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June 2019

International News



Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset is close to buying national DTT channels 45 and 55, currently used by Sony Pictures Television for its Pop and Cine Sony channels.

If the deal culminates, Sony will no longer have any channel presence in Italy. It seems to be exiting after a 2- year effort that has failed to draw ratings.

Channel 45 (kids/children programming) will be acquired by Mediaset through a joint venture with Turner Broadcasting System, while channel 55 would be directly owned by the Italian broadcaster.

Recently, Mediaset has been expanding its presence on DTT. It bought channel 66 & its HD version on channel 566, from TBS.


Arianespace has started building the first batch of 14 new Ariane-6 rockets. The news was declared at the Satellite 2019 show in Washington. These rockets will be used for launches in 2021 to 2023. These new versions will fly alongside existing supplies of Ariane 5 rockets while stocks last. The maiden flight of Ariane 6 is slated for 2020.

Andre-Hubert Roussel, CEO of ArianeGroup, s a i d " S t a r t i n g work on the first Ariane 6 s e r i e s - production batch, less than four years after signing the development contract with ESA in August 2015, is a real success for the European space industry. Our customers are eagerly awaiting Ariane 6, and it will be delivered on time."


Technology & appliances are way ahead of the consumer's ability to use it.

Hub USA's study on entertainment technology, 'Entertainment in the Connected Home," reveals some startling facts.

  • 47% of US homes have a 4K TV set. However, only 55% of them have ever viewed 4K content on the TV sets!
  • 68% of US TV households have a Smart TV which can run OTT & app when connected to the internet. However, 14% of these have never been connected to the internet. 31% of those connected to the 'net use the Smart TV function occasionally or never.
  • 54% of Smart TV owners have bought un-necessary external devices like Roku or Amazon Fire.


7 DTT license holders in Thailand have decided to return their licenses for a 55% refund.

Bright TV, Voice TV, MCOT Family, Spring News, Spring 26 or NOW 26, Channel 3 Family & Channel 3 SD will cease transmissions in 45 to 60 days.

Once these channels shut, Thailand will have just 15 DTT channels.

To switch citizens to DTT, Thailand issued more than 2 million free vouchers

The problem according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), is that in the past few years, OTT platforms have snatched ad revenues from conventional TV platforms.


On the opening day of the Satellite 2019 show in Washington DC, Intelsat and SES, 2 key members of the C-Band Alliance, said they will order 8 new C-band satellites if the FCC gives its approval for the Alliance's scheme to reallocate 180 MHz of satellite spectrum over the US.

The new satellites would be launched within 36 months of the FCC approval.


Indonesia has contracted Thales Alenia Space to build its Satelit Republik Indonesia "Satria" satellite which will provide high speed broadband throughout the islands. The government says satellite is the most efficient way of providing highspeed connectivity to the nation.

The satellite will operate in both - Ku and Ka-bands, providing 150 Gb/s throughput and serve 93,000 schools, 47,900 village districts, 3900 police stations and army bases and 3700 clinics and hospitals.

It should be ready for launch in 2023.


Measat has ordered the Measat-3D to progressively replace 2 existing satellites at 91.5 degrees East. The order went to Airbus Defense & Space, for delivery and orbiting in 2021.

The 2 satellites it will replace are Measat-3 which is 13 years old and Meaat-3a which has been in orbit for 10 years. Both satellites could be released for use in other orbit positions although Measat-3 would likely be operated in inclined orbit.

Measat CTO Edmund Kong said the new satellite would be equipped with C and Ku-band payloads and serve HD, 4K and potentially 8K transmissions for Malaysia.


Croatian network operator OiV has started testing DVB-T2 HEVC broadcasts.

Croatia is preparing to switch free-to-air terrestrial broadcasting from DVB-T to the newer DVB-T2 standard. It will similtanously introduce H.265/ HEVC to enable HD transmissions.

The plan is to broadcast up to 4 TV channels in HD.


ZEEL has announced that from 1st June, its 3 channels: &TV, Zing and Living Foodz will be available only via its OTT platform ZEE5, in the UK.

Star also shifted its channels to OTT in the UK, several months ago.

The move helps broadcasters eliminate commissions paid to DTH, IPTV & Cable TV platforms.


The US regulator - FCC said it is unable to say definitively if the country's TV content ratings are accurate.

The regulator said the TV content ratings system has not been sufficiently accessible or transparent, but there is not enough evidence to conclude the ratings are inaccurate because the FCC did not have enough time - a 90 day congressional deadline.

The FCC did note that virtually all the commenters were dissatisfied with "some aspect of the TV Parental Guidelines, the oversight of the television ratings, and/or the content of television programming," while the industry asserts that the system is effective, with "meaningful oversight."


D i s h Network is buying EchoStar's Broadcast Satellite S e r v i c e ( B S S ) business in an all-stock transaction that values the business at about $800 million.

The transaction will include 9 satellites: EchoStar VII, EchoStar X, EchoStar XI, EchoStar XII, EchoStar XIV, EchoStar XVI, EchoStar XXIII, Nimiq 5 and QuetzSat-1.

Dish will also get certain key employees responsible for satellite operations, licenses and select real estate properties.

The transaction will be a taxfree exchange and the companies expect to close in the second half of 2019.

In 2017, when Dish acquired EchoStar's assets, these 9 satellites were excluded. The current transaction completes the transfer of the remaining assets of interest to Dish. n