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15-10-2010, 21:05
Polecam’s work and the subsequent stereo 3D workflow deployed during Sky 3D’s Ryder Cup coverage a couple of weeks ago.

“The 2010 Ryder Cup held at Celtic Manor was covered by BSkyB in 3D using 21 stereoscopic camera rigs,” commented Robin Broomfield, 3D Development Manager, BSkyB. “One of these rigs was a 3D Polecam supplied by Chris Taber of Pedestal TV. The Polecam was located on the first tee and gave spectacular 3D shots of the crowd in the stands and the players teeing off. This was the first time a 3D Polecam has been used by BSkyB on one of the 3D sport events but has given a new dimension to the otherwise low angles that look so good in 3D.”

“Two Toshiba IK-HD1 cameras were attached to the new Polecam 3D mounting plate,” added Chris Taber. “This allowed easy adjustments of convergence and roll to be made at the head while final adjustments were handled in a Telegenic truck via a Sony 3D convergence unit. Left and right HD-SDI signals were converted to fibre for a run of nearly 2 kilometres back to the outside broadcast compound. Data from and to the Polecam remote control panel was also sent via fibre and allowed the engineers full control of the cameras: a vital requirement for 3D.

“The quality of the two Toshibas allowed the pictures to cut in seamlessly with the main cameras, thrilling producers and audiences alike. The simplicity of the 3D set-up allows the Polecam to retain all the benefits it offers 2D users. The only crane currently available to carry a full 3D rig is costly and requires several people to operate. Polecam stays head and shoulders above the rest as a single-operator system that can offer shots other cameras can’t get.

“In short: wet, windy and enormous fun!”

“Sky 3D went live on October 1 after six months of test transmissions,” adds Polecam founder and Managing Director Steffan Hewitt. “We are delighted that Chris Taber’s rig was chosen to play a part on such a historical day and for the duration of the Ryder Cup. We have been developing 3D additions to our product range since mid 2007 following initial overtures from customers. Working with Chris and other 3D specialists such as Keith Harding (TX-2) in Britain, Matthias Gollmer (Polevision) and Mathias Loew (Kamtek) in Germany, and John Gillan in the US, we have refined the system to the point where we can genuinely say Polecam is fully 3D ready.”

15-10-2010, 21:06
Egypt tightens TV broadcast rules before election
October 15th,

Satellite broadcast firms in Egypt said the telecoms regulator has stopped them from offering live feeds to private TV channels, a move that government critics see as a crackdown on independent media before a November election. State media officials said the decision to cancel the feed permits was part of a broader attempt to better regulate independent media and was not a curb on free speech.

Critics said this was bound to hamper reporting in the run-up to the November parliamentary vote and a 2011 presidential election. “Imposing these ‘regulations’ now ahead of parliament and presidential elections strongly indicates the state’s intention to prevent any broadcasting of political dissent or violations against voters,” said Hisham Kassem, an independent publisher.

President Hosni Mubarak, 82, in power for almost three decades, has not said if he will run for a sixth term and no clear candidate has emerged to succeed him.

Channels with cancelled permits must now broadcast directly via studios affiliated with the state-run Media Production City. “I have had to cancel bookings by Al Jazeera for two units for parliamentary election coverage,” said Nader Gohar, owner of satellite feed provider Cairo News Company. “If I go ahead with the booking, I could be jailed. This will definitely shrink the content and coverage of the parliamentary elections.”

Before 2004, Egypt’s TV and press were limited to government-controlled programmes. Since then, privately owned press and media have sprung up, stimulating more criticism of state policy. Osama el-Sheikh, director of Egypt’s state radio and TV union, denied the latest changes would chill reportage. “These are measures to regulate the plethora of companies that set up SNG (satellite news gathering) units to offer live broadcast feeds to channels. Many of these companies have neither permits nor licenses,” Sheikh told Reuters. He said any channel wishing to rent SNG units for live broadcast could do so through state television.

15-10-2010, 21:07
DW-TV ties up with Xinya to create Chinese content
October 15th,

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, has now made its successful lifestyle magazine euromaxx available in Chinese for its viewers in Asia and has been broadcasting this regionalized version on Xinya Azio since August. The Chinese version of euromaxx is the result of a partnership with Singapore-based Xinya and DW-TV. Xinya Azio is a pay-TV channel that is available in 15 Asian countries and plans on reaching approximately 1.2 billion Mandarin-speaking viewers.

“We know that regionalization is key for future developments and our new Chinese version of the hit show euromaxx is proof of our efforts,” says Petra Schneider, Head of Distribution at Deutsche Welle. “Based on this successful project, we will consider producing regionalized versions of other shows like Drive It! – and we have already been contacted by interested production partners in Asia.”

Deutsche Welle and Xinya have already produced 26 episodes of euromaxx in Mandarin which will be aired over the next six months. The Chinese version is hosted by Stephanie Bao. The typical look and feel of the show has remained unchanged. euromaxx can be seen on Xinya every Saturday at 6:30 pm (GMT +8).

15-10-2010, 21:08
Former BBCWS drama boss criticises axing of plays
October 15th,

Former BBC World Service drama head Gordon House has lamented the broadcaster’s decision to axe the 14 plays it broadcasts annually, claiming they provide a global showcase of the UK’s writing and acting talent. The plays form the majority of the station’s regular drama output and Mr House, who worked as the station’s head of drama until 2000, described the World Service’s decision to axe the plays from 2011 as “very sad”. He claimed actors and writers would lose a valuable source of employment as a result.

“I don’t think drama should be exempt from all the financial pressure the BBC is under and I am more sympathetic to the cutbacks they have had to make to Radio 4’s Friday Play. That is very upsetting, but everybody has to take a hit. However, to cut a whole genre is very sad indeed,” he said.

Mr House, now a prolific radio drama producer, said the BBC had a “duty to the artistic community” and added: “My worry is, if you take away the whole of the drama output of the World Service, than that is another area where writers and actors will no longer be able to compete for work.” The World Service has broadcast drama for 75 years, with output formerly including the soap Westway and a weekly drama slot, totalling more than 50 hours a year.

In 2008, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain complained about plans to reduce output to just 14 plays a year, and claimed that a decline in output since 2005 had resulted in a loss of 100 hours of commissions for writers and more than 600 days’ work for actors. In May, The Stage revealed that the future of drama on the World Service was in jeopardy, and staff were informed last month that the network would not be broadcasting its 14 plays a year from April, 2011. It said that the bi-annual International Playwright Competition would continue to run.

A spokesman blamed the “increasingly difficult financial climate at home and abroad”, which had already seen it cut £10.9 million from the £272 million settlement agreed in 2007. “These are tough decisions, taken carefully and with great thought,” he said.

15-10-2010, 21:09
N Korea threatens to attack S Korea propaganda sites
October 15th, 2010

North Korea today again threatened to strike South Korean propaganda sites if Seoul carries out an operation to make anti-Pyongyang broadcasts and send leaflets across their heavily armed border. The threat came after South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young told lawmakers on 5 October that his government was considering a plan to disseminate radios in the North so its residents can receive anti-Pyongyang broadcasts sent from the South.

In a message to its South Korean counterpart, the North Korean military said it will mount “physical strikes” if South Korea begins broadcasts and sends leaflets critical of Pyongyang, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. “We do not want tension to intensify, nor will we ever condone any minor provocation or act of war that threatens peace,” the KCNA quoted the unnamed head of the North’s general-level military delegation as saying in the message. “If the South does not stop anti-Pyongyang psychological broadcasts and the dissemination of leaflets, it will be met with our military’s strikes on those sites,” it quoted him as saying.

During its first military talks in two years with South Korea on 30 September, the North made a similar threat.

15-10-2010, 21:12
Dutch public broadcasting relatively inexpensive
October 15th,

Public broadcasting in the Netherlands costs a little over 50 euros per year for each citizen, based on the current budget for the next five years. Thus public radio and television in the Netherlands is relatively inexpensive compared to other European countries. Swiss public broadcasting, at almost 140 euros per person per year, is the most expensive in Europe. The Spanish pay the least per person - less than 28 euros annually.

The total cost of Dutch public broadcasting to the taxpayer is 798 million euros. The broadcasters contribute an additional 40 million from advertising income, so the budget in 2011 is 838 million euros. For radio 90 million euros have been allocated. Internet gets 25 million, the digital theme channels 17 million, and the organization of Dutch Public Broadcasting (NPO) 132 million. The bulk of the budget, 525 million euros, goes to television.

The public broadcasters expect cuts, but details are not yet included in the budget of the new government that took office yesterday. The new government wants to save a total of 200 million euros on public broadcasting by 2015.

Comparative annual cost of public broadcasting per inhabitant for 15 European countries:

1.Switzerland €139.62
2.Austria €121.68
3.Ireland €104.93
4.Germany €98.96
5.Norway €92.45
6.Denmark €88.86
7.United Kingdom €77.04
8.Finland €75.71
9.Belgium €71.18
10.Sweden €64.54
11.France €52.30
12.Italy €50.80
13.The Netherlands €50.43
14.Portugal €32.13
15.Spain €27.92

15-10-2010, 21:13
Telekom Srbija has placed a second order with Swedish firm Tilgin for its national Fibre-to-the-x (FTTx) roll-out of remotely-managed IP services across Serbia.

The new win is based on a strategic order announced in 2009, and involves the provision by Tilgin of 2,600 customer HG1300 Home Gateway units, as well as Tilgin's HGA software, an extended remote management software licence, and full support. The order was placed via Tilgin's partner and systems integrator Saga Beograd.

“Telekom Srbija's system has delivered state of the art triple-play solutions, being the first FTTB/FTTH deployment in Serbia,” said Radmilo Djordjevic, Deputy Executive Director at Saga. “Tilgin is in a good position in the Eastern European countries. Through a series of important wins they have generated visibility for their solutions and their expertise."

Tilgin has separately confirmed that it has also won an initial order from a "large" systems integrator in South Eastern Europe, destined for a new customer to Tilgin, which is described as a leading operator in the region, and which plans to deploy a national fibre access network of remotely managed IP-based services. The initial order is believed to be worth approximately SEK 3mn (US$ 457,000).

15-10-2010, 21:15
Net users irked by inconsistent speeds
Friday, October 15 2010,

Nearly a third of British consumers are frustrated by inconsistent broadband speeds, while the majority want ISPs to be more upfront about their usage policies.

According to YouGov research of 5,200 UK consumers commissioned by Sky Broadband, almost 90% of UK broadband consumers use the internet at home every day, spending an average of two hours and 17 minutes online.

Once online, 97% of users access email at least once a week, 75% browse news websites, 66% use internet banking, 61% visit social networking sites and 42% watch short video clips. More than a third of users (37%) shop online, while 29% watch catch-up TV, 25% download music and 21% play games online.

The biggest irritation flagged up by respondents was the consistency of speeds, with 30% of consumers expressing frustration at their net connections slowing at peak times.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers wanted packages advertised by ISPs as being 'unlimited' to truly deliver broadband without any usage caps.

Almost half of the consumers surveyed also had no idea about how traffic shaping practices used by ISPs on their networks can affect the speeds they receive.

Some 35% of respondents wrongly thought that an 'unlimited' claim in broadband advertising meant no speed or usage penalties would be in place, while 64% felt that 'unlimited' should mean that they can download or upload as much as they want with no constraints or penalties.

The research also revealed that only 6% of those surveyed cited speed as an important factor when choosing a broadband service. Most important was value for money, selected by 39% of respondents, while 31% wanted broadband as part of a service bundle with television and home phone.

Once connected, reliability and quality of connection was the single most important factor in driving customers' satisfaction (36%), followed by value for money (19%), consistency of speed (9%), and unlimited downloads (9%).

"What this research has done is to cut through the noise around broadband speeds and listen to what the majority of broadband users say about what matters to them," said Delia Bushell, Sky's director of broadband and telephony.

"Consumers obviously want a connection that is fast enough to allow them to do what they want online. But our research shows that value for money, reliability and consistency of speed are the most important considerations when people are weighing up their options.

"It's clear that consumers also want broadband providers to be more up front about issues such as traffic management and usage caps, both of which are clearly affecting the online experience of many. In short, people want broadband that works, transparency over what they are getting, and a price that suits their pocket."

Last month, Sky's rival Virgin Media pledged to publish its typical broadband speeds every month as part of efforts to be more transparent with consumers.

15-10-2010, 21:16
TVonics launches its first Freeview HD recorder,
15 October 2010

TVonics, the British Digital TV switchover has announced the arrival of their 500GB Freeview HD recorder.

With the looks to grace the most stylish of living areas, the DTR-HD500 comes with the latest Freeview features including trailer recording, which allows consumers to record programmes as soon as the trailer appears. You also get recommendation technology that allows broadcasters to recommend programmes based on recorded content.

An HDMI switch allows consumers to connect two HDMI devices to the TV with just theone lead meaning fewer cables. Consumers are able to switch between devices such as games consoles or Blu-Ray players. The DTR HD500 will also upscale any programme shot in Standard Definition (SD) to 1080p HD quality. Two USB ports allow users to update the unit’s software as it becomes available. In addition, users can connect supporting USB devices such as digital cameras for the display of holiday snaps on a big screen.

The new HD Freeview Box from TVonics will become available with Dolby Surround Sound from mid-October. Consumers that purchase the product prior to that time are referred to the website (by a sticker on packaging) where they can register for a free upgrade on 20th October. All the information you need is at.

The TVonics DTR-HD500 Freeview HD recorder is expected to retail from £279.99 and will be available from the TVonics online web store http://www.tvonics.com/dtr-hd500.html (http://www.sat-universe.com/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tvonics.com%2F dtr-hd500.html) as well as several highstreet stores including John Lewis, Comet, Sainsbury’s, Tesco direct (online), Leekes, Audio T and Eurosat.

Technical features include;

• Trailer bookings - record a programme during its trailer.
• Recommendation - recommends programmes associated with pre-set recordings.
• A twin tuner to record two channels at the same time as watching a third.
• Twin input HDMI ports - to plug in supporting HDMI devices.
• Two USB ports - to plug in supporting USB devices.
• 1080p viewing quality
• Massive 500GB hard drive
• Accurate recording – automatically adjusts the recording time if a programme runs over.
• Series record - record an entire series in one touch.
• Parental control features – sort and hide channels and recordings

15-10-2010, 21:17
L’Espresso in Italian DTT frequency talks
Fri 15 Oct 10

Italian media company Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso is reportedly talking to Sky Italia and others that would like to lease some its DTT frequency. There are 10 national DTT multiplexes in Italy.

Rai, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media each own two and D-Free (HCS) and L’Espresso operate the others. L’Espresso is talking to several companies about DTT capacity, according to Reuters. It already leases capacity to Sky Italia for the Cielo channel.

15-10-2010, 21:18
Motive starts trading on AIM
15 Oct 10

TV technology company Motive Television has started trading on AIM in the UK.
The company has raised £4.75m (€5.4m) and, separately, completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in Adecq Digital, which develops digital technology for DTT broadcasters.

15-10-2010, 21:20
Jetix Ukraine becomes Disney Channel
15th Oct 10

Disney plans to complete the rebranding of its Jetix channel in Ukraine to Disney Channel and to version it for the Ukrainian market by the end of this year, according to local reports.
Disney, having started to introduce Disney Channel shows to Jetix, will officially relaunch it as Disney Channel this weekend.

15-10-2010, 21:21
Blinkx issues new shares
15 Oct 10

UK-listed online video technology company Blinkx is issuing new shares equivalent to 7.5% of the company’s value.
Blinkx is placing up to 23.2 million new ordinary shares. Bookbuilding is managed by Citigroup Global Markets. Details of pricing will be announced after the closing of the bookbuilding process.
Blinkx said it was issuing the new shares to improve its balance sheet and provide additional funding to support its growth strategy.

15-10-2010, 21:22
Platforma HD aims to increase HD subscribers by a third
15 Oct 10

Russian pay-TV provider Platforma HD plans to increase its number of HD subscribers by 30% by the end of this year, according to local reports.

Platforma is currently working on joint promotions of its HD service with the Eldorado retail chain. Platforma currently estimates that it has about 35,000 HD subscribers out of a total 100,000 Russian HD homes.

15-10-2010, 21:23
Bell tolls for Teachers TV

The UK Department for Education has pulled the plug on Teachers TV. Ten Alps, which co-owns the site with ITN, told the London stock exchange that the government is cancelling the £10m (E11.5m) annual contract from April 2011 as part of the cuts.

Ten Alps CEO Alex Connock, said: “The news came out of the blue, the company had no inkling of the government’s thinking, and was only informed by letter last night.” The contract was due to run until 2013, but the government has invoked a six-month break clause.

Connock said he hoped the website would survive. The service, which began as a digital TV channel with a budget in excess of £20m, moved to broadband last September, and currently has 400,000 registered users. Connock said the site had great potential as a subscription business and could also be adapted for international students and university-level training. It already carries some advertising, but sponsorship had been ruled out under the current contract.

Ten Alps has a 75% share in the company, with ITN holding 25%.

15-10-2010, 21:24
Sky viewers to enjoy The Horticultural Channel from March 2011
Friday, October 15th 2010

Sky viewers to enjoy The Horticultural Channel from March 2011
The Horticultural Channel will be broadcast on Information TV from next March.
Sky's digital TV subscribers can look forward to tuning into a new gardening-based micro-channel, which is due to launch next year.

The Horticultural Channel will broadcast on the Information TV channel, which can be found at position 166 in the Sky TV planner and 402 on Freesat, when it hits screens for the first time on March 6th 2011, reports Digital Spy.

It will be available to watch from 09:00 on Sunday mornings, with all shows then repeated on Information TV the following Friday.

Sean James Cameron, managing director of Interfusion Films - which has already started producing content for the station - claimed there is demand for a channel that focuses on allotment gardening and people growing their own food.

"There has been a vast gap in the UK gardening television schedules for such a programme, which mainstream broadcasters have ignored," Mr Cameron remarked.

Earlier this month, The Horticultural Channel put out an appeal to gardeners to send in video tips for growing their own produce.

These clips may be included in some of its programmes.

15-10-2010, 21:25
Virgin Media subscribers can watch cricket on Eurosport
Friday, October 15th 2010

Virgin Media subscribers can watch cricket on Eurosport
Coverage of the Pakistan v South Africa cricket series will be broadcast on British Eurosport 2.
Sky and Virgin Media subscribers have the chance to watch more live cricket thanks to Eurosport Television.

The broadcaster has announced it will screen live coverage of the November 2010 Test match series between Pakistan and South Africa on British Eurosport 2, which is available on Sky channel 412 and Virgin Media channel 525.

Furthermore, it will show three of the five One Day International (ODI) games between the two nations live, plus highlights of the other two fixtures.

Two Twenty20 encounters between the two teams will also be broadcast as they happen on October 26th and 27th.

Director of British Eurosport David Kerr commented: "We are delighted to be broadcasting this Test series between Pakistan and South Africa.

"We know there is a dedicated and enthusiastic audience for quality international cricket on the channel."

It will be the first time that digital TV customers will have the chance to see Pakistan in action following their ODI series against England, which they lost 3-2.

15-10-2010, 21:29
Library: Research: Euro cable subs decline

European households connected to cable TV fell from 34 per cent to 30 per cent between 2008 and 2009, giving a loss of around 8 million TV households, according to research by Strategy Analytics.

These losses are believed to have been to the benefit of DTT, as the share of European households using DTT services rose from 12 per cent to 23 per cent by the same comparison, while the proportion of those using analogue terrestrial services fell from 41 per cent to 34 per cent. Satellite TV also increased its market share from 22 per cent to 24 per cent, while IPTV increased from 2 per cent to 4 per cent, according to the study’s findings.

Cable’s decline in the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) is described as being little short of “dramatic”: having hovered near the 90 per cent+ mark for a long time, household penetration of cable TV services has now fallen to 69 per cent in Belgium and 75 per cent in the Netherlands, according to the study, as DTT usage has increased to take up the slack, reaching 21 per cent in the Netherlands by the end of 2009.

Strategy Analytics reports this is not quite the same trend as seen in North America, where the major threat to pay-TV services is seen in OTT TV: instead, the threat to pay-TV services in Europe is seen to be DTT services, which are for the most part free.

15-10-2010, 21:30
Cohen BBC1 controller
Danny Cohen has been appointed as controller of BBC1.

Cohen has been in charge of BBC3 since May 2007, and will now be in charge of the country’s most popular TV channel with a budget of £1.13 billion (E1.288bn). He takes over the role immediately and also joins the BBC Vision board.

Prior to joining BBC3, Cohen was head of E4 and head of Channel 4 factual entertainment and was responsible for commissioning programming including Skins, the Inbetweeners and Fonejacker

15-10-2010, 21:31
Sheikh’s cultural bouquet

Sheikh Fahad Alsalem Al Ali Alsabah, the chairman of the media city in Kuwait and nephew of the Emir of Kuwait, is planning to launch a multilingual bouquet of television channels with a very ambitious aim. He wants to promote dialogue, improve the image of the Arab world and also to fight against fanaticism in all forms. If the timetable is adhered to, it could begin broadcasting in the autumn of 2011.

According to the Sheikh, the project has “completed its first phase” which consists of setting up a headquarters in Kuwait. It has now started on the second phase, an international tour to drum up support, beginning with a press conference in Paris. He did not disclose the exact amount that has already been invested in the project, other than to say “millions”, most of it from his own personal funds (he is its main shareholder) plus “other investors”. Asked about which operators would carry the bouquet, he said that “we are talking to everybody”.

He was also vague about the content of the bouquet, but did say it would not be oriented towards news, but to cultural exchanges. The Sheikh will spend two weeks in Paris, talking to political and industrial leaders. He will then return to Kuwait before continuing on his international tour.

15-10-2010, 21:33
Spain faces second DSO soon

Six months after completing the digital migration, Spain is to face a new switch-off process as all DTT (National, Regional and Local) operators will have to change their frequencies long before 2015 following the allocation of the so-called digital dividend.

The Government hopes to approve the new migration plan in the first half of 2011 with the allocation of the 800 Mhz band (channels 61 to 69) to telco operators for broadband and mobile services. That band is being currently used by TV broadcasters, so they will have to move to another band of the spectrum. Even though the deadline for this is 2015, as was imposed by the EU, the Spanish Government plans to bring it forward.

TV broadcasters will have to simulcast during a transition period and in the end each national private TV channel (Telecinco, Antena 3, Cuatro, La Sexta, Veo TV and Net TV) will operate a multiplex with a capacity of up to 4 channels, with public TV group RTVE operating two multiplexes.

Broadcasters are refusing to finance the DTT upheaval and fiercely criticised the move accusing the Government of improvisation. The Government has agreed to pay the bill for the DTT upheaval which will also have a big impact on consumers who will have to retune their DTT devices and in many cases adapt the aerials at an estimated price of E125 and E650.

15-10-2010, 21:33
Online video to replace TV in Canada?

The first-ever study on Canadians’ viewing habits of online video conducted by Ipsos Reid and M Consulting finds 80 per cent of all Canadians indicate watching some video content online. Among those that have watched video online 41 per cent watch more online video content than they did last year. A growing audience means a bigger business opportunity for brand marketers and the Canadian film community to produce original online video content.

“A loyalty of sorts is being developed for online video,” says Bill Mohri, president of M Consulting who commissioned the study, which will be unveiled in full at the MergeMedia: Online Branded entertainment conference on October 22. “There is the potential that a critical mass of Canadians could be watching more online video than TV much sooner than experts predicted.”

The study found that people who view online video at least once per day are more receptive to branded entertainment, with 18 per cent indicating positive purchase intent for brands that have developed entertaining content online.

“It’s clear that brands have an impact with more frequent viewers of online video. It’s a more engaging, interactive medium,” says Bill Mohri. “Brand marketers and content producers need to pay attention to this growth area because it’s much less expensive than TV advertising and has real potential to reach consumers more effectively than TV.”

15-10-2010, 21:34
Motive Television debuts on AIM

The newly enlarged Motive Television has commenced trading on AIM after its reverse takeover of AdecqDigital and a £4.75 million (E5.45m) fundraising.

With the acquisition, the company is targeting an emerging technology market with a new product range. Motive aims to benefit from changing trends with a move from linear traditional real-time viewing to ‘non-linear’ TV – where viewers watch programmes at their own discretion, via web-based catch-up / on-demand TV and PVRs like Sky+ and Tivo.

“We believe that Motive Television now has a solid foundation from which to grow,” chairman Michael Pilsworth said. “The support that Motive has received has been encouraging and we are now well placed to take advantage of a market that is growing rapidly.”

15-10-2010, 21:35
Millions 'could lose Fox access'
Friday, October 15

US TV Broadcasting Millions of viewers across the US could lose access to the Fox network next month if the broadcaster fails to reach a carriage agreement with satellite provider Dish Network.

Dish customers have been without FX, National Geographic Channel and multiple Fox Sports channels since September 30, after both sides were unable to strike a new deal.

Dish claims that Fox has "blocked" the channels, while Fox insists that Dish has "dropped" them from its lineup.

The ongoing dispute has intensified in recent days, with Dish launching a series of websites criticising Fox for asking for what it claims is a 50% hike in channel fees.

Fox, meanwhile, has hit back with its own website, GetWhatIPaidFor.com, which urges Dish customers to find a new TV provider. The site also suggests that the Fox network will be pulled from Dish on November 1.

15-10-2010, 21:36
RTVC launched its Digital TV web microsite

Radio y TV Nacional de Colombia (RTVC) launched a microsite with information about DTT. The objective was to develop a space "exclusively about digital TV in Colombia and the world", as Ana León, RTVC web general producer told NexTV Latam. The initiative relies on the technical area of such entity's and the National TV Commission's support. At present, in such country, only the 50% of the capital city of Bogotá has digital TV coverage. According to Ana León, in 2011, 42 broadcasting stations will be set up.

"RTVC had always had DTT information, but it was too little and it was found in its main site", León explained. The microsite offers information about changes that will take place with the arrival of DTT, the selected standard (DVB-T), differences with analog TV, the possibility to interact and necessary STBs for channel reception, among others. According to the site, DTT STBs will start to be sold "once operators have the suitable coverage and the demand for such devices is strengthened".

Moreover, users can have access to a virtual map to see the advances in such country's coverage. Additionally, the so-called "DTT wiki" tool is available for further information. Users can enter the portal through RTVC's web page (www.rtvc.org.co (http://www.sat-universe.com/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rtvc.org.co)).

In Colombia, DTT project will be developed in three stages, one per year. According to León, as from 2011, the first stage foresees the installation of 42 broadcasting stations that will cover the 85% of the country. Likewise, the Government will start its bid in search for a provider for its DTH, which will complement coverage. RTVC's main function is to program, produce and broadcast public national TV channels: Señal Colombia, Canal Institucional and Canal 1 (only broadcasting), in addition to public national radio broadcasting stations (Radio Nacional de Colombia and Radiónica).

15-10-2010, 21:37
Chilean channels would invest USD 350 millions in DTT

According to the Chilean Sub Secretary of Telecommunications, Jorge Atton, channels that belong to the National Television Association will need to invest about USD 350 millions in order to implement DTT in such country. The executive pointed out that it was a preliminary figure that will be assigned mainly to the construction of the necessary digital TV broadcasting networks.

The Government has recently decreed the extension of authorizations granted to channels for DTT experimental broadcastings, which were to expire this month. Now, the Sub Secretary of Telecommunications "is assigning frequencies with the definite channel numbers, either demonstrative authorizations or others, as defined by the norm", stated Atton in statements released by La Tercera newspaper.

Therefore, channels will be able to start their investment deployment, "because they will be assigned a definite number and they will know what equipment and what type of transmitters they need to buy", Atton explained. On the other hand, the officer pointed out that digital TV bill is moving forward in Congress. According to him, this month, the Government is planning to place this initiative in the front burner. Finally, he highlighted that, with start of the transition process, the whole country is likely to rely on digital TV within eight years.

15-10-2010, 21:38
NBCU Profits Down 15 Percent
Published: October 15, 2010

NEW YORK: Third quarter profits at NBC Universal fell 15 percent to $625 million, on revenues that were stable at $4.07 billion.

Announcing the results, GE noted, however, that revenue and operating profit were favorable compared to the year-ago period after adjusting for one-time occurrences in 2009, notably an impairment charge and a $283 million gain from the AETN and Lifetime merger. The company reported a 22-percent profit gain at its cable networks, while revenues and profit fell at the flagship NBC broadcast network.

Comcast Corporation is in the midst of securing regulatory approval to take majority control of NBCU, with that transaction likely to close by year-end. Steve Burke, Comcast's COO, is due to take the reins at NBCU following the exit of Jeff Zucker.

15-10-2010, 21:39
Deadline Nears in Cablevision/Fox Dispute
Published: October 15, 2010

BETHPAGE: Subscribers to cable platform Cablevision could lose access to the FOX network, as well as several News Corporation cable networks, as of midnight tonight, if the two companies are unable to come to terms on a new agreement.

Cablevision Systems Corporation said late yesterday that, in response to pleas from lawmakers, it has agreed to binding arbitration with News Corp. to keep the Fox 5 and My9 stations on the air. "We will work around the clock to reach a new agreement and have appealed to News Corp. not to pull the plug on Fox 5 and My9," said Charles Schueler, Cablevision's executive VP of communications. "Cablevision would never take these broadcast stations away from our customers. While we would rather come to terms directly with News Corp., binding arbitration may be the best and fairest way to resolve this matter. Therefore, Cablevision will accept the bipartisan calls from Reps. Steve Israel and Peter King for binding arbitration under the direction of a neutral third party."

Fox has rejected the calls for arbitration, saying it would “reward Cablevision for refusing to negotiate fairly,” and would “ensure that more unnecessary disputes arise in the future.” According to Cablevision, News Corporation is seeking more than $150 million a year in the new deal, up form the $70 million currently being paid to the company.

In addition to the Fox 5 and My9 stations, the deal covers Fox Deportes, Nat Geo Wild and Fox Business.

15-10-2010, 21:40
Corporation for Public Broadcasting & PBS Receive Grant Money
Published: October 15, 2010

WASHINGTON: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS have been awarded a Ready to Learn grant of nearly $72 million from the U.S. Department of Education's office of innovation and technology, to fund transmedia content aimed at improving math and literacy skills of children.

The grant provides the organizations with nearly $15 million annual from 2010 to 2015. The money will allow the companies to advance pioneering work in the research, development and deployment of content across multiple platforms that will be aimed at children 2 to 8, with a focus on those living in poverty. Among the partners CPB and PBS will engage to implement the project are local PBS stations and a wide range of existing and new PBS KIDS producers, including Sesame Workshop, WGBH, Universal, The Jim Henson Company, Kratt Brothers, Portfolio Entertainment and Random House Children's Entertainment. Other partners include the School of Education at Boston University, the Chicago Public Schools' Virtual Pre-K and Virtual K programs, the National Summer Learning Association, Creative Commons and the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems.

This is the fourth Ready to Learn grant awarded to CPB and PBS since 1995.

"This grant is a critical investment in America's children," said Patricia Harrison, the president and CEO for CPB. "Public media—both nationally and through our local stations—is uniquely poised to ensure that children, parents, educators and caregivers have access to the most effective, purpose-built media and resources to close the achievement gap in math and reading skills for the highest need young children."

"This generous grant will allow public media to deliver the next generation of educational resources to help kids build the skills they need to succeed in school and in life," added Paula Kerger, PBS's president and CEO. "Research shows that the years before age five are the most critical period in a child's life. This is when children learn how to learn—when their educational, emotional, and social skills begin to take shape. Educational media are an important and effective component in motivating and developing young learners."

15-10-2010, 21:41
Fourth Season for Murdoch Mysteries
Published: October 15, 2010

LONDON: UKTV and ITV Studios Global Entertainment are co-funding a fourth season of Shaftesbury's hit crime drama Murdoch Mysteries, to air on Alibi starting February 2011.

The 13x1-hour new season will premiere exclusively in the U.K. on UKTV's Alibi. ITV Studios Global Entertainment will continue to distribute the show worldwide. The series is produced by Shaftesbury Films for Canada's CityTV.

Shaftesbury Films' chairman and CEO, Christina Jennings, commented, “It’s a pleasure to partner with Alibi on a fourth season of Murdoch Mysteries for U.K. audiences. Alibi has fully championed the series from day one, resulting in a significant following of loyal viewers in the U.K. that continues to grow each year.”

Alibi’s channel head, Steve Hornsey, added: “Murdoch Mysteries uses a smart funding model to deliver a high-quality, original and relevant crime drama to different broadcasters in several regions globally. As a co-producer, Alibi is proud to bring Murdoch Mysteries exclusively to the U.K. It has rapidly become the channel’s biggest series and I’m excited that when it returns for a fourth season in 2011 there will be more challenging plots and even more well-known British talent.”

UKTV’s acquisitions manager, Alexandra Finlay, continued: “UKTV is delighted to be extending its valued collaboration with Shaftesbury Films and ITV on a fourth season of Murdoch Mysteries. With exciting new story lines and guest stars, the new season will further establish Murdoch Mysteries—Alibi's longest running originated show—as one of our core brands.”

15-10-2010, 21:42
Body of Proof Finds U.K. Pay-TV Home
Published: October 15, 2010

LONDON: UKTV's Alibi has picked up the exclusive pay-TV rights to the ABC Studios forensic crime drama Body of Proof, starring Dana Delany.

The 13x1-hour series will be featured as part of Alibi's first quarter schedule for 2011. The show stars Delany (Desperate Housewives) as Dr. Megan Hunt, a neurosurgeon turned medical examiner.

Alibi’s channel head, Steve Hornsey, said: "As TV’s ultimate compendium of crime drama, Alibi aims to select the very best series in the genre from around the globe. Body of Proof is exactly that. A stand out show that promises to be a huge hit in the U.S., Body of Proof means more premium and exclusive content for the channel—and more thrilling and engaging viewing for our audience.”

UKTV’s acquisitions manager, Alexandra Finlay, added: “We are delighted to have secured the U.K. pay-TV premiere rights to Body of Proof for Alibi. As one of the most anticipated new procedurals of this year's screenings, and headlined by the fabulous Dana Delany, the show will be sure to excite Alibi's viewers.”

Catherine Powell, the senior VP and general manager of media distribution at The Walt Disney Company EMEA, commented: “Body of Proof is an exciting show, and we're pleased to be launching it on Alibi. With an appealing and well-known lead in Dana Delany, and its strong writing and production pedigree, it has attracted international interest right from pilot stage.”

15-10-2010, 21:43
President Named for Network18-AETN JV
Published: October 15, 2010

NEW YORK/MUMBAI: Network 18 and A&E Television Networks (AETN) have appointed Ajay Chacko as president of AETN18 Media, the companies' recently announced joint venture.

Chacko will be based in Mumbai and will handle all day-to-day operational, strategic and financial management of the JV and its suite of channels and services. AETN18 plans to launch HISTORY, BIO, Crime & Investigation and other AETN entertainment channels for the Indian market. Chacko has spent the past 7 years at Network18.

B. Saikumar, group COO at Network18, said “The entertainment space in India is ripe for a new phase of growth and I believe that Ajay will play a significant role in making AETN18 a leader of that trend. I am confident of his ability to seed media brands, establish them and create leadership. This, coupled with his intimate understanding of the broadcast space will help AETN18 achieve the objective of creating India’s leading factual entertainment network and in the process, expand the genre.”

“Ajay brings a very successful track record as a leader and a wealth of knowledge about the Indian market to the venture,” added Sean Cohan, the senior VP of AETN International. “With him at the ‘helm’, we are well-positioned to realize our shared vision of strong and vibrant entertainment services in India.”

Chacko commented, “I believe that the Indian factual entertainment opportunity is truly compelling, with the twin forces of evolving viewer tastes and digitization driving demand for such content to an inflection point. At AETN18, our focus will be to unleash the power of globally acclaimed brands such as History, BIO, Crime & Investigation Network with programming that resonates with Indian viewers. I’m looking forward to working with the business and content team in our journey to create India’s leading factual entertainment group.”

15-10-2010, 21:44
Disney Channels Worldwide Ups Key Execs
Published: October 15, 2010

BURBANK: Sean Cocchia and David Cobb have both been promoted at Disney Channels Worldwide.

Cocchia has been named senior VP and general manager of Radio Disney, while Cobb becomes VP of business planning and strategy at Disney Channels Worldwide. Both report to Carolina Lightcap, the president of Disney Channels Worldwide. Cobb will also report to Jewell Engstrom, chief financial officer for Disney ABC Networks Group. Cocchia succeeds Michael Riley, who recently was named president of ABC Family. Cobb succeeds Cocchia.

Lightcap said, “These promotions come at a time of dynamic expansion and innovation for our portfolio, and especially as Radio Disney rises to meet the needs of its growing audience of kids, tweens and families.” She continued, “They also reflect Disney’s commitment to identifying and cultivating leaders within the organization and to consistently providing exciting and challenging career opportunities for our team. Sean brings strategic acumen, extensive knowledge of our business and leadership skills to his new role, and David is a proven strategic thinker whose intrinsic business planning expertise will serve us well as we continue to grow domestically and internationally.”

15-10-2010, 21:45
James Spence Tapped to Oversee Creative at Syfy
Published: October 15, 2010

NEW YORK: Syfy has appointed James Spence as VP and creative director, to oversee creative development on all on- and off-air promotions for the channel.

Spence was most recently a BBC Group creative director at Red Bee Media. He will now be based in Syfy's New York office, reporting to Michael Engleman, the senior VP of marketing and global brand strategy and creative at Syfy. Prior to Red Bee, Spence was a commercials director in Toronto Canada.

Engleman commented: "James' track record of creating buzz-worthy and innovative creative solutions will make him a great addition to a team already committed to making imagination our top priority. The kind of energy and expertise he brings to the table will help us take the brand and business to the next level. I'm excited to see the results."

15-10-2010, 21:46
bebe tv change to duck tv

http://www.sat-universe.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=240696&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1287165608 (http://www.sat-universe.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=240696&d=1287165608)

Bebe tv television channel intended for the youngest viewers prepare to mark the rebranding of the duck tv. The change affects both SD and HD versions station.

For the first time the bebe TV and bebe tv HD under new names Duck TV and Duck TV HD introduces on January 1, 2011. Under the new brand and logo duck tv television brings brand new episodes, better quality content, more entertainment, education and recreation for toddlers and their families.

Logo TV channel as duck slightly. In fact, the only change in the log name, the other remains unchanged. It remains the duck in the logo. Duck in fact has become synonymous with fun, relaxation and education. Probably for these reasons, the duck gets into the station's name.

Channel bebe tv was launched in May 2007. The concept was included in its offer satellite pay television UPC Direct, later appeared in the program other platforms - Digi TV and pay-Skylink offer. Today the station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In October 2008 started a sister channel bebe tv HD broadcasting daily 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. hour, using the same program library. All content is broadcast in native HD format, and provides the ultimate experience of the youngest audience (children aged from three months to three years) and their families.

bebe and bebe tv HD TV runs runs the Bratislava Mega Max Media Ltd. The broadcaster also provides content through video on demand (video on demand) and mobile phones.

Mega Max Media provides its services such as the Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Turkey, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Germany , Austria, Nigeria, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.


15-10-2010, 21:47
Sport 1 Romania returned to Digi TV

Published: October 15, 2010, TODAY!

The Romanian version of the sports channel Sport 1 is again available in the multi-regional satellite pay-TV Digi-TV. The program is again part of Romania's programming.

The Romanian version of the Sports bring a live broadcasts and recordings from boxing, football, futsal, hockey, rugby, tennis and many more.

Sport 1 Romania a week ago left the platform Digi TV. In her position appeared musical entertainment TV channel Mountain.

Technical parameters:

* Intelsat 10-02 (1 ° W), freq 12.531 GHz, pol V, SR 23340, FEC 3 / 4, DVB-S/QPSK, CA Nagra Media Access

15-10-2010, 21:48
9E: Arqiva has launched multiple DVB-S2

Published: October 15, 2010, TODAY!

The satellite Eurobird 9 A (9 ° E) was put into trial operation of new multiplex DVB-S2. Is operated by Arqiva, which included a transponder both SD and HD content.

The frequency 12.245 GHz, pol H appeared a total of four programs. In standard definition (SD) compression format MPEG-2 are transmitted Playhouse Disney's EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) in code Viaccess and three channels, numbered 3630, 3635 and the 3680th

3630: Program MPEG-4/H.264/HD. Viaccess CA

3635: Test in MPEG-4/H.264/HD. Broadcast FTA

3680: Test in MPEG-2/SD. Viaccess CA

Technical parameters:

Eurobird 9A * (9 ° E) freq 12.245 GHz, pol H SR 27500, FEC 3 / 4, DVB-S2/8PSK

16-10-2010, 07:35
Verizon, AT&T Stores To Sell iPads
Deals Could Boost Use Of Mobile Video

Both Verizon and AT&T have announced that they plan to start selling Apple iPads in their stores Oct. 28.

The launch of the tablet device in both companies' stores should boost sales, making iPad apps even more attractive to TV programmers and possibly pre-staging the launch of Apple's iPhone on the Verizon network.

Currently, AT&T is the exclusive carrier for iPhones, but the decision to allow Verizon to sell the iPads could be the beginning of closer business ties between the telco and Apple. Over the last month, unconfirmed reports have suggested that Apple may make a version of its iPhone available on Verizon's wireless network early next year.

Beginning Oct. 28, over 2,000 Verizon Wireless stores will sell the three different models of the iPad bundled together with a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot.

The pocket-sized MiFi 2200 allows customers to create a personal Wi-Fi hot spot using Verizon's 3G network that is capable of connecting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices.

AT&T will also begin selling all three iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models in its 2,200 stores on Oct. 28.

16-10-2010, 07:36
27 Elected Officials Call for Fox/Cablevision Arbitration
Networks Could Go Dark at Midnight

The number of elected officials that have joined the chorus to prevent Fox Networks from pulling its signal from Cablevision Systems at midnight has ballooned to 27, with each one calling for the parties to submit to binding arbitration to settle their dispute.
Cablevision's carriage agreement for Fox television stations WNYW and WWOR in New York, WTXF in Philadelphia and cable networks Fox Deportes, NatGeo Wild and Fox Business Network is set to expire at midnight. Cablevision has called for Fox to submit to binding arbitration in the matter, which would also require that Fox not pull its signal during negotiations. Fox has declined that offer, adding that its needs would be better met through direct business to business negotiation.
The two sides have tossed barbs through dueling newspaper, TV and radio ads over the past several days as the deadline has approached. If an agreement is not reached, Cablevision customers risk losing access to National Football League programming - including the hometown New York Giants, Major League Baseball's National League Championship Series and on Oct. 27, the World Series.
In a press release Friday, Cablevision said the list of local legislators that have joined the call for independent binding arbitration has swelled to include seven members of Congress from New York and New Jersey, eight New York State Senators, three New Jersey state legislators, three Connecticut state representatives and six local New York area legislators including Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone (D-NY), Rockland County Legislator Ed Day (R-NY) and Westchester County Legislator Bill Ryan (D-NY).
"If we can't reach agreement, Cablevision will accept the bipartisan calls of 27 elected officials for binding arbitration to solve this matter without any interruption in programming," Cablevision executive vice president of communications Charles Schueler said in a statement. "We urge the leadership of News Corp. to put viewers first and join us in this fair and impartial process. Cablevision would never take these broadcast stations away from our customers, and we have urged News Corp. not to pull the plug on Fox 5 and My9."

In a statement, Fox said Cablevision should concentrate on negotiating a deal.

"Cablevision needs to stop hiding behind a call for binding arbitration and negotiate in good faith," Fox said in the statement. "We appreciate the requests for Cablevision and Fox to enter binding arbitration and we share the concern for protecting viewers' access to programming. As we previously stated, binding arbitration would, unfortunately, reward Cablevision for refusing to negotiate fairly and will only ensure that more unnecessary disputes arise in the future. Direct business-to-business negotiation is the only way to resolve this issue, while also preserving the long-term stability of the broadcast system. We will continue to negotiate and are committed to putting all our resourceas towards reaching a fair resolution."

For those keeping score, a list of the elected officials follows:
Congressman Peter King (R-NY)
Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY)
Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ)
Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ)

NY State Senator George Maziarz (R-NY)
NY State Senator Jose Peralta (D-NY)
NY State Senator Dean Skelos (R-NY)
NY State Assemblyman Karim Camara (D-NY)
NY State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
NY State Assemblyman Denny Farrell (D-NY)
NY State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-NY)
NY State Assemblyman Mike Spano (D-NY)

NJ State Senator Paul Sarlo (D-NJ)
NJ State Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-NJ)
NJ Speaker of the Assembly Sheila Oliver (D-NJ)

CT State Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-CT)
CT State Rep. Chris Perone (D-CT)
CT State Rep. William Tong (D-CT)

Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone (D-NY)
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day (R-NY)
NYC Councilmember Erik Martin Dilan (D-NY)
NYC Councilmember Dan Garodnick (D-NY)
Westchester County Legislator Bill Ryan (D-NY)
Harrison Town Supervisor Joan Walsh (D-NY)

16-10-2010, 07:37
AT&T: Suggestions Hallmark Was Back On U-Verse Are 'Innaccurate'
Impasse Between Telco, Programmer Continues

There is still no deal between AT&T U-verse and Hallmark Channels.

In response to a post from someone who said there were subscribers to the high-end U450 U-verse tier that could get Hallmark, AT&T had initially responded in a post Thursday that "If someone is seeing it come up, it may be a glitch in the system."

But a spokesperson said Friday: "We looked into it further, and the reports on Facebook were simply inaccurate."

Hallmark and Hallmark Movie Channel have been off the telco's MVPD service since the end of August, following the expiration of their contract.

Hallmark subs could be confusing programs that air on the network with the same shows that also appear elsewhere on U-Verse. AT&T says on its Web page about the carriage dispute that "several of Hallmark's programs are available on other U-verse channels."

A Hallmark spokesperson said that was likely a reference to shows like I Love Lucy, Golden Girls or Who's the Boss, that are not exclusive to the channel. She added that "it does not mean any of our originals or exclusive content."

Am AT&T U-verse spokesperson confirmed that the reference on the site was to off-network sitcoms that also run on other nets.

16-10-2010, 07:38
TV One Orders First Scripted Series
'Love That Girl' To Debut In Early 2011

African American-targeted network TV One has ordered its first scripted series, Love That Girl.

Bent Outta Shape Productions/Hazrah Entertainment will reprise the show, which had a four-episode special run on TV One in January. TV One has ordered a full season of 26 episodes (13 have already been produced). The series, from Bentley Kyle Evans (Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show), is targeted for a first-quarter 2011 debut.

The series stars Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, TV One Access) as a divorcee who returns home to Southern California to make a fresh start at life and a career, but one complicated by the arrival of her stand-up comedian brother (Alphonso McAuley).

Martin Lawrence will serve as executive producer, as well as appear in the series.

16-10-2010, 07:40
TBN Is In The Multiplatform Game
Faith-Based Programmer Uses Tech To Expand Global Reach

Include Trinity Broadcasting Network among the faith-based broadcasters using multiplatform strategies to market their brands.

TBN, a faith and family network, is using new technology to enhance its reach through platforms like TBN 24 Hours a Day which provides TBN content in real time through its Web site.

"Years ago we realized that computer and digital technology would revolutionize the way individuals view their favorite programs, movies, news, and other video content," Chief of Staff Paul Crouch Jr. said.

The network's homepage also features an exclusive video portal through which viewers can watch classic TBN family movies as well as encore presentations of its most popular programming.

"There's even a special downloadable TBN Media Player that allows you to watch all five of our most popular networks 24 hours a day right from your computer desktop," noted Crouch.

This spring, TBN introduced a new app accessible on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that provides users with 24-hour access to all of TBN's networks, including its flagship network, the JCTV youth network, the Arabic language Healing Channel and Nejat TV in Farsi.

"We had such an overwhelming response to this revolutionary viewing option that we quickly followed up by adding live viewing capabilities for smart phones like the Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile," Crouch said. "That means smart phone users can now view all of TBN's networks 24 hours a day, and can even access archives of our most popular programs."

Beyond expanding access to its networks, TBN is also utilizing interactive technology like Skype to enhance its programming. Crouch's son Brandon Crouch is using the program as a major broadcast platform for his show Off the Record, which airs weekly on JCTV. He explained that Skype adds more spontaneity to his broadcasts, allowing him to air segments from international airports, concerts, sports event and even Times Square in New York, as he did this past New Year's eve.

Skype has also allowed Brandon Crouch to feature guests from around the world and conduct on-air video reporting, as he did when reaching out to a friend in Haiti via Skype just hours after last January's earthquake.

As is the case with many other religious networks, Crouch acknowledges that it is necessary for TBN to extend beyond the traditional television platform to reach audiences -- especially younger viewers.

"They want to take an active part, to offer their input," he said. "And with technologies like Skype, along with all the social networking tools available to them, they're becoming a more and more important part of the television experience."

While some faith-based networks have found it necessary to move away from straight-forward religious programming to reach younger audiences, Crouch stresses that TBN's mission as a Christian network must remain a priority as it adapts to new technologies and strategies in a new culture of digital media.

"Our mission today at TBN is the same as it was when my parents started this network with a tiny UHF station nearly 40 years ago," Crouch said. "And that is to change people's lives with the hope of the gospel. At the end of the day, our goal is still to make sure the good news is spread to every corner of the earth. And we are thankful for the level at which we've been able to do that."

16-10-2010, 10:37
Peer TV 'set for £15m AIM flotation'

The popularity of multi-channel television packages targeting foreigners living abroad has prompted the flotation of internet TV set-top box maker Peer TV.

By Amanda Andrews,

Peer TV is next week expected to float on AIM with a valuation of about £15m in what will be an open offer, sources told The Daily Telegraph.

The company, which will see former Pace chief executive Malcolm Miller sit on the board as a non-executive director, provides its set-top box technology to a number of international content aggregators.

Peer TV’s set-top box connects to the internet to stream content directly to a home television set.

One Peer TV customer is Watch India, which provides of a range of online Indian television channels using Peer TV’s set-top box.

A Watch India subscriber would receive 56 linear channels and access to thousands of Bollywood films.

The service also makes websites, such as Facebook and YouTube, available via television sets.

The group currently has deals with Russian, Indian, Persian, Serbian and Spanish content aggregators and its technology is in around 100,000 homes globally. The majority of its customers are Russian, who pay about €20 a month to use its service.

However, Peer hopes that the float will enable the group to increase production. The company is also keen to target the local television market

17-10-2010, 11:25
Updated: Fox Goes Dark On Cablevision Systems
Unable To Reach Deal By Deadline; Parties To Resume Talks

Despite some late inning jockeying by both sides, Fox Networks and Cablevision Systems failed to reach a carriage agreement by the midnight Friday deadline, resulting in three broadcast stations and three cable networks going dark on the MSOs systems in the New York metropolitan area.

Now, the sides are slated to resume negotiatoins on noon on Oct. 16, according to published reports.

At 12:01 a.m. broadcast stations WNYW channel 5 and WWOR Channel 9 in New York went dark before the starts of episodes of The Simpsons and Tyler Perry's House of Payne. WTXF in Philadelphia also went dark for Cablevison customers as did cable networks Fox Deportes, NatGeo Wild and Fox Business Network. On the New York broadcast stations, Cablevision instead aired a lengthy message beginning : "We regret to inform you that News Corp., in an act of corporate greed, has pulled the plug on Fox 5 and My 9..."

The cable channels aired a terser version: "News Corp. has pulled this channel from your lineup along with Fox 5 and MY 9. We are currently in negotiations with News Corp on a new programming agreement and hope to return this channel to your lineup quickly. For more information please tune to Channel 5 or visit cablevison.com/fox. Thank You."

Cablevision executive vice president of communications Charles Schueler urged the programmer to return to the negotiating table.

"News Corp.'s decision to remove Fox programming from three million Cablevision households is a black eye for braodcast television in America," Schueler said in the sattement. "News Corp. has refusedto negotiate in god faith and rejected calls from dozens of political leaders to not pull the plug and and join Cablevision in binding arbitration. we demand that News Corp. put the viewers ahead of its own greed and immediately restore these channels to our customers and agree to binding arbitration to reach a fair agreement. What is News Corp. afraid of?"
This is the third time a channel has gone dark on Cablevision this year during a carriage dispute. Back in January, Scripps Networks' Food Network and HGTV were dark for about three weeks before a deal was reached to restore them. In March, ABC broadcast station in New York went dark for several hours before a last minute deal was reached, about 10 minutes into the Academy Awards broadcast.
Fox has also had its skirmishes with distributors -- it reached a last minute deal with Time Warner Cable in New York in January after months of contentious negotiations and is currently locked in a battle with satellite giant Dish Network over its cable channels FX, NatGeo and 19 regional sports networks.
Cablevision has maintained that it has proposed paying Fox an amount that is equal to or above what it pays other broadcast channels. Instead, the MSO has claimed that Fox is demanding more than $150 million for all 12 of the channels Cablevision carries, more than double the $70 million the distributor is currently paying. Fox has countered that it is only asking for reasonable compensation for its content, adding that Cablevison pays $124 million a year for two sister regional sports networks - MSG and MSG Plus -- now owned by a separate company Madison Square Garden.
In a statement Fox Networks said Cablevision broke off talks at 8 p.m., declaring an impasse and refusing to negotiate further.
"After days of posturing and the appearance of negotiating, they formally stopped even the pretense of negotiating at 8pm - declaring an "impasse" - and made no further efforts toward reaching a new agreement before the expiration," Fox Networks president of affiliate sales Michael Hopkins said in a statement. "We remain willing to negotiate and hope that future talks ultimately will be productive, but as of now Cablevision has declined to counter our most recent proposal. Regrettably, their efforts were focused more on calls for government intervention than constructive negotiations."
Cablevision tried to prevent the programmer from pulling the channels Friday, calling for Fox to agree to binding arbitration to settle their dispute while still allowing the MSO to carry the networks. More than two dozen legislators supported the move and the Federal Communications Commission even offered to help mediate a solution, to no avail. Fox has said that it believes arbitration would only reward Cablevision for failing to negotiate in good faith. The programmer has stressed that only direct business-to-business negotiations can resolve the dispute.
How long the channels will remain dark to Cablevision customers remains to be seen. Fox is believed to have the most leverage in the negotiations, mainly because of a wealth of upcoming sports programing. The broadcast network carries National Football League games - including the hometiowm New York Giants, as well as Major League Baseball's National League Championship Series and ifthe dispute lasts further into the month, the World Series that begins on Oct. 27.

17-10-2010, 11:26
Animal Planet to air Michael Jackson and Bubbles on 31 October

NEW DELHI: The dancing machine Michael Jackson shared a very special relationship with his once-confidante Bubbles – which became the world's most famous chimpanzee after accompanying Jackson on his meteoric rise to the top but subsequently disappeared from the public eye in the mid 90s.

Animal Planet will air a special programme on the close relationship between the two in Michael Jackson And Bubbles - The Untold Story chronicling the unseen footage and untold stories, revealed through those who witnessed their friendship throughout the years.

Michael Jackson And Bubbles - The Untold Story premieres on 31 October at 9 pm on Animal Planet. The programme repeats on 1 November at 4 pm.

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific senior vice president & general manager India Rahul Johri said, “Animal Planet connects viewers to the natural world through captivating characters and stories that inform, entertain and celebrate the wildlife on our planet. Offering intrigue relationships, unscripted drama, pet entertainment, and gripping encounters, Animal Planet is dedicated to mankind’s eternal
fascination with the creatures that share our world.”

When millions of mourners flocked to Jackson's memorial service in July 2009, the world reflected on all the eccentricities of a creative genius. Jackson was one of the greatest entertainers in the world and the biggest global artist of all time. Adoring fans worshipped him, but Jackson was desperately isolated and lonely. He craved love and
affection, but found solace with an unlikely and trusted companion – a chimpanzee named Bubbles.

Bubbles wore designer clothes, flew first class and made appearances on TV talk shows. The chimp rocked the world's media and even learned how to moon walk. He joined Michael on his 1987 ‘Bad’ tour of Japan and on other trips around the world. Bubbles became the world's most famous pet, and for six years they were inseparable, both in public and in private. Their lives seemed to mirror each other: Michael
Jackson the man who never had a childhood and Bubbles, the chimp who grew up almost human. With all the discussion surrounding the shocking death of Michael Jackson, people wondered whatever happened to his beloved chimpanzee, Bubbles. For 20 years Bubbles fate remained a mystery until now.

This revealing story talks to those who witnessed the relationship first hand, including Michael Jackson's sister La Toya Jackson, and explores the complex psychology behind Michael Jackson's devotion to his chimp and other animals. It also highlights the path Bubbles' life took once he hit adolescence and when the celebrity could no longer care for him, to where he is now more than 20 years later.

17-10-2010, 11:27
Cartoon Network bags global rights to 'How to Train Your Dragon' TV show

MUMBAI: Cartoon Network has announced that DreamWorks Animation's ‘How to Train Your Dragon TV’ show will be coming to the network globally from 2012.

The film on which the show is based grossed $493.2 million at the worldwide box office and has been released on DVD and Blu-ray on 15 October.

Turner's Animation, Young Adults and Kids Business president, COO Stuart Snyder says, "Great characters and captivating story telling along with state of the art animation is what we love giving our audience. The How to Train Your Dragon weekly series definitely falls into that category of giving our viewers around the globe something they can't find anywhere else on television and DreamWorks Animation is a proven leader in taking this art form to the next level.”

DreamWorks Animation COO Ann Daly adds, "How to Train Your Dragon has already captured the hearts and minds of audiences around the world and we are thrilled to join together with Cartoon Network to expand on this amazing movie in a television series of its own. It is incredibly exciting to be able to bring viewers deeper into the world of dragons and tell new stories each week inspired by our characters from the film."

The show deals with Hiccup who is a young Viking who defies tradition when he befriends one of his deadliest foes — a ferocious dragon he calls Toothless. Together, the unlikely heroes must fight against all odds to save both of their worlds.

In the 'How to Train Your Dragon' television series on Cartoon
Network, the characters and worlds originally created for the big screen will be explored and further developed in a number of ways that will be revealed over time. TV audiences will be taken on original, new adventures with Hiccup and Toothless every week.

17-10-2010, 11:28
Austriasat: new satellite platform for Austria

Luxembourg-based international DTH operator M7 Group SA will launch a new satellite platform for Austria in conjunction with ORS, the facilities company of Austrian public broadcaster ORF, on October 14.

The new platform will initially offer 14 channels from Sony, ProSiebenSat.1, RTL and MTV, but at least four additional channels are expected before year’s end. Subscription will cost €9.90 monthly, or €7.90 when viewers sign a 12-month contract. The new platform will be available on the Astra position at 19.2 degrees East. The plan is to also launch a dedicated HD bouquet during 2011.

Austriasat’s complete line-up will consist of AXN, Animax, kabelone classics, Sat.1 Comedy, RTL Living, MTV Music, MTV Rocks, MTV Dance, MTV Hits, VH-1, KidsCo, Hustler TV, Marcel Dorcel TV and Alpenglühen (“so sexy ist die Heimat”). People with the Austriasat smart card will automatically have access to the Austrian free-to-view bouquet of ORF, ORF2, ATV, Puls TV and Austria 9 TV.

During 2011, Austriasat will launch an HD bouquet. “We want to be the largest HDTV provider by the middle of next year,” said Olaf Castritius, MD, M7, in a statement. “HDTV should be available to our customers ‘cheap and easy’, according to the price and sales philosophy of our company.” The platform’s goal is to reach 100,000 subscribers by December, 2013.

The M7 Group is active with DTH platforms in The Netherlands (CanalDigitaal Satelliet), Belgium (TV Vlaanderen and TéléSat) and Luxemborug (TéléSat). ORS already operates the satellite services for ORF and is responsible for the smart card handling of their smart cards.

18-10-2010, 09:51
ZNBC to use satellite for nationwide distribution

Zambian Information Minister, Ronnie Shikapwasha has said that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation -ZNBC- will soon place all its channels on satellite, for effective transmission countrywide.

Lieutenant General Shikapwasha told Parliament that government has allocated fifteen Billion Kwacha in next year’ s national budget to enable the corporation to secure satellite space for five years. He said the corporation will further buy 48 FM transmitters which will be installed in rural areas in 2011.

Lieutenant General Shikapwasha added that the development has been necessitated following the breakdown of ZNBC Radio One and Two shortwave signals in February 2010.

18-10-2010, 09:52
Eelco Blok to become new KPN CEO

October 18,

Dutch telecom operator KPN has announced its intention to appoint Eelco Blok as the next Chairman of its Board of Management. The appointment will come into effect as of KPN’s Annual General Meeting on April 6, 2011, when current CEO Ad Scheepbouwer will step down from his position.
The announcement follows months of speculation over Scheepbouwer’s succession. Among the people named was Telenet CEO Duco Sickinghe, who denied he was considering moving to KPN.

Blok is a long-term KPN employee and has held numerous management positions since he first joined the Board of Management in 2004. He has since been instrumental in the progressive and successful development of the company in recent years. Blok has played a key leadership role not only in delivering a significant improvement in the performance of KPN’s Dutch telco organisation, but also more recently in the further profitable development and effective execution of the company’s ‘Challenger’ strategy in Belgium and Germany.

Scheepbouwer paid tribute to his successor: “I have worked at close quarters with Eelco Blok for a number of years. His understanding of this industry and of this Company, its operations, strategy and its potential, both in the Netherlands and internationally, is unparalleled. I look forward to KPN’s continued success under his leadership.”

In the meantime the Supervisory Board intends to appoint Blok to the position of COO, in which role he will work closely with Scheepbouwer until the April 2011 handover in order to ensure an orderly transition.

The terms and conditions of Blok’s contract comply with the Dutch Corporate Governance Code and with KPN’s remuneration policy. He will receive an annual fixed compensation of €800,000, in addition to which he will be entitled to a performance related variable short-term incentive (cash) with an ‘on target’ percentage of 90% of base salary and a long-term incentive (conditional shares) with an ‘on target’ percentage of 135%.

18-10-2010, 09:53
Hungary targets telcos with new tax
October 18, 2010

Hungary is set to introduce three ‘crisis’ taxes, one of which will be targeted at telcos, in order to ensure it meets a deficit target of 3.8% of its GDP.
According to BBJ, the telco tax is likely to generate HUF61 billion (€221.3 million) for the budget a year in the period 2010-12.

The move is likely to be opposed by the EU, with Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes, saying that such extraordinary taxes can only be used to cover the cost of regulating the industry.

He added that EC had already started proceedings against France and Spain for also imposing taxes on telcos.

Although the new tax in Hungary will impact on the incumbent telco Magyar Telekom, which is a key player in the country’s cable, DTH and IPTV sectors, it is at this stage unclear to what extent it will also affect other areas in the TV industry

18-10-2010, 09:54
More DTH for Croatia
October 18,

Croatia will shortly see the launch of what will be its third DTH platform.
Mportal reports that the incumbent telco T-THT plans to start what will be a satellite version of its highly successful IPTV operation MAXtv. It will compete with the two DTH platforms – RCS/RDS-owned Digi TV and Mid Europa Partners’ Total TV, with around 50,000 and 6,000 subscribers respectively – already available in the country.

The new T-HT platform is already undertaking trials on Eutelsat Sesat at 16 degrees East, distributing a package of 17 channels encrypted (with the exception of RTL Plus) in Nagravision 3.

18-10-2010, 09:55
ZNBC to use satellite for nationwide distribution

Zambian Information Minister, Ronnie Shikapwasha has said that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation -ZNBC- will soon place all its channels on satellite, for effective transmission countrywide.

Lieutenant General Shikapwasha told Parliament that government has allocated fifteen Billion Kwacha in next year’ s national budget to enable the corporation to secure satellite space for five years. He said the corporation will further buy 48 FM transmitters which will be installed in rural areas in 2011.

Lieutenant General Shikapwasha added that the development has been necessitated following the breakdown of ZNBC Radio One and Two shortwave signals in February 2010.

18-10-2010, 09:56
Three cablecos spared Spanish telco tax
October 18,

The Spanish communications regulator (CMT) has said telecommunications providers that derive 75% of their gross operating revenues from customers in a single autonomous region should be exempted from the funding of the public broadcaster RTVE.
The clarification by the regulator exempts three regional cable operators in northern Spain: Galician R, Telecable, serving Asturias and the Basque Euskaltel. The companies had been concerned that their ability to expand would be restricted with the possibility of paying the tax still hanging over them.

In its first determination on the controversial Telco Tax since the European Commission gave the Spanish authorities two months to amend the legislation, CMT said that €148.57 million had so far been raised by the scheme. The self-assessment payments made by operators and broadcasters for the first two quarters of the year amounted to €128.35 million. Payments for 2009, when only broadcasters were required to contribute, were €20.22m.

Under the system a tax of 3% has been imposed on free-to-air commercial broadcasters and 1.5% on pay-TV broadcasters to help compensate RTVE for a loss of revenues from the withdrawal of advertising. In addition a 0.9% tax is being levied on electronic communications operators. According to legislation covering the financing of RTVE, all operators with a state level or higher than an autonomous region are required to perform the transfer

18-10-2010, 10:50
ASO for two regions in France
October 18,

On the night of October 18, two more regions in France, the Centre and Poitou-Charentes, will switch to digital. All analogue broadcasts will cease at midnight tonight.
The move follows ASO in Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine on September 28. The next planned analogue switch off will take place in Burgundy and Franche-Comté November 16.

With tonight’s switch-over, on October 19, a total of 8 regions representing 17.7 million French people, or 29% of the metropolitan population will have switched to digital TV.

18-10-2010, 13:00
UK cordcutters equal to US
Published: October 18, 2010 Europe/London

The percentage of UK pay-TV subscribers that are considering leaving their supplier in favour of alternative suppliers is identical to that of their US counterparts.

According to Strategy Analytics the percentage of all current pay-TV customers in the United States who say they are somewhat or very likely to stop paying for TV service altogether in the next 12 months, dubbed ‘cordcutters’, is 13%. The equivalent for the UK, where respondents answered either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very likely’ is also 13%.

David Mercer, VP, digital consumer practice, Strategy Analytics told Broadband TV News that such figures are unlikely to worry the pay-TV providers at this stage. “If you think about normal churn they can probably say that it is within the ballpark they expect, so there’s no reason to panic, but there are financial pressures.” Mercer said that in addition to Freeview there was a very small number at taking their multichannel television from the Internet.

There is currently a debate developing in the US over the significance of over-the-top providers and whether or not the current triple play and packaging model can survive. Generally-speaking, US operators have so far attributed any subscriber losses to recessionary pressures.

18-10-2010, 13:01
BBC puts Strictly Come Dancing in 3D
Published: October 18, 2010 Europe/London

The BBC has recorded a three-minute sequence featuring a dance by performers from Strictly Come Dancing in 3D as part of an ongoing experiment into the format. The three-minute film featuring an Argentinean tango was recorded on Friday evening and will be shown in selected UK cinemas TV retailers in the run-up to the annual Children in Need appeal on November 19.

Mindful of not wanting to be seen to be endorsing a particular manufacturer, the BBC has offered the short film to all four display manufacturers currently selling product in the UK and has received a positive response from the three that have so far replied.

The method emphasises the BBC’s role as a public service broadcaster away from the demands of pay-TV.

Earlier this year the BBC produced a 3D trailer for the new series of Doctor Who.

“The message is that we’re transforming Strictly by doing it in 3D, now we’re asking you to transform the lives of children and young people by donating to Children in Need,” the BBC’s head of 3D and HD Danielle Nagler told Broadband TV News.

Nagler said the format of the film would make it clear the BBC was not going to be producing a dedicated 3D channel for which there are currently no plans. “It is going to be very clearly packaged as an event for Children in Need and we wouldn’t want to suggest in any sense that we’re doing a 3D channel. I think channels are a very different proposition to individual pieces of content.

“When you produce a channel you’re pushing content out to an audience and everything you know about 3D at the moment is that people select to pull it, selecting the film, and putting on the glasses and that’s very different to watching Strictly on a Saturday night”.

There is however the future possibility of 3D being delivered to the licence fee payer through the BBC iPlayer, though Nagler says to do so would require some reconfiguration. “Part of our thinking around a pipeline of projects is how we can distribute content as widely as possible. It is quite important as consoles have 3D and more and more people have laptop and smaller screen capability and connected TVs that we think about how we can use iPlayer as a way to get limited pieces of content to people.”

The Strictly Come Dancing work has been funded in part by the BBC Worldwide dividend, which provides limited assistance on new projects, together with BBC Studios and Post Production and their partners, which are also interested in 3D development work.

Three separate 3D rigs were brought in by BBC Studios as was stereographer Scott Mednick, whose earlier work has included the 2007 production U2 3D. US producers 3Ality also assisted in the production.

Significantly, the film was directed by Nikki Parsons, who regularly directs the Saturday night show, rather than flying in a dedicated team. For the BBC it is important to work with its own brand and ways of making and showing content.

The routine, Tango Unleashed, choreographed by professional Flavia Cacace and featuring the dancer and four of her male counterparts, was recorded a number of times in order to get the best shots from the three 3D rigs.

Given that there is no funding from the licence fee, it has not yet been necessary to approach the BBC Trust, which would have to approve any long term ‘channel’. However, the BBC Executive is committed to a small number of content experiments, potentially as many as five over a 12-month period.

“For us the goal is what we make in 3D can be accessed by audiences, without paying a premium for it, I would bet that in five years time that will be possible,” says Nagler. “I think it will be one-offs, we’re starting with three minutes, it could be in five years we choose to make a whole series in 3D but I don’t think it will be every night of the week peak time on BBC One is in 3D”.

18-10-2010, 13:03
ZDF to change Theaterkanal to ZDFkultur

German public broadcaster ZDF will change its digital thematic channel ZDFtheaterkanal into ZDFkultur on April 1, 2011. Programming will be based on two pillars, popular culture and games.

The move follows the launch last year of the youth oriented digital thematic channel ZDFneo. Markus Schaechter, MD of ZDF, said in a statement: “The viewing habits of the audience have changed, the interest in culture is high, but the forms are different, more playful and also characterized by more participation.”

With the new channel, ZDF wants to show a modern concept of culture that will bridge the separation between high culture and pop culture. The digital specialty channel should reduce the barriers and bring younger viewers to more cultural content.

Popular culture in Germany today has no visual home, said the ZDF director. This gap would be closed with ZDFkultur. Music, performing arts, film, culture, gaming and internet culture are combined in the new ZDFkultur channel, which will feature theatre and opera, as seen on the old ZDFtheaterkanal, but also concerts, pop festivals and theme nights. The concept of the game can be anything, from theatre to computer game.

ZDFkultur’s prime time will be between 18.00 hours and midnight; this six hour block will be repeated throughout the day.

The budget of the ZDFtheaterkanal this year amounted to €8.08 million. In 2011 a budget of €12.58 million for ZDFkultur is planned. The increase has been financed by transfers within the existing ZDF budget.

18-10-2010, 13:04
MGM cuts more deals for Teen Wolf

MGM has inked new deals for its upcoming TV version of Teen Wolf and says it will have sold the show into all major territories by the time the twelve episode series debuts on MTV in the US next spring.

The sales arm of the Hollywood studio was shopping the series to buyers at MIPCOM and president of worldwide television, Gary Marenzi told TBIvision that it has been picked up by AXN in Latin America and MTV in Italy among others. MTV Italia is a free-to-air channel and Fox and AXN are understood to be vying for pay TV rights to the series. It has already been sold to Living in the UK and the Seven Network in Australia.

MTV has the series in the US and is understood to have wanted it for its international networks, but competition for the show means other pay channels will get it internationally.

The TV show will have a different tone to the 1985 movie, which starred Michael J. Fox as the high school student who finds himself transforming into a werewolf. "The movie was more played for laughs, while this is more Smallville-esque," Marenzi said. "It's a family show, we're not trying to be that edgy. It was one of the better received pilots at this year's LA Screenings and it's out focal point at MGM [TV]," he adds.

Meanwhile, Marenzi said he is confident that the end is in sight regarding MGM's restructure. "I think we're very close to the end of a year-long auction," he said. "Within two or three months we will have new ownership and hopefully they will be behind what we're doing in TV, I think they will be." He added: "I expect we will then make four-to-six high quality movies and a couple of series a year, maybe more if we can get the development money."

Assuming the TV division receives backing from MGM's new owners, mining the vaunted MGM catalogue for more TV projects is on the agenda. "On the TV side there is a lot of new ideas and IP people haven't heard about before. There are also plenty of things we own the rights to and can develop them, things like To Live and Die in LA, Sea Hunt, The Rat Patrol and Thomas Crown."

18-10-2010, 13:05
James Murdoch called Cable on Sky bid day
Monday, October 18 2010,

Business secretary Vince Cable received a "short introductory phone call" from News Corp executive James Murdoch on June 15, the day the firm lodged a bid for Sky.

Last Friday, the government confirmed that Cable received the call from Murdoch, son of media tycoon Rupert and non-executive chairman of the pay-TV broadcaster.

Cable is expected to decide within weeks whether to intervene in News Corp's multi-billion pound move to acquire the 61% of Sky that it does not already own.

The minister's call with Murdoch was revealed in a written answer to a parliamentary question tabled by Labour MP Michael Dugher, reports The Guardian.

Replying to the question, business minister Ed Davey wrote: "[Vince Cable] had a short introductory phone call with James Murdoch of News Corporation on June 15, 2010."

It has not been disclosed what was said during the conversation, but sources close to News Corp indicate that the call was just a courtesy on the day of the bid.

An alliance of newspaper publishers and rival broadcasters has come together to sign a letter calling on Cable to block the Sky deal due to fears about an erosion of media plurality.

Last week, the government confirmed that Cable had received the letter, but warned that it was "premature" to judge his response at this stage.

18-10-2010, 13:07
Teracom launches Swedish HD network

Published: October 18, 2010 Europe/London

Over half of Swedish households will be able to receive transmissions from the new HD terrestrial network when it goes live on November 1. Network operator Teracom is currently engaged in building out the service that will cover the majority of Swedish households by 2012.

An initial 17 relay stations will carry the HD signals. A further 16 will be brought into service before the end of the year, securing coverage for 70% of households.

The HD offer comprises both free-to-air and pay-TV channels. HD versions of SVT1 and SVT2 will be available without subscription, while pay-TV services from MTV, National Geographic and Canal+ will be available through the Teracom subsidiary Boxer.

Sweden will use the DVB-T2 and MPEG-4 technical combination pioneered in the UK. Two multiplexes will carry HD signals; Multiplex 6 will be solely in the UHF band, while Multiplex 7 will be in either VHF or UHF, depending on frequency availability.

VHF was used by SVT1 right up until 2007.

18-10-2010, 13:08
Shine TV to sue Desmond over 'Believing'
Monday, October 18 2010,

Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine TV group is reportedly preparing legal action against Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell over an alleged unpaid bill for talent show Don't Stop Believing.

Murdoch, who is the daughter of media tycoon Rupert, is understood to have instructed lawyers to sue N&S over its treatment of her firm, Shine Productions. She has also pledged to support smaller producers in the same position.

Presented by Emma Bunton, Don't Stop Believing was acquired by Channel 5 in a multi-million pound deal in July. However, the show rated very poorly over the summer, dropping as low as 587,000 in its primetime Sunday slot.

Desmond is understood to be refusing to pay a seven-figure invoice submitted by Shine as he seeks to gain a part-refund for the flop talent show.

In response, Shine Productions has instructed lawyers Reed Smith to recover the near £1m debt from N&S as relations sour between the two parties. Shine is also keen to support other production firms that have been affected by Desmond's stance on suppliers.

In a statement, Shine's head of communications Patrick Keegan said: "Shine is fortunate to be one of the UK's most successful creative companies and able to stand up to Channel 5's new owners throwing their weight around.

"However, for smaller companies, who are the backbone of our creative economy, this behaviour threatens their very survival.

"The Shine Group is therefore offering support to independent Channel 5 programme-makers who are threatened with insolvency by N&S's refusal to pay overdue bills."

Pact, the UK trade body representing independent producers, told The Financial Times that around 10 smaller firms were in similar disputes with Desmond's N&S group, which acquired Channel 5 earlier in the year.

John McVay, chief executive of Pact, said that he had recently held talks with N&S in response to complaints from members about changing terms and conditions.

"[N&S] are changing 30-day payment terms to 60 days plus end of the month. The larger companies may be able to survive the effect on their cash flow, but many of the smaller ones can't," McVay said.

McVay added that N&S was using "the most brutal tactics I have ever seen in the TV industry" and that "millions and millions of pounds" were at stake in the disputes.

18-10-2010, 13:09
Met Police purchase 'The Bill' costumes
Monday, October 18 2010,

Uniforms used in ITV's long-running drama The Bill have been purchased by the Metropolitan Police to stop them being acquired by criminals.

A spokesman for the London force confirmed that 400kg of clothing had been bought due to fears that people could use the items to pose as police.

Shirts, trousers and pullovers were all purchased, along with 29 body armour covers, 28 high visibility jackets, four inspector Flat Caps and 22 constable bowler hats.

The spokesman would not disclose how much the acquisition had cost, but did say that any unused items would be re-issued to serving officers.

In August, The Bill came to an end on ITV after 2,400 episodes and 26 years on air, with the final episode being watched by 4.4 million viewers.

The show had been given permission by Scotland Yard to dress its actors in genuine uniforms and equipment featuring the London force's crest.

"When the announcement was made that The Bill was to cease production, the Metropolitan Police approached the production company with a view to acquiring all used and unused items of clothing and uniform," said the Met Police spokesman.

"The purpose of this approach was to ensure that Metropolitan Police uniforms did not enter the public domain and give rise to the potential use by unauthorised persons in the commission of criminal activities."

18-10-2010, 13:11
UK heading for capacity crunch

The UK’s broadband network infrastructure is approaching a “capacity crunch”, according to researchers at the University of Southampton.
Research by David Richardson published in the journal Science has underlined that without radical investment, the current infrastructure (including fibre) will be overwhelmed. “The thought that the current fibre technology has infinite capacity is not true – we are beginning to hit the fundamental limits of the current technology,” Richardson told the BBC. “We need to be looking at the next big breakthrough to allow us to continue to scale as we have traditionally done…. If you gain a factor of two in bandwidth by developing a whole new amplifier technology, that’s perhaps two or three years of capacity growth. To get radical changes – to get factors of 100 or 1000 – it’s going to be extremely demanding.”
“It’s likely we’re going to have to go right back to the fundamentals of the optics, the actual light pipes. And if you want to develop the next generation of cable, you want to be doing that 10 years in advance, not for tomorrow.”
However a number of ISPs, including BT and Sky, disagree, while others like Virgin have said recently that there is a problem looming.

18-10-2010, 13:12
BSkyB v the rest: will Sky’s clouds clear?

This Friday, October 22nd, BSkyB will unveil its Q1 results and a few hours later hold its AGM for the trading year that ended June 30th. It is also likely that James Murdoch, currently chairman of the broadcaster will comment on News Corp’s wish to take full ownership of BSkyB; News Corp currently holds 39.1 per cent . Murdoch, or CEO Jeremy Darroch, will almost certainly respond to the latest slew of complaints, grumbles and negative spinning from the likes of the BBC, The Guardian newspaper, Associated Newspapers, Telegraph Media, British Telecom, Virgin Media and others on the merits of full ownership by News Corp.

Most analysts expect BSkyB to announce further gains on top of its current 9.86 million subscribers, adding around 53,000 in the summer quarter-year. Its pre-Christmas (Q2) sales push last year represented a net gain of some 172,000. A similar number this year would be enough to push the total beyond the 10m mark, and with the quarter’s profits sharply up at around £227 million (£198m last year) helped by an 8 per cent rise in revenues to about £1.5 billion.

However, James Murdoch will face a few angry investors. Investor advisory group PIRC is arguing that James Murdoch ought not to be re-elected chairman, as he is clearly not independent . PIRC is also lobbying that shareholders ought to deny many of the existing Board re-election for much the same reasons. These objections will almost certainly be swept aside as BSkyB’s major shareholders have in years past recognised and approved the Board’s make up.

The bigger question of whether BSkyB’s Board will agree a take-over by News Corp, or will escape scrutiny by the UK’s business minister, Vince Cable, will emerge over the next few weeks. Cable’s remit is to decide on whether full ownership by News Corp of Sky is against the public interest. Cable will have to rule on the allegation that News Corp would then have “unprecedented market power” and have far-reaching consequences in regard to media plurality.

Even the mighty – and generally free market – Economist has weighed in with its opinion. The Economist suggests that the UK’s existing media impartiality rules would prevent Sky News from developing into a UK version of Fox News. “If he [Rupert Murdoch] gets hold of Sky and uses it unfairly to crush rivals, he should be punished. If he simply wants to run a successful, competitive outfit, good luck to him”.

18-10-2010, 13:13
Sony launches first Google TVs
18 Oct 10 -

Sony has begun selling its first Google TV-enabled TV sets in the US.

The sets, initially available in the Sony Style shop, with mass-market chain Best Buy to follow soon after, are priced between US$600 (€430) and US$1,400, and feature Dual View, allowing users to watch TV and use the Twitter social networking site at the same time, or find related content on the web.

Sony will provide applications from the Android Market from hearly next year. The TV sets also feature Sony’s Powered by Qriocity video-on-demand service and a range of pre-installed apps from the likes of Netflix and YouTube.

The TV sets come complete with a wireless keyboard. Consumers will be able to use Android-based phones remote controls via an app to be launched later this year.
Sony is also providing Google TV-enabled Blu-ray players that can connect existing HD TVs with the Google service.

18-10-2010, 13:13
Cosmos TV Belarus boosts HD offer
18 Oct 10 -

Belarusian cable operator Cosmos TV Belarus has boosted its HDTV offering with the addition of Luxe TV HD.

Cosmos TV Belarus recently launched HD with the Eurosport HD channel. Luxury lifestyle channel Luxe TV HD will be available as part of several options on its digital cable network via digital set-tops and CAMs.

18-10-2010, 13:14
Ono launches high-speed internet in Málaga
18 Oct 10 -

Spanish cable operator Ono has launched its DOCSIS 3.0-based up to 50Mbps internet service in Málaga.

Ono’s up to 50Mbps service, with upstream speeds of up to 3Mbps, is available with telephony including free national calls for €15.90 a month.

18-10-2010, 13:15
Comstar-UTS building new FTTB network
18 Oct 10 -

Russian service provider Comstar-UTS’s regional unit has begun constructing a fibre-to-the-building network in the city of Novocherkassk in the Rostov region in southern Russia.

Comstar Regions is building a FTTB network that will pass about 3,500 apartments, offering internet speeds of up to 100Mbps to subscribers.

Comstar Regions begun constructing FTTB networks in Astrakhan and Taganrog earlier this summer, and put a FTTB network passing over 9,500 apartments in Krasnodar into commercial operation in June.

Novocherkassk has a population of about 180,000.

18-10-2010, 13:16
Nickelodeon launches branded block in Kazakhstan
18 Oct 10 -

Nickelodeon is launching a branded pre-school block in Kazakhstan after striking a deal with the country's public broadcaster Kazakhstan1. The Viacom-owned kids broadcaster will also launch a raft of programming in Afghanistan after inking a similar deal.

The company will launch a Nick Jr branded block on Balapan, the Kazakhstan broadcaster's new kids channel that will include 204 episodes of Dora the Explorer, three seasons of Go, Diego, Go! and two seasons of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan. This is the first time Nickelodeon has launched a Nick Jr branded block anywhere in the world.

In Afghanistan, it has struck a deal with Ariana Television Network (ATN), a free-to-air satellite broadcaster, for two seasons of Dora the Explorer.

"We are looking forward to working with Kazakhstan1, Balapan and ATN to firmly establish the Nickelodeon brand as the destination for top quality animation for kids and families in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan," said Maria Rakhmatullina-Ufland, sales director, MTV Networks International Emerging Markets.

18-10-2010, 13:17
Azerbaijan eyes digital switchover
18 Oct 10 -

The number of digital-terrestrial television channels in Azerbaijan is expected to reach 24 by the end of the year as the country eyes a digital switchover by 2013.

The country's Production Association, which is overseeing the move to digital broadcasting in association with the National Council for Television and Radio, says that 50% of the country will be covered by digital broadcasting standards by the end of 2010 and the number of channels in the Baku and Absheron regions will reach 24 ahead of the International Telecommunications Exhibition at the end of November. The National Council for Television and Radio is also eyeing the launch of a pay DTT service that could include channels such as AzTV and LiderTV as well as the Turkish and Russian language channels operated by Teleradio.

18-10-2010, 13:18
SingTel adds Family Channel pack to IPTV service

Singaporean telco SingTel has launched the new Family Channel Pack for its IPTV service 'mio TV', consisting of 28 channels and offered to all customers for free.

The channels cover a range of programming, including children's content, lifestyle, variety and documentary, news, music, TV series and free-to-air channels, while four of the channels also feature on-demand programming. Among the new channels are: British Documentary On Demand, Trace TV, Asia’s first lifestyle HD channel LI (Life Inspired), ETTV Asia, KidsCo, Australia Network and WE tv.

“The new Family Channel Pack delivers a combination of great value and compelling content for every member of the family,” said Mr Tim Carmichael, VP of mio TV. “This is yet another example of the new and exciting offers that mio TV will continue to bring to Singapore viewers.”

SingTel had reached 220,000 subscribers for its IPTV service 'mio TV' by the end of the second quarter of this year, up from 200,000 in April and 155,000 at the end of 2009

18-10-2010, 13:19
Primus Telecom "not close" to signing with FetchTV

The Australian subsidiary of Primus Telecom has confirmed that it is in talks with local white label IPTV service FetchTV, but is "not in a rush" to become the latter's latest customer, according to reports in local newspaper The Australian.

Ravi Bhatia, CEO of Primus Telecom, is quoted as saying: "We've had discussions [with FetchTV]. We're not close to signing". He is also reported as saying that while FetchTV offers a good product, he has doubts that the consumer proposition is strong enough: "The fundamental issue is that I think the product from a consumer point of view is still evolving,'' he said. "From what I've seen the numbers (of people signing up) have not been large.''

FetchTV is a "pure" IPTV service that offers the full range of free-to-air digital channels, twenty leading subscription channels, including six video-on-demand channels, thirty movies every month, access to new-release pay-per-view movies, five specialty subscription channels, and interactive applications and games. So far three Australian ISPs have signed carriage deals with FetchTV: iiNet, Internode and Adam Internet.

18-10-2010, 13:20
SK Broadband adds 5k IPTV subs in September

South Korean telco SK Broadband added 5,147 subscribers for its IPTV service 'Broad&TV' in September to reach a total of 879,805 customers by the end of the month.

The company has suffered slight dips in subscriber numbers for its IPTV service in preceding months, so last month marked a welcome return to gains for the telco. SK Broadband added 8,790 broadband customers in September to reach a total of 3,925mn subscribers.

SK Broadband (previously known as Hanaro Telecom) launched its IPTV in 2006 under the name of 'Hana TV', offering around 90 channels. The company expects to break even with its IPTV service in 2011, when it aims to reach 2mn subscribers, but conceded earlier this year that this target may be difficult to meet as a result of increased competition.

20-10-2010, 10:48
Fox Broadcasting-owned networks Fox5 and My9 have been pulled from cabsat platform Cablevision in the latest row over US carriage prices, although talks to resolve the dispute resume today.

The bust-up centres on how much Cablevision should pay to carry Fox's networks, and follows a spate of similar clashes between cable operators and networks this year in the US.

Last week, Fox pulled the regional channels, which carry major sports such as the National Football League and Major League Baseball, after talks over fees broke down. The blackout temporarily extended to Cablevision's internet customers' access to Fox programming via streaming service Hulu, though this has now been lifted.

Fox claims Cablevision is offer "less than a penny a day" for the channels. Cablevision, meanwhile, claimed Fox had doubled its fee demands to US$150m.

The cabsat operator called Fox Broadcasting's parent News Corp's actions "a black eye for broadcast television in America" and demanded it restore the channels while a new deal is worked out.

However, nothing was resolved over the weekend and Cablevision has now called for politicians to step in to settle the matter, although talks between the pair will resume today.

In its latest statement, Cablevision's executive VP of communications Charles Schueler said: "The longer this shameful News Corp blackout of the NFL and Major League Baseball continues, the more obvious it becomes to everyone including political leaders of both parties, that binding arbitration is the fastest and fairest way to return Fox programming to Cablevision customers."

Fox5 and My5 VP and general manager Lew Leone responded in an open letter to customers, claiming Cablevision was refusing to pay a standard cable carriage charge. He claimed the Fox offer is up to 70% lower than some other cablenets, and criticised the call for arbitration.

"Instead of negotiating like a responsible business, Cablevision decided to make this your problem in the hope that if they caused you, the viewer, enough inconvenience, then politicians would intervene.

"That is what Cablevision's call for 'arbitration' is all about. But ask yourself, do you think Cablevision would be okay with someone else stepping in to decide the price you pay them for cable and broadband service?"

Cablevision, which has about three million customers in the New York region, earlier this year clashed with Scripps Networks Interactive over Food Network and HGTV; Rainbow Media over AMC, IFC and WE TV; and Disney over ABC, a dispute that saw viewers miss the first 15 minutes of the Oscars ceremony.

20-10-2010, 10:49
Mob attacks Kuwait TV station over royal “insult”

A crowd angry about a programne they deemed insulting to some members of Kuwait’s ruling family stormed a Kuwaiti private television station yesterday, ransacking its offices, station officials said. “Some of them were armed with pistols and knives. They attacked the studio and damaged it and beat up the workers. About 10 were injured,” Mohammed Talal al-Saeed, executive manager of Scope TV, told Reuters.

Fajr al-Saeed, owner of the station, said she had received threats to her life after the talk show “Zain wa Shain” (”Good and Bad”) was aired on Saturday. Kuwaiti newspapers have said the Information Ministry has accused Ms Fajr al-Saeed of attempting to overthrow the government with Scope’s satirical comedy show “Sawtak Wasal” (”Your Voice Has Been Heard”).

Ms Fajr al-Saeed said the presenter of Saturday’s talk show had appeared to accuse a member of the ruling family who is a senior Information Ministry official of being behind the accusation. She said Sunday’s attackers had been looking for her, the station manager or the program presenter, and added that the station had gone off the air after the attack.

A Reuters reporter saw broken windows and overturned desks at the station, which police had cordoned off. A witness, lawyer Saeed al-Yahya, said the mob had numbered at least 150 people. An Interior Ministry spokesman could not be reached through his mobile phone and police at the scene declined to comment.

Kuwait, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, has a vibrant media culture and generally allows more press criticism of public officials than other Gulf Arab states. But its ruler is protected from criticism by the constitution, and defamation cases against newspapers, writers and bloggers are common.

20-10-2010, 10:50
Media ethics training ‘essential’

Training in media ethics is essential for practitioners of new media, a seminar in Tokyo heard today. Shoji Motooka of NHK-Japan told the annual ABU/FES Seminar that training was important because, in the digital era, media staff were extremely busy and had little time to consider ethics. The seminar, which looked at Media Ethics and Media Freedom, was jointly organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung of Germany.

Agha Nasir of Pakistan’s GEO TV said the problem was not the technology but the people using the new media, many of whom lacked experience. They needed to be taught ethics. The outgoing head of RRI-Indonesia, Parni Hadi, also stressed the importance of training. He said young reporters in Indonesia tended to focus on covering violence and needed training on issues such as peace journalism.

Other speakers stressed the importance of verifying content found on the Internet before using it, to ensure its accuracy. “Journalist ethics is undergoing a difficult transition from traditional ethics to a mixed media ethics,” Anothai Udomsilp of Thai PBS said. Adelheid Feilcke of Germany’s Deutsche Welle said traditional broadcasters who were now using new media were having to learn how to handle instant criticism and insults from users.

Participants agreed that accuracy, not immediacy, remained the first priority for broadcasters despite the ability of new media practitioners to post news online almost instantly.

20-10-2010, 10:51
BBC launches HD Sound for radio

The BBC has today announced plans to launch an extra high quality audio stream for live online listening, called HD Sound. From December, BBC Radio 3 will be available in HD Sound through its website and special events on other networks will also be offered in extra high quality – starting with the Electric Proms on BBC Radio 2 later this month.

HD Sound uses improved encoding and higher bit rates to offer the BBC’s highest audio quality broadcast to date. It also offers a wider dynamic range, accentuating the difference in volume between quiet and loud sounds. Appreciation of the improved sound quality will depend on the equipment used – those using small speakers built into a laptop may not notice a big difference, but listeners with a computer connected to a good-quality sound system or high-quality headphones should be able to appreciate the extra clarity and detail in the sound.

In these early stages, the stream will only be available for live programmes (not on demand). It will initially be available through pages on radio networks’ websites and special event sites, although the ambition is to integrate HD Sound into iPlayer and Radioplayer as the technology develops.

Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: “HD Sound is an exciting development and a signal of our commitment to innovate in digital radio for the benefit of our listeners.”

Roger Wright, Controller Radio 3 and Director BBC Proms, said: “Online listeners to Radio 3 were able to enjoy the final week of this year’s BBC Proms in extra high quality audio and I’m thrilled that we can now offer this streaming permanently across our full schedule.”

HD Sound will be available to UK users following a successful trial of the technology during the BBC Proms. Findings from this first experiment have also allowed Radio 3 to increase the audio quality of the standard stream on iPlayer by optimising the level of the signals feeding the coders.

20-10-2010, 10:52
Virgin Media subscribers learn of new UKTV programming

Body of Proof and a documentary about a Brighton cake shop are among UKTV's new acquisitions and commissions.
Virgin Media subscribers have been given details of the new programmes available for them to watch on UKTV's digital channels.

UKTV, a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media, controls a number of TV stations, including Alibi, Dave, Eden and Really.

The broadcaster has announced its new acquisitions and commissions for the winter 2010 to spring 2011 period, with ten new series set to be screened on its various channels.

Among these new arrivals to UKTV is ABC Studios' Body of Proof, a forensic crime drama starring Dana Delaney of Desperate Housewives as medical examiner Dr Megan Hunt.

Meanwhile, Good Food is launching Chocckywoccydooda, a documentary focusing on a Brighton cake shop that counts Madonna as one of its clients.

The future of UKTV has been a cause of much speculation of late, with a report in the Guardian recently claiming the likes of ITV and Discovery Networks could be interested in acquiring Virgin Media's stake in the company.

20-10-2010, 10:54
CNT from Ecuador might add 500,000 subscribers within five years

Media Networks Latin America (Telefónica), DTH infraestructure provider for Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones of Ecuador's (CNT) new Pay-TV service, is getting ready to enter the platform with about 500,000 subscribers within the next five years, though the Ecuadorian operator's forecasts are much lower. In addition to CNT, Media Networks has already launched its whole sale service with Oi and CTBC in Brazil and has moved forward in negotiations with Mexican, Central American and South American telecommunications operators with the purpose of providing them the system.

Mexico and Colombia seem to be the markets with more chanes due to the fact that telecommunications operators are willing to complete their offers in order to compete in triple play. In Mexico, Axtel does not have any TV offer, and in Colombia there are the incumbent ETB and Emcali. "We cannot provide any information about who we are negotiating with", Telefónica Media Networks Commercial and Marketing Director Luis Delamer told NexTV Latam. However, he recognized that they were holding conversations with companies that do not belong to Telefónica Group in all markets. Additionally, he pointed out that "there are over 10 potential clients from Mexico to Chile".

Four of the fibe incumbent fixed telecommunications companies of Telefónica (Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Peru) have already launched their DTH service. Argentina, where it is banned by law, is the only remaining country. Movistar (mobile operator) has also launched it in Venezuela. Telefónica has presence with Movistar in Mexico and Central America, but, according to Delamer, "it is difficult to launch the service in those places where Movistar has operations".

Delamer pointed out that CNT's purchase of DTH STBs will be carried out by the state-owned Ecuadorian company. Devices shall be compatible with Nagra's CAS utilized by Media Networks. As for content, he stated that channels not included in the package can be hired by CNT; as for example, Ecuadorian local channels.

Media Networks has almost 400 channels in more than 25 transponders distributed in several feeds, with more than 15 HD channels. The company forecasts over a 50% grwoth in the following two years.

20-10-2010, 10:56
BT slashes triple bundle prices

The Unlimited TV, Broadband and Calls deal from BT has been reduced to £39.99 per month.
BT has slashed the prices of two of its triple-play bundles of communications services.

From now until January 28th 2011, consumers who sign up for broadband, digital TV and home phone calls with the telecoms giant will receive savings of up to £9 per month compared to its normal pricing.

The company's top bundle, Unlimited TV, Broadband and Calls - which includes six viewing packs, uncapped internet usage with download speeds of up to 20Mb/s and free anytime landline calls - will cost £39.99 throughout the promotional period.

When this offer expires, it will return to its regular price of £48.99 per month.

Furthermore, BT's More TV, Broadband and Calls deal has been reduced from £32.99 to £27.99, a saving of £5 per month.

People who subscribe to this package will get four viewing packs, broadband with a 40GB monthly usage limit and unlimited weekend calls to other UK home phones.

Last month, BT pledged to upgrade its bundle customers to fibre optic broadband at no extra monthly cost when the technology becomes available in their area.

20-10-2010, 10:57
Mexico has not defined DTT subsidies yet

The leader of the Mexican Sub Secretary of Economy, Bruno Ferrari, informed that the aforementioned agency was waiting for the approval of the budget to be assigned to support, by means of subsidies, the purchase of DTT STBs. According to the officer, the objective is to "make the purchase of devices easier for Mexican families". However, neither the total amount for such project nor the way economic aid will be granted to beneficiaries have been defined yet.

El Financiero newspaper informed that such secreatry will be in charge of carrying out actions and implementing mechanisms to enable STB purchase. Up to 100% or even lower subsidies will be considered, something that will be defined according to the approved budget. The economic support will be assigned to the 26,3 households fitted with TV sets, which means that the 87% of the families will be benefited..

Although Congress has not passed the budget, it has been disclosed that USD 40 millions have been requested for the 2011 budget package. "It is clear that we will be the vehicle that will enable STBs to be accessible for evyrone who has an analog TV set, we are not sure about the final outcome, but we need to start next year", Ferrari stated.

Moreover, the executive explained that the Official Mexican Norm will be modified in virtue of the commercialization of electronic, electrical and home appliances so that the leyend reads "suitable for digital TV broadcastings under ATSC standard". A decree issued by the President, Felipe Calderón, has recently brought the analog blackout forward from 2021 to 2015. The transition will start in 2011 in the north area of the country.

20-10-2010, 10:58
hybrid TV solutions via Powerline

With devolo powerline products, Internet service providers can provide their customers with the ideal home networking and home entertainment solution as part of their triple play offerings.

The Germany-based powerline specialist is presenting the complete portfolio of its devolo ISP Solutions unit at the Broadband World Forum 2010 trade fair, being held in the French capital from 26 to 28 October 2010. The Paris CNIT La Defense convention centre is again serving as the exhibit and conference facility.

Hybrid TV – ideal home entertainment combining xDSL and satellite services

At BBWF 2010, devolo is presenting two turnkey hybrid TV solutions that operate via powerline. Hybrid IPTV enables Internet service providers to provide a comprehensive TV offering with optimum xDSL network utilisation or to offer triple play services in regions with a less well developed xDSL structure. While Video-on-Demand services – such as the contents of the media library – continue to be loaded via the broadband network, live TV formats reach the house via satellite according to the DVB-S2 standard. This not only significantly increases the potential in terms of addressable IPTV customers, it also greatly reduces the individual installation times and costs.

To make this possible, devolo has developed a modular hybrid TV system consisting of a tuner and IP set-top box. The separate satellite tuner is simply connected using a short coaxial cable. The signal is routed the rest of the way to the IP set-top box via powerline. In large part, there is no need to route coaxial cables within the house or apartment, as the satellite signal is transmitted via powerline. This development by devolo also enables many IPTV set-top boxes that are on the market already to be converted to hybrid IPTV solutions. The content stream of the satellite is sent from the devolo tuner via powerline directly to the set-top box and be used like a second video source. There is no need for complicated upgrades of the customer hardware; only a firmware update is required. At Stand C6, the company is displaying a solution of this type with existing hardware from renowned ISPs. devolo also offers its set, familiar from the end customer market, consisting of tuner and dLAN TV Sat 1300-HD receiver set-top box as an OEM solution. This is an attractive option for all Internet service providers who are searching for a complete turnkey solution in this segment.

dLAN 500 – the new powerline standard for all triple play services

With the dLAN 500, the company is presenting the new dLAN generation for in-home powerline networks. The adapters, which are in compliance with the international IEEE 1901 standard, offer both a higher transmission rate of 500 Mbps and a longer range. This allows, for example, multiple HDTV channels to be transmitted simultaneously and retrieved throughout the home. Compared to alternative proprietary powerline solutions, the IEEE 1901 guarantees better performance and range. Thus the company also takes the FTTx efforts of Internet service providers into account, who are planning to make 100 Mbps broadband Internet available to European households via glass fibre in the near future. The first products of the new dLAN 500 generation are scheduled for market launch in December 2010.

dLAN 200 AV Wireless N – innovative powerline-based home networking centre

Alongside the presentation of its dLAN 500 products, devolo is completing the dLAN 200 AV portfolio with the dLAN 200 AV Wireless N: the 3-in-1 adapter unites WLAN, LAN and dLAN in one compact unit. This way mobile devices like a laptop, web tablet or smart phone easily connect to the dLAN home network via WLAN, while the desktop computer, network printer and NAS hard drive in your home office are connected via the classic network cable. The same applies for Internet TVs, Blu-ray players and game consoles in the living room. The compact dLAN adapter is equipped with two internal WLAN antennas with MIMO technology and enables WLAN zones to be set up quickly and easily for wireless surfing in the dLAN network. Support of the fast WiFi N standard ensures that the full dLAN bandwidth of 200 Mbps is used. In addition, the adapter has three Ethernet sockets and thus is the ideal product for operating multiple network-compatible devices on one dLAN adapter. The dLAN 200 AV Wireless N is already available.

To coincide with the trade fair, devolo is launching a new microsite especially for Internet service providers and telecommunications providers that presents the company's innovative dLAN solutions for this segment.

"With our existing dLAN TV Sat solution, we offer Internet service providers a simple and cost-effective solution for obtaining optimum utilisation of their broadband networks and implementing data transfer-intensive applications such as HDTV via DVB-S2," remarks Heiko Harbers, CEO of devolo AG. He continues: "For the BBWF, devolo is unveiling a one-of-a-kind solution that allows satellite TV to be retrofitted on existing triple play set-top boxes at the customer's location." "In addition, at the BBWF we are once again demonstrating that powerline is the ideal in-house networking technology that offers many advantages, not only on the transmission side. The dLAN 500 and the new dLAN 200 AV Wireless N are outstanding, well-conceived products that are also easy to install and thus ensure high customer satisfaction," adds Harald Hilgers, Sales Manager of devolo AG.

20-10-2010, 10:59
Led by Canada and Latin America, regional mobile operators' spending on backhaul services is expected to show moderate to strong growth to 2015.

However with the exception of the Asia-Pacific region, capital expenditure on microwave backhaul infrastructure will decline—in some cases sharply—after 2010. 

CAPEX peaked in Western Europe early this year at about $4.4 billion and is already heading to a $4 billion point by year's end, after which it will drop precipitously to less than $2.5 billion in 2012. Spending will continue to increase in the Asia-Pacific area to something less than $2 billion in 2012, and will also decline after that.

According to ABI Research analyst Xavier Ortiz, "Asia's backhaul CAPEX is lower than one might expect, lacking demand from China where the government has mandated fiber deployments. Africa ranks a somewhat surprising third due to heavy reliance on microwave backhaul."

Mobile networks practice director Aditya Kaul adds, "To adapt to these changing market conditions and the shift to all-IP networks, backhaul vendors should keep an eye open for Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers. Developing countries also present good opportunities. While they may be a tough sell due to limited budgets, underserved regions often need government-mandated upgrades and may have access to helpful government incentives."

The Indian 3G market is one of the most significant of these developing opportunities.

ABI Research's "Mobile Network Backhaul" study describes and analyzes these issues, profiles key players, and examines some of the most innovative solutions. Forecasts include CAPEX and OPEX for different access technologies, data traffic forecasts by region, OPEX on leased backhaul services, mobile data services by region, microwave infrastructure vendor market share, and microwave CAPEX for new base station installs by region.

It is included in two of the firm's Research Services, Mobile Networks and Broadband, and will also be part of the upcoming "Mobile Backhaul Research Service."

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 28 research and advisory services. Est. 1990

20-10-2010, 11:00
Oracle announces the Middle Eastern regional results of its report "Opportunity Calling:

Oracle announces the Middle Eastern regional results of its report "Opportunity Calling: The Future of Mobile Communications". The study surveyed more than 3,000 mobile phone consumers worldwide and 570 in the Middle East to examine their use and perceptions of mobile phones.

This included assessing their interest in new technologies such as applications, and expectations for the next generation of mobile communication.

Key Findings

· Advanced usage: Thirty-nine percent of consumers in the Middle East use their mobile phones as a mini computer, compared to only 22% in North America and Europe, and 29% in Asia Pacific and Latin America. This scale of advanced consumer use demonstrates genuine commercial opportunity for Communications Service Providers who address data and application consumption in this region.

· Making the most of features: Supporting the fact that Middle Eastern mobile users are ahead of their global peers is their use of advanced features, as 70% have used their phone to read or send an e-mail, compared to an average of 44% elsewhere. In addition, 34% have obtained driving directions on their phones, which on average only 21% of users have done in other regions.

· Multiple handsets: Middle Eastern mobile phone users are nearly twice as likely as the rest of the world to use two or more mobile phones, with 62% of respondents saying they do so, compared to an average of 36% across the globe.

· Market Opportunity: The market is ripe for carrier competition, with 69% of Middle Eastern consumers willing to switch service providers if offered better pricing. The Middle East was also second only to Latin America in its readiness to consider using non-traditional telecom companies such as Sony or Facebook, if offered similar prices and quality to their current provider (88% in the Middle East, 95% in Latin America)

· The mobile future: Consumers in the Middle East see that in the future, mobile phones will become increasingly integral to everyday life. Thirty-six percent of respondents believe that five years from now, they will use their phones as credit cards; 58% will have replaced their digital cameras with mobile phones, and 34% will have replaced personal computers with them. Consumers also anticipate using their mobile phones to chat via video, view paid content on multiple screens, scan barcodes to access relevant online information and monitor home electricity usage.

· To access the full report – which also addresses mobile phone use preferences, consumer purchasing habits, motivations for change, demand for bundled services and applications, as well as key differentiators between various global regions – visit Oracle Communications on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OracleCommunications (http://www.sat-universe.com/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2 FOracleCommunications) or click http://bit.ly/bdXnL1 (http://www.sat-universe.com/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2FbdXnL1).

Supporting Quotes

· "Communications service providers are always looking for the next technological breakthrough to gain a competitive advantage. Oracle's 'Opportunity Calling: The Future of Mobile Communications' report gives a view into the minds of consumers, demonstrating that while mobile users are rapidly accepting new technological capabilities, price and reliability are still the driving factors in their decisions to select – and stay with – providers. Staying on the cutting-edge by providing innovative new content and applications is critical, but providers must ensure that the 'brass tacks' – service activation, delivery, and billing – are seamless, accurate and fast," said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications.

· "The Middle East appears to be moving faster than the rest of the world when it comes to making the most of the services and applications available on mobile phones. It's exciting to think that this means as mobiles get faster and smarter, providers could be leading the charge on encouraging the uptake of sophisticated data use, and finding new ways to utilise the mini-computers we're all starting to carry in our pockets." Gordon Rawling, senior marketing director, Oracle Communications EMEA

20-10-2010, 11:01
PIRATE BAY FANS apparently have hacked a website that's on the US Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) entertainment cartel's payroll.

Big Media website gets hacked by Pirate Bay fans

PIRATE BAY FANS apparently have hacked a website that's on the US Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) entertainment cartel's payroll.

It seems that dedicated Pirate Bay users were on the warpath and targeted a website called Copyprotected. The website is a copy protection awareness front, designed so that punters can report copyright violations for DVD and Blu-ray movies.

According to the Sunbelt blog, the website is a front for the MPAA and it raised the ire of some annoyed Pirate Bay users. How did Sunbelt know it was Pirate Bay fans? Easy, the website has a couple of Google cache screenshots as evidence. The headline reads "Payback is a bitch, isn't it?", underneath which is Pirate Bay's logo of a pirate ship. Under that it reads "Operation:Payback".

Sunbelt forum members claim the hack was done using DNS cache poisoning. Joel Lathrop reported that the attack wasn't just a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) because it didn't just take out one of the MPAA's web servers.

"This appears to be an example of DNS cache poisoning. Someone managed to hijack the DNS registration for copyprotected.com such that it points to an IP with their own web server displaying their own page." That sounds a bit garbled to us, but maybe they're still reeling from the hack.

In September The INQUIRER reported that the MPAA and associated music Mafiaa company websites were hit with crippling DDoS attacks by the Internet vigilantes at 4Chan. The MPAA likes to threaten individuals with lawsuits so it probably has already called out its sniffer dogs to trace further attacks.

20-10-2010, 11:03
FIGURES PUT OUT BY Oxford University show that Britain is continuing to lag behind the rest of the world on broadband quality

Cisco said that the UK is ranked 18th and is behind Belgium, a country whose only claims to fame include inventing the potato chip and the fact that it was used as a highway by Germans to invade France.

The third annual study from Saïd Business School at Oxford University looked at broadband quality in 72 countries and 239 cities

Only one in five countries are prepared for the Internet "applications of tomorrow", but that is an improvement compared to only one country the whole world in a study in 2008, the report said.

More than half of the countries surveyed have conquered the digital quality divide with less evident differences between the broadband quality inside and outside their main cities. This is an improvement of 58 per cent in just one year.

Many emerging economies are 'leapfrogging' by focusing on bringing the best broadband to their cities, acknowledging the impact on the economy, the report said.

Mobile broadband quality has improved significantly, with 10 per cent of mobile broadband users already enjoying similar quality experiences as those with fixed-line broadband.

An average household now needs more than 2Mbps and is consuming about 20GB of data per month. A smart and well connected home needs more than 20Mbps of bandwidth and consumes up to 500GB of online content per month.

The top ten are:

1. South Korea
2. Hong Kong
3. Japan
4. Iceland
5. Switzerland. Luxemburg, Singapore
6. Malta
7. Netherlands,
8. United Arab Emirates, Qatar
9. Sweden
10. Denmark

20-10-2010, 11:04
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to try to get the nine million Brits who are still not online to connect to the Internet.
Apparently there are nine million of you

The UK's "Get online" week has been kicked off with the message that getting online can help to save all you clueless Brits, who aren't reading this anyway because... you're not yet online, both money and time.

You can see what events and courses are happening in your area on the "Get Online" campaign website.

A number of leading celebrities will be shown getting online and using the Internet for the first time. Apparently the BBC's Sir Terry Wogan will act as a web ambassador.

Just to reach the older generation, a scenario will be shown in which a character in Radio 4's The Archers will be given their first computer lesson. So listen out for that one, it could be a show stopper.

Google and McDonalds are sponsoring the campaign and are running events of their own throughout the month.

"Get online week is the biggest digital inclusion event to date with 3,000 events planned across the UK, helping 80,000 people to get online," notes the event's website at getonlineweek.com.

Apparently new learners at the many events planned all across the UK will play a splash & grab themed game in order to improve their basic mouse-control skills, as well as being encouraged to register for myguide online courses.

20-10-2010, 11:06
NEARLY HALF OF all UK broadband users couldn't care less about their connection speeds as long as they work.

A You Gov survey commissioned by Sky Broadband polled a selection of UK broadband customers to see what they thought about broadband service in Britain. 44 per cent replied that they "don't know" or "don't care" how fast their broadband service is, "so long as it works". So we're assuming from that random selection by the pollsters that none or few of them were out in bumpkin Britain, relying on terribly dismal connection speeds that pigeons can outfly.

Only 14 per cent said they were interested in faster connection speeds. That'll be just as well for British Telecom (BT) because the company can probably only roll out superfast fibre optic broadband to 14 per cent of the country. Virgin and Talktalk have lined up a speed bump roll out over BT's telegraph poles as well but can't actually offer customers that speed bump yet.

Only 6 per cent cited speed as solely important, with 39 per cent preferring value for money and 36 per cent factoring in customer satisfaction. A fair few muppets, 31 per cent were more interested in getting bundled together phone and broadband services.

Bizarrely, 64 per cent said they want unlimited broadband without any kind of usage caps. But why would that many look for uncapped broadband if only 14 per cent care about connection and download speeds? Surely only users looking for the fastest bandwidth they can buy would also be interested in getting it uncapped.

The survey also found that almost 90 per cent of people use their broadband at home daily

20-10-2010, 11:07
A DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEE has done what the big media mafiaa have failed to do by shuttering several Bittorrent tracker websites.

While the various music recording label and Hollywood movie representatives have spent millions on hiring lawyers and lobbying politicians to take down what they call "the pirates", the actions of a former employee at the web host Reality Check Network have seemingly done far more damage. The outfit hosts numerous Bittorrent tracker websites on its servers and at 11AM BST it suffered what it called a "malicious attack" on its network.

Later the firm said that it wasn't a "network based" attack but rather an old school instance of sabotage by corrupting the master boot records (MBR) of servers, conducted by a ex-employee who had "intimate knowledge" of the network and systems.

Essentially the MBR holds information about where the operating system resides and is read after the system completes BIOS execution at start-up. A corrupted MBR typically doesn't result in a loss of data, however repairing it is a fiddly and time consuming task.

At press time, Reality Check Network's website is still down.

The attack goes to illustrate, once again, the while the Bittorrent protocol might be decentralised, the job of serving up torrent pointers is still very much a centralised operation. While outfits like The Pirate Bay can afford to have redundancy in place, even it has been forced offline, albeit for minutes, from attacks by 'anti-piracy' groups. Smaller torrent trackers such as those hosted on the Reality Check Network are often much smaller operations without the contingency in place to withstand attacks.

Who knows, maybe the big media mafiaa will extend an offer of employment to this disgruntled ex-employee. After all the chap managed to succeed where it has failed miserably, though only because he was an insider

20-10-2010, 11:07
Sweden to launch HD DTT in November

Teracom-owned Swedish digital-terrestrial TV operator Boxer will launch HDTV broadcasts on November 1.
Swedish public broadcaster SVT’s two main channels will launch in HD, to be joined by a number of Boxer’s pay-TV channels.
The channels will initially be available via 17 repeater stations, with a further 16 to begin transmitting by the end of the year, taking HD coverage to about 70% of Swedish households. Transmissions will be in the DVB-T2 format pioneered in the UK, using MPEG-4 compression. DVB-T2 set-tops were launched in the Swedish market in September.

20-10-2010, 11:08
UK superindie Shine Group is suing Northern & Shell (N&S), the parent company of terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 (C5), claiming the firm owes it nearly £1m (US$1.59m) for talent show Don't Stop Believing.

In a statement, Shine said N&S was "reneging on contractual commitments" by refusing to pay it - and other indies - fees for shows that had been agreed with previous C5 owner RTL. Representatives for N&S were unavailable for comment.

Shine is also offering to support smaller UK indies embroiled in disputes with the broadcaster.

According to UK producers' body Pact, around 10 firms are currently having issues with C5 relating to payment.

"There is a major problem," Pact CEO John McVay . "Instead of the previously agreed 30-day payments, C5 is now suddenly saying 60 days and end of the month, which in some cases means 90 days. For a smaller company, that's a major cash-flow issue."

McVay added that the situation has become a problem for indies over the past fortnight, and said Pact was hoping to come to a resolution with N&S. "We are making our views felt strongly to C5 and to Ofcom as well. Staff at C5 are trying as much as they can, but they don't write the cheques at the end of the day."

In a statement, a Shine spokesman said: "Shine cannot tolerate a new owner of a public service broadcaster reneging on contractual commitments made by C5's previous owner, RTL, and has instructed litigator Reed Smith to use all legal recourse to recover the near £1m debt."

He added that Shine was "able to stand up to C5's new owners throwing their weight around" on account of its size. "However, for smaller companies, who are the backbone of our creative economy, this behaviour threatens their very survival.

"The Shine Group is therefore offering support to independent C5 programme makers who are threatened with insolvency by N&S's refusal to pay overdue bills." The spokesman clarified that such support would be in the form of legal advice and discussion, and not financial aid.

In addition to Don't Stop Believing, which was produced in partnership with WPP's GroupM Entertainment, Shine also produces The Wright Stuff and Eddie Stobart: Trucks & Trailers for C5.

20-10-2010, 11:09
Indonesian digital pay-TV operator PT Cipta Skynindo has added international kids network KidsCo to its line-up.

English- and Bahasa Indonesian-language feeds of the NBC Universal, Corus Entertainment and Cookie Jar-owned channel will goes live to Indonesian and East Timorese viewers on November 1. KidsCo, which has programming such as Inspector Gadget and Babar, is already in the territory on Indovision, Grazmedia and Aora and via M2V's in-car pay-TV system MMDS.

20-10-2010, 11:10
Sky Italia denies pay-TV on DTT plans

Sky Italia does not intend to enter the DTT market with a pay-TV offer, claiming this would be technically impossible. It was refuting allegations in dialy “Corriere della Sera” which claimed that Sky Italia plans to team up with local media group Espresso as part of an “anti-Mediaset deal”.

Sky Italia points out that it broadcasts over 190 encrypted TV channels, including 36 in HD (due to increase to 50 soon) on satellite and offers many advanced features guaranteed by the mySky decoder, adding that the bandwidth availability on DTT would make such an offer “technically impossible”.

However, the broadcaster does not exclude that its free-to-air DTT channel Cielo could expand its offering with one or two additional channels by leasing the necessary frequencies on the market.

20-10-2010, 11:11
BBC launching HD net sound

The BBC is addressing the questionable quality of its online radio streams with the launch of HD Sound, a new high-definition netcast technology.

Due for Radio 3 in December, and to be available on selected programming on the BBC’s other radio channels starting with the Electric Proms on Radio 2 later this month, HD Sound will offer a wider dynamic range and less heavily compressed audio.

20-10-2010, 11:12
Optus may deliver TV over NBN

Australian communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has speculated that a commercial deal between Optus and NBN could see the telco’s cable TV services delivered over the National Broadband Network.

Many Optus services, including its pay TV products, are currently provided over its own HFC networks. Any deal is likely to see the HFC network switched off.

The minister said: “We’re in discussions with Optus, as in the National Broadband Network are, about the possibility of migrating broadband customers across to the NBN,” he said. “There’ll be a commercial decisions made – what that could mean is when fibre comes and gets connected to your home those services are delivered through the fibre, rather than the HFC.”

20-10-2010, 11:13
MTV Networks International (MTVNI) has signed deals for Nickelodeon preschool content in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, including the first worldwide launch of a Nick Jr branded block.

From next month, Nickelodeon's animated preschool programming will be localised and broadcast on national pubcaster Kazakhstan1, and as a branded block on Kazakhstan kids' channel Balapan.

The deal includes 204 episodes of Nickelodeon content including seasons one to five of Dora The Explorer, three seasons of Go, Diego, Go! and the first two seasons of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.

In Afghanistan, localised Nickelodeon programming will feature on free-to-air satellite TV network Ariana Television Network (ATN), which will air seasons one and two of Dora the Explorer.

Marco Arabit, MTVNI's emerging markets sales executive, brokered the deals. As part of the agreements, Dora the Explorer will be dubbed into Kazakhi, Dari and Pashto for the first time, bringing the number of languages into which the programme has been dubbed to 31

20-10-2010, 11:14
Youku, Disney content deal

Youku, China’s largest video hosting site, has partnered with Disney to begin streaming the studio’s TV shows. The videos are subtitled in Chinese.

The agreement with Disney comes as Chinese video hosting sites are moving away from showing illegally uploaded content. Chinese users continue to upload pirated popular American TV shows and movies to sites like Youku, even as the companies try to be vigilant in deleting such content.

For Youku, 70 per cent of the company’s videos come from licensed content. A remaining 20 per cent of the site’s videos is UGC, while 10 per cent is original content. Currently, 230 million Chinese users visit Youku on a monthly basis.

20-10-2010, 11:15
UK ‘proving’ satellite

The UK is going to develop a satellite to trial innovative space technologies. The idea is components and instruments flying on TechDemoSat (TDS) can prove their worth and go on to win substantial international business.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) will lead the project. Participants are likely to include a novel instrument to measure the state of the sea and another to track ships from orbit.

The core mission design of TDM is being funded with a grant of £770,000 from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). If all goes well, a further £2,730,000 will be released to move the project into the build and test phase.

20-10-2010, 11:15
Three in for French pay TV

The CSA has confirmed that Canal Plus and TV Numéric and the football league, the LFP, have applied to operate a new pay-TV channel on DTT.

The LFP wants to run a soccer channel with the rights currently shared between Canal Plus and Orange, as they are not bidding for the rights from 2012. Canal Plus wants to air Canal Plus Family channel, while TV Numéric wants to extend its current offer including Paris Première, TF6, Planète and Eurosport.

The CSA is to hold consultation and make a decision in January.

20-10-2010, 11:16
BBC releases rare broadcasts by HG Wells

BBC Archives has released a rare collection of radio broadcasts by H.G. Wells, the renowned author often referred to as the father of science-fiction.

The collection, titled HG Wells On The Future, provides a "unique insight" into the man behind sci-fi classics such as The Time Machine and War Of The Worlds.

Dating back to the 1930s and 1940s, the radio broadcasts reveal Wells's eerily accurate predictions on future technological advances, such as the spread of the motor car and the growth of printed media.

The author also predicted the coming need to aggregate news content and create constantly-updated bibliographies to "modernise the distribution of knowledge".

Also in the collection is a batch of never-before seen letters sent to Wells by the BBC as part of efforts to encourage him to speak on-air.

The correspondence reveals how the first BBC director of talks Hilda Matheson worked to persuade the reluctant Wells to share his views via the medium of radio.

However, a set of internal memos also reflect the anxiety around how Wells's potentially controversial opinions would be received in Russia.

The fears were escalated to Lord Reith, the BBC's then director-general, but later allayed over a lunch conversation between the author and Matheson, in which he pledged to only criticise Russia "from the standpoint of a scientific historian".

The collection has been released to coincide with BBC Four's adaptation of the author's science-fiction romance The First Men In The Moon, which will air on the channel tomorrow at 9pm.

BBC executive producer Jamie Laurenson said: "It is great to be able to accompany a fantastic new adaption of HG Wells' The First Men In The Moon with such a rich archive resource that further reveals how prescient he was in so many of his thoughts and writings."

The radio broadcasts and letters are available now on a special H.G. Wells section of the BBC Archives website.

20-10-2010, 11:18
Three candidates for French DTT pay-TV channel

Pay-TV operators Canal Plus and TV Numéric and the country’s football league, the LFP, have all applied to operate a new pay-TV channel on the country’s digital-terrestrial TV platform.

The LFP wants to operate a channel to commercialise the rights currently shared between Canal Plus and Orange, following to latter’s decision not to bid for the next set of rights from 2012. Canal Plus has applied to launch its Canal Plus Family channel on the platform, while TV Numéric wants to extend its existing DTT-based offer, which includes Paris Première, TF6, Planète and Eurosport.

The country’s media regulator, the CSA, will weigh up the applications via a public process in December before naming a winner in January.
The French football league Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) is one of the three interested parties. The LFP has taken op the idea to launch its own live football channel after pay TV operator Orange decided to abandon the premium TV business as a content provider. At this moment, the matches of the LFP are divided between Canal+ and Orange Sport.

Canal+ has also applied for a licence for its Canal+ Family channel. At the moment., Canal+ has its main Canal+ channel available on digital terrestrail in both SD and HD versions, as well as the Canal+ Sport channel.

TV Numeric is also a candidate; the company already offers a number of premium channels over the DTT network and now wants to expand its offer with push-VOD services. The current channel line up for TV Numeric is Paris Première, TF6, Planète, LCI and Eurosport. A bouquet that has attracted around 500,000 subscribers.

20-10-2010, 11:19
German regulator reportedly to extend joint-venture probe

The German Federal Cartel Office plans to extend its probe into plans by broadcasters ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Group to develop a joint online TV service until the end of January, according to local reports.

Weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche, without citing sources, has reported that the regulator has extended the deadline for the investigation until January 26 in order to carry out an in-depth probe on the plan.

In August the two companies applied to the EC for approval to launch a service that would offer content online for seven days after its initial broadcast. The platform is intended to enable providers to make content, including series, films, shows or news broadcasts, available online via a central, web-based offering. Internet users will be able to retrieve content free of charge seven days after TV transmission, while individual TV channels will continue to be responsible for marketing the content.

20-10-2010, 11:20
Polish DTH market still not saturated

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. Poland’s DTH platforms can between them still secure an additional 1.5-2 million subscribers, in the opinion of Dominik Libicki, the president of Cyfrowy Polsat.

His estimate was based on a current pay-TV (cable and DTH) penetration rate of 65% of Polish TV homes.

Commenting on LTE technology, which allows for internet access of up to 150 Mbps and in the most advanced forms of 300-320 Mbps, Libicki added that the platform would be happy to supply all its subscribers with speeds of 15 Mbps.

Libicki also said that all Polsat channels, with the exception of sports, have always been available for distribution on other platforms. He was in addition dismissive of the prospects for DVB-H in Poland.

Commenting on consolidation in Poland’s DTH market, Libicki said that all options are possible.

However, Tomasz Berezowski, a member of ITI Neovision’s board and also its technical director, controversially said that the market could sustain up to two more DTH platforms.

In discussing the partnership agreement announced last week between TVN and incumbent telco TPSA, Berezowski insisted it would not lead to a merger.

However, “we are looking at nearly 500,000 TPSA clients who have satellite dishes and are not offered all the services they could get in terms of content”.

20-10-2010, 11:21
Copyswede outlines new Swedish retrans agreement

Copyswede, the Swedish copyright clearing house, and cable operators, Com Hem, Tele2, Canal Digital and TeliaSonera have agreed on new conditions for the retransmission of SVT over cable television networks in Sweden.

The new contract, agreed after a series of lengthy negotiations, gives operators SEK 1.06 (€0.10) per household per month for all SVT channels.

“It is gratifying that we have finally obtained cable television companies the compensation they are entitled to for the SVT channels,” said Mattias Åkerlind, president of Copyswede. “The new agreement provides a welcome stability for the market.”

The new agreement provides for compensation of SEK 0.80 per month during the mediation period between February 1, 2009 and August 18, 2010.

20-10-2010, 11:22
Polish and European cable on a high

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. There are likely to be up to 152 cable HD channels in Europe by the end of this year, according to Manuel Kohnstamm, the president of Cable Europe.

Speaking at the opening of the 37th International Conference and Exhibition organised by the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communication (PIKE), he added that the next phase in cable, which is set to grow by 6% in Europe and 12% in Central Europe this year, will be “relentless technical innovation at all levels.”

Kohnstamm also said that, “Poland’s broadband technology market has huge potential. Cable is the real driver in this revolution.”

The conference was opened by Lech Walesa, the joint founder and first head of the Solidarity movement and also a former president of Poland, who made an impassioned plea for responsibility in the media.

20-10-2010, 11:23
DTT debate continues in Poland

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. Although DTT is now up and running in Poland, the final line-up of channels on the first multiplex is still far from decided.

Aside from the public broadcaster’s three main channels, it has space for four more services, and Ewa Gadomska from the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) confirmed that several parties have already expressed their interest in securing a space on the multiplex. They include 4Fun Media, TV Puls, TV Trwam and the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communication (PIKE).

Jerzy Straszewski, the latter’s president, said that there are currently around 120 local TV channels in Poland distributed by cable and PIKE has applied for a licence for a channel produced by them.

Significantly, when asked how the estimated PLN100 million (€25.5 million) would be found for such a service, he added that it would have to be financially viable and “we are looking for partners.”

20-10-2010, 11:24
UPC Direct: End of Nat Geo Wild HD test

The Central European satellite pay television UPC Direct have now completed testing of a documentary channel in high definition video HD Nat Geo Wild. You are here occurred in late September. Shortly after the launch of a new transponder to use the UPC.

The new UPC DTH capacity is currently only documentary channel broadcast spectrum in the Hungarian version. The signal is encrypted Nagra Media Access Systems (using Nagravision) and Cryptoworks.

technical parameters, which aired the program Wild Nat Geo HD

* Thor 6 (0.8 ° W), freq 11.881 GHz, pol V, SR 28000, FEC 5 / 6, DVB-S/QPSK

20-10-2010, 11:25
The capacity for Amos 5i will also provide Arabsat 5A

UAE satellite operator Arabsat will provide clients with an Israeli company Spacecom capacity needed in the C band. Some programs and services have appeared on satellite Arabsat 5A to the position of 30.5 ° E.

The reason for the transfer of programs from satellite Amos 5i (17 ° E) Arabsat 5A (30.5 ° E) is the state of the art satellite Amos 5i, which prevented the further provision of services to its clients.

Satellite 5i Amos was originally designed for a minimum of 17 ° E in the delivery of satellite Amos 5 in the middle of next year. 17E position so probably not until the company Spacecom used.

Technical parameters - Thomson Reuters World News Service:

* Arabsat 5A (30.5 ° E) freq 3.908 GHz, pol. R, SR 7190, FEC 3 / 4, VideoGuard CA

Technical parameters - MTV Base Africa:

* Arabsat 5A (30.5 ° E) freq 3.913 GHz, pol. R, SR 2170, FEC 3 / 4, Cryptoworks CA

Technical parameters - Podhigai DD, DD Sahyadri, DD Saptagiri, DD Urdu:

* Arabsat 5A (30.5 ° E) freq 3.920 GHz, pol. R, SR 5530, FEC 2 / 3, DVB-S2/8PSK, CA BISS

Spare kapcitu Ku-band for 5i Amos received the Iraqi satellite TV on Intelsat 10-02 (1 ° W) in the Book of the Middle East.

20-10-2010, 11:27
BBC (Astra 2D) change frequencies on Monday 18 October 2010

Listed below are the frequencies for BBC TV channels and radio stations available via satellite. The BBC is rationalising its service line-up on digital satellite, and from the early morning of Monday 18 October 2010, the service line-up will be as set-out in the chart below. Because of software limitations, BBC Red Button interactive channels are currently only available with Freesat or a Sky set-top box and viewing card.

Other free channels are also available, but some - such as Channel 4 and Five - are encrypted and require Freesat or a Sky set-top box and viewing card.

Viewers with a Freesat set-top box will not need to do anything, as the Freesat EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) will be updated to reflect these changes. If you experience a problem, it may be resolved by switching your Freesat box off, and then on again. If you see an on-screen message advising you to retune, please follow the instructions on-screen.

Viewers with a Free-to-Air receiver will need to retune to continue to receive the BBC services that are moving.

FEC = forward error correction
SID = service information descriptor

Astra 2D (28.2° East)
Transponder 45 (aka 2.045)
Frequency: 10.77325 GHz
Horizontal polarisation
Symbol rate: 22.0 Mbaud
FEC 5/6
Transport Stream ID: 2045


20-10-2010, 11:29
ASTRA 2D BBC changed the frequency of their programs

The British public the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) this morning made significant changes in the distribution of its programs on the Astra 2D (28.2 ° E). Some programs have changed not only the frequency but also the polarization, which may be showing in Central Europe to fundamentally change the conditions of receiving popular British programs.

The reason for this change is to optimize the frequency transponder capacity and the capacity to release BBC One HD, which starts March 11, 2010 (freq 10.847 GHz, pol V). It will broadcast from the same transponder as the dissemination of BBC HD.

Technical parameters - BBC One London BBC Two England, CBBC, BBC Three, Five, BBC One BS Bristol BBC One West, BBC One Cambridge CB, BBC One East, BBC One, BBC Channel Islands:

* Astra 2D (28.2 ° E) freq 10.773 GHz, pol H SR 22000, FEC 5 / 6

Technical parameters - BBC Four, CBeebies, BBC One Scotland, BBC Two Scotland, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC One MR Manchester, Leeds LS BBC One, BBC One TW Tunbridge Wells:

* Astra 2D (28.2 ° E) freq 10.803 GHz, pol H SR 22000, FEC 5 / 6

Technical parameters - BBC HD, BBC One HD

* Astra 2D (28.2 ° E) freq 10.847 GHz, pol V, SR 22000, FEC 5 / 6

Technical parameters - BBC One Wales, BBC Two Wales, BBC One in Birmingham, Hull BBC One, BBC One Nottingham, Norwich BBC One:

* Astra 2D (28.2 ° E) freq 10.788 GHz, pol V, SR 22000, FEC 5 / 6

Technical parameters - BBC One Northern Ireland BBC Two Northern Ireland, BBC One South, BBC South West, BBC North East and Cumbria BBC One Oxford - BBC South:

* Astra 2D (28.2 ° E) freq 10.817 GHz, pol V, SR 22000, FEC 5 / 6

20-10-2010, 11:30
BBC releases rare broadcasts by HG Wells

BBC Archives has released a rare collection of radio broadcasts by H.G. Wells, the renowned author often referred to as the father of science-fiction.

The collection, titled HG Wells On The Future, provides a "unique insight" into the man behind sci-fi classics such as The Time Machine and War Of The Worlds.

Dating back to the 1930s and 1940s, the radio broadcasts reveal Wells's eerily accurate predictions on future technological advances, such as the spread of the motor car and the growth of printed media.

The author also predicted the coming need to aggregate news content and create constantly-updated bibliographies to "modernise the distribution of knowledge".

Also in the collection is a batch of never-before seen letters sent to Wells by the BBC as part of efforts to encourage him to speak on-air.

The correspondence reveals how the first BBC director of talks Hilda Matheson worked to persuade the reluctant Wells to share his views via the medium of radio.

However, a set of internal memos also reflect the anxiety around how Wells's potentially controversial opinions would be received in Russia.

The fears were escalated to Lord Reith, the BBC's then director-general, but later allayed over a lunch conversation between the author and Matheson, in which he pledged to only criticise Russia "from the standpoint of a scientific historian".

The collection has been released to coincide with BBC Four's adaptation of the author's science-fiction romance The First Men In The Moon, which will air on the channel tomorrow at 9pm.

BBC executive producer Jamie Laurenson said: "It is great to be able to accompany a fantastic new adaption of HG Wells' The First Men In The Moon with such a rich archive resource that further reveals how prescient he was in so many of his thoughts and writings."

The radio broadcasts and letters are available now on a special H.G. Wells section of the BBC Archives website.

20-10-2010, 11:31
Bright prospects for Polish 3D

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. There is a huge mismatch in the current expectations for 3D in Poland’s TV and film industries. However, in the long term the technology is likely to be accepted – and indeed expected – by viewers using both media.

Piotr Zyga, the president of the ITI-backed Multikino cinema chain, said that 40% of its customers this year had already watched movies in 3D.

While there was general agreement among the panellists in a session entitled Third generation TV about 3D being an ‘event-driven’ technology, there were different views as to what constitutes events and how suitable they are for 3D.

For instance, Jakub Jagielka, responsible for the development of new technologies at Canal+ Cyfrowy said that boxing and tennis might be a better option than football. He also conceded that the costs of the company’s first 3D transmissions in Poland this May had been very high.

John Honeycutt, executive VP and head of international business operations at Discovery Networks International (DNI), meanwhile said that while the cost of HD had initially been high, in 3D they will be a “floor on” cost.

He also said, “you will never have a simulcast of 2D and 3D” as 3D is produced differently (to HD).

20-10-2010, 11:32
Connected TV market set for explosive growth

This year, some 40 million connected TVs are expected to ship in 2010, a market, which is expected to grow to over 118 million in 2014, according to US research firm DisplaySearch. However, Dallas-based Parks Associates is a bit more cautious on the market and predicts the figure in European households to be to 47 million in 2014.
However in both research reports, the outlook for connected TV sets is bright. The figures from DisplaySearch refers to the number of sets shipped, the figure from park Associates is devices in the home.

The new research from Parks Associates indicates the number of European households with a connected TV will grow from less than 4 million in 2009 to 47 million in 2014. The number of households with a connected Blu-ray player will jump from 5 million in 2010 to approximately 66 million in 2014.

“Connectivity is becoming standard in CE products,” said Kurt Scherf, VP, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates, also in a statement. “Stakeholders as diverse as managed service providers, content aggregators, and third-party application developers will play a role in how these devices link to services and allow the consumer to discover new ways to interact with entertainment. Our session will cover the key developments in both technology and the user experience.”

Despite the growth of the connected TV segment, no clear front-runner has emerged. DisplaySearch said that only around 10% of the connected TVs sold in Japan have joined a network so far, while expectations for North America have been scaled back as the TV market struggles in the region this year.

In Europe, Parks expects a growing role for hybrid devices. “The growth of hybrid set-top boxes, which offer broadcast and broadband/IPTV options, is a major trend in the European video market, especially as the continent is poised for full DTT switchover,” according to Scherf. “For example, DTT coverage in France reached 88% of the market by June 2009, and the full switchover will finish in 2011. Industry consortia in several nations are working on set-top standards to enable interactive TV services. Efforts include MHP, HbbTV, Project Canvas, OHTV, and Hybridcast.”

By contrast to the connected TV market, uptake of 3D TVs among consumers has been limited by high prices and lack of content. Displaysearch expects that 3.2 million 3D TVs will be shipped in 2010, with growth to over 90 million in 2014. Based on this forecast, 3D will grow from 2% of all flat panel TVs shipped in 2010, to 41% in 2014.

“While TV manufacturers have bold plans and a lot of new products, consumers remain cautious,” said Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics Research. “Consumers have been told that 3D TV is the future, but there still remains a huge price jump and little 3D content to watch.”

20-10-2010, 16:16
Romania reconsiders ASO date

The controversial decision to put back the analogue switch-off (ASO) date in Romania to 2015 could now be changed.
According to ZF, Catalin Marinescu, the president of the regulatory body ANCOM, has proposed bringing the date forward by two years to 2013, basing his argument on the fact that the EU will approve its policy on spec//trum usage this autumn.

Marinescu says there is a view that the spectrum will become available from the beginning of 2013, and as a result ANCOM has suggested to the Ministry of Communications that Romania should fall in line with this development.

Romania’s transition to digital broadcasting was stopped dead in its tracks back in August, when the country put back the ASO by three years to 2015.

In doing so, it brought to a DTT tender that was then in progress to an end.

20-10-2010, 16:17
Czech Republic eyes fifth DTH platform

The Czech Republic is likely to see the launch of what will be its fifth DTH platform at the beginning of next month.
Parabola reports that T-Mobile will then start operating a virtual service from the 23.5 degrees slot, employing the infrastructure currently used by Skylink, the Czech/Slovak DTH platform operated jointly by Towercom and TradeTec.

T-Mobile will also use the same Irdeto/Cryptoworks conditional access as Skylink.

The Czech Republic is currently served by the DTH platforms Skylink, CS Link, Digi TV and UPC Direct, with Skylink the undisputed market leader.

20-10-2010, 16:18
Report puts BBC pension deficit at £1bn

BroadcastingThe National Union Of Journalists has called on the BBC to come clean about its pension deficit, after leaked figures appeared to counteract management claims.

In a statement today, the NUJ said that it has seen a report drawn up for the BBC by financial consultants that puts the pension deficit at £1 billion, considerably below the £2bn previously suggested.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said: "The BBC sought to sell its pensions robbery by claiming it had to plug a £2bn deficit. If today's figures are true, that has now been exposed as a sham.

"The BBC's credibility is in tatters and their justification for these punitive changes completely undermined. They must now come clean and restart negotiations with everything on the table."

The pension scheme's actuaries, who are believed to privately estimate the deficit at around £1.5bn, are currently in talks with the BBC to lock down the final figure.

In response to the NUJ claim, BBC Trustee Jeremy Peat told PA: "We are only beginning discussions with our actuaries over the deficit. I have discussed no figures as yet with the BBC but this figure of £1 billion is not one I recognise."

Members of the BBC staff unions, the NUJ, Bectu and Unite have already voted by more than 90% in favour of strike action over changes to the pension scheme. They are now voting in a further consultative ballot on the BBC's latest offer.

A 48-hour strike initially planned for tomorrow has been cancelled, but the BBC members will hold a 24-hour work to rule on October 22 in protest at the pension plans.

20-10-2010, 16:19
BBC creates 3D 'Strictly' short film

The BBC has reportedly filmed a three-minute sequence from Strictly Come Dancing in 3D as part of ongoing trails of the new technology.

Titled Tango Unleashed, the 3D short film features professional dancer Flavia Cacace and her male partner performing an Argentinean tango.

The sequence was filmed last Friday and will be screened at selected UK cinemas and TV retailers in the run-up to Children in Need on November 19, reports Broadband TV News.

Tango Unleashed, which follows a 3D trailer shown earlier in the year for the new series of Doctor Who, was produced using three separate 3D rigs brought in by BBC Studios.

The production was overseen by Strictly Come Dancing director Nikki Parsons with the help of 3Ality Digital's stereographer Scott Steele.

Earlier this month, Sky launched Europe's first dedicated 3D TV channel to around 3m Sky+ HD subscribers in the UK and the Republic Of Ireland.

However, the BBC's head of 3D and HD Danielle Nagler said that production of the 3D short film does not mean the BBC intends to launch a 3D channel.

"It is going to be very clearly packaged as an event for Children in Need and we wouldn't want to suggest in any sense that we're doing a 3D channel. I think channels are a very different proposition to individual pieces of content," Nagler said.

"When you produce a channel you're pushing content out to an audience and everything you know about 3D at the moment is that people select to pull it, selecting the film, and putting on the glasses and that's very different to watching Strictly on a Saturday night."

The corporation recently ran trials of super high definition and 3D broadcasts towards the aim of using the technology at the London 2012 Olympics.

Nagler said that the BBC's 3D content could be delivered to licence fee payers in future via the iPlayer, although that would require some reconfiguration work.

"Part of our thinking around a pipeline of projects is how we can distribute content as widely as possible. It is quite important as consoles have 3D and more and more people have laptop and smaller screen capability and connected-TVs that we think about how we can use iPlayer as a way to get limited pieces of content to people," she said.

"For us the goal is what we make in 3D can be accessed by audiences, without paying a premium for it, I would bet that in five years time that will be possible.

"I think it will be one-offs, we're starting with three minutes, it could be in five years we choose to make a whole series in 3D but I don't think it will be every night of the week peaktime on BBC One is in 3D."

20-10-2010, 16:20
Envivio Looks Beyond the Set-Top Box with New Multi-Screen Video Solution

Envivio is set to unveil a multi-screen video processing solution, which aims to provide a three-screen video headend to three of the five largest cable MSOs in the United States, the company announced

The solution will be based on Envivo’s existing 4Caster C4 encoding and transcoding multi-screen platform, which allows cable companies to convert content for IP-based video deliverys to mobile, PC and TV screens from a single integrated platform.
Envivo’s solution capabilities include: Envivio Extreme H.264 compression for delivering high-quality HD video below 4 Mbps; a network-based on-demand solution to turn any content recorded by a subscriber into assets for subsequent delivery to the subscriber’s mobile and PC screens; and an offline file-to-file workflow that will incorporate a comprehensive feature set for traditional video-on-demand content preparation.

As [cable companies] look beyond the set-top box, they are exploring uncharted territory in terms of both services offered and technology needed. Envivio is in the best position to help, combining proven high quality, high efficiency video compression and delivery technology with unmatched global experience in deploying multi-screen services, Envivo Vice President of Solutions Arnaud Perrier said in a statement.

20-10-2010, 16:21
GE Satcom Finds Middle East Satellite Network Partner

Satellite communication services provider GE Satcom and United Arab Emirates’ integrated telecom service provider Du have entered into a partnership agreement that will see the two companies cooperate to deliver satellite network solutions throughout the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

The partners said the deal creates opportunity for the companies to achieve significant growth within the region’s oil and gas, energy, and financial sectors, where reliable communications are required between base operations and remote sites underserved by terrestrial telecommunications infrastructure.

This is a promising step for both organizations. As one of the leading telecom operators in the United Arab Emirates, Du has a presence and local understanding that we could never hope to achieve on our own. For our part, we bring to the table world-class satellite communications technologies, superior VSAT network operations capability, a comprehensive satellite space inventory and demonstrable experience in delivering services to government and corporate clients,” GE Satcom President and CEO Ronny Svang said in a statement.

20-10-2010, 16:22
Nagravision Provides Content Protection Solutions to Taiwanese Broadcaster

Kudelski Group value-added content protection solutions subsidiary Nagravision was selected to secure the roll-out of advanced digital services for Hsin Yeong An Cable TV (HYA) in Taiwan, Nagravision announced Oct. 18.
HYA, with more than 200,000 subscriber households, delivers analog TV services and cable modem broadband service to its subscribers. The broadcaster is in the process of digitizing its network by 2011, and Nagravision’s Media Access conditional access solution will enhance HYA’s offering and provide DTV services, including HD content, interactive applications, time-shifted TV and PVR.

Nagravision’s DTV infrastructure also will allow the operator to add more advanced services over time, HYA General Manager Lai Guan Ling said in a statement. “This new rollout is a major milestone in our offering, allowing us to add key services that viewers have now come to expect in television.”
Nagravision already offers security solutions to three other cable operators in Taiwan, including China Network Systems, Kbro and TBC.

20-10-2010, 16:23
Arab Advisors Report Shows Regional DSL Speeds Lagging Despite High Costs

Arab Advisors’ research found that 1,024 kbps is the most common DSL speed offered in the Arab region, the analysis firm announced Oct. 18.
DSL remains the prevailing Internet technology in the Arab world, and the report, “ADSL Rates in the Arab World: A Regional Comparison 2010,” found that the average total annual cost for the residential ADSL service in the Arab region stands at $736.40 per year, more expensive for services at 1,024 kbps than other regions, the firm said.

DSL connectivity is cheapest in Morocco and most expensive in Iraq, Arab Advisors found.

20-10-2010, 16:24
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Third Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Third R&O) to promote innovation and consumer choice in the video device marketplace. Recommended in the National Broadband Plan, the rules adopted in the Order promote the statutory goal of creating a competitive retail market for devices that can access cable video services. The Commission takes these steps as an interim measure while it considers new rules that would allow consumers to buy smart video devices that can access all multichannel video programming services, enabling them to change service providers without replacing their video devices.

The overwhelming majority of digital cable subscribers currently lease set-top boxes from their cable providers. Although the CableCARD regime has made it possible for manufacturers to develop innovative devices that consumers can buy to access cable services, its full potential has not yet been realized. The National Broadband Plan indicated that these devices promote broadband adoption and use because they enable consumers to merge Internet-delivered content with cable services. The Plan identified discrete problems that have hindered the consumer experience with retail devices and therefore restrained the development of a retail market. In April 2010, the Commission issued a Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposed solutions to remove the obstacles that have hindered a vibrant retail market for CableCARD devices.

Adoption of the Third R&O specifically remedies the CableCARD regime’s shortcomings identified in the Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by: (1) ensuring that retail devices have access to all video programming that is prescheduled by the programming provider; (2) making CableCARD pricing and billing more transparent; (3) streamlining CableCARD installations; and (4) streamlining requirements for manufacturers who build CableCARD devices. The Third R&O also updates the Commission’s rules to encourage consumers to connect their cable boxes to home networks and to ease the regulatory burdens on cable operators that are modernizing their systems.

Action by the Commission October 14, 2010, by Third Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (FCC 10-181). Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn, and Baker. Separate statements issued by Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn, and Baker.

20-10-2010, 16:25
Format Heavyweights Discuss Creativity, Social Media

The Format Superpanel: Formulas for Success was one of the most well-attended sessions at MIPCOM last week. Moderated by World Screen's group editorial director, Anna Carugati, the packed-out session featured FremantleMedia's Rob Clark, Shine's Alex Mahon, Banijay's François de Brugada, Endemol's Tom Toumazis and Embassy Row's Michael Davies discussing some of the key issues facing the format industry, including the quest for the next breakout hit and the role played by social media.

The Format Superpanel: Formulas for Success, organized by MIPCOM and World Screen, kicked off with a conversation about what broadcasters are asking for. Clark, president of worldwide entertainment at FremantleMedia, noted that broadcasters are seeing a bump in ad revenues following the downturn, which is starting to trickle into programming budgets. "Prime time is a big thing for us," he said. "The Asian market is very lively at the moment," he added. Demand for what he called "The Holy Trinity"—Idols, The X Factor and Got Talent—"has increased immensely. Got Talent we've almost doubled the sales in 16 months. It's a hit everywhere. They become tent-pegs in the schedule."

Mahon, president of the Shine Group, noted that broadcasters are on the lookout for "channel-defining" shows. "It needs to stand for their whole identity. It needs to be versatile for them, flexible, they need to be able to order more of it, they need to work in different configurations." Masterchef, she said, has sold into another 18 territories in the last year, "because it can work all throughout the schedule: in a strip, on a Saturday night, in prime time, as access prime."

Toumazis, chief commercial officer at Endemol, added, "Our sense is you don't just sell the format anymore. It's about putting a complete package together of content and IP that connects with your audience."

Davies, founder of Embassy Row, now part of Sony Pictures Television, pointed to the "massive swingback" in ad revenues in the U.S. "However, [with the] U.S. networks, there's been a massive slowdown in the buying of nonfiction formats and a huge resurgence in the scripted business." The fate of the 20-plus new dramas and comedies on the networks will determine how many opportunities are available for nonscripted shows to break into the market. He added there's been "an explosion in cable buying."

The conversation moved on to what makes for a good format. "The big hits have, on the whole, been very, very original," Davies noted, "and haven't been imitative. It's the shows that knock your socks off and scare people and are incredibly difficult to sell. The only thing that defines all those successful shows is how difficult they've been to sell to the initial broadcaster."

Mahon noted that an emerging trend is that viewers want to feel that shows are "not overproduced or overly manipulated." Mahon pointed to the "rage against the machine phenomenon to do with The X Factor."

FremantleMedia's Clark responded: "14 million watched The X Factor last night. So I don't think rage against the machine is to be taken that seriously."

He added, "A format is a really simple thing. It's a structure in which a story is told. You should have a fantastic way to start the series arc. It needs a great middle bit, great content, great reality that drives it, and then it needs a fantastic ending. That's all a format is."

Banijay's executive VP of commercial and creative affairs, François de Brugada, noted the difference between initiators and followers. "Among the initiators, where the biggest shows of the last few years have come from, it's the U.K., Holland, Scandinavia sometimes and the U.S. The rest of the world is looking for the successes."

He also pointed to the rising demand for formats from DTT channels. "They are looking for signature shows. They want big, bold shows. That's good news for producers."

Toumazis echoed Davies' point that "great shows are difficult to give birth to." He listed as an example The Money Drop. "There are a number of elements that you wouldn't normally associate with a traditional game show. Most game shows you accumulate prize money. In this one you take it away. There was a big debate within our company and Channel 4 whether that would garner the right reaction. That was a risk."

Next on the agenda was social media and the use of Facebook, Twitter and other applications. "The next giant format in the world is going to be something which does naturally tie together all of the social-media functions," said Davies.

FremantleMedia's Clark added: "It is inconceivable that you could launch a major format on a major network or even on a smaller network without having a full array of new-media applications available.... It is absolutely essential that your format lives beyond a broadcast time."

Banijay's de Brugada pointed to his company's Dilemma as a successful use of new media, with viewers able to go online and watch footage from 10 cameras filming the contestants. "Involvement is key," he said. "We are working on launching a platform that will allow people watching TV to play against the participant on the set of the game show. We are going to go further in the involvement of the audience."

Carugati then asked the panelists to discuss successful production models. Toumazis explained how Endemol is using production hubs for big shows like Wipeout. "When you're building bigger ideas, you face the challenge of how can you replicate a terrific concept in some smaller markets around the world."

Twenty three versions of Wipeout have been produced at the Buenos Aires hub, Toumazis said. Three different formats are now being produced at the Argentine base.

FremantleMedia's entertainment formats require a different approach, Clark noted, with a system of "*****s, flying producers, control of the IP centrally, and we pass on best practices and quickly stamp out things that don't work."

Embassy Row's Davies noted that nonfiction formats have become much more expensive in the U.S. "We often can't compete against FremantleMedia or Endemol. [Where] we can compete against [them] is, because we come from a strict game show background, strict talk-show background, we say, we're going to make low-cost, high volume, high quality. Lower cost alternative series are making a comeback."

Clark stressed the importance of protecting your brands. "The FremantleMedia catalogue goes back to the '50s. Price is Right is 55 years old. The important aspect is to make sure that a) it's not bastardized and b) it's kept relatively pure and fresh. These shows are not just shows. They're billion-dollar brands."

Shine's Mahon added, "You have to be careful what you do off air. Viewers will only trust so much brand extension."

Company size was the next topic of conversation. "It helps if you've got a number of production companies around the world who have got a specialization in one of the genres you're trying to extend," said Endemol's Toumazis, referencing the company's 80 production companies worldwide.

Davies, who sold his indie to Sony in 2009, noted, "There's been a lot of consolidation, there are less indies worldwide. More market share has gone to fewer companies. I do think the business is at a creative crossroads. What's going to be exciting is watching the next generation of true indies come up, with their new ways of working."

20-10-2010, 16:26
The more than 3 million New York-area households that subscribe to Cablevision lost access to Fox 5 and My9 this weekend after the platform was unable to clinch a new carriage deal with News Corporation.

Talks reportedly resumed today between the two companies. Cablevision is calling on News Corp. to immediately put the two stations back on Cablevision and submit to binding arbitration under a neutral third party to reach a fair agreement.

Charles Schueler, Cablevision's executive VP of communications, said: "News Corp.'s decision to remove Fox programming from 3 million Cablevision households is a black eye for broadcast television in America. News Corp has refused to negotiate in good faith and rejected calls from dozens of political leaders to not pull the plug and join Cablevision in binding arbitration. We demand that News Corp. put the viewers ahead of its own greed and immediately restore these channels to our customers and agree to binding arbitration to reach a fair agreement. What is News Corp. afraid of?"

On Friday, News Corp. rejected calls for arbitration with the cable platform, which maintains that it is being asked to pay more than $150 million to renew the carriage deal, up from $70 million. "News Corp. is continuing to demand more for Fox 5 than Cablevision pays all of the other broadcast stations combined," Cablevision said.

20-10-2010, 16:27
The soon-to-launch 3D joint-venture channel from Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX has commissioned a range of original and exclusive series and firmed up several partner program acquisitions.

Programming Lined Up for U.S. 3D JV Channel

Original series include Abandoned Planet, a one-hour series that sheds light on why people have abandoned the places they once called home; Africa in 3D, which spotlights the richness and diversity of the world's second largest continent; China, to be produced by NHNZ; and Jewels of the World, also produced by NHNZ. Exclusive U.S. premieres include Attack of the Giant Jellyfish and The Haunted from Discovery; Into the Deep 3D and Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D from IMAX; and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Monster House from Sony.

These titles represent the first list of native 3D programs that will be featured on the 3D network, which is slated to launch in 2011.

“Today’s announcement represents the first step in our commitment to provide viewers with immersive, entertaining programming as we build the most extensive library of original and exclusive 3D content available anywhere,” said Tom Cosgrove, the president and CEO of the joint venture. “As we work toward launch, we are focused on bringing together a diverse slate of high-quality 3D offerings from both our strategic partners, as well as premier production companies from around the globe.”

20-10-2010, 16:29
Astrium reinforces the excellence and reliability of the Ariane programme

Faced with an economic context that has become increasingly complex not only for the European Space Agency (ESA) member countries but also for Arianespace, the overall effectiveness of the Ariane programme must be reinforced both for industry and public administrations.

With this important goal in mind, Astrium Space Transportation, prime contractor for the Ariane 5 launcher, brought together its partners on 15 October 2010 to better harmonise work on the Ariane programme. Continuing efforts are a must in this area to prolong the series of 38 consecutive successful Ariane 5 ECA launches. The talks focused on ways of ensuring excellence, product quality and future developments for Ariane.

As prime contractor for development and production work on the launcher, Astrium has final responsibility for overall quality and has stepped up its supervision of the programme. Astrium has conducted an internal audit and also introduced the Ariane Supply Chain Excellence Programme (ASCEP), which was launched over a year ago.

The audit results showed that maintaining competitiveness remained tenuous and needed to be better guaranteed.

During that day, Astrium and its industrial partners talked to ESA about ways to improve the existing management procedures for contracts accompanying production (ARTA programme, maintenance in operational conditions, etc.), as their complexity has slowed down production processes.

20-10-2010, 16:29
Approvals Related to Launch of New Globalstar Satellite Constellation

Globalstar, Inc. announced it has received the necessary approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to temporarily operate its recently upgraded satellite gateway ground stations in Sebring, FL and Clifton, TX.Globalstar was also granted authority to operate the in-orbit-test-equipment (IOTE) upgrades at its Clifton gateway.

With less than two days to go before the scheduled lift-off of six of its new second-generation satellites, Globalstar also released the latest photo images of the ongoing launch preparations. Globalstar signed a contract with satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space in late 2006 for the design, manufacture and delivery of its second-generation constellation satellites. A total of four launches of six satellites each will be conducted by launch services provider Arianespace using the highly reliable Soyuz launch vehicle. Globalstar plans to integrate the 24 new second-generation satellites with the eight first-generation satellites that were launched in 2007, to form a 32 satellite constellation.

Once the first six new Globalstar satellites become operational, service availability and reliability improvements will benefit those customers who use the Company’s voice and Duplex data services. With each subsequent launch, these customers can expect a progressive return to the high quality system access and data session performance metrics customers enjoyed before 2007.

The new satellites are designed to support Globalstar’s current lineup of voice, Duplex and Simplex data products and services including the Company’s lineup of SPOT retail consumer products. The advanced constellation combined with the Company’s next-generation ground network, expected to be installed by 2012, is also designed to provide Globalstar customers with enhanced future services featuring increased data speeds of up to 256 kbps in a flexible Internet protocol multimedia subsystem (IMS) configuration.

Products and services supported are expected to include: push-to-talk and multicasting, advanced messaging capabilities such as multimedia messaging or MMS, geo-location services, multi-band and multi-mode handsets, and data devices with GPS integration.

20-10-2010, 16:30
Phoenix 2: Successful testing by Thales

Thales has successfully completed the testing of new deployment scenarios for combat identification and safe firing systems in the framework of field tests carried out at the Mourmelon camp (Marne department of France) for the Phoenix 2 upstream study program (PEA) of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA). The objective of Phoenix 2 is to provide the armed forces with efficient responses that are both quick to implement and cost-effective, and it contributes to the development of current and future land force programs.

Recent events in theatres of operations have demonstrated that there are still too many blue and blue fires. It is vital to be able to identify on the ground elements belonging to your own unit or section, as well as those of friendly/hostile forces in the framework of inter-ally or inter-armed forces operations.

20-10-2010, 16:31
BREAKING NEWS: No Ofcom investigation into YouView

Ofcom has announced it will not be conducting an investigation into YouView, the former Project Canvas, stating it would be premature at this stage of its development. However, the regulator warned it may reopen the files at a later stage.

Cableco Virgin Media and the receiver technology developer IP Vision had both called on Ofcom to investigate the hybrid television project under the terms of the Competition Act. A last minute complaint by BSkyB had brought the total number of objections to 13.
Led by the BBC, the other YouView partners are ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Arqiva, BT and Talk Talk.

Setting out its reasoning the regulator said:

■IPTV is still an emerging sector, and the impact of YouView on the market will not be known with any confidence for some time;
■It is likely that YouView will bring benefits to viewers and consumers. Any potential harm to competition would need to be offset against these benefits; and
■Whether or not YouView and its partners will harm competition in the ways alleged will depend upon how this emerging market develops and how the YouView partners act, particularly in relation to issuing technical standards and providing access to content.
“Ofcom’s view is that consumers’ interests will not be served by opening an investigation. It would be premature at the current stage of YouView’s development given the absence of a clear risk of consumer harm,” said Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards. “But if evidence does emerge in the future that YouView causes harm to the interests of viewers and consumers we may reconsider whether to investigate.”

Ofcom looked across three main areas of concern; content, standards and user interfaces. On content the regulator said that it was difficult to determine the impact at this stage, but said if the partners were to restrict the supply of video on demand content to rivals, it could generate competition concerns. When it came to standards Ofcom said the partners had already made a number of technical standards available to the industry – readers will recall the early acrimony between Canvas and the Digital TV Group (DTG) over the interoperability with the UK Connected TV standard – and Ofcom said it does not justify an investigation at this stage. Ofcom did identify a risk that YouView might result in a more limited choice of user interfaces and user experiences for viewers. But said an assessment would need to recognise the choice that already exists in the TV market and new opportunities for entry from other firms, as well as the potential benefits to consumers of a common ‘look and feel’.

20-10-2010, 16:32
Ofcom OKs You View

Ofcom announced today that it will not open an investigation into ‘Project Canvas’ (now called YouView) under the Competition Act following complaints made by Virgin Media and IPVision. Chief Executive, Ed Richards, said: “Ofcom’s view is that consumers’ interests will not be served by opening an investigation. It would be premature at the current stage of YouView’s development given the absence of a clear risk of consumer harm.”

Project Canvas is a partnership between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva which will offer digital terrestrial channels and internet-delivered TV services via a set-top box connected to viewers’ TV sets.

It also involves creating technical standards which can be used by participating services to deliver content via a single set-top box using a branded user interface which will be known as YouView. It is currently expected to launch in the first half of next year.

Virgin Media and IP Vision submitted complaints to Ofcom that alleged potential breaches of the Competition Act 1998. Ofcom also received submissions from 11 other parties, including a last minuter from BSkyB. The complainants raised a number of concerns, including that:

■Project Canvas partners are incentivised to withhold content from competing platforms;
■Technical standards produced by Project Canvas had not been developed openly and were not made available for use by those outside the joint venture
■Use of the Project Canvas brand (YouView) is tied to the specified user interface/ electronic programming guide; and
■It is likely to restrict competition between TV platforms.
In assessing whether it should investigate these complaints, Ofcom took into account the likelihood of harm to the interests of viewers and consumers.

At the current stage of YouView’s development, our view is that it would be premature to open an investigation because:

■IPTV[1] is still an emerging sector, and the impact of YouView on the market will not be known with any confidence for some time;
■It is likely that YouView will bring benefits to viewers and consumers. Any potential harm to competition would need to be offset against these benefits; and
■Whether or not YouView and its partners will harm competition in the ways alleged will depend upon how this emerging market develops and how they act, particularly in relation to providing access to content and issuing technical standards.
As for content, the impact of YouView on content syndication is difficult to determine with any confidence at this point.

If YouView did lead to its partners restricting the supply of video on demand content to rival firms, this could lead to consumer harm and may well generate competition concerns.

But at the present time, there is little evidence that YouView’s partners are likely to withhold content as a result of their involvement in the project. Given the possibility that harmful effects might emerge later, Ofcom will, nonetheless, keep the content syndication policies of the YouView partners under review.

In relation to standards, the partners behind YouView have already made a number of technical standards available to the industry. And while there is potential risk of consumer harm if transparency is restricted in the future, Ofcom does not consider the risk sufficiently material at this stage to justify an investigation.

There is a risk that YouView may result in a more limited choice of user interfaces and user experiences for viewers. But an assessment of this would need to recognise the choice that already exists in the TV market and new opportunities for entry from other firms, as well as the potential benefits to consumers of a common ‘look and feel’. Taking these factors into account, we do not consider that the risk of consumer harm is sufficient to warrant opening an investigation on this basis. Virgin in particular had objected to Canvas’ restrictions on the type of UI to be used.

Ofcom said it did not propose to open a Competition Act investigation, however Ofcom will continue to monitor developments, particularly in relation to YouView’s approach to sharing standards and its effects on content syndication. If evidence emerges that the operation of YouView could cause harm to viewers and consumers in the future, Ofcom may reconsider whether to investigate.
Finally, Richards warned “if evidence does emerge in the future that YouView causes harm to the interests of viewers and consumers we may reconsider whether to investigate.”

20-10-2010, 16:37
TV manufacturer Samsung recently announced that it will be including automatic conversion software - TriDef, developed by DDD - in all of its new 3DTV sets, enabling viewers to instantly "upscale" standard live television into a 3D experience at the push of a button.

TriDef is already embedded in Samsung mobile handsets and Acer laptops.

This type of software has alarmed the film industry, with claims that the automated result is inferior to filming with specialist 3D cameras or using an expensive post-production process.

At a conference in May, Hollwood film director James Cameron - the man behind the animated 3D epic Avatar - warned the result of cheap conversion were "eye strain and headaches".

Panasonic refused to include the software in its 3D sets over quality concerns.

"'We don't think it's right to confuse consumers this early on with second-rate conversion technology,' Fabrice Estornel, product manager at Panasonic TV, told website Home Cinema Choice (HCC).

Chris Yewdall, chief executive of DDD, said the company is not trying to compete with big budget solutions.

"3D is just like any other market - you have good, better and best," he told BBC News.

"We offer a very specific feature aimed at the consumer to get them comfortable with the fact that it is possible to watch 3D at home. There's a cost and quality level associated with that."

Comparing the product with surround sound, Mr Yewdall added that the DDD solution offers an unlimited amount of content as any live TV programme can be split into 3D without adding time and expense to the production cycle.

"When you look at Clash of the Titans , it had a very aggressive schedule and cost of several million dollars. The average consumer doesn't have that. You just want it to work at the press of a button," added Mr Yewdall.

20-10-2010, 16:38
SeaChange powers Virgin Media Player

SeaChange has given details of the technology it is providing to Virgin Media as part of the beta trial of the Virgin Media Player that made its debut in July.
The company said the cableco had picked up on its video delivery system along with a managed service infrastructure providing a fully-managed outsourced service infrastructure for multi-screen video services with the ability to migrate to in-house deployments. Subsiduary On Demand Group is providing content management services, including content transcoding and processing to initially provide content in nine video formats for adaptive streaming for PC and mobile.

Alex Green, executive director of commercial, TV and online at Virgin Media said: “Virgin Media Player has been an extremely successful launch for us, giving our top tier TV customers total flexibility in how and when they watch our unique on-demand content with a user experience that is both simple and powerful. Usage is growing by the day and we continue to add fantastic new content. SeaChange has been a great partner, with proven end-to-end skills in multi-screen service creation, deployment and management.”

The Virgin Media trial includes content from ITV, Living, Disney, Cartoon Network, National Geographic, Discovery, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

20-10-2010, 16:39
Eutelsat KabelKiosk expands Italian bouquet

Eutelsat Kabelkiosk, the headend-in-the-sky service for cable operators in German speaking territories, has expanded its Italian bouquet to a total of seven channels. The offer includes the Mediaset Italia channel, which is specifically tailored to the international market.
Mediaset Italia brings together ‘the best’ of the private channels Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4. The bouquet also offers all three main channels from state broadcaster RAI, RAI Uno, RAI Due and RAI Tre as well as the cultural channel RAI Storia and the news channel RAI 24 News. Also included is the radio station RAI Radio 1. .

Martina Rutenbeck, MD of Eutelsat VisAvision, said in a statement: “We are excited about the launch of the new Italian programme offering. Italian channels are attractive to our partners and are very popular with their customers. We again demonstrate our expertise in the international licensing business and give our partners an additional opportunity to accelerate the digitisation of the cable with high-quality channels. “

Recently Kabelkiosk also launched a Turkish package with 18 channels

20-10-2010, 16:40
Serbian Raj TV will start 25.10.2010

New TV Raj TV from the Serbian town Pozarevac launched a test satellite. Uncoded transmission started a few days on Eutelsat Sesat 1 (16°E) in a multiplex operated by the Slovenian operator STN Ltd.

Start of regular broadcasting Raj TV is scheduled for 25 October 2010. The name of the new media project was created 24 February this year, which means that the TV work has been going on for some time.

Raj TV will bring viewers a new way of interactivity and entertainment. The station will bring musical performances by artists from the Balkan countries.

Test posting Raj TV to replace the original information Balkan TV channel.

Technical parameters:
Eutelsat Sesat (16°E) freq 12,525 GHz, pol H SR 30000 FEC 3/4, DVB-S/QPSK, FTA

20-10-2010, 16:41
UK government weighs passing £500m licence fee cost to BBC

The UK’s coalition government is considering passing the annual £556m (€400m) bill for subsidising the BBC licence fee for the elderly on to the corporation itself.

The amount currently comes out of the government’s tax coffers, but it is now understood to be considering passing on the cost to the BBC itself as part of a wider spending review, which is currently underway.
The cost to the BBC would be significant if the plan is implemented. It receives £3.6bn a year in license fee income from the £145.50 annual license fee, which is levied on all TV homes. The exemption for the over 75s was introduced by the previous Labour government.

20-10-2010, 16:42
ER-Telecom to invest in new broadband and TV networks

Russian service provider ER-Telecom has announced plans to invest over US$125m (€90m) in a network covering St Petersburg between now and 2014, according to local reports.
The company will begin providing services over its network in the city at the end of this year, with the aim of reaching about 1.6 million apartments (or 85% of households) within the next two years, according to the reports.
CEO Andrei Semerikov said that the company planned to invest over US$500m across the country, with an ambition to take a 20% market share of the broadband and cable TV business.

20-10-2010, 16:43
TV advertising forecasts upgraded again

ZenithOptimedia has again raised its guidance for the global advertising market and said that TV will gain market share over other mediums this year and next.

The upgrade is the fourth in a row after six consecutive downgrades from the media agency. It said that advertising has grown faster than it expected in all regions this year, most notably in Latin America. Zenith said that the second quarter was so strong in Brazil, with an overall increase of 57% year-on-year, that is has upwardly revised its forecasts for the region and now expects 17% growth this year.

Globally, Zenith expects 4.8% growth in advertising revenues this year against its previous forecast of 3.5% growth. The 2011 forecast was increased from 4.5% to 4.6%. Zenith notes that advertising is falling as a proportion of GDP and this is not expected to change in the current economic conditions.

TV, meanwhile, is gaining in terms of share of the overall advertising pie. Its share is forecast to rise from 39.2% in 2009 to 41.6% in 2012. The only other medium that is growing share is the Internet although in terms of cumulative advertising revenues it lags far behind TV.

TV will generate US$180.4bn (€130bn) in global advertising revenues this year compared with Internet’s US$61.5bn. The respective totals are forecast to rise to US$191.3bn and US$69.9bn respectively next year.

20-10-2010, 16:44
Web TV Enterprise, a premium UK online video advertising network, has appointed former Sky executive Paul Wright as a non-executive advisor on its board.

Wright, who has more than 22 years of experience in commercial media and TV, founded online sports and advertising network Aura Sports in 2002.

The company, which represents a host of leading sports websites, was sold to Sky in August 2006 in a multi-million pound deal.

The media sales agency now sells advertising for Sky on the majority of Premier League football club websites, as well as other major sports.

Wright started his career at Sky as one of the first members of the firm's advertising team, before going on to work for Bauer Media, AOL and a variety of startup ventures.

Web TV Enterprise hopes to harness his vast experience to help the company expand outside the UK and develop its offering to publishers, content owners and advertisers.

"With industry analysts projecting major growth in online video advertising spend over the next three years, I am looking forward to working with Web TV Enterprise, which has been at the forefront of the online video market for over four years," said Wright.

Jamie Estrin, founder and managing director of Web TV Enterprise, added: "Our biggest challenge is to ensure that Web TV Enterprise continues to lead the way in this fast-evolving online video market.

"Paul's experience and knowledge of the digital marketplace will be invaluable to Web TV Enterprise as we look to grow our business in 2011."

Founded in 2006, Web TV Enterprise exclusively represents publishers such as IPC Media, Blinkbox, Universal Music, The Independent and BBC Worldwide

20-10-2010, 16:45
BBC warns over free TV licence plan

BroadcastingThe BBC Trust has today warned the government over plans to force the corporation to meet the full cost of providing free television licences to anyone over 75.

The coalition is believed to be considering shifting the £556 million cost of providing the benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to the BBC as part of its Comprehensive Spending Review.

Any household with a single person over 75 is currently eligible for a free TV licence worth £145.50 a year. A total of around 4m homes are understood to receive the benefit.

BBC Two's Newsnight claimed that the cost of providing the free TV licences - which were introduced by Gordon Brown when he was chancellor - could be passed on to the BBC from the time of the next licence fee settlement in 2012.

The cost would be almost exactly the same as the entire £575m budget for BBC Two. Bearing the financial burden would also be equivalent to a 26% real-terms reduction in the BBC's current budget, meaning cuts to the corporation's output would be inevitable.

Tomorrow, chancellor George Osborne will reveal where the cuts will fall on public spending when he sets out the results of his spending review to parliament.

A BBC Trust spokesman said: "Anything at this stage is speculation as we have yet to see the detail of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

"That said it would be unacceptable for licence fee payers to pick up the bill for what is a DWP universal benefit."

Last month, the Trust wrote to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt proposing that the licence fee should be held at this year's £145.50 per household until March 2013.

The move followed Hunt's assertion in July that he could "absolutely" see the BBC licence fee being reduced when the next settlement is agreed in 2011.

20-10-2010, 16:45
Apple's quarterly revenue tops $20bn

AppleDigital TV Gaming Apple has said that it is "thrilled" to see quarterly profits increase 70% to $4.31 billion (£2.73bn), buoyed by strong sales growth across all of its product lines.

Published last night, financial results for the three months to September 25 reveal that the company's overall revenue grew by 66% to $20.34 billion.

That represented the first time Apple has gone past $20bn in a quarter and puts the firm on track to surpass the performance of major rival Microsoft.

Apple sold 3.89 million Mac computers during the quarter, up 27% year-on-year, and shifted 14.1m iPhones, up a colossal 91% year-on-year.

Consumers also purchased 9.05m iPods over the three months and 4.19m iPads. More than half (57%) of the company's sales came from territories outside of the US.

"We are blown away to report over $20 billion in revenue and over $4 billion in after-tax earnings - both all-time records for Apple," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive.

"iPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91% year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter. We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year."

Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer added: "We're thrilled with the performance and strength of our business, generating almost $5.7 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter.

"Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $23 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $4.80."

In a call yesterday with analysts, Jobs also hinted that Apple's $50bn cash stockpile could be used to fund a major acquisition as part of the firm's future growth strategy.

"We strongly believe one or more strategic opportunities may come along that we're uniquely positioned to take advantage of," he said.

"We don't let it burn a hole in our pocket or motivate us to do stupid things."

20-10-2010, 16:46
Interactive TV's Reality

This time, interactive television is really real. Really.

That was the primary theme of Monday's CTAM panel called "Getting Interactive: Re-inventing Cable Television" now.

The real concrete fact is real things are happening for the first time," said Peter Low, president and COO of Ensequence. "We have the capability in place to create interactive applications across multiple television platforms and it's happening in a regular fashion."

Cox Communications has had interactive applications in its three biggest markets, and they get used a lot, said Steve Necessary, vice president of video strategy and product management at Cox. It has a strong user base for advertising applications, he said.

More importantly, as Cox converts its interactive system to EBIF enabled applications "we're going to make money with it," Necessary said. "EBIF is positioned to enable that."

Lisa Meier, vice president of sales at Time Warner Cable, said that interactive and multi-platform applications were beginning to take a bite out of the biggest player in the $7 billion Los Angeles ad market, which is direct mail. "Because broadcast is such a meaningful medium to influence behavior, [advertisers] are poise to use interactive TV to have one-to-one communications with their customers," she said.

Canoe's emerging experiences show that interactivity is powerful in advertising applications. When advertisers use interactivity and an RFI [request for information] application, unaided recall of the advertisers brand is 130%, according to Canoe's Timko. With polling and trivia applications, recall rose 167% and intent to purchase was up more than 40%, she said.

It also has benefits for programmers. Ensequence's Low said that his company did an interactive program with History Channel with a satellite provider and ratings for the program rose 18%. While not offering guarantees, "what we are seeing for the first time is consistent enough data to show it's likely."

Depsite the recent strides, there is much skepticism about whether interactivity is really ready for prime time after so many fits and starts.

"There's a pent up cynicism about whether this is actually going to be real," said Low. "Substantial traction will put the skepticism to the side."

One good sign he saw was that the relationship between the programmer and the service provider seems to be getting worked out. "There seems to be emerging thinking about what this model is going to look like," Low said. That's important because until a business model is established, each negotiation becomes a one off, which is cumbersome, to say the least. "There‘s enough activity so that the momentum will build on itself to solve it.."

And a flow of revenue will make interactivity more of a priority for all of the industry's players.

"There's got to be a way to monetize this before people are willing to jump in with both feet," said Jennifer Dangar, executive vice president, distribution and business development, The Weather Channel.

"Just because technology enables something doesn't mean it's worth doing," said Cox's Necessary. Operators need to know whether "new interactive capabilities really move the needle. Do they cause future engagement or can consumers take it or leave it."

Kathy Timko, COO of Canoe Ventures, said the cable industry consortium expects to have 25 million households enabled to run interactive EBIF applications by the end of the year. "Canoe is about scale," she said. "If we allow the consumer to interact, they will engage."

Since those days, technology has certainly changed. And the ability for viewers to interact with programming and advertising is gaining steam.

20-10-2010, 16:47
BigBand Punches Up QAM Density
MSP QAM for Media Services Platform Delivers Up to 40 QAMs Per Port

BigBand Networks has upped the stakes in the ultra-dense QAM game, announcing a blade for its Media Services Platform with the ability to provide as many as 40 QAMs per port -- for a maximum of more than 3,800 QAMs in a single chassis.
The announcement continues the one-upmanship among QAM vendors to deliver very high-density platforms, to let MSOs more flexibly deliver an increasing amount of unicast video, data and other services. In August, Harmonic introduced the "HectoQAM" blade for its NSG 9000 platform, with 36 QAMs per port and up to 648 quadrature amplitude modulation channels in a 3.5-inch-high box.
In a statement, Comcast vice president of access architecture Jorge Salinger said, "With the advent of more narrowcast services, CMAP-class platforms will be needed to increase QAM-per-port density without using additional powering or rack space. BigBand is addressing the demanding access requirements facing MSOs to enable an easier migration towards next-generation converged service delivery at the edge."
BigBand will show off the MSP QAM at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, Oct. 20-22 in New Orleans. BigBand did not indicate when the product would be available.
The BigBand MSP QAM is a blade or plug-in to the BigBand MSP platform including both the MSP1200 compact chassis platform and the higher capacity MSP2800. The MSP1200 offers support for an excess of 1,200 QAMs per chassis and the higher capacity MSP2800 will support more than 3,800 QAMs per chassis with a software upgrade.
"Single-purpose QAMs are no longer sufficient, and the new architecture demands a platform that streamlines operations, provides the flexibility to share bandwidth between services, and ensures the ability to quickly add new services," BigBand vice president of QAM product line management Ilan Kaftan said in a statement. "BigBand's MSP leverages our QAM leadership and advanced media processing capabilities to enable service providers to expand new services in a highly cost effective and reliable manner."
According to BigBand, the MSP QAM provides carrier-class "five 9s" uptime with full redundancy, including full RF and input-level redundancy.
The product also is designed to support dynamic bandwidth allocation across the entire RF spectrum for each of the 40 QAMs -- allowing QAM channels to be placed anywhere in the spectrum. The Harmonic HectoQAM also supports this feature.
To date, BigBand claims, it has shipped more than 820,000 QAM devices to 60 customers worldwide.

20-10-2010, 16:48
Verivue Acquires CoBlitz For Video Caching
VOD Startup to Offer Service Providers Solution to Ease Over-the-Top Video Load

Verivue, the Comcast-backed video-on-demand systems vendor, has acquired CoBlitz, a small startup that has developed a way to let service providers cache over-the-top video and essentially form their own content-delivery networks.

CoBlitz, which has about 15 employees, was spun out of Princeton University. Verivue acquired the firm in a stock transaction plus some cash but the exact purchase price was not disclosed.

Tom Rosenstein, Verivue's vice president of product marketing, said the tremendous growth of unmanaged IP video has been a major concern for service providers.

"They're seeing this growth, and seeing their infrastructure costs going up, but their revenues are staying flat," he said. "The same theme we're hearing is about the ‘unfunded growth of video delivery' on their networks."

Verivue said it will package the CoBlitz software into an appliance over the next few months but also will sell it as software. Rosenstein said CoBlitz's caching software has been deployed at a service provider for the last two years and that the startup has been signing up new customers, but he declined to identify them.

CoBlitz, based in Princeton, N.J., was founded in 2007 by Larry Peterson and Vivek Pai, two computer science professors at Princeton University. The company was owned by Princeton and the founders.
Verivue, based in Westford, Mass., was founded in 2006. The company has raised about $85 million to date from investors including Comcast, Arris, and venture-capital firms Sigma Partners, Matrix Partners, Spark Capital, North Bridge Partners and Accel Partners.
The initial market focus for Verivue has been high-capacity VOD servers for video distribution over MSOs' managed networks, such as MDX 9200, which delivers between 20 and 200 Gbps of streaming capacity in a 14-rack-unit chassis.
With CoBlitz, Verivue will be tapping a new market segment. The CoBlitz software provides HTTP caching, which lets it work with adaptive-rate and progressive download video but not true streaming video. According to Rosenstein, the software can scale linearly as more capacity is added to a node or a cluster of nodes.

CoBlitz also has a well-developed request-routing algorithm, Rosenstein said, to provide "transparent caching" -- the ability to intercept a request for content on the network and decide whether it should be served locally or from the Internet. With the "targeted transparent caching" feature, a service provider can choose to cache certain services (e.g., YouTube and Hulu) but not others (say, Netflix).

"Service providers are all looking to get into the CDN space, but their goal is to offload the bandwidth to a cache," Rosenstein said, adding that the CoBlitz system provides a way to exchange information with Internet CDN providers such as Akamai Technologies so they get credit for delivery.

20-10-2010, 16:49
NBC Universal sees profits fall

NBC Universal has posted third-quarter revenues of US$4.07bn (€2.92bn), down from US$4.08bn last year.
Profit for the quarter fell to US$625m from US$732m year-on-year. However, profit rose by about 5% when impairment charges and a US$283m gain from the merger of the A&E cable channel with Lifetime were excluded.
Comcast is currently buying a majority stake in the US broadcaster, currently owned by GE.

20-10-2010, 16:50
Diva to launch 3D VOD catalogue

Germany-based video-on-demand content aggregator Diva is to launch a video-on-demand catalogue of 3D movies. The company said it had assembled an initial catalogue of 20 movies, but had set an “ambitious target” of securing 100 titles by the middle of next year.

Diva head of content Robert Franke said that the company would offer the content both to its Diva Pro affiliates and direct to end users via its cross-platform Viewster service.
The company said it could deliver its high-definition stereoscopic content in the DCP format for theatrical screenings, in the side-by-side format in all codecs for users with 3D-ready TV sets or mobile devices, and as anaglyph for users with non 3D-ready devices to watch using red/green 3D glasses.

Users accessing Diva’s widget via connected TVs or mobile devices will find the 3D catalogue alongside its existing collection of movies and TV series. Diva also said it was in “advanced negotiations” with pay-TV providers in Europe and the US to create new licensing deals for the 3D content.

20-10-2010, 16:51
Unitymedia upgrades more networks

German cable operator Unitymedia is upgrading cable networks in the cities of Minden and Herford and the surrounding area in north-eastern North-Rhine Westphalia as part of its ongoing investment programme.
The upgrade will enable the cable operator to offer internet speeds of up to 128Mbps in the two cities, where Unitymedia serves approximately 93,000 households.

20-10-2010, 16:52
TV advertising forecasts upgraded again

ZenithOptimedia has again raised its guidance for the global advertising market and said that TV will gain market share over other mediums this year and next.

The upgrade is the fourth in a row after six consecutive downgrades from the media agency. It said that advertising has grown faster than it expected in all regions this year, most notably in Latin America. Zenith said that the second quarter was so strong in Brazil, with an overall increase of 57% year-on-year, that is has upwardly revised its forecasts for the region and now expects 17% growth this year.

Globally, Zenith expects 4.8% growth in advertising revenues this year against its previous forecast of 3.5% growth. The 2011 forecast was increased from 4.5% to 4.6%. Zenith notes that advertising is falling as a proportion of GDP and this is not expected to change in the current economic conditions.

TV, meanwhile, is gaining in terms of share of the overall advertising pie. Its share is forecast to rise from 39.2% in 2009 to 41.6% in 2012. The only other medium that is growing share is the Internet although in terms of cumulative advertising revenues it lags far behind TV.

TV will generate US$180.4bn (€130bn) in global advertising revenues this year compared with Internet’s US$61.5bn. The respective totals are forecast to rise to US$191.3bn and US$69.9bn respectively next year.

20-10-2010, 16:53
CSA agrees new conditions for 13ème Rue

French media regulator the CSA has agreed new production obligations for Universal Networks International-owned crime and detective series channel 13ème Rue.
In place of an annual obligation to spend €100,000 on original production in France with independent producers, the channel will be obliged to invest 18% of its overall spend on original production. The channel will also have to inform the CSA each year about its willingness to meet a commitment to show a minimum of 52 feature-length films for the coming year.

20-10-2010, 16:54
Disney may remain exclusive on Canal Plus

Disney Channel has opened fresh talks with pay-TV operator Canal Plus that could see it renew its existing exclusive distribution contract, which comes up for renewal in March, according to local reports.
The news follows earlier speculation that Disney could sign deals to be carried on the basic platforms of IPTV providers Free and Orange in order to broaden its reach.
Separately, football channel Onzéo, backed by nine clubs, which has until now been carried exclusively by CanalSat, is in discussion with other distributors, according to local reports. The channel, created four years ago, is expected to sign up six new clubs this month.

20-10-2010, 16:55
The number of European homes with a connected TV will leap from 4mn in 2009 to 47mn in 2014, according to new figures from Parks Associates.

“Connectivity is becoming standard in CE products,” said Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Parks Associates. “Stakeholders as diverse as managed service providers, content aggregators, and third-party application developers will play a role in how these devices link to services and allow the consumer to discover new ways to interact with entertainment.”

The number of households with a connected Blu-ray player meanwhile is predicted to jump from 5mn in 2010 to approximately 66mn in 2014.

20-10-2010, 16:56
Australia's Communications Minister,

Optus to deliver pay-TV via NBN fibre network?

Australia's Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has speculated that an agreement between telco Optus and the company behind Australia's upcoming fibre-based National Broadband Network could see the telco's cable TV services switched over to the fibre-based network.

The comments were made by Mr. Conroy during an appearance on ABC's Madonna King show, in answer to a listener's question regarding the impact of the NBN project on Optus services. If such a deal were to transpire between Optus and NBN Co., the telco's HFC network could be switched off as a result.

“We’re in discussions with Optus, as the National Broadband Network are, about the possibility of migrating broadband customers across to the NBN,” said Mr. Conroy. “There’ll be a commercial decision made […] what that could mean is when fibre comes and gets connected to your home those services are delivered through the fibre, rather than the HFC.”

NBN Co. is a a government-backed enterprise which aims to connected over 90% of Australian homes to an open Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network, with an initial investment of AUD 43bn (US$ 42.45bn) involved, delivering speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

20-10-2010, 16:56
Comstar to build FTTB network in Novocherkassk

Share Russian telco Comstar has started constructing a Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) network in the city of Novocherkassk (located in the Southern Federal District), offering end-users speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

Construction of the network started near the Cheremushki residential district of the city, and Comstar reportedly aims to connect about 3,500 apartments. There are estimated to be around 180,000 inhabitants in the city of Novocherkassk.

“The strategy of our company regional development includes both acquisition of regional operators and building of their own communication networks in promising cities," said Viktor Koresh, General Director of CJSC COMSTAR-Regions. "In case with Novocherkassk, we considered network building to be the best option.”

Over the past year, Comstar has commissioned several new networks based on FTTP technology, and launched an extensive upgrade of the existing infrastructure in various cities in the Souther Federal District.

These projects include: a network upgrade covering 40,000 subscribers in Astrakhan, commenced in September 2010; a network upgrade covering 30,000 subscribers in Taganrog, commenced in August 2010; and the commercial launch of an FTTB network in the city of Krasnodar in June 2010, covering more than 9,500 households in seven large areas of the city.

20-10-2010, 16:58
BBC offers to fund Worldwide… to escape other costs

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, has offered to meet the £300 million (E345m) annual costs of running the World Service, in an attempted ‘horse trade’ to prevent the Government making it pay the £556 million to fund free TV licences for the over-75s.

As part of UK Government’s programme of cost cuts it is rumoured they intend to make the public broadcaster pick up either the concession costs, or World Service (normally paid for by the Foreign Office), or both.

Thompson’s office apparently argues it makes more sense to pay for World Service as it is a broadcast service whereas the concessions are effectively a Government policy – although the BBC funding DSO is now a dangerous precedent for the broadcaster in this regard.

There are suggestions that the World Service could be funded by some of the profits made by BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, which licenses formats. Last year, Worldwide made an operating profit of £140 million.

20-10-2010, 16:59
Spain: Vodafone mobile TV app for Android

Vodafone Spain has launched a free mobile TV app for Android handsets that allows users to access to the 10-channel Vodafone TV service it offers over the Internet, including TV commercial channels La Sexta, Antena 3 and Telecinco.

Called Vodafone Aplicacion TV, the app also gives access to pay DTT channel Gol TV, which airs 112 Champions League matches, three Spanish first division matches per game day, the Copa del Rey tournament, among others.

Customers will have to pay E1.50 per week to view Vodafone TV on their mobiles and E0.99 for Gol TV although the first week will be free of charge. The app, which also allows customers to browse through the EPG and select favourite channels for a faster access, is available at Android Market as well as Vodafone’s Tienda 360 app store for Symbian and for the Samsung H1 and M1 handsets, co-branded as Vodafone 360 phones.

20-10-2010, 17:00
BBC: EU must resist traffic management

Erik Huggers, BBC director of future media and technology, says ISPs shouldn’t traffic manage but if they do it must be transparent. He summarised key points made by the BBC in its submission to the European Commission review on net neutrality (being conducted in conjunction with Ofcom) which says the EC’s three targets should be universal access, quality of service and the long-term support of innovative, competitive business models.

“The founding principle of the internet is that everyone – from individuals to global companies – has equal access. Since the beginning, the internet has been ‘neutral’, and everyone has been treated the same.’ But the emergence of fast and slow lanes allows broadband providers to effectively pick and choose what you see first and fastest.”

“This innovative and dynamic ecosystem, that enables huge public value, could be put at risk if network operators are allowed to use traffic management to become gatekeepers to the Internet.”

He says although users can switch ISP, this isn’t easy in practice. “Even if switching were made easier, much more work is needed to deliver real transparency about the traffic management practices used by different broadband providers.”

The BBC’s iPlayer is at the centre of ISP concerns about network capacity, its heavy use particularly at peak time presenting QoE problems for the network as a whole and some are already ‘traffic shaping’ to compensate.

20-10-2010, 17:01
Portuguese invest E17 million in HDTV

The Portuguese national TV channels have started investing in High Definition as part of preparations for the analogue switch-off (ASO) due to take place on April 26th 2012.

Commercial broadcaster SIC has announced it will invest up to E12 million in HD. Director general, Luis Marques, expects that the majority of the content and transmission infrastructure will already be in HD by year’s end, while at the time of the ASO it will be able to launch a complete offering in HD.

Rival TVI estimates investments at E3-5 million, mainly for the acquisition of transmission equipment, and expects to have the entire broadcasting line in HD by the 2010. The idea is to tailor the investment to the level of DTT penetration in the country.

At public broadcaster RTP all of the Portuguese and foreign TV series are already being commissioned in HD, with significant investments also in cameras and other broadcasting equipment, although no figures have been mentioned.

DTT broadcasting was launched in Portugal on January 12th 2009 and the four national TV channels (RTP 1, RTP 2, SIC and TVI) can currently be received by some 85 per cent of the population.

20-10-2010, 17:02
DAB for 2015 but in-car is key

2015 is ‘achievable’ for an analogue-to-digital switchover, according to industry body Digital Radio UK. CEO Ford Ennals told the Radio Festival that there had been “significant progress towards building momentum for digital radio,” and added that the analogue-to-digital switchover was a “matter of when not if”.

Ennals stressed that a target date of 2015 was “challenging but achievable” welcoming the strong support of Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries. This is not the date at which FM radio will somehow be ‘switched off’ or disappear, merely that the industry plans what it refers to as a ‘mixed ecology’ – offering radio listeners the options across FM, DAB (and DAB+) and internet radio.

Ennals admitted the real work to establish DAB needs to be done in the car industry, with Ennals announcing a new in-car digital radio fully-fitted service from Halfords, with prices from under £90 (E103).

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders confirmed at this week’s event that all new cars will have digital radio fitted as standard by 2013.

20-10-2010, 17:03
118m connected TV in 2014

According to the DisplaySearch latest TV Design and Features Report, the category is forecast to grow to over 118 million in 2014. TV set makers continue to develop new service platforms to offer a variety of new formats for TV viewing, while broadcasters are also launching their own standards and portals this quarter, such as Hbb.TV and YouView.

“It’s an exciting time for the connected TV sector,” said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of European TV Research. “It’s a battleground where TV set makers, internet video companies, free-to-air broadcasters, pay-TV and the IT industry are all rushing to stake their claims. IPTV is moving from being a technology to becoming recognisable service offerings.”

Despite the growth of the connected TV segment, no clear front-runner has emerged. The Quarterly TV Design and Features Report reveals that only around 10 per cent of the connected TVs sold in Japan have joined a network so far, while expectations for North America have been scaled back as the TV market struggles in the region this year.

Gray added, “It has been a long, challenging journey so far, especially with new competitors like Google TV joining the battle. Set makers will have to acquire new skills such as negotiating content deals in order to succeed. I think most of the TV supply chain senses that this is a seismic shift in the usage of TV that will be far more significant than 3D, which will not alter TV function or usage patterns.”

It is expected that the connected TV market will split, with basic connected sets carrying enhanced services such as Hbb.TV, YouView and VuDu, while the smart TV segment will encompass configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines, and advanced user interfaces. DisplaySearch defines a smart TV as one that can retrieve content from beyond walled gardens, has intelligent search and recommendation, is upgradeable by its owner, and is able to network seamlessly with other devices in the home.

20-10-2010, 17:04
Media legacy future for Olympic Centres

Senior officials responsible for the post-2012 utilisation of the Press and Broadcast Centres at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London have confirmed their strong commitment to ensuring that the locations form part of a new centre for creative industries.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) said the body “was looking for real partners to make this happen,” adding that as London looks to grow, the opportunities were moving east. Jules Pipe, elected Mayor of Hackney, the London Borough where the Park is situated, said that he believe the site could become central to a wide range of media business services, pointing out that the available space (29,000m2 of office space in the Press Centre; 62,000 m2 of commercial space in the International Broadcast Centre) was greater than that at Salford, where a significant number of BBC operations are scheduled to move, and the BBC TV Centre in London’s White City district.

Altman and Pipe were hosting an event designed to gauge and invite interest in legacy plans. Pipe was able to reaffirm the support for the project from London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson whose office will take over the OPLC’s duties under recently-announced reforms to public bodies. “The creative industries have a long and rich history in London and East London in particular is home to a huge concentration of innovative companies and individuals at the cutting edge of their industries,” said Johnson’s message to the meeting. “The IBC and MPC will provide a once in a generation opportunity for this sector to take advantage of the investment in connectivity and infrastructure provided for the 2012 Games. London is a global leader in the creative sectors and it would be a fitting legacy of the 2012 Games for these centres to play host to a creative cluster of the media and digital industries,” he concluded.

A number of existing broadcast service providers are looking at the opportunities. “As a major Soho production centre we can see it is something we should think about,” said Maurizio Cimelli, SVP Europe and Middle East for Ascent Media Group. “The site has great connectivity and power. I was encouraged to see the number of companies taking the opportunity seriously. We will certainly be keeping an eye on developments in the coming months. It also all depends on who they finally select to run the site and whether they understand Media,” he admitted.

20-10-2010, 17:05
Sharp unveils 3D Blu-ray player

Sharp has launched the BD-HP90S, the company’s first 3D capable Blu-ray player, that can be positioned either horizontally or vertically and is only 36mm thin, less than most laptop computers.

The player has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and is compatible with other DLNA devices which means that the BD-HP90S will be able to stream content seamlessly either locally or from online sources such as Youtube.

It will be available next month for £379.99 (E437) and will play a number of formats including DiVX, MP3s and JPEG. The BD-HP90S also comes with the AQUOS Pure Mode function which sync the Blu-ray player with Sharp’s own television range.

20-10-2010, 17:06
BBC hires Channel 5 exec Kieran Clifton

BroadcastingThe BBC has reportedly appointed Channel 5 executive Kieran Clifton as the new head of strategy for its future media and technology (FM&T) division.

Clifton will officially join the BBC's digital media operation on November 1, after six years spent at Channel 5.

His most recent role at the broadcaster was head of strategy, while he previously sat on the shadow board of Project Canvas, the IPTV joint venture now known as YouView.

When he joins the BBC, Clifton will replace James Micklethwait, who is moving to head up strategy at BBC Journalism.

Clifton, who will take a seat on the FM&T group board, will be based at Broadcasting House rather than move to the new BBC North headquarters in Salford with his FM&T colleagues.

Channel 5 is currently in the process of cutting around 80 jobs, representing a quarter of its workforce, as part of its new owner Richard Desmond's major cost-cutting drive.

Meanwhile, FM&T has agreed a partnership with media job agency Vision+Media to launch a series of bespoke digital training opportunities in the north of England.

The three-month paid placements will be in the areas of software engineering and user experience, all conducted within the FM&T department.

"These bespoke placements are part of our commitment to training and developing the best local talent in the north," said BBC North director Peter Salmon.

Nick Gallon, FM&T technical manager for applications, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for talented software engineers and UX designers to get a feel for what it is really like working within BBC FM&T - to sample the projects, the technologies and the methodologies we use, whilst showcasing their skills in a real environment not an anodyne interview."

20-10-2010, 17:07
'Ban pre-watershed alcohol ads'

BroadcastingAlcohol Concern has called for a pre-watershed ban on TV advertising of alcohol brands, after new research claimed that children saw multiple drink ads during the World Cup.

According to research conducted by the campaign charity, more than one million children aged between four and 15-years-old were exposed to adverts from brands such as Stella Artois, Magners, Fosters, Carling and WKD during live England games shown on ITV1.

The group estimates that 1.6m under-16s viewed three alcohol adverts during England's game against Algeria, while 1.4m saw four alcohol ads in the match against the USA.

Even during non-England games, such as Uruguay versus the Netherlands, around 800,000 children watched three alcohol adverts shown during ITV's commercial breaks.

Broadcast between 8pm and 10pm, the alcohol adverts were all deemed to be within advertising guidelines by the Advertising Standards Authority.

However, Alcohol Concern is calling for a ban on all alcohol adverts before the 9pm watershed, as well as a total ban on alcohol advertising on the internet.

The charity cited a separate piece of research as claiming that 11- to 18-year-olds were viewing as many as four alcohol adverts online every day, amounting to 1,600 per year.

"It is simply unacceptable that vast numbers of children are so frequently exposed to alcohol advertising, leading to higher levels of drinking among young people and increasingly higher levels of harm," said Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker.

"Alcohol producers and advertising regulators are clearly not taking their responsibilities seriously enough and only a watershed ban on TV and an internet ban will prevent the vast majority of children from being exposed to alcohol marketing.

"Over the last seven years in England on average 36 children a day were admitted to hospital due to alcohol. Alcohol Concern is calling for a number of restrictions on alcohol marketing, including a ban on showing alcohol advertisements in cinemas other than with 18-rated films and a ban on alcohol sponsorship of sports and music events."

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore of the Royal College of Physicians added: "The evidence is clear - children are affected by alcohol marketing. It influences the age at which they start drinking and how much they then drink.

"Alcohol is a drug of potential addiction and if drinks producers and retailers won't stop pushing it at our children then urgent and tough legislation is needed to protect them."

The ASA's advertising code currently forbids the advertising of alcohol brands in programmes where the proportion of under-16s watching is 20% higher than the general population.

Drinks industry trade body the Portman Group claimed that any move to introduce more stringent rules on alcohol advertising would be excessive.

"Alcohol marketing in the UK is strictly regulated to ensure it is responsible and aimed at adults. Advertising of alcohol on TV is not allowed if the proportion of under-18s in the audience rises to a certain level," said David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group.

"One cannot eliminate under-18s from the audience altogether without imposing a total advertising ban. There is very little evidence to suggest that children's exposure to alcohol marketing is associated with either the onset of drinking or amount consumed. The current restrictions are effective and proportionate."

20-10-2010, 17:09
Radioplayer to launch in December

BroadcastingRadioplayer, the new online platform bringing together all of the BBC and commercial radio stations in the UK, will officially launch in December, it has been announced.

The service, which was first unveiled last winter, will feature a pop-up console for streaming around 400 national, local and community radio stations on a specially-designed platform.

Today, the radio industry was given its first demonstration of the new player at the annual Radio Festival in Salford.

Andrew Harrison, chairman of Radioplayer and chief executive of RadioCentre, confirmed that the service will begin a phased rollout in December, with 50 stations initially available.

The rollout will continue towards a full commercial launch in February 2011, when there will be at least 200 stations on offer, including every Ofcom-regulated network in the UK.

An extensive online marketing campaign will support the consumer launch, and the Radioplayer backers - the BBC, Global Radio, GMG Radio, RadioCentre and Absolute - believe that there will be huge demand for the service.

As 4.7m people listen to the radio online every month, the backers expect that Radioplayer will be "a multi-million user product from the moment it launches to consumers".

The backers also confirmed that the annual licence fee for each member to appear on the Radioplayer will be set "relative to station size".

In a statement, Harrison said: "Radioplayer will create significant opportunities for the commercial radio sector, expanding the scope and availability of services and providing an excellent simple online platform, alongside DAB, for audiences and advertisers to discover more digital radio."

Michael Hill, managing director of Radioplayer UK, said: "We are delighted to be able to unveil Radioplayer to our radio industry colleagues today, and show them just how simple and intuitive listening online is with Radioplayer. This is a defining moment for UK radio and we hope all broadcast stations, of all sizes and types, will participate."

BBC Audio and Music director Tim Davie, who also attended the Radioplayer launch, added: "Radioplayer will deliver a simple, quality experience for users and provide a coherent online presence for UK radio stations. It is a result of genuine collaboration across the industry and is the sort of innovation we need to make digital radio a reality."

20-10-2010, 17:12
HickoryTech reaches 100k IPTV subs

US telco HickoryTech has passed 100,000 subscribers for its IPTV service, having recently taken big steps in improving the feature set and reach of the service.

The telco, which provides broadband services across southern Minnesota, reports that it has achieved a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% for the IPTV service since launch in 2005.

HickoryTech has recently added DVR capabilities, as well as more than 50 high-definition channels and an exclusive interactive media service with on-demand weather and news, now available in 13 communities.

The company announced last August that it had selected Nokia Siemens Networks to provide a multi-screen IPTV platform for the introduction of high-definition services.

20-10-2010, 17:14
Timeshifted CBS Reality Channel Launches on Freesat

Chello Zone and CBS Studios International have secured a slot on Freesat for the timeshift channel CBS Reality +1, bringing all six services from the joint venture to the platform.

CBS Reality +1 joins the other offerings from CBS Chello Zone UK Channels—CBS Reality, CBS Drama, CBS Action, Horror Channel and Horror Channel +1—on Freesat. The channel is timeshifted by one hour from CBS Reality, featuring a lineup that includes Jerry Springer, Judge Judy, Cops and Bondi Rescue.

Chello Zone has also acquired season eight of the hit crime documentary series Crime Stories for CBS Reality and for Zone Reality, the channel owned by Chello Zone which broadcasts to 100 countries across the EMEA region. Crime Stories was picked up from Harmony Entertainment.

20-10-2010, 17:15
U.S. President Obama to Appear on Mythbusters

U.S. president Barack Obama will be featured in the December 8 episode of the popular Discovery Channel series Mythbusters.

During the episode, entitled "Archimedes Solar Ray," Obama will challenge hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to explore an ancient myth: Did Greek scientist and polymath Archimedes set fire to an invading Roman fleet using only mirrors and the reflected rays of the sun? The episode will air on Discovery Channel across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific starting in December. The December 8 Mythbusters episode is part of a multiplatform initiative launched by Discovery Communications called Be the Future.

Obama commented from the White House Science Fair: “I’m pleased to welcome Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, known as the Mythbusters. I can announce today that I taped a special guest appearance for their show, although I didn’t get to blow anything up… I was a little frustrated about that.”

20-10-2010, 17:17
Euronews launches Persian 24/7 version

Euronews is to take its multi-language news service into Persian. The new language will officially go live on October 27 and broadcast 24-hours-a-day. With the new addition an additional 3 million people will be able to follow Euronews programming.
The launch follows Euronews successful bid for a competitive call for tender from the European Union on December 21, 2009, in Brussels. The channel and the European Commission signed a service agreement to extend its programming to include Persian.

Persian is spoken by 126.5 million people in the world. It is an official language in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan but it is also commonly spoken in Bahrain, Uzbekistan and other regions of the world.

The addition of this 10th language version represents a very important step for Euronews in its multilingual strategy, the other languages are Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. A week ahead of the official TV launch, Persian Euronews will be available on the Euronews web site.

For the new service Euronews has recruited 17 Persian speaking journalists who have been integrated into the broadcast operations in the Lyon headquarters over the past few months.

From its launch, Persian Euronews will be immediately available on five satellites from its distribution network: Eutelsat Hot Bird 6, Arabsat Bad-4, Nilesat 101, Asiasat 5 and Eurobird 1 (which will be launched at the end of 2010).

20-10-2010, 17:18
Sisvel creates DVB-C2 patent pool

Sisvel is to create a patent licensing program for the next-generation DVB-C2 standard after a request from a group of patent owners.
In issuing its call for a joint licensing program, the company said it would offer convenient access to DVB-C2 technology on fair, reasonable and non-discrimantory terms and conditions.

Holders of patents deemed to be essential will then be invited to participate in the formation of a licensing program. The formation process is slated to begin with a meeting in Barcelona on February 16, 2011.

Applications are requested by December 15, 2010.

In September Sisvel took on the DVB-T patent pool having previously been selected for the DVB-T2 pool.

The first live transmissions of DVB-C2 made at the Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, Germany on April 22.

20-10-2010, 17:19
BBC Trust to quiz Thompson on Sky letter

Mark ThompsonBroadcastingThe BBC Trust has confirmed that it will quiz the BBC's director general Mark Thompson on his decision to sign a protest letter against News Corporation's proposed takeover of Sky.

Last week, Thompson joined Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham and BT boss Ian Livingstone in signing a petition submitted to business secretary Vince Cable urging him to intervene in News Corp's £8bn bid to take full control of the pay-TV operator.

The move followed Thompson's recent comments on US television about the potential risk to media plurality in Britain if the deal goes through.

The Trust is understood to be privately concerned about the BBC being so publicly connected to the protest letter, which Thompson signed without first consulting the governing body, reports The Guardian.

Speaking at the Radio Festival today in Salford, the BBC trustee David Liddiment said: "I think we will certainly be discussing it with the director general, yes. We haven't had that discussion yet. We will certainly be discussing it with him."

Also today, the Trust warned the coalition government over rumoured plans to force the BBC to meet the £556m cost of providing free television licences to anyone over 75.

In a statement, the organisation said that it "would be unacceptable for licence fee payers to pick up a bill for what is a universal benefit".

Liddiment declined to comment on separate speculation that the BBC has offered to take on funding of the BBC World Service to avoid picking up the licence fee bill.

"I don't think it's timely for me to make any comments on what is going on," said Liddiment.

"I think all kinds of conversations are taking place in London. We will learn more tomorrow when the comprehensive spending review is announced."

He added: "The Trust has made clear its position on the idea that the BBC licence fee should be used for free licences for the over-75s

20-10-2010, 17:20
BBCWS to be funded from domestic licence fee

The fee levied from taxpayers to fund the BBC will be frozen for six years in an effort to restrain spending by the state broadcaster at a time when other parts of the public sector face swingeing cuts. Government sources have confirmed reports aired by the BBC that the licence fee would be frozen at £145.50 a year for every household with a television set.

The measure will be announced tomorrow as part of a broad public spending review which will see some departments lose a quarter of their budgets as the government strives to slash its budget deficit from a record 11 percent of GDP. The sources also confirmed that the BBC World Service, which until now had been funded separately from the rest of the corporation out of the foreign ministry’s budget, would now be funded from the licence fee.

The World Service broadcasts in English and 31 other languages. It is one of the best known arms of the BBC around the world, particularly in developing countries. Taking on the cost of the World Service and other BBC units that were previously funded separately, such as Welsh language TV station S4C, will mean the BBC will have to absorb additional costs of about £300 million per year, the sources said.

The BBC reported on its website that the measures amounted to a 16 percent cut in its funding over the next six years. The squeeze on BBC funding could prove popular after a series of revelations about the high pay of some BBC executives and presenters. Opinion polls show that a vast majority of Britons like the BBC in general, but many disapprove of some of the top pay packages.

20-10-2010, 17:22
UPC to monitor Polish digital subs

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. UPC will set up an advanced service monitoring the viewing habits of its digital subscribers in Poland next year.

According to Jaroslaw Pijanowski, director of sales and marketing and a member of the board at UPC, it will be based on a panel of 5,000 and will be able to measure a wide range of activities, including the usage of PVRs and additional services.

The take-up of UPC Polska’s digital offer is growing rapidly, with the number of subscribers expected to reach at least 500,000 in 2011.

The cable operator has already cooperated with the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communication (PIKE) in analysing the viewing habits of its subscribers.

20-10-2010, 17:23
Cable deals on the horizon

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. The total value of privately owned European cable companies currently amounts to some €45 billion, according to Guy Hayward Cole, an MD and head of TMT M+A at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. However, around €25 billion of this is accounted for by debt.

Hayward Cole added that there is currently a lot of support from the markets for debt/equity cable deals as the markets did not lose their money in the economic crisis.

Cable assets are worth some 8x EBITDA this year, which is some way below the peak period of 2006/7 but an improvement on 2008/9.

Commenting on Poland, Hayward Cole said that “the market is changing and cable becoming a much more strategic asset than a few years ago.” In his view, “consolidation in Poland will happen through choice rather than choice.”

Aster, Poland’s fourth largest cable operator, is currently up for sale, with the market leader UPC Polska one of the favourites to buy the company, perhaps by the end of this year.

20-10-2010, 17:25
Polish TV bosses look to the future

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. Poland’s industry is on the threshold of a huge change, with national TV services giving way in importance to thematic channels, according to Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, the founder and owner of Polsat.

Speaking in a session on the electronic communication market during digital transformation, he also said that the sale of content over the internet will become increasingly important and that media and telecom services will effectively merge.

Significantly, Solorz-Zak in addition said that Polsat, whose interests include the DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat, will be sufficiently satisfied with operating 10 thematic channels – at least for now.

Piotr Walter, the VP of the board of TVN and DG of TV broadcasting and production, meanwhile said that unlike Polsat his company had no plans to enter the telecom market, instead remaining focused on content.

Its strategy over the last few years has been to diversify its revenues through the internet, the DTH platform n and FTA services.

20-10-2010, 17:27
HBO/Discovery to produce more in Poland

PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. HBO plans to increase the amount of local content it produces in Poland. However, it will have to reinforce the values the company has and strengthen its brand.

Commenting on HBO’s activities in the country, HBO Polska president and senior VP, HBO Central Europe Aleksander Kutela said that the company began producing a series in Poland a few weeks ago and would like to make a maximum of one or two a year. It has already been making documentaries in the country for some time.

Asked whether the series would be Polish productions of international formats or original Polish productions, he said both.

Dorota Zurkowska-Bytner, VP ad sales, Discovery Networks Central Europe, meanwhile said that the company already has a strong emphasis on local content.

Discovery Historia, for instance, is aimed solely at the Polish market and 40% of its programming is locally produced. Furthermore, TLC will start showing Polish programming from next year.

Both Kutela and Zurkowska-Bytner were answering to criticism from Jaroslaw Pijanowski, director of sales and marketing and a member of the board at UPC.

He said one of the main problems the operator is currently facing is a lack of content produced specifically for the Polish market.

20-10-2010, 17:29
Canalsat changed the parameters tp. DVB-S2

French satellite platform Canalsat changed two parameters of the DVB-S2 - modulation and FEC. Thanks to this increased capacity of multiplexes. Canalsat used in their multiplexes to DVB-S2 SR: 27500, FEC: 9 / 10, DVB-S2 QPSK. Now, at frequencies of 12.012 GHz and 12.207 GHz are SR 27500, FEC: 2 / 3, DVB-S2/8PSK.


ASTRA 1M (19.2 E)
12.012 GHz, pol. V, SR 27500, FEC: 2 / 3, DVB-S2/8PSK
HD CANAL + France, CANAL + HD Decal, Cinema HD CANAL +, CANAL + Sport HD France, CANAL + Family HD

ASTRA 1H (19.2 ° E)
12.207 GHz, pol. V, SR 27500, FEC: 2 / 3, DVB-S2/8PSK
TF1 HD, France 2 HD, National Geographic Channel HD France, Discovery HD Showcase

Programs TF1 HD, France 2 HD is also part of the free satellite platform TNTSat.

20-10-2010, 17:30
Fashion One Expands HD in Asia with GlobeCast on MEASAT-3

– Fashion One, in conjunction with GlobeCast, announced today the launch of Fashion One HD following a multi-year agreement to provide a full range of media management services and distribution on GlobeCast’s MEASAT-3 HD platform.

Fashion One TV HD went ‘live’ on 15 October, migrating from the AsiaSat-3S satellite to MEASAT-3’s HD neighborhood, with both capacities owned by GlobeCast, to meet the growing demand and receptiveness of the audience in Asia and around the world for High-Definition programming.

Audiences will now get to enjoy Fashion One HD’s exciting lineup of fashion and entertainment content such as international fashion weeks, exclusive profiles of top designers, photographers and models, and the latest in entertainment buzz – all in vivid HD-quality. Fashion One HD broadcasts 24/7 internationally across multiple platforms, including direct-to-home satellite television, cable television and the web.
Turning to GlobeCast for a one-stop-shop content management and delivery solution, GlobeCast deploys a complete solution comprising a fully tapeless workflow, media management service, fiber delivery and satellite capacity for Fashion One HD.

Fashion One HD sends the raw video files from its studios via GlobeCast Content Exchange to Singapore where GlobeCast transcodes the files, runs a quality check and prepares the channel to go on air based on the channel’s playlist. From GlobeCast’s new HD digital playout facility in Bukit Timah, Singapore, the signal is then transported via the GlobeCast Backbone Network (GCBN) to GlobeCast’s Hong Kong teleport for uplink to the MEASAT-3 satellite platform, located at MEASAT’s hot slot of 91.5E.

Additionally, as Fashion One’s sole distributor in territories in Asia, GlobeCast’s Content Aggregation and Acquisition (CAD) team has launched Fashion One onto Saigon Tourist Cable Television Company Ltd (SCTV) in Vietnam, Destiny Cable in the Philippines and DeTV’s IPTV platform in Malaysia.

GlobeCast is also carrying Fashion One in Europe and in the U.S. on GlobeCast’s Hotbird and WorldTV DTH platforms.

20-10-2010, 17:31
Alcatel-Lucent moves into #1 position in worldwide mobile backhaul market and enhances portfolio for 'all IP' wireless transformation

Alcatel-Lucent is announcing significant enhancements to its mobile backhaul solution to enable mobile network operators to seamlessly support 'AnyG to LTE' (2G, 3G and LTE) radio access network technologies.

Alcatel-Lucent has also moved into the number one market share position with 23% of worldwide Ethernet cell site gateway and router revenue for the first half of 2010, according to data published by Infonetics, who recorded 231% year-over-year growth. This combined with significant customer momentum gained over the last year, reinforces Alcatel-Lucent's solid position in mobile backhaul, LTE and overall strength in wireless IP.

In the recently published report, "Mobile Backhaul Equipment and Services," Infonetics details the booming growth in the mobile backhaul IP/Ethernet equipment market and reports that Alcatel-Lucent leads for the second year in a row with router sales in this space. Alcatel-Lucent marked its entrance into this burgeoning market three years ago with the introduction of its mobiletransport architecture , both anticipating the evolution to an all IP mobile infrastructure and the requirement to support LTE.

Today, Alcatel-Lucent is introducing the 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR)-18 to its extensive mobile backhaul portfolio, along with robust end-to-end, unified network and policy management from the Radio Access Network (RAN) to the packet core, for simplified network integration, trouble shooting and rapid service deployment. With these enhancements, Alcatel-Lucent is continuing its innovation and technical leadership, enabling mobile network operators to cost effectively manage exploding subscriber data traffic brought on by smartphones and the thousands of applications and video content running on them. Alcatel-Lucent understands the challenges faced by mobile network operators and has enhanced its solutions with 'Any G to LTE' capabilities to ensure service providers are not caught in an expensive transport bottleneck trap as they upgrade 2G systems to 3G/3G+ in advance of LTE roll outs.

The Alcatel-Lucent mobile backhaul solution is part of the company's High Leverage Network™ (HLN) architecture which enables service providers to leverage their network assets to deliver new revenue-generating services, while also reducing the cost per bit for basic transport. As a leader in both IP routing and wireless access, Alcatel-Lucent is ideally positioned to assist mobile service providers in building highly scalable and reliable IP networks that enable new business models and profitable mobile services delivery.

Supporting Quotes:

· "Operators, especially those offering 2G and 3G services today, are not willing to build a separate backhaul network to handle just LTE traffic, therefore, they will coexist for the foreseeable future," said Glen Hunt, Transport and Routing Infrastructure Principle Analyst, Current Analysis and author of LTE: Game Changer for Mobile Backhaul Strategies or Just More Data?. "Alcatel-Lucent's 'Any G to LTE' enhancements, which are in line with the company's HLN architecture, strongly reaffirm the company is extending the portfolio in the right direction and is committed to making investments in key areas such as converged IP/MPLS, microwave and management. With this announcement, Alcatel-Lucent can make a strong case for a leadership position in mobile backhaul with a string of customers to back them up."

· "In 2010, we expect Ethernet mobile backhaul to increase 8% YoY to $5.2B, making up 88% of total backhaul equipment spending, with the biggest growth from Ethernet cell site routers, which grew 231% and microwave Ethernet, at 367% over 2008," said Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research.. "Since last year, we've seen a significant shift in thinking by mobile operators and transport providers around the world who have come to trust IP-Ethernet more, and are now fully engaged in deploying and planning IP/Ethernet backhaul as the single backhaul to carry voice, data, and video traffic for 2G, 3G, WiMAX, and LTE. In the important Ethernet cell site gateway and router category, Alcatel-Lucent held onto its #1 position with 23% of 1H2010 worldwide revenue."

· "Alcatel-Lucent uniquely brings together market leading IP and wireless technology to deliver the strongest solution set for mobile backhaul and wireless IP requirements now occurring in the market," said Basil Alwan, head of carrier strategy for Alcatel-Lucent. "By leveraging the breadth of the Alcatel-Lucent Ethernet, IP and MPLS, access, optical and microwave portfolios under unified management, we offer an integrated portfolio approach and a clear message to the market about our thought leadership and product offerings which unleash the power of IP and MPLS for wireless IP network transformation."

Key Facts:

· The new Alcatel-Lucent 7705 (SAR)-18 is optimized for large aggregation sites or smaller central hub sites requiring multiservice support for 2G and 3G as well as Ethernet/IP support for LTE. The Alcatel-Lucent 7705 SAR-18 is a 10-rack unit (RU) version of the Alcatel-Lucent 7705 SAR with industry-leading scalability of 140Gb/s. Click here for more info

· The Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) now provides seamless end-to-end IP/MPLS-based management for the entire wireless network domain. With the 5620 SAM, Alcatel-Lucent brings the strength of its industry-leading IP/MPLS management expertise to significantly simplify provisioning and operations and accelerate faulty detection and rectification.

· The Alcatel-Lucent SAR family of products is now integrated with the Alcatel-Lucent 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR) family, for seamless microwave-based backhaul. As a result, service providers now have the flexibility to architect their networks with optimal topologies (by site), with lowest cost and best performance.

· To date, Alcatel-Lucent is involved in over 50 LTE trials and has won seven LTE contracts worldwide. Alcatel-Lucent has also performed over 200 mobile network migrations, 50+ mobile backhaul integrations and over 70 IP transformations worldwide. Alcatel-lucent brings a set of transformation services specifically designed for mobile backhaul transformation including consulting, optimization, network architecture design and integration supported by robust financial and network modeling.

20-10-2010, 17:32
Following on the successful launch and live demonstration of the company's innovative strand-mounted small cell base station in August, 2010, BelAir Networks has announced that the award-winning BelAir100SP Strand Picocell now supports CDMA2000.

The CDMA2000 radio option will allow a wider range of mobile carriers to deploy the BelAir100SP to improve mobile broadband service to their subscribers while offloading data from both their radio access and mobile core networks.

The BelAir100SP is a small cell base station that leverages available broadband IP infrastructure to deliver mobile broadband coverage via both licensed and unlicensed wireless spectrum. The BelAir100SP can be deployed from aerial strand, and in pedestals, cabinets or vaults to augment or extend existing mobile broadband coverage.

"Traditional tower and rooftop deployments yield macrocell coverage but the BelAir100SP addresses the explosion in data traffic by delivering targeted, high capacity small cell coverage where the macrocell either doesn't reach or is overtaxed," said Stephen Rayment, Chief Technology Officer, BelAir Networks. "Based on demand from leading mobile carriers and cable operators, we first introduced the BelAir100SP with GSM and Wi-Fi but the CDMA2000 variant was not far behind. Carriers are keen to leverage a cost effective small cell architecture that will address their current networking challenges while providing a smooth evolution to LTE."

The BelAir100SP will be featured in booth # 623 at 4G World 2010, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL and in booth # 951 at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA.

The modular design of the BelAir100SP currently supports a range of licensed 3G radios, with a migration to LTE, along with dual 802.11n Wi-Fi radios. The BelAir100SP includes a DOCSIS® 3.0 modem, plant power supply, and power protection/splitter, enabling it to integrate directly with hybrid fibre coax (HFC) infrastructure for power and backhaul. HFC is the all IP networking infrastructure deployed by cable operators. Many mobile carriers already partner, or share common ownership with, cable operators and leverage their HFC networks to backhaul mobile traffic from 2G and 3G macrocells. The BelAir100SP extends this mutually beneficial networking relationship to enable small cell deployments that enhance the capacity of 3G and LTE macrocell coverage.

The BelAir100SP combines BelAir Networks proven robust, compact hardware with their industry-leading BelAirOS operating system software and BelView NMS network management, now scaling to manage 50,000 base stations in a single network.

20-10-2010, 17:33
Envivio, the leading provider of live and on-demand multi-screen video processing solutions, will bring to the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo (booth 1537) Oct. 20-22 in New Orleans a complete demonstration of the three screen video head ends it is providing to three of the five largest cable MSOs in the United States.

Based on the market-leading 4Caster C4 encoding/transcoding multi-screen platform, Envivio's solutions allow cable companies to convert gracefully to IP-based video delivery and enable them to deliver services to mobile, PC and TV screens from a single integrated platform.

"As they look beyond the set top box cable companies are exploring uncharted territory in terms of both services offered and technology needed," said Arnaud Perrier, Envivio VP of solutions. "Envivio is in the best position to help, combining proven high quality, high efficiency video compression and delivery technology with unmatched global experience in deploying multi-screen services. Our familiarity in enabling secure pay TV services in the mobile and Internet space correlates closely with the emerging opportunities available to cable companies."

Highlights of Envivio's demonstrations at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo include:

1) Multi-screen transcoding solutions that eliminate the need for single-purpose, silo head ends and can deliver to all screens from a single workflow.

2) Fully secured delivery of Over the Top (OTT) services with integrated encryption, DRM and superior quality of experience using the latest adaptive streaming technologies including Adobe Flash, Apple HTTP Live Streaming and Microsoft Silverlight.

3) Envivio Extreme H.264 compression to deliver high quality HD video below 4 Mbps, giving service providers the flexibility to add more HD channels, increase the quality of premium HD services and deliver HD to multiple viewing platforms.

4) Mobile TV services using all broadcast standards as well streaming live and on demand video over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks to the latest generation iPhone and iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices.

5) Envivio's network-based On Demand solution that turns any content recorded by a subscriber into assets for subsequent delivery to the subscriber's mobile and PC screens.

6) Advanced offline file-to-file workflows that bring all Envivio's best-in-class encoding technology along with a comprehensive feature set for traditional Video on Demand content preparation.

For more information about Envivio's market-leading Three Screens solutions, please visit our website www.en,,vi,vio.com (http://www.sat-universe.com/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.en%2C%2Cvi%2Cv io.com) and plan to visit Envivio booth 1537 at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.

20-10-2010, 17:35
Ecuador recorded 323,000 Pay-TV susbcribers

According to the Ecuadorian Telecommunications Superintendence, Ecuadorian Pay-TV recorded a total of 323,901 subscribers as of September 2010 closing, which accounts for a 2,107 subscriber growth as compared with the previous month. Until the aforementioned month, there were 272 authorized companies. Cable TV was the highest subscriber rate segment with 228,940 clients.

Terrestrial coded TV recorded 26 authorized stations, which registered 62,868 subscribers. One of the main companies is Univisa with at least 26,000 susbcribers. However, since three zones did not yield information about such operator, such figure might be even higher. On the other hand, cable TV recorded 245 authorized companies. TV Cable Group, one of the most important operators, reached 136,545 clients. Telmex, recorded 10,800 susbcribers in Guayaquil, area where its cable operation is present.

DTH reached 32,093 susbcribers and DirecTV is its only operator. Such situation will change in 2011 with the arrival of the Ecuadorian state-owned DTh operator Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT), which will offer the service jointly with Media Networks, a company that belongs to Telefónica Group.

20-10-2010, 17:36
The Chilean Government accelerates DTT Bill

The Chilean Government decided to accelerate the approval of DTT Bill, which has been in Congress for two years, by qualifying as "to be passed urgently". Therefore, the initiative will necessarily be dealt with. The Government has recently renewed authorizations over a five-year term for DTT experimental broadcastings to be carried out only in the capital city of Santiago while the new legal framework is defined. In March 2011, the project might be almost fully tested.

With the new denomination, the legislative branch will have a 10-day deadline to pass the bill. "We are fulfilling our public commitment to accelerating the law approval by considering it extremely urgent because lower income Chileans who cannot afford cable or satellite digital TV cannot keep on waiting for a change in TV that started 10 years ago in the world", stated Felipe Morandé, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications.

On the other hand, the president of the Senate Commission of Transport and Telecommunications, Guido Girardi, praised the Government's considering the bill urgent and its also renewing authorizations. Likewise, Girardi committed himself to supporting the legislative errand so that "in March 2011 most part of digital TV bill is passed".

The norm will define a new legal framework for the development of regional and communitarian television, while also letting current channels deploy additional channels and content on screen. Moreover, according to what the Chilean Government informed in its web page, a maximum term will be fixed so as to replicate the current TV coverage across the whole country.

20-10-2010, 17:37
Youtube Leanback gets integrated into Google TV

Wants it to be the default option

Google has integrated Youtube Leanback into its plans for delivering TV over the Internet.

Leanback is designed for large-screen viewing and allows users to watch a playlist of videos in high definition.

Google seems to be hoping that it will become the default option for those watching viral videos on Google TV. Tellies equipped for Google TV will go on sale this week.

Leanback first appeared in May at the Google I/O conference. It was designed to help the search outfit bring online streaming videos to living room home theatre systems.

Google claims that Leanback makes the Youtube user interface simple while still offering its advanced search interface, visual browsing features and simple keyboard commands.

According to Google when you view Leanback on Google TV or online, videos based on your subscriptions and viewing history will begin playing immediately. It said there are 10 channels, updated daily, featuring popular and interesting videos in genres like Comedy, Entertainment, News, Science & Technology, How To, Style and more.

"You can also watch full-length movies and TV shows rented from youtube.com in the highest quality," Google enthused.

20-10-2010, 17:38
3D TV not growing as fast as expected
October 20, 2010

3D TV is now readily available in retail, but the uptake among consumers has been limited by high prices and lack of content, according to US research firm DisplaySearch. However, with falling prices, increased content availability, and improvements in technology all expected, there will be tremendous growth in 3D TV shipments over the next few years.

The company forecasts that 3.2 million 3D TVs will be shipped in 2010, with growth to over 90 million in 2014. Based on this forecast, 3D will grow from 2% of all flat panel TVs shipped in 2010, to 41% in 2014.
“While TV manufacturers have bold plans and a lot of new products, consumers remain cautious,” said Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics Research. “Consumers have been told that 3D TV is the future, but there still remains a huge price jump and little 3D content to watch.”

The findings from this study confirm a report from Strategy Analytics on the attitudes of both the production sector and consumers towards the 3D format which painted an uncertain future.

“North American consumers in particular appear to be playing a waiting game,” noted Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research. “Set makers have trained consumers to expect rapid price falls for new technology, and consumers seem happy to wait a little.” As a result, DisplaySearch forecasts that 3D shipments in North America will be just under 1.6 million this year.

The results also found that sales of 3D glasses in Western Europe remain low, with most countries failing to achieve 1:1 sales of glasses to sets. “This is particularly disappointing,” noted Gray, “A healthy level would be closer to two pairs of 3D glasses per TV, so it’s clear that these sets at best are being chosen for future-proofing, and at worst it’s an indication that consumers cannot buy a premium set without 3D.”

Nevertheless, 3D is a feature that set makers are determined to develop. 3D product choice is expanding fast with increased product launch plans and more set makers adding 3D. Rapidly expanding product offerings and 3D TV set prices have led DisplaySearch to increase its forecast for 3D in later years, with an anticipated 90 million sets being shipped in 2014.

“TV manufacturers strongly believe in 3D and are driving its cost downward, but its value to consumers relies strongly on the availability of quality material to watch,” Gray concluded.

20-10-2010, 17:40
US DTH operators proiftable in 7 years
October 20,

Dish Network and DirecTV in the US both achieved profitability close to 7 years in operation at a penetration of approximately 7% of television households. According to US research firm NSR these benchmarks generally hold true for the vast majority of DTH markets the world over.

For most platforms in Central & Eastern Europe, the magic number averages close to the 500,000 subscriber mark. A look at individual countries reveals that for Romanian platforms the figure stands at about 300,000 subscribers, whereas for Ukraine it could be as low as 100,000 subscribers to achieve profitability.

Platform N, based in Poland, is yet to achieve breakeven despite crossing the 700,000 subscriber mark last year. It is largely understood that the cost of providing relatively advanced equipment has kept them from turning profitable. Other platforms in the country such as Cyfrowy Polsat and Cyfra+ managed the same feat with anywhere between 400,000 and 600,000 subscribers after a mere 5 years in operation.

As shown in the figure here, DTH subscriber growth continues to be healthy for the industry at large, and NSR expects the numbers to scale well over 200 million by 2019. However, ARPUs are being pulled downward by the millions of subscribers that continue to be added in South Asia and Central Europe at single-digit ARPU levels.

Emerging operators in South Africa have based their business models on breakeven at about 300,000 subscribers over 3 years. This again translates into roughly 6.7% of television households in the country. Although Africa may prove to be more of a challenge given the dominance of the incumbent provider, NSR believes that operators will be able to find their niche in one of the fastest growing television markets in the world.

20-10-2010, 17:41
TDF postpones ASO in two regions
October 20,

French transmitter company TDF has announced that it isn postponing the analogue switch-off in the regions Centre and Poitou-Charentes because of the indyystrial action taking place in the country.
The original analogue switch-off was planned for the night from Monday, October 18 till Tuesday, October 19. But due to the severe disruptions of French pubic life, the ASO date has now been postponed three days.

20-10-2010, 17:42
Mixed fortunes for Czech digital channels
October 20, 2010

There is still a wide disparity in the reach of new digital TV channels in the Czech Republic.
According to figures produced by ATO-Mediaresearch and published by HN, the publicly owned news channel is in first place, being available to 90.2% of viewers in the country.

It is followed by its sister channel CT4 Sport with 88.5% and then Nova Cinema (85.2%), TV Barrandov (80.7%) and Prima Cool (78.7%), with Z1 (51.8%) and Public TV (51.3%) having the lowest reach.

A somewhat different picture emerges when their ratings are considered.

Figures for the first full week of this month show TV Barrandov in first place with 4.75%, followed by Nova Cinema and CT 24 with 3.98% and 3.56% respectively.

20-10-2010, 17:44
BBC Licence Fee to fund services at home and abroad
October 20, 2010

A BBC Licence Fee frozen for six years will be required to fund BBC World Service radio, rural broadband and the Welsh language channel S4C, under proposals to be announced today by the coalition government. In all the BBC will have to find £340 million, out of its £3.6 billion revenues to fund the enterprises, equivalent to the running costs of all its non-core digital TV channels, BBC Three, BBC Four and the BBC News channel.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt had previously said negotiations on the licence fee, which will remain at an annual £145.50, would not begin until next summer. The frantic negotiations were undertaken against a background of austerity measures set to be announced today by the finance minister George Osbourne.

The £272 million a year international radio services were previously supported by a series of grants made by the Foreign Office, though the corporation would maintain editorial control. BBC World News is commercially funded, but the Arabic and Persian television services launched at the behest of government, fell under the World Service directorate.

Hints that the BBC might be asked to take on the funding of the rollout of broadband services were already being made after the Digital Britain report, taking advantage of an underspend in the BBC’s funding of the digital switchover programme. The annual cost is expected to be around £150 million per year.

The BBC will also take on the £100m per year funding of S4C, the Welsh language channel from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. S4C was already facing funding cuts that had led to the resignation of its director of commissioning. In a statement, the S4C Authority and Executive said it would read and consider the full implications of the Secretary of State’s decision. Gaelic language television channel BBC Alba is already funded through the licence fee, though in Wales editorial independence would remain with S4C.

It had been mooted that the cost of funding the free licence fee for the over 75s would also pass to the BBC, but this is now expected to remain with the Department for Work and Pensions.

20-10-2010, 17:45
Nordic HD driving Viasat
October 20, 2010

Viasat Broadcasting’s Nordic pay-TV business reported third quarter growth of 9% year-on-year, driven by enthusiasm for IPTV and HD services.The pay-TV company’s premium subscribers have risen to 843,000 from 802,000 in September 2009. But while IPTV subscriptions have reached 176,000, DTH homes have fallen. This does not tell the whole story, given that PVR, Multiroom and HD subscriptions have all enjoyed significant increases. HD alone stands at 183,000 subscribers, more than double the 82,000 of one year ago.

The Nordic pay-TV business also enjoyed a SEK 19 million (€1.63m) bonus from a performance clause in one of the group’s wholesale distribution agreements.

The DTH satellite premium subscriber base grew quarter on quarter and year on year in Sweden with a significant reduction in subscriber churn levels, but the number of premium DTH satellite subscribers declined quarter on quarter and year on year in Norway and Denmark. Nordic pay-TV reported a 12% year on year increase in operating profits to SEK 201m in the third quarter and a 15% increase for the first nine months of 2010 to SEK 614m.

Viasat’s Baltic and Ukrainian DTH satellite subscriber bases grew year on year and quarter on quarter following continued premium subscriber intake on the Ukrainian platform, the addition of almost 20,000 new basic satellite subscribers by Raduga TV in Russia, representing the bulk of the 23,000 quarterly subscriber increase. The wholesale mini-pay business added 1.2 million subscriptions in the quarter to reach 46,629,000.

20-10-2010, 17:46
BroadcastingBBC licence fee frozen for six years

The BBC has agreed to freeze the television licence fee for the next six years and pick up the bill for World Service and Welsh-language channel S4C, it has emerged.

Last night, reports surfaced about a last-minute deal struck between the government and the BBC Executive, including the current £145.50 licence fee being held until 2017.

The BBC will also take over the £272m cost of finding the World Service, currently paid for by the Foreign Office, as well as fund the struggling Welsh-language broadcaster S4C.

However, the corporation is understood to have avoided a contentious proposal to make it bear the £556m annual cost of providing free TV licences for the over-75s.

A formal announcement of the deal agreed with the Coalition will be made this afternoon during the chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review.

The freeze to the licence fee represents a 16% cut in real terms to the BBC's funding, which currently delivers around £3.6 billion a year.

The BBC Trust had initially called for a licence fee freeze until just 2013, but the government has now pushed it through until the renewal of the BBC's Royal Charter in 2017.

Also in the deal, the corporation will have to meet the cost of rolling out broadband to rural areas, along with local TV and online services. It will further pay for BBC Monitoring, which analyses, translates and monitors media coverage from around the world.

By 2015, the extra financial obligations will place an additional £340m burden every year on the BBC's outlay, which is almost equivalent to the total cost of its main digital TV channels - BBC Three, BBC Four and the BBC News Channel.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport currently provides the £100m annual budget for S4C, but much of the channel's programming is already provided by the BBC.

The BBC is understood to view the deal as a necessary compromise, but it is glad to avoid the massive cost of providing the free TV licences, which it views as a welfare benefit.

It is also thought that the £130m annual surplus from the digital television switchover will be allocated to the BBC to help fund its extra commitments after the switchover completes in 2012.

Over the past few weeks, the corporation has slimmed down its executive board - including the departure of deputy director general Mark Byford - as it seeks to cut costs in the face of increasing government pressure.

20-10-2010, 17:47
Legacy CAM for HD+ available
October 20,

The German HD+ platform operated SES-Astra will soon make a legacy CAM available for reception on older HD receivers. The CAM, which includes the HD+ smart card and a one-year subscription, will cost €99.
The legacy CAM is intended for HD receivers with a CI slot, but first a software update is necessary in order to make HD+ reception possible. Humax has already made an update available for the German version of its iCord HD satellite receiver.

The legacy CAM can be used in about 55 receivers with a CI slot and a further 6 TV sets with built-in satellite receiver and CI slot from 17 different manufacturers (see the HD+ website for a complete list of all suitable receivers)

The HD+ platform offers the HD versions of RTL, Vox, ProSieben, Sat.1 and Kabel Eins, with Sport1 HD to follow in November.

20-10-2010, 17:49
Corbijn directs 'smallest, shortest film'

Filmmaker Anton Corbijn has directed what has been claimed to be the world's shortest and smallest movie.

The clip has been placed on normal stamps for the Dutch and international postal service TNT, Dexigner reports.

Communications agency KesselsKramer was tasked with taking advantage of progress in lenticular printing, which now allows 30 frames - around one second of footage - to be shown.

KesselsKramer creative director and founder Erik Kessels said: "Anton was our first choice since we have worked with him before.

"Also, like us, he works in many different fields of visual communication so he understood exactly what we wanted to do."

Corbijn, who is famed for his rock photography, music videos and movies Control and The American, was reportedly inspired by a 1951 Dutch stamp by Cas Oorthuys showing a girl in front of a windmill.

His own version of the pose features Black Book actress Carice van Houten biting her finger.

20-10-2010, 17:50
Norton: 'Bleakley bonkers for ITV move'

Graham Norton has said that Christine Bleakley was "bonkers" for leaving her role at the BBC.

Bleakley left her job as the host of The One Show in June, after the broadcasting corporation withdrew its contract offer amid speculation that the Northern Irish presenter was considering offers from rival ITV.

Following her departure from the BBC, Bleakley signed up to host ITV's rebranded morning show Daybreak alongside former One Show co-host Adrian Chiles.

The Daily Mail reports that Norton told the crowd at Salford's Radio Festival that while he understood Chiles's decision to join ITV, he thought that Bleakley had made a foolish choice.

Norton said: "I can understand why Adrian Chiles did it, but Christine Bleakley - bonkers. [The One Show is a] fantastic job."

He then joked: "Do you know when they come in? Three o'clock! And they finish at 7.30pm."

Bleakley is reportedly upset that Daybreak's viewing figures have dropped to around 600,000 following its launch last month.

20-10-2010, 17:51
Orange France launches video-rich iPad news app
20 Oct 10 -

Orange France has launched an iPad version of its 2424actu news application with a focus on video.

2424actu: le zapping de l’actu is available free of charge from the Apple App Store’s news section. According to France Telecom/Orange, the application enables anyone with an iPad to access a wide range of sources of information from the TV, radio and online press. Content partners include France 2, Le Monde, BFM TV, Euronews, RTL, Libération, Paris Match and The New York Times.

20-10-2010, 17:52
SFR first off the blocks with on-demand gaming
20 Oct 10 -

French IPTV service provider SFR has launched on-demand games as part of its Neufbox TV HD offer, which it says makes it the first operator in Europe to launch such an offer.

Neufbox HD TV subscribers will now be able to access a catalogue of game son-demand on their TV sets, following a nine-moth trial. The operator is offering a catalogue of close to 30 games, which it says will be augmented each month, aimed in particular at families and occasional gamers.

The move will enable subscriber to access games without the need to download them or to buy a console. Gamers will be able to use their existing remote controls or a USB games controller.

Users will have the opportunity to test games before buying, to play by themselves, with other on the same screen or online with other users of the service.

The operator is offering three levels of subscription for the service: Pass Découverte for €4.99 (up to 15 games), Pass Full Games for €9.99 (unlimited access to the catalogue) or à la carte for €1.99 or €2.99 a game. SFR is offering discounts of 50% as a launch promotion for the first three months.

SFR has teamed up with cloud-based gaming specialist G-Cluster and other games publishers including Popcap and Capcom for the service. Casual games including Tower Bloxx and Moorhun Kart will be offered alongside more advanced games including Devil May Cry 3.

20-10-2010, 17:54
France Télévisions catch-up service on Free
20 Oct 10 -

Public broadcaster France Télévisions’ online catch-up service, Pluzz, is being made available via the IPTV service of Iliad Telecom/Free, according to local reports.

The deal means that Free and Alice (the former Telecom Italia unit acquired by Free) subscribers equipped with the latest generation of set-top boxes and an adequate internet connection will be able to access the number of programmes from France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5 and France Ô for seven days after their initial broadcast.

Free launched its Freebox Replay catch-up service in June, offering programmes from about 30 channels.

20-10-2010, 17:56
MTG sees pay-TV growth
20 Oct 10 -

Modern Times Group (MTG) has reported revenues of SEK3.531bn (€379m) for the third quarter, up 17% year on year. Operating income was SEK368m, up 50%, while net income was up 42% to SEK360m.

MTG’s Nordic pay-TV unit posted sales of SEK1.140bn, up 9% year-on-year. The company added 11,000 new premium subscribers, driven by IPTV take-up. Growth in its Swedish satellite platform was offset by lower new sales in Denmark and Norway. Growth of multi-room, ViasatPlus DVR and HD subscriptions boosted premium DTH ARPU by 6% to SEK4,472.

Pay-TV in MTG’s emerging markets of central and eastern Europe saw revenues rise by 16% to SEK228m for the quarter, boosted by consolidation of 50% of its Raduga TV Russian platform and full consolidation of Viasat Ukraine. MTG added 1.2m subscribers in 25 emerging markets in total, with basic and mini subscriptions seeing strong growth. Premium growth in Ukraine was offset by subscribers in the Baltic states choosing lower-tier offers.

20-10-2010, 17:57
Egypt shuts down 12 channels
20 Oct 10 -

Egyptian authorities have ordered satellite operator Nilesat to shut down 12 private television channels on the grounds of violating broadcasting licences.

The news comes ahead of next month's parliamentary elections and is the country's latest media crackdown. Earlier this month, Egypt's Media Free Zone, which is the area set up by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union, the Egyptian Media Production City and Nilesat to encourage commercial broadcasting, ordered the suspension of five channels, accusing them of breaching broadcasting ethics.

Information Minister Annas el-Fiqi reportedly described the ban by the satellite operator as "corrective measures" and NileSat also warned 20 other channels to obey the rules.

20-10-2010, 17:59
CBS Reality launches plus one on Freesat
20 Oct 10 -

CBS Reality, the joint venture channel between CBS Studios International and Chello Zone, has launched a +1 channel on UK digital terrestrial satellite platform Freesat.

This means that the platform now operates all six channels run by the joint venture including CBS Reality, CBS Drama, CBS Action, Horror Channel and Horror Channel +1. The channel airs a number of crime based reality series and talk shows including Judge Judy, Cops, Bondi Rescue and Jerry Springer and has recently acquired season eight of Harmony Entertainment's Crime Stories. CBS Chello Zone UK Channels is a portfolio of channels set up in October 2009 between the international arm of the Hollywood studio and the European broadcaster.

20-10-2010, 17:59
Numericable launches high-speed internet in Liévin
20 Oct 10 -

French cable operator Numericable is making high-speed internet services available to subscribers in the Liévin area in the Pas-de-Calais.

Via an agreement with local communication development agency SILDEC, Numericable is progressively making up to 100Mbps internet services and pay-TV available to Liévin residents from this month.

20-10-2010, 18:01
UPC gives free HD set-tops to new subscribers
20 Oct 10 -

Cable operator UPC Austria is giving free HD set-tops to new lower-tier digital subscribers as part of a promotional initiative set to run to the end of the year.

New FIT and Super FIT digital subscribers that sign up before December 31 will now receive a free HD MediaBox. Top-tier Top FIT subscribers will continue to receive a free HD DVR as part of their subscription package.

UPC Austria currently offers about 10 HD channels plus video-on-demand.

20-10-2010, 18:02
Ooyala launches PayPal-powered pay-wall
20 Oct 10 -

US-based online video publishing platform supplier Ooyala has launched a pay-wall service for it clients, allowing viewers to use the PayPal online payment platform to pay for content.

Ooyala clients including LATV Networks and Sportfive have already tested the service, which is integrated within the Ooyala video player.

Ooyala recently raised US$22m (€16m) in funding from Shanghai-based CID Group and Tokyo-based Itochu Technology Ventures as it prepares for further international expansion.

20-10-2010, 18:03
Concern over BBC's S4C funding deal
Wednesday, October 20 2010,

The Welsh Assembly government has expressed concern about a deal that is expected to see the BBC assume funding for Welsh-language channel S4C.

Under a deal reportedly agreed yesterday evening, the BBC will take over funding of S4C from the Departure for Culture, Media and Sport by 2015.

It is unclear whether the corporation will assume the channel's entire £100m annual budget, but there have been assurances that S4C will retain its operational independence.

Members of the S4C Executive and S4C Authority - the channel's governing body - are expected to meet later today to consider their response to the move.

However, Welsh heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones has expressed his surprise and anger at not being informed of the funding change.

Speaking to BBC Wales, Jones said that there had been no discussion or debate in Wales about S4C's new financial arrangement.

The minister also expressed his fears about the BBC's dominant position in Welsh broadcasting, arguing that it's "simply not healthy to have one organisation overbearingly influential in this field".

"This is a story about the BBC taking over effective financial control of S4C, and whoever holds the purse calls the tune. Now this is very worrying. We have to await the details and obviously look at them carefully," Jones said.

"It is not healthy, it doesn't matter what the BBC is about, it is not healthy to have one broadcaster dominating the broadcasting and the media scene here in Wales.

"And therefore we will have to look carefully at how to preserve the independence of S4C if that is possible within the parameters of the deal."

Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas, a former Welsh culture minister, said that the "astonishing" move represented a "backroom deal in London by people who have little to no understanding of the importance the channel plays culturally and economically in Wales".

Thomas added that the new funding situation would call into question S4C's future viability as an independent broadcaster.

20-10-2010, 18:04
Soyuz TV extends the range of 13E

http://www.sat-universe.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=241496&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1287526288 (http://www.sat-universe.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=241496&d=1287526288)

Soyuz TV extends the range of 13E

Russian channel for Soyuz Orthodox TV expanded coverage of households that receive satellite signals from satellites located on Hot Bird 13E orbital position. Capacity and infrastructure, the issue provides the operator Israeli RRSat. Soyuz-TV is distributed free of charge. Until now, the transmission was mainly carried out with the satellites, which beam covered the Russian Federation, which Yamal 201 (90E) and Bonum 1 (56E).

The easiest way was to pick up the station with Eutelsat W4 (36E), but under the condition that lived in the eastern part of the Polish and boasted of a converter adapted for receiving signals in the circular polarization (L / R).

Soyuz TV is a positive, family and home television krzepienia created with a view of moral values and national traditions, as well as care for the historical and cultural heritage of Russia. The independent channel debuted on Jan. 31, 2005 the year before gave only 40 minutes daily program aired on NTV federal. The station has the blessing given by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Technical data for 13E:

Hot Bird 6 (13E)
tp. 115 (10.815 GHz, pol. H, SR 27500, FEC: 5 / 6; DVB-S/QPSK)

ID: Souyz TV
V PID: 2013
PID: 3013
PCR PID: 2013
SID: 17313
PMT PID: 1013
Encoding: none

20-10-2010, 18:05
Russian Orthodox TV channel starts broadcasting in Europe, Middle East and America
October 20th, 2010

Orthodox Soyuz TV channel has started its broadcasting in Europe, Middle East, North Africa and North America. The Yekaterinburg Diocese information agency that owns the TV channel reported today that the broadcasting is launched on two new satellites HotBird 6 and Galaxy 19.

According to head of the diocesan information and publishing department Hegumen Dimitry (Baybakov) last year the TV channel received Patriarch Kirill’s blessing to work on launching full-fledged international broadcasting. Fr Dimitry further said that the project is unique over 500 open channels in more than 40 world languages broadcast in the HotBird 6 satellite. There are dozens of religious: Islamic, Protestant, Catholic and channels of other religions among them. However, there was no Orthodox channel.

“A great number of not only Russian-speaking, but Orthodox people came to live abroad in recent decades. And for many of them I hope we will bring some relief. To say nothing of presenting our country, our history, our faith to many millions of people.”

The TV channel plans to further develop satellite broadcasting in South America, Australia and Asia in coming years.

20-10-2010, 18:07
CIS Regional Communications Union holds meeting on MW/LW synchronization

October 20th, 2010

A meeting is taking place in Moscow to coordinate the use of several longwave and mediumwave frequencies by members of the CIS Regional Communications Union. The meeting is expected to prepare preliminary options for the use of 171, 54 and 873 kHz. The meeting is due to last until 22 October.

20-10-2010, 18:08
Danish court cancels freeze of Kurdish TV’s accounts
October 20th, 2010

A Copenhagen city court yesterday lifted a freeze on 10 bank accounts connected to Roj TV, a Copenhagen-based Kurdish TV network, the controversial station’s lawyer said. The freeze had been ordered on 2 September, shortly after the network was charged with supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by both the European Union and the United States.

The court lifted the freeze because police omitted to inform the network’s employees of their rights when the station was charged, defence lawyer Bjoern Elmquist told AFP. “It was a five-year investigation and the authorities’ legal procedures were not in order,” he said.

In August, Danish prosecutors charged Roj TV with terrorism following an in-depth investigation, launched in 2005, into the network’s programming. Prosecutor Lise-Lotte Nilas said in a statement at the time some of the network’s programmes had “a character of propaganda for the PKK.”

Mr Elmquist said that although the freeze on bank accounts was lifted, the network’s funds would remain out of reach until a higher court confirmed the decision, which was immediately appealed by a prosecutor. The network also still faces terrorism charges. The trial is not expected to begin until the second half of 2011, and could last for years, according to the lawyer.

Roj TV started broadcasting via satellite in 2004 towards 68 countries. Turkey has appealed to Denmark to shut it down, as has the United States. The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms for self-rule in the Kurdish-majority southeast of Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed 45,000 lives.

20-10-2010, 18:09
EU drops in latest press freedom rankings
October 20th, 2010

Reporters Without Borders has repeatedly expressed its concern about the deteriorating press freedom situation in the European Union and the 2010 index confirms this trend. Thirteen of the EU’s 27 members are in the top 20 but some of the other 14 are very low in the ranking. Italy is 49th, Romania is 52nd and Greece and Bulgaria are tied at 70th. The European Union is not a homogenous whole as regards media freedom. On the contrary, the gap between good and bad performers continues to widen.

There has been no progress in several countries where Reporters Without Borders pointed out problems. They include, above all, France and Italy, where events of the past year – violation of the protection of journalists’ sources, the continuing concentration of media ownership, displays of contempt and impatience on the part of government officials towards journalists and their work, and judicial summonses – have confirmed their inability to reverse this trend.

Several countries share first place in the index again. This year it is Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. They have all previously held this honour since the index was created in 2002. Norway and Iceland have always been among the countries sharing first position except in 2006 (Norway) and 2009 (Iceland). These six countries set an example in the way they respect journalists and news media and protect them from judicial abuse.

They even continue to progress. Iceland, for example, is considering an exemplary bill, the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), that would provide a unique level of protection for the media. Sweden distinguishes itself by its Press Freedom Act, which has helped to create a particularly favourable climate for the work of journalists, by the strength of its institutions and by its respect for all those sectors of society including the media whose role in a democracy is to question and challenge those in positions of power.

has repeatedly expressed its concern about the deteriorating press freedom situation in the European Union and the 2010 index confirms this trend. Thirteen of the EU’s 27 members are in the top 20 but some of the other 14 are very low in the ranking. Italy is 49th, Romania is 52nd and Greece and Bulgaria are tied at 70th. The European Union is not a homogenous whole as regards media freedom. On the contrary, the gap between good and bad performers continues to widen.

There has been no progress in several countries where Reporters Without Borders pointed out problems. They include, above all, France and Italy, where events of the past year – violation of the protection of journalists’ sources, the continuing concentration of media ownership, displays of contempt and impatience on the part of government officials towards journalists and their work, and judicial summonses – have confirmed their inability to reverse this trend.

Several countries share first place in the index again. This year it is Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. They have all previously held this honour since the index was created in 2002. Norway and Iceland have always been among the countries sharing first position except in 2006 (Norway) and 2009 (Iceland). These six countries set an example in the way they respect journalists and news media and protect them from judicial abuse.

They even continue to progress. Iceland, for example, is considering an exemplary bill, the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), that would provide a unique level of protection for the media. Sweden distinguishes itself by its Press Freedom Act, which has helped to create a particularly favourable climate for the work of journalists, by the strength of its institutions and by its respect for all those sectors of society including the media whose role in a democracy is to question and challenge those in positions of power.

20-10-2010, 18:10
ITU estimates two billion people online by end 2010

ITU’s latest statistics published yesterday in The World in 2010 reveal that the number of Internet users worldwide doubled in the past five years and will surpass the two billion mark in 2010. The number of people having access to the Internet at home has increased from 1.4 billion in 2009 to almost 1.6 billion in 2010.

162 million of the 226 million new Internet users in 2010 will be from developing countries, where Internet users grow at a higher rate. By the end of 2010, 71% of the population in developed countries will be online compared to 21% of the population in developing countries. While in developed countries 65% of people have access to the Internet at home, this is the case for only 13.5% of people in developing countries where Internet access in schools, at work and public locations is critical. Regional differences are significant: 65% of Europeans are on the Internet, compared to only 9.6% of Africans.

The Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Sami Al Basheer said, “Mobile phone penetration in developing countries now stands at 68% - higher than any other technology before. These countries have been innovative in adapting mobile technology to their particular needs and will be able to draw even greater benefits from broadband once adequate and affordable access is available.” In developed countries, growth in mobile subscriptions has slowed considerably during the past five years, with a year-on-year growth from 2009-2010 of only 1.6%. In those countries, the mobile market is reaching saturation levels with on average 116 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

The trend from voice to (mobile) data applications is reflected in the growing number of SMS, or text messages sent, which tripled over the past three years to reach a staggering 6.1 trillion in 2010. In other words, close to 200 000 text messages are sent every second.

The United Nations has designated today (20-10-2010) as World Statistics Day. The celebration of World Statistics Day acknowledges the importance of national and international statistics and aims to strengthen the awareness and trust of the public in official statistics.

20-10-2010, 18:11
Dutch body told to reallocate Islamic TV licence
October 20th, 2010

A court in Amsterdam has quashed a decision to give a radio and TV licence to Muslim broadcasting group SMON. The court said that the Dutch Media Authority, when allotting broadcasting time to the group in 2009, gave an insufficient motivation why this group, rather than a competing one, should be chosen.

20-10-2010, 18:13
Oman to set up public authority for TV, radio
October 20th, 2010

Text of report in English by Dubai newspaper Gulf News website on 20 October

Muscat: A public authority for radio and television is soon to be created in Oman, following a royal decree issued on Tuesday [19 October]. This is the second step that the country has taken in an attempt to liberalize its broadcasting media. The first took place four years ago when a private sector company was awarded a licence to run radio stations. Now there are two companies broadcasting radio programmes from private frequencies.

The first [state-run] radio station (Oman FM) is still run under the control of the Ministry of Information and so is the country’s only television station. The new order puts the government-controlled radio and television stations under the Public Authority for Radio and Television, however. So far there has been no announcement regarding who will head the new organization.

According to the order, the Public Authority for Radio and Television will work according to the commercial rules of the country, but will come under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Information. It will manage its financial and administrative affairs independently.

“The Authority shall have the authority to manage its funds and take actions towards them,” states the royal decree. “The authority shall be based in the Muscat governorate. It may establish branches in the sultanate and the foreign offices as well, as per the dictates of public interest and according to a decision by its board of directors.”

All the employees at the radio and television directorate are to be transferred to the Public Authority for Radio and Television. In addition, the information minister could transfer its employees to the new entity with the same financial benefits and grades.

The Decree, to form the Public Authority for Radio and Television, comes into force in three months, starting from October 19. The Council of Ministers may extend it if necessary.

20-10-2010, 18:15
Claro is already offering DTH in Panama

According to La Prensa newspaper, Claro Panama, América Móvil's subsidiary, started to offer DTH in such country in August and has already recorded 4,000 clients. Additionally, Antonio García, commercial manager of the company, pointed out that the new service had not been promoted yet because they needed to ensure the channel quality first. Panama is the only Central American country where the company does not have fixed telephony operations.

In Central America, the company offers DTH in Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Since February 2010 Intelsat 1R satellite, positioned on 50° West in place of Intelsat 705, has been utilized. However, in Puerto Rico, the company has an independent platform with its own headend and capacity in SES World Skies' satellite AMC-21. This year, the operator also requested frequency to start offering satellite pay-TV services in Costa Rica.

In March 2010, Panama's National Public Services Authority granted Claro authorization to offer DTH services. The license is valid for 25 years and can be extended over additional and consecutive 25-year terms each one, as long as requirements and obligations set by the regulating authority are met. According to data recorded by the aforementioned authority as of August, 19 companies had licenses to offer pay-TV in such country. The market is dominated by three big operators: Cable Onda, el DTH Sky y Cable & Wireless.

20-10-2010, 18:17
Welsh TV Authority launches Judicial Review

Authority is to launch a Judicial Review of the UK Government’s decision to effectively merge S4C with the BBC. S4C had no prior knowledge of discussions between the BBC and the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, which will mean the BBC having effective control over the finances and operations of the Welsh language channel.

Chair of S4C, John Walter Jones said, “The effect of the financial cuts agreed between Jeremy Hunt and the BBC will have a disastrous effect for viewers across Wales, and this at a time when the BBC has already cut spending on both English and Welsh language programming in Wales. Under such an arrangement it is inevitable that Welsh language television would have to compete with every other BBC service and the S4C Authority believes that this would pose a serious risk to the provision of Welsh language television.

“I am astounded at the contempt that the London government has shown not just towards S4C, but also towards the Welsh people and indeed the language itself. I was informed of these ill-conceived plans by Mr Hunt, and was told that it was a non-negotiable agreement, only after they were leaked on the BBC last night. This is no way to conduct public affairs and surely is an affront to the good conduct of public policy and the democratic process.

“The S4C Authority is unanimous in its desire to seek a Judicial Review of Jeremy Hunt’s decision and the way it was taken behind closed doors without any kind of consultation with S4C”.

20-10-2010, 18:18
LG closes agreements with new OTT providers in Brazil

The TV set manufacturer LG closed agreements with Brazilian OTT providers Saraiva Digital and NetMovies so that they incorporate their VOD services in LG Netcast platform, which offers online content access through IP hybrid devices. Additionally, LG will incorporate news and entertainment of iG portal.

At an international level, the company added provided like Facebook, Twitter and Google Maps, among others. Service updating is free-of-charge. Therefore, according to LG's press release, those who have already bought TV sets with NetCast will receive new providers' content at no additional cost. Saraiva Digital offers more than three thousand movies for rent or sale. Via-streaming rent is offered at USD 1,15. On the other hand, NetMovies has a portfolio of over two thousand movies. Users have access to the service though a USD 6 monthly subscription that enables them to see as many movies as they wish.

"With the new partners of content via web, the viewer will start a new entertainment consumption concept where the user will have the option of seeing movies or series any time he/she wants, either by buying it, renting it or becoming a service subscriber", explained Daniel Almeida, LG Manager of LG TV sets. LG's NetCast service widens programming possibilities by offering entertainment, updated news, photograph administration and weather forecasts, among others.

20-10-2010, 18:19
Forget 3D on the Xbox
Wed Oct 20 2010,

THE VP of Microsoft game studios, Phil Spencer has ruled out sticking 3D technology on the Vole's XBox.

While the rest of the entertainment industry likes the idea of things flying at your face and shoving every film it can onto 3D, Spencer is not following Sony and Nintendo in rushing to put it on Microsoft's entertainment console.

Spencer called recent exploration of 3D gaming as "a science experiment" and claimed the Vole is trying to do things that millions of people can go enjoy right now.

He told CNN that people just don't really have TVs in their house right now that are going to do 3D in a way that's going to work.

Spencer might have a point. While sales of the Xbox 360 are on an upswing, the trends don't correlate with demand for 3D televisions. Shipments of 3D TVs this year will end up below industry expectations. Many are not expecting anything serious to happen in that market until next year.

Spencer said that he liked Nintendo's 3DS because "you don't have to wear the glasses." Sony on the other hand thinks that the 3D-with-glasses idea is brilliant.

However Spencer said that as the maker of a games console he should not be trying to sell you a telly and that the need for glasses could be 3D's Achilles' heel.

"You just can't have a bunch of people sitting around the living room wearing $150 glasses each," he said. Well, not outside of Italy, anyway.

"Trying to get a bunch of people playing together in a room where not everybody sees the same thing ... is kind of a weird disconnect to me," he continued.

The Vole is spending money on research and development programmes relating to 3D and the outfit does flog a few 3D games.

But Spencer said that Batman: Arkham Asylum for the Xbox 360, which comes with a pair of 3D glasses, was too much like a science experiment rather than something that's going to go touch millions

20-10-2010, 18:20
Sky opens backstage area at The O2
Wednesday, October 20

SkyBroadcastingSky has established a backstage area at The O2 exclusively for its customers, including what is claimed to be the world's first 3D viewing gallery.

Opening today, Sky Backstage at The O2 is located directly behind the London venue's arena stage and is only available to Sky customers and their family and friends.

Subscribers can register online for a Sky Backstage pass, permitting them and up to three guests to access the area before or after shows in the main arena.

Inside the state-of-the-art space, Sky customers can experience the thrill of being snapped by "virtual paparazzi" on a red carpet or be transformed into rock stars on a 3D screen.

They can also access a dressing room area staffed by professional hair and make-up artists, as well as enjoy a bar and food zone.

Sky Backstage is accessible via the Sky Gallery, a new three-storey building located inside The O2 that features a world-first gallery showcasing the broadcaster's 3D content, including nature, ballet, sports and movies.

"We want to give all our customers the opportunity to get closer to the entertainment - it's our way of saying thank you," said Lisa McHugh, Sky's director of customer communications & loyalty.

"We are therefore delighted to be able to give our valued customers experiences like Sky Backstage, making their visit to The O2 even more unforgettable."

Lesley Saville, executive director of partnerships at AEG Europe, owners and operators of The O2, added: "Since opening, The O2 has been a showcase for leading technology and world firsts so we are thrilled with Sky's innovative introduction of Sky Backstage and Sky Gallery."

In August 2009, Sky became a founding partner in The O2 as part of a wide-ranging deal that includes brand exposure throughout the venue and the opportunity to demonstrate Sky content and products.

20-10-2010, 18:21
'BBC must underwrite DAB rollout'
Wednesday, October 20

BroadcastingCulture minister Ed Vaizey has reportedly called on the BBC to underwrite the cost of rolling out the UK's digital audio broadcasting (DAB) network.

In an interview yesterday with Jeremy Vine at the Radio Festival in Manchester, the minister said that he expects the corporation to be "matriarch or patriarch" to the digital radio switchover.

The coalition government wants to expand the DAB transmitter network so that it matches the coverage currently provided by analogue FM, a vital component for the digital switchover to go ahead.

"There are a whole range of different factors - cheap digital radios, more cars having DAB fitted as standard, but coverage is also crucial," Vaizey said.

"My message to our radio family as it were is that the matriarch or the patriarch in this debate is the BBC. The BBC has to work with me to increase transmitter coverage for digital radio, that is a very important part.

"Coverage is patchy and that's why it's so important to get the network out. I'm talking with the BBC and we are working together. I hope to accelerate the process of digital radio coverage in terms of transmitters and masts."

Vaizey's comments follow Global Radio founder Ashley Tabor's recent calls for the BBC to "put their money where their mouth is" by investing in the digital radio infrastructure to boost the switchover drive.

The government has made a loose commitment for the switchover to go ahead by 2015, but that will only happen if digital platforms account for 50% of all listening by 2013 or DAB coverage is comparable with FM.

The BBC will need to bear the up to £150m cost of expanding the DAB network, but that comes amid major cutbacks and uncertainty over the corporation's future funding.

Yesterday, it emerged that the BBC has agreed a deal that will see its licence fee frozen for six years. It will also have to bear the cost of funding BBC World Service and Welsh-language channel S4C from 2015.

20-10-2010, 18:22
ASA bans Waitrose Heston Blumenthal ads
Wednesday, October 20

Advertertising Standards Authority has banned a Waitrose TV ad campaign featuring Heston Blumenthal for making misleading claims about pork.

In the television ads, Blumenthal was depicted walking through a field talking about how the best-tasting pork comes from "outdoor bred" British pigs.

In one of the ads, he claimed that "Waitrose essential pork comes from pigs that are outdoor bred," before a farmer added: "Happy pigs do make for great tasting pork."

The ASA received four complaints that the TV ads were misleading because they implied Waitrose pork came from pigs that spent the duration of their lives outdoors, when in fact they were reared "indoors in confined conditions after a few weeks".

Waitrose attempted to argue that "outdoor bred" was a standard term in the pig farming industry that meant animals were born in fields but later moved indoors into "airy sheds with straw".

The supermarket chain also said that it had deliberately ensured not to use the term "outdoor reared", which would have been misleading.

The ASA noted that the term "outdoor bred" is "commonly understood in the pig farming industry", but it judged that television viewers would not be aware of its meaning.

"Viewers were likely to understand 'outdoor bred' to mean that the pigs that were used to produce the product spent the duration of their lives outdoors," said the watchdog.

"Because that was not the case, we concluded that the ads were misleading."

The ASA therefore banned the TV ads and warned Waitrose to ensure that future marketing campaigns were not misleading.

20-10-2010, 18:23
Changing media consumption trends
SAY Media, a modern media company, has published the results of a research project aimed at better understanding consumer media consumption and advertising effectiveness. In addition to uncovering key behavioural changes, the study strove to better understand the implications for marketers trying to reach this desirable, growing audience.

Consumers who’ve shifted the majority of their video viewing to non-live video content make up a significant portion of the adult, online population in the US. This desirable consumer group is spending more time online and while they continue to spend their entertainment hours with professional quality video, they expect to watch on their own schedule and to have the option of skipping commercials when they choose.

Twenty per cent of online consumers fall into the ‘On Demander’ segment. All of them watch less live TV than they did one year ago. On Demanders access video through a variety of devices that allows them to time and location shift to meet their busy schedule.
They own an average of 5.4 devices for watching video, including their TV and PC.
Almost half of them subscribe to Netflix.
- 40 per cent own video-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones or iPads.
- Time and device shifting allows this group to consume 30 hours of video each week – compared to the Internet average of 25 hours per week.
- This group is the most turned off by intrusive, repetitive advertising.

Thirteen per cent of online consumers have completely opted out of live television and get their content by streaming across devices, through their DVR or on DVD.
- 90 per cent of this group actually does own a TV.
- This group skews even younger, with 30 per cent falling into the 18 to 24 demographic.
- 41 per cent live in urban areas.
- They consume 21 hours of video content in a typical week – half of which is online.

The report’s authors suggest that it is too early to declare the death of the interruptive ad model, but that the long expected demise is starting to accelerate. “The existence and growth of this desirable cohort of consumers has serious implications for advertisers and for the way that publishers try to reach them. For these audiences, the desire to consume media efficiently has elevated choice and control as the two deciding factors on how they obtain their online content. But as choice and control improve, so does the Off the Gridder’s ability to avoid advertising,” according to SAY Media.

“Getting people to engage in an on-demand world with so much fragmentation is the biggest challenge marketers face today,” said Matt Rosenberg, vice president of Solutions, SAY Media. “We’ve been delivering engagement for years and this study reconfirms that the best way to reach this audience of approximately 56 million is with respectful, content-driven advertising that lets the user be in control

20-10-2010, 18:25
CRE to study video media usage

The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), a diverse group of senior research professionals from throughout the media and advertising industries, dedicated to advancing the knowledge and practice of audience measurement methodology, has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to industry researchers to study available research regarding new video-media usage.

The objective of the project would be to review research that is currently available about video consumption on newer platforms so that the CRE can then design and execute new research into these areas. Specifically, the CRE eventually wants to explore video consumption relative to: live viewing (as a base measure); screen-size impact; HDTV; DVRs; streaming (all formats); mobile (all forms); game consoles; 3-D TV; tablet PCs; and others as may be found in the course of the review.

To date, the CRE has issued the results of several major completed studies, including the Video Consumer Mapping Study, involving in-person, computer-assisted observation of media consumption; a Set-Top Box Study, examining the state of set-top box-based audience research; a landmark Non-Response Bias Study, exploring the impact and correlates of non-response to Nielsen surveys; and ‘data-mining’ from the Video
Consumer Mapping Study, revealing consumers’ habits immediately before, during and after TV commercials, and their media consumption habits immediately prior to shopping, among other topics.

“This newest project would be an initial step toward building on the game-changing work of the Video Consumer Mapping Study, which measured live-TV viewing behaviour,” said Laura Cowan, vice president and media director of RJC Advertising and chairperson of the CRE’s Media Consumption & Engagement Committee. “Our goal is to take a deep cut into the viewer experience to gain a broader overview of what newer devices and uses can be measured, as well as the implications of any new methodologies for measurement. Studying the latest, and emerging, patterns of video consumption is a major task so as a first step we want to review what has been discovered so far.”

The deadline for submissions in response to the RFP is November 15th, 2010. The CRE expects to undertake the project in early 2011.

20-10-2010, 18:26
Verivue acquires CoBlitz

Verivue has completed the acquisition of CoBlitz, a provider of Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructure solutions for wireline and wireless service providers. The addition of CoBlitz products further extends Verivue’s portfolio of content delivery solutions, providing operators with a broad range of choices for both managed video networks and OTT video services.

20-10-2010, 18:27
47m EU households will have connected TV by 2014

The number of European households with a connected TV will grow from less than four million in 2009 to 47 million in 2014. The number of households with a connected Blu-ray player will jump from five million in 2010 to approximately 66 million in 2014, according to research by Parks Associates.

“Connectivity is becoming standard in CE products,” said Kurt Scherf, VP, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates. “Stakeholders as diverse as managed service providers, content aggregators, and third-party application developers will play a role in how these devices link to services and allow the consumer to discover new ways to interact with entertainment. Our session will cover the key developments in both technology and the user experience.”

20-10-2010, 18:28
iPlayer radio launching in December

A BBC-backed radio streaming application with the potential of allowing users access to audio content from more than 400 stations nationwide is to launch in December.

The first working version of the UK Radioplayer project – dubbed “the iPlayer for radio” – was unveiled at the annual Radio Festival in Salford.

Content from about 50 radio stations, both BBC and commercial, will be available when the site goes live in December, with 150 more on board at the time of full commercial launch in February 2011. Potentially the remaining Ofcom-licensed stations could then sign up. UK Radioplayer is also likely to have a presence on YouView, set to launch early next year.

20-10-2010, 18:29
BT 110Mbps broadband in March 2011

Broadband customers will soon be able to access speeds of 110Mbps under plans unveiled by BT Openreach.

Openreach – the arm of BT that manages its network for other ISPs – has said that the 110Mpbs service will be added in March 2011.

It will be a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service and will offer 110Mpbs with the speed being reduced to a guaranteed 20Mpbs at peak times. As part of the service, customers would also get an upload speed of 15Mbps.

As with other BT networks, rival ISPs will be able to rent the high-speed network. Openreach said that prices would be £21.54 per month. How much this would then cost the consumer is yet to be announced and it wouldn’t include individual ISP costs. The one-off connection charge of £75 will also be added to the cost.

20-10-2010, 18:30
Sony TV goes pay

Sony TV is pulling out of the Spain’s free-to-air DTT market to become a pay-TV channel from the end of this month, widening Sony’s pay-TV offer in the country with three pay TV channels available: AXN, Animax and now Sony TV.

“We’ve had second thoughts in our strategy and we have decided that the most appropriate is committing ourselves to pay TV, pulling out of free (market) which is more complicated and is not our natural environment,” explained Juan Maria Romeu, General Director of Sony Networks in Spain.

Sony TV will be revamped with new content targeted at a very familiar audience. According to its executives, it will be quite similar to Sony TV in Latin America.

Sony TV will also incorporate HDTV with the launch of its HD transmissions over the next few weeks.

21-10-2010, 05:24
October 26 launch for AustriaSat
Published: October 20, 2010 Europe/London

AustriaSat, the new DTH platform for Austria, will go live on Tuesday, October 26, on the Astra satellite at 19.2° East.

With the strapline “TV mit Wow!” the platform offers a bouquet of channels from Sony, ProSiebenSat.1, RTL Deutschland and MTV Networks. Reception is possible for all Austrian households with a regular ORF smart card, that is used for reception of the channels from the public broadcaster as well as for the free-to-view commercial channels. This bouquet consists of ORF1, ORF2, ATV, Puls TV and Austria 9 TV.

Everyone who has an ORF smart card can try the new service for free for one month; after which a subscription costs EUR 7.90 monthly with a minimum contract of twelve months.

AustriaSat’s complete line-up will consist of AXN, Animax, kabeleins classics, Sat.1 Comedy, RTL Living, MTV Music, MTV Rocks, MTV Dance, MTV Hits, VH-1, Sportdigital.tv, Hustler TV, Marcel Dorcel TV and Alpenglühen (“so sexy ist die Heimat”). More channels will be added in the near future.

The launch of the AustriaSat platform was originally announced last September. AustriaSat is part of the M7 Group, who also operates Canal Digitaal in The Netherlands, TV Vlaanderen in Belgium and TeleSat in Belgium and Luxembourg.

21-10-2010, 05:25
Oz Launch for MTVNHD
Published: October 20, 2010

SYDNEY/LONDON/WARSAW: The international MTVNHD service is extending its distribution, with a launch in Australia and new deals in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

The channel becomes available in Australia on November 1 on Foxtel, reaching some 250,000 HD households. This is the 30th market that MTVNHD has entered. The service also recent grew its reach with new subscribers in Germany on Unity Media. Starting November 4, MTVNHD will also be available on Canal Digital in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

MTVNHD is music-focused channel, with all programming presented in high definition.

21-10-2010, 05:25
Li TV Scores New Asian Carriage
Published: October 20, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian lifestyle network Li (Life Inspire) has scored new carriage deals in Taiwan, with the service now available on eight platforms in four markets in the region.

The new deals were inked with DishHD and Chunghwa Telecom MOD, adding to existing coverage on Singapore's mioTV; Indonesia’s Indovision, First Media HomeCable, and AORA; Taiwan’s TFN New TV and Malaysia’s Astro B.yond.

Anne Chan, general manager of Li, said “We are delighted to work with DishHD, Chunghwa Telecom MOD as well as Astro B.yond. Since our maiden launch in Singapore last year, we’re excited to now be on eight platforms throughout four markets in such a short time span, marking a significant accomplishment for the network. We’re now on track to complete our expansion to five priority markets come November with announcements of more carriage deals."

The channel's schedule is building around food, home, wellness, travel and style. Its branded blocks include Li Body (wellness and workout tips), Li Savour (food), Li East (Asian content from a variety of lifestyle genres), Li Ultimate (reality lifestyle), Li Space (home decor) and Li Chic (fashion and travel).

“Our discerning audiences can now enjoy the best of inspired living with the latest regional lifestyle trends and top Asian lifestyle icons," Chan added. "On top of this, the HD element adds awe-inspiring panoramic experience that adds depth and perspective. Li is proud to play a significant role in contributing to its growth around Asia.”

21-10-2010, 05:26
Discovery India Adds Telugu Feed
Published: October 20, 2010

HYDERABAD: Discovery Channel in now available in four languages in India, with a Telugu-language feed, for viewers in Andhra Pradesh, adding to existing feeds in English, Hindi and Tamil.

In Asia-Pacific alone, Discovery Channel is broadcast in 11 different languages. The new feed coincides with the celebration of Discovery Channel's 15th anniversary in India. It rolled out October 1 and has contributed to an 81-percent rise in viewership for the channel in Andhra Pradesh.

Rahul Johri, senior VP and general manager for India ay Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, noted, “Discovery Channel has always been committed towards satisfying viewers’ curiosity through its entertaining programs. The introduction of regional language feeds is aimed at increasing the channel’s connection with its audience. The launch of the Telugu feed—and before this, our Tamil and Hindi feeds—is part of Discovery’s localization strategy, which is backed by comprehensive research and supported by an efficient dubbing process and a strong distribution infrastructure.”

He added, “Discovery Channel was one of the first international broadcasters to introduce a regional language service in India. This has helped strengthen our channel’s leadership position by ensuring the availability of content in the language that people understand or prefer.”

Discovery Channel reaches more than 53 million subscribers in India.

21-10-2010, 05:28
Pace 2Wire purchase puts engineers in customer care
Published: October 20, 2010 Europe/London

Pace has completed its €351 million purchase of US gateway company 2Wire, bringing with it a new line of expertise and a technology-based customer care centre.

Pace president and CEO Neil Gaydon told Broadband TV News that the gateway business was expected to represent an overall seven billion dollar market by 2014 from today’s two billion.

“As an adjacent market it will build us relationships with telcos and other customers that we don’t have. If you look at our customer portfolio today without 2Wire it is by and large traditional pay-TV operators, cable and satellite, with the likes of BT and a few others. When you overlay 2Wire with AT&T, Bell Canada and SingTel, it adds a whole slew of telcos.”

Gaydon said that Pace would benefit from knowing the “language of telcos” through standards, testing and engineering.

Telcos are currently working with the TR-069 remote management protocol – a standard that is already gaining some traction among US cablenets such as Cox Communications. Gaydon admitted there was currently little knowledge of TR-069, which could now be added to the company’s expertise in DOCSIS 3.

In addition to the development of gateways themselves, 2Wire also provides technology-based call centres for customers to AT&T. “When AT&T launch a new product or service it’s difficult for their customers to make it work. The AT&T call centres typically don’t have the skills to talk people through the technology, so the 2Wire call centres typically deal with the first integration phase”.

The system is capable of viewing 2Wire software within the AT&T network and the residential gateway, so when a customer calls it is possible to view the circumstances surrounding the issue, and pass on any bug reports to the relevant engineer.

Gaydon said he would consider extending the call centres to the company’s US cable customers.

21-10-2010, 05:29
Watch the ILS launch of Sirius XM-5 - On Demand
October 21, 2010

Did you miss the live Webcast? Watch it now On Demand!

The ILS Proton rocket successfully lifted off from Pad 24 at Baikonur Cosmodrome on October 15th at 12:53 am local time. This was the 6th ILS Proton launch of 2010 and the 5th SIRIUS XM Satellite launched on ILS Proton. After a 9 hour 12 minute mission, the proton M launch vehicle, successfully released the SIRIUS XM-5, weighing over 5.9 metric tons, into geosynchronous transfer orbit. XM-5 is located at 80 degrees West, but will be situated at 85.2 degrees West after 30 days of in-orbit testing.

The XM-5 satellite was built on the flight proven Space Systems/Loral 1300. XM-5 is a high power satellite and is intended to serve as an in-orbit spare for the existing fleet of SIRIUS and XM satellites. The satellite will help enable the uninterrupted delivery of more than 130 channels of commercial-free music, and premier sports, news, talk and entertainment programming and traffic, weather, and data services to close to 20 million SIRIUS and XM subscribers.

Don't miss history in the making – view the launch today (http://www.sat-universe.com/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccessintelligence .imirus.com%2FMpowered%2Fimirus.jsp%3Fvolume%3Dils 10%26issue%3D3%26page%3D1)!

21-10-2010, 05:30
Norsat Expands Ku-Band Microwave Product Line
October 21, 2010

Canadian broadband communications technology developer Norsat unveiled a series of Ku-band block up-converters (BUCs), the company announced Oct. 19.
Norsat’s microwave division added ruggedized, compact 12-, 16-, 20-, 25-, 40-, and 80-Watt BUCs to its satellite terminal component product line designed for Norsat satellite terminals being used for emergency responder and military applications.
In a statement, Norsat President and CEO of Norsat Amiee Chan said these types of products have not been widely accessible to the commercial markets unless purchased in very high quantities. “These components have been used in Norsat’s portable satellite terminals over the last few years and have performed very well even under extreme circumstances.”

21-10-2010, 07:25
Zee Cafe to air Miss World on 30 October

English general entertainment channel Zee Cafe will air Miss World on 30 October at 5:30 pm with a repeat at 10 pm and on 31 October at 6:30 pm.

Sanya, China is getting ready to welcome contestants from over 120 countries, as it prepares to host the 60th Miss World pageant. The final will take place at Sanya’s Crown of Beauty Theatre and will be the fifth time that Sanya has hosted the event.

With the girls currently on a four-week tour around the mainland of China, the tension and excitement is building for their arrival on the pristine shores of China’s Island province.

Julie Morley the official chairwoman of Miss World said, “We are delighted to be returning to China for Miss World 2010. Miss World has a special relationship with Sanya and there is no better place to begin our 60th year celebrations”.
The current Miss World Kaiane Aldorino, who will crown the victor said, “China is a magnificent experience and I look forward to welcoming all the contestants to this tropical Island paradise”.

The first Miss World pageant started back in 1951 in London.

21-10-2010, 07:26
The grand old man of Bollywood is proving his magic yet again on television. Amitabh Bachchan has anchored the fourth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati to explosive numbers, making it the top-rated show among the Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) and aiding Sony Entertainment Television (Set) to race to the third spot ahead of Zee TV.

On the launch day, the one-and-a-half hour episode of KBC 4 fetched a TVR of 6.2 in the Hindi speaking markets (HSM).

Surpassing the opening day ratings of all the reality shows launched in recent times, KBC 4 managed an average TVR of 5.3 for the whole week.

Says an elated Bachchan, “I am humbled and delighted with the performance of KBC. These numbers show that we have managed to touch a chord with the ‘aam aadmi’. It is especially gratifying that it has brought whole families together across the entire country. Only a few days back, a viewer wrote to me saying after so many years, three generations of her family – she, along with her teenage daughter and mother-in-law - all watched television together, thanks to KBC.”

Master Chef on Star Plus and Rakhi Ka Insaaf on Imagine TV, the other two celebrity-driven reality shows launched during the week, managed only 2.6 TVR and 1.9 TVR respectively.

“The first week ratings are pretty encouraging. The fact that viewers are glued for the whole week is very good news for us,” says Set business head and EVP Ajit Thakur.

Sony, in fact, has edged out Zee TV with 221 GRPs (gross rating points) for the week ended 16 October, according to Tam data.

Zee TV mopped up 178 GRPs, prompting ndustry experts to believe that Sony has a high possibility of staying at the third spot at least till KBC gets over. The channel has signed Bachchan for nine weeks (36 episodes).

KBC, in fact, has had more punching power in the opening week than all the major shows launched recently. Bigg Boss 4 on Colors had opened to a 4.8 TVR, but the average ratings fell to 3.15 TVR and 2.27 TVR in the first and second week respectively.

The debut episode of Khataron Ke Khiladi x3 had clocked a 5.5 TVR, but the first week ratings stood at 4.4 TVR.

Among the different age demographics, KBC's ratings from 4-14-year-olds stood at 5.8 TVR, lower than the 15-24 age group which had a TVR of 7.1.

Among the 25-34-year-olds the TVR stood at 5.3, while the TVR was 6 for the 35-44 age group, 7.4 for 45-54 years and 6.2 TVR for audiences over 55 years.

The modest ratings of Master Chef, however, won’t hurt Star Plus (361 GRPs), which is leading the flock with a 100 GRP gap over Colors (261 GRPs). Star Plus’ four shows – Pratigya, Bidaaii, Sathiya Saath Bibhana and yeh Rishta – are among the top 10 shows during the week, and all of them have ratings of over 4.3 TVR.

Meanwhile, Colors' flagship fiction, Balika Vadhu, is knocked out of the top 10 shows. The channel now has three shows – Uttaran (4.4 TVR), Bigg Boss –Aakhiri Salaam (4.17 TVR) and na Ana Iss Desh Laado (3.99 TVR) - in the list of top 10.

Zee TV has lost some ground as it has only one show, Pavitra Rishta (4.93 TVR), among the top 10.

A quick look on the other GECs: Sab is fifth with 99 GRPs (109 GRPs in prior week), Imagine with 81 GRPs (from 75 GRPs) takes the sixth spot, followed by Star One (38 GRPs), and Sahara One (25 GRPs).

21-10-2010, 08:05
Czech TV looks to hybrid
October 21, 2010

The Czech public broadcaster CT is planning to introduce HbbTV in the second half of next year, if not sooner.
Digizone reports that CT’s interest was initially revealed in a press conference in which its technical director Rudolf Pop said that CT was familiarising itself with HbbTV but had yet to make specific plans.

However, last week CT’s general director Jiri Janecek approved a new media strategy for 2011-13 that envisages the introduction of HbbTV, mainly to allow the viewing of programmes from its online archive but also other services.

Commenting on upcoming developments, CT’s new media director Milan Fridrich said: “hybrid TV is the future. Television, as we know it, now ends

21-10-2010, 08:06
Hungary optimistic on DTT
October 21, 2010

Although the transition to digital broadcasting in Hungary has fallen behind schedule, the country should still meet its ASO target date of December 31, 2010.
The assessment was given by Jean-Francois Fenech, the CEO of Antenna Hungária, and quoted by BBJ and MTI-Econews.

Hungary has around 3.8 million TV homes, of which 800,000 watch only terrestrial services. Of the latter, some 125,000 are already receiving the DTT service MinDigTV operated by Antenna Hungária.

Fenech called on decisions on subsidies for reception equipment and whether the analogue services will be switched off at once or on a region-by-region basis to be made as soon as possible.

He added that the transmission company has already spent over half of the HUF25 billion (€90.32 million) expected on the digitisation process.

21-10-2010, 08:08
Digital subs increase in Hungary
October 21,

Hungary ended August with 1.299 million digital TV subscribers, or 19,000 more than a month earlier, according to data published by the country’s
National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH).
In August, the number of digital cable and IPTV subscribers rose from 481,000 to 491,000, while those watching satellite services went up from 798,000 to 808,000.

In terms of overall market share for digital services, UPC remained in first place despite its figure of 30.2% being down from 30.4% a month earlier.

Both Magyar Telekom and Digi saw their shares rise, however, in August. The former’s went up from 24.8% to 25%, while the latter’s increased from 24.4% to 24.7%.

21-10-2010, 08:15
Pact, the trade body for independent producers, has welcomed the government's decision to maintain the current BBC licence fee until 2017, but is concerned about where funding for the additional services will come from.

Chief executive for Pact, John McVay said that there have already been substantial cuts in the BBC's programme budget since 2007 and there is real concern that an increased burden on the BBC could impact on the quality of programming that the licence fee payer will get in the future.

"The BBC should therefore look at all other areas before it considers cuts in the programming budget as there is a real danger that the licence fee payer will be paying the same but getting less.

"Pact will be seeking urgent talks with BBC management to understand better how they plan to meet their new commitments."

21-10-2010, 08:16
The 3D joint venture of Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation has commissioned a compelling and distinct collection of original and exclusive series and completed several partner program acquisitions, it was announced by Tom Cosgrove, President and CEO of the joint venture.

The announcements represent an initial list of native 3D programs that will be featured on the first 24/7, fully programmed 3D television network in the U.S. when the channel launches in 2011.

"Today's announcement represents the first step in our commitment to provide viewers with immersive, entertaining programming as we build the most extensive library of original and exclusive 3D content available anywhere," said Cosgrove. "As we work toward launch, we are focused on bringing together a diverse slate of high-quality 3D offerings from both our strategic partners, as well as premier production companies from around the globe."

The series and films announced today are (in alphabetical order):

Original Series

Abandoned Planet

Explore the strangest places on earth -- entire cities now completely devoid of all humanity. This series of one-hour programs sheds light on why people have abandoned the places they once called home and what happens after they leave. Produced by Flight 33 Productions.

Africa in 3D

From Gannet Island and its 100,000 seabirds of the same name sharing one giant rock, the 60,000 flamingos at Kamfers Dam, the Luangwa River and its 30,000 hippos and much more, this series of one-hour programs captures the richness and diversity of the world's second-largest continent. Produced by Aquavision Television Productions.


China's beauty is little seen, often hidden and always surprising. This hour-long series studies the thronging cities, epic vistas and spiritual heartlands of this huge and mysterious nation in stunning 3D. Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd. (NHNZ).

Jewels of the World

This hour-long series gives viewers unprecedented access to UNESCO's 'World Heritage' sites, where the planet's natural and cultural gems are catalogued and protected, including: the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru; the Temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; and the Grand Canyon National Park in the United States, among others. Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd. (NHNZ).

Exclusive U.S. Premieres

Attack of the Giant Jellyfish (Discovery)

This hour-long program explores the myths and realities behind the global explosion of deadly jellyfish, including the giant Nomura, whose strength and size makes them capable of capsizing boats and wreaking havoc on the high seas. Produced by Story House Productions.

The Haunted (Discovery)

Using infrared cameras and sensitive recording devices, a paranormal team investigates true, chilling and terrifying stories of animals and their owners who are experiencing the unexplainable. This one-hour program is produced by Picture Shack Entertainment.

Into the Deep 3D (IMAX)

This IMAX special takes audiences on a spectacular three-dimensional exploration of the undersea world. Using the IMAX 3D camera in its underwater housing for the first time, this film captures unique marine life and magnificent underwater vistas.

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (IMAX)

Through the magic of IMAX 3D, narrator Tom Hanks takes viewers to the lunar surface to walk alongside the 12 extraordinary astronauts who have been there to experience what they saw, heard, felt, thought and did.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Sony)

Inspired by the beloved children's book of the same name, this animated 3D feature follows inventor Flint Lockwood and a brainy weathergirl as they attempt to discover why the rain in their small town has stopped, and food is falling in its place.

Monster House (Sony)

A suburban home has become physically animated by a vengeful human soul looking to stir up trouble from beyond the grave, and it's up to three adventurous kids from the neighborhood to do battle with the structural golem in this comically frightful tale.

About 3D Joint Venture of Sony, Discovery Communications and IMAX

This joint venture of Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation brings together three of the world's leading media, technology and entertainment companies to launch one of the first 24/7, fully programmed 3D television networks in the U.S. The three partners bring an extraordinary collection of award-winning 3D content, technology expertise, television distribution and operational strength to the project, which was announced in January 2010. The forthcoming all-3D network will deliver the highest quality and most immersive in-home 3D viewing experience. The channel will feature one of the most extensive libraries of 3D content in genres that are most appealing in 3D, including natural history, adventure, theatrical releases and IMAX movies.

21-10-2010, 08:55
Nilesat censorship is 'start of new phase'

Observers claim the sanctions are being made to prohibit opposition parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood, pictured.

Leading media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF; Reporters Without Borders) has slammed Egyptian state-owned broadcaster Nilesat for its axing 12 channels under the banner of extremism. The group claims the move has been made to undermine the opposition ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections due soon.

The group also believes that the axing is merely the tip of a censorship iceberg, claiming that print media outlets could be the next to suffer. Authorities have already slapped SMS messaging services, earmarked by parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood for promotion, have already been with prohibitive fees.

"The police are really preoccupied with the closure of many satellite TV channels," said a RSF spokesperson.
"We condemn that, and it seems that the decision has been made for the parliamentary elections this year and the presidential elections next year

21-10-2010, 08:56
Oman loosens up
Oct 21, 2010

Oman took a further step towards liberalising the broadcasting industry when the country’s monarch issued a Royal decree on Tuesday to form The Public Authority for Radio and Television.
Only four years ago, Oman took its first step towards liberalisation when the private sector was awarded the licence to run radio stations.
Now there are two companies broadcasting radio programmes from their private frequency modulation (FM) channels in the country.

The first radio station (Oman FM) is still run under the control of Ministry of Information, as is the country’s only television station.
The new order places both the government-controlled radio and television stations under the Public Authority for Radio and Television. So far there has been no announcement regarding who will head the new organisation.

The Public Authority for Radio and Television will work according to the commercial rules of the country, although it will still come under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Information.
The new authority will independently manage its financial and administrative affairs.

21-10-2010, 08:57
Cultural guidance

The Iranian minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Mohammad Hosseini, has said that the contents of the country’s digital media outlets should move towards more genuine Iranian culture. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the international exhibition of digital media, he added that more products based on the genuine culture of Iran would drive more foreigners to visit such exhibitions.

The minister also noted the success of the event, at which there were 60 per cent more presentations than last year.

21-10-2010, 09:08
YouView - the soon-to-be-launched joint venture video platform backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva - promises to 'change the way we watch TV forever' and Ocean Blue Software is convinced.

'What's not to like?' says Philip Evans,director of Ocean Blue. 'YouView promises to give viewers all the plug-in-and-watch simplicity of Freeview, plus the UK's leading Internet catch-up and video on-demand services through one simple set-top box. It's a user-friendly solution for those who love TV but don't want to pay a subscription fee. I think it's a great innovation."

After a shaky start that included a challenge from the Competition Commission, YouView now looks set to launch in the first half of 2011 and for the first time ever viewers will see their on-screen programme guide going both backwards in time as well as forwards.

What do you need?

To access, YouView customers will need to buy a YouView set-top-box and have access to the Internet. YouView will have High Definition (HD), a limited choice of pay-TV channels and on-demand programmes.It is also a personal video recorder, so consumers can pause, rewind and record live TV whenever they like. All the usual parental controls, plus some exciting new accessibility features will also be included to ensure YouView is made accessible to as many people as possible. Ocean Blue is working with their Asian set top box manufacturer to develop a full solution, to be released early 2011.

Assistive Technology

Accessibility is one of our key goals here at Ocean Blue and we have been working closely with the RNIB to produce software that enables the visually impaired to enjoy television more than is currently possible. We are in full support of the YouView standard for which we will be announcing our own software solutions in the near future. For example, our very own 'app store', Treasure Box, from which consumers can download audio books, music, quizzes and films, and link to local community information will be available through the YouView set top box. Bringing apps to linear television is something YouView CTO Anthony Rose is particularly keen to deliver as a way of helping viewers identify content on their Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) extensions.

European DTV Standard

HbbTV is becoming the new European Digital TV software standard and future versions of You View may also allow the use of HbbTV applications, which will allow for conformity across Europe. Ocean Blue has developed an HbbTV solution, working with Opera, which provides the technology for set top boxes and TVs to access the Internet

21-10-2010, 09:09
Euronews launched in Farsi

The pan-European news channel Euronews launched 20 October 2010 in the Persian language. Posting in this speech is directed particularly to viewers in Iran and Afghanistan.

Access to information through independent media is important for the development of civil society and helps promote understanding between different regions of the world, said in a statement the European Commission in February 2010.

Euronews brings news from around the world throughout the day from a European perspective. After running the station in Farsi is a pan-European news channel Euronews is broadcast in 10 languages - Arabic, French, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Turkish and Persian recently.

Technical parameters:
Hot Bird (13°E) freq 12.597 GHz, pol V, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, DVB-S/QPSK, DVB-S

By the end of the Euronews in Farsi also available via its satellites Badr (26°E) Nilesat (7°W) EuroBird 1 (28.5°E).

21-10-2010, 09:10
Austrias starts 26 October 2010

The new satellite pay-TV Austrian Austrias officially launch its operations on Tuesday 26 October 2010. The new pay-TV service will be operated by the Luxembourg broadcaster M7 Group, operator platforms, Canal Digitaal, TV Vlaanderen and body.

To receive access card will be required ORF (CA Irdeto/Cryptoworks) since the beginning of the service will be available to 1.8 million Austrian households. It is so much traffic in the ORF encoding cards.

Austrias Offer will initially include 14 paid programs in standard definition (AXN, Animax, Sat.1 Comedy, cable Eins Classics, RTL Living sportdigital, MTV Music, MTV Rocks MTV Dance, MTV Hits, VH1, Hustler TV, Dorcel TV Alpenglühen TVX). Next year, the operator intends to offer the programs in high definition (HDTV).

Group M7 expect that by January 2013 will have at least 100,000 subscribers. Annual subscription will cost € 7.90 per month, or 9.90 euros a month.

The Austrian market is already operating, the German pay-TV Sky Deutschland.

21-10-2010, 09:11
Infosat Communications Enhances VSAT Network With iDirect’s Evolution Platform,

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems Inc. (VT Systems), announced that Infosat Communications LP, a leading global provider of satellite communications solutions, has upgraded its North American VSAT network with iDirect’s Evolution platform. With Evolution, Infosat can exceed customer demands for increased bandwidth and throughput, and capture new market opportunities. Infosat’s new Evolution network will be integrated with 12 existing operational iDirect satellite hubs in North America, and will utilize iDirect’s recent Evolution software release, iDX 2.1. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

Infosat’s infrastructure upgrade allows the provider to offer the improved network performance and enhanced capabilities that a customer demands, without having to sacrifice reliability or compromise economic feasibility. Infosat’s network provides critical enterprise IP-data access for high-end customers’ remote work sites, and is utilized primarily by the oil and gas sector, including drilling, production, and pipeline; the mining sector; as well as by various utility and maritime customers.

21-10-2010, 09:12
Dailymotion adds 50,000 videos from INA
October 21, 2010

The French online video portal Dailymotion has renewed its contract with the French audiovisual institute INA giving it access to a further 50,000 videos from the institute’s archive.
The two companies have been working together since 2007 with Dailymotion using INA’s content protection system Signature. The new contract covers all French newscasts from 1971 till 2008, which also remain available from the INA website.

The agreement also includes short form programming as well as clips from long form programmes. Dailymotion will share advertising revenue with INA from advertisements around the archive’s content. According to a spokesperson for INA, the distribution agreement is meant to increase visibility of their archive.

In a related development, Dailymotion said its US business continues its strong growth as traffic goes from 7.5 million unique visitors in September 2009 to 15 million unique visitors in September 2010, according to figures from comScore.

Dailymotion said its network of sites attract over 72 million unique monthly visitors worldwide.

21-10-2010, 09:13
Canal Digitaal expands HD offer
October 21, 2010

The Dutch satellite DTH platform Canal Digitaal Satelliet will expand its HD offer with the live football channel Eredivisie Live HD and adult entertainment Penthouse HD.
Eredivisie Live HD will launch on November 1 on the platform and is available as part of the Eredivisie Live a la carte option; Penthosue HD will start in December.

The platform has also added Eurosport 2 (in SD) to its line-up as part of a reshuffle of its bouquet

21-10-2010, 09:14
Mark Thompson's email to staff about the BBC cuts in the spending reviewEmail from BBC director general outlining the corporation's position regarding the licence-fee deal

Subject: BBC Licence Fee secured at current rate until 2017

This email is going to everyone

Dear All,

Today along with the BBC Trust, we've reached agreement with the Government over the level of the BBC's future funding. The licence fee will remain at its current level (£145.50) until the end of the Charter in the year 2016/17.

Back in August, I said in Edinburgh that the BBC should approach the next licence fee settlement in 'realistic' mood. This is a realistic settlement, one which will require the BBC to find stretching savings.

But it is also a settlement which offers the BBC a great deal of certainty over its funding. That is now fixed for more than six years. The settlement accepts that, for the rest of the Charter, the scale and scope of the BBC is a matter for the BBC Trust to decide, rather than the Government or anyone else. Instead of a long and uncertain licence fee setting process which some would have attempted to turn into a fundamental attack on the breadth of the BBC's services to the public, we have an agreement which will protect our editorial and operational independence all the way to the next Charter review.

There are some significant changes to what the BBC will fund:

· We will secure the future of the BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring, taking on the funding of the World Service from 2014/15 and BBC Monitoring from 2013/14, both until the end of the Charter

· We will provide £25m in 2013/14 and up to £5m p.a. from 2014/15 through a partnership fund to support local media initiatives, similar in scope to the partnership proposals explored with ITV last year

· We will help safeguard the future of Welsh language television broadcasting by extending the current partnership we have with the Welsh language channel S4C, along similar principles to the BBC Alba service in Scotland from 2013/14

These new commitments will add approximately £340m a year to our costs which will be found through making 4% efficiencies on our cost base each year from 2013/14 through to 2016/17, a total of 16%. This rate of savings is similar to that being applied to many other public bodies, including many who have received what are being described as favourable settlements in the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review. Nonetheless, it will require some difficult choices that will affect us all.

The idea of reaching an early multi-year settlement came from the BBC and negotiations on it began more than a week ago. Because of the work we had done for our ongoing strategy review, Putting Quality First, we were in a good position to carefully weigh the implications of the settlement and to inform the BBC Trust's final decision to accept it. Our next task is to develop detailed plans for the future based on this settlement.

This is a realistic deal in exceptional circumstances securing a strong independent BBC for the next 6 years. It means that efficiency and reform will continue to be key issues for us. But our focus remains providing distinctive, high quality programmes valued by the public. This deal will safeguard that until 2017.

All the best,

Mark Thompson


21-10-2010, 09:15
BBC Trust considered resigning over demand to fund over-75s' TV licencesTrustees considered measure during impasse between BBC and government over who would foot bill for £556m annual cost of free TV licences

The BBC Trust board is understood to have considered resigning on mass earlier this week if the government had pressed ahead with a proposal to make the corporation pay for free TV licences for over-75s out of the licence fee.

In the end the government took the free over-75 TV licences proposal off the table, with the BBC instead agreeing to take on other funding commitments including the World Service and S4C.

However, it is understood that on Monday at a point when an impasse had been reached in the negotiations between the BBC and the government the trustees considered resigning if the corporation was forced to foot the bill for the £556m annual cost of free TV licences.

Today the outgoing BBC Trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, declined to answer a question about whether he and other trustees – including former ITV director of programmes David Liddiment; Patricia Hodgson, the ex Independent Television Commission chief executive; and investment banker Anthony Fry - considered resigning during the negotiations.

Lyons, who announced last month he is leaving the BBC next year, also revealed that even though the government will no longer fund the BBC World Service, to the surprise of many, it will still have a say in how it operates.

Asked by the host of Radio 4's The Media Show, Steve Hewlett, "Did you at any point consider resigning?", Lyons replied: "It is not helpful to tell you what I considered."

He said no "threats" were made, adding "negotiations are not best conducted by making threats." The discussions were "tough" and the BBC had "very clear red lines", Lyons said.

Asked about the BBC taking over funding of the World Service from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2014, Lyons said the agreement signed with the government in 2006 will be "rolled forward" and decisions on the scale of operations will be made on "the same basis as at the moment".

"Let's not conflate matters here. The foreign secretary has a voice on the opening of new services and closing of existing services. That doesn't sum up the whole of the decision-making," he added.

"The government will retain these rights", Lyons said, but insisted: "The BBC has complete editorial freedom in this."

When challenged that the government had undermined the independence of the BBC during its negotiations and with the settlement, Lyons replied: "Where it's a good deal for licence-fee payers is it protects the independence of the BBC... It gives us clarity of funding and takes the discussion about the right level of licence fee out of play."

He said that "these are exceptional circumstances for the nation as a whole", adding that the government came to the BBC with the "clear intention of shifting" some of its burden of welfare payments.

However, he conceded: "Obviously it's a challenging settlement for the BBC. It requires it not only to make efficiency savings to live within a flat licence fee up til the end of 2016/17."

Hewlett pointed out that the public had not been consulted about their licence fees potentially being used for services beyond the BBC's existing UK broadcasting operation.

Lyons did not disagree and said the BBC Trust would now consult the public about what the future of the corporation should be in light of the flat licence fee and the requirement to make more savings.

When asked if any aspect of the new licence fee settlement worried him, he responded: "These are exceptional times. You wouldn't want to renegotiate the licence fee in this way every time."

Lyons said "our aspiration" had always been to "lay out our arguments", but that "that luxury was not available" and "we had no choice but to negotiate". He added that it was "roughly a week" since the "government indicated it expected the BBC to shoulder some substantial burdens".

The corporation's first reaction was to "underline the independence of the BBC" and point out that changes such as taking on picking up the bill for free licence fees for over-75s, which it considered a "welfare charge", were "contrary to the charter".

Meanwhile, Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, today brushed off accusations of being strongarmed into an early licence fee deal, claiming the corporation pitched the idea of a multi-year agreement to the government more than a week ago.

In an email to BBC staff, Thompson said that the deal, which will freeze the licence fee for six years at £145.50, equivalent to a 16% funding drop in real terms, was "realistic".

He went on: "The idea of reaching an early multi-year settlement came from the BBC and negotiations on it began more than a week ago.

"Because of the work we had done for our ongoing strategy review, Putting Quality First, we were in a good position to carefully weigh the implications of the settlement and to inform the BBC Trust's final decision to accept it. Our next task is to develop detailed plans for the future based on this settlement."

21-10-2010, 09:36
RTL Nederland launches new VOD portal
October 21, 2010

RTL Nederland has launched its new video-on-demand portal RTLXL.nl. The new site brings together the catch-up TV site RTL Gemist as well as premium movies, ‘video snacks’ and TV series, both for pay and free-to-view.
RTLXL.nl will be the gateway to all online video products of the broadcaster. RTL Gemist offers catch-up programming from the past seven days. The site also includes ‘video snacks’, short clips from various RTL programmes.

The premium part of the site will offer movies and TV series, which are available on a transactional basis.The site will also offer to opportunity to the broadcaster to develop made-for-the-web content as well as exclusive programming, At the moment, this includes UEFA Cup highlights and the Dutch blockbuster movie “De Gelukkige Huisvrouw” (The Happy Housewife).