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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Charter has sowed the seed for carrying Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu on its Spectrum pay TV platform after expanding a multi-year deal for Spectrum to offer a bunch of additional Disney channels. The two companies are “contemplating” a streaming tie-up which could see Disney’s streaming assets reach 15.8 million subscribers.

Broadband usage patterns can identify potential cord cutters, according to a study which found steadily increasing patterns of broadband consumption in the months running up to the moment subscribers switched to broadband-only packages. Network analytics firm OpenVault published its Q2 2019 Broadband Industry report highlighting how broadband usage of eventual cord cutters showed 14% higher usage than non-cord cutters six months before the transition, rising to 20% in the month immediately prior and onto 30% in the month that the cord was cut. In the following three months, the difference rose to nearly 70%.

Xandr, AT&T’s ad technology unit, has expanded Comscore’s contract to handle addressable advertising measurement for DirecTV, Altice USA and Frontier.

 

Sky has unveiled a new app combining features of its existing Sky Go and Sky Q applications. It comes kitted with a rebuffed UI, a browse page where content is aggregated by genre and theme, plus personalized Sky Cinema recommendations, a recordings page where Sky Q customers can control recordings, as well as enhanced accessibility and better navigation features including voiceover which provides an audio description on everything a user clicks on (optional of course).

Media delivery technology vendor Telestream has released the new version of Wirecast Gear, its live video streaming production hardware. Being demoed at IBC for the first time, Wirecast Gear’s purpose-built workstation allows anyone to broadcast professional live productions in a matter of minutes.

IP network technology vendor Zixi is powering video delivery for the WTA Thoreau Open to the Tennis Channel this month. Zixi says its cloud-based and on-prem software platform enables media firms to deliver and manage live, broadcast-quality HD and UHD video over IP – promising low latency delivery under 500ms and robust content analytics.

Roku has rolled out five additional channels on its free platform, including fubo Sports Network – the first channel from US sports streaming service fuboTV to be distributed outside of its own platform.

Swedish telco Tele2 lost 7,000 video subscribers in Q2 as its total TV base declined to 1.04 million, of which 663,000 are on cable and 378,000 on DTT. Tele2 now owns the Com Hem cable network and Boxer DTT TV service, citing growth in Com Hem’s base thanks to lower churn as a result of small price hikes compared to the previous year period, while blaming DTT losses in areas where fiber is readily available.

Italy was plagued by 578 million cases of piracy in 2018, hitting the country’s economy to the tune of €455 million, according to research by Italian soccer league Serie A and anti-counterfeit firm Pointer Brand Protection.

A decision to impose a 10% tariff on electrical goods imported from China to the US, including smartphones and laptops, has been stalled until the middle of December. The United States Trade Representative is removing certain products from the tariff list, meaning good news for a number of US companies including Apple, although a 25% tariff on 5G antennas is still being enforced.

Free sports streaming network Stadium has won rights to show 31 NCAA college football games over the next season, in partnership with Facebook.

Smart home WiFi devices are project to triple to 17 billion units by 2030 from 5 billion today, according to research from Strategy Analytics. WiFi 6 will account for approximately one third of smart home devices by this time.

Maltese operator Go Malta has rolled out updated CDN and Origin server technology from long-term network technology supplier Edgeware for its new multiscreen service – enabling top notch distribution technologies alongside ad insertion and subtitling capabilities. Go Malta has around 100,000 subscribers and first deployed IPTV technology from Edgeware in 2010.

Top US pay TV operators accumulated subscriber losses of 1.53 million in Q2 2019, a colossal increase from the total TV subscriber decline of 420,000 in the previous year period, according to LRG research, accounting for 93% of the market. The top 7 cablecos have 46.5 million subs combined, while satellite TV has 27.5 million, and vMVPD services are on 3.8 million.

German operator Tele Columbus, operating under the PŸUR brand, has rolled out 1 Gbps broadband services on its Berlin cable network, upgraded using DOCSIS 3.1 technology. A cut-price initial offering of €5 a month is being offered for the first six months, rising sharply to €88 a month thereafter.

US ISP CenturyLink has switched on over 100 initial edge compute locations around the country for managed services, including a 5ms transport time from existing locations to the edge which it highlights as ideal for low latency use cases including VR, AR and machine learning-based services.

Regional US cable TV operator Cable One lost just over 30,000 video subs in Q2, declining its total video base disconcertingly below 300,000 subscribers to 293,237 to be precise.

Media group Scripps enjoyed a successful second quarter with revenue growth of $54 million year on year to $337 million. Local US media core ad revenue increased just 1%, while the US national media unit climbed 44%. Scripps acquired 15 TV stations in Q2 from Cordillera Communications.

Swedish pay TV outfit C More, part of Bonnier Broadcasting, has landed rights to major soccer rights for La Liga, Serie A and MLS, stealing the rights away from IMG and denting IMG’s hopes of building a streaming service around sports rights.

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