NETFLIX BIGGER THAN CATV
The USA's National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) president Michael Powell told the US Senate's Communication's Subcommittee that Cable TV is no longer the largest subscription video provider in the USA. Powell said "The largest subscription video provider in the country today is Netflix - not Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV or any other MVPD."
Of this, 65% of Netflix is viewed on TV sets, potentially displacing Cable & DTH in the long term.
These figures are for Netflix alone. Add in video downloads from Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, CinemaNow and other non-traditional suppliers, and cable is no longer the Goliath it was. The NCTA's warning to the Senate is that without cable's investment in new programming, there will be little programming to run later on OTT systems.
Hollywood studios seem to agree and said they were going to exclude Netflix from fresh contract output deals. Warner Bros, MGM and Universal stated they would not renew Netflix output deals. This will remove some 2000 movie titles from the Netflix portfolio.
BT SHIFTS TO SPORTS BROADCASTING
BT Group Plc, the company once known as British Telecom and the world's first national telephone company, is abandoning telecom. After 165 years, BT is entering sports broadcasting. BT will spend £1 billion ($1.6 billion) over the next 3 years on sports rights, to get its new venture, BT Sport, running. BT sports will compete with free programming from the BBC & BSkyB who spends more than £2 billion a year on matches, movies and shows. US sports channel ESPN, one of the most profitable networks ever, lost money on a TV venture in the UK and Ireland, prompting parent Walt Disney Co. to exit after less than 4 years. In February, BT bought ESPN UK & also acquired rights to 38 British Premier League soccer games, soccer matches in Italy, France and Brazil, rugby competitions, and tennis tournaments. BT already has an on sports will compete with free programming from the BBC & BSkyB who spends more than £2 billion a year on matches, movies and shows.
US sports channel ESPN, one of the most profitable networks ever, lost money on a TV venture in the UK and Ireland, prompting parent Walt Disney Co. to exit after less than 4 years. In February, BT bought ESPN UK & also acquired rights to 38 British Premier League soccer games, soccer matches in Italy, France and Brazil, rugby competitions, and tennis tournaments.
BT already has an ondemand TV and movie offering called BT Vision. And it's part of the YouView partnership, a consortium of telecommunications providers and broadcasters that have developed a set-top box with digital TV channels and video-ondemand.
BT and BSkyB are turning aggressive competitors. As BT expands into programming, BSkyB has been working to attract Internet customers.
115 M TV HOMES IN USA
According to Nielsen's 2014 Advance National TV Household Universe Estimate (UE), there are 115.6 million TV homes in the U.S., up by 1.2% from the 2012-2013 estimate.
Nielsen estimates that 294 million persons age two and older live in these TV homes, an increase of 1.6% from last year.
BANGLADESH BANS 2 TV CHANNELS
Bangladesh has halted broadcast of 2 TV channels for allegedly provoking violence and spreading hatred.
The ban was declared hours after unrest gripped the capital following a radical group's demand for a tougher blasphemy law.
The two channels -- Diganta Television and Islamic TV -- are known to be pro-Jamaate- Islami.
Authorities have accused the two channels of airing "provocative commentaries" in their live Dhaka siege programme of Hefazat-e-Islam group.
LIBERTY HIRES CEO FOR VIRGIN MEDIA
Even before receiving shareholder approval for its proposed £15bn acquisition of Virgin Media, Liberty Global has appointed long-standing News Corp executive Tom Mockridge as the CEO of Virgin Media. The shareholder's voting is scheduled in early June and the deal is expected to go through shortly afterwards.
Mockridge will report to Mike Fries, the president, chief executive, and vice-chairman of Liberty Global, as well as a newly formed operating committee of Liberty Global.
The operating committee comprises Fries, Diederik Karsten, the executive-vice president, European broadband operations, and Balan Nair, the executive vice-president and chief technology officer.
Mockridge will now lead Virgin Media against his earlier employer News Corp, which owns 39% in BSkyB. Mockridge was a non-executive director of Sky from February 2009 and deputy chairman between April 2012 and January 2013.
AETN LAUNCHES 'H2' IN SE ASIA
AETN All Asia Networks h a s announced that female targeted channel Lifetime and infotainment channel H2 will launch across Southeast Asia on 14 June. AAA Networks has secured broad carriage in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau on StarHub TV, True Visions, PCCW's now TV, and Macau Cable TV respectively.
DTH STB WITH TERRESTRIAL ANTENNA
Carriage fees to US broadcasters could top $6 billion annually by 2018, with DTH platforms like DirecTV paying an estimated $2 billion of the share.
Due to the high retransmission fees it has to pay to broadcasters, DirecTV will soon test a new set-top box that will also receive terrestrial TV transmissions (DTT). That will allow its DTH customers to receive local TV signals "for free" and DirecTV will not have to carry this content on its transponders.
No date was given when an integrated set-top box with antenna will be available.
CHINA RADIO'S TAMIL FM
China Radio International's Tamil service is all set to launch its FM station in India as part of its 50th anniversary this year.
CRI Tamil, which broadcasts on shortwave in Tamil Nadu, is in talks with some FM stations in Chennai.
"We have already been broadcasting on shortwave in Tamil Nadu. We are in talks with local FM stations in Tamil Nadu for distribution. This will establish our footing in the FM area there," says Cai Jun aka Vani, deputy director of the Tamil department of CRI.
The Tamil service of CRI was started in August 1963.
Besides Tamil, CRI broadcasts in three other Indian languages - Hindi, Bengali and Urdu.
EURO CELLCOS MUST FIX 4G INTERFERENCE
UK & Italian legislators have declared that their mobile operators should bear the cost of installing filters to help mitigate potential interference to terrestrial digital TV reception from 4G mobile phone services operating in the 800MHz band.
Those Celcos who's 4G frequencies are closer to the TV broadcast band will have to pay a larger portion of the costs, in Italy.
In India, the 700MHz band has not yet been auctioned for 4G services. As a result, 4G deployed at the allocated higher frequencies will not penetrate buildings and will require external antennae or a 'last mile service partner' which could be the local cable operator. n