February 2018

International News



The 86- y e a r - o l d executive chairman of 2 1 s t Century Fox Inc. - Rupert M u r d o c h suffered a p a i n f u l back injury w h i l e sailing and plans to recuperate at home for a few weeks, according to an email he sent to colleagues.


Star India's FTA channel Star Utsav was pulled out of the UK market on 4 January 2018 due to low viewership.

Star Utsav launched in the UK on 4 July 2016 replacing Bengali GEC Star Jalsha.

Star Utsav airs the re-run of popular shows. Star Utsav will not be replaced by another service. Instead, Star TV UK will focus on its core three channels Star Plus, Star Gold, and Star Bharat.


The German broadcast technology institute IRT will examine to what extend the new mobile network standard 5G is suitable for the large-scale transmission of TV channels.

The 5G broadcast mode FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service), a further development of eMBMS, will be employed at the project 5G-Today for which a test field is currently set up in the Bavarian Oberland region.

The partners are technology companies Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz; associated partners are mobile network operator Telefónica Deutschland and Bavarian public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) which will operate the 5G-FeMBMS broadcast network at its transmitter sites.

With the introduction of 5G, a global market could emerge with millions of smartphones and tablets as potential TV reception devices using live TV, catch-up services, social networks and other media services through 5G networks.


The US Supreme Court has refused an appeal by Dish Network which objected to plans by Florida to implement a 'satellite tax' on users of DTH services from Dish and DirecTV.

The State law can now be implemented. Cable users already have to pay a 4.92% tax on their subscriptions. However, the satellite levy is twice as high, at 9.07%. Additionally, some municipalities in the state also have their own local taxes.

Dish Network argued that having different state tax rates on satellite and cable were a form of protectionism that violates the 'dormant' Commerce Clause, which bars states from discriminating against interstate commerce.

Florida's Court in 2015 ruled in favour of the satellite sector and raised the possibility that the state would have refund satellite companies for cash already collected. But the Florida Supreme Court in April 2017 overturned that decision, ruling that they did not find the law was "enacted with a discriminatory purpose."


The German media authorities, industry associations, cable operators and TV broadcasters have started an initiative 'Digitales Kabel' to push the transition to sole digital TV distribution on German cable networks.

Unitymedia was the first German cable operator to have completed analogue switch-off in July 2017. Vodafone initially conducted a pilot project in the Bavarian region Landshut and Dingolfing on January 9, 2018 with a second one to follow in Nuremberg and surrounding towns on May 15, 2018 before commencing large-scale analogue switch-off across its whole footprint in summer 2018.

In federal states Bavaria and Saxony, analogue switch-off on cable is mandated by the local media law for December 31, 2018 at the latest; there is no comparable regulation in the other 14 federal states. The project office expects the full digitisation of the TV line-up on German cable networks to be completed in early 2019.


UK'S competition regulator - CMA has ruled against 21st Century Fox's bid to take control of 61% of Sky it does not already own. The CMA feels the Murdoch family trust, which controls Fox and News Corp, the publisher of the Sun and the Times, would have "too much control over news providers in the UK across all media platforms and therefore too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda".

CMA has ruled the Sky take-over is not in the public interest.

As a result, Rupert Murdoch's £11.7bn bid to take full control of Sky could be blocked.

The CMA has set out 3 options for the deal that should be considered in a new consultation: that it is blocked, that Sky News is spun off or sold or that Sky News is insulated from the influence of the Murdoch family trust.

The CMA's investigation has continued despite Fox announcing the sale of most of its entertainment assets - including its 39% stake in Sky - to Disney last month. This $66bn (£47.3bn) deal is unlikely to be completed until well after Fox takes full control of Sky, which is why the CMA has pressed ahead with its investigation.


Digital TV Research estimates that the number of Pay- TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 74% between 2017 and 2023 to reach 40.89 million. However, Pay-TV revenues will increase only 41% to $6.64 billion by 2023, up by $2 billion on 2017. "Pay-TV competition in Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming more and more intense, especially given the launch of Kwese TV in 14 countries during 2017," explained Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research.

"Pay-TV operators in most countries have lowered subscription fees and/or subsidised/given away equipment as competition intensifies. By no means are all of the existing Pay-TV platforms are expected to survive in the long run. Having said that, several Pay- TV operators are booming."


Sky Sports has signed a new multi-year deal to broadcast the Indian Premier League (IPL). The global media rights of the IPL are held by 21st Century Fox-owned Star India. Fox also owns 39% stake in BSkyB and has signed a deal to acquire the remaining 61% stake for $15.6 billion.

Under the deal, Sky Sports will broadcast 60 live IPL matches each year in the UK and Ireland starting with the 2018 tournament, which begins on 7 April.

It also includes digital rights. This means Hotstar will not stream the IPL in the UK. n