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ITV eyes Entertainment One; Regulators ask for EU-US data pact review


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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ITV eyes Entertainment One; Regulators ask for EU-US data pact review


* Britishbroadcaster ITV Plchas held talks about a potential acquisition of Canadian content distributorEntertainment OneLtd., Bloomberg News reports,citing people familiar with the situation. No final decision has reportedlybeen made, and talks may not lead to a deal. Entertainment One distributedAcademy Award-winning film "Spotlight" and children's cartoon"Peppa Pig," among others.

* Asexpected, the Article29 Working Party, composed of data protection regulators of EU member countries,has urged the European Commission to review the draft of the EU-U.S. PrivacyShield, a new transatlantic data flow framework. In a statement,the EU body noted the lack of clarity in the agreement about how businesseswill handle the processing and transfer of data to the U.S. The group alsoexpressed concerns about the susceptibility of Europeans' data toindiscriminate mass surveillance, especially in relation to fighting terrorism.


*Most European households prefer to consume over-the-top content via PCs andlaptops, according to recent SNL Kagan data.In coming years, consistent revenue growth will come from online videoplatforms, while overall revenue for OVP vendors will be higher, although thisrevenue will fluctuate more. Apple Inc. and Roku Inc. lead the market share for streaming mediaplayers as of the first half of 2015.


*Industry observers gathering at the FT Digital Media 2016 Summit in Londonagreed that U.K.broadcasters have held up well against disruptive newcomers in comparison totheir U.S. counterparts. Cord-cutting numbers are lower in the U.K. bycomparison. For most U.K. viewers, online VOD and traditional subscriptionservices are complementary, and "cord shaving" is more likely:consumers opting for slimmer subscription packages from traditional players,rather than canceling them outright.

*British Culture Secretary John Whittingdale is putting pressure on theBBC to hand over aportion of the license fee to commercial broadcasters to spend on producingchildren's shows, The Daily Telegraphreports.The proposed top-slicing of the license fee was in response to concerns thatindependent children's programming is fighting for survival while the BBCdominates. The plans reportedly sparked outrage from the BBC, which alreadystruck a license feecompromise with the U.K. government in 2015.

*U.K. Digital Minister Ed Vaizey said that the British government may not beable to provide broadband services across the entire country, especially inrural areas, The Daily Telegraph reports.In a gathering of MPs, Vaizey reportedly suggested limiting the amount ofpublic broadband spending on isolated rural properties if this will becomecostly. Vaizey also admitted to "significant delays" in the nationalbroadband rollout.

*Outgoing RTÉ Director General Noel Curran warned that the Irish statebroadcaster is facing service and operational cuts over the next few yearsunless it receives more government funding, TheIrish Times reports.He noted that RTÉ had its public funding cut by more than €15 million since2010, instead of getting more money as recommended by the BroadcastingAuthority of Ireland. Dee Forbes will replace Curran.

*British Telecom ishiring 900 more employees over the next 12 months to work in its cybersecuritybusiness, accordingto a news release. The intake will include 170 graduates and apprentices whowill undergo training in BT's Security Academy on areas such as physicalsecurity, penetration testing and threat intelligence. BT currently employsmore than 2,500 security professionals.

*BBC Digital Director Ralph Rivera is stepping down after the broadcaster madehis role redundant in line with cost-cutting organizational changes, Broadcast reports.The BBC's digital operations have been reportedly merged with its engineeringand BBC WorldwideLtd. technology teams, with the united division to be led by ChiefTechnology Officer Matthew Postgate. Rivera is set to take on a six-montheducation project for the public broadcaster.

*Viacom International MediaNetworks-owned Nickelodeon UK & Ireland named James Newton asits vice president of programming, effective April 18, TBI Vision reports.Newton joins the broadcaster from NBCUniversal Media LLC's NBCUniversal International,where he is currently director of programming in the U.K. Viacom InternationalMedia Networks is a unit of Viacom Inc., while Comcast Corp. owns NBCUniversal.

* Aspokesman for Downing Street dismissed calls for U.K. Culture Secretary JohnWhittingdale to step down from his duties of press regulation after it emergedthat he had been in a relationship with a sex worker, The Daily Telegraph reports.While it remains to be seen how the news could undermine his position, a BBCNews report raisedquestions regarding claims that media organizations had the story but decided notto publish it because of Whittingdale's regulation of the press amid thephone-hacking scandal and the Leveson inquiry into press standards.


*Swisscom AG launcheda new TV box capable of broadcasting soccer matches, films and other content in4K Ultra HD. Available beginning April 14, the new TV box will feature Ultra HDbroadcasts of the opening game, the quarterfinals and all games onwards of the2016 UEFA European Championships on Swiss channel SRF zwei, Swisscom . The TV box comeswith a microphone-equipped remote control, allowing voice-activated contentsearch. The voice-activated search function supports German, all Swiss Germandialects and French, with Italian to be added later. A built-in VLC mediaplayer can be used to play various types of media, such as smartphone-shotvideos, as the company also prepares to integrate 4K streaming of YouTubecontent via the TV box.New customers subscribing to a Vivo package withSwisscom TV 2.0 will get the Ultra HD TV box free, while current TV 2.0customers can buy the box for CHF 119.

* Germanpublisher Axel SpringerSE continues to see great potential in the U.S. for the expansionof its digital strategy, Meedia reports,citing CEO Mathias Döpfner. A central part of the plans is the of financial newsprovider Business Insider, which Axel Springer hopes to develop into a digital"Wall Street Journal" oftomorrow, Döpfner was cited as saying at the company's annual general meetingin Berlin. In addition to Business Insider, Axel Springer will also focus thisyear above all on the growth of the Upday news app as well as the mobileshopping startup Retale.

*Tele Columbus andPrimacom have begunusing the same mobile telephony tariffs as the of the two German telcosprogresses, reports.Tele Columbus, which significantly increased the number of its subscribersthrough the takeover of Primacom, merged the internet- and fixed-line phoneofferings at the beginning of the year. Now mobile telephony tariffs, whichTele Columbus first introduced in September last year, will apply to Primacomcustomers, too.

*German broadcaster ZDF's satirical comedian Jan Böhmermann is receiving policeprotection after reading out an explicit rhyming poem about Turkish PresidentRecep Tayyip Erdogan on the Neo Magazin Royale program, Der Tagesspiegel reports.Böhmermann, who lives in Köln, has a police patrol car in front of his house, aspokesperson for the city's police department said. The satirist has alsodecided to cancel the next broadcast of "Neo Magazin Royale," whichwas due to air today, due to the intense media spotlight on the show.


* Frenchtelecom regulator ARCEP publishedits report on the quality of access to fixed Internet services for the secondhalf of 2015. The report reviewed services offered by Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Numericable SAS, Orange and SFR. Results indicate that fiber-optics plays a crucialrole in the home with video and photo sharing and online data storage, and itsquality has an enormous impact on the users' experience of web browsing andonline gaming.

*French TV show "Le Petit Journal," broadcast weeknights on Canal+,could be axed, reportsLe Soir. According to reports, theshow's producer Laurent Bon was told by Vincent Bolloré that budget cuts wouldmean the program, which has over 1.21 million viewers every night, would nolonger air on Canal+. Four other flagship programs could also be cut: "LeGrand Journal," "Le Supplément," "Les Guignols" and"Groland." However, "Le Petit Journal" could find a newlife on a pay-per-view channel.

*SFR is accused of harassing clients with repeated phone calls offeringdiscounts, reportsLe Figaro. Customers are reportedlyreceiving up to 10 phone calls per day from a foreign number, which, ifresponded to, asks them to call a pay-per-use number for more information. FromJune, consumers will be able to register their numbers with a governmentdatabase if they do not wish to be solicited telephonically. An SFRspokesperson said the company is investigating the matter.


*Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has failed to reach an agreementwith telecom providers on subscriptions that include mobile devices, reportsNOS. Telecom providers wanted to introduce a special code of conduct on mobilesubscriptions including mobile devices at which customers are paying a monthlyfee for their phone. Currently, providers are facing the same restrictions asany vendor offering products based on a deferred payment, a rule they urgedDijsselbloem to revise.

* has updated its mobilestreaming app Horizon GO, accordingto TotaalTV. Besides watching live TV, Horizon GO users can watch previouslybroadcast TV programs up to seven days ago via the Replay TV platform.

*Belgian provider Proximus will support a startup fund set up by theLuxembourg government in partnership with a group of private investors, inorder to support the financing and development of startups active in ICT, accordingto a press release. The fund, called the Digital Tech Fund, was launched at theinitiative of the economy minister as part of the Digital Lëtzebuerg program.It will acquire holdings in innovative companies created less than seven yearsago and which develop products that, preferably, already exist in the form of afunctional prototype.

*Onegini, a Dutch provider of security software for mobile phones, will becooperating with Edgeverve, a subsidiary of Indian business infrastructuresoftware company Infosys Finance Partners, accordingto Het Financieele Dagblad. Theagreement will result in an extra 500 million customers for Onegini. Edge Vervehas through its partners access to 1.2 billion bank accounts, or more than 16%of the world population with a bank account.

*Dutch NGO Free Press Unlimited launched "Reporter Rá Teen Bum," a TVprogram in Brazil focused on children between 12 and 16 years old, Villamedia writes.The TV program was set up in collaboration with Brazilian public broadcaster TVCulture. By launching the show, 55 million children in Brazil will have accessto news and reports that are relevant to them.


* TheSwedish government has still not responded to a warning by that the company mayleave Sweden if state reforms to support technology startups fail tomaterialize, writesDi Digital. The government's 300-page budget bill, presented by the Ministry ofFinance on April 13, fails to address key issues raised by Spotify. The companywants the government to direct more financial support to train programmers.Spotify also wants legislation to ease the tax burden on tech startups. Thebudget does propose the development of digitalization, including e-healthcare,in the delivery of  public services.

*Ericsson AB outlinedits networked society strategy vision for the future at its annual generalmeeting in Stockholm, the company said in a statement. Ericsson CEO HansVestberg said that broadband, mobility and cloud will continue to reshape valuechains, digitalizing business models and creating possibilities across allindustries. Vestberg also said that Ericsson's challenge is to develop astrategy that maintains the company's relevance to changes in areas such astransmission networks, telecom services, cloud services, IP networks, TV andmedia.

*TDC A/S appointedJaap Postma as the new senior executive vice president of , effective May 10. Postmawill also join TDC's executive committee, reportsMediaWatch. He joins YouSee from KPN NV, where he was senior executive vicepresident of its consumer division. He will replace René Brøchner, who isstepping down at the end of 2016.

* PetroMedia News A/S, the Stavanger-based online oil and gas industry news website,filed for bankruptcy, writesDagens Næringsliv. A petition to windup Petro Media News was lodged with the Stavanger District Court. The onlinenews service,, was focused on delivering subscription-based contentcovering Norway's offshore petroleum industry, contract awards, well drillingactivities and energy-industrial policy impacting the oil and gas sector. PetroMedia News also produced a number of specialist energy newsletters.


* will launch its kids' channel Boomerang in Turkey on April 23, Broadband TVNews reports.The 24-hour digital cable and satellite channel will be carried by pay TVplatforms D-Smart and Tivibu, and will be in HD format. Boomerang targets youngviewers aged four to seven. TimeWarner Inc. owns Turner.

*Orange unit OrangeEspaña finalized its voluntary redundancy plan, lowering the numberof affected employees to 435, from a previous 496, Advanced Television reports.The company's executive committee will also be restructured to an 11-memberteam, after marketing director Luis del Pozo, sales director Pablo Lopez andnetwork director Vicente Casciaro reportedly agreed to voluntary redundancy.The move follows Orange's takeover of Spanish operator Jazztel. In February, Orange originally to let go of 550 workers.

*The Greek government is launching a tender process for broadcast transmissionbandwidth in the coming months, Advanced Television reports.A total of four licenses will be auctioned to private broadcasters, worth atleast €3 million each.


* unitUPC Slovakia added 14new services to its Horizon Go mobile TV offering, Digital TV Europe reports.The HD additions include Dvojka HD, Joj Plus HD, CT2 HD, AMC HD, HBO2 HD, HBO3HD, Cinemax HD, Spektrum HD, History HD and Arena Sport1 HD. This takes up thetotal number of services on Horizon Go to 80, out of which 22 are in HD.

*Polish public broadcaster Telewizja Polska SA slammed the findings of the KRRiT,the country's broadcast regulator regarding its news content, Broadband TV Newsreports.The KRRiT reportedly said TVP was government-centric in its coverage, comparedto rivals Cyfrowy PolsatSA-owned Polsat and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.'s , which featured diverse issues.TVP is accusing the KRRiT of a "brutal, politically motivated attack"on the broadcaster, according to the report.

*Poland's ZPR Media is planning to rebrand and expand the programming of musicchannel Eska TV, Broadband TV News reports,citing Wirtualne Media. ZPR Media reportedly filed a request with the KRRiT torename Eska TV to Ósemka TV, and include entertainment formats to itsprogramming. Launched in 2009, Eska TV is available in Poland via digitalterrestrial television.


: Industry observers gathering at theFT Digital Media 2016 summit in London agreed that U.K. broadcasters have heldup well against disruptive newcomers in comparison to their U.S. counterparts.

: In this bi-weekly feature, SNL Kaganprovides a roundup of significant recent regulatory events in Europe. 

: The strategy could work well for bothsides, industry observers say, as it offers up a potentially lucrative sourceof income for publishers, who in turn might flock to Facebook in greaternumbers.

: Yahoo is engagingpotential bidders while implementing a strategic plan, all to turn away fromyears of contraction and stagnation. 

: AztecaAmerica executives told upfront attendees that it wants to build on the successof its defined prime-time programming strategy, and that the service will lookto connect advertisers and audiences via content produced by its new in-house,digital production unit. 

: SNL Kagan presents a rundown of boardchanges in the media and communications industries. 

: Chief Administrative Law Judge KarlBemesderfer recommended that the California Public Utilities Commission approvethe proposed merger transactions between Charter, Time Warner Cable and BrightHouse Networks, while E.W. Scripps acquired Santa Monica, Calif.-basedmultiplatform satire brand Cracked for $39 million in cash from Demand Media.

Amanda Kelly, PatrickWinters, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report. TheDaily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external linksmay require a subscription.