Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending January 29, 2016

Light Reading reported that the FCC is ready to rule on a set-top overhaul, attempting to open up the market to new competition, most notably by requiring operators separate their video streams from their connected program navigation guides. The Cable industry responded swiftly with the launch of the Future of TV Coalition – a group consisting of 47 founding members.

This week, Spotify launched a video streaming service with content available from providers like ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV and others, reported Engadget. The new service is currently available on Android devices and will arrive on iOS devices soon.

Light Reading reported on AT&T’s ambitious plans in the TV Everywhere space that will start with the launch of several “mobile-centric” video services rolled out throughout the year. The video offerings will leverage technology from the company’s newly purchased DirecTV and wireless spectrum assets.

According to Parks Associates, more than 60 percent of U.S. broadband houses have at least one OTT subscription service, reported Broadband TV News. The analyst firm expects many new OTT services to be introduced in 2016, with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon continuing to preside over the OTT industry in the U.S.

Digital TV Europe reported that France’s AB Group plans to launch a children’s educational channel and an associated SVOD service with operator Orange. The service, aimed at 12-15 year-olds, will be available in February and will include a recommendations engine that highlights shows based on users’ previous viewing habits.


  1. FCC Ready to Rule on Set-Top Overhaul: Report (January 27, 2016) By Mari Sibley, Light Reading: It’s been several months since an advisory group submitted its report to the FCC with recommendations on how to open up the set-top market and give consumers more choice around how they watch pay-TV services.
  2. Spotify video streaming rolls out to Android users (January 26, 2016) By Steve Dent, Engadget: Video streaming has finally arrived to Spotify on Android devices, giving you more to do than just listen to audio.
  3. AT&T Eyes TV Everywhere Gold (January 27, 2016) By Alan Breznick, Light Reading: With its purchase of DirecTV now six months behind it, AT&T is striving to take TV Everywhere to a whole new level.
  4. OTT subs exceed 60% of US broadband homes (January 26, 2016) By Staff, Broadband TV News: 60% of US broadband households have at least one OTT video service subscription, according to Parks Associates.
  5. AB Group launches kids channel and SVoD offering (January 26, 2016) By Staff, Digital TV Europe: France’s AB Group is to launch a kids educational channel and associated subscription video-on-demand service in February.


Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending January 22, 2016

In a move to take on Netflix, HBO announced that it will launch its standalone Web streaming service in Spain, reported Bloomberg Business. Residents in Spain will have access to the HBO streaming service without a pay-TV subscription by the end of the year.

Advanced Television reported that Spain’s Telefonica expressed interest in buying AT&T’s operations across Latin America. Telefonica is the largest telco in Latin America and the deal will further strengthen its position in the region.

BTR offered perspective on the key video technology trends to watch in 2016. Key highlights include the increased proliferation of online video sources, distribution of online content via multiple screens, OTT integration into pay-TV offerings, and expansion of UltraHD/4K video.

MediaPost reported on a recent study by Hub Entertainment Research and found that 54 percent of pay-TV customers believe that TV Everywhere services would have an additional cost. The study also revealed that 53 percent of respondents have never used TV Everywhere as they were unaware of its existence.

According to Nielsen’s Q4 2014 Local Watch Report, live TV is still the primary medium to consume video, with adults aged 25-54 watching more than three hours of live TV per day, reported Broadcasting & Cable.

  1. HBO Plans to Take On Netflix in Spain With Streaming Service (January 18, 2016) By Gerry Smith, Bloomberg Business: By the end of this year, residents in Spain will have access to an HBO streaming service for the first time, making the Time Warner Inc.-owned network’s programming available without a pay-TV subscription.
  2. Telefonica eyes AT&T’s LatAm TV assets (January 18, 2016) By David Del Valle, Advanced Television: Spain’s Telefonica is reportedly interested in buying AT&T’s pay-TV assets in Latin America, with an enterprise value of over €9 billion.
  3. Video Trends to Watch in 2016 (January 18, 2016) By Ron Hendrickson, BTR: ‘Tis the season for predictions, and we’re all wondering what the video technology picture is going to look like through 2016.
  4. Study: Pay TV Consumers Believe TV Everywhere Isn’t Free: (January 19, 2016) By Wayne Friedman, MediaPost: More than half of pay TV consumers that know about “TV Everywhere” believe it would be an additional cost from networks or pay TV providers.
  5. Live TV Remains Dominant Viewing Habit in Nielsen’s Local Watch Report (January 20, 2016) By Jonathan Kuperberg, Broadcasting & Cable: Adults 25-54 in 24 of top 25 markets watch over 3 hours of live TV a day.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending January 15, 2016

Variety reported that the Canadian media company, Corus Entertainment, agreed to buy Shaw Communications’ Shaw Media Inc. for $1.86 billion. If approved, the combined company will own 45 specialty and 15 conventional television stations, 39 radio stations, the content studio Nelvana and other digital assets.

This week, Bloomberg reported that Telefonica SA, Spain’s biggest telecommunications operator, signed an agreement with Mediaproduccion SLU for rights to Spanish soccer and Champions League matches. The agreement, valued at $2.61 billion, includes the BeIN Sports channel and gives Telefonica’s pay-TV subscribers immediate access to sports telecasts.

According to Deloitte Global, Gigabit Internet connections are expected to increase tenfold to 10 million by end of 2016, of which 70 percent will be residential connections, reported FierceTelecom. The surge in demand for Gigabit services is attributed to the rise of music and video streaming that require higher bandwidth, as well as a decline in broadband service prices.

Hulu signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Sony to ramp up its video library by adding full seasons of TV series and films from Sony Pictures, reported Rapid TV News. As part of the deal, content heading to Hulu will include full episodes of ‘The Shield,’ ‘Party of Five,’ ‘The Dawson’s Creek,’ ‘Damages’ and films like ‘Jerry Maguire,’ ‘Midnight in Paris’ and ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’

According to Parks Associates’ new study, as of Q3 2015, a third of UK broadband households subscribe to OTT services, reported Digital TV Europe. The study notes that BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5 are among the major sources for OTT video usage in the UK.

  1. Canada’s Corus Entertainment to Buy TV Company Shaw Media in $1.86 Billion Deal (January 13, 2016) By Leo Barraclough, Variety: Canadian media company Corus Entertainment is set to acquire Shaw Communications’ TV unit Shaw Media for C$2.65 billion ($1.86 billion).
  2. Telefonica to Pay $2.61 Billion for Spanish Soccer Rights (January 12, 2016) By Rodrigo Orihuela, BloombergBusiness: Three-year deal includes European Champions, UEFA leagues.
  3. Gigabit connections to rise tenfold in 2016, says Deloitte (January 13, 2016) By Sean Buckley, FierceTelecom: Driven by telco and cable providers like AT&T and Comcast, the number of Gigabit Internet connections is projected to rise tenfold to 10 million by the end of year, with residential connections accounting for about 70 percent of the total, says Deloitte Global.
  4. Hulu, Sony sign new multi-year licensing agreement (January 12, 2016) By Editor, Rapid TV News: Continuing its momentum against over-the-top (OTT) rivals, Hulu has inked a new library deal that will see full seasons of series and top films from Sony Pictures added to its bouquet.
  5. Third of UK broadband homes subscribe to OTT video (January 12, 2016) By Staff, Digital TV Europe: A third of UK broadband households subscribed to an over-the-top (OTT) video service as of the third quarter of 2015, according to Parks Associates.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending January 8, 2016

Digital TV Europe reported that ARRIS’s recent acquisition of Pace will provide key growth opportunities in network technology, telco TV and OTT, among others. The deal will allow ARRIS to expand to other regions outside of North America including Asia, Latin America and Europe.

At this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Netflix announced that the streaming service will now be available in 130 more countries, reported Los Angeles Times. Netflix’s global footprint now spans 190 countries including Russia, India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

In other CES news, Multichannel News reported that Shaw Communications launched FreeRange TV, a cloud-based mobile offering that uses Comcast’s X1 platform. The new mobile video app allows customers to access live TV channels, on-demand content and download videos.

The Wi-Fi® Alliance announced that more than 12 billion Wi-Fi devices have been shipped worldwide and more than 6.8 billion devices have been installed, reported Telecompetitor. By 2019, the Alliance estimates that more than 10 billion devices capable of connecting to a home router will be installed in households worldwide.

Finally, according to Parks Associates’ new study, 54 percent of broadband households in Western Europe are willing to consider buying a 4K UHD TV with the expectation that more content will be available soon, reported Digital TV Europe. Parks Associates research analyst Glenn Hower believes that increased demand for 4K TVs can compel broadcasters like BBC and France Televisions to invest in “new 4K media technologies.”

  1. Stanzione: networks, OTT and WiFi among key growth areas for Arris (January 6, 2016) By Stuart Thomson, Digital TV Europe: The networks business, telco TV and OTT are among the key growth opportunities that Arris expects to be better placed to take advantage of as a result of its acquisition of Pace, according to chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione.
  2. Netflix announces huge global expansion, adding 130 more countries to its service (January 7, 2016) By Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times: Streaming services giant Netflix took a big step Wednesday to expand its global footprint, sending the company’s share price soaring.
  3. CES 2016: Shaw Puts Comcast’s X1 to Work (January 6, 2016) By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News: Canadian Operator Launches ‘FreeRange TV’ App
  4. Wi-Fi Shipments on Track to Surpass 15 Billion by Year End (January 6, 2016) By Andrew Burger, Telecompetitor: Marking a wireless network industry milestone, the Wi-Fi Alliance on January 5, announced that more than 12 billion Wi-Fi products have been shipped worldwide to date.
  5. More than half of new TV buyers plan to go 4K in Europe (January 6, 2016) By Staff, Digital TV Europe: Some 54% of Western European shoppers who plan to buy a new flatscreen TV in the next year are willing to buy a 4K set, expecting more of this content to be available soon, according to new research.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending December 18, 2015

Verizon Wireless rolled out a new feature on its FiOS mobile app that allows users to access nearly all of their DVR recordings from anywhere they have an Internet connection, reported Wireless Week. The updated mobile app also allows customers to stream live TV channels on a mobile device, though that feature is currently limited to home viewing.

According to a recent study by GfK, TV Everywhere usage increased with 53 percent of pay-TV subscribers using TV Everywhere services, up from 43 percent in 2012, reported CED Magazine. The study further reveals that mobile devices were the main drivers of this growth, with monthly use of mobile apps and web sites from TV providers doubling since 2012.

Advanced Television reported that Bell, Canada’s largest television provider, and Netflix have struck a deal to allow subscribers of Bell Fibe TV and Bell Aliant FibreOP TV to access Netflix through their existing set-tops. All Fibe TV receivers are automatically updated to enable quick access without the need for users to buy new equipment.

Finally, research from Parks Associates found that 14 percent of U.S. broadband households is planning to buy a streaming media player by mid-2016, while 31 percent of households already own a streaming media player, reported Digital TV Europe. With competitive pricing and rapid expansion of new OTT services, analysts at Parks Associate say that streaming media players will be a popular gift this Christmas.

  1. This Mickey Mouse-shaped streaming device will bring Disney to China (December 16, 2015) By James Vincent, The Verge: The $125 gadget will stream films, games, cartoons, e-books, and songs.
  2. Verizon Adds DVR-Streaming to Fios Mobile App (December 14, 2015) By Diana Goovaerts, Wireless Week: Consumers with Verizon’s Fios TV and Internet service will now be able to watch their shows on the go thanks to a new feature on the Fios Mobile App.
  3. Study: Over Half of Pay-TV Households Use TV Everywhere Services (December 16, 2015) By Ben Munson, CED Magazine: TV Everywhere (TVE) services are getting some use in pay-TV households.
  4. Netflix on Bell Fibe (December 15, 2015) By Staff, Advanced Television: Canadian multimedia company Bell has confirmed that Bell Fibe TV and Bell Aliant FibreOP TV subscribers can now access their Netflix accounts directly from their existing TV receivers.
  5. Seventh of U.S. Broadband homes to buy streaming players in H1 2016 (December 15, 2015) By Barbara Kraus, Digital TV Europe: Some 14% of US broadband households plan to buy a streaming media player by the middle of 2016, according to Parks Associates.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending December 11, 2015

USA Today reported on the expansion of AT&T’s ultra-fast fiber network, GigaPower, to 38 new markets including parts of Los Angeles and West Palm Beach, Fla. AT&T has already launched the gigabit-level Internet service to 18 markets with plans to launch to additional markets in 2016.

The free falling prices of 4K TVs are expected to increase consumer adoption of the Ultra HD technology. According to a recent study by IHS, 4K TV household penetration in the United States is expected to reach 34 percent in 2019, reported Multichannel News. The study also predicted that by the end of 2017, most 50-inch-and-larger TVs worldwide will feature 4K resolution.

A recent study by Paywizard found that OTT services will be popular through the holiday season with 52 percent of viewers planning to use an online TV service, reported Rapid TV News. The study also found that an additional 27 percent are planning to experience OTT this Christmas.

According to analyst firm Ovum, SVOD subscriptions are expected to reach 4.7 million by end of 2019, up from 270,000 in 2014, reported iTWire. The analyst firm highlighted that the SVOD boom in Australia, however, will not wipe out existing pay-TV and free-to-air (FTA) TV services.

Finally, a latest report from Spanish regulator CNMC, found that pay-TV has grown rapidly gaining an additional 1.4 million clients in a year on top of its existing 5.5 million subscriber base, reported Advanced Television. The rise in popularity of pay-TV in Spain is attributed to convergent packages offered by cable operators and better infrastructure.

  1. AT&T expands speedy GigaPower fiber network in 38 new markets (December 7, 2015) By Edward C. Baig, USA Today: On Monday, the company announced that it is expanding the availability of this broadband 1-gigabit per second all-fiber Internet service into 38 new metropolitan-area markets, including the parts of Los Angeles and West Palm Beach, Fla., that are launching today.
  2. One-Third of U.S. Homes Will Have 4K TVs in 2019: IHS (December 11, 2015) By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News: Most 50-inch-plus TVs will have 4K by end of 2017.
  3. Half of consumers go over-the-top at Christmas (December 8, 2015) By Editor, Rapid TV News: Over-the-top (OTT) will be hot this Christmas, with 52% of viewers around the world planning to use an online TV service during the festive season, says Paywizard research.
  4. Ovum: SVOD boom not the death of Pay TV or Free TV (December 8, 2015) By Alex Zaharov-Reutt, iTWire: If you think SVOD services such as Netflix, Presto or Stan will be the death of Pay TV of Free-to-Air (FTA) TV, Ovum says no.
  5. Pay-TV gains momentum in Spain (December 8, 2015) By David del Valle, Advanced Television: Convergent packages along with better infrastructure is driving pay-TV growth with almost one in four (24.4 per cent) of homes in the country receiving pay-TV services as of the end of first half other year, according to the latest report from the regulator CNMC.
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