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INSIDE SATELLITE TV
THE BUSINESS OF DTH BROADCASTING
Edited by Chris Forrester

Volume 14, Issue 23 • 13 November 2017

SES sees video revenues fall, but UHD now 24 ch’s
Rationalisation, lower revenues at MX1, but misses guidance
OR HOW TO LOSE 50% MARKET CAP IN LESS THAN 3 YEARS!
SES suffered a 5.4% drop in video profits (from €350.7m
to €331.8m) during its Q3 period (to Sept 30) when
compared with Q3/2016, partly because of the failure of
AMC-9 but also because of unexpected non-renewals at
its recently purchased MX1 division (the former RR Media)
which cost it around €7m. Reported revenue was up 2.5%,
although down 4% on a like-for-like basis for the quarter.
SES was given a tough time by many analysts during the
company’s Oct 27 analysts’ call with some expressing
frustration with claims that the company’s guidance was
far too complex, and lacked “absolute growth rates” and
revenue guidance for 2018.
SES declined to further elaborate, at least until the New
Year (in February) when a more stabilized position could
be given. Not helping is the position at MX1, where the

CEO stepped down unexpectedly on Oct 3rd, and where
revenues are less than expected and a degree of
rationalisation is taking place. “We want to refocus the
portfolio of services of MX1 on differentiated growth
opportunities consisting mainly in offering to our
customers kind of unique combination of those traditional
broadcast and IP based end to end solutions for those
linear and non-linear content distribution,” said Ferdinand
Kayser, CEO of SES’ Video division.
Distilling management’s answers down, it would seem
– in Sami Kassab’s view (from Exane/BNPP) – that 2018
will see organic revenue ‘growth’ slip well back to -4%.
SES CFO Padraig McCarthy said that the downturn at
MX1 would not lead
> Page 4

Intelsat’s upside: “Let’s talk C-band”
A 75-minute analyst call with Intelsat CEO
Steve Spengler on Oct 26 confidently
covered all the operator’s bases, but the
questioners kept returning to the vexed
topic of Intelsat (and Intel’s) hopes to see
some of Intelsat’s C-band frequencies
over the USA reallocated for 5G usage.
The news that this revolutionary
concept even exists has helped propel
Intelsat’s share price these past few
weeks from a typical $3 a share to – at
one stage – more than $6. Investors are
betting that the Federal Communications
Commission will – one day in the future –
permit Intelsat to free up this capacity
and lease the bandwidth to spectrumhungry telcos for Lottery-winning sums of
money!
Intelsat’s financials were perfectly
reasonable, with Q3 revenues of $539m,
down 1% compared with last year, and
EBITDA up 4% to $420m, although
Spengler admitted to “continued
headwinds” in the broadband business.
Intelsat expects to end this year at the
lower end of its formal guidance and with
a business that was still in transition
“causing our return to growth that take
longer than previously anticipated” and
with an environment that was “robust
and extremely competitive”.

Giles Thorne, equity analyst at Investment
bank Jefferies, accurately summed up the
position, saying: “The C-band exposition
on the call was useful but incidental to
what will be a long and drawn upside (if
any upside at all).”
Thorne continued: “As the first set of
results since Intelsat announced its C-band
sharing plans, there was inevitably a huge
amount of focus on this topic: we are still
very early in the process, hard to talk
definitively to any scenario; the FCC
received 80 submissions to its July Notice
of Inquiry - there is a final submission date
on 15 Nov - precedent suggests that any
rulemaking would be 2 years at the
earliest; Intelsat's plan would not in any
way compromise current revenue; this
proactive approach is not an implicit
statement on the future of cable head-end

CONTENTS
‘Brexit’ threat to UK TV jobs

2

Eutelsat results squeezed

3

Is MX1 hurting SES?

5

FCC focusing in on ATSC-2

6

distribution in the US ("there are 5,000
head-ends, we're successfully renewing
with customers, this will be a distribution
neighbourhood for the foreseeable future")
- indeed, an aspect of the plan is to get
investment certainty around this
application; management believes it has a
creative and pragmatic solution to meet all
stakeholders needs, and in a way that all
precedent attempts to reallocate satellite
spectrum lack; on its rights to monetise
spectrum it doesn't own.“
Spengler explained this by saying: “We've
been allocated rights for decades now, we
are not selling the spectrum, we are making
arrangements for joint use, we've made
billions of dollars of investment in this
orbital arc and we may have to relocate
earth stations and invest in new
types of satellites."


Page 2

Thorne added: “The latter comment
implying that the initial revenue
opportunity
would be compensation7for
‘YES’ adds UHD
investments - management not keen to be
BT struggles
TV subs
8
drawn
on thefor
scope
to lease the spectrum
post
re-banding
of traffic (though in 8our
Sky News
under threat
view, that must surely be the endgame);
Gulfthat
Media
shocked
bybe
arrests
9
and
the plan
would
a US application,
not global.”
7
Spengler had appeared before the
influential Senate’s Committee on
Commerce, Science & Transportation on
momentum
building
Oct
25th, telling
the committee that 6the
satellite industry was at an important

INSIDE SATELLITE TV
< From Page 1

Intelsat: C-band
Thorne from Jefferies added: “The latter comment implying that the initial revenue opportunity would be
compensation for investments - management not keen to be drawn on the scope to lease the spectrum post rebanding of traffic (though in our view, that must surely be the endgame); and that the plan would be a US application,
not global.”
Spengler had appeared before the influential Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation on Oct
25th, telling the committee that the satellite industry was at an important inflection point: “Given the insatiable
demand for affordable connectivity, everywhere, and at all times, satellite is converging with other
telecommunications technologies to build one common telecommunications infrastructure. The demand is
ubiquitous and satellite is a part of the solution.”
He recognized that C-band spectrum was “highly prized” for its value to TV distribution as well as (terrestrial) 5G.
“Our creative proposal, developed with Intel, provides a framework for managed, joint-use of the C-band spectrum
in the U.S. market that may enable wireless and other service providers to
accelerate their deployment of 5G. Unless the joint-use of spectrum is managed in a way that respects the needs of
all users, companies that have invested billions of dollars in infrastructure will be at risk. Whether they’re watching
Monday Night Football or a Nickelodeon cartoon, American television viewers expect – and deserve – high quality
images and 100% uptime. Our proposed plan offers a win for everyone. We believe it’s time for the satellite
operators and others industry participants to embrace this opportunity to create more economic opportunity for
themselves, American business and U.S. citizens.”
Intelsat’s share price tumbled 23% on Oct 26 although levelled off during the following week in the $4.00 range.
However, a couple of negative reports from analysts, notably UBS on Nov 1st which advised investors to ‘Sell’ and
gave a price target of $3.50 helped drive Intelsat’s share price lower, although in highly volatile trading.

Intelsat Jackson Holding is proposing amendments to its senior secured credit agreement, which governs
its approximately $3.1bn senior secured term loan facility to, among other things, extend the maturity of at least a
portion of the existing Term Loan.

‘Brexit’ threat to thousands of UK jobs
UK-based TV companies may be forced to move parts of their operations abroad if the UK government fails to secure
a Brexit trade deal. That’s according to the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA) the UK’s body for
international broadcasters, which speaks for media networks such as Eurosport, Disney and Discovery. COBA claims
thousands of jobs could be at stake should a ‘hard’ Brexit occur, where the UK leaves the EU with no formal
agreement.
Executive director Adam Minns estimated that 25% of jobs in UK broadcasting works – at least in part – on an
international channel, with over £500m spent on salaries, overheads and technology. In a statement, COBA said:
"No deal would jeopardise the UK's status as Europe's leading international broadcasting hub. No deal would put at
risk thousands of jobs in the UK broadcasting sector, hundreds of millions of pounds of investment every year, and
would undermine the sector's long-term global competitiveness. Like many sectors, broadcasters cannot wait until
the cliff edge of March 2019 to make decisions about the future of their European businesses."
to a formal impairment at the play-out business. “Overall this is a very good business, it's a very good strategic fit for

INSIDE SATELLITE TV
THE BUSINESS OF DTH BROADCASTING

Editor & Publisher
Chris Forrester
chris@forrester-solutions.com
Tel: +44 20 8948 8561
Managing Editor
Marianne Malonne
marianne@forrester-solutions.com
Tel: +44 7967 962136

Broadgate Publications
37 The Towers
Lower Mortlake Rd
Richmond TW9 2JR, UK

News and Analysis from
the world of DTH broadcasting
and the satellite and
communications business

© 2017 Copyright Broadgate Publications.
Please do not copy or distribute this
newsletter.
You will be breaking the law.

INSIDE SATELLITE TV

No part of this publication may be
electronically archived, stored, copied,
duplicated, photocopied or distributed in any
way, shape or form, including electronically,
without prior written permission of the
publisher.

2

is the leading bi-weekly newsletter
covering satellite broadcasting and
digital TV technology

See our output on
www.advanced-television.com
and
www.insidesatellite.com

INSIDE SATELLITE TV

Eutelsat squeezed by 9% revenue fall

a return to “slight growth” from 2018-2019, and helped
by its long-awaited broadband-for-Africa initiatives.
The subsequent reports from analysts were far from
positive, and reflected the tough questioning faced by
Belmer from the investment bankers. Berenberg
summed up the general view that Eutelsat’s numbers
were “a touch light” although praising the operator’s
shift to HDTV, saying: “Importantly, the company
continues to see HD channel growth ahead of MPEG-4
growth. In the quarter, MPEG-4 penetration grew 9%
with HD channels up 29%. This helps to confirm the
inflection that management has guided to (that volume
growth is outpacing compression) and should support
future revenue growth within the video segment. The
recent acquisition of Noorsat, the company’s key
distributor in the Middle East, appears sensible as it
allows Eutelsat closer access to its customers and
should lead to increased HD uptake and improved
pricing.”
However, Berenberg was also disappointed by the
Fixed Broadband problems, saying: “Revenues declined
9.7% y-o-y to €22m reflecting the absence of a positive
one-off booked last year; this was the biggest
disappointment versus our forecasts. Additionally, the
launch and entry into service of Yahsat’s Al Yah 3
satellite, on which Eutelsat has leased capacity for its
Konnect Africa programme, is now definitively delayed
and services are now expected to start in June 2018 at
the earliest. While there is a timing delay, and the key
reason for the FY 2018 guidance cut, the company has
suggested that the c€15m it would book as revenues in
the first 12 months is to be maintained, just with a sixmonth lag.”
Eutelsat has its own ‘Africa broadband’ scheme
coming along in the form of its Africa Broadband
Satellite, under construction by Thales Alenia, which is
due to launch in 2019 and will provide 75 Gb/s of
capacity via 65 spot beams.
Berenberg admitted it was disappointed by Eutelsat’s
Q1 numbers, adding: “It is true that Q1 was a touch
soft, and perhaps there is an immaterial underlying
downgrade, as detailed above. There were, however,
promising signs from Video and Government. Q1
revenues are tracking below the new “between -1%
and -2%” full-year expectation, meaning that the
company has to play catch-up (which it should) through
the remainder of the year. Management did well on the
call, in our view, to suggest that excluding the delay in
Fixed Broadband, the other segments are all on track
and that growth should improve throughout the year.
With Eutelsat 172B only becoming operational in
November with a high pre-sell rate and the removal of
SES revenues out of the comparables in Q3, we fully
expect growth to progressively improve from here.”

Eutelsat reported on Oct 26 a 9.3% fall in Q1 reported
revenues to €349m (although 6.7% when ‘like for like’
numbers were measured) and including a 11.7%
tumble in in its ‘Fixed Data’ division compared to
Q1/2016. However, these numbers were very much in
line with market expectations, and only just below a
consensus of €351m for the quarter-year and actuals of
€385 for Q1 last year.
Video revenues were flat with a 0.8% fall (from
€226.5m last year to €223.3m in Q1/2017-18). The
market for Professional Video was said to be “tough”.
The company has now sold off its WINS/DHI subsidiary
and also disposed of its DSAT Cinema operation.
The fall was not helped by last year’s Q1 buoyant
position because of termination revenues received
from channels pulling their services off Eutelsat
(notably tv d’Orange). Future prospects on Video are
better and will be helped by an improving revenue
picture on its Hot Bird orbital slot where 5 transponders
are now being sold with a new rate-card pricing
structure.
Prospects have also been impacted by a delay in the
launch of its ‘Konnect Africa’ broadband service which
now slips back to 2019-2020 (the YahSat-3 satellite
which supplies the capacity will not launch until
Q1/2018). YahSat-3 has now slipped twice, and is more
than 4 months later than Eutelsat’s most recent
assumptions and a half-year later than was originally
expected. It will not enter service until June next year
(and the last month of Eutelsat’s financial year)..
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO, commented: “First Quarter
revenues were in line with our expectations. Our key
operational metrics were well oriented with a further
rise in HD penetration, a stabilisation of the Backlog
and an improved Fill Rate on a quarter-on-quarter
basis. The autumn renewal campaign with the US
Government yielded a favourable outturn, at some 95%
in value while the outcomes of Video renewals during
the quarter were positive, notably with Polsat on
HOTBIRD. Elsewhere we took further measures to
optimise Video distribution with the absorption of
Noorsat in the MENA region.”
Channel count grew by a very healthy 6.6% – since
last year - to 6755 channels, and HDTV channels grew
from 14.8% of that total to 17.9% (to 1210 channels
from 940 last year). But the decline in video revenues
only showed that the average price per channel (or per
MHz) carried has also fallen over the past year.
Eutelsat’s all-important contractual backlog fell back
from €5.4bn to €5.2bn, and representing some 3.5
years of business. Eutelsat’s Video division represented
86% of the backlog.
The operator’s guidance for this full year (2017-2018)
is for a further fall of -1% to -2% in revenues, and with



3

Page 7

INSIDE SATELLITE TV
< From Page 1

around 65% EBITDA margin (consensus at 66.1%) for
FY17 and a moderate decline in Fixed Data (vs. flat
to a formal impairment at the play-out business.
before). Consensus revisions of 3-5% look likely. SES is
“Overall this is a very good business, it's a very good
warning on our core structural thesis of increased
strategic fit for us,” he said.
pricing pressure in Data.”
However,
CEO
Karim
Giles Thorne at Jefferies went deeper,
Michel Sabbagh issued a
headlining his Oct 27 report as “Growing
“in the areas where we
warning as regards MX1,
Pains” but then saying bluntly that it
believe [the business] is
saying: “As I've said many
was the evident “lack of growth” which
commoditized,
we
will
times in the past, in the areas
was the problem and that confidence in
where we believe [the
deliberately exit if it doesn't
SES was now “fragile”. Thorne stated
business] is commoditized, we
make sense for us, so we can
that he was in a quagmire on the
will deliberately exit if it
refocus on our resources.”
operator’s Video division. “The
doesn't make sense for us, so
deterioration in growth (now, -5.6%
we can refocus on our
from -2.0% / -4.2%) was well flagged at Q2 given the
resources.”
anomalies on AMC-9 and the y-o-y impact of periodic
SES said that the ongoing litigation between former
revenue - but we now have a new headwind disclosed
staff at MX1 and the company was continuing, but the
- the SES choice not to renew some legacy MX1
counter-writs placed on SES were without substance
contracts ("we have chosen not to renew low value
(see separate story).
legacy re-seller contracts as we want to re-focus on
The news was taken badly by the market, and
differentiated growth opportunities"). The underlying
knocked another large chunk out of the operator’s
performance is certainly improving (-1.3% in 1H17, share price and market capitalization. Back in the spring
0.2% in 3Q17) and management said will improve
of 2015 SES shares were trading above €30. Today’s
further in 4Q17. Other bright spots are that the channel
price is down at the €13 level with a commensurate
count, HD channels and UHD channels trend in the right
collapse of the company’s market cap.
direction and separately, SES has now contracted some
Total TV channels grew 6% year-on-year to 7,743 TV
of the transponders that were handed back by a
channels with increases in all three of SES’s major
number of FTA customers in 4Q16 following a
regions – Europe, North America and International. The
compression migration. But until SES can put together
principal changes compared with Q3 2016 were:
a coherent and unequivocal y-o-y growth performance,
•7% increase in High Definition (HD) to 2,601 HDTV
without caveats, then we expect sentiment will remain
channels, now 33.6% of TV total channels
hugely constrained.”
•The proportion of total TV channels broadcast in
Berenberg’s equity team were also anxious. In their
MPEG-4 increased from 59.9% to 63.5%.
comment (“Enough is Enough”) the bank said that SES
• Commercial UHD channels on the SES network
management’s strategy to focus on value-added
increased from 17 UHD channels to 24 UHD channels.
contracts rather than commoditised business was the
• 2+m homes now viewing HD+
right one, saying “the reality is that SES has failed to
•Solid performance with US Dept of Defense
deliver on expectations for multiple quarters”. The
•“Progressive dividend” promised
bank said there was “serious investor angst” against the
“The business remained solid,” said SES,
company. “The latest reason for the top-line
“underpinned by long-term contracts and a substantial
downgrade – the voluntary termination of low valuecontract backlog, including an important capacity
added business - could have been communicated in
renewal with Sky Deutschland, covering seven
advance, but now raises suspicions that this was yet
transponders at SES’s prime video neighbourhood of
another excuse for a miss. Consequently, forecasts
19.2 deg E, to continue to deliver content to millions of
have been cut again, and the stock taken another
subscribers. In October 2017, QVC signed a ten-year
beating.”
agreement for incremental capacity at 19.2 deg E and
“As the share price indicates, the market has lost
MX1 backend services to launch a new UHD channel, as
faith in SES’s ability to deliver on its promises of longwell as extending existing capacity commitments to
term growth, and, given the sustained period of
continue distribution in SD and HD.”
disappointment, it will take more than just meeting
At 30 September 2017, SES’s fully protected contract
expectations to restore confidence,” stated Berenberg.
backlog was a healthy €7.5bn (Q1/2016: €8.0bn).
“We think SES must show a sustained return to growth
Investment bank Exane/BNPP’s flash note to
before investors will give the company credit for its
investors on Oct 27 said: “While Video trends were in
ambitious plans.”
line, Fixed Data and Mobility weakness (vs. our
➢ Page 5
expectations) was offset by Government [gains]. The
company has revised its guidance down. It now expects

SES problems

4

INSIDE SATELLITE TV
< from Page 4

unexpected non-renewals during Q3 at MX1 had cost
SES some €7m in lost revenue.
MX1 came about with the SES acquisition of Tel Avivbased (and also NASDAQ listed) facilities outfit RR
Media back in Feb 2016, and which closed in July last
year. SES paid $242m in an all-cash deal for RR Media,
a 52% premium to the company’s market valuation,
and a price that surprised many in the industry. In the
previous few years prior to the sale RR Media’s value
had slumped to as low as $117 million. RR Media was
floated in 2006 with a value of $210m, and at the time
of the SES purchase enjoyed a market capitalization of
just $148m. Its contracted backlog (as at Dec 31st 2015)
stood at $244m.
RR Media was led by Avi Cohen, and he was
appointed CEO of the merged MX1 unit. At the time of
the purchase RR Media was said to have had full year
revenues for 2015 of $140.3m.
RR Media was said to supply digital services to “more
than 1000 media companies globally” and populating
content to over 100 VoD platforms.
Earlier this year MX1 opened up a legal action against
some former senior employees at RR Media. “The case
alleged “concrete deceit and fraud” by three very
senior employees of MX1. The three were alleged to
have “conspired to steal MX1’s customers and use its
commercial secrets in order to found a competing
business. They did this not only after leaving their jobs
in the company (during which they received huge sums
of money), but also when they were still employed by
MX1,” according to the formal submissions.
The case has been followed by Israeli news-site
‘Globes’ which reported that the allegations focused on
these three former executives who initiated actions to
transfer the company’s customers to a competing
company they had founded in the British Virgin Islands
and Switzerland, and “for which they work to this day”.
The company is the iKO Media Group AG, registered in
Switzerland, and operating a teleport in Rome.
The accused former staffers responding with their
own counter-action, alleging in March that the
company's CEO Avi Cohen “made sure to put money
into the pockets of those close to him at the expense of
the company”. There were also serious allegations that
before the company was acquired by SES, MX1 paid
under the table bribes to various agents and
organizations close to its customers that "took care" of
ongoing dealings between the sides, and they allege,
bribes that continued.
‘Globes’, in an earlier article, quoted the legal
documents which stated: “The former senior
executives also claim that they did not ‘steal’ MX1's
customers but that they left of their own accord for a
wide range of reasons [other than the alleged] bribes.”

SES problems
“This suggests that the stock is unlikely to go anywhere
for a year or so (we forecast that the company does not
return to organic growth until Q3 2018, and even then
it will be very modest growth, with the real pick up
being in Q4 2018), particularly as the declines that the
company will report for Q1 and Q2 will likely be
sequentially worse than in Q4 2017,” added Berenberg.
“The fact that some of the reason for the organic
decline is temporary (satellite health) or for
strategically positive reasons (MX1) makes little
difference now, in our view. The market has lost faith
in the company’s ability to deliver, and excuses of oneoffs simply will not cut it any more. For SES to
outperform, it must consistently deliver growth that
the market can believe in. There can be no more
excuses about one-off revenues or delayed revenue
recognition,” said Berenberg.
All those phrases (‘guidance down’, ‘growing pains’,
‘lack of growth’, ‘investor angst’) and an unsaid phrase
(‘jam tomorrow’) are true at SES, but how long before
the tangible lack of confidence affects SES ability to
raise fresh cash, and the ratings agencies get anxious?
The slump in investor confidence is now extreme. The
SES share price – already well depressed – closed on
Oct 26th at €16.68. The fall on Oct 27th was dramatic,
to €14.20 and slipped ever-downward further to
around €12.80 (the lowest price for 10 years) although
recovering slightly on Nov 8 to €13.08. This time last
year they were priced at around €20. In November
2015 the shares were typically priced around €26.
That there are internal management rumblings at SES
is a recognised fact, and the inevitable comment that
‘the market is always right’ as regards overall sentiment
towards the company (and the satellite business in
general) is also not helping SES. CEO Karim Sabbagh’s
management style may not be to everyone’s taste, but
he has made no secret that SES is undergoing a period
of necessary structural change, and his strategic
changes have all been supported by the Board – at least
to date.
However, it is also a fact that – if the CEO’s strategy
is right – then extreme courage is going to be needed
over the next 12 months, when there may be even
tougher times to be faced.

Is MX1 holding SES back?
It seems satellite operator SES has a few problems to
solve with its former SES Platform Services division,
renamed MX1. SES President/CEO Karim Michel
Sabbagh, speaking Oct 27, was blunt in saying that MX1
was being rationalised and refocused, and that SES
would exit the business if margins could not be
maintained. At the core of the problem is that



5

Page 6

INSIDE SATELLITE TV
< from Page 5

Is MXI holding SES back?

Commission meeting scheduled for Nov 16, 2017.
In a blog post discussing the published Agenda, which
also includes discussion on Media Ownership Rules and
5G Spectrum, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, wrote that just as
the Commission wants to encourage next-generation
wireless services, it initiated a rulemaking earlier in
2017 to set the stage for the rollout of the ‘Next
Generation’ broadcast television transmission standard
(Next Gen TV or ATSC 3.0).
“Next Generation TV would be the first standard to
marry the advantages of broadcasting and the
Internet,” he advised. “It holds the promise of
delivering better video and audio, advanced emergency
alerts, improved accessibility features, personalised
and interactive content, and mobile television
reception to American consumers,” he added.
“But it can’t take off unless the FCC approves. [On
Nov 16] we’ll vote on just that: whether to allow
television broadcasters to use Next Gen TV on a
voluntary, market-driven basis. The bottom line is this:
I want America to be at the forefront of innovation in
the broadcast sector, the wireless sector, and every
other sector of the communications industry,” he
concluded.
Broadcast industry trade body the NAB (National
Association of Broadcasters) had earlier called for
“swift approval” of the voluntary deployment of the
Next Gen standard, without unduly burdensome
regulatory requirements, suggesting that it will help
ensure that broadcasters can continue to offer a
competitive alternative in the digital marketplace.
In response to the proposed Order, NAB President
and CEO Gordon Smith said: “NAB thanks Chairman Pai
and FCC staff for supporting a new, voluntary
transmission standard for broadcast television. Next
Gen TV will reinvent free and local TV, offering tens of
millions of viewers ultra HDTV, live and local
broadcasting on mobile devices, emergency alerting
that will save lives, and targeted advertising that will
grow US jobs and commerce.”
“Notably, a transition to Next Gen TV requires
broadcasters to use no additional spectrum. Just as
American broadcasters led the world in a a consumer
stampede to high definition television two decades
ago, we are ready to usher in a new era of broadcasting
that will be pro-consumer and pro-innovation. NAB
thanks the bold vision and tireless work of countless
broadcast engineers and consumer electronics
advocates involved in the ATSC process. We look
forward to working with the FCC to ensure that
broadcasters have maximum flexibility to bring the
historic benefits of Next Gen TV to consumers.”

The “Globes” article continued: "Since the company's
CEO Avi Cohen assumed his position, there has been a
substantial deterioration in the situation of the
company," and that, among other things, the
disrespect some of the customers ‘gained’ from the
CEO caused them to break off relations with MX1.”
The allegations include claims in the defence
statement that “led to the establishment of an active
and militant workers committee and subsequently
complaints grew among the customers about major
technical breakdowns and defective handling of those
breakdowns (that were caused among other things by
strikes by the employees and low morale) and in the
wake of this, many TV stations stopped dealing with the
plaintiff [Cohen and SES/MX1]."
Mr Cohen left MX1 early in October and was replaced
by a long-term SES staffer Wilfred Urner as CEO (Urner
had run SES Platform Services previously).
SES CFO Padraig McCarthy told analysts Oct 27th
that MX1 overall is a very good business. “It is a very
good strategic fit for us,” he said. CEO of SES Video
division, Ferdinand Kayser echoed these sentiments,
saying: “We want to refocus the portfolio of services of
MX1 on differentiated growth opportunities consisting
mainly in offering to our customers kind of unique
combination of those traditional broadcast and IP
based end to end solutions for those linear and nonlinear content distributions.”
But the toughest comment came from CEO Karim
Michel Sabbagh, who was extremely blunt telling
market analysts that SES would deliberately exit if
services became commoditised.
SES said that the ongoing litigation between former
staff at MX1 and the company was continuing, but the
counter-writs placed on SES were without substance.
However, MX1’s Terms & Conditions of Service still
state that any dispute between the company and its
clients are governed by the laws of the state of Israel,
and the Tel Aviv courts. MX1 also supports a farreaching and highly detailed ‘Code of Conduct’ for staff.
Meanwhile iCO Media Group, based in Budapest,
describes itself as a “boutique end-to-end media
service” announced DTH services in Asia and Latin
America at IBC. In August it signed World Fashion
Channel to its portfolio of channels.

FCC closes in on new TV standard
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to
consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed
Rulemaking
authorising
television
broadcasters to use the Next Generation television
transmission standard (ATSC 3.0) on a voluntary,
market-driven basis at the November Open

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Eutelsat squeezed

the momentum in HD and see it as validation of the
shift in strategy. All new Hotbird video customers are
going on to the new rate card, namely the previously
signalled shift in pricing from MHz to Mb/s - customers
get to participate in the productivity gains, but just not
as much as Eutelsat - there are a number of live new
rate card conversations ongoing.”
October 27th saw Eutelsat’s share price fall
dramatically as the results were announced, from
€23.20 to €19.94, although they speedily somewhat
recovered on the following trading day (Monday 30th)
to €21.70 where – more or less – it has remained.
Indeed, it is worth stressing that this past year has seen
Eutelsat’s share price improve by some 17.5% from last
year’s tough positions.
[] Eutelsat’s Nov 8 Board Meeting confirmed the
appointment of new directors and Chairman.
Dominique D'Hinnin (Chairman, replacing Michel de
Rosen), Paul-François Fournier, Esther Gaide and Didier
Leroy join the Board. Their mandates will be for a term
of four years.

Berenberg added: “In fact, quarter-on-quarter,
revenues were down by only 0.2% on a like-for-like
basis, implying no significant worsening of trends
versus Q4. Confidence will be hit given the delay to the
launch of Konnect Africa and the associated guidance
cut, and we expect that for this reason there may be
more scepticism that the company can stabilise the
declines. While we have no significant concerns after
Q1, the results gave the market little evidence of a
turnaround, in our view, and we may not see material
improvement until at least Q3, a backdrop that does
not suggest significant outperformance. We reiterate
our HOLD rating.”
Deutsche Bank’s analysis was even more
circumspect, saying that Eutelsat’s return to growth
was looking more challenging. Analyst Laurie Davison
commented that Eutelsat’s video strategy was showing
little progress (incidentally, a similar charge was made
during the SES presentation on Oct 27th). “The
company has given free capacity for 18-24 months to
encourage Video customers to shift to HD & UHD. But
it refused to state how many of the 4-5 transponders
are out of the free period. Our discussions with Eutelsat
suggest it is likely to be <10%. Claims of success are
premature,” argued Deutsch Bank.
Davison had been told by Mr Belmer that much of the
released 5 transponders (“the Purge”) on Hotbird were
being used for promotional purposes. “The fact is that
it's not still visible in the revenues of Hotbird even
though those revenues are well oriented because we
are using this capacity as a promotional vehicle to
prove for HD reduction. The contracts are signed but
that's with a free-of-charge period, which weighs on
the revenue of those transponders.”
Indeed, Davison went on with a litany of worries,
saying: “[Eutelsat’s] Russian Broadband initiative is
running behind expectations with minimal revenues so
far. KA-SAT is seeing falling subscribers. Government is
seeing good levels of renewals, but little new business.
E-172B has seen little sales aside from Panasonic.
EBITDA margin guidance is unchanged on Yahsat &
dilutive Noorsat acquisition only as the company has
used headroom on its cost saving plan. We continue to
expect Eutelsat to miss on its return to revenue & FCF
growth by 2019. Consensus has growth of 1.3%-1.5%
from FY19.” The bank’s advice to investors is ‘SELL’.
Giles Thorne at Jefferies was more positive in his
summary, saying that Eutelsat’s 1Q/2018 numbers
“had many merits” but the already mentioned launch
delay of its Konnect Africa had “besmirched” what had
been good results. “Management are very happy with

RAI to launch RAI-English channel
Italian state broadcaster RAI says it will be launching a
24/7 international English language channel. The new
channel will broadcast news, documentaries as well as
sports, and will give the world a view on life in Italy.
The launch of RAI English is the result of the new
agreement between the broadcaster and the state,
which will come into effect in January 2018 and will run
for five years.
The new contract also provides support for
independent programme makers. In 2018 RAI has to
spend at least €2m with independent producer, rising
to €3m in 2019. The new agreement also stipulates that
RAI has to offer all of its channels to all distribution
platforms. At the moment, Sky Italia does not carry the
full range of RAI channels. However, RAI can demand a
“fair and non-discriminatory” fee from the distributor.

‘YES’ adds UHD-HDR
Harmonic says that Israeli operator Yes is using
Harmonic's software-based Electra encoding platform
for its new live UHD channel. Leveraging the HEVC
video codec, Harmonic says its Electra system allows
YES to deliver high-quality UHD-HDR linear video
content to over 1m subscribers at the lowest possible
bit rates. The Electra encoding platform is at the heart
of a complete video delivery solution from Harmonic
that also includes the ProStream X video stream
processor for DVB- CSAV3 encryption and NMX
network management.

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BT struggles for new subs

The US will remain the largest country by piracy losses,
with $11.6bn forecast by 2022. However, this is “only”
up by $2.6bn or 30% on 2016.
China has taken measures to combat piracy, but it is
still a major problem. Its revenue losses will climb by
$5.5bn between 2016 and 2022 to $9.8bn. However,
China’s gap between legitimate revenues versus piracy
losses will improve from a deficit of $1.2bn in 2016 to a
surplus of $2.4bn in 2022.
The problem will not be dealt with as effectively
elsewhere. India will climb from eighth in the 2016
rankings ($700m losses) to third in 2022 ($3.1bn
losses). Brazil will add $1.1bn in losses over the same
period.

A leading analyst has described BT’s TV additions as
“disappointing” after the telco added just 7,000 new
subscribers in the quarter that includes the start of the
football season. The operator announced that as of
September 30, 2017 it had an installed base of 1.8m.
Paolo Pescatore, VP/Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight
said it has been a modest quarter. “More than double
consumer line losses is a worry and TV net additions
was extremely disappointing. More so in in light of the
new European football season given the huge focus on
sports and TV services. Despite its strong assets, the
company is struggling to cross sell more services into its
existing subscriber base. Marc Allera faces some tough
decisions with the integration of the consumer units
and the forthcoming Premier League rights auction.”
Average viewing figures for BT Sport for the quarter
increased by eight per cent on 2016, boosted by a
strong performance in both Premier League and UEFA
Champions League, with six British teams having
qualified for the group stage for the first time since the
2007/08 season.

Piracy losses continue to soar
Revenues lost to online piracy will nearly double
between 2016 and 2022 to $51.6bn, according to the
Online TV Piracy Forecasts report. Covering 138
countries, these forecasts include revenues lost to TV
episodes and movies – but not other sectors such as
sports or pay TV.
Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV
Research, said: “Piracy will never be eradicated.
However, it is not all bad news. Piracy growth rates will
decelerate as more effective government action is
taken and as the benefits of legal choices become more
apparent. Legitimate revenues from OTT TV episodes
and movie overtook online piracy losses as far back as
2013. The gap between the two measures is widening.”
Asia Pacific will become the largest region for online
piracy in 2018 – overtaking North America. Asia
Pacific’s piracy losses will double between 2016 and
2022 to nearly $20bn.

Data: Digital TV Research

Sky News future in doubt?
Sky has said it will review the future of Sky News if 21st
Century Fox’s £11.7bn bid to take full control of the
broadcaster is blocked on the grounds of media
plurality.
Fox’s bid for Sky is currently being
investigated by the UK’s Competition Markets
Authority (CMA) with particular reference to the
Murdoch family’s commitment to broadcasting
standards, and the deal’s impact on media plurality.
The CMA has said in its issues statement that if the
deal is blocked its assumption is that Sky News will
continue to compete against rival news organisations
including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
Sky responded to the statement, which set out the
scope of the CMA’s six-month investigation, by saying:
“The CMA should not simply assume the ‘continued
provision of Sky News’ and its current contribution to
plurality, ‘absent the transaction’. “Sky would likely be
prompted to review the position in the event that the
continued provision of Sky News in its current form
unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate
opportunities available in relation to Sky’s broader
business,” Sky said in a five-page submission to the
CMA published on Nov 7th.

Online TV piracy is spreading worldwide. The top five
countries represented 63% of the 2016 total, but this
proportion will fall to 55% by 2022. Eight countries will
record revenue losses of more than $1bn in 2022 –
double the 2016 count.

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Discovery driven by International

Gulf media racked by arrests

Discovery’s International Networks had revenues of
$796m in Q3, or 11% more than in the same period last
year. In its latest set of results, the also company notes
that distribution revenues grew by 13% to $479m and
advertising revenues by 9% to $298m. In the US, total
revenues amounted to $823m (+4%), with distribution
accounting for $402m (+6%) and ads $407m (+3%).
Commenting on the results, David Zaslav, President
and CEO, Discovery Communications, said: “Advertising
and global distribution revenue growth helped to drive
solid third quarter results for Discovery.
“We continued to focus on investments to
strengthen our worldwide IP portfolio as well as
strategic partnerships to nourish global superfans
across every screen, platform and service. Additionally,
we are excited by the prospects for a combined
Discovery and Scripps as we continue to make progress
on the transaction to create a global leader in real life
entertainment.”

The slew of “detained” senior Saudi Arabian officials
named in a Nov 4th crackdown on alleged corruption
contains many very well-known names in Arabic
broadcasting. The news emerged via an official Saudi
decree.
The most senior media player of those named is
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire behind
Kingdom Holdings, and what is claimed as being the
“world’s largest entertainment company” in the shape
of Rotana which encompasses a movie production
company, music radio channels, publishing and
television broadcasting.
Alwaleed has often been described as the ‘Warren
Buffett’ of the Middle East and has assets reported to
be worth at least $17 billion.
Prince Alwaleed’s TV interests include the LBC-Sat
channel, as well as Fox Movies, Fox, FX-TV channels (in
conjunction with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox).
Rupert Murdoch is an investor in the prince’s
broadcasting businesses, as is the prince in News
Corp/21st Century Fox. He is also an investor in Twitter.
The prince’s key investment vehicle, Kingdom
Holdings, saw its share price crash 8 percent in trading
on Sunday, and further falls on Nov 6th.
Sheikh Salah Kamal, also detained, was the 50% cofounder in 1987 of Rotana, and sold his stake to Prince
Alwaleed. Sheikh Salah has, according to Forbes
magazine, a net wealth of some $2.1bn. He founded
the Arab Radio & Television (ART) cluster of pay-TV
channels, and was a key player in the early days of
Middle East Broadcasting (MBC).
Kamel’s son Abdallah, also detained, donated $10m
to Yale University in 2015 to fund an Islamic law centre.
Also included in the round-up is businessman
Alwaleed Al Ibrahim (and not to be confused with
Prince Alwaleed) who is chairman at Middle East
Broadcasting (MBC), mentioned above. Al Ibrahim has
a net worth (according to Forbes) of some $10.9bn. He
funded the launch of all-news channel Al Arabiya in
2003, which is a sister station to the highly successful
MBC portfolio of channels.
All of the detainees are reported to have been
housed in the luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel in the Saudi
capital of Riyadh.
The general view is that the Saudi state may well end
up ‘fining’ or sequestrating some of the cash and other
assets of the detainees. The official decree stated: “It
may take whatever measures deemed necessary to
deal with those involved in public corruption cases and
take what it considers to be the right of persons,
entities, funds, fixed and movable assets, at home and
abroad, return funds to the state treasury and register
property and assets in the name of state property.”

Scripps makes Int’l progress
Scripps Networks Interactive continued to operate
solidly in the third quarter ahead of its take-over by
Discovery Communications. Results published by the
company show that in the US its operating revenues
amounted to $692.4m (+0.9% on the same period in
2016). Advertising contributed $474.8m (-0.6%) and
distribution $203.5m (+4.7%) to the total. However, its
adjusted segment profit was, at $308.6 million, 5.7%
lower than a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Scripp’s international operations had
revenues of $139.4m (+13.1%) in Q3, helped by foreign
currency fluctuations and an increase in ad revenues at
Poland’s TVN. The adjusted segment profit was
$15.9m, compared to $15m in Q3 2016.
In his comments on the results, Kenneth W. Lowe,
the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said: “At
a time of rapid transformation in the media industry,
we continue to execute on our strategic goals to
strengthen the core business, expand our reach and
monetise audiences. Our brands deliver the compelling
content and programming that viewers love and trust,
and with each passing quarter, we are building stronger
community with consumers across a multitude of
devices and platforms around the world.

Russia problems for OneWeb?
OneWeb is facing problems over permits for the use of
spectrum for its proposed broadband services in
Russia. A Russia-based subsidiary of OneWeb, which
submitted an application for the bands to the federal
radio frequencies commission SRFC, faced a deadline of
7 Nov for the payment of over RUB 17m. A meeting is
scheduled for 5 December.

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Telesat receives OK for LEO system

Arqiva pulls IPO

Telesat says it has received approvals from the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to use about 4 GHz
of Ka-band spectrum for its proposed LEO system.
Telesat, in a statement, said its new satellites will
enable and accelerate the world’s digital
transformation by providing high-performing, costeffective, fiber-like broadband anywhere in the world
for business, government and individual users.
MDA/SS-L has delivered the first of a pair of ‘Phase 1’
test satellites to the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Eastern
Russia where it will launch aboard a Soyuz-2 vehicle
provided by Glavkosmos.
Telesat says that its initial 120 satellites will be in
place by 2021. The operator says it is considering
expanding its constellation beyond the initial
deployment.
A rival proposal from OneWeb was approved in June.

Last week UK-based transmission and teleport operator
Arqiva pulled its IPO citing market volatility as the
reason. Now it seems that a trade sale could be in the
offing.
London’s Sunday Times reported Nov 5th that
Australian investment bank Macquarie, which controls
25% of Arqiva, could revisit a planned sale to Canadian
conglomerate Brookfield.
Arqiva has been up for sale for at least 18 months,
and Brookfield was the ‘last man standing’ amongst a
slew of potential buyers, but the sale fell through
because of uncertainties over Arqiva’s not
inconsiderable debt obligations.
The Sunday Times report stated that Macquarie
remained committed to an IPO once market conditions
improved.

Cisco selling ‘NDS’ unit?

Intelsat enjoys Coca-Cola drink!

Bloomberg has reported that technology giant Cisco
Systems is looking for a buyer of its NDS video software
division, Cisco Videoscape. Bloomberg has quoted
people familiar with the process, adding that Cisco is
looking to sharpen its focus in the extremely fastchanging network infrastructure business.
Cisco paid around $5bn for NDS back in 2012. Cisco
sold the former Scientific Atlanta business in 2015.
Cisco bought Scientific Atlanta (SA) in 2005, paying
$6.9bn for the business. Technicolor paid just $600m
for SA in 2015. At the time of the sale Cisco claimed that
it had recognized $27bn of aggregate SA revenue in the
years between acquisition and disposal.
At the time of the SA disposal John Chambers,
Chairman/CEO of Cisco, said in a statement, "At Cisco,
we are prioritizing our investments to deliver on our
strategy of video in the cloud.”
NDS was a highly-regarded name in the TV and settop box software and encryption business. NDS was
formed in 1988 in Israel and bought by News
Corporation in 1992. In 2009 private equity business
Permira and News Corp struck a $3.6bn deal and which
turned NDS into a privately-held company.

Intelsat has linked with soft-drinks company Coca-Cola
to promote satellite-delivered Wi-fi and broadband
services across Africa. Intelsat and Coke have an
interest through OneWeb (both are investors in
OneWeb) which is planning to girdle the Earth with a
mega-constellation of low orbiting satellites. Services,
via OneWeb, should be available by 2019.
The Intelsat/Coke link “will support both companies’
future business plans and also their mutual efforts to
promote sustainable development, especially in
underserved communities,” said a press statement.
The Coca-Cola Company says it is already working in
developing communities around the world to foster
sustainable development activity like supporting clean
water and sanitation services as well as economic
empowerment for women. Under the new partnership,
Intelsat will work with The Coca-Cola Company to
establish Wi-Fi access at certain retail facilities in rural
areas, enabling personal and commercial connectivity
for citizens.
“Satellite connectivity is the easiest way to deliver
Internet services to the most people in the shortest
possible time frame in infrastructure-poor rural and
remote areas,” said Jean-Philippe Gillet, Intelsat’s
VP/GM of Broadband. “Our fleet innovations, including
our Intelsat Epic high-performance satellites, make
access to broadband satellite services easier, and the
work Coca-Cola is doing in local communities around
the world fits perfectly with our vision to remove the
digital divide often found in remote areas. With the
inherent advantages that satellite provides in terms of
reach and scalability, we provide a solution in delivering
the benefits of internet access to hundreds of
communities around the world in a quick, cost-efficient
manner.”

ViaSat taps ESA for ViaSat-3 help
ViaSat’s plan for its ViaSat-3 global scheme and which
includes plans for a broadband satellite over Europe, in
which Eutelsat is closely involved, is tapping into
European Space Agency (ESA) funding help with a costsharing scheme to help develop the consumer
terminals and gateway access points for the proposed
services.
Space Intel Report says ESA and ViaSat are creating a
Public-Private Partnership with €31.2m in start-up
cash, co-funded by the pair.

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HDR set to grow dramatically

Sky Italia boosts content

High dynamic range (HDR) is the strongest-developing
feature in television sets, according to a new report
from IHS Markit. In its TV Design and Features Tracker
– Q3 2017, IHS Markit forecasts that HDR TV shipments
will grow from 12.2m in 2017 to 47.9m in 2021, with a
further 88.6m HDR-ready sets — with HDR decoding
but no HDR display capability — shipping in 2021.
“HDR is the biggest improvement coming to TV
viewing,” said Paul Gray, associate director for
consumer devices at IHS Markit. “It has been
conclusively demonstrated to have the biggest impact
with viewers, and what’s more, the effect works
regardless of screen size or resolution.”
Examined in the report are solutions that broadcast
and consumer electronics researchers have launched
to encode and transmit the extra data required for
HDR, as well as forecasts for the different varieties of
HDR televisions.
“We expect that only 23% of the ultra-high-definition
televisions that ship in 2017 will offer the full HDR
experience,” Gray said. “The remainder will be able to
decode a signal, but lack the high contrast capability to
display HDR content to an advantage.”
The cost of backlights for liquid-crystal displays
(LCDs) remains the biggest obstacle to HDR, the
analysis said. HDR capabilities in high-definition (HD)
TVs are also assessed in the report. Gray said, “In
locations where the airwaves are congested,
broadcasters have no spare space to transmit the extra
data required for 4K UHD. However, HD with HDR
provides a huge increase in perceived quality for a very
low data overhead, and that’s incredibly interesting.”

Sky Italia is planning to boost investments in new
content and state-of-the-art technologies to continue
to grow, earmarking around €1.4bn per year. Speaking
to Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, CEO Andrea Zappia said
that profitability has started to grow again over the last
two years, thanks to efficient cost management and the
search for new areas in order to diversify growth,
especially advertising.
Subscriptions (€2.5bn) account for the majority of
Sky Italia’s turnover (€2.9bn), while the rest comes
from advertising revenue.
Following the successful development of the FTA
offer on DTT with the TV8 and Cielo channels, according
to Zappia, new opportunities now lie in streaming TV,
Internet and agreements with telecom operators to
distribute content. He added that Sky Italia is exploring
the world of OTT with NOW TV, but also wants to
develop partnerships with Vodafone, TIM, Fastweb and
Wind. The pay-TV operator has relaunched its all-news
channel Sky TG24 that will now be based on a multiplatform system, with more detailed background
information that is integrated on the various
distribution channels – TV, internet and mobile phone.
Zappia confirmed that Sky Italia will take part in the
auction for the TV rights to Italy’s Serie A for the period
2018-2021, scheduled to take place by the end of 2017.

TriColor TV looks East
Russian DTH operator Tricolor TV has decided to enter
the Far East of the country and with a new strategy. In
a statement, it says that residents in the region will be
the first to be offered a high-tech product that it
describes as “single digital entertainment and services
space for the whole family, access to which will be
possible from any device, at any place and time”. It
adds that the new strategy implies the company’s exit
from the single product business model and the launch
of work in new market segments.
As part of the new strategy, Tricolor TV will rebrand,
with the main product no longer being packages of TV
channels, but rather a set of digital services united
under the name “Tricolor”. Its offer will consist of over
230 TV and radio channels via satellite and the internet,
as well as a number of non-linear services. The cost of
the new offer will be R2,000 (€29.7) a year, and the
National Satellite Company has already leased Eutelsat
transponder capacity on Express-AT2 at 140 deg E to
deliver the service.
In his comments on the new offer, Alexei Kholodov,
general director of Tricolor TV, said: “We planned to
enter the Far East as far back as 2014. But today we
can offer users an optimal and very high-quality
solution that will provide modern, multi-channel and
non-linear digital TV to all Russian residents, from
Kaliningrad to Kamchatka, without exception.”

IHS Markit forecasts that regionally, North America
will lead with 14.6m HDR sets shipping in 2021, while
China will be second with 11.8m. “North America
remains the sweet spot for TVs, with a preference for
large screens, the availability of rich UHD content and a
willingness from consumers to buy full-featured sets,”
Gray said. “While Chinese consumers are buying the
biggest TV sets these days, price sensitivity is higher
and UHD content is scarcer.”

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INSIDE
‘Smart’ TV sales worth $283bn by 2025
As the arrival of 4K resolution-equipped televisions, coupled with the shifting preference toward OLED and QLED
displays, is expected to emerge as a major trend, the global smart TV market will be worth $292.55 billion in eight years’
time according to a Grand View Research study. The analyst said that the growing popularity of smart homes has
supplemented market growth as smart TVs help in enhancing the content viewing experience. As the home
entertainment sector is paving its way in smart homes, the market is expected to witness increased demand over the
research period.
Venezuelan pay-TV in slump
An official report has found that the Venezuelan pay-TV sector has lost nearly 200,000 subscribers over the last year.
Although the country’s telecoms authority Conatel publishes pay-TV figures on an irregular basis, it has now revealed
the figures for Q1 2017 which reveal that there are 4.88m pay-TV households in the country. According to the figures,
the market has fallen by 3.49% since Q1 2016, when it totalled 5.05m pay-TV households. Service penetration has also
decreased and is now at 64.7%. Pay-TV penetration does have high rates in some of the most populated areas of the
country, such as the capital district (79%) and the state of Carabobo (73.8%).
FuboTV signs with MX1
Sports-centric live streaming TV company fuboTV has selected MX1 to aggregate and deliver its sports and
entertainment channels to multiple devices in multiple formats, reaching more than 100,000 paying subscribers in the
US. With a base package that features a line-up of more than 65 channels, including up to 37 that carry sports
programming, fuboTV is growing rapidly in the US market; the company recently raised $55m in Series C funding, and
has raised a total of $75.6m to date.
DirecTV, NBATV add UHD
AT&T and NBATV teamed up this season to broadcast more than 25 games live in 4K UHD on DirecTV. The first of
these matches will be broadcast on 31 October at 8:00pm ET. Viewers can watch the Oklahoma City Thunder go up
against the Milwaukee Bucks in a 4K simulcast of NBATV on DirecTV 4K channel 106. A subscription to the Xtra
package or above is required to receive the 4K simulcast. Additional 4K productions include college football, NCAA
men’s college basketball, Nascar racing and more. In related news, AT&T and Fox Sports 1 teamed up to broadcast
game four of the 2017 ALCS in 4K UHD on DirecTV.
SES + CETel link for Africa
CETel, a major European telecom operator will bring connectivity to new areas across North and West Africa and enable
contingency services during fibre outages using a satellite-based solution from SES. The network is implemented by
CETel, a German provider of global end-to-end communications solutions, in partnership with SES Networks, who will
deliver C-band capacity on SES’s NSS-7. SES is also linking with Speedcast to provide several hundreds of Mbps of
O3b connectivity into Peru. This is the first agreement between the companies in Latin America to provide Medium Earth
Orbit (MEO) capacity with high throughput capabilities and low latency. The agreement marks the fourth MEO national
partnership between Speedcast and SES Networks.
AMOS-17 passes CDR
Spacecom’s Amos-17 has successfully passed its Critical Design Review at Boeing’s facility. Specifically designed for
the African continent and scheduled for launch in early 2019, AMOS-17 will operate from 17°E to expand and strengthen
Spacecom's coverage in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. It will offer extensive Ka-band, Ku-band and C-Band HTS
services, combining broad regional beams and high throughput spot beams to maximize throughput and spectral
efficiency. The satellite's in-orbit life is expected to be 19 years.

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