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BBC, Tencent ink content deal; European operators face content hurdles


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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BBC, Tencent ink content deal; European operators face content hurdles


* BBC Worldwide Ltd. inked a co-production deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd. for natural history series "Blue Planet II." The seven-part series, a sequel to "The Blue Planet" from 2001, will be aired simultaneously in China and Britain via's platform and video app, as well as Tencent's on-demand platforms.

* As original content is fast emerging as the key battleground for Europe's mobile operators, strong competition from over-the-top services and national broadcasters does mean that their efforts will not be plain sailing, industry observers have said.


* BBC Worldwide also agreed to license its scripted multiplatform program "The Last Hours of Laura K" to Brazilian TV network Rede Globo. The Brazilian adaptation, "Prova do Crime," will be broadcast as a segment on the network's news magazine show "Fantástico," beginning in December.

* The U.K.'s economy could gain about $814 billion more by 2035 through developing the country's artificial intelligence sector, an independent review commissioned by the government has said. The report recommended that Britain focus on developing data trusts to enable data sharing on between the government and the AI industry, making more research data available in machine-readable formats, and support text and data mining as an important component of research work.

* Opponents of Apple Inc.'s planned €850 million data center in Athenry, the Republic of Ireland, are planning to appeal a ruling allowing the tech giant to proceed with the development, Dublin's The Irish Times reports. An application for permission to file the appeal will reportedly be heard on Oct. 25.

* The British Broadcasting Corp. has decided to ax factual crime program "Crimewatch" after 33 years, London's The Guardian reports. The show, which saw its audience base decline to as much as 2 million in recent years from up to 6 million in 2002, is being cancelled to give air time for other programming, according to the report.

* The British government will begin a consultation for a proposed amendment of policies related to mergers in Britain, such as those that raise national security concerns. The proposal, which was set out by U.K. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark, calls to lower the threshold of mergers that the government can intervene in to those with a U.K. turnover of over £1 million, according to the announcement. Currently, the government can only intervene in companies' mergers with a U.K. turnover of more than £70 million.


* German sports platform Sport1 GmbH has entered an exclusive cooperation with Team Sauerland, the German boxing expert. As of 2018, Sport1 will be delivering exclusive boxing events for customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The deal includes around 20 boxing events and 100 fights.

* Germany's Verband Privater Rundfunk und Telemedien has joined lobby groups ANGA, Bitkom and eco in calling for cartel law to be applied to German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF (DE). The upcoming prime minister's conference will tackle the proposed exemption of public broadcasters from antitrust laws.

* German TV channels kabel eins and Spiegel TV are planning to work together more closely in the future. As such, kabel eins will be streaming documentary crime series produced by Spiegel TV.

* Saxony-Anhalt CDU politician Rainer Robra has told German newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that he wishes to keep the broadcasting fee constant for the coming years. He said that fee increases would be rejected by the CDU in the German state.


* SFR Group SA has signed an estimated €360 million contract to develop fiber-optic networks in about 605 communes in France's Seine-Maritime region. Seine-Maritime Numérique will manage the construction of fiber-optic networks to gradually connect 230,000 households in the Seine-Maritime region by 2023, while the operation and marketing of the networks will be entrusted to SFR Communities for 18 years.

* ARCEP has launched a reporting space that allows any individual or company to flag issues with fixed, mobile, internet, mail and parcel operators. The French telecom regulator will be able to track users' difficulties in real time.

* Lagardère SCA's Lagardère Studios is expanding in Finland with the acquisition of a majority share of Aito Media Oy, reports Les Echos. The price of the acquisition was not made public.

* The Russian public news channel RT hopes to launch its French version before Christmas, reports CB News. It will broadcast its programs on cable and satellite, as well as via the boxes of some telecom operators, and on the internet. The channel, funded by the Russian Federation, aims to give an overview of Russian positions to foreign viewers.

* Microsoft Corp. France has confirmed the Windows 10 Fall Creators update with mixed reality, 3D creation and improved gaming. Microsoft, Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo have also partnered to offer the first Windows Mixed Reality headphones, priced from €399 and supplied with two motion controllers.


* Radio channels aired by Flemish public broadcaster VRT NV have been converted from DAB to DAB+, VRT writes. In addition to Radio 1, Klara, Klara Continuo, MNM, MNM Hits, Studio Brussel and VRT NWS, regional broadcasts of Radio 2 are now also available via DAB+.

* Hearst Magazines Digital Media acquired Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG's unit Gruner + Jahr Media Nederland, publisher of magazines Glamour, Vogue, JAN, National Geographic, Quest, Custom Content and Designer Vintage. If the deal is approved by the Gruner + Jahr works council and market authorities, all activities of Gruner + Jahr will be placed under Hearst Nederland. No financial details were disclosed.

* Liberty Global plcs Telenet is expected to soon double internet speeds to 400 Mbps for its Whoppa, Wigo and Internet Fiber subscriptions and up to 500 Mbps for business subscriptions, TotaalTV reports. Ziggo NV, also owned by Liberty Global, recently announced similar upgrade plans in the Netherlands.


* Ericsson AB's CEO Börje Ekholm wants to accelerate gains from cost reduction programs to reverse falling profits, reports Dagens Industri. Ekholm is targeting a rapid return to profitability to counter growing uncertainty over Ericsson's future.

* The Swedish state is being asked to finance a national digitization technologies research center, wrote Göteborgs Posten. A group led by eight regional third-level colleges wants the center to be in western Sweden.

* CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.'s Three Sweden is launching an offensive to reclaim market share in Sweden following weak customer service ratings, reports Sydsvenskan. Three will use capital investments to expand national coverage and customer access to 4G across Sweden.

* Investor Christen Sveaas has paid 98 million Norwegian kroner for a 25% stake in Norwegian telco NextGenTel Holding ASA, wrote Sveaas, via holding firm Kistefos A/S, recently earned 1 billion kroner from the sale of Phonero AS to Telia Co. AB.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has launched its Nova 2i and Honor 9i smartphones with Fingerprint Cards AB's new FPC1028 sensor. The two new mid-tier smartphones are targeted at the Asian markets of Malaysia and India.


* Telefónica SA's Movistar+ intends to roll out its 4K enabled set-top box in the first half of 2018, Digital TV Europe reports. The set-top box is presently in its trial phase with certain users, the report said, citing Ismael Calleja Baldominos, Movistar+'s head of business affairs, series and movies original programming.

* Inc. opened its head office in Madrid, Spain, Telecompaper reports. The new office is about 12,000 square meters and can accommodate about 1,000 workers.

* About 3% of MEO's mobile network and about 6% of its fixed network had beeen affected by fires, Telecompaper reports, citing Dinheiro Vivo. The incident, which began Oct. 15, destroyed 300 kilometers of cable and 2,500 MEO installations. Altice NV's PT Portugal owns MEO.


* Russia's ER-Telecom has completed the acquisition of St. Petersburg cable operator TKS NEVA from Akado Group, Telecompaper reports, citing TKS Neva has about 70,000 household subscribers and about 500 corporate clients.

* A Moscow first-tier court has slapped a fine worth 800,000 Russian rubles to Telegram, following the company's refusal to provide regulators with data that would decode messages sent by users, Telecompaper reports, citing Telegram plans to file an appeal against the fine to a higher court.


M&A Replay: European deals: ITV Studios buys Cattleya; 'Pressure' in Altice's Portugal deal: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13.


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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.