Register here for a free copy of SATELLITE & CABLE TV Magazine, SMS & email Update

January 2018

International News



ZEEL subsidiary Asia TV h a s received a l i c e n c e from UK m e d i a regulator Ofcom to launch its foodtainment channel Living Foodz in the UK. The licence was earlier in the name of &pictures.

When launched, Living Foodz will be the first Indian cookery channel in the UK.


On Dec 18, 2017 John Skipper, 61, resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks. ESPN announced that George Bodenheimer, who was ESPN's president from 1998 to 2011 and served as executive chairman until May 2014, will take over as acting chairman for the next 90 days.

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger will be assisted by Bodenheimer in finding Skipper's replacement. Skipper issued a statement saying "I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem. I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign."


Three channels operated by Viacom, have had a breakthrough in Russia. Russian regulator Roskomnadzor, has awarded terrestrial licences to Nickelodeon, Paramount C o m e d y and VHI Europe, for the city of Slavyansk na Kunbani in the Krasnodar region.

This enables all 3 channels to carry advertisements. By a 2015 law, all international channels in Russia are forbidden from carrying advertisements.

To date, only 2 other foreign companies - Discovery and MTG's Viasat - have obtained the right to carry advertising. However, in both these cases they have had to enter into a partnership with Russia's National Media Group (NMG) in which the latter holds a majority (80%) stake.


DISH Network Chairman Charlie Ergen has relinquished his post as Chief Executive Officer to devote more attention to t h e company's emerging wireless business. The company has promoted Erik Carlson to President and CEO from his prior role as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Carlson will continue to report to Ergen.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has started streaming its 14 FTA TV stations, live, online, for free and launched a paid over-the-top TV subscription service for $4.99 per month. The premium service includes ondemand episodes without advertisements and CBC News Network, which was previously available as a standalone for $6.95 per month.

"Many Canadians are getting more and more of their content from digital OTT services like Netflix. We need to ensure our audiences can get CBC in the same way," executive vice president of English services Heather Conway wrote.


21st Century Fox had shunned Comcast's bid.

"When a set of assets like 21st Century Fox's becomes available, it's our responsibility to evaluate if there's a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders," Comcast said in a statement. "That's what we tried to do, and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer."

Clearly Murdoch only wanted a deal with Disney.


U K ' s competition w a t c h d o g has delayed by a month its provisional decision on 21st Century Fox's £11.7bn proposed deal to take full control of Sky in order to allow sufficient time to consider the 12,0000 submissions it has received.

The verdict is now expected in mid-January 2018.

CMA will consider not only the Murdoch's media power in the UK, but their track record as broadcasters and publishers and their commitment to high editorial standards in both the UK and the US.


To offer advanced advertising, the USA's 3 largest MSOs - Comcast , Charter Communications & Altice have entered into an agreement to form a new interconnect platform for the New York market.

The new platform will serve as a one-stop advertising solution to more than 6.2 million households across the New York Designated Market Area. Several marketers, agencies and advertisers will strategically reach audiences across TV and digital platforms. They will be able to display their advertisements on up to 85 most popular TV network channels.

Advertisement on both legacy and mobile video platform is gradually shifting from simple selling of banner ads to automated or programmatic ad selling. Cable TV operators are also gradually adopting the data-driven advertising technique which is already popular in the web-based advertisement arena.


Russian state broadcaster RT has launched a Frenchlanguage channel today, 7 months after being labelled a spreader of "deceitful propaganda" by President Emmanuel Macron.

But with the channel having been accused of meddling in the US election along with state news agency Sputnik and spreading rumours about Macron during this year's presidential election, French regulators are on their guard.

The head of France's CSA broadcasting authority, Olivier Schrameck, has warned that body will be watching RT's every step and will intervene quickly in the event of any "anomalies".

In Britain, RT has already received 14 warnings from regulator Ofcom about reporting deemed untruthful or biased, particularly on Syria - where Russia has propped up President Bashar al-Assad - and Ukraine.

Russia Today was set up in the mid-2000s to counter what President Putin saw as the dominance of American and British international media organisations & their pro-Western bias.


Discovery Communications is increasing its ownership on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network to 70%.

Since OWN started in 2011, Discovery and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Inc. each had a 50-50 stake in the channel. The new Discovery stake - for which Discovery paid $70 million - factors in the net debt at OWN.

Oprah Winfrey will continue in her role as CEO of the network and will extend her exclusivity to the network through 2025. n