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Today β€” February 20th 2019Your RSS feeds

Russian pay-TV market slows

By Chris Dziadul

Growth in Russia’s pay-TV market slowed to 3.2% in 2018, according to the latest data published by TMT Consulting.

This compared to 3.8% in 2017, and as of the end of last year there were 44.2 million pay-TV subscribers in the country. With penetration already exceeding 77%, the market was close to saturation.

Pay-TV revenues in 2018 amounted to R93.3 billion (€1.25 billion), up 10.8% on a year earlier. This growth was similar to the 10.6% in 2017 and was down to such factors as a slight increase in the subscriber base, higher tariffs introduced by some operators and growth of such additional services as VOD and Multiroom.

The number of cable subscribers declined by 0.1% in 20178 (-0.7% in 2017), while the DTH subscriber total grew by 2% (3.8%) and that for IPTV by 10% (13.5%).

Cable TV was still the market leader in terms of subscriber numbers in 2018 (42%, compared to 39% for DTH and 19% for IPTV), as well as in revenue terms (43%, versus 32% for IPTV and 25% for DTH).

Tricolor TV had the most subscribers (28% of the total), followed by Rostelecom (23%), ER Telecom (8%), MTS (8%), Orion (7%) and other providers.

However, in terms of revenues Rostelecom was in top spot with 35%, followed by Tricolor TV (18%), ER Telecom (11%), MTS (8%) and others (28%).

Russian pay-TV market slows

By Chris Dziadul

Growth in Russia’s pay-TV market slowed to 3.2% in 2018, according to the latest data published by TMT Consulting.

This compared to 3.8% in 2017, and as of the end of last year there were 44.2 million pay-TV subscribers in the country. With penetration already exceeding 77%, the market was close to saturation.

Pay-TV revenues in 2018 amounted to R93.3 billion (€1.25 billion), up 10.8% on a year earlier. This growth was similar to the 10.6% in 2017 and was down to such factors as a slight increase in the subscriber base, higher tariffs introduced by some operators and growth of such additional services as VOD and Multiroom.

The number of cable subscribers declined by 0.1% in 20178 (-0.7% in 2017), while the DTH subscriber total grew by 2% (3.8%) and that for IPTV by 10% (13.5%).

Cable TV was still the market leader in terms of subscriber numbers in 2018 (42%, compared to 39% for DTH and 19% for IPTV), as well as in revenue terms (43%, versus 32% for IPTV and 25% for DTH).

Tricolor TV had the most subscribers (28% of the total), followed by Rostelecom (23%), ER Telecom (8%), MTS (8%), Orion (7%) and other providers.

However, in terms of revenues Rostelecom was in top spot with 35%, followed by Tricolor TV (18%), ER Telecom (11%), MTS (8%) and others (28%).

Russian OTT service drops Huawei

By Chris Dziadul

Gazprom-Media’s TNT-Premier has decided to abandon the Huawei platform due to a “massive equipment malfunction”.

Quoting a report in Vedomosti, Telecom Daily says Gazprom-Media is now developing its own software for the OTT service and that it should be ready by the end of this year.

The technical failure in Huawei’s platform occurred at the start of TNT-Premier, when many users found themselves unable to register for the service or watch its content.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, TNT-Premier made its debut in August 2018.

During its first month of operation it was viewed over 3.9 million times and Gazprom-Media have admitted they underestimated the popularity of the service.

The number of connected users was in fact 100 times higher than had been projected.

Russian OTT service drops Huawei

By Chris Dziadul

Gazprom-Media’s TNT-Premier has decided to abandon the Huawei platform due to a “massive equipment malfunction”.

Quoting a report in Vedomosti, Telecom Daily says Gazprom-Media is now developing its own software for the OTT service and that it should be ready by the end of this year.

The technical failure in Huawei’s platform occurred at the start of TNT-Premier, when many users found themselves unable to register for the service or watch its content.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, TNT-Premier made its debut in August 2018.

During its first month of operation it was viewed over 3.9 million times and Gazprom-Media have admitted they underestimated the popularity of the service.

The number of connected users was in fact 100 times higher than had been projected.

New OTT platform from Poland’s Play

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish mobile operator Play has announced the launch of a new OTT service named Play Now TV.

According to the company, it will be trialled for a period of six months beginning February 21 and made available to both Play and non-Play customers. It will also not require a smart TV, with reception being possible with an internet connection, HDMI port in a TV or monitor and willingness to take part in the trial.

During the six-month period, users will be able to use the TV Box and Play Now TV Box package free of charge and return the TV Box at any time. They will have free access to TV channels, VOD and TV Box, which includes a remote with voice control.

Should they decide to subscribe to the Play Now TV Box package from the seventh month onwards, it will cost Play Now customers PLN20 (€4.62) a month and non-Play Now customers PLN35 a month.

During the trial period, users will have free access to a basic Play Now package consisting of 23 channels, while five channels will be offered only to TV Box customers. As the TV Box has a DVB-T/C tuner, its users will also be able to receive terrestrial TV channels.

Users trialling the service will also be offered additional, paid-for packages. The main one, known as Extra and including four BBC and four MTV channels, will cost PLN20 a month, with sports, kids and HBO packages costing PLN15, 10 and 25 a month respectively.

All these packages will be offered free of charge for the first month.

Also accessible will be Netflix, starting from PLN34 a month, and applications via Google Play (TV Box employs Android TV).

Play notes that its TV Box is the first one on the Polish market that links HBO Go, Netflix, YouTube and popular TV channels.

New OTT platform from Poland’s Play

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish mobile operator Play has announced the launch of a new OTT service named Play Now TV.

According to the company, it will be trialled for a period of six months beginning February 21 and made available to both Play and non-Play customers. It will also not require a smart TV, with reception being possible with an internet connection, HDMI port in a TV or monitor and willingness to take part in the trial.

During the six-month period, users will be able to use the TV Box and Play Now TV Box package free of charge and return the TV Box at any time. They will have free access to TV channels, VOD and TV Box, which includes a remote with voice control.

Should they decide to subscribe to the Play Now TV Box package from the seventh month onwards, it will cost Play Now customers PLN20 (€4.62) a month and non-Play Now customers PLN35 a month.

During the trial period, users will have free access to a basic Play Now package consisting of 23 channels, while five channels will be offered only to TV Box customers. As the TV Box has a DVB-T/C tuner, its users will also be able to receive terrestrial TV channels.

Users trialling the service will also be offered additional, paid-for packages. The main one, known as Extra and including four BBC and four MTV channels, will cost PLN20 a month, with sports, kids and HBO packages costing PLN15, 10 and 25 a month respectively.

All these packages will be offered free of charge for the first month.

Also accessible will be Netflix, starting from PLN34 a month, and applications via Google Play (TV Box employs Android TV).

Play notes that its TV Box is the first one on the Polish market that links HBO Go, Netflix, YouTube and popular TV channels.

Man Dies After Subway Train Drags Him Into Tunnel

By ASHLEY SOUTHALL and MATT STEVENS

A piece of the 39-year-old’s clothing or the strap of his bag apparently became caught on a train at Grand Central Terminal, witnesses said.

Yesterday β€” February 19th 2019Your RSS feeds

Czech Prima launches VOD service

By Chris Dziadul

The Czech national commercial broadcaster TV Prima has launched a paid-for VOD service that offers viewers selected shows and series in advance of their screening.

According to Digital Rozhlas, the service is available either at https://www.iprima.com/videopujcovna or directly via TVs and set-top boxes connected to the internet with the support of HbbTV.

The content it offers includes domestic and foreign productions, with titles starting at a single price of CZK49 (€1.90),an customers can pay on the web with a card, SMS or PayPal.

Separately, speaking to Broadband TV News at BBC Showcase in Liverpool, Jan Rudovsky, head of acquisitions and business affairs department, FTV Prima, outlined the broadcaster’s programming strategy.

The content it buys from the BBC is mostly for the factual channel Zoom and male-focused channel Cool, though generally speaking locally produced programming works best for the broadcaster.

Rudovsky also said that although Prima’s profile is quite similar to that of TV Nova, its offer is more focused and refined.

Czech Prima launches VOD service

By Chris Dziadul

The Czech national commercial broadcaster TV Prima has launched a paid-for VOD service that offers viewers selected shows and series in advance of their screening.

According to Digital Rozhlas, the service is available either at https://www.iprima.com/videopujcovna or directly via TVs and set-top boxes connected to the internet with the support of HbbTV.

The content it offers includes domestic and foreign productions, with titles starting at a single price of CZK49 (€1.90),an customers can pay on the web with a card, SMS or PayPal.

Separately, speaking to Broadband TV News at BBC Showcase in Liverpool, Jan Rudovsky, head of acquisitions and business affairs department, FTV Prima, outlined the broadcaster’s programming strategy.

The content it buys from the BBC is mostly for the factual channel Zoom and male-focused channel Cool, though generally speaking locally produced programming works best for the broadcaster.

Rudovsky also said that although Prima’s profile is quite similar to that of TV Nova, its offer is more focused and refined.

TVN, Discovery Poland recruit Marcin Barcz

By Chris Dziadul

Marcin Barcz has joined the TVN and Discovery Poland’s management board, effective February 18.

In what is a newly created position, he will oversee the Corporate Communications Division, being responsible for coordinating activities related to corporate communications, internal communications and government affairs at TVN and Discovery Poland. He will also manage CSR projects.

Commenting on the appointment, Kasia Kieli, president and MD, Discovery EMEA, said: “Our company’s dynamic development and Poland’s growing role within Discovery’s structures have been leading to an increasing number of challenges appearing also on the international market. Establishing the Corporate Communications Division within the TVN and Discovery Poland structures is a part of our strategy, allowing us to efficiently manage communication processes also in the global perspective”.

Piotr Korycki, president of TVN and Discovery Poland, added: “I am very glad that Marcin Barcz has joined our team and will be heading the Corporate Communications Division. Ever since the merger of TVN and Discovery, we have been analysing our structures both in the Polish market as well as in the entire region. Acting in line with our strategy, we have been introducing solutions that create the largest number of synergies. I am sure that Marcin’s many years of experience in the area of communications will provide valuable support to our business.”

Barcz has 25 years of experience in marketing, advertising and public relations. His past positions include member of the management board of Coca-Cola in charge of corporate communications, VP of the Burson-Marsteller PR agency and MD of the Leo Burnett group of advertising agencies.

TVN, Discovery Poland recruit Marcin Barcz

By Chris Dziadul

Marcin Barcz has joined the TVN and Discovery Poland’s management board, effective February 18.

In what is a newly created position, he will oversee the Corporate Communications Division, being responsible for coordinating activities related to corporate communications, internal communications and government affairs at TVN and Discovery Poland. He will also manage CSR projects.

Commenting on the appointment, Kasia Kieli, president and MD, Discovery EMEA, said: “Our company’s dynamic development and Poland’s growing role within Discovery’s structures have been leading to an increasing number of challenges appearing also on the international market. Establishing the Corporate Communications Division within the TVN and Discovery Poland structures is a part of our strategy, allowing us to efficiently manage communication processes also in the global perspective”.

Piotr Korycki, president of TVN and Discovery Poland, added: “I am very glad that Marcin Barcz has joined our team and will be heading the Corporate Communications Division. Ever since the merger of TVN and Discovery, we have been analysing our structures both in the Polish market as well as in the entire region. Acting in line with our strategy, we have been introducing solutions that create the largest number of synergies. I am sure that Marcin’s many years of experience in the area of communications will provide valuable support to our business.”

Barcz has 25 years of experience in marketing, advertising and public relations. His past positions include member of the management board of Coca-Cola in charge of corporate communications, VP of the Burson-Marsteller PR agency and MD of the Leo Burnett group of advertising agencies.

TVN, Discovery Poland recruit Marcin Barcz

By Chris Dziadul

Marcin Barcz has joined the TVN and Discovery Poland’s management board, effective February 18.

In what is a newly created position, he will oversee the Corporate Communications Division, being responsible for coordinating activities related to corporate communications, internal communications and government affairs at TVN and Discovery Poland. He will also manage CSR projects.

Commenting on the appointment, Kasia Kieli, president and MD, Discovery EMEA, said: “Our company’s dynamic development and Poland’s growing role within Discovery’s structures have been leading to an increasing number of challenges appearing also on the international market. Establishing the Corporate Communications Division within the TVN and Discovery Poland structures is a part of our strategy, allowing us to efficiently manage communication processes also in the global perspective”.

Piotr Korycki, president of TVN and Discovery Poland, added: “I am very glad that Marcin Barcz has joined our team and will be heading the Corporate Communications Division. Ever since the merger of TVN and Discovery, we have been analysing our structures both in the Polish market as well as in the entire region. Acting in line with our strategy, we have been introducing solutions that create the largest number of synergies. I am sure that Marcin’s many years of experience in the area of communications will provide valuable support to our business.”

Barcz has 25 years of experience in marketing, advertising and public relations. His past positions include member of the management board of Coca-Cola in charge of corporate communications, VP of the Burson-Marsteller PR agency and MD of the Leo Burnett group of advertising agencies.

TVN, Discovery Poland recruit Marcin Barcz

By Chris Dziadul

Marcin Barcz has joined the TVN and Discovery Poland’s management board, effective February 18.

In what is a newly created position, he will oversee the Corporate Communications Division, being responsible for coordinating activities related to corporate communications, internal communications and government affairs at TVN and Discovery Poland. He will also manage CSR projects.

Commenting on the appointment, Kasia Kieli, president and MD, Discovery EMEA, said: “Our company’s dynamic development and Poland’s growing role within Discovery’s structures have been leading to an increasing number of challenges appearing also on the international market. Establishing the Corporate Communications Division within the TVN and Discovery Poland structures is a part of our strategy, allowing us to efficiently manage communication processes also in the global perspective”.

Piotr Korycki, president of TVN and Discovery Poland, added: “I am very glad that Marcin Barcz has joined our team and will be heading the Corporate Communications Division. Ever since the merger of TVN and Discovery, we have been analysing our structures both in the Polish market as well as in the entire region. Acting in line with our strategy, we have been introducing solutions that create the largest number of synergies. I am sure that Marcin’s many years of experience in the area of communications will provide valuable support to our business.”

Barcz has 25 years of experience in marketing, advertising and public relations. His past positions include member of the management board of Coca-Cola in charge of corporate communications, VP of the Burson-Marsteller PR agency and MD of the Leo Burnett group of advertising agencies.

Multimedia Polska fine upheld

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKK) has upheld a fine imposed on Multimedia Polska, the country’s third largest cable operator.

In a summary of court judgements related to Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) decisions in the field of consumer protection, the UOKiK says that the judgement concerns an appeal by Multimedia against decision in December 2015.

As part of its cable TV service, Multimedia guaranteed the number of channels in selected packages. However, it did not specify the content of those packages.

This resulted in numerous complaints from customers, who also saw the most attractive channels either not included in the packages or replaced by other channels soon afterwards.

As a result, the UOKiK fined Multimedia PLN4.8 million (€1.11 million) and obliged the operator to allow customers to terminate unfavourable agreements.

According to UOKiK, Multimedia’s appeal was eventually dismissed in October 2018.

Multimedia Polska fine upheld

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKK) has upheld a fine imposed on Multimedia Polska, the country’s third largest cable operator.

In a summary of court judgements related to Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) decisions in the field of consumer protection, the UOKiK says that the judgement concerns an appeal by Multimedia against decision in December 2015.

As part of its cable TV service, Multimedia guaranteed the number of channels in selected packages. However, it did not specify the content of those packages.

This resulted in numerous complaints from customers, who also saw the most attractive channels either not included in the packages or replaced by other channels soon afterwards.

As a result, the UOKiK fined Multimedia PLN4.8 million (€1.11 million) and obliged the operator to allow customers to terminate unfavourable agreements.

According to UOKiK, Multimedia’s appeal was eventually dismissed in October 2018.

Multimedia Polska fine upheld

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKK) has upheld a fine imposed on Multimedia Polska, the country’s third largest cable operator.

In a summary of court judgements related to Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) decisions in the field of consumer protection, the UOKiK says that the judgement concerns an appeal by Multimedia against decision in December 2015.

As part of its cable TV service, Multimedia guaranteed the number of channels in selected packages. However, it did not specify the content of those packages.

This resulted in numerous complaints from customers, who also saw the most attractive channels either not included in the packages or replaced by other channels soon afterwards.

As a result, the UOKiK fined Multimedia PLN4.8 million (€1.11 million) and obliged the operator to allow customers to terminate unfavourable agreements.

According to UOKiK, Multimedia’s appeal was eventually dismissed in October 2018.

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

BBC First expands in CEE

By Chris Dziadul, BBC Showcase, Liverpool

BBC First has entered into a partnership with A1 Telekom Austria Group that will result in the drama channel launching in Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia on April 1.

It will be made available to subscribers to A1’s pay-TV service (one.Vip in Macedonia) and Xplore OTT service with programming fully subtitled into Croatian, Slovenian and Macedonian from launch.

Speaking exclusively to Broadband TV News at BBC Showcase in Liverpool, Salim Mukaddam, VP and general manager CEE, BBC Studios, said that it wants to make BBC First, which made its CEE debut in Poland last year, eventually available throughout the whole of the region.

He added that there is a real gap in the market for a premium British channel, in effect “nothing that caters for people who want to watch premium British drama”.

Meanwhile, commenting in the development, Gernot Rasch, director marketing & operations, A1 Telekom Austria Group, said: “We see content and entertainment as a critical element of our multi-screen customer experience and it’s in the core of transforming our offerings from connectivity into personal experiences. Thus we are particularly happy and proud to be the first one in our markets to offer our customers BBC First and its exquisite stories and plots”.

Outside CEE, BBC First is also available as a channel in Australia, Asia, South Africa, the Benelux and the Middle East.

BBC First expands in CEE

By Chris Dziadul, BBC Showcase, Liverpool

BBC First has entered into a partnership with A1 Telekom Austria Group that will result in the drama channel launching in Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia on April 1.

It will be made available to subscribers to A1’s pay-TV service (one.Vip in Macedonia) and Xplore OTT service with programming fully subtitled into Croatian, Slovenian and Macedonian from launch.

Speaking exclusively to Broadband TV News at BBC Showcase in Liverpool, Salim Mukaddam, VP and general manager CEE, BBC Studios, said that it wants to make BBC First, which made its CEE debut in Poland last year, eventually available throughout the whole of the region.

He added that there is a real gap in the market for a premium British channel, in effect “nothing that caters for people who want to watch premium British drama”.

Meanwhile, commenting in the development, Gernot Rasch, director marketing & operations, A1 Telekom Austria Group, said: “We see content and entertainment as a critical element of our multi-screen customer experience and it’s in the core of transforming our offerings from connectivity into personal experiences. Thus we are particularly happy and proud to be the first one in our markets to offer our customers BBC First and its exquisite stories and plots”.

Outside CEE, BBC First is also available as a channel in Australia, Asia, South Africa, the Benelux and the Middle East.

BBC First expands in CEE

By Chris Dziadul, BBC Showcase, Liverpool

BBC First has entered into a partnership with A1 Telekom Austria Group that will result in the drama channel launching in Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia on April 1.

It will be made available to subscribers to A1’s pay-TV service (one.Vip in Macedonia) and Xplore OTT service with programming fully subtitled into Croatian, Slovenian and Macedonian from launch.

Speaking exclusively to Broadband TV News at BBC Showcase in Liverpool, Salim Mukaddam, VP and general manager CEE, BBC Studios, said that it wants to make BBC First, which made its CEE debut in Poland last year, eventually available throughout the whole of the region.

He added that there is a real gap in the market for a premium British channel, in effect “nothing that caters for people who want to watch premium British drama”.

Meanwhile, commenting in the development, Gernot Rasch, director marketing & operations, A1 Telekom Austria Group, said: “We see content and entertainment as a critical element of our multi-screen customer experience and it’s in the core of transforming our offerings from connectivity into personal experiences. Thus we are particularly happy and proud to be the first one in our markets to offer our customers BBC First and its exquisite stories and plots”.

Outside CEE, BBC First is also available as a channel in Australia, Asia, South Africa, the Benelux and the Middle East.

Steady progress for Hrvatski Telekom

By Chris Dziadul

Hrvatski Telekom (HT) saw only modest 0.3% growth in its TV customer total in 2018, ending the year with 418,000.

At the same time, its TV ARPU rose by 2.7% to HRK84 (€11.3).

Meanwhile, its retail broadband take-up stood at 618,000, down 0.9% on a year earlier, with broadband retail ARPU falling by 5.4% to HRK111.

Revenues from broadband and TV services in 2018 amounted to HRK1,294 million, down 1.8% on the previous year.

Looking at the Croatian market in general, HT notes that the pay-TV sector grew by 3.3% in the year to September 30, 2018 to reach 845,000 customers.

It also says that the company invested HRK1.826 billion in infrastructure and the development of innovative services in 2018.

As of year’s end 400,000 households had fibre-optic access and 58.2% of Croatian households were enabled for NGA speeds.

Financially, HT has revenues of HRK7.783 billion in 2018 (+0.4%, or +0.5% excluding Crnogorski Telekom’s contribution.

EBITDA was HRK3.186 billion (+1.5%, +1.2%), while net profit was HRK1.061 billion (+22.9%).

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