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In This List

Sky to show 50 original series; MEO denies executive president's exit

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

Cable networks react to pandemic by cutting SG&A, programming costs

Strong Competition Remains For Thailand Digital Terrestrial TV Channel

ITU: Regulators discuss impacts of COVID-19 on policymaking


Sky to show 50 original series; MEO denies executive president's exit

TOP NEWS

* Sky plc will offer about 50 original series in 2018 as part of CEO Jeremy Darroch's commitment to increase investment in original productions. About 24 of the slated 50 series are returning shows.

* Portugese operator MEO rejected reports that its executive president, Claudia Goya, is leaving the company, Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Negocios. Jornal Economico reportedly said the PT Portugal unit is working on an internal solution as Goya is about to step down within the week of Nov. 20.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* EU finance ministers are looking for a global solution for digital companies' taxes, instead of merely raising their tax bills, Reuters reports, citing the most recent EU draft document. The ministers also have a divided view on equalization levy.

* The European Commission announced the creation of broadband competence offices as part of its five-point toolkit to bring broadband connections to rural areas across the EU. The toolkit also includes, among other things, the roll out of "broadband missions" to regions with low rural broadband penetration and the development of a "common methodology" to plan and monitor broadband investments.

* The European Commission, the European Parliament and EU member states agreed to a plan to require online retailers and service providers operating in the bloc to sell to and serve consumers in the entire EU, Reuters reports. The proposal, which is expected to take effect by December 2018, will end blocking or redirecting a customer based on their location, known as geoblocking.

UK AND IRELAND

* U.K.-based advertising giant WPP Plc agreed to tender all of its 25% stake, or 10,331,100 common shares, in its Japanese partner Asatsu-DK Inc. to private equity firm Bain Capital. Asatsu-DK also said that WPP agreed to withdraw its arbitration petition, as well as the petition it filed with the Tokyo District Court seeking an order for provisional disposition against Asatsu-DK.

* Ireland is set to begin the recovery of up to €13 billion of back taxes from Apple Inc., Reuters reports. Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar reportedly expects progress "in the coming weeks."

* UKTV Media appointed Mary Basterfield CFO. She will be involved in the business' strategic and commercial direction.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Siemens AG will acquire Solido Design Automation Inc., a Canadian provider of variation-aware design and characterization software to semiconductor companies worldwide. Terms of the transaction, expected to close in early December, were not disclosed.

* Deutsche Presse Agentur has acquired a 3.864% stake in London-based financial and investment news agency Alliance News Ltd. PA Group Ltd., the parent of English news agency the Press Association, has acquired the same stake in Alliance News.

* Swisscom AG and eight other companies unveiled plans to create a platform that would allow Swiss consumers to use a single digital identity in purchasing products and services online, Reuters reports. The companies plan to set up a joint venture in 2018 for the platform.

* German and French TV network Arte Geie has appointed Bernd Mütter as director of programming, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Mütter replaces Alain Le Diberder, who had held the role since 2013.

FRANCE

* The CSA, France's broadcast regulator, has launched a call for applications for the broadcast of local free-to-air, terrestrial, high-definition television service in the Château-Arnoux region in Alpes de Haute Provence.

* The TV entertainment division of Prisma Media has signed an agreement with IBM Corp.'s The Weather Co. to launch a version in France, CB News reports. It will provide detailed weather data and localized forecasts from the IBM unit while Prisma Media's TV press title, Télé-Loisirs, will provide editorial content for a new web space on health, sports, travel, science and video.

* Le Monde and its advertising network M Publicité are launching three new social marketing offers under the name Social StoryTelling. These will target specific profiles within the group's social communities, separate organic and paid outreach, and measure interactions.

* Orange SA's Orange Business Services has announced its first "smart resort" in the Alps as part of a concept that will be developed across of France. Montgenèvre's digital transformation is being coordinated through a "smart city" strategy, combining free Wi-Fi, a mobile app available from early December on iOS and Android and big data analytics.

* Orange has also announced it has joined the Fédération des Industriels des Réseaux d' Initiative Publique. The French telecom said it will ensure that public initiatives are consistent with private in the deployment of France's Très Haut Débit Plan.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* VICE Media LLC and De Persgroep NVhave partnered up in providing a video-on-demand service on AD.nl, the website of Algemeen Dagblad, Adformatie reports. The video platform will include a selection of Viceland series, documentaries and films, and content coming from the ten digital Vice channels.

* Telecom operator Delta and telecom infrastructure company Greenet will intensify their cooperation in the rural areas of Dutch province Zeeland.

* Fox-IT Group BV co-founder Ronald Prins will resign after 18 years, effective Jan. 1, 2018, and plans to invest in new technologies. IT security company Fox-IT was founded in 1999, and is responsible for protecting the Dutch government's data.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* ZetaDisplay AB has been certified by Samsung Corp. under the South Korean company's application certification program. Samsung will use ZetaDisplay's software to test future technology for smart displays used in digital communications.

* The EQT Mid Market fund has bought a 40% equity holding in Epidemic Sound AB. Epidemic Sound purchases music from composers and licenses it to TV channels, YouTube productions and Facebook Inc. video creators.

* Nkom has told fixed-line operator Broadnet AS to correct security defects in its IT systems, the Norwegian regulator said. Broadnet first observed breaches in IT security clearance after it outsourced certain IT tasks to the Indian company TechMahindra.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Vodafone Portugal CEO Mario Vaz claims Altice NV's acquisition of Media Capital has been "rejected," adding that Portuguese media watchdog ERC's decision is "valid and binding," Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Negocios. ERC earlier failed to reach a decision on the Altice/Media Capital deal due to its potential impacts on media pluralism in Portugal.

* CEO Francesco Starace of Italian utility company Enel SpA said he sees no merit in combining its broadband unit Enel Open Fiber SpA with Telecom Italia SpA, Reuters reports.

* Vodafone Group Plc's Vodafone Italia and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. reached downloads speeds of 2.7 Gbps and a latency of just over a millisecond in their pre-standard 5G trials in Milan, Italy, Telecompaper reports. The companies used a certain technique to boost the range of high frequency spectrum for end-to-end 5G connections.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Facebook is set to meet with officials of Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor in late December or early January 2018 to discuss the company's compliance with Russian laws on data localization and prompt removal of prohibited content, Reuters reports, citing news agency TASS. Russia earlier threatened to block Facebook access next year if it failed to comply with the local data retention rules.

* The Russian government threatened to take action against Google Inc. if the latter would give less prominence to articles from Sputnik and Russia Today in its search results, Reuters reports, citing Interfax. Alexander Zharov, who heads media watchdog Roskomnadzor, said they sent a letter to the Alphabet Inc. unit clarifying Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's statement that the company was working to place articles from "those kinds of websites" on lower priority.

* Multimedia Polska SA may need to request a spinoff of part of its business and sell it to another company with a different investor, Telecompaper reports, citing Rzeczpospolita. The potential scenario would reportedly help ease antitrust concerns from regulator UOKiK over Multimedia Polska's acquisition by Liberty Global plc's UPC Poland.

* Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. unit TVN SA is teaming up with direct-to-home platform nc+ to roll out a new service dubbed Player+ on Nov. 23, Telecompaper reports, citing Media2.pl. Player+ will reportedly provide content from other nc+ channels that has already been available for some time.

* Bulgarian TV channel Europa approved the appointment of Georgi Harizanov as CEO, Broadband TV News reports, citing Capital.

FEATURED NEWS

Tech Time: UK vows billions in tech investments; Apple developing AR headset: The British government pledged to invest billions of pounds in artificial intelligence, big data and self-driving vehicles, while tech giant Apple is working on a stand-alone augmented-reality headset that is expected to be ready by 2019.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Consumer Insights: How consumers in Europe and the US watch OTT video on the TV: A comparison of European and U.S. consumer surveys reveal that the devices consumers prefer to use to deliver online video content to the TV varies substantially.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Koen Pijnappels and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.