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Thread: News 18.10.2007

  1. #1
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    Default News 18.10.2007

    Sky and emuse impulse NZ ad

    SKY Television and emuse absolutely have launched of the first Impulse Response Interactive Television advertisement in New Zealand for Mitsubishi Motors. Viewers who see the Mitsubishi Lancer advertisement will be invited to press Red on the SKY remote to request more information on the car. They simply follow the prompts on screen to select their preferences and enter their contact details, which can be sent back to Mitsubishi via the SKY box.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Top UP warn on VCR ignorance

    Top UP TV, provider of TV content on Freeview, has advised that awareness of digital switchover is widespread. However, despite this, according to Digital UK 35 per cent of the UK population people still do not realise that they will need to update their analogue VCRs.
    People have already begun to replace their primary TVs but many have not thought about the need to replace their analogue VCRs. People will no longer be able to watch one channel whilst recording another using a standard analogue VCR or DVD. "It is time for the public to start preparing to convert all of their devices and a new Digital Television Recorder (or PVR) would be ideal for analogue switchover," said Roger Matthews, Top UP TV Marketing director.
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    Sogecable losses 10,000 subscribers in football war

    The dispute over football TV rights between Sogecable and Mediapro has led the largest pay-TV group to lose 10,000 subscribers in the third quarter of the year. Nonetheless this was a net of 40,000 more than a year ago reaching a total of 2.046 million. The company is also seeing a drop in the ARPU, from E 45.7 as of June 30 to E41.4 by the end of September, although in line with the ARPU in the third quarter of the previous year.
    Nevertheless, Sogecable has managed to return to profit with a net benefit of E50.3 million in the first nine months of the year, compared to a E25.9 million loss for the same period in 2006. Sogecable's digital DTH platform Digital+ churn was slightly up at 11 per cent on September 30, compared to 11.7 a year ago.
    Sogecable announced that the advertising revenue rose 34 per cent in the third quarter to E51.5 million helped by rising audiences at its free-to-view channel Cuatro which raked in a 39 per cent rise in advertising revenue to E46.2 million.
    The pay-TV group plans to launch, along with Telefonica, its Trio Plus package from the 1st of December, offering the triple play in an attempt to boost subscriptions and increase its penetration rate in the market.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Internet TV growing strongly

    The number of people watching internet TV has increased steadily year on year according to Continental Research’s Autumn 2007 Internet & Convergence Report. In particular the number watching shows they have previously downloaded from the Internet has doubled from 1.3 million in 2006 to 2.4 million in 2007.
    There is also substantial interest in Internet TV amongst non users. In addition to the 2.9 million who have already watched streamed TV online, a further 2.4 million say they are likely to in the next year. Downloaded TV looks set to grow even faster with current users being potentially swelled by a further 3.3 million likely to download TV.
    Helping to explain the growth of Internet TV, satisfaction amongst those viewing TV online is generally positive, with only 12 per cent not satisfied with the service overall. The areas with the greatest dissatisfaction relate to the size of the picture and the quality of the sound and picture. Myring said: "Whilst watching via a PC offers a much greater screen size than watching via a mobile phone (the numbers watching mobile TV has actually not increased in the last year), there is still a significant number dissatisfied with the screen size. In a world where TV screens get bigger and bigger, people have a much higher expectation of screen size.
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    Spectrum scarcity to block mobile TV until 2010?

    The number of mobile broadcast TV subscribers in Western Europe is expected to pass 20m by 2011, according to a new report from Juniper Research. However, following the exit of the BT/Virgin Mobile DAB-IP offering from the market, the UK is not expected to re-launch mobile broadcast TV services until 2010 at the very earliest, well behind most of its European neighbours.
    According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "After the successful launch of DVB-H-based services in Italy, many other Western European countries have either drawn up or are drawing up licensing procedures for mobile broadcast TV services. However, the fact that optimal UHF spectrum will not be made available in the UK for several years effectively prevents any medium-term deployment of such services."
    The report adds that while service providers could opt to utilise L-Band spectrum as an alternative, the additional infrastructure expenditure involved would probably mean that such a venture would not be cost-effective. It also recommends that, wherever possible, operators should seek to share broadcast network infrastructure as in Germany, where T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone are planning to utilise a single DVB-H network.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Ofcom not sympathetic to HD spectrum claims

    The UK regulator's chief executive Ed Richards said he was not persuaded that TV should be allowed to use the "digital dividend" for high-definition programming. Instead, he spoke of the "golden opportunity" of using more efficient MPEG4 compression and the DVBT2 broadcast standard to squeeze HD channels into the existing Freeview band.
    Ofcom is consulting on that plan at the moment. Richards said HD shows could be delivered to Freeview households as soon as the end of 2009, compared to no sooner than 2012 if the regulator waits for the completion of the analogue TV switch-off.
    Richards' views could lead to a clash with the BBC, which favours delivering HD over the internet. The Beeb's technology chief Ashley Highfield said: "With spectrum capacity severely limited on Freeview at least until 2012, we believe quite strongly that IP is a great route to getting HD out to wider audience." Ofcom has already raised doubts about such plans.
    Under the regulator's preferred method, consumers would need new kit to take advantage of HD channels, although the current generation of set-top boxes would continue to work for standard broadcasts. Ofcom is consulting with the understanding that terrestrial HD would be free-to-air.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Premiere’s ‘Twist in the Plot’

    German pay-TV broadcaster Premiere’s share price fell 20% last week following news that Leo Kirch has been awarded the marketing rights for German Bundesliga soccer, in return for a guaranteed payment of €3.45bn over the upcoming six seasons (2009-2015).
    Bankers Morgan Stanley, in a 23-page report issued October 16, say that in their view Premiere’s position, far from being weakened, is actually stronger. “The market reaction was understandable in some respects. The default assumption was that Premiere would win the Bundesliga rights and so the unexpected involvement of Kirch, with all his history, was greeted with deep suspicion and unease and was deemed to have made Premiere’s task more difficult. However, we think this is an overreaction by the market – again something which the Premiere share price is no stranger to – and that Premiere’s competitive position in the Bundesliga tender has actually strengthened rather than deteriorated, as the share price would suggest. Kirch had been seen as a potential outside bet to win the rights given his recent purchase of a stake in EM Sport Media but he is now out of the running. Furthermore, in making this deal Kirch has handed an advantage to Premiere: he has committed himself to making at least €500mn per season from the sale of the rights. Premiere therefore knows that if it refuses to pay the inflated asking price, it is unlikely to be undercut by a lower bid.”
    Currently the total annual cost of the Bundesliga rights are prices at €420m. Kirch’s payment of €500m from next season implies a 19% inflation rise. This, says Morgan Stanley, is a near-match for soccer rights in the UK, Spain and France, all of which have risen 20%-30% since the last round of negotiations.

    Premiere doesn’t yet have the rights for the next period, and Morgan Stanley outline the various competitors, saying:
    Premiere Will bid
    Unity Media/Arena Very unlikely to bid
    Deutsche Telekom Wants rights to IPTV*
    KDG Probably “not interested”
    Pro7/Sat1 Unlikely to bid
    Sport5 “Not interested”
    Outsiders Unlikely, but not impossible
    *DT has a deal with Premiere covering IPTV rights to ALL Premiere content until 2013.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    MTV torpedoes Showtime Arabia

    MTV Networks, already planning an MTV Arabia, on October 15 unveiled its plans for an Arabic version of Nickelodeon. Showtime Middle East cannot be best pleased.
    The news, while not unexpected, does little to ease the growing headaches for Showtime Arabia’s CEO Marc-Antoine d'Halluin, appointed at the end of last year. Worse, MTV Networks is a shareholder in Showtime Arabia (which more correctly trades as Gulf DTH).
    MTV Networks has now linked with fast-growing Dubai TV-to-radio broadcaster Arab Media Group to launch kids service Nickelodeon in an Arabic version next year, and free-to-air. Showtime’s existing relationship with MTV Networks is to show Nick (and MTV) in their English-language forms with Arabic subtitles.
    MTV says the new free-to-air version will launch to a potential audience of some 190m viewers. A website will be launched at the same time. Arab Media Group is the largest media group in the UAE, with approximately 1,500 employees. It is the UAE’s largest radio operator, with eight radio stations under Arabian Radio Network. AMG’s other business ventures include Awraq Publishing, a publishing house with three daily newspapers under its umbrella; Arabian Television Network; Masar Printing; Done Events, which manages events from entertainment to weddings; and outdoor advertising division Shoof Outdoor.
    Arabian Television Network (ATN), is a subsidiary of ABN. ATN features a series of free-to-air satellite TV channels and digital broadcast services in English and Arabic across the Middle East. Four new multilingual and multi-format channels will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2007, offering diverse programming to the region’s local and expatriate population, with a focus on home-grown talent and productions.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    'Russia: the New Pay-Tv Frontier'

    The Russian market is still far from realising its full pay-TV potential, but our research indicates strong growth across all pay-TV platforms. Broadband service providers that have launched IPTV (or are in the test phase) are seeking additional sources of cash, and are considering IPTV either as an ARPU booster or a competitive tool to win more broadband users.
    So in Russia, IPTV is still perceived more as a broadband rather than a TV or media application. Indeed, in comparison with other European IPTV providers we do not see much novelty in terms of Russian IPTV operators initial IPTV strategies. Overall, the core growth in IPTV will come from subscribers who are already connected but do not have pay-TV services.
    While subscriber growth will come over the short term, significant revenue growth will not come as fast as operators expect. Most operators are providing typical basic market-entry promotional bundles, which do bring in subscribers but not extra cash. Also, we do not expect to see massive migrations of cable or satellite consumers to IPTV, at least in the short term. However, in the long term assuming that service launches go well and that the content offered is good we do see IPTV as a valid long-term threat to cable and (to a lesser extent) the only satellite platform in Russia, NTV-Plus. The evidence for this is an increasingly competitive pay-TV market in Moscow.
    A fast-growing economy and large population make the Russian pay-TV market one of the most underexploited in the world. Massive Russian capital/oil money transfer investments in telecoms infrastructure and a strong presence of foreign technology suppliers suggest that the size of the countrys media and telecom market will increase significantly over the short term. In addition, Russias own incumbent pay-TV players are gearing up for increased pay-TV competition over the next five years.
    Cable companies are beginning to consolidate, while Russias only satellite operator, NTV-Plus, is introducing HD-backed premium packages to address multiple platform competition. Russians are consuming more pay-TV, and their expectations in terms of channels and content are also increasing. And while today most cable companies cannot offer the premium pay-TV package, the growth of the Russian middle class will drive demand and most likely boost the Russian pay-TV market over the long term. Under this scenario, we expect Russia to be one of the fastest growing emerging pay-TV markets in the world.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Measat expands Pakistani bouquet

    Two more South Asian channels have joined the Measat-3 satellite.
    Pacific Century Matrix (PCM) has agreed with Indus Media Group to add Indus-operated MTV Pakistan and general entertainment channel Indus Vision to its Pakistani bouquet on Measat-3. The additions follow Measat’s first South Asian additions, Filmazia and Filmax.
    PCM’s bouquet is aimed at Pakistani cable operators.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Sky PVR ownership 'can boost viewing'

    There’s more confirmation that PVR ownership can boost overall TV viewing.
    A new report, Viewing in Sky Households from UK research house Attentional points to interesting variations in viewing patterns between demographic groups in Sky+ households. For example, adults aged 16-34 in Sky+ households actually watch slightly more television in the weekday 2100-2200hrs slot than their equivalents in Sky homes without a PVR.
    The research also looks at how Sky+ ownership affects viewing to different types of content. Entertainment channels on the Sky platform, such as Sky One, are subject to high levels of playback viewing, while music and sport continue to be watched live in most instances.
    Attentional found that drama attracts the highest proportion of playback viewing in the Sky+ homes, based on analysis of programmes from nine mixed-schedule channels, using its Microgenre genre coding system. One third of all drama viewing by Sky+ users was playback, although this varies by sub-genre with soaps attracting a higher proportion of live viewing than series or serials.
    Viewers in Sky+ households typically watch between 10% and 15% less than equivalent viewers in Sky homes without a PVR, but most of the decrease in viewing occurs outside of peak-time (1900-2300hrs). The drop is largely explained by demographics: Sky+ has attracted a high proportion of households in the higher socio-economic groups (ABC1), and viewers in this demographic tend to watch less television regardless of viewing platform or technology.
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    Who is interested in buying Sogecable?

    Spain's main audiovisual company Sogecable (Canal+, Digital+ and Cuatro) is on target because some in the market want to split it into two different divisions: its pay TV business with Canal+ and Digital+ and its free-to-air project Cuatro.
    Financial analysts Inverseguros have examined the possibility and concluded media editorial group Prisa (which has recently increased its stake in Sogecable) telco Telefónica would be interested in such a move. Inverseguros says that Prisa is just interested in Cuatro and not in Digital+, while on Telefónica's side says Telefónica's DSL pay-TV operator Imagenio needs a back up. Its subscriber base is lagging its nearest competitor cableoperator Ono by some considerable margin.
    So if Telefónica finally acquires Digital+ the telco would control between 60-65% of the market. At present it just controls 11% of it through Imagenio.
    Inverseguros says the price for this operation would stand between EUR2.1 billion and EUR 3.6 billion which would value each subscriber between EUR1,000 and 1,700.
    And the note adds that Sogecable is the loser in the "football war" between Sogecable and producer laSexta's Mediapro. Judges have determined that the audiovisual football rights for this season have to be the same as last season's.
    In short these group of experts conclude Sogecable's business model is "dead" because its former exploitation model was based on a football rights monopoly.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Abertis denies pay DTT project

    Spanish TV network operator Abertis Telecom has denied it is one of the parties working on a package of pay DTT where all of the national TV channels would be present with premium content.
    Abertis informed Rapid TV News that "the company is not at all working on such a package nor creating a unified technical centre for distributing pay TV services to the TV channels". In no case is the company working to create content, the note added.
    Instead, Abertis Telecom specified it is working on analyzing the developement of interactive DTT services. Projects such as TDT.COM and TDT 2.0 are looking at which interactive applications are viable in order to offer entertainment, pay per view and administration over the TV.
    The company has launched a pilot project in the region of Extremadura in order to test these projects and the company says these pilot is going well.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Astro reduces Indian investment

    Malaysia’s Astro All Asia Networks will pay around US$27 million less for its stake in an Indian DTH venture than originally agreed.
    Astro had agreed to take a 20% stake in the Sun Direct platform from the Maran family for an investment of “up to” US$166 million. But a recent filing with the Bursa Malaysia outlines an investment of just Rs5.49 billion (US$139 million).
    And Astro remains free to pursue interests in Indian media. The filing says that all parties to the deal “shall be free to enter into any other joint ventures, tie ups or collaborations with third parties in the ‘same field’…as the business carried out by Sun Direct except in respect of DTH services business carried out or proposed to be carried out by Sun Direct.”
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    Mediaset eyes new channels

    Mediaset, the Italian broadcaster owned by the Berlusconi family, is planning the launch of two new free-to-air channels on digital-terrestrial TV by year's end, according to several sources.
    The two new DTT channels would be dedicated respectively to classic entertainment (series and mini-series from the group’s library) and to the female demographic.
    Mediaset is also evaluating the possibility of launching two pay-TV channels also on DTT, one based on movies and another one dedicated to international TV series. These two pay channels would be based on content recently acquired by Mediaset through deals signed with international film distributors Universal Pictures and Warner Bros.
    Also on the cards is the possibility of negotiating a distribution deal with Sky Italia for the channels, to enlarge their potential reach. In Italy digital-terrestrial TV homes are estimated to be around 5.1 million according to Eurisko-Gfk’s August 2007 figures. Sky Italia has 4.2 million TV subscribers to its digital satellite pay-TV bouquet.

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