EU: CATV DOES WELL
The cable industry in the European Union grew from €21.2 billion in 2014 to €22.4 billion in 2015, despite a reduction in the number of subscribers, from €55.7 million in 2014 to €55.1 million in 2015, according to IHS Markit's "2016 European Broadband Cable Yearbook."
TV accounted for almost 50% of total cable revenue in 2015, the balance from broadband & telephony which rose from 47% in 2010 to 53% in 2015.
IHS Markit said that end 2015, 65% of EU cable homes were digital, and 54% had HDTV.
Germany & UK are the largest European cable markets generating €4.7 billion & €4 billion in revenues, respectively.
The European Broadband Cable Yearbook was produced by IHS Markit in association with trade body Cable Europe.
B'DESH: NO ADS ON FOREIGN TV?
Supreme Court lawyer Aklas Uddin Bhuiyan has served a legal notice to the government, asking it to stop, within 24 hours the broadcasting of advertisements on foreign television channels running in Bangladesh.
The notice said broadcasting advertisements on foreign TV channels in Bangladesh is prohibited under the Cable TV Network Operation Act 2006.
The highest punishment under the law is 2 years' imprisonment or Tk 1 lakh fine for violating the cable network rules. However, the law is not implemented & many companies air their advertisements on foreign TV channels.
NEW VIACOM PRESIDENT & CEO
Viacom's Board of Directors announced the appointment of Bob Bakish as President & Chief Executive Officer. Bob Bakish, who had been acting chief executive, was given the appointment, effective immediately.
Bakish also was named as a member of the Board.
The Board also used the announcement to confirm that it has discontinued the exploration of a merger between Viacom and CBS. "Over the past few months, after careful assessment and meetings with the leadership of both companies, we have concluded that this is not the right time to merge the companies," said a statement from tycoon Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone.
CBS EYES SONY PICTURES?
Rumours are that CBS boss L e s l i e Moonves is exploring the possibility of acquiring Sony Pictures.
The New York Post reports that Mooves was in Tokyo for talks.
A concern could be whether Moonves CBS wants both movie and TV assets, since Sony probably wants to retain the highly profitable TV content.
ITALY: TV MARKET GROWS
The TV market in Italy has shown signs of recovery in 2016 that calls to an end the period of deep structural crisis that affected the sector, according to a report by Rome-based ITMedia Consulting.
Total market turnover amounts to €404 million, growing at 5% over 2015.
Advertising grew 6% in 2016 & now accounts for 40% of overall revenues of the TV market.
The forecast for the year is that advertising will surpass pay- TV revenues. This will be achieved despite a 2% growth on subscription-based services when compared to 2015. Most of the growth will come from broadband TV, SVoD and TVoD services.
FCC CHAIRMAN WHEELER TO STEP DOWN
With the new US President to be sworn-in, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced his intention to leave the Federal Communications Commission on January 20, 2017 effectively coinciding with President-elect Trump taking office. Wheeler, an appointee of President Obama, has been the head of the FCC for more than 3 years.
In announcing his decision, Wheeler said that serving as Chairman during a period of historic technological change had been the greatest honour of his professional life. "I am deeply grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity," he stated.
BBC TO BE REGULATED
UK communications regulator - Ofcom has published several consultations in preparation for regulating the BBC.
This follows the publication earlier on December 15th of the final BBC Royal Charter, which details how the BBC will operate in the new Charter period from 2017 to 2027.
FREEVIEW: FULL HD ONLY
High definition TV will become the norm in the UK from January 1st 2017 as the Freeview logo is withdrawn from new SD TVs & STBs. Freeview confirmed that the change applies to new equipment only. Legacy SD equipment will still be able to access Freeview channels. No viewers will experience a loss of service.
From January 1st 2017, no new standard definition TV equipment will be permitted to use the Freeview logo on products, packaging or on-screen. Freeview is the UK's most widely used TV service, currently watched in 19 million homes.
The withdrawal of the Freeview logo from new SD products, announced in 2015, has already helped drive a 36% drop in sales of SD TVs while HD sales have surged to 80% of the 6 million TVs sold in the UK every year.
Freeview has boosted its HD channel line up significantly in 2016 with 15 channels now available to the majority of UK viewers.
TRUMP TO CANCEL NET NEUTRALITY?
Ajit Pai & Michael O'Rielly, the 2 Republicans FCC members have sent out a letter stating that they plan to revisit the new net neutrality rules, "As soon as possible."
A temporary exemption expired Dec. 15. But MediaPost reports that Pai and O'Rielly told the trade groups that small ISPs need not worry about the disclosure requirements.
A number of trade groups have lobbied for a permanent exemption for small ISPs "From a net neutrality rule requiring providers to transparently inform subscribers about broadband policies, including prices, speeds, surcharges, data caps and network management practices," according to press reports.
The FCC will have a Republican majority after Chairman Tom Wheeler steps down in January.
THAICOM C BAND IN AFRICA
Thaicom has signed a contract with iSAT Africa-a fast growing Broadcasting, Data and Internet service provider with teleports in Africa and Europe-to expand its C-band Multi Channel Per Carrier (MCPC) broadcast platform and service into Africa.
The service will facilitate distribution of TV channels on the THAICOM 6 satellite at 78.5° East.
Teleport operator iSAT Africa will provide ground and uplink services for the MCPC broadcast platform from its facility in Nairobi, East Africa. n