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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Broadcom is expected to submit an inflated bid for Qualcomm soon, after its $105 billion offer was rejected earlier this week. The question over whether or not a better offer than $70 a share will win over Qualcomm investors is frankly too close to call, but a hostile takeover looks likely after Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said, “Many have expressed to us their desire that Qualcomm meet with us to discuss our proposal. It remains our strong preference to engage cooperatively with Qualcomm’s Board of Directors and management team.”

French security firm Inside Secure has launched its Silicon IP Programmable Root-of-Trust Engine, claiming to be the industry’s first RISC-V based platform security system. RISC-V is an open instruction set architecture from the University of California. The new open-source hardware product is aimed at markets including automotive, connected home, industrial IoT, data centers and government applications – embedding security directly into SoCs.

US mass media firm Time Inc. has launched a $4.99 a month OTT streaming network called Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV), offering 130 hours of on-demand documentaries, movies and chat shows on Amazon Channels. SI TV is the company’s second OTT service, following the launch of its free, ad-supported offering People TV.

Indian satellite TV operator Sun Direct has selected Harmonic’s software-based HEVC media processing product in its all-IP workflow to deliver an additional 80 HD channels from four transponders to 12 million subscribers. It includes the Harmonic Electra X2 encoder and ProStream multiplexer for statistical multiplexing to increase bandwidth efficiency, controlled by Harmonic’s NMX management system.

US telco Windstream has bundled the AT&T streaming service DirecTV Now into its Kinetic broadband service, as part of a business transition to become a premium broadband and entertainment provider.

Orange has signed a deal to allow Spanish telco and cable operator Euskaltel access to its symmetrical optic fiber, extending Euskaltel’s reach beyond Basque Country into other areas of Spain. It hopes to add 78,500 households in the Navarra region by January 2018 and hit 150,000 by 2022.

Altice’s stock price has fallen 40% since it published its Q3 earnings at the start of this month, after tumbling again this week to $9.70 as of writing. Founder Patrick Drahi has initiated a management shakeup following the resignation of CEO Michel Combes.

Multiscreen technology provider Synacor and US cableco WOW have launched a new customer portal for WOW’s residential customers. Synacor’s Advanced Cloud ID product simplified the WOW TV Everywhere login experience, giving TV subscribers single sign in on devices to access TV Everywhere apps. Additional features include aggregated content, email communications, security upgrades and multi-device video content.

Charter and Viacom have signed a multi-year distribution contact renewal and expansion deal. Charter’s Spectrum subscribers will receive the Viacom networks Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, VH1, TV Land and CMT. The two companies have also announced a collaboration to develop original content as well as a partnership on advanced advertising.

Subscribers to Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom mobile tier will receive access to thousands of movies and series on Hulu through a new partnership deal, with plans to add live sports streaming soon. Sprint is offering unlimited talk, text and data for $25 a month to new customers.

Russian TV operator Tricolor TV has launched a new service to provide consumers in hotels, airports, rail stations and other public areas with free WiFi access to 50 TV channels on mobile devices without eating into mobile data allowances. Territoria Tricolor has been developed in partnership with satellite operator Eutelsat across the footprint of the Eutelsat 36C satellite, using SmartBeam technology and a gateway built by French vendor Neotion, to broadcast channels by satellite to mobile devices via a WiFi network. It costs $25 a month for enterprise customers.

Austrian operator A1 has launched its own zero-rated streaming service A1 Free Stream subscribers to the Go mobile tariff, offering free data-free streaming of video and music services.

Russian MNO MTS grew its mobile subscriber base by 0.4% in the last quarter to 108.3 million across its footprint in Russia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Belarus and India, but a year on year drop of 0.7%. Russia alone accounts for 78.5 million subscribers, a quarterly decrease of 0.6%. It posted revenue up 2.1% to $815 million in Q3 with OIBDA of 48.8 billion, up 6.7%.

Private equity group KKR has acquired an additional 15.2% of Telefonica’s infrastructure subsidiary Telxius for $570.5 million to give it a total stake of 40%. Telefonica expects the sale to complete by the end of the year and issued a statement saying it would use the funds to reduce debt.

A new UI from Swisscom called Entertainment OS3 is rolling out extra features to TV subscribers this month, including access to additional content, personalization features, organization of content around 20 themes, a voice-controlled remote and new apps. The Swiss operator is also deploying a new WLAN Box with a repeater, access point and TV connection kit in December, costing $79.60.

US mobile advertising company AdColony is cutting 125 staff as part of a business rethink to shift towards programmatic advertising. It laid off 100 employees in July this year and is set to shut down the majority of the mobile ad tech outfit it acquired seven years ago, AdMarvel.

YouTube is now promoting live concerts for artists below official music videos on the video sharing site, which will redirect users to Ticketmaster to purchase tickets. The feature is only being used in the US for the time being but Google plans to roll it out worldwide.

The Black Friday price of Roku’s Streaming Stick+ will be $49.99, down from its standard $69.99 cost, starting on November 23 at participating retailers and Roku.com.

The installed base of fixed VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite communications systems will reach 17.8 million active sites by 2026, generating more than $25.6 billion in annual services revenue, according to satellite market research firm NSR.

Swiss connectivity and TV-as-a-service (TVaaS) provider Netstream has selected an OTT service assurance system from video service quality company Agama Technologies. Agama says Netstream will be able to assure that its OTT and IPTV services meet consumer expectations, while keeping ownership of data.

Scandinavian app developer Norigin Media has been given a contract upgrade by Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4 to supply its Canvas Apps development services to build Smart TV Apps for TV4’s AVoD service. The product provides modules for supporting ad integrations on both VoD and live content.

Comcast has added the SVoD platform CurosityStream to its Xfinity TV service nationwide. CuriosityStream costs $5.99 a month and was created by the founder of Discovery Channel John Hendricks.

Comcast has agreed to deliver anonymous usage data from its set tops to Nielsen to be used in local TV measurement products, becoming the fourth major pay TV operator to do so.

Liberty Global’s UPC in Switzerland has integrated the Sky Sports app into its Horizon TV platform with a one month free trial, costing $20 a month thereafter.

US OTT vendor Kaltura has published results from a survey claiming that large organizations now consider the integration of video content and workflows into all of their key technology platforms an important requirement. Its State of Video in the Enterprise reports found 90% of 650 respondents from large businesses believe that video content should be integrated into their learning management systems, 89% into content management systems, and 90% into CRM systems.

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