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Thread: News 19.09.2007

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    Default News 19.09.2007

    Spain: ‘No more than 20’ mobile channels


    Spanish minister of Industry Joan Clos said Spain cannot include any more than 20 mobile TV channels for the DTT service "since the radioelectric spectrum is already full of services".
    Concessions for the new services will be given to the national broadcasters. But if regional services are also to be given by regional governments this means "we have to optimize the spectrum", he stated.
    Clos said: "Spain is in a peculiar position in relation to the number of channels existing here since there are more or less a thousand TV stations scattered all arround the country".
    Not only the autonomous regions have several regional channels but also a lot of town halls which vastly multiplies the number of TV stations.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Blu-Ray & HD-DVD can co-exist


    A Screen Digest report says both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD can get firm footholds and co-exist.
    The study looks forward to 2011 and warns studios that if they support only one packaged HD standard they will lose out on potential sales revenues. Screen Digest says consumers will more than triple their spending on one or other of the formats next year, rising from $438m this year to $1.55bn next year.
    "Christmas 2007 is going to be critical for the HD video business," says Richard Cooper, Screen Digest’s video analyst. "Both formats will be seeking to secure consumer buy-in to their proposition during the critical holiday season but with so much at stake on both sides we think it is highly unlikely that one format will emerge as the 'winner.'
    Cooper predicted that despite their current positions, eventually “most will decide to offer their titles on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray in order to maximise their returns”.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    MTV Europe adds HD service


    MTV Networks International will offer a pan-European HDTV service in 2008.
    While not totally unexpected given that MTV already offers a high-def service over North America, the news is that the compilation channel is to come from MTV’s “emerging markets” hub in Warsaw, Poland. “The channel would be pan-European,” stressed an MTV spokesman, “although specific carriage deals have yet to be announced”.
    The channel will be a “best of” service, drawing on MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and even Country Music TV (CMT).
    “Basing the new HD channel in Poland underlines our recognition of Central Eastern Europe as an increasingly important market representing the biggest growth potential in the region,” added Bhavneet Singh, SVP/MD, Emerging Markets Group, MTVNI. “Our Polish team’s experience of creating high quality pan-regional channels will also stand us in good stead as we roll this offer across Europe.”
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Spain might have pay DTT – again


    The Spanish government is considering whether to launch a package of pay TV on the DTT platform at the beginning of next year.
    Included could be football from Mediapro, owner of the laSexta free-to-air channel.
    Rapid TV News has learnt that a group of technical specialists in the Ministry of Industry is working and asking advice of the industry in order to make the first tests of pay TV on DTT. The project therefore seems serious, at least on a starting point basis.
    Spain did have a pay-TV service on DTT, Quiero. But that closed in April 2002 after going through some EUR500-600 million and attracting just 225,000 subscribers. Shareholders included Auna, a private telecoms group, Planeta, Spain's biggest publisher, the UK's Carlton TV, and MediaPark, a Catalan company.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Arqiva wins Freesat contract

    Arqiva has been awarded the contract by the BBC to provide a satellite distribution network for Freesat. The free-to-air satellite platform, jointly owned by the BBC and ITV, is scheduled to go live in March 2008.
    Arqiva is providing the BBC with an end-to-end distribution solution for the platform management data, with a fully redundant back up. Multiple circuits are being put in place for the platform with the primary circuit in Bedford and back-up at Crawley Court in Hampshire and the BBC’s Broadcast Centre in London.
    “We work closely with Arqiva to uplink services for our BBC DSat 3 and DSat 7 DTH platforms, which host the majority of our interactive services, so we know of the company’s capabilities when it comes to supporting our satellite network requirements,” said Alan Boyle, head of distribution operations, BBC.
    Testing for the platform began in August and executives from Freesat were present on the Arqiva stand during the recent IBC 2007 exhibition in Amsterdam.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Sogecable: Football coverage totally guaranteed


    Sogecable has said that the exclusive rights for the transmission of football on the Spanish Canal+ premium channel are “totally guaranteed” for the next two seasons. The company denied press reports that the Spanish football league was putting back the kick-off times for all of its Sunday matches to 20.00, one hour ahead of the 21.00 broadcast slot for Canal.
    Sogecable said its Audiovisual Sport (AVS) unit had the right to determine kick-off times and that this Sunday’s match between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid would be carried live and exclusive on Canal+.
    AVS and Mediapro are locked in a bitter battle over the football rights that are a key to the strategy of both Canal and Mediapro’s fledgling terrestrial channel La Sexta.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Ofcom: BBC HD will encourage high-def take-up


    Plans by the BBC to introduce a high definition channel is unlikely to have a significant negative market impact, according to Ofcom. Publishing its Market Impact Assessment (MIA) on BBC HD, which has been in a test phase since June 2006, the regulator said the channel was likely to encourage the take up of HD across “all the major TV platforms including digital terrestrial television, satellite and cable”.
    In a glimmer of hope to broadcasters and manufacturers looking to launch HD services on DTT, Ofcom says the presence of the BBC HD channel on the terrestrial spectrum cannot be discussed in isolation. The regulator also expresses fears that IPTV may be held back by its apparent inability to accomodate HD channels.
    Ofcom has highlighted the potential issues if the BBC were to launch an HD service alone, both to other channels, and to the public if they were required to upgrade their MPEG-2 set-tops to the new MPEG-4 technology.
    Separately, the BBC Trust has published its own Market Impact Assessment, highlighting the BBC’s ‘Plan B’ of a four-hour overnight DTT service that would involve utilising spectrum used by BBC and Channel 4.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Platform n on the right track

    Digital TV CEE, PRAGUE. The Polish DTH platform n currently has 200,000 subscribers and should reach 300,000 by the end of the year. Its breakeven point of 500,000, according to Maciej Sojka, the CEO of operating company ITI Neovision, is likely to be attained sometime in 2008. Sojka added that n, which made its debut in October 2006, has a churn rate of only 1%.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    HBO lines up HD launches

    Digital TV CEE, PRAGUE. HBO will launch a HD service in Poland in Q1 2008, followed by other markets in CEE later in the year, according to HBO Central Europe CEO Linda Jensen. It will shortly also introduce podcasts and make its content available on demand over the Internet. HBO has been present in the region since the early 1990s and is currently available in 11 countries. It began producing documentaries and fiction in Poland in 2006.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    New MTV channels in Sky Italia

    Sky Italia is expecting two channels from the production of Viacom soon to be added.
    Both new channels are MTV, and their names will be MTV Gold and MTV Pulse.
    Apart from MTV Italia, Viacom also provides other channels on this market, such as MTV Brand , MTV Hits, Comedy Central...
    New MTV channels are to arrive by the beginning of the next month.
    MTV Pulse is known, as it has already being broadcasted within CanalSat on Astra.
    MTV Gold will mainly be similar to VH-1 and VH-1 Classic, since it is to be orientated to the hits form 70's, 80's and 90's.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Sportdigital.TV on ASTRA's platform Entavio

    The satellite operator SES Astra announced it yesterday launching on October 1 of a new channel of Germany's sport, Sportdigital.TV, on its digital platform
    Launched Entavio, itself on September 1. Paying channel held by the agency of marketing Sportfive, Sportdigital.tv matches German league of handball will propose, of basketball and volley ball, on line. “To reach the offer of sportdigital.tv, the televiewers will need a satellite antenna pointed on Astra satellite and a decoder respecting the standards entavio with a card
    access entavio activated”, specifies Astra.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Gital looks to Slovakia

    According to local reports, the Czech company Gital has applied to the country’s Radio and TV Broadcasting Council (RRTV) for permission to distribute a number of channels in neighbouring Slovakia. Among the services it would like to offer are HBO, Galaxie Sport, CS Film and XXX Xtreme and those of the public broadcaster Czech Television (CT). Gital is currently one of two companies that distributes cards for the reception of the DTH platform CS Link in the Czech Republic.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Channel 4 to launch HD service

    Channel 4 is to become the first of the Big Five channels to launch a high definition simulcast of its main channel. The new service is scheduled to launch in December 2007 and will be made available free of charge on the Sky HD platform.
    “Channel 4’s aim is to offer our viewers maximum flexibility in accessing our high quality programmes and content at a time and in the format of their choosing,” said Rod Henwood, Channel 4’s new media director. Brian Sullivan, managing director, consumer group BSkyB said the launch would help Sky HD subscribers enjoy the widest choice of HD programmes. “Be it sports, movies, documentaries or entertainment, Sky HD customers can now access the richest selection of content in HD.”
    The BBC HD test channel is already available on the Sky platform, but rather than a simulcast, the channel is largely a mix of BBC One and Two with a high repeat factor. It is one of 12 HD channels available on the Sky platform with 5,000 hours of content available monthly.
    Although Channel 4 HD will be available without subscription, customers will still need a Sky HD box and viewing card.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    MTVNI to Roll Out First Pan-European HD Service


    MTV Networks International (MTVNI) will launch its first pan-European high-definition channel in 2008, featuring English-language music content and a daily morning kids’ programming block that will air shows from Nickelodeon.
    The HD channel will be operated by MTVNI’s Emerging Markets Group, who will produce and broadcast the channel 24 hours a day from MTVNI’s Warsaw hub. There, it will join MTVNI’s other pan-regional European services, MTV European, VH1 European and VH1 Classic European. Four Polish-language channels also operate from Warsaw: MTV Polska, VH1, VIVA and Comedy Central.
    Music content available on the new HD service from launch will include series from MTVN such as MTV Unplugged, VH1 Storytellers and CMT’s Crossroads, as well as key music events like the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Europe Music Awards. The service will also feature original and acquired programming to be announced at a later date. There will also be a daily kids’ programming block airing each morning that will host a stable of hit shows from Nickelodeon, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar, Ren & Stimpy and live-action series like Drake & Josh.
    Additional information regarding the launch of the HD service, including the name of the channel, will be announced in the coming months.

    MTV Networks in the U.S. launched the high-definition channel MHD in January 2006 featuring performances, music videos, interviews, tentpole events, music festivals, concert series, special concerts, and other music-related elements. The network features music from a variety of genres, as well as HDTV acquisitions and original content from MTV Networks Music Group’s MTV, VH1, and CMT family of services.
    “We believe that the terrific clarity and surround sound aspect of the high definition medium are a perfect complement to our music, young adult and kids programming,” commented Bob Bakish, the president of MTVNI. “We are constantly looking for fresh, innovative ways to bring programming to our audiences and actively embrace a multi-brand, multi-platform strategy. Launching on HD is the natural next step, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the channel become the ultimate destination for lovers of great music and kids’ entertainment.”
    Bakish continued: “We look forward to working with our satellite and cable operator partners across Europe, and ultimately the world, to deliver compelling product to feed the rapidly growing base of consumer high-definition screens. With an increasing number of operators expecting to launch HD services over the coming months, we're confident that this channel will only make their offers even more appealing.”
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Virgin 1 starts October 1st Virgin 1, the general entertainment channel that aims to take on Sky One, will launch on October 1st. The channel will be available on Freeview, satellite and cable. Virgin Media's catch-up TV, previews and exclusive content will also be available online. Virgin Media has acquired the rights to several high profile US shows ahead of the launch, including The Riches, The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the Star Trek franchise.
    Salut Prieteni!


 

 

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