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Today β€” February 24th 2020Your RSS feeds

Hungary outlines DVB-T2 transition

By Chris Dziadul

The technology used to distribute the Hungarian pay-DTT platform MinDig TV Extra will change from March 3.

According to its operator Antenna Hungária, the transition to DVB-T2 will take place in 10 steps between March and August, with the first phase affecting subscribers in the north east and east of the country.

The latter will see a full or partial shutdown from 07.00 to 19.00 on March 3, after which they will be required to use new receivers supplied by Antenna Hungária to receive the service.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, Antenna Hungária was due to perform frequency swaps at all 91 digital terrestrial sites on February 4.

It first outlined its future DTT plans last November, having earlier seen its licence to operate Hungary’s terrestrial network renewed for a further 12 years.

Emitel secures new funding

By Chris Dziadul

The Polish national transmission company Emitel has signed a loan agreement with a consortium of six banks.

As a result, it has secured financing of PLN1.5 billion (€350 million) and with an option for this to be increased to PLN1.6 billion upon certain conditions.

The loan will be used to repay the debt resulting from the loan agreement signed in 2016 and, depending on Emitel’s requirements, to finance operating activities of the company and the investments related to its development plans. The contract was concluded for 3.5 years and the closing (release of funds) will take place in the near future, following the satisfaction of the conditions precedent.

Commenting on the development, Aleksander Skolozynski, Emitel management board member and CFO, said: “Our usual approach is to refinance credit liabilities duly in advance, and today’s agreement continues this policy. We have obtained optimal conditions for the company, and ensured a stable source of financing for our business. I thank all the financing banks for their trust and positive assessment of our long-term business assumptions”.

Jim Metcalfe, Managing Partner of Alinda Capital Partners and member of the supervisory board of Emitel, added: “In the coming years, Emitel will have to carry out a large-scale refarming project of the 700Mhz band, and change the broadcasting standard to DVB-T2. In addition, the company intends to further invest in the telecommunications infrastructure, in particular for mobile operators in connection with the planned development of the 5G network in Poland. Therefore, ensuring stable financing of company’s operations for the coming years is key”.

The loan is denominated in PLN and its interest rate was determined on the basis of the base rate plus a margin. The remaining terms of the loan are also in line with market conditions.

The consortium of banks with which the agreement was signed comprised Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A., Bank Pekao S.A., DNB Bank ASA, DNB Bank Polska S.A. (acting also as the agent), PKO Bank Polski S.A. and Société Générale.

Vivacom partners with Magic Movies

By Chris Dziadul

The Bulgarian incumbent Vivacom has concluded an agreement with Magic Movies for uplink services on the Eutelsat 8W platform.

It comprises a complete solution including the signal contribution, encoding, encryption and uplink of Nina TV English and Nina TV French channels for African pay-TV platforms.

Nina is a TV 100% telenovela channel showcasing the best telenovelas from Africa, Brazil, and the rest of world.

Commenting on the agreement, Bernard Azria, Magic Movies CEO, said, “We are excited about our partnership with Vivacom as it will improve our reliability and coverage to a wider audience in African and Latin America markets. Vivacom is technology partner offering the best quality possible with highly professional services in uplink and monitoring”.

Vladimir Rangelov, senior manager broadcasting services, Vivacom, added: “We are delighted to partner with Nina TV and bring their channels to the pay-TV operators in Africa and new markets, and that they recognise our unrivalled ability to provide a high-quality service that helps them reach new viewers, expanding their customer base”.

Vivacom partners with Magic Movies

By Chris Dziadul

The Bulgarian incumbent Vivacom has concluded an agreement with Magic Movies for uplink services on the Eutelsat 8W platform.

It comprises a complete solution including the signal contribution, encoding, encryption and uplink of Nina TV English and Nina TV French channels for African pay-TV platforms.

Nina is a TV 100% telenovela channel showcasing the best telenovelas from Africa, Brazil, and the rest of world.

Commenting on the agreement, Bernard Azria, Magic Movies CEO, said, “We are excited about our partnership with Vivacom as it will improve our reliability and coverage to a wider audience in African and Latin America markets. Vivacom is technology partner offering the best quality possible with highly professional services in uplink and monitoring”.

Vladimir Rangelov, senior manager broadcasting services, Vivacom, added: “We are delighted to partner with Nina TV and bring their channels to the pay-TV operators in Africa and new markets, and that they recognise our unrivalled ability to provide a high-quality service that helps them reach new viewers, expanding their customer base”.

Vivacom partners with Magic Movies

By Chris Dziadul

The Bulgarian incumbent Vivacom has concluded an agreement with Magic Movies for uplink services on the Eutelsat 8W platform.

It comprises a complete solution including the signal contribution, encoding, encryption and uplink of Nina TV English and Nina TV French channels for African pay-TV platforms.

Nina is a TV 100% telenovela channel showcasing the best telenovelas from Africa, Brazil, and the rest of world.

Commenting on the agreement, Bernard Azria, Magic Movies CEO, said, “We are excited about our partnership with Vivacom as it will improve our reliability and coverage to a wider audience in African and Latin America markets. Vivacom is technology partner offering the best quality possible with highly professional services in uplink and monitoring”.

Vladimir Rangelov, senior manager broadcasting services, Vivacom, added: “We are delighted to partner with Nina TV and bring their channels to the pay-TV operators in Africa and new markets, and that they recognise our unrivalled ability to provide a high-quality service that helps them reach new viewers, expanding their customer base”.

Markiza seeking higher fees

By Chris Dziadul

Slovakia’s leading broadcaster TV Markiza is reported to be in negotiations with operators to increase its distribution fees.

In practice, reports Zive, this will result in higher charges for packages that carry Markiza channels.

It adds that the negotiations do not extend to the entire market, with Slovak Telekom and Skylink, which together account for 1.1 million of 2 million households receiving pay-TV servicers, already having long-term contracts in place with Markiza.

Other operators are renewing theirs on a monthly basis until they reach a three-year deal.

Slovak operators are represented by the associations APKT and SAKT.

The former includes UPC and latter Orange, Satro and Antik among its members.

Markiza seeking higher fees

By Chris Dziadul

Slovakia’s leading broadcaster TV Markiza is reported to be in negotiations with operators to increase its distribution fees.

In practice, reports Zive, this will result in higher charges for packages that carry Markiza channels.

It adds that the negotiations do not extend to the entire market, with Slovak Telekom and Skylink, which together account for 1.1 million of 2 million households receiving pay-TV servicers, already having long-term contracts in place with Markiza.

Other operators are renewing theirs on a monthly basis until they reach a three-year deal.

Slovak operators are represented by the associations APKT and SAKT.

The former includes UPC and latter Orange, Satro and Antik among its members.

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

Proximus job cuts will be made by March

By Julian Clover

Proximus says it will only make a “very limited number” of compulsory redundancies.

The Belgian telco has been running a voluntary redundancy programme that is expected to result in the loss of 1,300 employees. Despite protests from unions the operator got more volunteers than it was expecting.

The staff reductions are expected to be made by March.

It has reported fourth quarter results showing underlying revenue of €1.45 billion euros, a year-on-year fall of 1.6%, but consistent with forecasts.

The Proximus TV business continues to perform strongly with a market share of 37.4%. Its TV customer base grew by 22,000 in 2019, reaching 1,642,000 end 2019. However, as is the case with the majority of traditional telcos there remains pressure on fixed line services.

Molotov reports Salto partners to competition authority

By Julian Clover

Streaming service Molotov has reported French commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 to the Competition Authority.

It’s accusing them of collusion and abusing a dominant position. The two broadcasters are partners in the Salto platform that’s slated to launch on June 3rd.

There is already friction between the broadcasters and Molotov, which is refusing to pay the carriage fees demanded by the channels.

The Competition Authority is expected to make a judgement in the next few weeks.

Spanish regulator makes football rights appeal

By Chris Dziadul

The Spanish regulator CNMC has issued a report urging the National Professional Football League (LNPF) to modify is international proposal for exploitation of La Liga audiovisual rights.

This applies to both in and outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

In its view, the proposal does not meet certain requirements established in the Royal Decree-Law 5/2015. In a statement, it urges the league to adapt its proposals in the following aspects:

Limit the audiovisual content subject to commercialisation to the times mentioned in article 1.1 of the above Royal Decree-Law.

It adheres to the powers granted to it in the Royal Decree-Law. That is to say, “the joint commercialisation” of the audiovisual rights included in the scope of the norm and adapt the content of the commercialisation of rights to this faculty.

Do not include reservations of rights that are not justified, or obligations in the field of advertising and /or sponsorship.

Clarify the scope of the contents of the lots and set the criteria for the assessment of the requirements for their award, to ensure the achievement of a transparent and competitive procedure.

Reform those aspects indicated in the report that are contrary to the principles of publicity, transparency, competitiveness and non-discrimination in the procedure for submitting offers and awarding rights.

It concludes by saying that the marketing proposal presented by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) will be subject to articles 1 and 2 of Law 15/2007 on the Defense of Competition (LDC), and 101 and 102 of the Treaty of Operation of the European Union (TFEU), in all those aspects that exceed the protection provided by Royal Decree-Law 5/2015.

New sports packages combined Sky Sports and BT Sports on Sky

By Julian Clover

Sky Sports & BT SportSky has launched two new sports packages that bring together both the Sky and BT Sport channels.

Although BT Sport has been available to Sky customers they have needed to go directly through BT.

All eight Sky Sports channels are now available, alongside BT Sport 1, 2, 3 and BT ESPN. Customers can pay £35 per month for the combined sports package or £25 to add BT Sport to any other Sky package. The cost of the Sky Sports eight-channel package is £23.

The combined offer will go someway to easing the pain for football fans with BT holding the rights to the bulk of Premier League matches not shown by Sky, as well as its exclusive rights to the Champions League and Europa League competitions.

Lyssa McGowan, Chief Consumer Officer, Sky said: “Our customers have always loved sport and we’re delighted to now be able to offer them even more. From the excitement of the UEFA Champions League, Tiger Woods defending The Masters and the rise of Fallon Sherrock, 2020 is a huge year of sport. Now, through our partnership with BT and the launch of our new sports packages, millions of fans can watch all the sports they love.”

Earlier this week BT TV announced a revamp of its packages that include access to Sky’s Now TV Streaming service.

Digi doubles profit, gains cable TV customers in Romania

By Chris Dziadul

Digi Communications has posted a net profit of €41,787,000 for 2019, or over twice the €18,022,000 it made a year earlier.

At the same time, its revenues grew by 14.2% to €1,038.1 million.

In its main market Romania, the cable TV RGU total increased from 3,305,000 to 3,590,000 in 2019, with cable ARPU growing slightly from €5 to €5.2.

Although DTH ARPU also grew, up from €4.8 to €5, the RGU total fell from 529,000 to 507,000.

Meanwhile, in Hungary the cable TV RGU total grew from 689,000 to 694,000, though cable ARPU fell from €8.3 to €7.9.

At the same time, the number of DTH RGUs fell from 276,000 to 265,000, with ARPU being unchanged at €9.

Digi doubles profit, gains cable TV customers in Romania

By Chris Dziadul

Digi Communications has posted a net profit of €41,787,000 for 2019, or over twice the €18,022,000 it made a year earlier.

At the same time, its revenues grew by 14.2% to €1,038.1 million.

In its main market Romania, the cable TV RGU total increased from 3,305,000 to 3,590,000 in 2019, with cable ARPU growing slightly from €5 to €5.2.

Although DTH ARPU also grew, up from €4.8 to €5, the RGU total fell from 529,000 to 507,000.

Meanwhile, in Hungary the cable TV RGU total grew from 689,000 to 694,000, though cable ARPU fell from €8.3 to €7.9.

At the same time, the number of DTH RGUs fell from 276,000 to 265,000, with ARPU being unchanged at €9.

Netflix reveals new Polish strategy

By Chris Dziadul

Netflix is planning to introduce a mobile-only offer in Poland.

According to Wirtualne Media, the streaming service is currently testing what will be two tariffs.

The first, named ‘Mobile” and costing PLN24 (€5.6) a month, will only be available on one device (smartphones or tablets) and show content in SD. Meanwhile the second, Mobile+ and costing PLN38 a month, will be accessible simultaneously on two devices (smartphones, PCs and laptops) and show content in full HD.

Quoting a release from the company, it adds that while Netflix has until now offered three subscription plans, the two new ones being tested reflect the significant increase consumption of the service on mobile devices. They will only be introduced permanently when customers who appreciate the increased flexibility and use them, considering the change to be positive.

Netflix also says that it is constantly looking for ways to improve the service for its customers and will launch new tests in Poland in the next few weeks.

Netflix is currently available in three packages in Poland, namely Basic, Standard and Premium, costing PLN34, 43 and 52 a month respectively.

Ukraine bans Viasat channel

By Chris Dziadul

The Ukrainian regulator National Council has removed TV 1000 East from the list of foreign channels that complies with the requirements of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and Ukrainian legislation.

In a statement, it says that the channel was authorised for distribution in Ukraine on the basis on a licence issued by a Swedish media regulator, with the broadcast languages being English and Russian. London-based Viasat World Limited then informed the National Council that it was the owner of TV 1000 East, having been granted ownership in October 2015. Viasat also said the channel was licensed by Ofcom, being entitled to broadcast in English and Estonian in Estonia.

Quoting its deputy chairman Ulyana Feschuk, National Council adds that as the Swedish licence has now expired. National Council member Sergey Kostynskyy has meanwhile said that monitoring of the channel has shown it to be broadcast in Russia, which was not the case 12 years ago.

The Ukrainian regulator has therefore decided to remove TV 1000 East from the list of permitted channels in the country.

This will take place one month after the announcement, during which Viasat will be able to submit the necessary documentation to have it reinstated.

Ukraine bans Viasat channel

By Chris Dziadul

The Ukrainian regulator National Council has removed TV 1000 East from the list of foreign channels that complies with the requirements of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and Ukrainian legislation.

In a statement, it says that the channel was authorised for distribution in Ukraine on the basis on a licence issued by a Swedish media regulator, with the broadcast languages being English and Russian. London-based Viasat World Limited then informed the National Council that it was the owner of TV 1000 East, having been granted ownership in October 2015. Viasat also said the channel was licensed by Ofcom, being entitled to broadcast in English and Estonian in Estonia.

Quoting its deputy chairman Ulyana Feschuk, National Council adds that as the Swedish licence has now expired. National Council member Sergey Kostynskyy has meanwhile said that monitoring of the channel has shown it to be broadcast in Russia, which was not the case 12 years ago.

The Ukrainian regulator has therefore decided to remove TV 1000 East from the list of permitted channels in the country.

This will take place one month after the announcement, during which Viasat will be able to submit the necessary documentation to have it reinstated.

Ukraine bans Viasat channel

By Chris Dziadul

The Ukrainian regulator National Council has removed TV 1000 East from the list of foreign channels that complies with the requirements of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and Ukrainian legislation.

In a statement, it says that the channel was authorised for distribution in Ukraine on the basis on a licence issued by a Swedish media regulator, with the broadcast languages being English and Russian. London-based Viasat World Limited then informed the National Council that it was the owner of TV 1000 East, having been granted ownership in October 2015. Viasat also said the channel was licensed by Ofcom, being entitled to broadcast in English and Estonian in Estonia.

Quoting its deputy chairman Ulyana Feschuk, National Council adds that as the Swedish licence has now expired. National Council member Sergey Kostynskyy has meanwhile said that monitoring of the channel has shown it to be broadcast in Russia, which was not the case 12 years ago.

The Ukrainian regulator has therefore decided to remove TV 1000 East from the list of permitted channels in the country.

This will take place one month after the announcement, during which Viasat will be able to submit the necessary documentation to have it reinstated.

CTO Nick Thexton leaves ProSiebenSat.1

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Nick Thexton, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of ProSiebenSat.1, is leaving the German media company after less than a year.

The decision was made for personal reasons, a ProSiebenSat.1 spokeswoman told Broadband TV News, adding that Thexton is taking on a new professional challenge in his home country, the UK.

Thexton joined ProSiebenSat.1 in June 2019 from satellite operator Inmarsat to drive the technical transformation of the business units. The CTO position was newly created for him.

According to the ProSiebenSat.1 spokeswoman, Thexton’s IT and technical tasks will now be taken over by CFO Rainer Beaujean.

Rakuten TV debuts AVOD channel

By Chris Dziadul

Rakuten TV has announced the launch of new dedicated AVOD channel.

Produced in partnership with the animation studio Aardman Animations, Milimages, Motion Pictures and educational outfit Lingokids, Kids TV joins the platform’s Movies and Rakuten Stories channels with more new content for free.

Commenting on the development, Rakuten TV CEO and founder Jacinto Roca said: “It is a really exciting time for us to be able to offer our audiences an increased range of free content. As viewers´ interests and viewing habits change, so does our strategy to keep up with our commitment to provide them with a variety of compelling and entertaining titles through our acquisitions and original programming on these dedicated channels”.

Rakuten TV notes that the addition of the new channel marks its continued expansion of its business model to provide a range of quality content through free and ad-supported options.

Rakuten TV is the first VOD platform to combine TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) and AVOD products across Europe.

Rakuten TV debuts AVOD channel

By Chris Dziadul

Rakuten TV has announced the launch of new dedicated AVOD channel.

Produced in partnership with the animation studio Aardman Animations, Milimages, Motion Pictures and educational outfit Lingokids, Kids TV joins the platform’s Movies and Rakuten Stories channels with more new content for free.

Commenting on the development, Rakuten TV CEO and founder Jacinto Roca said: “It is a really exciting time for us to be able to offer our audiences an increased range of free content. As viewers´ interests and viewing habits change, so does our strategy to keep up with our commitment to provide them with a variety of compelling and entertaining titles through our acquisitions and original programming on these dedicated channels”.

Rakuten TV notes that the addition of the new channel marks its continued expansion of its business model to provide a range of quality content through free and ad-supported options.

Rakuten TV is the first VOD platform to combine TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) and AVOD products across Europe.

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