September 2018

International News



The Kudelski Group and Neotion, a leading provider of secure solutions for the Pay-TV industry, have announced an agreement whereby SmarDTV's Conditional Access Module (CAM) and Set-Top Box businesses are transferred to SmarDTV Global, Neotion's new entity.

Upfront cash consideration for the transaction amounts to USD 20 million, with the potential for additional earn-out payments that are primarily based on CAM and set-top box sales volumes in the period up to the end of 2021.

Kudelski has retained certain a s s e t s , including in particular its buildings & all patents. André Kudelski , Chairman and CEO, said "This transfer of assets is part of the Kudelski Group's strategy to focus on core activities in which it has or will reach critical mass and profitability to fund on-going growth initiatives."

Lionel Boissier, CEO of Neotion, said: "Neotion is strongly committed to ensure the continuity and the further development of both CAM and set-top box businesses."


The Patent Trial & Appeal Board has upheld Comcast's claim & rejected TiVo's Patent No. 8,621,512, held by TiVo's Rovi division, ruling that the technology would be "obvious" to anyone engaged in the "art" of designing digital video recorders.

TiVo's claimed that a Comcast X1 feature that lets users watch a channel while recording a show on another network violates one of TiVo's patents.

Comcast has challenged almost 3 dozen TiVo's patents.

Late last year, the International Trade Commission ruled that Comcast's X1 platform does indeed violate 2 TiVo patents related to remote recording.

Comcast promptly removed the feature. Comcast was the biggest petitioner against patent claims in all of tech in 2017, and 44 of its 45 filed petitions were directed at TiVo's Rovi division. Rovi, meanwhile, was the biggest target for such petition, with 44 petitions targeting the company.


The famous TV ratings firm Nielsen Holdings may be up for sale. Reports are that activist investor Elliott Management has taken an 8% stake, valued at $640 million, in an effort to push Nielsen to put itself up for sale.

Multiple private-equity firms have shown interest in Nielsen.


The Justice Department is officially appealing Judge Richard Leon's decision in the Time Warner merger case, but AT&T is not worried.

In June, Leon gave approved AT&T's $85 billion merger with Time Warner.

In the DOJ's lengthy appeal document (PDF), the agency warns that the combination of AT&T and Time Warner will allow AT&T to jack up prices on its distributor rivals for Time Warner's content, while also protecting its own distribution businesses from arising competition.

"After a long trial, Judge Leon weighed the evidence and rendered a comprehensive 172-page decision that systematically exposed each of the many holes in the Government's case. There is nothing in DOJ's brief that should disturb that decision," AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said in a statement.


Star India is expanding its presence in Africa with the launch of a brand-new HD lifestyle channel Star Life. The channel will be available on DStv, GOtv, and Openview from 27 August.

Star Life has been created exclusively for African audiences, as a 24/7 English language channel showcasing Star India's Indian soaps & Bollywood movies, adapted in English for local audiences.

The channel will be available in HD for South African audiences only. All other will receive it in SD.


Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, that is selling most of its assets to Walt Disney, declared better than expected results.

The Fox-Disney merger will see Fox films & TV studio, Nat Geo, FX Networks, Star India, 39% of Sky and 30% of Hulu going to Disney. Disney will have to sell 22 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), as demanded by the U.S. Justice Department, which is concerned that the worried that the RSNs coupled with ESPN would create a sports monopoly.

Murdoch will retain the Fox broadcast network, FS1, FS2, Fox Business Network and the Fox News Channel, which, collectively, is known, for now, as New Fox.

21st Century Fox's films division posted operating income of $289 million in the quarter, reversing a loss of $22 million a year earlier on the success of Deadpool 2 and The Greatest Showman.

All 3 segments: cable TV programming, television and films increased their revenue, and 2 of the 3 improved their operating income, the exception being television, where costs associated with broadcasting the FIFA World Cup hurt the bottom line.

Fox said its 39% stake in Sky earned $79 million in the quarter, while its 30% stake in Hulu caused a $127 million loss.

Executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch predicted the Disney transaction will close in the first half of next year, and that the company is now focused on gaining regulatory approval worldwide, since the U.S. Justice Department already seems satisfied. n