Register here for a free copy of SATELLITE & CABLE TV Magazine, SMS & email Update

December 2017

International News



S o m e months ago, there were unverified n e w s reports that L&T was to buy NDS from CISCO. The news was denied by NDS.

In early November, Bloomberg reported that that CISCO wants to sell off NDS.

In the past, CISCO has bought companies for a fancy price and later lost interest and sold them for a song.

NDS was formed in 1988 in Israel and bought by News Corporation in 1992. In 2009, private equity business Permira and News Corp struck a $3.6 billion deal which turned NDS into a privately-held company. In 2012, CISCO paid around $5 billion for NDS.

In 2005, Cisco bought Scientific Atlanta for $ 6.9 billion, and sold it in 2015 for just $ 600 million to Technicolor! Cisco claimed that it had recognised $27 billion of aggregate SA revenue in the years between acquisition and disposal.


The Trump administration has initiated legal proceedings against AT&T's $85.4bn proposed takeover of Time Warner's media assets. It may demand the sell-off of the parent unit of CNN or DTH platform DirecTV. Trump has often referred to CNN as "fake news" on his Twitter account.

The deal originally expected to close by the end of the year, is now uncertain.

The deal dates back to October 2016, when both companies appeared confident that regulators would let the sale of Time Warner's assets go through without objection.

During his election campaign, Trump had said "AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN - a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."


Cable TV networks in the USA are preparing to roll out a new standard - ATSC version 3.

The new standard is not compatible with the current ATSC 1.0 spec hence, everyone will need to buy a new TV set, STB etc, to use it.

The FCC has reached an attempted compromise where broadcasters will be required to send out signals in both formats for some unspecified period of time so that millions of people are not forced to buy new equipment right away.

ATSC 3.0 will allow 4K, 3D & interactive shows to be streamed over the air and so allow them to compete more effectively with internet-connected streaming boxes. It will also mean that smartphones and tablets should be able to access ATSC broadcasts, without using up data.

The main content - TV pictures & sound will continue to be sent over the air but ads and other personalized and interactivity data will be sent using IP. Broadcasters can create access restriction & encryption as required.

ATSC 3.0 has already appeared in South Korea, mainly for the 2018 Winter Olympics in the new format. It's likely to appear in the USA in early 2019.

With more consumers moving away from cable to internet content, the cable industry is extremely keen to start ATSC 3.0.

India has adopted the European DVB standard, and not ATSC.


F C C Chairman Ajit Pai has received a confirmation from the senate to a new, 5 year term to continue to head the FCC.

The vote was a relatively close and politically divided one at 52 to 41. Democrats criticised Pai and his policies and voted against Pai.


Argentina will likely issue a rule allowing telephone service providers to offer DTH services as part of their packages by the end of the year, a source at the country's Enacom telecoms regulator told the press.

The entity is likely to take a final decision on a proposed merger between Telecom Argentina SA and Cablevision SA by mid-December. The country's anti-trust regulator will also have to approve the deal.


Russia's parliament has drafted tit-for-tat measures that place severe restrictions on US media outlets operating in Russia, in a move that looks likely to plunge US-Russia relations to a new low.

The announcement came shortly after the Kremlin-funded international news channel RT (earlier Russia Today) said it had been ordered by the US Department of Justice to register as a "foreign agent" or have its bank accounts frozen.

US intelligence agencies have accused RT of attempting to interfere with the US election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned that Russia would take retaliatory steps if RT, formerly known as Russia Today, was targeted by US authorities.

Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the upper house of parliament's media policy committee, said the measures would initially target CNN, the Voice of America, and Radio Liberty. The updated law could also expel New York Times and The Washington Post correspondents from Moscow.

AMAZON DUMPS OTT PLANS Inc has scrapped plans to launch an online streaming service bundling popular US broadcast and cable networks because it believes it cannot make enough money on such a service.

The world's largest online retailer has also been unable to convince key broadcasts to join its platform, to offer their services a-la-carte to TV consumers, via OTT.


With the launch of its two channels, MTV Beats and Colors Rishtey, on Virgin Media Viacom18 has transitioned from FTA to entirely pay, as subscription channels on Sky and Virgin Media.

The 2 channels left the Freeview platform, even though the channels had large viewership on FreeView, which reaches 11 million UK homes.


Chinese o w n e d cable TV operator - S t a r T i m e s n o w o f f e r s Pay-Per- Day subscription to Nigerians. The full bouquet of all channels on Star Times is offered at N60 per day.

There is also the option of N300 a week subscription.

Star Times has been offering pay-as-you-go model in Uganda and Zambia, and have been reportedly test running it in Southwest Nigeria for over 8 months before this announcement. n