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Spotify tunes into original video; EC to block Three-O2 deal

OTT Helps To Offset Pay TV Losses for Video Security Vendors

5G Survey: Despite COVID-19 delays, operator roadmaps still lead to 5G

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

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


Spotify tunes into original video; EC to block Three-O2 deal

TOP NEWS

*Spotify Ltd. iscreating 12 original short-form series, which will be available to both itspaying and non-paying users in the U.S., the U.K., Sweden and Germany,Bloomberg News reports.The music-centered series will reportedly be no more than 15 minutes each, tobe produced in partnership with actor Tim Robbins and Def Jam Recordsco-founder Russell Simmons, among others. Spotify will shortly follow theinitial content slate with comedy and animation series aimed at young viewers,according to the report.

* EUcommissioners are set to meet in Strasbourg on May 10, to discuss and areexpected to reject CKHutchison Holdings Ltd.'s proposed takeover of 's British mobileoperator unit O2. The EU is expected to release a statement regarding theproposed deal within the week, the FinancialTimes (London) reports,citing three people with knowledge of the matter. EU antitrust chief MargretheVestager is wary about reducing the number of U.K. mobile operators from fourto three, citing potential price increases and reduced choices for consumers.Hutchison earlier said it is preparedto challenge an EU regulatory veto on the deal.

UK AND IRELAND

*The BBC will releaseBBC+, a discovery mobile app intended to help users find BBC content easier,Advanced Television reports,citing a BBC progress report. The British public broadcaster will alsoreportedly launch a new BBC Identity system, for multiplatform personalizedviewing.

*John McAndrew is stepping down as Sky News director of content to pursueoutside opportunities, The Guardian reports,citing an internal email to staff. John Ryley, news chief of the unit reportedly askedMcAndrew to help launch current affairs show "The Pledge," whichdebuted in April, and to aid in the EU referendum coverage in June beforeleaving. McAndrew has been with Sky News since 2005.

*British telecoms watchdog Ofcom has launcheda consultationin relation to its current Wholesale Local Access market review, in order todetermine future regulation of access connections used in telephone andbroadband internet services. Ofcom will review if , among others, stillholds significant market power in the WLA and Wholesale Fixed Analog ExchangeLine markets in the U.K., and whether remedies are needed to protect andpromote competition at the retail level. Stakeholders are invited to submitresponses on the matter until June 7.

*Global digital video multiplatform network Rightster Group plc has relaunchedas Brave Bison, the company announced in an emailed statement. Following therelaunch, the company is transforming into a social video broadcaster from athird-party technology provider, with Ashley MacKenzie returning as CEO of therebranded firm.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND ANDAUSTRIA

*Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought an injunction against the CEOof German media group AxelSpringer SE, Mathias Döpfner, Handelsblattreports,citing the dpa news agency. The injunction is reportedly related to Döpfner'spublic support for an explicit poem about Erdogan written by ZDF comedian JanBöhmermann. A spokeswoman for Axel Springer said the situation remainsunchanged and the company has not received any new information relating to thecase.

*Deutsche Telekom AG'sT-Mobile will switch all of its private and business customers in Austria from3G to speedier LTE mobile internet, the company said in a statement. The change,which also applies for customers of Austria's tele.ring, will be free of chargeand implemented over the next two weeks. T-Mobile has almost reached the end ofan LTE network upgrade that now allows it to cover most of Austria with fasterinternet, the company said.

*German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1Media SE bought TV rights for football's Copa América, which runsfrom June 3 to June 26 in the U.S., Dwdlreports.Sky Deutschland GmbHalso confirmed it has extended its rights to televise Germany`s DFB-Pokalfootball tournament to include the 2018/2019 season, according to the newsprovider.

FRANCE

*Comcast Corp. hasboughtStickyAds.tv, a French startup that focuses on television ads that run ondigital properties, for an undisclosed price, Re/code reports,citing sources with knowledge of the details. The newly acquired company willnow be part of Comcast's FreeWheel unit.

* -owned has launcheda new roaming package in Europe for its business customers. While roaming inEurope is already included in Free Mobile packages for individuals, for €1 moreper month, SFR will now offer the same roaming features for its businesscustomers. The new "Roaming Europe" package includes three hours ofcommunication to and from the rest of the world, as well as unlimited voice& SMS data.

*French global TV network TV5MONDE has announcedit has signed a new agreement with TataSky Ltd. in India, the main DTH operator in the country. As of May5, the channel TV5MONDE Asia has been integrated with the "English newspack" offer, on channel 537. TV5MONDE Asia is available in over 42 millionhouseholds, and has over 72 million subscribers in Asia Pacific, up 29% overthe last 12 months.

* Asource from Iliad SA-ownedFree has denied reports it is to be purchased by French telecom , reportsUnivers Freebox. Accordingto the Le Journal du Dimanche, therehave been discussions regarding the re-purchase of Free by Orange. This hasfueled speculation in the French media. Echos du Net remindsits readers that Orange deputy CEO Ramon Fernandez and CEO Stéphane Richardboth have said that French telecom consolidation is "a necessity."While ZDNet suggestswith its excellent financial health, there is no reason why Free would beinterested in such a deal. However, a "well-placed" source withinFree has squashed the rumor, saying, "there is nothing in these reports."

*National French broadcaster TF1Group has confirmedthat Yann Barthès, presenter of the daily news program "Le Petit Journal,"will leave Vivendi SAunit Canal Plus SAfor TF1. The 41-year-old Barthès will lead new projects with a strong digitalfocus and in September, will launch a new daily news and culture program. Accordingto Le Monde, Barthès' company hasalready registered trademarks for several possible names, including "LeNouveau Quotidien," "LNQ10" and "Le Nouveau Quotidien 10."Paris Match reportsthat Barthès brought 1.4 million viewers to Canal+ every day.

* Le Figaro reportsthat French journalist and TV presenter Yves Calvi is leaving France 5's "Cdans l'air" to rejoin the 24-hour news channel LCI, which is owned by TF1.Calvi will continue to present his prime time morning radio show on RTL. Le Soir reportsthat Calvi has been with "C dans l'air" for 15 years, pulling in over2 million viewers. According to a statementfrom LCI, Calvi, who previously worked with LCI in 1994, will return to thenews channel in the coming year to host a show every evening.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM ANDLUXEMBOURG

*Liberty Global's Dutch subsidiary ZiggoNV concluded a decline in revenue of 3.1% (after currencyadjustment) in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year,reportsMediaMagazine. The amount of customers fell with 43,900 in the last quarter, accordingto the cable provider the result of the current competitive environment.According to Ziggo, the customer loss represents a modest year-over-year andsequential improvement from the 47,000 and 52,000 losses in the first andfourth quarter of 2015, respectively.

*Belgian provider Proximusannounced plans to merge its corporate and consumer subsidiaries TelindusLuxembourg and Tango into a new company, Telecompaper writes.Current head of Telindus Gerard Hoffman and current CEO of Tango Jean-FrançoisWillame will be leading the company, which will be named Proximus Luxembourg.It will regroup the mobile and fixed networks and all service and competencecenters supporting commercial activities. Proximus acquired full ownership ofTelindus in December 2015.

*Ziggo will extend its HD channel offering from July 1, TotaalTV writes.Besides adding BBC First HD to the basic digital TV Standard package, Ziggowill add Disney Channel, FIlm1 Sundance and its own channel Ziggo TV to the HDoffer. The provider will not yet show its sports channel Ziggo Sport in HDquality.

*Dutch telco KPN NVhas started offering films in full HD quality to customers who use InteractiveTV via fiber and rent films via on demand platform Videoland, accordingto TotaalTV. Via a special platform within KPN's Interactive TV environmentcustomers are enabled to rent a film in Full HD 1080p picture quality forapproximately €6 for two days.

*Dutch provider KPN NV has announced plans to use its LoRA network incollaboration with waste processor company Suez (previously Sita) to improvethe checking of dangerous or confidential materials, ConnexieB2B reports.KPN's LoRa network enables the monitoring of specific waste streams after theyare collected for destruction. Last month both parties gave the green light fora pilot project in which the energy-saving LoRa technology was used to trackthe Suez Secure garbage containers. The first successful results of this pilotled to examining the potential for wider use of the technology.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

*Finnish operator DNA has launched a new-generation fiber optic network thatwill eventually cover over 600,000 households, the company said in a statement.Called DNA Valokuitu Plus (Fibre Optic Plus), the new network will enablebroadband speeds of up to 1 Gbps without the need for changes to DNA's internalnetwork. Phase One of the service will be available to 300,000 households inthe greater Helsinki region. The expanded roll-out will extend to 600,000households over the next 12 months. DNA hopes to achieve speeds of up to 10Gbps in the network in coming years.

*T-Mobile Czech Republic has selected EricssonAB as its chief vendor and systems integrator for the modernizationof its charging and intelligent network systems, Ericsson said in a statement. The contract willsee Ericsson deliver a cloud-designed solution based on Ericsson RevenueManager and OpenCloud Rhino. Ericsson said the contract validated the company'sextensive investments in the area of digital business support systems. T-MobileCzech Republic is owned by Deutsche Telekom, and has 6 million customers in theCzech mobile market.

*The turmoil connected to TelenorASA's handling of alleged corruption in affiliate continues. Three moredirectors are to leave the Norwegian telco's board, reportsSwedish newspaper Göteborgs Posten.The exit includes Telenor's deputy chairman Frank Dangeard and board membersMarit Vaagen and Burckhard Bergmann. These directors faced criticism over theboard's much criticized response to alleged corrupt transactions by Vimpelcomin Uzbekistan. Telenor owns a 33% shareholding in Vimpelcom. A report by law firmDeloitte had earlier found fault with how Telenor managed its stake inVimpelcom.

*TV2 Denmark A/S has hired Anders Kring to head-up the broadcaster's freedigital platforms, writesDanish media markets online news website MediaWatch. Kring's portfolio ofresponsibilities will include the website tv2.dk, TV2's broadcasting apps andits social media services, offerings and outlets. Kring's background is inartificial-intelligence-based platforms. He previously worked as the head ofBerlingske Media's digital business development and innovation team.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

*Telecom Italia SpAsubmitted an all-cash bid to acquire fiber optic firm Metroweb, valuing thelatter at over €820 million, Reuters reports,citing a source close to the matter. The Italian operator is open to either afull takeover of Metroweb, or a 67.7% majority holding, according to thereport. Meanwhile, power utility Enel SpA offered about €400 million to buyinfrastructure fund F2i's 54% stake in Metroweb, according to a source familiarwith the matter cited in a separate Reuters report.Both Telecom Italia and Enel are lookingto acquire Metroweb to boost their fiber optic broadband network.

*Spanish mobile virtual network operator Pepephone expects to finalize itsmerger with MásMóvil Ibercom SA by September, following a €158 million dealearlier this month, Telecompaper reports,citing Pepephone's open letter to its customers. After the merger, Pepephonewill reportedly retain its brand name, services and tariffs. MásMóvil's of Pepephone willgive it close to 1 million customers.

EASTERN EUROPE

*Discovery Communications Inc.sub-licensed live rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2020 Summer Olympicsto Czech public broadcaster Ceská televize, C21 Media reports.CT will reportedly have digital rights to all content broadcast on its linearchannels, while Discovery's Eurosport retains Olympic rights to pay TV anddigital platforms. Financial details of the deal were not mentioned in thereport.

*SPI International will roll out its FilmBox Premium HD movie channel inSlovakia and the Czech Republic, Advanced Television reports.The channel will also reportedly be available via the company's multiscreenvideo-on-demand platform FilmBox Live. In the Czech Republic, unit is among thepay TV operators that will carry the film channel, according to the report.

FEATURED NEWS

: The European edition of M&AReplay presents a weekly wrap-up of European media and communications dealannouncements, completions and updates.

: Digital Hollywood panelistsagreed: The biggest problem facing internet video today is fragmentation andthe need for a universal discoverability platform.

: SNL Kagan looks at the various argumentsbeing made on both sides of the "unlock the box" issue.

:SNL Kagan presents a roundup of recent programming announcements from variousinternational networks and online video platforms.

:SNL Kagan provides a wrap-up of media and communications deal announcements andcompletions from May 2 to May 6.

FEATURED RESEARCH

: Major broadcast networks' onlinesites continued to expand their total combined online episode count forprime-time programming in the first quarter of 2016, with ABC, FOX and NBCpushing hardest on the ad-supported OTT front. 

: The cable TV financing snapshot table listsmonthly totals for cable industry public and private debt, equity and stockbuybacks from a historical range of years to the present.

:With "skinny bundles" seemingly the talk of the town for cablenetworks these days, Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav outlined hisperspective on the matter for Wall Street when the company reported earnings.

: MSG Networksreported that total revenues were up 6% to $179.6 million for the quarter endedMarch 31. On the earnings call, management said the company is open to newdistribution avenues, such as Sling TV and other virtual service providers(VSPs).

:SNL Kagan has published updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysisfor five markets.

RECENT EARNINGS

: It has been less than one month since the formerLiberty Media split into three tracking stocks ­­— the Liberty SiriusXM,Liberty Braves and Liberty Media — and the company has already seen a return ofthe tracking stock discount.

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.