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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

The ink has barely dried on CommScope’s Q2 results filing which triggered the departure of former Arris CEO Bruce McClelland, and the vendor has wasted no time in starting afresh – bringing in Joe Chow as SVP of the CPE segment. CommScope has poached Chow from Quantenna, where he was instrumental in landing the WiFi chipset maker’s Comcast XB6 contract, and prior to this was involved in managing Cisco’s CPE business.

Swiss telco Sunrise has slammed its largest shareholder Freenet for a conflict of interests relating to Sunrise’s proposed acquisition of UPC Switzerland, which Freenet strongly opposes. Sunrise said Freenet is being “guided by its own short-term financial constraints and self-serving objectives” by blocking any move for Liberty Global’s Swiss assets.

 

Cloud TV platform provider Kaltura has been tapped to power a new TV offering from Kazakh mobile operator Beeline. By switching out an unnamed legacy system, Beeline can now offer premium live channels and large VoD catalog on its set tops and connected TVs through a single UX. It comes kitted out with an advanced search and recommendation engine.

UK browser developer Ekioh and Taiwanese chipset maker VIA Technologies are partnering to accelerate the performance and ease of deployment of Ekioh browser systems on VIA embedded platforms. Tools and technologies will be exchanged, with a focus on Ekioh’s WebKit-based embedded browser range and the VIA SOM-6X80 chipset, to ultimately bring faster design cycles with fewer resources to VIA customers.

Chinese biometrics technology developer Goodix is acquiring the Voice and Audio Solutions (AVS) assets from NXP Semiconductors. The deal includes NXP’s smart amplifiers, voice software, and audio hardware – expanding Goodix’s existing biometric sensor capabilities into the voice segment for smartphones and IoT applications.

Viacom International Media Networks has formed an in-vehicle entertainment (IVE) venture with Japanese firm Access in Germany, bringing the US firm’s TV brands to passengers through the Access Twine4Car platform. Access will offer a simulcast of the linear TV networks offered FTA in Germany by Viacom – mirroring content including adverts.

Sky’s press office had a busy week. First off, the company plans to launch a new Ultrafast broadband package bringing average download speeds of 145 Mbps on the £39 a month offer and 285 Mbps on the £49 a month package, to 2 million households – 12x faster than its current standard speeds. Rival Virgin Media has a broadband package topping out at 575 Mbps, available only bundled with cable TV and other extras as part of the V.VIP bundle costing £89 a month for 12 months, then £139 thereafter. Sky also added two new channel brands this week called Sky Crime, arriving in October, and Sky Comedy, which won’t launch until February 2020. Both will be available to pay TV subs at no extra charge and on Now TV.

We suspected there was a little more to the carriage deal struck between Disney and Charter last week and it transpires the two may be targeting an anti-password sharing initiative. “Piracy mitigation” was the vague term used, while Fast Company identified a document published by Charter two years ago which listed Disney as a partner in encouraging programmers to limit concurrent streams – thereby making pay TV subs sign in more often.

Cabonitel, the parent company of Portuguese service providers Nowo and Oni, has been acquired by fourth-placed Spanish operator Nowo. Cabonitel was in turn owned by US private equity firm KKR.

Free streaming service Xumo has added apps for Comcast Xfinity set tops as well as streaming devices and smart TVs powered by Android TV – bringing Xumo’s US device reach to 30.

Independent advertising platform Amobee has launched a data marketplace for connected TV ads to bring cross-screen campaign data to brands and agencies. Amobee is integrated with some 60 marketplaces and data sources – including Oracle Data Cloud, the LiveRamp Data Store, IRI, Inscape, Lotame, Eyeota and Tru Optik.

Media storage outfit Object Matrix has launched version 4.1 of its hybrid cloud system MatrixStore, featuring enhanced hardware and operating systems plus new updates. Object Matrix handles the managing of legacy storage platforms for media companies, allowing them to focus efforts on more pressing or lucrative matters.

Fixed broadband revenue in Latin America will reach $28.7 billion by 2024, rising from $23.8 billion this year, according to analytics firm GlobalData. Investment in fiber optic services will spearhead this growth, with FTTH accounting for 31% of total broadband lines by 2024.

German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has selected MAM technology from French media software firm Dalet, to revamp its media operation. The deal includes workflow orchestration and an editorial platform.

South East Asian streaming service Viu is collaborating with Canadian publishing app developer Wattpad, part of PCCW, to develop original content based on stories posted on the Wattpad platform. Wattpad boasts 500 million story uploads.

Discovery’s Spanish-language platform VIX has bought US ad-supported VoD service Pongalo for an undisclosed fee in the “low eight figure” range. Pongalo’s portfolio contains 14,000 hours of content from Latin America and has recorded over 1 billion streamed minutes this year.

Viacom-owned OTT video platform Pluto TV has launched the NFL Channel on its ad-based service, with curated content decidedly different from the NFL Network available on pay TV.

Australian network analytics vendor Qligent has updated its Vision Analytics software especially for IBC 2019, addressing velocity, volume, variety and veracity through developments in data mining and predictive data analytics.

Deutsche Telekom has launched MagentaGaming in beta mode, a new cloud gaming service similar to Google’s Stadia, with over 100 games available to stream on Android devices and web browsers initially, with iOS and Xbox support coming soon. A full rollout is expected sometime next year.

AT&T TV began onboarding subscribers this week in 10 markets. The $59.99 a month streaming service includes 500 hours of DVR storage and an Android TV receiver.

The Department of Commerce this week granted Huawei a 90-day extension allowing the Chinese firm to continue doing business in the US, allowing more time for telcos to find alternative suppliers so as to avoid disruption.

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