February 2019

International News



T h e Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has tabled a draft bill seeking to provide all major sporting events, free-to-view.

The proposed Draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations 2018 seeks to ensure that high-interest events such as "The Olympics and the World Cups for cricket, rugby and soccer" are accessible to all South African citizens. The regulator states this move will "advance the human dignity" of viewers.

The bill remains open for public consultation until 4 February. After all feedback has been received, both ICASA and the government will work together to decide how viable the implementation would be.


Pakistan's Supreme Court has justified PEMRA's ban on rebroadcasting of Indian TV content, because it "Damaged Pakistan's culture."

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar made the remark while hearing the appeal by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) the country's regulator, against the Lahore High Court's decision voiding the ban.

PEMRA had imposed a blanket ban on all Indian content in October 2016. In July 2017, the Lahore high court had lifted the ban, terming it null and void. The Supreme Court has now restored the ban.


ANGA COM - Europe's premier annual, Cable TV and broadband exhibition will be held in Cologne, Germany from 4 to 6 June 2019. More than 350 Exhibitors have already confirmed participation.

ANGA COM 2019 will address Fiber, Smart City, 5G, Internet of Things, Smart Home, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Streaming, Cloud TV and Personalized TV.

The "Small Enterprise Park" at ANGA COM 2019 offers a new special area for small and young companies. The offer is aimed at companies that do not need the infrastructure and size of a regular exhibition stand, but still want a fixed meeting and presentation point. The price for a fully equipped presence is Euros 1,950 + VAT.

The visitor registration for conference and exhibition as well as for the evening event ANGA COM Night in the Rheinterrassen on 4 June 2019 is available online. If booked in advance online, the admission ticket to the exhibition costs Euros 22, for 3 days. It is priced at Euros 35 at the ticket office on-site. Conference passes start at Euros 100.

Satellite & cable TV magazine is a media partner for the event.


Sky (now owned by Comcast) h a s bought a minority stake in video software provider Synamedia.

Both Sky and its parent company Comcast are long-time Synamedia customers, through NDS and Cisco, as well as strategic development partners.

Sky has a history of buying stakes in its technology partners, such as NOW TV box manufacturers Roku, and the 2007 purchase of Amstrad.

Synamedia customer base of over 200 companies includes AT&T, Astro, beIN, Bharti Airtel, Charter, China DTH, Cox, Disney, Foxtel, Get, Liberty Global, Oi, OSN, Rogers, Shaw, Tata Sky, Verizon, Viasat and Vodafone.


The Spanish Government will give out an initial compensation of Euro 50 million in grants in the 2019, to help 8 million DTT homes retune their antennae.

Since the first DTT migration in 2015 the govt. has granted Euro 289 Million.

The second DTT migration will begin in February 2019 & DTT antennae must be retuned before current 694-790 MHz DTT transmissions are switched off in March 2020 & auctioned for 5G.

Around 8 million homes are set to be affected.


Telekom Serbia bought 2 cable companies - Radijus Vektor for Euro 108 million & AVcom for Euro 12.5 million. Radijus Vektor has 120,000 customers and is the 2nd largest Cable TV company. AVcom is the third largest with 18,000 users.

In effect, the acquisition price per user of Radijus Vektor is Euro 900, & Euro 700 for AVcom users.

Telekom Serbia had bought Kopernikus in November 2018 for Euro 195 million, i.e. slightly below Euro 1000 per user.

Telekom has announced it will buy another 5 smaller cable operators by the end of the first quarter of 2019. This will bring Telekom considerably closer to its target of 1 million users. The recent acquisitions have brought the number of users up to 750,000.


T h e S i n g a p o r e government is introducing a s t r i c t e r c o p y r i g h t regime, to deter retailers from selling Illicit Streaming Devices - ISDs, that enable access to pirated TV channels & VoD content.

Louis Boswell , CEO of the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) commented: " AVIA welcomes the government's proposals to update Singapore's Copyright Act. The application and ISD ecosystem is seriously impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content and generates huge revenue for criminal syndicates and retailers who profit from selling access to stolen intellectual property."

In November 2018 the High Court ordered ISPs to block access to illegal applications sold pre-loaded on android STBs, providing streaming pirated content.

15% of Singapore's consumers use an STB to stream pirated content. 28% of these cancelled their subscriptions to a Singaporean-based online video service as a direct consequence of owning an ISD.


In 1993 Sumner Redstone's Viacom bought Paramount Studio for $9.75 billion. It was then the entertainment industry's ultimate prize.

25 years later, Paramount is fighting for its very existence.

Viacom made a series of bad decision, including sale of its lucrative TV business to CBS in 2005, not buying Marvel Entertainment & describing Steven Spielberg as 'completely immaterial'. The studio accumulated $900 million in losses from 2016 to 2018. It has been the last at the domestic box office for 7 years running. $700 million in upgrades, announced in 2011, have yet to happen.

Few movies are shot in Los Angeles anymore. Of the 100 topgrossing films in 2017, only 10 were shot in California. It's cheaper to make movies in New Mexico and Georgia, which offer fat subsidies. n