OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Following on from rumors earlier this month which claimed a merger agreement could be reached as soon as the end of June or early July, CBS is reportedly close to making an offer for Viacom, according to the WSJ. It claims directors met last week in what could potentially be third time lucky.


Sky Deutschland has extended its deal with SES subsidiary MX1 to cover OTT video as well as the German broadcaster’s main broadcast signals – handling encoding and distribution for OTT delivery, as well as content management, playout and uplink services for broadcast. Sky Deutschland will now send all video transmission material and other essential data from its main channels to the MX1 Broadcast Centre, which can rapidly restore OTT and broadcast signals in the event of a catastrophic system meltdown of Sky Deutschland’s main media center.

Live video distribution over IP vendor Zixi has been selected by encoding and video player provider Gigcasters to enable live video delivery over unmanaged IP networks, specifically at bitrates lower than standard fiber transport in Gigcasters’ Hydra Live Encoder and Decoder product.

Mongolian telco SkyMedia has completed the development of its new Sky Go OTT video service powered by Anevia’s origin-packager, encoder and CDN technology. The service will go live this month with Anevia which has been supplying SkyMedia since 2014.

Harmonic’s Spectrum X media server is powering the delivery of provincial UHD broadcasts for Chinese broadcaster Guandong Radio and Television (GRT), the US encoding company’s second Chinese win in as many weeks. The deal also allows GRT to expand its HD channel offering and reduces the complexity of broadcast workflows by merging multiple capabilities onto a single appliance.

Also, late last week Harmonic’s EyeQ content-aware encoding product was deployed by Hong Kong broadcaster TVB for its myTV Super OTT video platform. EyeQ encoding optimizes bandwidth for OTT services, reducing TVB’s CDN costs and improving viewers’ QoE on every screen by significantly decreasing the amount of stream buffering and startup delays.

Altice says it has successfully completed Portugal’s first TV transmission over 5G in partnership with public broadcaster RTP at the Altice Arena. The demo used pre-commercial 5G equipment covering the customer terminal to service platforms, delivering speeds of 1.7 Gbps.

The BBC has a current audience of 394 million viewers globally, an increase of 47 million year on year, according to Global Audience Measure data. For BBC News, which now operates in nine languages, the US has become the British broadcaster’s third largest audience with 38 million, rising by 5 million, while India has soared by 20 million year on year to record 50 million viewers.

Netflix has 5.3 million subscribers in Australia, approximately one quarter of the population, while over 50% of adults in the country pay for at least one SVoD service, according to AMPD Research.

Amazon-owned games streaming platform Twitch has acquired long-forgotten social media network Bebo for a reported $25 million, according to TechCrunch. Twitch reportedly beat away bids from Facebook and Discord and will integrate Bebo’s IP into Twitch along with around 10 employees.

Malaysian pay TV operator Astro will distribute content from Chinese OTT outfit iQiyi on its own OTT video platform and satellite TV service. Additionally, Astro will launch the world’s first iQiyi-branded channel exclusively offering Chinese hit shows to 5.7 million Malaysian homes through its pay TV and NJOI platforms.

Huawei’s chief of video for Europe wants more interactive content for the Chinese firm’s own OTT video and 5G drives. Speaking at the Spanish scripted market this week, Fernando Garcia Calvo urged the creative community to come up with ideas akin to the recent Black Mirror: Bandersnatch episode where viewers choose different plot pathways for the show’s protagonist to take, content which can ultimately be elevated by 5G. Huawei Video offers live and on-demand content in SVoD and AVoD forms and expanded from China to Spain and Italy as last September.

Verizon is building a fiber-based video distribution network for the NBA, connecting all 29 arenas via two diversely routed 100G fiber circuits – enabling 1080p resolution broadcasts and support for some 30 new cameras.

The global HFC market will experience CAGR of nearly 9% between 2019 and 2023, despite the threat of wireless and full fiber networks, according to research from Technavio.

US broadcasting company Tegna has completed its acquisition of Justice Network and Quest from Cooper Media for $77 million in cash for 85% of the two multicast networks – which claim to reach 87 million TV homes between them.

Argentinian telecoms technology supplier Sersat has developed a new C-band platform for video delivery reaching 33.3 million TV homes across Latin America, hosted on the SES-14 satellite. Sersat says an additional 29.3 million households are served by other DTH platforms.

Radio outfit SiriusXM has borrowed $1.5 billion from lenders in the form of Senior Notes, double its initial aim, due for repayment in 2024.