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Pay TV revenues rocket, but cable hits plateau (Original)

Digital TV Research logoWorldwide pay TV revenues rocketed to US$184 billion (€141 billion) in 2012, according to new research.

Revenues increased sharply – 25.8% globally – in the four-year period to 2012 with cable taking the lion’s share by platform, generating US$87 billion.

However, the report from Digital TV Research says that cable revenues are leveling and satellite pay TV platforms will soon take a larger share.

North America generates about half of all pay TV revenues.

The number of digital pay TV households hit 772 million in 2012, up from 585 million in 2008. Asia Pacific increased by 126 million – or two-thirds of the global additions – during this period to bring its total to 433 million.

North America with 112 million and was the second largest region, although it only added four million.

Digital TV penetration of TV households climbed from 28.6% to 54.7% in the 2008-2012 period.

China and India were the single territories with the most pay homes with 232.8 million and 116.7 million respectively. They were ahead of the US (100.2million), Japan (25.1 million) and Russia (23.6 million).

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YouSee goes à la carte (Original)

YouSee logoDanish cable operator YouSee has made the pay TV channels on its platform available on an à la carte basis.

In addition to the basic package of 20 channels, which includes public broadcaster DR’s six channels, channels from commercial broadcasters TV2, TV3, Kanal 5 and dk4, and TV2’s regional channels, as well as public service channels from neighbouring countries, YouSee is offering over 100 pay channels à la carte.

À la carte channels cost between DKK10-40 (€1.34-€5.36), ranging from TV5 and Rai Uno at one end of the scale to Demmark’s TV2 News, Canal 9 and 6’eren at the other.

Viasat is not currently participating in the à la carte offering. YouSee parent TDC is negotiating with the Swedish broadcaster to include its TV3 channels in the offering.

YouSee subscribers do not have to sign up to a minimum contract and can terminate their agreement to purchase a particular channel before the 20th of each month.

Subscribers need a set-top box of CAM to access the channels. Additional cards are required to watch the channels on second TVs, costing DKK100 each.

TDC Group TV chief Ulf Lund said the company’s ability to offer its channels à la carte had come after “a long and tough process over several years” to persuade broadcasters and channel providers to abandon the bundling model.…

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Intel CTO steps down, CEO cautious on TV move (Original)

Intel’s chief technology officer and director of Intel Labs, Justin Rattner, is stepping down from his current role. 

Intel said that the move was required by Intel’s corporate bylaws, which say that Intel employees may not serve as corporate officers past the age of 65.

Rattner, who joined the company in 1973, is due to take personal leave immediately to deal with “a pressing family matter,” but will return at a later date to take up an as-yet unspecified job, Intel said.

The news comes as Intel’s new CEO Brian Krzanich said that he is “cautious” about moving ahead with Intel’s much anticipated push into the TV space, in his first briefing with reporters.

“We believe we have a great user interface and the compression-decompression technology is fantastic, but in the end, if we want to provide that service it comes down to content. We are not big content players,” Krzanich is reported to have said.

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Australian multiscreen viewing habits (Original)

Over a quarter of Australian homes have access to four screens: television, computer, tablet and smartphone. That is up from 16% a year ago. The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report from Nielsen suggests that television remains at the centre of these connected homes, but reading through the report it seems Australians are watching a little less television than the previous year.

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Cox flareWatch beta brings IPTV with 60 HD channels, cloud DVR for $35 monthly (Original)

Cox flareWatch TV beta brings IPTV with 60 HD channels, cloud DVR for $35 monthly

While everyone tries to figure out what the future of TV looks like, Variety reports Cox Cable has crossed over to offering internet TV service to customers in Orange County. flareWatch beta testers can buy a Fanhattan Fan TV set-top box for $99 (up to three per household) and sign up for a TV package that features 90 live TV channels (60 in HD) and includes the usual favorites like ESPN / ESPN2, AMC, CNN, Nickelodeon and TNT, with video on-demand coming soon. DVR recordings take place in the cloud, with 30 hours of storage available for each subscriber.

There is one notable limitation however, as with cable company provided TiVo DVRs, streaming services like Hulu and Netflix are not available. Cox already cloud based storage under the MyFlare brand name, and Variety also mentions the company plans to expand it with music and game services. Other providers have hinted at offering IPTV options and Comcast launched an IPTV test at MIT, but this is the first one publicly available from a major company. If you live in the area, demonstrations are available at several locations, check out the site at the link below and a preview video after the break.…

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Netflix gamifies content recommendations on the PS3 with “Max” (Original)

Looking for a new way to encourage more Netflix Instant users to use ratings tools, Netflix is launching a voice assistant called Max on the PlayStation 3 which is tied into a batch of mini-games.

The post Netflix gamifies content recommendations on the PS3 with “Max” appeared first on Digital Trends.…

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Time Warner Cable app coming to Xbox 360 with 300 live channels for subscribers (Original)

Microsoft and Time Warner Cable partner up to bring a TWC app to Xbox 360, offering subscribers with Xbox Live Gold membership access to as many as 300 channels, including favorites like Comedy Central and CNN.

The post Time Warner Cable app coming to Xbox 360 with 300 live channels for subscribers appeared first on Digital Trends.…

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Netflix just hired Clippy to give you movie and TV suggestions (Original)

Netflix Max
In what looks, sounds, and is written like a rated-G April Fools’ joke, Netflix has announced Max, a recommendation engine that sits on top of Netflix’s already established recommendation services, except with a……

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BT plans TV rebrand, entertainment push (Original)

BT is planning to slowly rebrand its TV service from BT Vision to BT TV, and has plans to boost its channel line-up later this year. 

Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild event yesterday, BT Retail’s chief executive of TV Marc Watson said that BT is rebranding the division following the launch of its web-connected YouView set-top box offering last year.

“We’re going to call our set-top box services and our platform BT TV and within that we’ll have a Vision box and a BT YouView box – so there’s that umbrella brand,” Watson said.

Asked why BT doesn’t simply phase out its older generation BT Vision set-top box, Watson said currently it is only able to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 on this device, due to ongoing wrangles with Sky about distribution of the channels on its YouView offering.

Speaking about BT’s wider channel plans away from sport, Watson said BT now has all the “biggest channels” on the platform aside from Sky’s entertainment channels like Sky One and Sky Atlantic – though he said he would be open to working commercially with Sky to carry these networks.

He also added: “We are planning to launch more channels later this year, and we’ll be making some more announcements about that in due course, but we’re not quite ready to do it yet.”

In the last year, BT has signed channel deals with the likes of Discovery Networks UK and Viacom International Media Networks to carry stations like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.…

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Consumers moving to on-demand but bundling still makes sense, says Discovery (Original)

Mark Hollinger

Mark Hollinger

Polish and other central and eastern European customers are increasingly looking to non-linear and advanced TV services, but bundled pay TV remains key to the success of content providers and guarantees continued investment in high value content, according to Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International. 

Speaking at the Digital TV CEE conference yesterday, Hollinger said that VOD is beneficial provided it is additive rather than a replacement for linear TV.

According to figures cited by Hollinger, linear TV viewing continues to rise but 49% of viewers in Poland are now regulaly consuming live TV online. Thirty-five per cent of viewers in Poland regularly use VOD, he said.

Hollinger said that three quarters of Polish viewers continue to watch scheduled shows, but 85% would prefer to watch TV when they want rather than have the schedule dicate when they should watch. He said that the research showed that 53% of Polish viewers would be interested in a device or services that automatically recorded TV shows they might interested about.

Discovery conducted research amongst 5,000 viewers across 10 CEEMEA markets in partnership with the The Future Foundation.

Hollinger said the investment model in a completely on-demand environment or a completely a la carte environment would not be “very different” and that channel providers including Discovery would invest much less in content in this environment.…

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