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Liberty Global, ITV invest in 'NewTV' startup; Fox extends bidding war for Sky

TOP NEWS

* Liberty Global PLC and British broadcaster ITV PLC are among the investors that led a $1 billion funding round for an upcoming mobile entertainment platform with the working title of "NewTV," according to holding company WndrCo. Other investors include 21st Century Fox Inc. and Walt Disney Co.

* U.S. media giant Fox has left its takeover bid for British pay TV company Sky PLC unchanged at £14.00 per share, triggering a new bidding period under U.K. takeover rules. In an offer document that extends the ongoing high-stakes bidding war with Comcast Corp., Fox formalized its offer for the 61% of Sky that it does not already own, valuing the company at £24.5 billion.

* Warner Music Group Corp. sold its remaining stake in Spotify Technology SA. Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper said during an earnings conference call that the sale resulted in $126 million "credited to artist accounts on their June 30 royalty statements which are issued around the world in August and September," according to a Variety report.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* Love Nature 4K has inked distribution deals with KPN NV in the Netherlands and with Swisscom AG in Switzerland, Digital TV Europe reports. The new distribution deals are part of Love Nature's expansion plans in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

UK AND IRELAND

* Indian ride-hailing company Ola plans to launch in the U.K., after securing licenses in South Wales and Greater Manchester. Ola expects to begin operations in South Wales in September. The company will face competition from Uber Technologies Inc., London's The Guardian reports.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German TV station eoTV has cooperated with German pay TV channel Motorvision TV to broadcast motorcycling event "Isle of Man TT 2018," DWDL reports.

* German radio marketer AS&S Radio has taken over marketing duties for German classical music broadcaster Klassik Radio.

FRANCE

* French sports TV channel RMC Sport launched its new season on its six new channels, Univers Freebox reports, citing a statement. The channels will exclusively broadcast all of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Dutch regional cable provider Delta will terminate its analogue TV and cable FM radio offering Aug. 20, TotaalTV reports. Delta, based in the Dutch province of Zeeland, introduces mini-decoders for customers who have yet to switch to digital TV, as well as an unencoded basic digital channel package.

* Dutch advertising company BrandDeli announced an ad sales partnership with Disney in the Netherlands, starting Oct. 1. BrandDeli will be responsible for TV commercial sales and brand partnership solutions for Disney XD and Disney Channel.

* Dutch fiber connection specialist CBizz has acquired the fiber infrastructure of Datapark West, a bankrupted B2B fiber network business in the Dordrecht area. CBizz said it will inform businesses connected to the Datapark West network of the acquisition.

* The Belgian Data Protection Authority will soon allow local and federal police to infiltrate online, De Tijd reports. The decision by Justice Minister Koen Geens, motivated by rising internet crime rates, had been lined up for approval for over a year and has now been approved.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Microsoft Corp. has closed an R&D facility in the Swedish city of Lund, in line with the tech giant's efforts to centralize and reduce its geographical spread, SVT reports. Microsoft's Lund unit developed imaging and video functionality software for the Windows operating system.

* Jo Lunder, former CEO of VimpelCom, now VEON Ltd., earned 75 million Norwegian kroner from his company Cigalep in 2017, Hegnar reports. Lunder filed a 530 million kroner lawsuit against the Norwegian state seeking redress for financial losses linked to the VimpelCom corruption probe.

* Norway's local and national radio stations lost 309,000 listeners in the 12-month period to July 2018, MediaWatch reports. State broadcaster NRK said the decline is due to the national FM network's switch to the Digital Audio Broadcasting standard.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Iliad SA, Telecom Italia SpA, Swisscom unit Fastweb SpA, Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone Italia, Wind Tre SpA, Linkem SpA and Enel Open Fiber SpA will participate in the national 5G spectrum auction in Italy, Telecompaper reports, citing an announcement from the country's Ministry of Economic Development. The Italian government anticipates to raise about €2.5 billion from the licenses it will grant as part of the tender process.

* Movistar has entered into a deal to exclusively broadcast Spanish basketball league Liga ACB, Telecompaper reports. The Telefónica SA unit has secured rights to air the basketball league's matches for three years.

* RTVE has undergone a management shakeup shortly after Rosa Maria Mateo took over as interim president of the Spanish public broadcaster, Broadband TV News reports, citing El Economista.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Mobile TeleSystems PJSC will add Eurosport 4K to its lineup, effective Aug. 13, Broadband TV News reports. Meanwhile, channels Telenovela SD and World business channel HD will be removed from the Russian operator's lineup.

* Telia Lithuania has begun closing down its digital terrestrial pay TV service, following the recent launch of its IPTV service, Digital TV Europe reports. The Telia Co. AB unit has been gradually shutting down the transmissions of its pay TV channels in various areas in Lithuania.

* BlaBlaCar will be acquiring Mail.ru Group Ltd.'s car-sharing platform BeepCar, under an agreement between the French and Russian companies, Telecompaper reports. Under the deal, BlaBlaCar will continue to promote car sharing in Russia through Mail.ru's platforms.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: Analysis: Debt load, build-out deadlines complicate DISH's wireless ambitions: After a decadelong, $21 billion spectrum-buying spree, DISH has less than two years to deploy a wireless network that satisfies federal build-out requirements. Analysts worry the company is running low on both time and money to achieve its goal.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: OTT roundup, Q2'18: Digital video continued to dominate headlines in the second quarter, with tech titans, telecom operators and big media behemoths alike squaring off in the over-the-top video arena.

Global Multichannel: Telia intensifies consolidation in Nordics through Get, TDC Norge and Bonnier: Market saturation and fragmentation have left little room for organic growth in the Nordics, driving consolidation and diversification beyond network assets.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Koen Pijnappels and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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