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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

UK regulator The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has pushed back publication of its findings for the proposed acquisition of Sky by 21st Century Fox by one month, with initial findings to be released in January, followed by a final report by March 2018. The CMA said in a statement, “It is not unusual for us to update our timetables. In this case, we have received a large body of evidence – including numerous face-to-face hearings and more than 12,000 submissions – so it is vital that we spend the time to reach an informed and considered provisional view.”

Liberty Global has extended its supply deal with SeaChange for the Adrenalin multiscreen video platform, to provide content information and transaction support across broadcast and IP video networks on new Horizon set tops, supporting what it calls Horizon 4 services.

Verizon has finally integrated Netflix into its set tops, as reported by FierceCable, which spotted a statement on the Fios support page for devices including the IPC1100P2, IPC1100P1 and VMS1100 DVR. “Most devices are capable of streaming Netflix in high definition on fast internet connections and will play Netflix in their maximum supported resolution,” said the page.

The Amazon Prime Video app has landed on Apple TV, six months since the two companies broke bread and agreed upon an integration. Older Apple TV devices as well as the new 4K model will be able to access the Prime Video app in over 100 countries, but the announcement states that only users in the US, UK, Germany and Austria can access videos purchased or rented from Amazon, as well as stream videos from HBO, Showtime and Eurosport, which can be accessed via Amazon.

TiVo stock jumped 4.8% on Wednesday after the company’s President and CEO, Enrique Rodriguez, bought $1 million worth of shares at $17.86 each.

Disney is considering putting current 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch in the CEO seat if it completes a deal to acquire the company’s studio and entertainment business. His father, Rupert Murdoch, could also take up a senior position, according to the Financial Times.

Broadcom posted net revenue up 17% year on year to $4.84 billion on net income of $671 million, up 32%, for the fourth fiscal quarter. Its wired infrastructure segment accounted for 45% of revenue, followed by wireless communications at 37%, enterprise storage at 13% and industrial & other at 5%. The financial filing notes risks associated with its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm, including loss of its significant customers and fluctuations in the timing and volume of significant customer demand, plus increased dependence on a smaller number of markets and the growth rate in these markets.

The Broadband Forum has partnered with Japanese telco NTT, a Forum member, on a project to standardize the virtualization of operators’ PON (Passive Optical Network) networks, to support the delivery of Time Critical Applications such as 5G fronthaul.

Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen has stood down to “devote more attention to the company’s emerging wireless business.” Previous COO Erik Carlson has been promoted to President and CEO to organize and support Dish’s video operations, but will continue to report to Ergen.

Telecom Italia is looking at separating its fixed line network business to meet concerns about competition from Italian regulators, as well as pressure to upgrade the network, which is valued at $17.7 billion. The operator, majority owned by Vivendi, is also in discussions with Mediaset to strike a new content deal.

UK children’s OTT entertainment service Azoomee has selected
the Skylark video delivery and CMS platform from UK software outfit Ostmodern, to supports plans for international expansion. Ostmodern says Skylark has overhauled Azoomee’s former back-end system to enable flexibility and scalability, also taking a more structured approach to organizing data than the outgoing system. The Azoomee editorial team can now stitch together content to offer more tailored recommendations and localized content.

Apple has acquired podcast search engine company Pop Up Archive, which builds tools to transcribe, organize and search audio files, for an undisclosed fee.

Display technology firm Nanosys and fine chemicals company DIC claim to have made a breakthrough in inkjet-printed Quantum Dot color conversion devices for LCD and emissive displays. Nanosys says its Cadmium-free quantum dots have been designed to be compatible with DIC’s materials and processes for inkjet printing, providing conversion layers with a power efficiency improvement of as much as 300%, plus “perfect” 180-degree viewing angles and life-like color accuracy with wider color gamut.

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has sold its majority stake in Polish cable operator Inea to Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 for an undisclosed amount. Under Warburg Pincus ownership, Inea built a 4,500 km fiber optic backbone network and increased its last mile network footprint from 360,000 homes passed to 500,000 homes passed, with an additional 200,000 planned with support of EU funds.

Chinese online video giant iQiyi has signed content distribution deals with Netflix and other international services, for dramas Tiensin Mystic and Burning Ice, to become available in select markets during the first quarter of next year.

Samsung Electronics has kicked off mass production of its 512 GB embedded Universal Flash Storage system for next-generation mobile devices. Claiming to be an industry first, Samsung’s latest 64-layer V-NAND chips provide “unparalleled” storage capacity.

The IDC Worldwide Telecom Services Database claims global spend on telecom and pay TV services is projected to reach nearly $1.7 billion for 2017, but we know this is a mistake and it actually meant $1.7 trillion. Services revenue in the Americas will account for $635 billion of this total, growing 0.6%, followed by Asia Pacific at $545 billion, growing fastest at 3.5%, while the EMEA will bring in $492 billion, up 1.1%.

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