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Sky, Perform Group win Serie A rights; Atresmedia, Televisa to launch SVOD

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Sky, Perform Group win Serie A rights; Atresmedia, Televisa to launch SVOD

TOP NEWS

* Sky PLC and sports media company Perform Group have acquired broadcasting rights for Serie A soccer matches until 2021 for about €973 million per season, Reuters reports, citing the Italian league's chairman, Gaetano Micciche. Under the terms, the Italian football league will receive an additional €100 million per year, depending on subscriptions and revenues garnered by the broadcasting companies. Spain's Mediapro did not present an offer for the Serie A bidding, according to a separate Reuters report, citing a source.

* Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia will launch a subscription video-on-demand service called Novelas Nova, in partnership with Mexico's Grupo Televisa SAB, Advanced Television reports. The platform intends to offer about 5,000 hours of content.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Co. said it will team up with Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. to launch a $400 million investment fund targeting European technology enterprises. The fund will be managed by the company's venture capital arm, Mubadala Ventures, which also oversees Mubadala's $15 billion commitment to the SoftBank Vision Fund.

* Twitter Inc. expanded the availability of in-stream video ads to all advertisers in 12 global markets including the U.S., The other markets include France, Spain and the U.K., according to an official blog post.

UK AND IRELAND

* Netflix Inc. has tapped Diego Buñuel to serve as its director of original documentaries for its upcoming new headquarters in London, Broadcast reports. Buñuel, who confirmed his new post in a tweet, will commission original documentaries for Europe amid Netflix's push for more original factual content.

* Global communications company ViaSat Inc. said it acquired Horsebridge Defence and Security, a U.K.-based company focused on design, system integration and support of deployable secure networks. The Horsebridge Defence and Security team will be integrated into the communications provider's Farnborough, U.K.-based organization.

* Mobile phone and electronics retailer Dixons Carphone PLC said it is investigating a breach of its data systems, which might have compromised 5.9 million cards in a processing system in its Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. It also found that 1.2 million personal data records were accessed via the hack. The National Cyber Security Centre said it is working with Dixons Carphone to resolve the cyberattack.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Private equity giants KKR & Co. LP and Blackstone Group LP are looking to acquire EQT's minority stake in Swiss sports data group Sportradar AG, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources. The Swedish private equity group reportedly tapped Evercore as its adviser on the proposed stake sale, which could value Sportradar at more than €2 billion.

* ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE deputy board chairman Conrad Albert has again warned ANGA COM participants over superiority in the German TV market, in relation to Vodafone Group PLC's Vodafone Deutschland GmbH's proposed acquisition of Liberty Global PLC's German cable operator unit Unitymedia, Handelsblatt reports.

* German publisher Spiegel said its newly launched Spiegel+ platform has attracted 7,800 new subscribers in the first two weeks. The platform also has 5,600 existing users from the outdated Spiegel Daily site and 60,000 Spiegel Digital portfolio customers.

FRANCE

* Ubisoft Entertainment SA CEO Yves Guillemot said China will be the company's second market in two years, Le Figaro reports. In his remarks during E3 2018, Guillemot said that by being distributed via new shareholder Tencent Holdings Ltd., which holds a 5% stake, Ubisoft games will reach a much larger number of consumers.

* Altice NV subsidiary SFR Group SA unveiled Enjoy, a new brand with simplified fixed and mobile offers. The no-commitment customizable content bundles will enable subscribers to watch the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, English Premier League and Portuguese Premier League, among other sports, as well as Altice Studio, OCS, Netflix Inc., Napster Inc. and other music channels.

* Orange SA has been ordered to pay over €53 million to SFR, Capital reports. The Paris Court of Appeals ruled on the case of unfair competition concerning the former France Télécom dating back to €32.25 million for the 2010-13 period and €20.7 million for the 2014-16 period.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Proximus has warned of job losses and increased margin pressure at Belgium's main telecom operators if Belgian Telecom Minister Alexander De Croo will pursue his announced plan to permit entrance to a fourth telecom player in the Belgian market, De Tijd reports. De Croo reportedly said a foreign party is seriously interested in investing in the 4G and 5G frequencies that will be auctioned in 2019.

* Ziggo NV announced the addition of an offline viewing feature to its Ziggo Go app, enabling users to freely download most content from the Movies & Series (XL) package to at most two mobile devices. Content will be stored offline for a maximum of 30 days.

* Talpa Network, via its acquired press agency ANP acquired Dutch photography agency Hollandse Hoogte, which employs more than 500 photographers, Nu.nl reports. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Verizon Communications Inc. and Nokia Corp. completed a series of data sessions over the 3GPP New Radio 5G standard outdoors rather than in a lab, according to a news release. Verizon and Nokia also completed multicarrier aggregation to boost 5G signals into the gigabit-per-second range.

* Swedish game production company THQ Nordic AB announced it is planning a share issue that will raise almost 1.5 billion Swedish kronor before issue costs. The capital will be used to acquire new brands, game development studios and similar initiatives that complement the business.

* Nordic Entertainment Group, which was recently split from Modern Times Group AB, said it has struck an agreement extending its exclusive media rights to Formula 1 in Denmark, Norway and Sweden until 2021. All races and practice sessions will be offered live on the company's Viaplay streaming service and its TV channels.

* Telenor ASA unit Telenor Norway announced it has started the process of replacing old technology, and that 15,000 customers will be switched from copper lines to mobile or fiber infrastructure.

* Telia Co. AB said Volvo Construction Equipment AB is the first company to join its new partner program for 5G services. Volvo CE will test 5G technology with remote-controlled machines and automation equipment at its own R&D facilities in Eskilstuna.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* U.S. broadcaster Entravision Communications Corp. acquired Smadex, a digital advertising technology company based in Barcelona for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition was completed via Entravision's Headway business unit, a data-driven media buying company for marketers worldwide, the company said.

* Sony Corp. is canceling its plans to launch a digital terrestrial television service in Spain, due to manifestations of a weak TV ad market in the country, Broadband TV News reports, citing El Economista.

* Vodafone España SAU has added Telefónica SA's Movistar Series and Movistar Estrenos to its lineup, Advanced Television reports. Telefónica is also required to share its exclusive content to Vodafone's rivals to ensure free competition.

* Italian companies Mediaset SpA and Cairo Communication SpA have submitted an appeal against Agcom's process of assigning frequencies for 5G, Reuters reports, citing sources. Mediaset, RAI and Cairo's La7 channel would reportedly need to free up their frequencies once these have been set for auction.

* Retelit SpA said its board of directors has decided to challenge the President of the Council of Ministers' decision to implement the golden power decree on the Italian telecom infrastructure company.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Viasat World Ltd.'s Epic Drama, its period drama pay TV channel, will be available on Liberty Global units UPC Poland, UPC Romania and UPC Hungary, TBI Vision reports. Drama series such as "Line of Separation," "The Collection" and "X Company," will be available to UPC subscribers in the coming months through the new channel.

* Russia's ER-Telecom, operating under the Dom.ru brand, has sent a proposal to Rostelecom PJSC for the companies to collaborate on the deployment of fiber optic networks in the city of St. Petersburg, Telecompaper reports, citing ER-Telecom CEO Andrey Kuzyaev's statement in Delovoy Peterburg.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: CogX 2018: AI provides additional horsepower to existing cybersecurity arsenal: The growing complexity of IT systems, the increasing aggression of state actors and the challenge of undereducated digital users are driving the adoption of AI-based cybersecurity technology, according to panelists at the annual CogX event.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Mobile and OTT dominate digital viewing for most broadcast and cable networks: Network owners continue to embrace a brave new digital world, with top broadcast networks and cablenets alike seeing online audiences from their online sites, apps and YouTube channels significantly extend their reach.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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