond Hollywood and Bollywood. The mobile app will officially launch in June.

MinersINC has secured numerous content partnerships with many organisations ready to come onboard in the coming weeks. Content partners to-date include Skerritt’s Heyou Media, Fortissimo Films and LevelK ApS who join launch partners all3media, Dutch Features, ELO, The Film Collaborative, First Hand Films, Imagination Worldwide, Kew Media Distribution, The National Film Board of Canada, Off The Fence/ZDF, Wide House and Wide Management.

Nitin Narkhede (Founder & CEO) said “It’s an exciting day for all of us at MinersINC as myNK unveils a first-of-its-kind VoD marketplace that aims at empowering right-holders by liberalizing them from the past challenges of distribution into India including piracy, illegitimate reporting and revenue leakages’. In addition, myNk is the first ever VoD marketplace in India to engage its film fans and viewer community by introducing an incentivized viewing and micro-distribution business model. We are continuously working towards enhancing this ecosystem of right-holders and consumers by introducing more services that lie at the intersection of this entertainment value chain.”

Deepak Jayaram (Co-Founder) added: “What started as an idea has now turned into a movement as myNK today represents every Indian who is a fan and follower of global entertainment content. We are thankful to all our content partners for believing in our concept and choosing to be part of MinersINC. Not only have we been able to convey our brand offering through our pioneering business model, rights holders are excited about and support our unique social incentivisation and micro-distribution model, whereby fans are rewarded for their contributions, reviews, and onward-selling to other film fans on the platform. With consistent support of our partners and consumers, we will see this community grow tremendously in the years to come.”

Anurag Kashyap, acclaimed filmmaker, serves as a mentor to myNK to help curate and oversee its content ranging from high end classic film library, to undiscovered gems across different genres. His association, complemented by the participation of a host of curators and industry experts, lends further depth and breadth to the platform’s content quality and MinerINC’s focus towards exposing Indian audiences to truly inspiring works from around the globe.

Esther van Messel, Founder & CEO, First Hand Films, explained: “First Hand Films have been curating carefully and for more than 20 years the best non-fiction to be found out there – we are proud and honoured to be working with the first blockchain driven provider of selected content, opening up a new region for true stories in India. We’re curious to be working with the transparent reporting of data and learn in immediate time about trends and audiences. Happy to be digital pioneers again, and with such powerful partners.”

Doug Shinsato, CEO, Heyou Media, said: “India is one of the world’s two largest entertainment markets. With 1.3 billion viewers, India represents a huge opportunity. Heyou chose to team up with MinersINC because of their strong leadership in technology, marketing and content creation. Viewers will be rewarded for their contributions, reviews, and onward-selling to other film buffs on the myNK platform. We are very excited about this beautiful partnership.”

With blockchain as its foundation and a ground-breaking business model, Miners Inc are contributing to and building the future of entertainment in India.

Sportitalia to launch 4 sports channels on DTT via HbbTV

By Robert Briel

In July, Sportitalia will launch four new interactive sports channels on free-to-air digital terrestrial television using the HbbTV standard.

Sportitalia will broadcast 4 new channels: Sportitalia HD, SI Solo Calcio, SI Motori and SI Live24. The new interactive offer SI Smart by Sportitalia will be accessible through a Smart TV (in Italy there are currently almost 8 million and 27.5% of families have it available) using HbbTV.

The new technology will also allow access to an extensive archive of on-demand material made up of matches, magazines and broadcasts always available to the 1.5 million viewers (Auditel data) who daily tune in to the frequencies of Sportitalia.

The digital revolution of Sportitalia does not stop there, because in the coming weeks the restyling of the website sportitalia.com will be completed: more functions, more content and a renewed graphic interface that will facilitate the user experience.

The SI Smart project has been developed together with Sportradar, a company in the international market with a value of 2.4 billion dollars with CEO Carsten Koerl and among investors Mark Cuban, Tedd Leonsis and the former NBA star, Michael Jordan.

Michele Criscitiello (CEO of Sportitalia): “We have been working on this project for 10 months with Sportradar and Kineton and we are finally seeing the light of day. It’s the future, a product aimed at young people and the target group that has been constantly following Sportitalia since 2004. Thanks to Smart TV and the Internet, today there is, finally, the possibility for a publisher with content to make more channels. This is unthinkable on digital terrestrial for the cost of bandwidth. Obviously we are starting a year earlier than the digital revolution that will take place between 2020 and 2021, as Sportitalia did in the past in the transition from analog to digital terrestrial. One channel in HD, one dedicated to information and two vertical channels on Football and Motors: the passions of our viewers. All in clear and as always free. Today 27.5% of families have a Smart TV but the forecasts are clear and within 12-18 months all Italians will have a Smart TV at home. It has always been said that the future is TV with internet. From this summer Sportitalia will be ready to take a dip in the future.

Giuseppe Sampino, (Commercial Director of the Sports Media area in Sportradar and head of the SI Smart project): “We are thrilled to further strengthen our partnership with Sportitalia with this innovative project. It is a journey that began two years ago with the launch of the channel’s OTT platform: we have given users the opportunity to follow all live and on-demand broadcasts via computers and mobile devices. With the launch of SI Smart will give space to many new sports offering federations, leagues and clubs a unique opportunity to develop their own dedicated OTT offer, while ensuring clear exposure at the national level.

Kineton, an Italian company that provides engineering services, has collaborated in the creation of the new SI Smart platform.

The broadcaster will invest in the acquisition of national and international rights, football and not only, continuing the strategy of growth and expansion of the product that has allowed in recent years to consolidate itself on the market and to carve out an important space in the world of Italian sports broadcasting.

The new structure will also open up to a much richer and more integrated commercial offer, with greater possibilities for promoting one’s own brand. Direct interaction with social networks and interactivity: a new way of making TV that will be made available to the federations and all the partners of the broadcaster.

BT to show Champions League final in HDR

By Julian Clover

BT is to make its coverage of the the 2019 UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League Finals available free-to-air.

The telco turned broadcaster will also show the final of the Champions League in 4K HDR on the BT Sport App for BT Sport customers, a world first. It comes ahead of the launch of a full 4K HDR service later this year.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer brands, said: “BT continues to offer our customers unrivalled choice – with the best content, the smartest devices, and the latest technology – through partnerships with the world’s most innovative companies. The launch of HDR maintains BT Sport’s leadership in bringing fans the very best pictures and sound following its debut as Europe’s first 4K broadcaster in 2015 and its worldwide debut of Dolby Atmos sound in 2017.”

Confirming it’s free window, fans to watch both finals on the BT Sport YouTube channel and the BT Sport app. It will also be seen on Virgin channel 532.

Chelsea and Arsenal contest the UEFA Europa League Final on the evening of Wednesday 29th May.

The Champions League Final between Liverpool and Tottenham kicks off on Saturday 1 June.

GSS offers Arabic TV packages for hotels

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German technology company GSS Grundig Systems is expanding its range of head-end, hospitality and reception systems to include TV packages for the hospitality industry.

A collaboration was formed with TV distributor Mondo Globo, which offers a new platform for Arabic-language TV channels, Telearabia Pro.

The pay-TV package, compiled for the European hospitality industry, comprises six Arabic lifestyle and entertainment channels, including three channels from Saudi media group MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center). The bouquet is broadcast via Eutelsat Cirrus on the Hotbird satellite system at 13° East and enables hotels throughout Europe to provide their international guests with TV channels from the Middle East and North Africa.

“International programme content for hospitality applications is an important part of our portfolio. Our head-ends can centrally decrypt the received encrypted channels among other features,” said Robert Kirschner, CEO of GSS Grundig Systems, in Nuremberg. “In addition to hardware and software, a tailor-made end-to-end service for the customer is indispensable. The Telearabia cooperation gives us another opportunity to create customer-specific solutions.”

Rakuten launches free live streaming service

By Robert Briel

Rakuten has launched a live video streaming service, called Rakuten Live, which will allow artists, celebrities and general users to live stream videos and communicate with viewers in real-time.

Viewers can enjoy interactive communication with streamers in real-time by sending comments and ‘gifts’ to show their support.

The service also offers a live commerce function in which viewers can access sites to purchase products featured in streaming videos, allowing shoppers to make purchases while watching. Artists, celebrities and other streamers can effectively promote products through the service by highlighting the appeal of products and engaging in interactive communication with viewers.

The live commerce function of Rakuten Live will also be linked to other services offered by the Rakuten Group. Rakuten Live aims to provide an exciting and diverse live commerce experience through collaborations with various e-commerce services such as the Rakuten Ichiba online shopping mall, Rakuten Books and Rakuten Ticket, with future plans to include videos featuring merchants from Rakuten Ichiba.

With the growing popularity of social media and video-sharing services, it is now possible for anyone to easily share content. Fans are now able to engage in interactive two-way communication with artists and celebrities in a way that had not been possible before. In addition to offering a live entertainment experience that promotes user participation, Rakuten Live leverages the Rakuten group’s e-commerce services to provide a robust live commerce experience, creating a next generation live video streaming service.

Zoomin signs partnership with CCTV+

By Robert Briel

Roger Lodewick, CEO of Zoomin, has signed a special partnership between Zoomin and CCTV+, the Chinese video news agency specializing in video on demand.

“With this partnership, we have received confirmation that the Chinese market is embracing Zoomin, just as we are embracing the Chinese market and our grow-ing cooperation with Chinese partners,” said Lodewick, after signing the agree-ment with Mr. Gao Wei, General Director of CCTV+.

“It’s proof that our positive and enriching Gen Z content provides CCTV+ with a great tool to engage and attract the young and hard to reach Gen Z audience.”

The signing of the partnership was part of a conference on video collaboration for digital platforms in Asia. More than 150 executives and other professionals from more than 10 countries participated in the event, which focused on broadcasting concepts, content creation, cooperation and new developments in the field of internet broadcasting.

“Attending the conference was a unique opportunity for a foreign digital content company like Zoomin, which has business in China. It reflects our reputation and recognition in China, not only by our partners, but also by local authorities.” said Tim (Er Xia Te) Ye, Zoomin’s Country Manager China.

The partnership with CCTV+, Roger Lodewick explains, has laid the foundation for a wide cooperation between CCTV+ and Zoomin on documentary series, short form content co-productions and distribution. Lodewick said, “We’re very proud about embarking on this new partnership. It’s also an acknowledgment of the continuous trust and growth we enjoy from the Chinese market. It provides us with a massive global platform for the unique storytelling content we produce both in China and the rest of the world.”

Over the past two years, Zoomin has already produced short and long form vid-eos for several Chinese partners, including companies like Tencent and Baidu, and expects to announce more deals in China in the next coming weeks.

RFEF denies Copa del Rey rights suspension

By Julian Clover

The Royal Spanish Football Association (RFEF) has denied media reports that the rights tender to the Copa del Rey have been suspended.

In a statement issued by Mediapro, the Spanish communications company and rights broker said the Commercial Court Nº 12 had ruled in its favour after it had been excluded from the original tender.

“The Royal Spanish Football Federation awarded the rights to the RTVE on May 10, after fulfilling all the terms and conditions of the public tender opened for that purpose, in accordance with the Reports issued by the Commission. National Markets and Competition (CNMC),” RFEF said in a statement.

It said it had not received any communication from the court that put the tender into question.

Canal Algerie now on Arabsat-5C with Globecast

By Robert Briel

Canal Algerie is now available on Arabsat-5C, making the channel available on the satellite’s Direct-To-Home platform over Africa.

Canal Algerie is an Algerian French-speaking public television channel, owned by EPTV (Algerian Public Television), who also owns A3 (available on BADR-6), Terrestrial TV, Tamazight TV and Coran TV. Canal Algerie broadcasts its programmes 24/7 via different platforms all over the world.

Globecast is expanding its longstanding relationship with Arabsat, providing the technical broadcast solutions needed to deliver Canal Algerie across Africa.

Arabsat-5C at 20 degrees East is designed to serve the African market, matching the specific technical requirements with the growing demand across the continent. Arabsat -5C has a huge footprint, equipped with a powerful C-band beam which covers 100 per cent of African satellite TV households and needs only the minimum required dish size to receive its channels.

This new broadcast of Canal Algérie is part of the commercial contract between Télédiffusion d’Algérie, the Algerian public TV and radio broadcasting operator and Globecast.

Giorgio Giacomini, MD of Globecast in the Middle East, said, “We have a longstanding and very successful relationship with Arabsat.We are perfectly positioned to both launch new channels and expand the reach of existing channels, providing cost-effective end-to-end services to do so.”

“The launch of Canal Algerie on Arabsat-5C comes as part of our core mission to connect Arabic societies across the world; we provide African, Arab and Islamic communities with the largest possible choice of Free-To-Air TV channels in Africa,” says Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat president & CEO.

“Furthermore, the broadcasting of Canal Algerie via Arabsat-5C, highlights the continued successful Arabsat and Globecast partnership. This is expanding across additional territories beyond MENA, helping grow the reach of the existing Direct-to-Home portfolio of channels active on Arabsat-5C, and supporting the addition of more leading channels on Arabsat-5C in the very near future.”

Ampere: local players beat Netflix in Nordics

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

The Nordic markets have among the highest uptake of streaming SVoD services in Europe, but local players are giving Netflix a run for its money, according to new research from Ampere Analysis.

Despite strong demand in the Nordic markets for streaming content, the average market share of Netflix in the region is just 49%; that compares to an average of 71% in the rest of Western Europe.

Local players hold sway
While smaller individually, local players like Viaplay, TV2 Play, C More and the regional version of HBO account for the majority of streaming service contracts in the region. In every other Western European market except Germany, Italy and Spain, Netflix claims the majority of SVoD subscriptions. Local flavour is clearly key in the Nordics and pays dividends, even in the most highly penetrated streaming markets.

Moving beyond Nordic Noir
Nordic Noir (crime content originating in the Scandinavian countries) is now world famous and a key export for local content producers, but there are early signs that local streaming players are starting to move beyond the genre in a bid to compete with international players.

Analysis of content currently in production or development (but not yet completed or aired) in the region, shows that a staggering 47% of all shows are crime or thriller. But streaming players are more diverse in their commissioning strategies than linear channel players. Although the local linear channels and broadcasters have far more shows in development than local streaming players (59 different shows versus 23 from streaming players), an even greater proportion are crime. More than half (52%) of all shows in production for linear channels are crime compared to just 39% for streaming players.

So where next for Nordic TV shows?
While Nordic Noir looks set to continue as the primary focus of local producers in the short term, it seems that after years of excelling in dark drama, Scandinavians are in need of a laugh. Of shows currently in production or development locally, the next biggest genre for streaming players is comedy (22% of shows in development). Linear players, however, are looking to historical drama for their next big hits (10% of shows in development).

Elinor Clark, Analyst at Ampere Analysis says: “The Nordic countries are home to the most dynamic streaming TV markets in Europe and local players have had to deal with a rapid transition of TV viewers to streaming services. Content is now the key battleground and, while Nordic Noir has served the region well, there is indication that local players will now look to develop comedy and period drama as the next big push.”

Major distribution change for Russia’s Channel One

By Chris Dziadul

Russia’s Channel One has found a new partner for the distribution of its content outside the country.

According to Kommersant, it is VDM Vela Digital Media, which belongs to Andrei Shlyakovoy, the former owner of the Agrosoyuz Bank.

VDM Vela Digital Media will now distribute Channel One’s international channel, as well as thematic services, on OTT platforms in the US, Canada, Israel and 25 European countries.

Although Channel One previously worked with Kartina.TV in the distribution of its services outside Russia, the cooperation stopped at the end of 2018.

Dutch OTT service NPO Start comes to Android TV

By Robert Briel

Dutch public broadcaster NPO will launch its free-to-use OTT service NPO Start to Android TV in June.

NPO Start is already available on the most widely used online and Smart TV platforms. For some time now, the OTT streaming service has been available on PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone (iOS and Android) and the most important Smart TV platforms.

Last year, NPO released an app for Apple TV HD/Apple TV 4K. Now that the Android TV app is on its way, owners of online media players such as Nvidia Shield TV can also use NPO Start. Android TV is also used in new models of Smart TV-televisions from Sony and Philips, among others.

NPO Start is the catch-up and live streaming OTT platform of the Dutch national broadcasters, offering access to all programmes of the three national Dutch public channels.

The service is available in two versions, NPO Start as a free-to-view platform, and NPO Start Plus, which retails at €2.95 monthly. The premium version offer 365 days catch-up, which is just seven days in the free version, as well as the possibility to watch upcoming episodes of TV series. NPO Start Plus also offers HD quality and no pre-roll advertising on the VOD content.