January 2020

International News



The Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 passed the US House and the Senate, now awaits President Trump's signature.

It requires multichannel video providers to disclose their total monthly charges (direct & indirect) to subscribers before sign-up and itemize any related administrative fees, equipment fees, or other charges, including taxes & surcharges. The declaration must also clarify promotional discounts and when they expire.

Pay-TV providers must send new customers a copy of this estimate within 24 hours of their agreeing to a service contract & let them cancel the contract without penalty within that 24-hour window.

The bill also bans TV & internet providers from charging customers monthly fees to use equipment they purchased separately.

"We seriously hope the cable industry doesn't try to game its way out of complying with a very straight forward disclosure requirement: let consumers know what they will actually pay each month once all the fees are tacked on to the advertised price," said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel with Consumer Reports, which lobbied for this bill.


Egypt has launched Tiba-1, a military + civillian applications satellite, with Ka Band transponders. Further details of the satellite are unavailable.

Tiba-1 is a large, 5.6-tonne satellite & was launched via an Arianespace rocket, from the space center in French Guiana.

Made by Airbus and Thales Alenia Space (TAS), Tiba-1 has a projected life of 15 years.


The Moscow Arbitration Court has rejected a lawsuit by Austria's Fashion TV Programmgesellschaft to ban FashionTV LLC from using the Fashion TV brand in Russia.

The court also allowed Fashion TV LLC's request to ban the use of the Intermoda LLC brand, which represents the interests of Fashion TV Programmgesellschaft in Russia.

The dispute between the 2 Fashion TV broadcasters has been going on for several years, resulting in 2 versions of the channel on Russian TV.

The owners of the Austrian company claim that the contract with FashionTV LLC was terminated in 2016 due to a number of violations. However, the latter insists that it is still valid.


The Kacific1 Ka band, broadband satellite was launched successfully on 16 December by a SpaceX Falcon 9.

Owned by Kacific Broadband Satellites Group (Kacific), the Boeingbuilt communications satellite will stream high-speed broadband to 25 nations in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands via 56 high-throughput beams. Kacific offers internet access via wholesale channels to government agencies, institutions, businesses, community groups and households.

"Kacific1 is the most powerful commercial satellite operating in the Asia-Pacific region," said Christian Patouraux, Kacific founder and CEO. "Its range of services, from mobile backhaul to broadband internet via VSAT terminals, will provide a catalyst for positive change in the nations it is about to serve."

Kacific1 will cover Indonesia, The Philippines, Timor-Leste and South Asia with 28 spot beams, while the Pacific Islands and New Zealand will be covered with a further 28 beams.


Christina Miller - Cartoon Network's top executive has stepped down, joining the growing roster of former Time Warner executives leaving the company, following its takeover by AT&T Inc.

Miller, a 14-year veteran of the company, will work through the end of the year with CN's interim management. Michael Ouweleen, who serves as chief marketing officer for kids and young adults, will become interim president, the company said.

AT&T acquired the company for $85 billion. The unit now called WarnerMedia has replaced the heads of its film and TV studio, its Turner Broadcasting businesses and cable channel HBO.

Cartoon Network will play a big role in the HBO Max streaming service that AT&T plans to launch in 2020 to attract kids & parents. The service will have 10,000 hours of content, including programming from Warner Bros., Turner Classic Movies and other WarnerMedia properties.


Nearly 14 years after splitting into two separate companies, CBS Corp. and Viacom have once again merged.

The new company, ViacomCBS, has more than $28 billion in revenue and 4.3 billion cumulative TV subscribers around the globe.

ViacomCBS now has 140,000 TV episodes, 3,600 films & more than $13 billion in annual content investment. The company will account for 22% cent of TV viewership in the US and hold the highest share of broadcast and cable viewing across key audience demographics in the USA.

ViacomCBS is targeting $500 million in cost synergies within its first two years, driven mostly by real estate, technology and vendor savings, though layoffs, particularly in backoffice functions such as human resources, legal, and operations, are likely.

While Bakish will be CEO of ViacomCBS, former CBS CEO Joe Ianniello will stay with the combined firm to lead the CBS businesses.


The FCC has invited comments on whether analog LPTV (Low power TV) stations should be allowed to operate after the deadline to switch to digital.

While full power stations had to compulsorily shift to digital terrestrial TV transmissions in 2019, LPTVs were given an additional 12 months (July 3, 2020) deadline. That deadline may be extended to July 3, 2021.


Zee Mundo is now carried on Telefonica - the biggest cable platform in Peru.

In Latin America: Brazil, Peru, Chile, Venezuela & Colombia, Telefonica as more than 5 million subscribers. In Peru alone it has 1 million Cable TV subscribers & 0.4 million DTH subscribers.

Zee Mundo is a 24-hour Spanish-language Bollywood movie pay television channel. It is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

Launched in September 2016, Zee Mundo brings HD Bollywood movies to Latino audiences, dubbed in Spanish.


Egypt's Nilesat has confirmed an order to Thales Alenia Space to build the Nilesat-301 communication satellite. It will be positioned at 7 degrees West, co-located with Nilesat- 201 to provide Ku-band services for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It will also provide broadband connectivity over all of Egypt, via Ka band transponders. n