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8 September 2022

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Five years ago this week…

Faultline was taken aback by the news that Ericsson had landed a deal at Japan’s J:COM to provide its MediaFirst TV Platform. This marked the first time that a traditional cable firm with millions of existing customers had made a switch out of traditional cable to MediaFirst. Ericsson’s adoption of RDK the year before had been crucial in pushing this through, although we had suspected that this was more to bring the efficiencies of RDK to IPTV, rather than invade cable.


RDK has surpassed 100 million device deployments worldwide, rising from 80 million this time last year. RDK Management also revealed that 100 new technology companies have joined the open source community in the last year, reaching 600 members in total.

While not technically a direct-to-consumer customer, Deltatre’s selection of Watch Together technology from Sceenic is a significant reminder that the co-viewing trend is far from dead. By integrating the Watch Together SDK into Deltatre’s OTT video player, Diva, it claims to be the first to support live events with an enhanced interactive timeline.

French TV duo Ateme and Viaccess-Orca have teamed up on simplifying VoD-to-live and personalized channel creation. The joint Personal Live Channels push is underpinned by usage data, viewing preferences, and subscriber consumption patterns, powered by Ateme’s NEA server-side ad insertion technology and VO’s AI-based content discovery and targeted TV system.

It comes as VO has landed two customer deals, a major one at Orange France for its Secure Video Player and QoE metrics dashboard system, and another at Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR), introducing a new card version of ViaccessOrca’s conditional access system for securing satellite TV distribution.

The Amino Operator Ready Android TV platform is now integrated with the Agama Client Device Monitoring Technology, allowing operators to access Android TV’s core capabilities together with device lifecycle management and real-time insights on service quality and viewer experience.

Quortex has its first win under Synamedia ownership, with Red Bee Media tapping its just-in-time packaging technology for disaster recovery. While a new win, Red Bee Media is not a new customer, having sourced Quortex services since 2018. The French firm’s technology is well-suited for unpredictable events, while being cost-effective as customers only pay for what they need.

Broadpeak‘s BkS350 Origin Packager software now runs on Google Cloud and a tier 1 North American operator has already gone live with the new modernized workflow.

Orange has rolled out set tops from its subsidiary SoftAtHome in the Ivory Coast, to be followed by additional African territories including Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mali. The hybrid OTT satellite device incorporates SoftAtHome’s ImpressioNG platform-as-a-service enabling customization.

German IPTV and OTT contractor start-up Green Streams has integrated MediaMelon’s SmartSight video analytics platform for multi-tenant service operators.

Streaming heavyweight Cinedigm – with a portfolio of SVoD, AVoD and FAST services – has tapped Zixi’s Software-Defined Video Platform as a service. Cinedigm’s proprietary Matchpoint Dispatch platform for content and rights management will be supported by Zixi-as-a-service, which originates a mezzanine master transport stream, with real-time telemetry data, bandwidth efficiency improvements and error correction management. Gracenote’s programming metadata powers Cinedigm’s discovery and scheduling across FAST channels.

It comes as Cinedigm’s Cineverse app nears its launch date of September 15, to house its streaming brands under a single umbrella.

Swiss set top specialist iWedia has an automotive partnership deal with RT-RK, porting its Teatro media player and multi-DRM integration with RT-RK’s skills in DRM, ABR, Android Auto, and large scale streaming deployments.

Zappware, which is in the process of acquiring and merging with iWedia, has inked a significant customer deal with Orange Moldova, for its Nexx 4.0 set top software for Android TV, giving access to 200 live TV channels and recordings.

Swedish UX developer Accedo looks more like a consultancy firm, as it combines its UX experience with analytics expert Jump Data-Driven Video to help sports rights holders respond to audience insights and maximize ROI. The two will advise sports bodies on identifying factors that drive sports fans to sign up for services. It isn’t clear exactly what Accedo contributes.

Accedo has won a customer deal just in time for IBC though, and a big one too with A+E Networks to support deployment of the brand new Crime+Investigation Play service – powered by the Accedo One SaaS technology.

Meta Platforms has signed a mammoth new deal with Qualcomm to deliver custom chipsets for its new line of Quest VR headsets. Meta – like Apple – has struggled to break away from reliance on Qualcomm, hitting various roadblocks in bids to build in-house silicon.


Comcast Technology Solutions is supplying its Cloud Video Platform unified back-end to WRC Promoter, part of Red Bull Media House and operator of multiple rally championship franchises across the world. The video management platform from the Comcast Cable subsidiary handles centralized ingest, transcoding, metadata management, recommendations, content protection, delivery, playout, and subscription management.

Unified Streaming has released a dedicated technology for OTT-only live linear channels, suitably called Unified Virtual Channel. Users can create FAST channels across genres based on VoD highlights ahead of the big match, before switching to the live stream, for example. It claims green credentials too, by airing optimized 4K UHD video and Dolby Vision files efficiently without real-time processing of resource-heavy codecs.

Telestream claims its completed integration of, following the acquisition in May 2022, makes it the “most complete and unparalleled cloud media processing service in the market.” AWS Elemental may have something to say about that, to name just one.


Amazon’s spend on seven-episode original series Citadel has reportedly ballooned to an eye-watering cost of over $200 million, making it the company’s second-most expensive series ever after The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. On a per-episode basis, Citadel is now costing more than HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off, House of Dragon, which cost around $20 million per episode.

Ethiopia’s first private telco Safaricom Ethiopia is set to launch a national mobile service, with network tests due to commence in eastern parts of the country for 2G, 3G and 4G services. The Government of Ethiopia received $850 million in license fees in 2021, after opening its nationalized telco Ethio Telecom up to foreign competitors, with Safaricom, Vodacom and Vodafone entering the market as a joint consortium – the Global Partnership for Ethiopia.

Leapfrogging the FCC’s attempts to update its own rickety broadband map, Microsoft has launched a new interactive tool to help identify underserved areas in the US. The map examines 20 different indicators of digital equity, including broadband access, usage, education and poverty rates, which is then aggregated into a score of digital inequity. In one example, Ferry County, Washington, Microsoft argues that only 94% of the households lack access to broadband speeds, compared to the FCC’s estimate of 0.4%.

It seems recommendations integrations are all the rage. Parroting a recent partnership from ThinkAnalytics and 3SS, Xroadmedia has just partnered with Nagra to integrate its cloud-based discovery offering Ncanto into the latter’s OpenTV Video Platform. Already a number of Nagra customers are using Ncanto to power personalized recommendations on their video platforms.

Kudelski’s Nagra has also landed a contract for its forensic watermarking technology at CineSend, which specializes in highly-sensitive media applications like premium D2C offerings and virtual events.

The FCC has ruled that it will not tap the pockets of Big Tech to fund its operations, despite the case that many broadcasters argue – that they are subsidizing the regulation of Big Tech via their license fee payments. The regulator has issued a fee schedule of $382 million to collect from spectrum licensees for FY22, saying that it sees no sufficient argument for changing the current fee schedule system to include users of unlicensed spectrum, device manufacturers and digital platforms, fearing it may harm their “development and innovation of technologies.”

BT Sport will deploy Red Bee Media’s automatic real time captioning tools to make its live content more accessible. This news was announced just days after BT and Warner Bros Discovery completed the merger of BT Sport and Eurosport in a 50-50 joint venture.


Cox is launching a mobile service pilot in three markets, which it is limiting to its fixed-line customers. With free calls and texts, the two plans are essentially a pay as you go option for data, and an unlimited version. Cox claims 4 million ‘on the go’ WiFi hotspots will augment coverage. There is no mention of the MNO partner.

Eurofiber Group has signed an agreement with Nokia, covering Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, which will see Nokia supply fiber optic networking equipment and services. The agreement has a national footprint in Belgium, with regional and city targets in the other countries.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has taken a turn for the worse, with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) now demanding concessions be made in the $68.7 billion deal. The pair have less than a week to offer up suggestions.

Roku has launched its Roku TV platform in Germany, with Metz blue and TCL as the first TV manufacturers to license the OS. This is the second launch country, following the UK, in the European expansion.

The FCC has released its next tranche of RDOF funding, with Starry getting $268.9 million to serve 108,000 locations in nine states via its satellite-based 24 GHz FWA technology. Nextlink also won $429.1 million, to cover 200,000 locations in 11 states, using a blend of fiber and conventional FWA.

Intelsat has now shut down its Galaxy 15 satellite, after it began misbehaving last week. The payloads, mostly weather monitoring services for North America with some communications functions too, risk interfering with other networks if left active. Also in bad news for satellites, OneWeb has written off $229 million from Russian launch contracts.

T-Mobile has won around 90% of the 2.5 GHz licenses, in the FCC’s recent Auction 108. T-Mobile spent around $304 million, to secure 7,156 of the 7,872 lots, which mostly cover rural locations in the US. The auction generated less interest than most expected, and somehow, Verizon managed to mistakenly purchase $1.5 million worth of licenses, in an attempt to drive the price up for T-Mobile, according to New Street.

Snapchat is feeling the pinch, and is laying off 20% of its workforce, including its hardware development projects. Also axed is the gaming investments, following poor year-on-year growth at the firm. Some 200 million users had used the games features, as of May 2021, and recent reports suggested 30 million monthly active users.