March 2020

International News



Disney’s top boss Bob Iger, who led the media company through several blockbuster acquisitions and the launch of a streaming network, is stepping down as chief executive.

Disney said it had appointed Bob Chapek, who previously ran the company's parks and products division, to replace him. Bob Iger will remain Disney's executive chairman until the end of next year to direct "creative endeavours". The move came as a surprise.

Iger, who is considered by many to be the most powerful man in Hollywood, had served as chief executive since 2005. He has previously announced plans to retire only to push back his departure date.


Deutsche Telekom has seen a surge in its subscriber base and added 74,000 new subscribers to its domestic T V platform MagentaTV in Dec 2019 quarter. 62000 subscribers were added in 2018 Q4. MagentaTV accounted for more than 3.6 million subscribers at the end of 2019. The number of fibre-opticbased lines in the Telekom network rose to 14.4 million at the end of 2019, 2.2 million more than a year earlier.


Magyar Telekom a leading Hungarian IPTV player has added 100,000 IPTV subscribers through 2019. The number of subscribers in North Macedonia was 8000 and 814,771 IPTV subscribers in Hungary. DTH & Cable TV subscribers saw a drop in numbers from 263,700 to 239,274 in 2019. Cable TV saw a drop in numbers from 108,974 to 106,770.


Sony Pictures Television has taken stake in Whisper Group, a U.K. sports-focused production company. With this Sony will replace Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund as a minority stakeholder in Whisper. Whisper was co-founded by Sunil Patel, broadcaster and Jake Humphrey and F1 commentator David Coulthard.

Whispers covers NFL, the Paralympics, Formula One, SailGP, Women’s Super League, and the International Cricket and W Series with a range of programming that mixes coverage and commentary. They have the Formula One rights for the U.K.’s Channel 4.

“Whisper has become one of the most talked-about production companies in the U.K.,” says Wayne Garvie, president of international production at Sony Pictures Television.


Imagine Communication concluded a deal with Adkey that will enable independent cable operators to use AdKey technology to monetize IPbased video streams. Cable operators will shift to IP-based operations and AdKey will help to recreate legacy systems and capabilities. It also provides a simple solution for selling inventory on channel operators that are not monetizing currently. NCTC represents about 750 independent cable operators in the U.S. Video distributors use Imagine’s cloud-based ad monetization technology to support ad insertion for linear services.


BBC has announced plans to cut around 450 jobs from its news arm as part of a modernisation plan aimed at saving around £80 million by 2022. BBC News employs around 6,000 people including around 1,700 outside of the UK. In 2016 BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth informed that the BBC needs to adapt due to the changing way audiences consume its services.

“We need to reshape BBC News for the next decade in a way which saves substantial amounts of money. We are spending too much of our resources on traditional linear broadcasting and not enough on digital” said Fran.


Estonia’s big cable operator Elisa has been able to close 4,500 household connections in Tallinn and Tartu to its fibre-optic network in 2019 and has modernised 36,000 households in Tallinn. The company plans to continue expanding its cable network to new homes in Tallinn, Tartu, Harju County and Parnu, as well as its fibreoptic network to 30,000 households where its internet services are available through cable.

Elisa will also start offering its services in the network to be established in Elektriveli.


Intelsat, SES and other US satellite companies are in line for a share of $14.9 billion under proposals from the FCC.

The regulator wants to auction spectrum currently used for C-band satellite transmissions to facilitate the launch of new 5G telecoms services.

The C-band represents some 500MHz of spectrum from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz. The FCC argues the satellite companies no longer need the same amount of spectrum and can offer the same services with less bandwidth.

Under proposals for a draft order detailed by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the lower 280MHz of bandwidth would be made available for “flexible use”, including 5G through a public auction.

$9.7 billion is being offered to the satellite operators in return for a speedy transition. The costs of transferring to the upper portion of the band would be covered, representing another $3.3 billion to $5.2 billion.


Vectra a leading Polish Cable Operator has completed the acquisition of Multimedia PolskaBy and has become the largest cable operator in Poland in subscriber number terms, overtaking Liberty

Global’s UPC Polska. Ve c t r a president and CEO Tomasz Zuranski is highly optimistic of the acquisition informed “The implementation of the transaction allows us a much larger scale of activities – access to a wide customer base and the potential of one of the best and largest fixed telecommunications infrastructures in Poland. Greater investment capacity and managerial talent of the merged entities will translate into the opportunity to offer a more attractive offer to both retail and business customers, which is the merit of this transaction”. n