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Disney courting Sky execs to beat Comcast; Starz coming to France, Italy, Spain

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Disney courting Sky execs to beat Comcast; Starz coming to France, Italy, Spain

TOP NEWS

* Walt Disney Co. eyes to retain Sky PLC CEO Jeremy Darroch and other executives, as well as provide them with share awards, if 21st Century Fox Inc. secures the deal to acquire the British pay TV company, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. About half of the Fox share award to be alloted would be given when Disney's Fox takeover closes in the first half of 2019, with the remaining would be given 15 months thereafter.

* Starz' subscription video-on-demand platform STARZPLAY has secured deals to bring its branded channels in France, Italy and Spain, Digital TV Europe reports. The Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. unit has previously launched in the U.K. and Germany through Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Channels.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. has proposed concessions intended to address the European Union's antitrust concerns over the company's acquisition of VEON's stake in Wind Tre SpA, Reuters reports, citing the European Commission. The regulator has set its new deadline to Aug. 31 on whether to approve the deal or not.

* The European Broadcasting Union has renewed its worldwide broadcast media rights to European Athletics' major events, including four editions of the European Athletics Championships. The deal covers global TV rights for the events from 2020 to 2023, as well as radio rights covering the 2024-27 period.

UK AND IRELAND

* Virgin Media Inc. will immediately restore UKTV channels on Virgin TV, after the two companies reach a long-term agreement. The new deal offers an "expanded selection of channels," including Dave HD and Gold HD, which will be added to the Liberty Global PLC unit's Mix bundle.

* Cineworld Group PLC has installed a new movie theater technology called ScreenX in its Greenwich O2 and Speke locations in the U.K., Advanced Television reports. The technology, which extends the screens to the auditorium walls, will also be introduced in other cinemas, such as in Cineworld Leeds White Rose.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE has entered into an agreement with Endemol Shine International, to secure rights to air U.S. TV series "Younger," TBI Vision reports. The Endemol Shine Group Ltd. unit is responsible for the distribution of the series outside the U.S.

* Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone Deutschland Gmbh will supply a further 7,000 inhabitants in Hockenheim with LTE mobile broadband technology in its mobile network. A new LTE Station was also put into operation in the area.

FRANCE

* Thales SA has extended its acceptance period for its all-cash offer for Gemalto NV to Aug. 15. The extension is due to the necessary fulfillment of the deal's offer condition with regards to obtaining all regulatory clearances.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Dutch webhosting provider TransIP Group BV has acquired IT-Ernity Internet Services BV, the internet solutions company behind the brands Proserve, CloudVPS, Signet, VDX, Webstekker and DDS. Financial details of the deal were undisclosed.

* RTL Nederland will integrate the premium version of its video on demand service RTL XL into its streaming service Videoland by the end of August, reports MediaMagazine. The RTL Group unit earlier announced that it is planning on focusing on just one VOD service.

* The Dutch Radiocommunications Agency has warned RadioCorp BV, the company which owns radio channel 100%NL, that it could be fined for not living up to its license conditions, reports TotaalTV. According to the regulator, 100%NL is not meeting the threshold of using at least 70% of its broadcasting time for Dutch music.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Ericsson is increasing its investments in the U.S. market to support the accelerated buildout of 5G in the country. The investments include boosting U.S.-based research and development, as well as new product manufacturing.

* TDC A/S has acquired a 40% stake in Danish cloud company Cloudeon A/S. Cloudeon had revenues of 44 million Danish kroner in 2017.

* Swedish game studio Three Gates AB has entered into a publishing and distribution agreement with game distributor THQ Nordic AB for the console version of the game "8 to Glory." The deal gives THQ Nordic exclusive rights for physical distribution of the game.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Italian operator Fastweb SpA has tapped Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to deploy Wi-Fi across Italy, Telecompaper reports. The Swisscom AG unit has begun building Wi-Fi hotspots in Italian cities, which rely on Huawei's CloudCampus platform.

* Portugese telecom regulator Anacom ordered Vodafone Portugal to pay more than €1 million to Altice Portugal SA unit MEO for using the latter's posts without permission for connections to customers' homes, Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Negocios. Vodafone Portugal reportedly failed to inform Altice Portugal of its move as of August 2017. Altice Portugal is a unit of Altice Europe, formerly Altice NV.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Telia Estonia has entered into an agreement to include HBO's own content in the streaming services that will be made available to the Telia Co. AB unit's customers beginning Sept. 1, Telecompaper reports. HBO is owned by AT&T Inc.'s WarnerMedia, formerly Time Warner Inc.

* Slovak Telekom has extended its rights to broadcast games from soccer leagues such as Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga for the next three seasons until 2021, Telecompaper reports. As a result of the deal, the Deutsche Telekom AG unit will air top games from the soccer leagues on the Digi Sport channel.

* Orange Polska SA targets an invest of 4 billion Polish zlotys on its fiber-optic network within the 2016-2020 period, in a bid to reach 5 million households, Broadband TV News reports. The Orange SA unit currently has about 300,000 fiber subscribers across 116 cities in Poland.

* The government of Russia's Chukotka region will set aside 4 million Russian rubles to buy satellite TV set-top boxes, which will be offered to 607 residences in the region's remote areas, Telecompaper reports. The devices, which will come from Tricolor TV and NTV-Plus, will be offered free of charge.

FEATURED NEWS

Marketweek: Sinclair, Tribune both notch stock gains after merger's demise: The demise of a $3.9 billion megamerger of U.S. broadcasting giants preceded stock gains for both parties during the week ended Aug. 10, despite a pending legal challenge related to the failed transaction.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of TV & Film: Kagan box office report, week 31: The summer box office slumped for a fourth-straight week in week 31. The current trend is a little unsettling considering that the weekly box office is trailing behind one of the worst summers in a decade.

Daniela Latini, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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