Your browser is not supported. Please update it.

20 September 2018

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Nielsen has upgraded its July decision to do a strategic view of its Buy Segment to one which puts all options on the table – including a sales of all or any part of the business. It has asked JP Morgan and Guggenheim Securities to offer a view, which means doing some valuations work on how much they might get for all or part of the business. It says that Total Audience and the Connected System are all steam ahead, while data on what people buy is doing less well, as are emerging markets data and GDPR regulation is creating problems for the business. Rival Kantar Media, owned by WPP, night provide an answer – it has a buy side itself, and a merger might make it a full monopoly in many countries – not something we’d enjoy, but we’re sure it will get some consideration. If not who else would buy it? Nielsen’s run rate is around $6.4 billion in annualized revenues, but this is barely moving.

Broadcom has lost its legal battle at the US ITC to block the import of devices built around chips from Sigma Designs with the ITC deciding that they simply don’t infringe on Broadcom patents. The devices they were in included Vizio TV sets. This was the upholding of an earlier judge ruling. Broadcom has already bullied LG, Funai and MediaTek to pay settlements prior to this.

Last week Faultline Online Reporter commented on the demise of CBS executive Leslie Moonves, falling on his sword in return for a pay-out from CBS, reliant on an internal investigation finding him “not guilty” of any sexual assault charges. We had one or two unhappy readers give us a call and we agree entirely that there is no place in any business, and certainly not in Hollywood for anyone abusing power in order to obtain sex with people dependent upon them for work. If we did not appear to take sufficient care over the wording of this item we apologize, and our entire point related to the very convenient manner in which this journalist investigation emerged on the dawn of a key vote on the board of CBS. We in no way intended that point to minimize or understate the seriousness of such an accusation. We attempted to point out that Shari Redstone, a woman, was possibly doing much the same thing, cynically taking advantage of the #MeToo movement for personal gain. If in the process we failed to treat the subject of sexual assault as sensitively as perhaps we should, then we apologize.

IBC 2018 closed its doors this week on what we regarded as an especially top year for the event. Official figures have since been published, showing 55,884 visitors, down slightly by about 1,800 from the 2017 event, but most importantly this year was a breakthrough for diversity – with women speakers increasing from 14% to 37%.

Liberty Global will roll out the fourth generation of its Horizon 4 entertainment platform across the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium in the coming months. The launch includes a new 4K Ultra HD set top with voice remote, plus an update to the Horizon Go mobile app with improved functionality with the set top. It’s worth noting the “new” set top is the same Arris-made V6 device which rolled out in the UK with Virgin Media earlier this year, running TiVo software.

As well as movie tickets, Comcast subscribers can now buy concert tickets via the X1 platform’s voice remote functionality. Searching for an artist’s tour will send users to a promo screen showing nearby concert dates but the purchase cannot be completed on X1. Instead, a code is sent to a smartphone to finish the process.

RDK Management, the team behind the Comcast-Charter backed open source project, has launched a new app program designed to ease the development and launch of apps across RDK-based set tops. It describes a two-pronged program to give service providers flexibility to use a more versatile RDK App Framework for building and managing app-based set top ecosystems, or instead they can choose an RDK pre-integrated app store such as the one from Dutch firm Metrological Media.

Polish satellite TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat has selected the MxL541C four-channel satellite receiver from RF circuit developer MaxLinear, for its new Evobox HD set tops. It says the MxL541C makes use of the device’s very low power consumption and its Unicable support for easy installation, as well as providing Full-Spectrum Capture functionality which claims to reduce channel tuning down to less than half a second, compared to between 3 to 4 seconds on most existing HD satellite set tops.

DRM product provider Intertrust has added forensic watermarking technology from ContentArmor as an option for customers of its ExpressPlay DRM technology – which is now a required extension to DRM by some studios for 4K UHD and early window content. Forensic watermarking allows copyright holders to identify the source of unauthorized distribution.

Viacom CEO and President Bob Bakish has declared his company isn’t attempting to build a Netflix rival. “We see the SVoD space as becoming crowded and quite capital-intensive. At the same time, we see a great opportunity to grow through this ad D2C business and through the studio production business, where people all around the world are looking for content in the episodic space; in the film space; in the shorter space,” he said, speaking at the Royal Television Society Conference in London.

Multinational media and internet group Naspers will list its MultiChoice entertainment subsidiary on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) as Multichoice Group in the first half of 2019 – covering MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa and the Irdeto content security business. Naspers will retain an interest in the print arm Media24 and its primary listing on the JSE. Naspers claims the unbundling will deliver value to the South African economy, while saying it will continue to invest specifically in its various ecommerce businesses.

European club soccer competition franchise UEFA has confirmed an OTT video service is in development to stream content outside of its Champions League and Europa League tournaments, in what is good news for grassroots and women’s games. “We do not want to compete with TV channels, but to take advantage of the wide range of content we have, such as summaries, delayed games and backstage pictures,” UEFA’s Marketing Director Guy-Laurent Epstein told Spanish newspaper Palco23.

Luxembourg-based cable operator Eltrona has deployed a suite of Arris R-PHY Distributed Access Architecture products, including the E6000 CCAP, E6000 Core, R-PHY shelf, and TG3442 Wireless Telephony Gateways to complete the DOCSIS 3.1 network between its CMTS and end user premises. Eltrona can achieve greater network capacity and speeds through the virtualization and decentralization of its network’s headend functions.

Chinese conglomerate Alibaba plans to take its streaming technology arm ApsaraVideo outside of China for the first time, planning to support on-demand efforts in Europe from October. ApsaraVideo boasts technologies covering hosting and delivery networks, transcoding, a web-based management console, APIs, SDKs, and AI-powered metadata.