August 2019

International News



AsiaSat - owned by China's CITIC and private equity fund Carlyle Group, has been listed for years on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company will soon be delisted and convert to a privately-held company.

74.43% of Asiasat is owned by Bowenvale Ltd, which is in turn owned 50:50 by CITIC and Carlyle.

AsiaSat says low share liquidity, the cost of its annual listing on the Hong Kong exchange as well as public half-yearly disclosures as being behind the move.

AsiaSat is offering a 31.46% premium (of HG$10.22 per share) to minority shareholders. It will cost the company about US$ 134.8m.


SES has signed 2 agreements with the Association of E t h i o p i a n Broadcasters (AEB), and the Ethiopian Broadcasting Cooperation (EBC) that will see most of the popular Ethiopian TV channels migrate to SES hosted platform on the NSS-12 satellite at 57 degrees East.

Ethiopia c u r r e n t l y has more than 4m TV households that access television service via satellite.

The 14 members of the 2 associations control more than 50% of the viewership of Ethiopia and will be able to foster healthy advertising markets that will strengthen the development of Ethiopia's free-to-air (FTA) market.

Given that 16m homes in Ethiopia do not have TV service today, there is tremendous scope for growth.

Public & regional channels from public service broadcaster EBC will also shift to NSS-12.

Ethiopian content from NSS-12 will be broadcast mainly in High Definition (HD), introducing a new viewing experience for Ethiopian audiences.


Ofcom has launched an investigation in May against Chinese state broadcaster CGTN.

Peter Humphrey, a British citizen filed a complaint last year accusing CGTN and its parent company of broadcasting a confession that he had made under duress.

Earlier, UK-based Angela Gui had also accused the CGTN of airing a forced confession made by her father Gui Minhai.

If the Chinese broadcaster is held guilty, it could cost it its UK license.

CGTN has decided to establish its new E u r o p e a n headquarters at Chiswick Park in West London and hired Nick Pollard, a former board member of the UK regulator Ofcom, to argue its case.

Pollard, was previously also in charge of Sky News for a decade.

Ofcom has said that the hiring of a former board member by CGTN should not affect the two investigations.


Network g e a r m a k e r C i s c o Systems Inc has declared its intention to buy optical component maker Acacia Communications Inc for USD 2.84 billion in cash.

Globally, 5G mobile networks will need higher-capacity optical interfaces to handle the surge of data when 5G is deployed.

According to Cisco's Visual Networking Index, global internet traffic is projected to more than triple to 13.2 exabytes per day in 2022 from 4.1 exabytes per day in 2017.

Acacia will add metro, longhaul, and undersea optical products to Cisco's optical portfolio of short-range data centre connections.


Amazon has asked the FCC for permission to launch its fleet of 3,236 internet satellites as a part of its Project Kuiper.

These will use Ka-band frequencies like the Iridium satellites.

The spacecraft will occupy 98 orbital planes at altitudes between 366 and 391 miles.

Amazon says the satellites will connect tens of millions of people around the world.

Amazon plans to deploy antiinterference technology and the company is also aware of the issue with space debris. Amazon claims that failed satellites would deorbit themselves even if they were not in contact with Earth.

Amazon has not mentioned a timeline for orbiting the satellites.

SpaceX has commenced launching 3 times as many broadband satellites.


Inside Secure acquired Verimatrix for US$ 125 million in December 2018.

Inside Secure has now officially changed its corporate name to Verimatrix and is trading on the Euronext Paris exchange under the ticker symbol "VMX".

According to a company statement, "To reflect the companies' synergies and integration, the new identity combines the Verimatrix name with the Inside Secure logo,"


There have been major changes at Disney.

Disney's long time head of global sales and distribution Janice Marinelli has left, after 34 years with the company.

Disney has promoted Justin Connolly (a 20-year veteran in Disney's ESPN division) to the new role of President, merging all media sales & TV Channel Distribution under him. Based in New York, he will report to Kevin Mayer, Chairman of D i s n e y ' s D i r e c t - t o - Consumer and International ( D T C I ) segment.

Connolly will head global app distribution deals, streaming services including Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and Movies Anywhere. Connolly also will be responsible for deals involving the distribution of film and TV programming via home entertainment, broadcasting platforms, digital platforms, subscription VOD & Pay-TV networks.

Connolly will have final approval on all content sales agreements for Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox Film, Fox Animation, Disneynature, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment, National Geographic, FX Productions, 20th Century Fox Television, WABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.


Finland's DNA is selling its DTT pay business to rival Digita. All consumers will be transferred to Digita on January 1, 2020. However, Digita's pay-TV services will be sold through the DNA sales network.

Digita has 6 network licenses for UHF frequencies on the national DTT TV network until 10 January 2027. About half of Finns watch TV via Digita's DTT network.

Separately, the European Commission announced Tuesday that it has approved the transfer of more than half the shares in DNA to the Norwegian Telenor. n