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3 June 2021

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Five years ago this week…

The Multimedia Over Coax Alliance proposed a new lease of life for the MoCA protocol and its loyal chip makers, declaring that MoCA 2.0 would be created to deliver last mile broadband. The first targets looked likely to be multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and hotels with coax, while Europe and China looked like hospitable markets for the technology once it had trialled in the US. MoCA entering the race for full broadband access to the home was a question of basic operator economics, as the chips could be brought down to the price of DOCSIS chips, and used where coaxial cable was already widely installed, as well as wherever DOCSIS was already installed in low numbers.

Discovering that the company to emerge from the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia will not be called WarnerDisco is one of the greatest marketing scandals in the history of media and entertainment. Instead, Warner Bros. Discovery has been preferred – marking perpetuated frustration for writers the world over at the thought of having to include a period (full stop) in every iteration.

Broadpeak will be turning on its mobile credentials at the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2021, taking place at the usual Barcelona haunt from June 08 to July 01 in physical form. The French CDN vendor is planning to welcome itself back to the tradeshow floor with mobile-first CDN demos for mobile network operators looking to maximize video streaming business cases for 5G.

In a huge boost for the US streaming service’s Latin American launch, HBO Max has bagged live streaming rights for Champions League soccer in Brazil and Mexico. HBO Max will replace ESPN and Fox Sports Latin America, both Disney properties, as the main Champions League platform in Mexico, while HBO Max will share matches with TNT Sports (also owned by WarnerMedia) and FTA broadcaster SBT.

Dutch operator Delta Fiber Netherlands has brought in 10Gbps XGS-PON and in-home WiFi 6 mesh technologies from Nokia in a bid to reach its goal of 1 million broadband subscribers by the end of 2021.

Predictably, sports streaming platform DAZN has hiked prices in Italy following its multi- billion-euro haul of Serie A soccer matches. The price is increasing from a nominal monthly fee of €9.99 ($12.16) to a steep €29.99 ($36.50) to cover costs.

The top 50 global pay TV operators will lose a combined 20 million subscribers from 2021 to 2026, while 307 pay TV operators (61% of the total operator count) will gain subscribers over this period, according to Digital TV Research.

Swedish video UX developer Codemill has acquired media asset management vendor Cantemo for an undisclosed fee, coinciding with the announcement that the 70-person Codemill will be making its IPO on Nasdaq in mid-June.

Disney will close 100 international TV channels by the end of 2021, following recent network closures in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Comcast-owned ad-supported streaming service Xumo has arrived on Apple TV, finally.

Brightcove has successfully slashed content management in half and increased video watch time by 300% for Asian sports media group ONE Championship. Brightcove has been the video platform provider for the ONE Super App since November 2020. It comes in the same week as a new Nielsen reporting naming ONE Championship in the top 10 global sports properties in the world, and the fastest growing of any major global sports group with its digital followers surging by 113%.

Eurovision Sport, part of the European Broadcasting Union, is working with Streann Media to develop a new set of content offerings purpose built for the multi-platform era. The Florida-based OTT streaming platform provider says content providers can create the next Netflix or Spotify using the Streann suite of services.

 

Israeli ad tech vendor Tremor International (behind the Tremor Video and Unruly companies) has filed for an IPO on Nasdaq, with the hope of raising $100 million. This follows the company’s share price rising 500% over the past year to a market cap of $1.5 billion. Lats year saw annual revenues of $212 million, down 34.9% year on year.

Digital advertising video curator VidCrunch has just secured $2.5 million in growth capital from Silicon Valley Bank to fuel its expansion into Europe and Asia Pacific. VidCrunch’s Smart Video Producer platform curates and publishes video adverts across websites, apps and connected TVs, allowing publishers to monetize otherwise fruitless segments of their inventory.

French SVoD BrutX has expanded to the neighboring Francophone markets of Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The streaming platform targets the 18 to 34 year old market, and is available across mobile, website and CTV apps for $6 a month.

Sky Deustchland has surrendered to DAZN’s recent domination of sports rights deals, agreeing to host the OTT service via two linear channels for customers that sign up to DAZN through its service. DAZN has rights to the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League in Germany, and its app has been on Sky Q since late 2018.

Google has failed to assure the advertising community that it will be playing by the same privacy-complaint rules that it is enforcing upon its clients. Speaking at the company’s annual Marketing Live event, Google Ads’ VP and GM, Jerry Dischler, assured that the proposed Privacy Sandbox APIs, which offer cookieless reporting on performance KPIs, would be used for the company’s own ads, but industry voices seemed unconvinced that Google has a motive to maintain a level playing field.

 

Ambarella, Lumentum, and ON Semiconductor have partnered up to create two new reference silicon reference designs. The first is a 4K camera that can perform advanced video processing, and the second is aimed more directly at smart door locks. Both aim to bring edge-processing forwards significantly.

 

AT&T has completed an OpenRoaming WiFi trial in Austin, Texas. Building on the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s recent work, AT&T says it is the first major operator to complete a trial in such a dense city network. This lays more groundwork for the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) to make big strides this year, having recently adopted OpenRoaming.

Qorvo has announced new WiFi 6 front end modules (FEMs), which it claims enable PCB size reductions of 30%, for more compact routers and extenders. Qorvo claims they provide 30% more capacity and range too, and support tri-band mesh WiFi.

Viasat is ratcheting up its war of words with the FCC, regarding SpaceX’s constellation, but it doesn’t seem to be getting much traction. “We believe the FCC failed to conduct a legally required environmental review under NEPA, and did not honor the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to a science-based approach to protecting the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate, space and the well-being of US citizens.”