October 2018

International News



The new company formed from the sale of Cisco's Service Provider Video Software Solutions (SPVSS) business to a company backed by the Permira funds, will be called Synamedia. "Syna" means "together" in Greek, reflecting Synamedia's ambition to bring together broadcast and OTT media services.

Synamedia's focus will be to empower telcos, media, and pay-TV providers to optimize their current infrastructure and capitalize on OTT distribution.

Synamedia's products will include VideoGuard, Evo middleware, Android TV everywhere and RDK.


The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board has once again sided with Comcast in its intellectual property battle with TiVo, invalidating 2 more TiVo patents.

TiVo now has only one patent left that hasn't been ruled invalid. Comcast has filed for a summary judgement of non-infringement to strike down that final patent.

TiVo has been aggressively 123 collecting patent fees from pay TV industry players, but Comcast has not paid & moved to court.


Switzerland is shutting off its terrestrial TV transmissions. The Swiss government has given the country's public broadcaster approval to turn off its digital terrestrial TV (known as over-the-air to most people) by the end of 2019. It will be the first nation in Europe to do so.

Most Swiss have high speed broadband internet connections and cable networks in their homes, so the move is unlikely to affect many citizens. Only 1.9% of the population, about 64,000 Swiss people, reportedly receive DTT.


ALi Corporation, a Set-Top Box (STB) c h i p s e t provider, has launched its SoC (System on a Chip) mainly targeting the price sensitive India Cable TV market, that is transitioning from Standard Def (SD) to High Definition (HD) STBs.

"The new F8, named M3711C, is optimized for performance while offering cost-effectiveness for operators to provide entry-level solutions to their customers", said Daniel Huang, CEO - ALi Corporation. "For Pay TV services, the new F8 platform from ALi offers security and compliance with mainstream CAS," he added.


The Prague-based DTH platform Flix TV has informed its customers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that it is to cease operations after mid-November 2018.

Flix TV was launched in the Czech Republic in March 2016 & currently has between 5,000-10,000 subscribers.


In the USA, Cable TV consumers usually rent their STBs. It's a small line item, normally less than $10 per device on the cable bill each month. But the costs add up throughout the year. Households that access their service from more than one TV typically have to pay for multiple boxes as well.

US senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal released a study that found the average American was paying about $231 per year just to use their TV provider's STBs. The report said 99% of customers were renting their set-top boxes from their TV providers.

Now similar rentals are being charged for low cost broadband routers, that are provided on rent for $10 per month, while premium broadband routers can be purchased for between $100 to $200 per month.


With Maldives polls on 23 September, President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's government is fining broadcasters that air critical reports, says South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly. The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) recently fined a private TV channel - Raajje TV, nearly 4 million rufiyaa or over USD 250,000.

The offence was for airing content that was allegedly defamatory of the president.

"The fines are certainly a political decision made by a commission that is fully under the control of the government," according to Ganguly.

Rajje TV has already been fined 4 times since 2016 by the MBC for allegedly broadcasting antigovernment content.

Rajje TV had even launched a public appeal to help pay the initial penalties, going door-to-door asking for donations.

Local laws require media units to pay their fines within 30 days, regardless of whether there has been time to hear any appeal.


The US Justice department has approached a federal appeals court asking it to reverse the approval of AT&T's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc.

The justice depatment's plea has been opposed by 9 state attorneys generals, who are backing AT&T.

"It is rare for the federal government to pursue an antitrust case involving major, national companies without any state joining the effort," the 9 state officials said in a court filing, noting that no states have filed briefs supporting the Justice Department's appeal.

The core of the Justice Department's concern is that AT&T, which owns DirecTV, would use its ownership of Time Warner's content to make pay TV rivals pay more, thus raising the charge to consumers.


The FCC has voted to confirm that a l o c a l f r a n c h i s e does not have the authority to regulate broadband and other non-cable services.

"Today's unanimous FCC action rightly proposes to reinstate its earlier rules establishing clear limits on franchising authorities' ability to impose undue and unwarranted regulations and fees on cable operators that have the effect of delaying the deployment of broadband and other new services and making those services more expensive for consumers," said NCTA-the Internet & Television Association "We look forward to participating in the rulemaking proceeding."


Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has moved into the second stage of its investigation into the proposed takeover of Multimedia Polska by Vectra.

The regulator feels the transaction could restrict competition, given that the 2 cable operators: Multimedia Polska & Vectra are the country's third and second largest respectively, competing in 39 cities and broadband internet in 45 cities n