November 2018

International News



As predicted by this magazine, Murdoch has begun taking control of Disney. Disney has named top Fox executives to lead its new, combined TV Businesses.

Walt Disney Co. said senior Fox executive Peter Rice will be cochairman of its television business once the entertainment giant completes the $71 billion purchase of entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox Inc.

Another Fox executive, Dana Walden, will become chairman of the Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.


Walmart has confirmed that it will partner with U.S. movie studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer to create content for its Vudu Video-On-Demand (VoD) service, which Walmart bought 8 years ago.

Under this partnership, MGM will create exclusive content based on their extensive library & that content will premiere exclusively on the Vudu platform.

The focus will be on familyfriendly content that Walmart customers prefer.

These shows will be exclusively licensed for a period of time to Vudu for North America, and available on Vudu's free, ad-supported service Movies On Us.


Italian broadcasters Prima TV, Mediaset, Cairo Network and ReteCapri, have requested that the Lazio Regional Administrative Court annuls the resolution by which regulator AgCom has approved the new DTT frequency plan.

The changes in the TV frequencies are necessary to free up the 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) for 5G mobile telephony services by 2022. This frequency band has now been assigned to the telecom operators, which will result in the halving of the current frequencies destined for DTT usage.

The new National Frequency Plan foresees the existence of 10 national DTT multiplexes in the UHF band, four local multiplexes in the UHF band, plus another regional one in the III VHF band for local and public service channels.


More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for a n independent commission to ensure TV debates become a regular fixture of UK elections.

The level of support means the government is now required to respond to the petition, which was set up as part of Sky News' Make Debates Happen campaign.

The Leaders' Debate Commission would set the criteria for party participation, the objectivity of the audience, the debate formats and dates, plus the rules and the moderators.

Various politicians have backed the debates campaign.

The next general election isn't until 2022.


Comcast has concluded its purchase of Sky News. It now owns more than 75% of Sky.

Chairman James Murdoch, Chase Carey and others have resigned from the board.

21st Century Fox has completed the sale of its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast, which won a September auction for the European pay TV giant.

"Led by Jeremy Darroch and his superb team, our combined global leadership in technology and content paves the way for us to accelerate investment and growth in Sky's brand and premier platforms," said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

Comcast won the auction for Sky with a $22.60 per-share bid, valuing Sky at 29.7 billion pounds ($38.8 billion).


The Federal German cartel office is currently examining the conformity with competition law, the DEAL between Sky Deutschland and Perform Group, operator of sports streaming service DAZN, for the broadcast of the UEFA Champions League in Germany.

In 2017, Sky Deutschland acquired the broadcasting rights for all matches between 2018 and 2021. Sky and DAZN subsequently divided the rights amongst themselves. The Champions League has thus solely been shown by Sky and DAZN since the beginning of the ongoing season 2018/19.

Andreas Mundt, president of the cartel office SAID "We are examining whether the cooperation promotes competition in the interest of consumers or restricts it."

As Germany's leading pay-TV provider, Sky is potentially subject to particular restrictions under competition law when cooperating with competitors.


US DTH platform is involved in a spat with Univision, who offers pay channels. The spat mirrors issues faced in India! Univision has sent a letter to US regulator - FCC and Federal Trade Commission saying that Dish continued to market the channels that had gone dark on the DTH service.

Univision has claimed that Dish was misrepresenting the availability of the channels, discouraging customers from switching to another provider by assuring them that the channels would soon be back on Dish.

Dish said "This is a business dispute, plain and simple. The fact is, Univision is demanding DISH pay considerably more, despite a material decline in its overall ratings. The logos of some Univision channels were inadvertently left within the cart flow of one of our add-on package offerings, which we have removed."

"We refuse to allow our customers to pay outrageous increases, especially for content that is available for free over the air, as well as available online for substantially less than Univision is trying to charge DISH customers," Dish added.

Dish is offering over-the-air antennas in select markets, so that consumers can receive Univision channel free!


According to a white paper from Telaria and Adobe, called "Inside the Minds of Cord-Cutters and Cable- Keepers," consumers lack awareness about the live streaming content that is available to them.

Potential OTT consumers were not aware if they could receive live TV, particularly sports content, via OTT and therefore preferred to stay with Cable and DTH.

"Despite steady declines in subscribers, cable still dominates viewership," the report said. "The primary reason people keep the cord is the perception that only a linear connection can deliver live television content (42%). The second and third most common reasons are the desire to have a lot of channels (34%) and the fear of losing favorite networks (32%)." n