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Advanced satnews 10/07/2009
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Thumbs up Advanced satnews 10/07/2009 - 11-July-2009, 03:10

Advanced satnews 10/07/2009 Monday 13th July

Sky ditches DT
French senate votes through three strikes law
Sogecable and Ono appeal against pay DTT
Zucker: Market has bottomed
US DTV added 653,000 subs
Over 640m broadband households by 2013
New stage in cable piracy battle
Netflix movies on Sony TVs
AirTies HD, wireless, video STB


Sky ditches DT

Sky Deutschland has terminated its distribution contact with Deutsche Telekom for its IPTV platform. The T-Entertainment branded service is no longer available through Sky, though both companies have acknowledged that the possibility of further talks remains.

Premiere announced plans to rebrand as Sky Deutschland in April, which has since seen the two pay-TV platforms become increasingly competitive.

French senate votes through three strikes law

Senators have voted through the Hadopi 2 law, which will allow judges to impose punishments on those found to have made illegal downloads.

The law is a complement to the Hadopi (the Internet watchdog) 1 law, setting up a new body for Internet piracy. It was originally proposed that this law would allow for the Hadopi body itself to cut off peoples Internet access as a punishment but this was ruled unconstitutional.

Under the new law, Hadopi would merely issue two warnings by email and then recorded delivery post. Details of repeat offenders would be passed to a judge, who would have an armoury of sanctions available including cutting net access, heavy fines and even prison sentences.

The owner of an internet account which is used by someone else, unknown to them, to make illegal downloads, could also face a smaller fine and one-month of cut access for being negligent. A fine is also set out for someone who tries to get around a ban by changing to another Internet service provider.

The law will now go to the National Assembly on July 20th.

Sogecable and Ono appeal against pay DTT
From David Del Valle in Madrid

The two largest pay-TV groups in Spain, Sogecable (more than 2 million subscribers) and Ono (over 1 million subs) have issued appeals against the Government's Royal Decree bill that will allow pay TV services through digital terrestrial TV.

Both argue that it breaks competition rules. For Ono, the bill changes the rules of the game as "it modifies the awarding DTT conditions" that laid down that the DTT transmissions would be free to air.

Sogecable has asked the Government not to approve it on the grounds that "it does not meet any social demand" adding that the bill reveals the political bias of the Administration. The company also says that the bill is only to the benefit of DTT companies and to the detriment of other pay-TV operators (satellite, cable and IPTV). This "discrimination" is against the EU Treaty, concluded the company.

Zucker: Market has bottomed

NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker has said that while the overall marketplace is still challenged, he thinks it may have bottomed out.

"Its still quite uncertain and we dont really see the full recovery we are all hoping for," he said. "Its still tough out there, but I think we have seen a bottom. Our local television stations seem to be improving."

Zucker also predicted no major deals in the media space through the end of the year. "I think this is a year about getting your house in order. I think well see nothing in the media space for the rest of the year."

US DTV added 653,000 subs

Wells Fargo Securities has estimated that the digital transition added about 653,000 new subscribers to cable, satellite and telco companies, but said that cable operators, which reaped big benefits from the transition in the first quarter, won't likely see another big boost from the federal initiative until the third quarter.

Analyst Marci Ryvicker estimated that the bulk of the benefit from the digital transition - originally slated for February 17th but extended to June 12th occurred for cable in the first quarter. Overall, Ryvicker estimated that pay and 47,000 at DirecTV. That growth is expected to slow down to 122,337 in the second quarter and tick back up to 162,304 in the third quarter.

Cable operators are expected to gain the most through the DTV transition (475,000 subscribers) according to Ryvicker, followed by satellite TV (137,000) and the telcos (41,000).

Over 640m broadband households by 2013

The global demand for high-bandwidth applications will jump in the next few years as the number of households with broadband will reach around 650 million by 2013, according to research firm Parks Associates. The firm's report Broadband Services: Global Outlook warns that service providers will have to continue investing in network technologies to accommodate multiple services such as video-on-demand and converging social-networking applications.

Parks Associates reports the number of broadband households worldwide grew by over 18 per cent in 2008 to exceed 400 million. Asia-Pacific is the largest market, accounting for over 160 million subscribers, and it will have over 49 per cent of the global market share by 2013.

New stage in cable piracy battle

The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) has announced a new direction in the battle against pay-TV piracy in the Philippines. A breakthrough settlement by Turtle Cable, an infringing cable operator in Camarines Sur, is underpinned by a legally binding undertaking to refrain from broadcasting unauthorised TV programming and exclusively distribute legally authorised television broadcasts to its subscribers.

Legal experts believe the outcome of this test case has established a strong precedent for the settlement of future pay-TV piracy complaints.

"We are delighted to see the settlement of this first cable TV IP (intellectual property) case in the Philippines," said Simon Twiston Davies, CEO of CASBAA. "It is a significant step towards guaranteeing copyright protection for broadcasting in the Philippines. The other good news is that Turtle Cable can now resume business as an authorised pay-TV provider. We wish them every success in the future."

The case against Turtle Cable was the result of a series of complaints filed by CASBAA on behalf of broadcasters who own their copyrighted programmes.

Netflix movies on Sony TVs

Netflix has formed a partnership with Sony Electronics that will enable Netflix subscribers to instantly watch movies streamed from Netflix on Sony Bravia models compatible with Sony's Bravia Internet video link module. Launching in Autumn, Netflix members on an unlimited plan can use the service to instantly watch more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix for a monthly fee.

AirTies HD, wireless, video STB

AirTies, the wireless home networking vendor, is launching a high definition, 802.11N wireless video set-top box featuring self-service secure wireless network setup with a single push of a button and solid state storage on NAND flash. Air 7124, the high definition, wireless, IPTV/WebTV set-top box (STB), targeted at IPTV operators, eliminates the need for cables between multiple STBs, allowing the device to be located anywhere in the home and allowing single-touch, automated customer installation.

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