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11 February 2016

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

The latest round up of OTT video news, deals, launches and products for this week.

Set top shipments hit 11.3 million in South Asia during Q4 2015, growing 52% year on year, according to researcher Dataxis. Of these, some 6 million set tops were shipped to India, as the country pushes the digital transformation of its cable TV network. Technicolor shipped around 2.38 million set tops to India in Q4 2015, mostly to DTH satellite TV operators, and Skyworth shipped 2.19 million.

Finnish video and broadband technology specialist Teleste says it has developed a solution to deliver EPG information from the Teleste Luminato headend to Samsung’s Lynk Sinc, designed for the hospitality industry. The system provides remote management of interactive TV content and customized viewing to Samsung Smart Hotel TVs. The partnership started in 2015 with the embedding of Samsung’s Lynk DRM server into the Teleste Luminato headend.

Recommendation-based program guides are expected to drive 75% of all TV viewing by 2025, according to a report from TDG. It also says that paid recommendations will provide additional revenue to MPVDs and a new way to promote their programming.

UPC Poland, owned by Liberty Global, has added two of Eleven Sports Network’s channels to its service – enhancing its sports offering with top-tier soccer matches from the Spanish, French and Italian leagues. Eleven Sports Network has also won deals with pay TV platform nc+, and operators Netia, Multimedia Polska, and Inea.

Video analytics firm Ooyala has been selected by US media and marketing company Meredith Corporation, to provide real-time video engagement and performance analytics through its Ooyala IQ product. Meredith was already a customer of Ooyala’s analytics product line, but the company says Meredith becomes the first customer to use its unbundled analytics solution with Ooyala software as well as third party video players. Ooyala says Meredith will see its top performing videos in a single view, as well as query multiple dimensions such as device, OS, designated market area (DMA), player and location. It can also analyze advertising drop off data.

Netflix’s ISP Speed Index for January 2016 shows Verizon FiOS remained the number one ISP in the US with an average speed of 3.88 Mbps, followed by Cox and Cablevision. Bright House dropped to ninth place with 3.53 Mbps, and Time Warner Cable slipped to 10th with 3.39 Mbps, behind Suddenlink in 7th and AT&T U-verse in 8th, which both increased speeds. In Germany, the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands, Kabel Deutschland, Virgin, Euskaltel, and Caiway all retained top spots.

Dish Network and Viacom have agreed a short-term carriage extension, but Viacom Executive Chairman Philippe Dauman admitted there could be “hiccups along the way” as the two sides tried to forge a long-term agreement. Viacom’s linear ratings have fallen in the last 2 years, and has long-term agreements with the majority of major pay TV operators, but has failed to partner with mid-sized operators such as Suddenlink and Cable One.


Network technology manufacturer MaxLinear posted a net loss of $8.5 million for Q4 2015, but the company has said it is optimistic for the future with the cable industry’s broad rollout of DOCSIS 3.1-based services. Its revenue for the full year was $98.9 million, up 126% – mainly due to its acquisition of Entropic. MaxLinear CEO Kishore Seendripu says that the company is seeing strong sales of MoCA platform products to both cable and satellite operators.

Devicescape has announced its Curated Virtual Network (CVN) of amenity WiFi reached half a million APs in the UK in December – double that of last year. It launched with operator Virgin Media in February 2014, when it passed 17,500 APs, and 215,000 in February 2015. This has been helped by an increase of Virgin Media customers using Devicescape-enabled smartphones.

Disney has reported a record net income $2.88 billion for Q4 2015, compared to $2.18 in the same period last year, and revenues were up 14% to $15.2 billion. Profits at media networks dropped 6% to $1.4 billion, but Disney blames this on a timing shift and the inclusion of costs associated with college football play-offs.

OTT platform YuppTV has expanded its Hindi entertainment content thanks to a partnership with B4U! one of the world’s largest Bollywood TV networks – operating on 8 different satellites in over 100 countries.

Imagine Communications has implemented its Versio playout solution at Kazakhstan cable operator Alma TV – adding 4 new HD channels to its current offering of more than 120 channels on its cable service. The challenge for systems integrator DNK Kazakhstan was that the cable operator’s technical facilities were already very crowded, requiring the system to be implemented in a single rack. The Selenio MCP3 platform is incorporated, providing 10 MPEG-2 and H.264 encoders.

Viacom and Snapchat have entered a partnership to bring 2 channels to Snapchat Discover – a Comedy Central International channel, and an MTV channel in the US. Viacom can sell Snapchat’s US advertising inventory. Viacom will further invest in the creation of original premium video content specifically for Snapchat Discover.

Mobile entertainment firm Flipps Media has launched FITE TV, a dedicated channel for fighting sports such as MMA, wrestling, and boxing. The offering will have free and pay-per-view events. Flipps has been downloaded by over 15 million people.

Mexico has the healthiest economy in Latin America, according to a market entry study from IABM.  Legislative reforms to the media sector, as well as the release of additional spectrum, are now opening up Mexico’s broadcast industry to increased competition, stimulating investment in broadcast and media technology, says the report.

Broadcom has launched a new family of 28nm low power cable multichannel receiver SoC chips. The BCM3158x family integrates Full-Band Capture (FBC) technology with 4, 8 or 16 QAM demodulators, providing pin compatible front ends for a broad range of hybrid cable/IP set tops and home gateway platforms.

Amazon today announced it has ordered four 13-episode seasons of new Amazon Original Kids Series Thunderbirds Are Go to debut on Prime Video in the US. Thunderbirds Are Go is a reinvention of the 50-year-old classic Thunderbirds.

Consumer internet and mobile advertising company Opera Software has reached an agreement with Golden Brick Silk Road Equity Investment Fund, in which Golden Brick will launch a cash offer for 100% of the shares of Norway’s Opera. A consideration of $8.30 will be offered per share, valuing it at approximately $1.25 billion.

Qualcomm Technologies has introduced its sixth-generation discrete LTE multimode chipset – the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, which is built on a leading-edge 14nm FinFET process, and the Qualcomm RF Transceiver, WTR5975. Qualcomm says the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is the first commercially announced Gigabit Class LTE chipset designed to deliver fiber-like LTE Category 16 download speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

German internet service provider United Internet has struck an agreement to acquire a further 15.31% stake in cable operator Tele Columbus following its purchase of 9.8% of the company’s issued share capital. The move will make United Internet the largest single shareholder in Tele Columbus.

Twentieth Century Fox results for its second quarter 2016 fell by 1% to $7.38 billion, TV generated quarterly segment OIBDA of $279 million, down $11 million in the same previous year. It reported strong growth due to a 4% increase in advertising revenues at Fox Broadcasting Network. Twentieth Century Fox pointed out that its Shine Endemol Group had not made a contribution this year due to currency issues.

Following the spat between Canal Digital and Discovery Networks, which left customers without channels such as Eurosport and TV Norge for 10 days, this has now been resolved. No financial terms were released but as part of the agreement, Canal Digital will now have access to a new package of Premier League football from 2017.