OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Apple has cut its fourth quarter 2018 revenue projection to approximately $84 billion, down 5% year on year, blaming the US-China trade war and a slowdown in the Chinese economy. In a surprise letter to investors, Tim Cook warned of changing consumer behaviors in that less people are upgrading to newer iPhone models and holding onto smartphones for longer. This is really not a great shock, considering iPhone sales have been flat for some 18 months – sugarcoating this fact in its financials by hiking the price of each new iPhone model.


Roku has added subscription options to content from Showtime, Epix and Starz on The Roku Channel, its free ad-supported streaming tier, and subscriptions will be integrated into a single bill via Roku. The idea is to shift subscription services inside The Roku Channel to keep viewers watching advertising, rather than moving outside to access subscription services via the main Roku UI, so we can expect Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more to appear there soon too.

Indian MNO Reliance Jio devastated its rivals during October, adding 10.5 million subscribers at the expense of Vodafone Idea, losing 7.36 million, Bharti Airtel, down 1.66 million, and Tata Teleservices, shedding 925,000. According to local regulator Trai, growth in the Indian mobile market slowed to 0.72 million, ending the month with 1.17 billion mobile lines but estimating 1.02 billion active mobile subscribers. Meanwhile, broadband subscribers totaled 496.1 billion at the end of October, rising from 481.7 million in September, again with Reliance Jio leading the pack with 252.25 million on wireless broadband, adding 10 million in a month.


Samsung’s Exynos Auto V9 processer has been tapped by Audi to power the German automaker’s new in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system, set to roll out sometime in 2021. The Exynos Auto V9 is designed for IVI systems with multiple displays, for both entertainment and safety purposes. The V9 packs Arm’s latest Cortex-A76 CPU cores, the Arm Mali G76 GPU, premium HiFi 4 audio digital signal processor, intelligent neural processing unit, and safety island core.

Verizon remains locked in a carriage dispute with US broadcasting firm Tegna as channels went dark on Verizon FiOS TV, just days ahead of the NFL playoffs. Tegna issued a statement reminding the public its channels are available on every other service provider and many OTT platforms, while Verizon claims Tegna is demanding nearly double the current monthly rates.

Tegna has also now completed the acquisition of CBS affiliate WTOL in Toledo and NBC affiliate KWES in Midland-Odessa, from Gray Television for $105 million. Tegna now owns or operates 49 TV stations in 41 markets.

South East Asian streaming service iflix has exited the African market through the sale of its remaining stake in Kwesé iflix to Econet Global, Kwesé’s parent company, as the African pay TV operator plans to swap satellite from streaming.

Post-cable networks company Cheddar, which operates two live video news networks, has selected media consultancy MightyHive to extend the reach and impact of select client campaigns programmatically. Cheddar will also use Google Analytics 360 for performance tracking across web, mobile and connected TV, where its networks can be accessed on Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Snapchat, fuboTV, Philo, Amazon, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and 60% of smart TVs in the US.

Following its exit from the IP video business in September, Nokia has completed the transaction of the unit, now called Velocix, to Volaris Group, an investment group from Canada. Nokia will retain a small stake in Velocix, similarly to Ericsson with MediaKind, and will also become a Global Channel Partner so Nokia can sell and support Velocix technologies to existing clients of its CDN business.

Scripps has closed the purchase of three ABC affiliate TV stations in Florida for $55 million from Raycom Media, now owned by Gray Television.

Another retrans dispute already in 2019 has seen 33 TV stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting go dark in 24 of Charter’s Spectrum cable markets, leaving 6 million viewers without local news, sports, entertainment and weather coverage. In familiar sounding statements, Charter claims Tribune is demanding excessive fees, while Tribune claims Charter has failed to negotiate reasonably.

The FCC is set to suspend all operations today following the government shutdown, giving employees four hours to shut down operations. A public notice will be issued on its website, detailing the effects on regulatory and application fee payments, deadlines, database systems and more.

Japanese mobile publisher Gumi has bought a stake in blockchain game developer Double Jump.Tokyo for an undisclosed fee, following its $30 million funding round in May 2018.

SK Telecom wants to buy a 30% shareholding in local OTT video service Pooq, which currently offers programming to subscribers through its subsidiary SK Broadband, which offers the streaming service Oksusu.

French video and WiFi technology vendor SoftAtHome will demonstrate new digital home products at CES 2019, showcasing its Secure’ON software to protect LAN and IoT devices, alongside its Things’ON product supporting voice functionality to control connected devices through the gateway.

Maltese operator Melita has launched a Plume-powered offering called Stellar WiFi, equipped with Plume SuperPods which slot into electrical wall outlets. Subscribers to the €49.99 a month Melita GigaPower 1,000 Mbps offering get two SuperPods for free plus a Plume membership, which includes Adaptive WiFi, HomePass, advanced parental control, and the Plume app for in-home management.

Arris has introduced the SURFboard mAX Pro Mesh WiFi System, claiming to be the world’s first tri-band router to feature four WiFi 6 antennas on each of its three bands. Key features include a quad-core 64-bit Arm processor at 1.8 GHz plus a 1.5 GHz Arm processor for each radio, advanced AP and band steering, Alexa compatibility, and 2Gbps WAN link aggregation. The SURFboard mAX will be showcased at CES and will be made available in the first half of 2019.