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14 November 2019

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Liberty Global Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Manuel Kohnstamm has confessed that the contentious merger to form VodafoneZiggo in the Netherlands – a deal which should never have been allowed to meet regulatory muster – would never have completed a decade ago. Speaking at the Cable Congress event in Berlin this week, Kohnstamm described “two very strong companies that hold each other back” and said VodafoneZiggo had created an “accepted structure” for other markets.

Elsewhere, some at Cable Congress believe that consolidation is essential for investments in next-generation networks. HSBC’s director of global banking and markets, Christian Fangmann, said that operators consolidating in Europe is good for the market and – bizarrely – he also implored regulators to take a back seat to allow for market stimulation. A return invite would be non-existent if he had said otherwise.


Video perceptual quality specialist SSIMWave will unveil a new Player Test feature for its VoD Monitor Inspector at the Streaming Media West event next week. The Player Test tool will provide source-to-playout visibility into how individual video files appear to the viewer. Using its SSIMPlus score, which claims to be the only algorithm providing actionable insights into network conditions, the new feature will initially evaluate HLS content delivered to players developed on the video.js framework.

Synamedia has secured a deployment at Czech public broadcaster Ceska Televizie, deploying the virtualized Digital Content Manager to complete its full transition to DVB-T2. Local systems integrator Lica Czech assisted with on-premise virtualized head-end and related systems integration services.

Broadband drove cable revenues to a record €24 billion across the European Union last year, rising from €23.3 billion a year earlier, according to Informa Tech, of which Liberty Global and Vodafone together hold more than 50%.

The DVB-I specification has been approved by the broadcast industry standards body. DVB-I combines broadband-broadcast using HTTP technology. DVB chair Peter MacAvock said: “In developing an internet-centric solution for linear television services, we are providing the industry with a crucial missing piece that raises internet-based delivery to the same level in the DVB ecosystem as RF-based content delivery.”

Video software vendor Amino has become a partner of Netflix’s Hailstorm Android TV program. Amino claims that after just a few hours of interaction between engineering teams, it was able to integrate Netflix with the AminoOS and an operator’s conditional access system to provide a hybrid broadcast-OTT system.

Pluto TV is getting additional live channels from CBS Interactive, as a result of parent company Viacom finally completing the merger with CBS.

The Berlusconi family is doing what the Berlusconi family does best. Mediaset has raised its stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 to 15.1%, buying an extra 5.5% for €170 million, but Mediaset assures that this is not a precursor to a full takeover.

In retaliation to both the BBC and Channel 4 partnering with Sky’s AdSmart addressable technology, UK broadcaster ITV says its own addressable advertising platform will launch at the start of 2020. Called Planet V, the platform will allow advertisers to manage purchasing across the on-demand ITV Hub.

Orange vendor subsidiary Viaccess-Orca has had its cardless conditional access system selected by the Malian Transmission and Broadcasting Corporation to secure FTA and pay TV platforms. Thomson Broadcast was involved with deployment of new infrastructure and supplied the video head-end, TV transmitters, contribution and distribution network.

NBN, the Australian government’s broadband project, is now delivering satellite services with help from remote communications vendor Speedcast. NBN and Speedcast together have established a Business Satellite Service sector with access to up to 58 beams from 10 gateways, 2 data centers, and a network operations center. Quite the U-turn.

SVoD subscriptions in North America will hit 147 million by the end of this year, expanding at a CAGR of 9% to 2023, according to GlobalData. The analytics firm also says the APAC region will experience the highest growth in telecoms and pay TV between 2019 and 2024 due to rapid mobile and fiber network roll-outs.

Telefonica has started rolling out voice-controllable Movistar Living apps, including video services, to homes with UHD TV set tops.