Satellite news 20.09.05


Sky and ITV sign joint football rights deal

ITV and Sky have signed a new three-year deal to continue sharing UK TV rights to the UEFA Champions League football competition The new contract with UEFA will see ITV continuing to broadcast two live matches on Tuesday nights from September 2006 to May 2009 The Sky Sports channels will carry on transmitting the remaining six Tuesday Champions League fixtures, plus all eight Wednesday night matches via its interactive service Also, for the first time, ITV and Sky Sports will provide live internet streaming of the Champions League matches they are televising

Sky boss 'uncomfortable' with switch-off

Sky CEO James Murdoch has said he is "uncomfortable" with Tessa Jowell's plans to switch off the analogue signal by 2012 His admission came during a speech at the Cambridge Convention and came after the culture secretary's confirmation of the timetable for the analogue TV shutdown (see seperate story below) Murdoch told delegates: "We're uncomfortable with the element of compulsion in the whole programme Our view is that compulsory switch-over is something that presents issues for customers, not just the vulnerable, but families and viewers around the country It's an ultimatum You take away the choice for someone to say, 'Actually, I don't want to give Ł150 for this'"

Analogue TV switch-off schedule revealed

Switch-off of analogue TV signals will begin in the North of England in 2008, extending to Wales and Manchester in 2009 and will be carried out on a region-by-region basis culminating in London in 2012 Speaking at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, culture secretary Tessa Jowell said the move would bring more choice to viewers "Digital television is no longer a probability, it is a certainty, and I believe it can leave us with a legacy of more choice, for more people, than anywhere else in the world," she said

Penthouse to launch European adult channels

Adult magazine Penthouse is taking on archrival Playboy in the TV stakes after raising $48m in the US to fund the global launch of its own TV and video-on-demand networks It says it intends to compete directly with the Playboy Network and Playboy-owned Spice TV "Over the next several years it is anticipated that Penthouse-branded products will be available in VoD to 100% of the North American market with further extension internationally – launching in Latin America, Europe and Asia," the company said in a statement

New Christmas shopping TV channel launches

A festive themed shopping channel called Christmas Shop has launched on Sky Digital channel 699 It offers christmas decorations and items related to the season Christmas Shop is owned by One TV, which also has a seperate network on Sky channel 670

ITV to launch two new digital TV channels

ITV is planning to launch a further two digital TV channels in 2006, according to press reports It hopes to launch channels in the shopping and gaming market ITV chief exec Charles Allen said: "We are looking at transactional revenues through ITV Play and shopping"

Two new Asian channels join Sky Digital line-up

Asian channels Apna Bazaar and Birmingham Raj TV have launched on Sky Digital Shopping station Apna Bazaar is showing studio-based shopping programming in Hindi, Urdu and English on Sky Digital channel 829 Meanwhile, entertainment channel Raj TV broadcasts from Birmingham and is available on Sky channel 283 It specialises in home-produced music, film and entertainment programmes

Digital TV now in 157 million UK homes

Ofcom's latest figures for the second quarter of 2005 show digital TV penetration reached 63 per cent of households, up from 619 per cent during the previous quarter The total number of digital TV households grew by almost 298,000 to 15,715,178 Sky added 75,000 subscribers to bring its total number of UK subscribers to 7,424,000 at the end of quarter two There were over 700,000 sales of Freeview set-top boxes and iDTVs by the end of the quarter with Ofcom estimating Freeview is in 5,178,000 homes - up by over 118,000 homes during the quarter

Sky to offer live TV channels on mobile phones

Sky has confirmed it will offer a selection of live TV channels via mobile phones Chief operating officer Richard Freudenstein said the venture would allow viewers to watch sports, news and entertainment "within months," and will be paid for by monthly subscriptions Sky says it will be the first company to offer live channels "You can be out and about and on the road and you will be able to use your mobile wherever you are The world is changing and consumers are using media very differently," said Freudenstein

ITV boss casts doubt on Flextech sale

Charles Allen, ITV's CEO, has expressed his scepticism over the sale of Flextech, Telewest’s content business for which ITV submitted an indicative offer He said: "I'm not convinced that they are actually going to sell the asset and that it's an elaborate valuation exercise" The comments came as ITV was reported to have failed to make it through to the second round of bidding in the Ł1bn auction Sky is understood to be the frontrunner in the race with German broadcaster RTL, which owns Five, also thought to be in the running

Sky One signs up new original documentaries

Sky One's series of original documentaries has been extended with the commission of new opinion programmes by Ross Kemp and Francis Fulford about ****** and cocaine Former EastEnder Kemp will be presenting a 60-minute programme about London gangs in Ross Kemp on Gangs: London to air in October, while Fulford, who is already making Why Britain is F**ked for Sky One, has now been greenlit to make Francis Fulford Versus America, both of which will be shown in November

Digital TV news in brief

Games channel Jackpot TV on Sky Digital channel 275 failed to start broadcasting as per its usual schedule on Monday and was broadcasting a test card throughout the day Radio channel Big Blue has been removed from Sky channel 898 Ofcom is proposing UK broadcasters who win the rights to broadcast live Premier League football could be forced to sell some games to rivals The plans, if adopted by the European Commission, would end the 13-year monopoly of Sky BBC Broadcast has won a seven year contract to play out all Flextech channels - LivingTV, Bravo, Challenge, Trouble, FTN, LivingTV2 and four time shift channels The BBC has won highlights of the ICC Cricket World Cup, to be held in the West Indies in March and April 2007 Europe saw a record number of new TV channels launched in over the 2003/04 period with adult entertainment channels the strongest growing genre, according to a new report

New Olympics sports programme for UKTV G2

UKTV has commissioned a new weekly sports programme that will promote the 2012 Olympics and try to inspire future medallists The 90-minute episodes of UKTV Sport will air on the UKTV G2 network at 1830 on Saturdays from October 14

Regards Satdude.