August 2017

International News



The Lahore High Court has cancelled a ban imposed by PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) on the telecast of Indian television shows in Pakistan.

HC chief justice Mansoor Ali Shah observed that the world had become a global village & while Indian content with anti- Pakistan or objectionable content could be censored but there was no requirement for a complete ban.

The petition challenged PEMRA's powers to impose such a ban. It further questioned the Pakistan government's "selective patriotism" since Indian films were permitted telecast since February 2017.


L e i f Johansson, chairman of S w e d e n ' s E r i c s s o n , will quit before the company's a n n u a l meeting in 2018 as the struggling m o b i l e equipment firm tries to r e s t o r e profitability. "It is natural to let the owners jointly propose a chairman and 75 well ahead of this I want to announce that I will not be available for a next term," he said. Johansson was CEO at Volvo before he joined Ericsson.

Chinese rivals have ousted Ericsson in the mobile equipment market while its utilities, transport firms & media companies has been an expensive failure.

Ericsson's shares have lost almost 50% their value in 2 years and the company reported an operating loss of US$1.45 billion in Q-1 2017.

Ericsson fired its long-time CEO Hans Vestberg last summer. New CEO Borje Ekholm has promised to refocus on its core business - network equipment.


Microsoft wants to provide wide-spread rural wireless broadband in the USA by using TV white space 600 MHz spectrum.

Microsoft projects that in 5 years, White Space Technology will provide rural USA the same quality of broadband as urban USA. Total project cost would be $ 10 to 12 billion compared to more than $ 50 Billion for other technologies.

White Space technology utilises the empty 'guard-band' frequencies between adjacent TV channels broadcast terrestrially.

"Our goal is not to enter the telecommunications business ourselves or even to profit directly from these projects," claimed Microsoft.

However, the National Association of Broadcasters the proposal as "the height of arrogance," since Microsoft "refused to bid on broadcast TV airwaves in the recent FCC incentive auction."


Within a year, more U.S. households may be subscribers of Amazon Prime than cable or satellite TV.

79 million U.S. households now have an Amazon Prime membership, up from around 66 million at the end of last year.

That compares to a projected 90 million U.S. households that receive Cable TV or DTH, according to S&P Global.

More than 80% of America's wealthiest households already pay for Prime.


Argentina's Telecom Argentina SA and cable TV provider Cablevisión SA reached a merger agreement enabling them to offer quadruple play services, a result of President Mauricio Macri's telecom sector reforms.

The merged entity will offer fixed line, mobile phone, Pay TV & broadband services.

Telecom Argentina will issue 1.184 billion shares, leaving Cablevision shareholders with 55% of the combined company.

Spain's Telefonica SA, which owns Telefonica Argentina, has also expressed interest to buy pay TV assets in Latin America.


Despite a high degree of uncertainty as to when analog TV will be switched off, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), is preparing 30 DTT channels for its Free TV digital terrestrial bouquet. These will consist of 20 National level channels, 6 local & 4 regional channels.

Conax & Nagra are working with the authorities on encryption. StarTimes has 4 million Conax decoders in use on its pay-TV system.


A new, all HD, D T H s e r v i c e 'Shat TV' aimed at 4 m i l l i o n Armenian viewers was launched on July 15 on Eutelsat's Hotbird satellite.

Hotbird provides the DTH platform a reach that includes Europe, the Middle East and European parts of Russia.

Shant TV is available internationally to DTH homes, as well as via cable and IPTV networks, for a minimum subscription of €5 a month.

Michel Azibert, Eutelsat's commercial and development director, said: "The exceptionally broad coverage of Hotbird and an offer of 1,000 channels, including 280 HD channels, in 30 languages make it the point of reference for broadcasters seeking to reach dispersed communities."


Report hint that merger talks may have recommenced b e t w e e n Discovery Communications & Scripps Networks Interactive.

Discovery is valued at about $15 billion & Scripps at $8.8 billion, based on data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.


In the USA, AT&T's $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner faces an uncertain future.

President Trump had said during his campaign last year that he was opposed to the deal. Further, Trump has been at logger heads with CNN, calling it 'Fake News'. CNN & HBO are owned by Time Warner.

While AT&T and Time Warner don't directly compete, unlike past megamergers such as Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal in 2013, AT&T has a nationwide footprint with its wireless and DirecTV DTH service, and could use that reach to demand higher fees from media companies and other cable & DTH firms. n