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Thread: News 22.08.2007

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    Default News 22.08.2007

    Sky relaunches customer mag

    Satellite broadcaster Sky is relaunching its customer magazine next month.
    A new title, Skymag, is hoped to have a greater appeal to women, with the first issue to feature an interview with Billie Piper about her role in ITV2's Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Piper will also appear on the cover.
    The publisher, News Magazines, has already signed up new columnists including Ben Fogle, Mariella Frostrup and Carole Vorderman. A TV campaign will begin next month to promote the magazine's relaunch.
    Previously called Sky The Magazine, the title is primarily delivered to Sky TV customers by post. It recorded a circulation of 7 million in the last ABC figures, giving it the biggest circulation of any UK consumer magazine.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Channel 4+1 launches today

    Channel 4 has become the first terrestrial channel to launch another channel with the same programmes on a one-hour delay.
    Called Channel 4+1 the schedule will mirror Channel 4's exactly, with a one-hour time delay in case someone misses a particular show.
    The formula is already used for the digital channel E4 and More4, as well as ITV2 and Sky One.
    Channel 4 noted: "You'll never miss your favourite programme again."
    The new offering is available on Freeview, as well as other digital services and will correlate with a changing of channel numbers for Channel 4's network.
    On Sky, +1 will be 135, E4 will be 136, followed by E4+1 on 137 and More4 and More4+1 on 138 and 139 respectively.
    The analogue signal will begin to be switched off in October as the nation begins to convert to digital.
    All viewers will be watching digital by the end of 2012, when the analogue signal will be stopped completely.
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    Launch of RTL8 with BCE

    RTL Nederland has expanded its TV channel offer with the launch of RTL8. The new channel will be available, like the other dutch RTL channels, on the Canal Digitaal DTH bouquet, on DTT in The Netherlands and through cable operators in the Netherlands and through DTT in Luxembourg.
    The decision to launch the new channel was taken recently when RTL acquired TV assets from John de Mol’s Talpa. To achieve this time twisted launch, the Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) of Luxembourg installed a provisory control room that will answer to the channel’s requirements until the new platform is ready. This platform will be able to manage the four channels of RTL Nederland with dedicated control rooms, each having the capacity to manage live events and standard playout broadcasting.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Virgin Media's Burch steps down

    The Virgin Media chief executive, Steve Burch, is to leave the company with immediate effect for "family and personal reasons".
    Mr Burch is to return to the US and will also step down from the cable company's board of directors.
    The company said it would begin a search for his replacement shortly. In the meantime, the chief operating officer, Neil Berkett, will take on chief executive responsibilities.
    During his 19-month tenure, Mr Burch has overseen the merger of NTL and Telewest, the acquisition of Virgin Mobile and the company's rebranding to Virgin Media.
    "Steve has contributed significantly to the transformation of Virgin Media," said the Virgin chairman, Jim Mooney. "Since he joined us, the company has emerged as the UK's only 'quad-play' provider and a genuinely distinctive presence in the world of communications and entertainment.
    "On behalf of Virgin Media's board of directors, I thank him for his contribution to our development and wish him every success for the future".
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    Four candidates for French DTT-HD


    The CSA said that four broadcasters have submitted applications for the launch of an HD service on the terrestrial transmitter network. Three channels are planned to be free-to-air, from TF1, M6 and Groupe AB, the fourth channel is a proposed HD service from Canal+. AB plans to broadcast their nature and wildlife documentary channel Terranova, TF1 and M6 each want an HD version of their regular programming.
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    Premier soccer streamed for US

    Vividas, the video streaming technology company, announces a three year deal with Fox Soccer Channel (FSC) to stream Barclays Premier League football matches in the USA. Over 150 matches will be streamed annually on a pay per view, subscription and advertising supported basis, and an English Premier League archive will enable viewers to watch classic matches.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    NDS for Anhui

    NDS announced that Anhui Radio and Television Information Network Comp has selected NDS VideoGuard conditional access for the launch of digital cable TV services for its subscribers in Anhui. VideoGuard will support AGWL’s business and security requirements, enabling AGWL to benefit from new business models and advanced services on a secure and flexible platform. NDS technology is facilitating the expansion of AGWL’s digital programming package to more than 120 channels from its current offering of 50 analogue channels.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Insat-4CR Satellite to launch on 1 September


    Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is all set to launch the communication satellite Insat-4CR from Sriharikota on 1 September.
    "Insat-4CR will be launched at 4:30 pm on 1 September, subject to weather conditions," a senior Isro official tells IndianTV.
    The launch of Insat-4CR, which carries 12 high-power Ku-band transponders, will boost the direct-to-home (DTH) sector in India with players like Reliance ADAG (Bluemagic) and Bharti waiting in the wings to launch their services.
    As reported earlier by IndianTV, Isro chairman Madhavan Nair had said that the current scheduled launches of the Insat series was sufficient to meet with the present requirements of television companies.
    Insat-4CR is a replacement to Insat-4C, which had an unsuccessful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in July last year.
    Reliance has shown interest in taking Ku-band transponder space on Measat-3. If Isro clears Measat for the Indian DTH operators, then Bharti is likely to get Insat-4CR satellite.
    Bharti Telemedia, the company which will operate Bharti's DTH operations, has received the Letter of Intent from the Information and Broadcasting ministry. The company has said that it would launch the DTH services by the last quarter of FY 2007-08.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    HBO to Deliver 26 High-Definition Channels with Motorola


    Motorola said yesterday that it will implement a 26-channel, high-definition (HD) MPEG-4 AVC encoding system for 24-hour pay television service, Home Box Office (HBO).
    Offered as part of Motorola’s Home and Networks Mobility Business, the system compresses, encrypts, modulates, and receives the HD signals within a single integrated transmission system to allow HBO to expand its HD offerings to subscribers.
    "Motorola has made a long-term commitment to the advancement of digital video technology. As such, we are very pleased to work with HBO on this important industry project," said Doug Means, corporate vice president and general manager, Motorola Home and Networks Mobility.
    According to Motorola key technologies are being integrated to deliver high-bandwidth HD channels through increased capacity.
    Compliance with HBO’s video quality standards will be achieved by using MPEG-4/AVC encoding technology allows Motorola to ensure compliance with HBO’s video quality standards. Additionally, Motorola’s new multi-format Integrated Receiver/Decoder (IRD) will deliver HD channels in both MPEG-4/AVC and MPEG-2 formats.
    "Motorola's implementation of the highly efficient MPEG-4 encoding standard provides the quality that we require and that our customers expect,” said Bob Zitter, executive vice president, technology and chief technology officer, HBO.
    "We expect this project to change the way programmers approach large-scale, high- and standard-definition content distribution,” said Means.
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    ******/Pace/OpenTV Push VOD HD PVR Solution


    ******; the proven expert in content security for digital TV, IPTV and mobile; Pace Micro Technology; the leading independent developer of digital TV technologies for the global pay-TV industry; and OpenTV Corp.; the leading provider of solutions for the delivery of digital and interactive television; have gained honors as finalists for the 2007 Cable&Satellite International (CSI) Product of the Year Awards 2007 with a joint Push Video-On-Demand (VOD) High-Definition (HD) Personal Video Recorder (PVR). The solution was short-listed in both the best content protection technology and best content on-demand solution categories.
    The ******/Pace/OpenTV Push VOD HD PVR is a secure, end-to-end, HD PVR and Push VOD solution that integrates Pace's state-of-the-art PVR hardware platform with OpenTV Core2(TM) and OpenTV PVR2(TM). The solution is secured by ******'s innovative Zeta smartcard.
    "In the past, launching integrated PVR and Push VOD services fully integrated with an operator's service line was time-consuming, complex and expensive," said Doug Lowther, vice president of sales and marketing for ******. "A pre-configured, joint solution from three leading companies simplifies the process, while also shortening time-to-market and reducing overall integration and project costs."
    "Pay-TV operators are always looking for new ways to make their offerings stand out in today's crowded market," said Shane McCarthy, group account director for Pace Micro Technology plc. "The ******/Pace/OpenTV combined solution enables operators to deliver an advanced HD PVR and Push VOD service quickly and easily to their subscribers."
    "******, Pace and OpenTV have teamed to create an all-in-one Push VOD HD PVR solution that allows operators to cost-effectively deploy differentiated VOD services," said Tracy Geist, senior vice president, market development for OpenTV. "This provides operators with a solution to seamlessly deliver content to their subscribers without compromising their user's PVR experience."
    Held at IBC, the Cable and Satellite International Product of the Year Awards 2007 are one of the most comprehensive and competitive technology awards in the industry. The program is designed to reward technical and product marketing excellence in the cable, satellite, terrestrial broadcasting and IPTV sectors. Award winners will be presented at IBC on Monday, September 10, 2007.
    To see the ******/Pace/OpenTV Push VOD HD PVR, please visit ****** (Hall 1 Booth 451), Pace Micro Technology (Hall 1 Booth 221) and OpenTV (Hall 1 Booth 281) at IBC 2007 from September 7-11 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    MBC Dubai planning for HDTV


    Middle East Broadcasting (MBC), the Dubai-based Arabic broadcaster, is readying for HDTV.
    MBC has just installed a Ross Syngergy-3 MD-X production Multi-definition switcher, which interfaces with Sony’s VTRs and Routers, as well as with the broadcaster’s playout and ingest systems, as part of its equipment upgrading towards HDTV.
    “We have had a great experience with Ross switchers in the past, they’re reliable, easy to use, and flexible,” said Omran Abdallah, Senior Broadcast Manager, MBC. “We are confident with our decision to go with Ross for our HD upgrade.”
    MBC went on air in 1991, and relocated from London to Dubai’s Media City in 2002. Since then it has launched a number of new free to air channels including Al Arabiya (news) as well as MBC2 (movies), 3 (kids), 4 (women) and MBC Action. It is backed by Saudi Arabian cash.
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    100+ new channels for approval


    There are reportedly up to 150 new channels waiting in the wings in India for government approval.
    India’s broadcasting ministry has received formal applications from more than 50 companies representing 130 channels, planning to launch over the next 12-18 months. Applicants include Zee TV, BAG Films, INX Media, Viacom-18, NDTV, and UTV Broadcasting. If approved, and most international applicants have their local partners in place to ensure success, the number of channels available to viewers will jump from today’s 200 to around 300.
    Local reports suggest that there’s more than $1bn of potential investment ready to be made on infrastructure, and a commensurate amount on new programming and content to fill the inevitable quotas which the ministry is likely to impose. UTV alone says it is planning for nine channels and has lined up $200m to fund the operation. That is spurred on by forecasts that suggest India will be Asia’s most lucrative pay-TV market by 2015, growing from today’s 110m TV households, of which some 70m are connected to cable, to nearer 140m paying in one way or another for their TV.
    But income for international players is modest, with the average amount currently paid for “pay-TV” as being just $3 a year. More programming, plus the ever-expanding Indian middle class, is seen as key to the growth of pay-TV, and helped by the growing number of new DTH aggregators on the scene. The Indian pay-TV market is predicted to be worth about $10.5bn by 2015, helped by spectacular annual advertising growth of 13%-15% pa.
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    Portuguese subscription TV take-up grows


    Figures produced by the Portuguese regulator Anacom show that there were 1.897 million subscribers to cable or DTH services in the country at the end of Q2 this year. The total represented a quarterly increase of 0.9% and a year-on-year one of 6.5%. As of the end of Q2, cable or DTH services were received in 34.4% of all Portuguese homes, and of these over three quarters (76.5%) opted for cable rather than DTH. Although growth in the take-up of cable services was particularly pronounced in the Alentejo region in Q2, almost half of all cable subscribers (49.2%) were still found in the Lisbon area.
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    Discovery tops Polish doc chart


    A survey undertaken by AGB Nielsen Media Research has found Discovery to be the most popular documentary channel in Poland. In the first six months of the year it claimed an audience share of 0.45% among all viewers aged 4+ and 0.84% in the cable and satellite sector – almost exactly double the figures for National Geographic and Animal Planet, which shared second place. They were followed by Planete (0.2%, 0.37%), Discovery Science (0.12%, 0.22%), Discovery Civilisation (0.09%, 0.17%) and Travel Channel (0.06%, 0.12%). Discovery was also the clear leader in the 16-49 age group, its share of 0.62% being over double that of second placed National Geographic (0.25%) and third placed Animal Planet (0.23%). The survey found that documentary channels were equally popular among male and female viewers, who were predominantly aged over 30 and urban residents.
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    ESPN acquires scrum.com

    ESPN today announced the acquisition of scrum.com, a rugby news, scores and information portal. Launched in 1997, scrum.com has established a strong and growing presence among worldwide rugby fans.
    “Rugby has a global fan-base,” said Russell Wolff, ESPN Executive VP and MD, ESPN International in a press release. “This acquisition complements our coverage of rugby across our other platforms in key territories, and is a natural next step for us following our acquisition of cricinfo.com in June and the launch of French, German, Spanish and Italian versions of ESPNsoccernet.com. Serving sports fans online around the world is clearly a focus of ours.”
    ESPN has an expansive agreement with the European Rugby Cup as exclusive telecaster of the Heineken Cup through 2010 in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and North Africa. ESPN will air the 2007 and 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup throughout Latin America, including exclusive coverage in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
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