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Virgin Media, TalkTalk mull broadband sharing deal; Ziggo tests 4K box


* Liberty Global PLC unit Virgin Media Inc. and TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC are in talks over a deal to share the costs of running new ultrafast broadband networks, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. While the agreement has not yet been finalized, plans reportedly include sharing of passive infrastructure, which would allow each of the operators to lay fibre optics in the other's underground ducts.

* Ziggo NV is conducting a pilot on a new media box that supports 4K video and applications, such as Netflix Inc., Tweakers reports. Ziggo is reportedly testing the device with a closed group of users.


* The Daily Mail and General Trust plc is set to receive about £640 million from the sale of its stake in ZPG Plc to private investment firm Silver Lake Partners, London's The Financial Times reports. Daily Mail and General Trust is the majority shareholder in ZPG.

* Sky PLC's Sky Sports has entered into a new deal with Matchroom Boxing to air live and exclusive boxing matches from the U.S., according to a news release. The agreement includes 16 fight nights a year, as well as exclusive interviews, blogs and podcasts, which will be accessible on Sky Sports platforms. In addition, Sky Sports Racing also clinched a deal with the Victoria Racing Club to broadcast the Lexus Melbourne Cup in the U.K. and Ireland, Advanced Television reports.


* Vodafone Group PLC's purchase of Liberty Global's Unitymedia assets could be advantageous for Germany by helping accelerate the country's broadband rollout, Achim Wambach, the president of Germany's Monopoly Commission told Handelsblatt. Wambach said the merger of Unitymedia and Vodafone Deutschland Gmbh would create a large player on the country's broadband market, which could "stimulate competition" and have positive effects on the expansion of high-speed internet in the country.

* Austria is lagging behind in the adoption of the cyber-security act, reports Die Presse. European Union member states were supposed to adopt provisions against hacker attacks in the form of the NIS Directive by May 9. Although the act had already been announced by the previous government, there is still no draft text in the legislative process in parliament.


* TF1 Group cancelled the upcoming season of reality TV show "Koh-Lanta" following a sexual assault complaint involving two competitors while filming on location in Fiji. The producer, Adventure Line Productions SA, said in a statement that since it is a family show, both companies agreed to cancel the shoot.

* French consumers will be able to choose the search engine and browser on their mobile devices, Les Échos reports. An amendment to the regulation on data protection bill or RGPD, that goes to a final vote by Parliament on May 14, will allow users to pick a browser and search engine, other than those pre-installed by default on smartphones and tablets such as Apple Inc.'s Safari and Google Inc.'s Google Chrome. Alphabet Inc. owns Google.

* The departure of Radio France's Director of stations and content Laurent Guimier was made official via Twitter. CEO Sibyle Veil thanked him for his service in a tweet, without naming a replacement yet.


* KPN NV customers have been unable to access KPN's Interactieve TV and Play services for more than two days, TotaalTV reports. KPN reportedly stated that they are working to solve the problem, but could not say how much time it will take.

* DAB+ reception in Flanders has been improved by the activation of two new support transmitters, MediaMagazine reports. The new transmitters, placed by network operator Norkring België NV., support commercial radio channels in Flanders on channel 11A.


* Bonnier AB has acquired full ownership of digital learning company Clio Online ApS for an undisclosed sum, according to a press release. Bonnier acquired a majority stake in the company three years ago and is now planning an international expansion of Clio Online's services.

* The Swedish and Danish music rights agencies are looking into allegations that music streaming service Tidal has been manipulating listening figures, Dagens Næringsliv reports. The newspaper claims that it has found proof of manipulation. Swedish rights agency Stim said that it will discuss the matter with UK-based rights giant ICE, and that an open revision might happen.

* CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.'s Three Denmark said that it will begin using an electronic SIM card and will initially be available via the Apple Watch.

* Norwegian telecom regulator Nkom has released the date when Norwegian municipalities will be able to apply for financial support for free Wi-Fi zones through the EU scheme WiFi4EU. Applications can be sent from May 15 and will be allotted on a "first come, first serve" principle. About 100 municipalities have already registered in the application portal.


* Vivendi SA has informed Italian financial watchdog Consob that it does not control Telecom Italia SpA, after the French company's board seats in the Italian operator were shrunk to a minority in a May 4 shareholder vote, Reuters reports, citing a source. The Italian market regulator said that Vivendi has also lost its 60% stake in Infrastrutture Wireless Italiane SpA, or INWIT, which is majority controlled by Telecom Italia, after the shareholder meeting.

* Mediapro will lodge an appeal against the Milan Court's ruling for the Spanish broadcaster to drop its bid to sell Serie A football TV rights, Advanced Television reports. The company contends that its commercial proposal meets the criteria of Serie A.


* AMC Networks Inc.'s Amc Networks Central Europe SRO has signed a deal with Prime Entertainment Group to acquire rights to air 38 titles in the latter's spring catalogue, Rapid TV News reports. Some of the series included in the deal are "Spotlight," "Close Up," "Hollywood's Best Film Directors" and "Mythical Movie Theatres."


The Best Of: Media & Comm, editor's picks: Telemundo 2018 upfront; Cybersecurity ETFs: Stories about Microsoft's cloud war against Amazon, Cybersecurity ETFs and Telemundo offering a single commercial break in the first part of dramas are among the editor's top five picks for the week ended May 11.


Global Multichannel: Vodafone nears convergent ambition in Europe: As Vodafone bids to acquire Liberty Global's cable assets in four markets, one territory may prove problematic.

Daniela Latini, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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