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May 2018

International News



The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said the Trump Administration's proposed 25% tariff on TVs from China, such as the TCL and Hisense brands, would cost consumers $711 million in the next year alone.

TVs are just one of more than a thousand products facing tariffs.

"Now that China has expressed some willingness to open its market and strengthen protection of intellectual property, the Trump administration should immediately initiate negotiations," said CTA CEO Gary Shapiro.

CTA said it agrees China's unfair trade practices need to be addressed, but not by punitive tariffs where those punished are consumers.


On 10 April, the E u r o p e a n Commission raided the offices of a number of companies involved in sports broadcasting rights, including a unit of Rupert Murdoch's Fox, as part of an investigation into a possible cartel.

The Commission confirmed its unannounced inspections in several member states at companies that distribute "media rights and related rights pertaining to various sports events and/or their broadcasting".

Sports broadcasting is a huge business in Europe, with networks spending billions of pounds to secure exclusive rights to show games in topflight leagues to attract viewers.


The number of digital Pay-TV subscribers in Eastern Europe will increase from 25.49 million in 2010 to 61.57 million in 2017 and onto 78.08 million by 2023, according to 'The Eastern Europe Pay TV Forecasts' from Digital TV Research. It projects that Pay-TV subs will increase 27% from 2017 to 2023.

"Eastern Europe is slowly ridding itself of the legacy of analogue cable TV," explains Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research. "20 million households still subscribed to analogue cable at end- 2017 - more than digital cable. Many of these homes receive very basic packages; often as part of their rent. Some of the remaining analogue cable subs do not want to convert to more expensive digital Pay-TV platforms and will therefore switch to DTT."

Russia will account for half of the region's Pay-TV subscribers in 2023. However, Russia will lose 1.5 million Pay-TV subscribers between 2017 and 2023. The number of Pay-TV subs will fall in 10 of the 22 countries covered in the report between 2017 and 2023.

Pay-TV revenues in Eastern Europe peaked at $6.53 billion in 2017 and will slowly fall to $6.33 billion by 2023. Analogue cable revenues will drop by $1 billion over this period, so digital Pay-TV revenues will increase by $769 million to $6.25 billion.


UK takeover panel has ruled that Disney must make a full takeover bid for Sky even if the Competition and Markets Authority rejects Murdoch's bid to buy 100% of Sky.

Disney has made a $66bn bid for 21st Century Fox, which owns a 39% stake in Sky. Meanwhile, it is awaiting the outcome of the UK competition regulator's verdict on whether to allow Murdoch to buy the remaining 61% of Sky he does not own.

Under rule 9.1 of the takeover code, companies are normally forced to make an offer if they buy a stake of 30% or more. Disney argued that owning Sky was not a major driver of its overall Fox deal, so that rule should not apply.

The takeover panel disagreed. "The panel executive considers that securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant purpose of Disney's acquiring control of Fox," it said. "Following the acquisition by Disney of Fox, Disney will be required to make a mandatory offer to the holders of ordinary shares in Sky, at the same price that Murdoch has offered."


DTH is the most popular TV reception method in Germany. Its reach rose by 130,000 households to 17.72 million in 2017.

Cable TV lost 180,000 households and decreased to 16.39 million.

With a growth of 300,000 to 2.64 million households, IPTV recorded the strongest increase.

At 1.83 million households, digital terrestrial television (DTT) remained at the previous year's level.

Hence, 45.9% of the 38.58 million German TV households opted for DTH, 42.5% for cable, 6.8% for IPTV and 4.7% for DTT, according to the Astra TV-Monitor 2017 annual market research report for Astra Deutschland.

The number of HD households in Germany rose from 22.54 million to 27.48 million (71%) in 2017.


53.6 million Pay TV subscribers in Asia owned 4K STBs, through more than 30 Pay TV platforms, by December 2017.

According to the Dataxis report, South Korean IPTV operators, Korea Telecom, LGU Plus, SK Broadband and Tbroad were the first to launch 4K STBs on the market in Q3 2014. They were then joined by other operators in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia.

More than 15% of South Korean Pay TV subscribers had 4K STBs.


All 5 channels of Pakistan's largest broadcaster - Geo TV, were pulled out of Cable TV networks, c o u n t r y w i d e , allegedly on instruction by the Pakistan army. The move came prior to the impending Supreme Court verdict in the Nawaz Sharif corruption case.

Geo has been critical of the Pakistan army.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has asked cable operators across Pakistan to restore all Geo TV channels, after a massive outcry by national and international journalist bodies.


Sky TV chief executive John Fellet is stepping down after 27 years with the P a y - T V company.

The Pay-TV provider has changed its pricing model in the hope of stemming the numbers of customers leaving.

"In order for the Board to commence a strategic succession process, I have indicated my desire to retire within the next 12 months", Mr Fellet said in a statement.

Mr Fellet said he was proud to have grown the company from a staff of 125 and three channels, to one with over 1000 employees.

He will remain in position until his successor is found. n