December 2018

International News



A recent study by the Asia Video Industry Association's (AVIA) Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), revealed that 45% of Thai consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content. These TV boxes, also known as Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs), allow users to access hundreds of pirated television channels and videoon- demand content, usually with a low annual fee. TV boxes often come preloaded with pirated applications allowing 'plug-and-play' access. The survey found that Mango TV, HD Playbox and U Play are among the most popular pirate applications amongst Thai consumers.

Of the 45% of consumers who purchased a TV box or dongle for free streaming, 69% said they cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay TV services.

The TV boxes are bought by consumers from ecommerce stores, or via popular social media platforms.


The Singapore High Court has ordered its ISPs to block access to popular illegal applications that are frequently sold pre-loaded on Android TV boxes. The apps, which infringe copyright by acting as gateways to websites streaming pirated content, are preloaded on TV boxes which are overtly sold in retail outlets such as Sim Lim Square, IT exhibitions and on popular e-markets.

"The content industry will make every effort to prevent and disrupt the illegal feeds of live sports, TV channels and VOD content which are monetised by crime syndicates. Consumers who buy ISDs are not only funding crime groups, but also wasting their money when the channels stop working. ISDs do not come with a 'service guarantee,' no matter what the seller may claim," said Neil Gane, General Manager of AVIA's Coalition Against Piracy (CAP).


TiVo has lost another patent infringement notice against Comcast.

The US Patent & Trademark Office said a TiVo patent for a way to watch a show while viewing schedule information for other programmes should not have been issued. It was the last of more than 40 reviews Comcast sought with the agency to challenge TiVo patents.

The matter will now be challenged in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington - USA's patent court.

"We are pleased with the patent office's latest ruling, which invalidates all 12 Rovi patents under review," Comcast said in a statement.


F o x Networks Group Asia h a s announced that Andy Baek has b e e n appointed to a new dual role as Head and V i c e President of National Geographic Channels, effective immediately.

He continues his current position as Fox Network Group Asia head, VP Hollywood movie channels, looking after regional channel brands such as Fox Movies, Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies, and Star Movies.

As National Geographic channels head, VP he will be responsible for overseeing the channel team operations, including programming, production, acquisition, and strategy. He will continue to be based in Hong Kong, reporting directly to Fox Networks Group Asia executive VP, content, communications Keertan Adyanthaya.


After more than a decade of rapid increases, the average DTH / Cable TV bill rose less than 1% from 2017 to 2018. US subscribers now pay an average of $107 a month.

This is probably due to the high number of 'cord cutters' who are dropping pay TV altogether, and socalled cord shavers, who are reducing their costs by cutting the number of channels they receive.

Still, 78% of US households subscribed to pay TV, down from 87% a decade ago, according to the latest annual survey from Leichtman Research Group.

1.2 million customers dropped pay TV service in Q3 2018, the highest ever, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's Kagan research group. And forecaster eMarketer recently predicted that 20 million more people will cut the cord to pay TV by 2021.

Pay TV remains popular with the older generation. 70% of adults ages 18-44 & 84% of those 45 and older currently subscribe to Pay TV. The younger generation prefer to stream from video services like Amazon & Netflix.


In what will be a first for SES, the company will simultaneously launch a DTH platform in three countries in cooperation with telecom company Telekom Srbija by the end of the year.

The new platform will offer viewers in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro over 150 TV channels, including numerous ones in HD.


SpaceX's application to add thousands of satellites to its proposed Starlink communications constellation has been approved by the FCC, though it will be some time before the company actually puts those birds in the air.

SpaceX officially applied to put these 7,518 satellites into orbit; alongside the already approved 4,409; back in March of 2017.

These satellites would orbit at the extremely low (for satellites) altitude of around 340 kms; even lower than the 550-kilometer orbit it plans to put 1,584 satellites in from the first group.


M a r t i n Stewart, Chief Executive at Middle East pay TV firm OSN in Dubai, has been a p p o i n t e d CEO at Sky TV, New Zealand. He will take the helm in February 2019.

In the past, Stewart also worked for British Sky TV.

He joins when the New Zealand company has seen its subscribers poached by video streaming services such as Netflix and a direct assault on its dominance of live sports broadcasting from telecommunications company Spark.

Mr Stewart has also led a Spanish telecommunications company, Ono, which was later bought by Vodafone, and was chief financial officer for UK Football Association, as well as being on the organising committee for the London Olympics.

He replaces John Fellet who was chief executive for the past 17 years.


Eros Now is now available to Freesat subscribers in the UK for £5.99 per month.

F r e e s a t claims a reach of 2 m i l l i o n households, over 128 million registered users & 13 million paying subscribers as on September, 30th 2018.

It was established by the BBC and ITV in 2007 as a FTA platform.