OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

A Gfast market update from the Broadband Forum has highlighted the growing popularity among operators, reporting that there are now 42 certified-interoperable Gfast solutions for the 106 MHz profile. The report highlighted the UK’s BT Openreach, which is deploying FTTP to 3 million UK premises and has pledged to pass around 10 million homes with Gfast by 2021 – enabling 330 Mbps services over its current FTTC network. Other operators using Gfast cited in the Market Update include Orange, SandyNet, Frontier, Post Luxembourg, Swisscom, Skywire Networks, and Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

Danish operator Stofa says it has established one of the world’s largest Remote-PHY networks in the world in record time, completing the network transformation using Arris R-PHY nodes. The new architecture is backwards compatible and delivers both video and broadband services from a unified platform. The technology enables Stofa to virtualize and decentralize headend functions and elements of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) physical layer – enabling the more efficient use of network media as well as service speeds of 1Gbps and beyond.

SPI International has inked a new agreement with existing customer Skylink, a DTH platform serving the Czech Republic and Slovakia markets. SPI is releasing all its VoD titles under FilmBox OnDemand on the Skylink Live TV app free of charge to subscribers.

Belgian cable operator Voo is being sold off by Nethys, which is owned by public holding company Enodia. Nethys is being divided into two divisions, one including all its activities with a public interest, and the other including its commercial activities. Telenet and Orange Belgium said last year they are both interested in buying Voo.

Spanish public broadcaster RTVE has selected streaming technology supplier Streamroot for peer-to-peer video delivery, powering live and VoD content for RTVE’s online video platform. Streamroot’s distributed network architecture is being deployed throughout RTVE’s digital offerings and the broadcaster hopes this will push new fields like UHD, VR and interactive content.

SiriusXM filed its first set of results since acquiring Pandora for $3.5 billion in October, reporting record revenue of $1.5 billion for Q4, up 7%, making it $5.8 billion total year revenue, up 6%. It now boasts 34 million subscribers, gaining 346,000 in Q4 and 1.3 million in total last year. Net income soared 81% to $1.2 billion for the year.

Facebook also came out with fourth quarter results, with revenue rising 30% to $16.9 billion, with profit up 61% to $6.9 billion. Active users continued to climb despite recent backlash, with average daily users increasing by 9% year on year to 1.5 billion, a quarterly increase of 28 million, while monthly active users also increased by 9% to 2.3 billion year on year, up by 49 million from Q3. Mark Zuckerberg reckons the company’s Watch video platform will become “more mainstream” this year.

Charter Communications lost 36,000 video subscribers in Q4, dropping to 16.1 million, although video revenue managed to climb 3.4% to $4.36 billion, on total revenue up 5.9% to $11.23 billion. The operator gained 289,000 internet subscribers in the period, to total 23.6 million.

Freemium US VoD service Tubi says it saw record growth in 2018, driven by viewers watching 4.3 times more content than in 2017. Revenue ballooned 180% last year and in Q4 2018 alone it claims to have made more revenue than in the whole of 2017 combined. Tubi offers 12,000 movies and TV shows from most major Hollywood studios.

Security specialist Nagra has had its contract extended with Taiwanese cable outfit kbro, to cover the operator’s new hybrid cable-OTT 4K Ultra HD service – which will soon include a new Android TV offering.

China’s ZTE has rolled out a second gen Android TV AI set top, called the B866V2, supporting Dolby Vision and an “ultra-strong” five-core GPU. It accommodates features including precision recommendations, smart advertising, and near-field voice search, powered by ZTE’s big data platform.