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Sky Ireland trials broadband service; Disney's Sky bid ruling appealed

TOP NEWS

* Sky Ireland has agreed to conduct tests of a consumer broadband service via Eir Group plc's fiber network, Dublin's Irish Independent reports. The Sky PLC unit earlier complained about the price set by Eir for reselling access to its broadband network.

* The U.K. Takeover Appeal Board said "several interested parties" have filed appeals against the Takeover Panel's earlier move to uphold a decision that Walt Disney Co. must make a minimum offer of £14.00 per ordinary share for pay TV giant Sky. The board said it will meet to consider the appeals.

UK AND IRELAND

* British public broadcaster Channel 4 (UK) has commissioned a new four-part documentary series called "Born Famous." Studio Ramsay will produce the series, which will feature teenage children of U.K. celebrities living the life they would have led had their parents not become famous.

* Kate Oates is joining British Broadcasting Corp. unit BBC Studios as senior executive producer, where she will oversee prime-time drama such as "EastEnders," "Holby City" and "Casualty." Oates, who is assuming her new role in October, is currently producing the second series of "Bancroft" for ITV PLC.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German children's TV channel KiKA is launching a new media center in August together with a mobile app for its KiKA Player service.

* Sky Deutschland GmbH will exclusively broadcast the new season of the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

FRANCE

* Vivendi SA unit Canal Plus SA has launched a new version of myCanal for Android 3.3.9 users that makes it possible to download content for the holidays, Univers Freebox reports. MyCanal is the official app that allows Canalsat and Canal Plus subscribers to benefit from their offer on all screens, as well as for nonsubscribers to access free-to-air programs.

* STATION F, the Paris-based business incubator for startups, said it is refocusing its attention and funding on the Founders Program. As a consequence, it is discontinuing the Fellowship to give more room to its full-time programs.

* French telecom regulator ARCEP has called for the end of 3G roaming between the end of 2018 and the end of 2020, Univers Freebox reports. Meanwhile, the end of voice, SMS and low bandwidth or 2G-equivalent services, may come into effect between the beginning of 2020 and the end of 2022.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The European Commission has set the new deadline of Nov. 30 for its decision on Deutsche Telekom AG's plan to merge its T-Mobile Netherlands unit with Tele2 AB's Tele2 Netherlands, according to a notice on the commission's competition website. The EC earlier suspended the deadline for a ruling on the deal from July 24 to Aug. 6.

* T-Mobile Netherlands has stopped the pilot of selling bundles from provider Ben, which operates on the T-Mobile network, in its own stores, Telecompaper reports. A T-Mobile spokeswoman said the pilot's results were disappointing for various reasons.

* RTL Nederland's streaming service Videoland is focusing on expanding its Dutch content offering, TotaalTV reports. The provider aims to distinguish itself from international players by offering newly released Dutch films and getting the exclusive rights for various films and series.

* Tele2 Netherlands will compensate the customers affected by the malfunction abroad last weekend, DutchITChannel reports. The provider will offer either free extra data or a €5 discount on the customer's bill.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Telenor ASA unit Telenor Sweden AB is moving its headquarters in Sweden from Slussen in Stockholm to a new office building at Rasunda in Solna. A total of 900 workers are affected by the move.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* The coverage of the €36.80 monthly subscription for Sky Italia SRL's Serie A TV rights has been reduced to seven weekly matches, from the former 10 weekly matches, Advanced Television reports. Customers of the Sky unit will have to pay an additional €7.99 on a monthly basis to subscribe to the other three matches through Perform Group Ltd.'s streaming platform DAZN.

* Portugal's Foundation for Science and Technology has joined a consortium called BELLA, which will install a new submarine optical cable between Brazil and Portugal, Telecompaper reports. The submarine cable, called EllaLink and which will increase data traffic between Latin America and Europe from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps, is anticipated to be in operation by 2020.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Orange Polska SA has entered into an agreement with Inea SA, which will allow the Orange SA unit to use the Polish cable operator's fiber-optic network to provide services to about 40,000 homes, Broadband TV News reports. Under the partnership, Orange Polska plans to connect more houses in the coming months and is targeting to reach about 370,000 houses by the end of 2019.

* The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition allowed PPF Group NV to acquire a 100% holding in Serbia-based Telenor banka ad Beograd from Telenor, eKapija reports. The acquisition still needs to be approved by the National Bank of Serbia, which said PPF had not yet filed an application to secure its consent.

* Bulgarian operator VIVACOM has extended its 4G Voice contract with Ericsson, the latter said. The renewal covers use of 4G Voice service and Wi-Fi calling. The deal builds on Vivacom's existing Ericsson Evolved Packet Core network while adding a virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem.

* Fragiski Melissa, currently human resources manager at Vodafone Greece, has been named as head of human resources and a member of the executive team at Vodafone România, effective Sept. 3, Broadband TV News reports. Melissa will replace Florin Petrescu, who is leaving the Vodafone Group PLC unit by the end of September.

* Oleg Ivanov has been appointed deputy minister of Russia's Ministry of Digital Development and Telecommunications, Telecompaper reports. Ivanov previously served as deputy head of telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor.

* Tele2 Russia has selected Aleksey Dmitriyev as the company's new chief technology officer, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru. Aleksey Krushinin will take over Dmitriyev's former position as CTO of the telco's Moscow branch.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Mobile broadband drives bundled services in Poland: In Poland, 2017 was another year of dynamic growth of bundled services caused by a dramatic rise in mobile broadband. Over the last five years, the number of subscribers using bundled services went up from 2.4 million in 2013 to 10.15 million in 2017.

Economics of Internet: State of South Korean online video: subscription: The South Korean over-the-top market is dominated by virtual multichannel and mobile IPTV services offered by incumbent multichannel and mobile operators.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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