*Finnish tech company NokiaCorp. launcheda global redundancy program, as it aims to reach €900 million of operating costsynergies related to the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by 2018. Accordingto Bloomberg, as much as 14% of Nokia's workforce, or up to 15,000 positions,may be eliminated. The company said in a press releasethat it will cut about 1,300 jobs in Finland. Germany's RTL reportsthat 1,400 German jobs will be cut. The job cuts will largely come in areaswhere the two companies have an overlap, such as research and development,regional and sales organizations and corporate functions, Mobile World Live reports.
Meanwhile,French Nokia employees will be relatively unaffected by the global job cuts, reportsReuters. In France, Nokia will cut 400 positions and recruit 500 workers inresearch and development. These cuts are in line with promises made to theFrench government to maintain 4,200 employees in the country until the end of2017. Nokia employs about 104,000 workers worldwide.
* CKHutchison Holdings Ltd. is expected to offer more concessions in order tosecure the European Commission's approval of Hutchison 3G UK Ltd.'s proposed acquisitionof Telefónica SA'sBritish operator unit O2, the FinancialTimes (London) reports.Hutchison will reportedly propose the sale of a fifth of its network capacityto Sky plc and offer10% of the combined network to Liberty Global plc's Virgin Media Inc.
*French media group VivendiSA and Italy's Mediaset Group are finalizing an to exchange stakes of about3.5%, Telecompaper reports,citing Il Sole 24 Ore. The deal isreportedly expected to be approved later this week during the respective boardmeetings of both companies. Mediaset CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi will likelyjoin Vivendi's board as part of the proposed deal.
*About 25% of EU citizens aged 15-24 admitted to accessing online content fromillegal sources in the past 12 months, Advanced Television reports,citing a new report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Mostof the respondents said that they streamed content illegally because it iseither free or cheaper than accessing content from legal sources. The mostaccessed kinds of content from illegal sources were films and series, followedby music and games.
UK AND IRELAND
*Sky is planning to live broadcast more content on 's Facebook Liveplatform, Sky digital director Lucien Bowater wrotein a company blog post. The initiative will allow users a behind-the-sceneslook at some major sporting events and breaking news stories, he added.
*British broadcaster UKTV will launchits UKTV Play on-demand platform on Freeview Play in the second quarter of2016. The UKTV Play app will give Freeview Play users access to , , and channels. Users willalso be able to watch previews of upcoming series and organize their viewingpreferences. Scripps NetworksInteractive Inc. and the British Broadcasting Corp.'s jointly own UKTV.
* Inmore Sky news, the company addedcatch-up services for Syfy, Universal Channel and E! Entertainment Televisionon its Sky Go mobile TV streaming service. Sky Go currently offers on-demandaccess to MTV, Nickelodeon and Sky Atlantic, among others.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND ANDAUSTRIA
*Digital music distribution service TuneCore is launching its service in Germanyin April, according to a company press releaseposted on Finanz Nachrichten. Via Tunecore.com.de, German artists will receiveroyalties from streaming their music, digital downloads as well as sync deals. Tunecoreartist clients can sign up starting at €9.99 for a single upload fordistribution.
*Deutsche Fußball Liga, DFL, signed alicensing agreement with Amazon.com Inc.'s Digital Video Store, reportsDWDL. Since September 2015, the VODprogramming has been available to Sky customers. DFL programming complimentshighlights from 52 years of German football league, based on 65,000 hours ofarchived video material.
*German media house and publisher Spiegel Gruppe said it expects profits to dropby 35% to 40% for 2015, reportsGerman media magazine Meedia. Thecompany cited its marketing business as a core reason for the decline. In 2014,the company reached a profit of €279.9 million.
*The first non-English language version of VICE Media Inc.'s Viceland will launch in France inautumn 2016 via pay TV group Canal Plus SA. According to a news release,the new 24-hour TV channel from Vice will be available exclusively to Canalsatcustomers across all platforms, in their basic TV subscription packages: eitherlive, on demand or on the go. Viceland will be programmed, developed andproduced entirely in-house by Vice's creative team, with director Spike Jonzeoverseeing the development of the new channel.
*360-degree videos have the potential to become bigger than virtual reality,earthTV CEO Nikolaus Lohmann toldSNL Kagan at the annual MIPTVconference in Cannes, France. He called virtual reality headgears "justgimmicks," predicting that VR gadgets will not go mainstream. "Thevirtual reality experience just might, and that is what makes 360-degreeproduction crucial," Lohmann said.
*Euronews is launching its African channel, Africa News, on April 20, reportsLe Figaro. The French multilingualnews TV channel will have a team of close to 90 journalists and will air in 32sub-Saharan countries and via satellite networks Canal+ Africa and Startimes.On May 17, Euronews will unveil a new look and website. With a budget of €80million, Euronews says it will distinguish itself by offering viewers Africancontent that features diversity and multiple viewpoints.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM, ANDLUXEMBOURG
*The New York State Public Service Commission extended the deadline for itsdecision regarding AlticeNV's proposedacquisition ofCablevision SystemsCorp. The agency, which had previously set an April 29 deadline, isnow expected to decide about the proposed transaction May 20, according to aletter sent toKathleen Burgess, secretary at the NYPSC. Altice, meanwhile, said in astatement that the new deadline will not delay the final closing of the mergerdeal, which is expected to happen by the end of the second quarter. The dealstill reportedly requires the approval of the FCC, Multichannel News reports.
* Inthe course of 2017 the Belgian institute CIM will publish daily reach figuresof Belgian newspapers, De Tijd reports.The French research firm Ipsos was awarded the contract. In addition to thecirculation figures the newspaper publishers themselves pass on to the CIM, ameasurement is also performed twice a year. With a representative panel of10,000 people, Ipsos will measure how many people read a particular newspapertitle, how often they do it and through which channels.
*Belgian mobile operator Mobistar is lowering its roaming tariffs within theEuropean Union. From April 30 mobile calls to or from another EU country willcost 6 euro cents instead of 23 cents per minute. Mobile Internet and textingwill also become considerable cheaper, the company announced.
*Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish game company behind popular mobile game AngryBirds, reported heavy losses in 2015, DI Digital reports.Rovio had sales of €142 million in 2015, down from €158 million in 2014. Thecompany had an operating loss of €13 million in 2015, down from an operatingprofit of €77 million the year before. The company blames the losses on restructuringcosts and investments in the upcoming Angry Birds movie. Rovio recently fired athird of its staff, according to the report.
*Norwegian media group SchibstedASA is cutting 55 full-time employees in marketing and salesdivisions of the group's four subscription papers, Kampanje reports.The cuts come as part of efficiency measures in the group, as the salesdivisions of the four papers were merged last year. In addition to these cuts,one of Schibsted's regional papers, StavangerAftenblad, will also cut its editorial staff.
*Danish public broadcaster DR is moving several of its newsrooms out of Copenhagen,Mediawatch reports.The weather and sports desks are moving to the city of Aarhus, while thescience desk is moving to Aalborg. In all, 140 full-time workers will be movedout of the Danish capital. DR said that the move is not part of anycost-cutting measures, but a political move to reach the whole of Denmark,according to the report.
*Telecom Italia SpAsuspended its TIM Prime mobile tariff plan, following objections from Italiantelecom watchdog AgCom, Total Telecom reports, citing acompany statement. AgCom ruled in March that the tariff plan violated Italy'selectronic communications code and then referred the case to national antitrustregulator AGCM. Telecom Italia reportedly said that it suspended theapplication of TIM Prime while waiting to start discussions with theauthorities regarding the matter.
*The Turkish government launched a probe into the online leak of personal databelonging to about 49.6 million Turks, Reuters reports.The data, which reportedly included the ID information of President RecepTayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, were uploaded to a websitecalled Turkish Citizenship Database. No group has claimed responsibility forthe data breach, but comments on the website suggest that Turkey may be atarget of political hackers.
*M7 Group SA'sdirect-to-home platform Skylink is in talks to add video-on-demand serviceBanaxi to its offer, Broadband TV News reports,citing Digizone. Banaxi is accessible to users in the Czech Republic, Slovakia,Poland and Hungary. Skylink delayed the launch of a VOD service until it wasfirst provided by other M7 Group platforms in the Benelux countries.
*Modern Times Group MTGAB's pay TV unit Viasat added the Trace Sport Stars HD and TraceUrban HD channels to its lineup, following a deal with direct-to-home platformNTV-Plus, BroadbandTV News reports,citing Telecom Daily. In 2014, MTG acquired75% stake in Trace Partners SAS, which operates the Trace channels.
*Russia's JSC Gazprom-MediaHolding will launch a new comedy channel named KVN TV on June 1, The Moscow Times reports,citing Interfax. The channel is dedicated to a popular comedy contest entitled"KVN," which usually featured university students presenting briefhumorous plays and songs. Gazprom Media will manage the channel in partnershipwith Alexander Maslyakov and Co.
*Cosmote SA-controlledTelekom Romaniasecured cable licenses from the country's National Audiovisual Council forDolce Sport 5 and Dolce Sport 6 channels, Broadband TV News reports,citing Mediafax. In February, the regulator granted satellite licenses toTelekom Romania for the two channels, plus Dolce Sport 3 and Dolce Sport 4.
: The success of Starz original programminglends to an over-the-top strategy now, even if network apps are still findingfooting in the nascent OTT landscape.
: A Daimler executive confirmed that Amazon.com and Microsoftare engaged in talks with a consortium of German carmakers comprising theMercedes-Benz parent, Audi and BMW to acquire minority stakes in the HERE digitalmapping service, while Amazon.com bought an artificial-intelligence startup infall 2015.
:Speakers at the Gigabit Cities Live 2016 conference on April 5 in Charlotte,N.C., highlighted the strides of 1Gbps Internet since Google's initial talks ofa Google Fiber deployment back in 2010: its benefits to the U.S. economy and whatthe future holds.
: Significantvideo sub losses and sluggish customer growth for high-speed data conspired tokeep 2015 revenue gains in check for the top Canadian cable MSOs.
: Table of contents for issue No. 221, published April2016.
:Diverse strategies, tailored to individual sub-segments within the commercialspace, helped a group of eight reporting cable operators log 16.5% annualgrowth in business revenues in 2015.
: Leading messaging appsand services in the U.S. continued to see combined annual user growth of 10%-plusin the fourth quarter of 2015, but growth has cooled substantially from levelsseen in 2013 and 2014.
Amanda Kelly, Anne Freier,Kees Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report. The Daily Dosehas an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links mayrequire a subscription.