November 2019

International News



AT&T has reportedly been approached by private equity firm Apollo exploring a deal to spin off its DTH company DirecTV and combine it with Dish Network.

According to Fox Business, Apollo has proposed creating a new company and having AT&T offload DirectTV to the new company. Then, Dish Network would sell itself to the new company. The entire deal would be financed by Apollo, and AT&T would maintain control of this new company as a majority owner.

AT & T COO John Stankey has said that DirecTV is a crucial piece of AT&T's v i d e o strategy, so it's not for sale. But the company reportedly has not entirely ruled out Apollo's proposal.

A key unknown regarding the merger of 2 of the USA's DTH platforms, is whether regulators will allow it.

DTH in the USA is rapidly falling & both companies today are bankruptcy risks on their own, or together. The only argument in favour of DTH is that it provides live TV channels to rural America, hence regulators may permit it.


Ethiopian broadcasters have created a virtual 'EthioSat' platform hosted on SES's NSS-12 satellite at 57 degrees East.

EthioSat will host more than 30 Ethiopian channels, of which 12 are in HD quality.

Amman Fissehazion, Chairman of the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), said, "Up until now, the majority of Ethiopia's content has been broadcast from an orbital location that also supplies content to Middle Eastern and North African countries, which explains the oftenconfusing mix of content. By migrating the most popular Ethiopian TV channels to a new location on SES's satellite, we've created an Ethiopianonly TV offering, that also delivers a variety of channels in HD, a first in Ethiopia. For Ethiopians looking to buy a new TV set and receive content from the dedicated TV neighbourhood, we recommend purchasing an HD TV whenever possible, as this will allow for a higher picture quality."


IPTV is the main platform for pay TV distribution in Spain with 4.6 million subscribers out of the total 6.8 million pay TV customers, according to the latest figures from the CNMC.

IPTV pay revenues were Euro 400 million in Q-1 this year, up 16.6% from Q-1 last year. DTH fell 14% & Cable TV plunged 37%.

However, free DTT attracted maximum viewing time. Spaniards spent an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes a day in front of the TV. Of this, DTT enjoyed a 75.8% share versus Cable and IPTV at 21.8% & DTH at 2.4%.

In FTA TV Mediaset and Atresmedia are the market leaders with a share of 27.9% & 27.7%. The 2 companies corner 85% of TV ad revenues.


The launch of 3 Russian Gonets-M communication satellites on Soyuz 2.1b carrier rocket from Plesetsk spaceport has been delayed to 2020. The satellites were to provide communication, data transmission, ecological, industrial and scientific monitoring.


German technical services provider Media Broadcast predicts that 5G TV broadcasts are still many years away.

"As a l e a d i n g s e r v i c e provider, we are taking a very close look at the potential of 5G for the broadcast industry, " Media Broadcast managing director Arnold Stender said at a media conference. "Broadcast is an exciting topic for the future, but due to technical and regulatory hurdles and a lack of business models, it will probably take many years before the technology can be considered for terrestrial broadcasting of linear TV," he added.

"On the other hand, we already see a market potential for 5G campus solutions for TV broadcasters and for distributing larger and also temporary events in the medium term. Media Broadcast demonstrated 5G-capable solutions for TV production. The company set up its own mobile communications test network to simulate a future 5G campus network for TV producers. Up to 4 different cameras, from a professional TV camera to a smartphone, and an outside broadcasting van were used. The TV signals were transmitted to the control room via a commercial 4G/5G base station.


Pay-TV in UK TV households will reduce 7.5% by 2023 & drop to 54%, according to analysts at Broadcast Intelligence.

As the SVoD market continues to grow, UK pay-TV penetration will fall to below that of 2011 numbers, according to Broadcast Intelligence's report "Pay-TV's future in an ondemand world." The report analyses the recent performance of Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV, TalkTalk TV, and Now TV.

Currently, pay-TV platforms make up for roughly 50% of the total revenues generated by the UK TV industry.

UK pay-TV providers are already diversifing their operations. Sky acquired O2 & launched lower- ARPU platform Now TV. BT acquired EE. As a result, despite losing pay-TV customers, Broadcast Intelligence expects pay-TV providers' revenues to grow between 2019 and 2023 to reach £ 27.8bn, albeit at a lower rate than in the past 7 years.


China Media Group, the new name for the cluster of 47 TV channels including 7 international services, beamed by the former China Central TV, is preparing to launch 8K services.

The announcement was made by Rong Chen, of the Chinese delegation at MIPCOM. Hed added that it had already launched its first 4K channel a year ago on Oct 1st 2018, which is available to a potential audience of 248 million. On its October 1st 2018 launch, it transmitted the China Open tennis tournament in 4K around the world.


Telenor Group & Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) announced a new joint venture company that combines Canal Digital and Viasat Consumer's DTH & broadband-TV operations.

Each will hold 50% of the new company that will stream TV and distribute DTH.

The JV will have around 1.25 million subscribers. n