The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has secured media rights to European Weightlifting Federation championships until 2016.This agreement covers four competitions, in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In addition, host broadcasting of the championships will be handled by the local EBU Member or the EWF itself.EBU head of indoor sports, Ingolfur Hannesson said: “We are pleased to continue our excellent cooperation with the EWF, which has given the Olympic sport of weightlifting significant exposure in Europe. The EWF Championships are always run in a flawless, professional manner, just as the host broadcasting is always to a high standard, bringing tangible added value to the participating broadcasters.”
Ukrainian cable operator Volia has launched HDTV services in the city of Vinnytsia in west-central Ukraine. Vinnytsia is the 14th city in which the operator has launched its HD package. Subscribers to any of the operator’s basic digital services can upgrade to HD. Channels in the package include Discovery HD Showcase, Animal Planet HD, Travel Channel HD, National Geographic HD, MyZen HD, Fashion One HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, Outdoor Channel HD, Soccer Plus HD and Volia Cinema HD.Volia’s HD service is currently available in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Lviv, Rivne, Khmelnitsky, Kherson, Sevastopol, Cherkassy, Poltava and Sumy.
BT Retail’s Gavin PattersonBT has announced that Gavin Patterson is to succeed Ian Livingston as CEO of BT Group.Livingston, who has been given a role in government as minister of state for trade and investment, will continue as chief executive of BT until he steps down from his post and from BT’s Board in September. Livinston will join the House of Lords.Patterson has served as chief executive of BT Retail and as a BT Board member since 2008, having joined the company as a senior executive four years prior to that. He will take over as chief executive of BT Group in September.Sir Michael Rake, chairman of BT, said: “Ian has done a tremendous job in transforming BT. His decision to accept a government post demonstrates the sense of public service which many of us know to be characteristic. He leaves behind him a very capable team, one which will take forward the strategy that has served BT well and which lays out the path tofurther success. We have a fitting and experienced successor in Gavin Patterson. He has a detailed knowledge of all parts of our business and a track record of success. He was closely involved in creating our strategy and is the right person to take it forward. BT will make yet further progress under his leadership.”
Belarus telco Beltelecom has launched a multiscreen TV service for its Zala TV offering.Smart Zala will allow subscribers to view content from a range of channels on Android, iOS and other devices. Viewers will be allowed to use two devices simultaneously to view content.The service will make a variety of movies, news, cartoon, music, sports and other content available, including a 48-hours backwards EPG.Smart Zala will be available on computers with Windows XP and above or MacOS 10.9 or above, and an Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, with LG smart TVs to follow soon.
Former BBC iPlayer boss and the co-founder of Beamly, Anthony Rose, has launched 6Tribes, a new social networking app designed to connect people with shared interests.Rose, who first unveiled his new venture in November under the working title of ‘UTD’, said that 6Tribes will provide users with a new way of discovering content and meeting people “with the same passions, causes and interests.”Rose has co-founded the UK-based service with Beamly co-founder and former EMI executive, Ernesto Schmitt. Both Rose and Schmitt took a “step back” from Beamly after it was re-branded from Zeebox earlier in 2014.“6Tribes analyses things like your Facebook likes, the music on your phone and the places you’ve been to, to find the perfect tribes for you,” said Rose.“Once you’re a member of a tribe, you can connect with people who get what you’re into, be it fashion or travelling the world – people who understand you. You have a place where you belong.”Instead of focusing on existing social connections, 6Tribes is designed to brings people together around a shared interest, event or lifestyle, and delivers feeds that fit those interests.“Our research made it clear that people are looking to connect around lifestyles, ideas and topics, and an alternative to the increasing amount of irrelevant content filling their news feed in existing social networks. The next evolution of social networking will come from this desire,” said Rose.6Tribes launches today in the UK for the iPhone and iPad. An Android version and other country launches are due to follow.
Tubemogul, a firm that provides an enterprise software platform for digital video advertising, is raising US$82.9 million (€73.5 million) through a public share offering. The firm announced the pricing this week of its public offering of 5.26 million shares of common stock at a public price of US$15.75 per share.“TubeMogul is offering 3,500,000 shares and certain selling stockholders are offering 1,763,246 shares. In addition, TubeMogul granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 789,486 additional shares of common stock,” the firm said.
Eighty per cent of new customers to Nordic pay TV operator Boxer’s Danish service have taken the option to choose their own TV channels, following the company’s decision to introduce à la carte choice 18 months ago.Boxer CEO Ulf Lund said that à la carte had been “a huge success”, with the number of customers taking this option growing “exponentially”.Danish cable operator Stofa has meanwhile said that it will launch an à la carte offering, Stofa MitTv, without a contract commitment, following consultation with one of its key customers, communal antenna association Antenneforeningen Aarhus. Stofa CEO Ole Fruekilde Madsen said that the move to à la carte was “a giant leap forward” that was in line with broader market trends, for example in the US where new flexible offerings are disrupting the pay TV industry.Madsen said that Stofa would continue to offer traditional packages alongside the new flexible offerings, which are designed to offer comparable flexibility to the likes of Netflix and HBO Nordic.The company plans to engage with suppliers and its consumer panel over the next few months, before launching the first version of Stofa MitTv early next year.
Warsaw’s Belvedere restaurant was the scene for the inaugural Digital TV CEE Awards yesterday evening, hosted by DTVE editor Stuart Thomson and independent consultant Alexander Oudendijk.The Industry Leader Award went to Toomas Tiivel, group chief commercial officer of Starman. East Capital Explorer-backed Starman has emerged as a key consolidator in the cable and pay TV business in the Baltic region, following its acquisition of Cgates and Kava in Lithuania.Maciej Maciejowski, board member responsible for business development at TVN, was given the Digital Innovator of the Year Award, in recognition for his role in furthering the Polish broadcaster’s digital presence, including the launch and development of TVN Player and online network Veedo.pl.Arpad Jordan, CTO for Liberty Global in Central and Eastern Europe, was presented with the Technology Leader award in recognition of his work in bringing cloud-based advanced TV to legacy set-tops in Hungary, including the launch of YouTube.Vana Henriksen, group communications director at United Group was given the Marketer of the Year award for the successful management of five brands across disparate territories and building a reputation for attractive content and fast broadband.Content Executive of the Year winner HBO’s EVP of original programming and production Antony Root was recognised for multiple contributions to creating original premium content across CEE, most recently Wataha in Poland.The Awards programme was created to recognise some of the key individuals behind original content, distribution and technology initiatives and market-leading strategic decisions over the last year.
More than half of the world’s population is still not using the internet, according to stats issued by ITU.The research claims that 3.9 billion people remain cut-off from the resources of the internet, despite falling prices for information and communications technology.ITU says that 81% of people in developed countries use the internet, compared with 40% in developing countries and 15% in the least developed countries. Overall some 47% of people in the world now use the internet.Despite higher internet penetration in developed countries, population figures mean that developing countries now account for the “vast majority” of internet users, with 2.5 billion users there compared with 1 billion in developed countries.“Global interconnectedness is rapidly expanding, however more needs to be done to bridge the digital divide and bring the more than half of the global population not using the Internet into the digital economy,” said ITU secretary-general, Houlin Zhao.ITU is the United Nations-specialised agency for information and communication technologies. The organisation’s duties include allocating global radio spectrum and satellite orbits and developing the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies interconnect.
Jason BlackwellUK service providers will benefit from consolidation and multiplay strategies in the coming years, with bundled subscriptions set to grow by 20%, according to new research.The Strategy Analytics report claims that quad-play revenues will triple between 2015 and 2020, while total multi-play market revenues will grow by 34%.By 2020, quad-play is tipped to account for more than 21% of bundled subscriptions in the UK, while double-play subscriptions are expected to peak in 2016 and decline thereafter as customers move to triple- and quad-play bundles.“Multiplay bundled services are rapidly gaining ground in the UK as more players have entered this space through expansion and acquisition,” said Jason Blackwell, director of the Service Provider Strategies service at Strategy Analytics.“BT’s acquisition of EE has positioned the company very well, enabling cross-selling of services and giving BT a strong network with fibre and 4G. Based on its strategies in the Netherlands and New Zealand, Vodafone may need to revisit the opportunities for partnerships in the UK.“Competition in the UK market is already intense, and we expect to see price discounts in the form of long term introductory offers and through multi-service purchase, as operators try to take customers from competitors. However, the successful operators will avoid a race to the bottom, and hold overall pricing by upselling customers to faster broadband speeds, premium TV channels and larger mobile broadband buckets.”