This month, the curtain falls on Analog Cable TV, in India. The entire country is to shift to digital CATV from April. Can this genuinely be achieved? It has taken more than 3 years, to install 70 million Cable TV STBs, to date. Compulsory digitisation in DAS..........
DISNEY PAYS $100 M FOR NO POACHING
Walt Disney Co. agreed to pay $100 million to resolve claims it colluded with other animation studios to not hire one another's workers in California, where allegations of no-poaching pacts have plagued technology companies for the better part of a decade.
Comcast Corp.'s DreamWorks Animation SKG earlier has agreed to a $50 million settlement, while 2 Sony Pictures units and Blue Sky Studios reached deals totaling $19 million.
Apple Inc., Google, Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. paid $415 million in 2015 to resolve their part in a similar case that was brought against Silicon Valley technology companies that had been investigated for collusion by the US justice department.
ARRIS BUYS RUCKUS & ICX FOR 800M
Arris has confirmed the purchase of the Ruckus wireless and ICX switching operations from Brocade Communications, paying $800 million in cash.
The deal will add to Arris' portfolio of both wired and wireless networking products, aimed at residential, e n t e r p r i s e and other markets.
"Our growth strategy includes a focus on w i r e l e s s broadband," said Arris CEO Bruce McClelland. "This strategy will also take us beyond the home, into new, adjacent markets. The acquisition expands our focus into the enterprise networking and wireless spaces," he added.
For Arris, the deal follows the $2.35 billion purchase of Motorola in 2013 and the $2.1 billion acquisition of Pace in 2015.
EUTELSAT: 1,000 HD CHANNELS
Eutelsat has reached the symbolic landmark of 1,000 High Definition channels with the launch at Eutelsat's HOTBIRD neighbourhood of CGTN HD, the news and current affairs channel of China's CCTV, marking its first foray into HDTV in Europe. The 240 HD channels launched in 2016 equal the total number launched during the previous two years.
FCC: ATSC 3.0 ROLLOUT
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai has issued a N o t i c e instructing TV stations to start rolling out the ATSC 3.0 advanced TV transmission standard on a voluntary basis.
Explaining the move, Pai said "Next Gen TV will offer better quality picture with 4K transmissions & an immersive audio experience. Broadcasters will be able to provide advanced emergency alerts better tailored to a viewer's location. Enhanced personalization and interactivity will enable better audience measurement, which in turn will make for higher-quality advertising: ads relevant to you and that you actually might want to see. Perhaps most significantly, consumers will easily be able to watch over-the-air programming on mobile devices."
TV stations can deploy ATSC 3.0 but must also continue to deliver an ATSC 1.0 version of their signals.
ZEE PLANS FRENCH CHANNEL
Zee plans to soon launch a channel in French. This is part of its global expansion plan to reach 500 million foreign viewers by 2021, up from the current 200-220 million.
Outlining Zee's historic growth, Chandra said that the company started its global programming in Indonesia by dubbing its content. Zee has spread its content to Arabic, Russian, German and English languages in the US, European and African countries. French is the next destination, Chandra added.
Last month ZEEL launched its Telugu movie channel, Zee Cinemalu, on Dish and Sling TV in the US as a part of the popular Telugu pack. The launch brings the total tally of Zee channels in the US to 37, making it the biggest multi-cultural broadcaster in the US.
COMCAST PAY TV VIA APP, NOT STB
Comcast is making i t s X f i n i t y TV service available to subscribers via the Roku app. This delivers Pay TV via an app (software) rather than an external STB.
Dish and DirecTV, the USA's 2 DTH platforms already offer online TV services to customers who don't want to subscribe to traditional pay TV. They are available on mobile phones, web-enabled TVs and tablets.
Comcast is the largest MSO in the USA, with 22.5 million video subscribers.
PEMRA CRACK DOWN ON INDIAN DTH
Teams of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has taken into custody Indian DTH STBs from various electronics shops.
Assistant General Manager (AGM) PEMRA - Malik Qasim Nawaz said the government had banned foreign channels and dish antenna. He added that a crackdown would continue and action would be taken against cable operators and electronic shops violating the government's instructions.
FEW GERMANS PAY FOR HDTV
German HDTV platform HD+ had 2.11 million paying customers on December 31, 2016, a 15% growth in a year. An additional 850,000 households are on their free trial period.
HD+ delivers the HD versions of commercial adsupported TV channels on Astra (19.2Â° East) to DTH households in Germany.
According to the Astra TV Monitor 2015, there were 11 million HD satellite households at the end of 2015 in Germany. Hence just 16.7% have opted to pay for reception of commercial TV channels in HD resolution. More than 80% of DTH households still prefer the free-ofcharge, unencrypted channels in SD.
PCCW SELLS $1B STAKE
In a plan to shift its investments and focus away from telecom and into media, billionaire Richard Li's PCCW Ltd. is selling a US $1.1 billion stake in telecom unit HKT Trust & HKT Ltd.
The youngest son of Hong Kong's richest man seeks to increase PCCW's media assets in pay TV, music streaming & movie distribution.
PCCW relied on telecom services for about 82% of revenue last year.
TIME WARNER - AT&T MERGER
Time Warner shareholders have voted to adopt the merger agreement between AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc.
Having obtained shareholder approval of the $85.4 billion (R 597,800 Crore) transaction, first announced in October 2016, and with regulatory review of the deal underway, the company continues to expect the transaction to close before yearend 2017.
BOBBLES.TV DTH/OTT FOR INDIANS
Bobbles.tv, the German provider of pay-TV packages for expats in Europe, has launched 16 channels for Indian viewers.
They are Colors, Star Plus, NDTV Good Times, NDTV Spice, SET, SAB, Life OK, Rishtey Europe, B4U Movies, B4U Music, Star Gold, Sony MAX, Zoom, NDTV India, NDTV 24-7, Times Now and Aaj Tak.
Arnold C. Kulbatzki, Bubbles Media CEO said in Hamburg "With bobbles' simple, affordable, contract-free subscription, feeling closer to home has never been easier."
The DTH platform is available via Astra @ 19.2 deg East. n