In this Southern Europe Video Spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.
* Mediaset España Comunicación SA is preparing to launch an over-the-top offering before the end of the year, Advanced Television reported May 20. It will be rolled out on the Mediaset SpA unit's streaming service, Mitele, and will provide selected content behind a paywall. Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia is also looking to launch a similar service, according to the report.
* Starz said May 24 that it has made its premium streaming service Starzplay accessible via a channel on Apple Inc.'s Apple TV app to customers in Europe and Latin America. The move will extend Starzplay's global footprint to 51 countries, beginning July 1. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. owns Starz.
* Sports streaming service DAZN has secured broadcast TV rights to Major League Soccer games in six markets, including Italy and Spain, for four seasons until 2022, Rapid TV News reported May 27. The rights deal took effect immediately.
* European soccer's governing body UEFA has tapped Spanish broadcaster Mediapro to produce and distribute the UEFA Champions League finals, which will be held in Madrid on June 1. The game will be aired in 4K and HD quality in simulcast, according to a May 27 statement.
* The Italian antitrust regulator conditionally approved Sky Italia Srl's proposed acquisition of Mediaset's digital terrestrial pay TV platform R2 Srl, Reuters reported May 22. The regulator cleared the deal on the condition that the Sky PLC unit would be prohibited from offering exclusive content on its video streaming platform for three years.
* HBO Europe commissioned "Por H o por B," a Spanish original comedy series produced by Lacoproductora and Globomedia SA, TBI Vision reported. The new series will debut simultaneously across HBO Europe's footprint. HBO Europe is a unit of Home Box Office Inc., owned by AT&T Inc.'s Warner Media LLC.
* Mediapro's newly formed production arm, The Mediapro Studio, has struck a co-development and co-production deal with Sony Corp. unit Sony Pictures Television Inc., Telecompaper reported May 22. The companies' first project under the tie-up is "Implacables-Mexico," a 13-episode, hourlong thriller series.
* Sportitalia is launching four new free-to-air thematic TV channels on its digital terrestrial platform in July, Advanced Television reported May 21. The Italian broadcaster will make the Sportitalia HD, SI Solo Calcio, SI Motori and SI Live24 channels available to users free of charge. Users with Smart TVs that do not support hybrid broadcast broadband TV will need to download the Sportitalia app to watch the channels.
* The Royal Spanish Football Federation denied reports that it suspended the rights tender for the broadcast of Copa del Rey games in the country, Broadband TV News reported May 20, citing a statement by rights broker Mediapro. The federation said it awarded the rights to public broadcaster RTVE in line with an order by antitrust regulator CNMC.
* Mediaset is changing Mediaset Premium SpA's pay TV model after making it a purely OTT service, Digital TV Europe reported May 16, citing CFO Marco Giordani. The company will implement an advertising-based model with free-to-air content and a few additional pay services.
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