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Viacom, Disney among possible Channel 4 buyers; MásMóvil nears Pepephone acquisition deal


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Viacom, Disney among possible Channel 4 buyers; MásMóvil nears Pepephone acquisition deal


* U.K.Culture Secretary John Whittingdale claimed that public broadcaster will have"no shortage" of buyers, Broadcastreports.However, Whittingdale did not name any of the broadcaster's potential suitorsat a House of Lords communications committee hearing. Based on ministerialrecords, the official reportedly held meetings in 2015 with , , , , 's and 's

* Spanishoperator MásMóvil Ibercom SA is in final-stage discussions to purchase mobilevirtual network operator Pepephone for about €150 million, Telecompaper reports,citing El Economista. The deal couldincrease MásMóvil's customer base close to the 1 million mark. MásMóvilrecently offeredTelia Co. AB €550million for the latter's 77% stake in Yoigo.


* The Sun (UK) will face a court trialover phone hacking allegations for the first time, after a high court judgedetermined that a case against the tabloid could proceed, The Guardian (London) reports.Entertainer Les Dennis and three other claimants reportedly claimed that 40articles published in the newspaper were obtained through phone hacking, someof which were published while the paper was edited by recently News UK CEO RebekahBrooks. News UK is a unit of NewsCorp.

* is looking forcandidates to fill the position of head of original television for Europe, theMiddle East and Africa, for Amazon Studios, Broadcastreports.The successful hire will oversee the e-commerce giant's U.K. production unit.

* Controller of Fiction and Entertainment Mark Freeland is leaving the publicbroadcaster, Broadcast reports.Freeland will not take up the post of head of scripted comedy and drama at BBCStudios. He reportedly said in an email that his decision wassparked by "strategic changes" proposed by incoming BBC Studios DirectorMark Linsey.


* Germancable operators association FRK filed a complaint against , and two other operatorsover a settlement that cleared the way for the Unitymedia-Kabel BW , Broadband TV News reports.In 2015, Unitymedia parent Liberty Global reportedly to pay up to €300 million toDeutsche Telekom AGand NetCologne in exchange for the telcos withdrawing their complaintsregarding the merger. The Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, agreed tothe withdrawal. However, in its complaint with the Bundeskartellamt, the FRKargued that the settlement constitutes an illegal cartel agreement. The FRK nowwants the regulator to block the settlement and cancel the Unitymedia-Kabel BWmerger.

*Telefónica Deutschland is still facing effects of the of mobile provider E-Plus, reportsHandelsblatt. Despite a rise inquarter profits, the company remained in the red due to high write-offs. Mobiledata volumes grew strongly, but its fixed network business was weak bycomparison. Group turnover increased 2% to €1.86 billion, while operatingincome jumped 6% to €401 million.

*German presenter Joerg Kachelmann was awarded a record sum of €635,000, in theappeal proceedings between him and Axel Springer SE's tabloid Bild, reportsRheinische Post. Kachelmann willreceive the money as compensation over violation of his personal rights,according to a ruling by the Cologne Regional Court.

*According to the Kommission für Zulassung und Aufsicht der Medienanstalten, orZAK, German commercial broadcasters ProSieben and Sat.1 again violatedadvertising rights, reportsWilde Beuger Solmecke. A court ruling by the Bundesverwaltungsgerichts lastyear determined that programming and advertising require a clear separation.However, multiple rights violations have been recorded such as productplacement during ProSieben TV show "Germany's Next Top Model."

*Deutsche Telekom is set to launch a new generation of its IPTV platform on May 2,Broadband TV News reports.The new generation platform, called Entertain TV, will have a new HD receiverMR 400. The receiver will be a multiscreen gateway for smartphones and tabletsand will combine linear TV, catch-up portals, apps and on demand services. Theservice, which will include the HD box MR 400, will cost €14.95, with all thecurrent Entertain customers being given the opportunity to upgrade.


* 's digital kiosk launchedwith more than 100,000 views on its first day, reports  LeFigaro. The mobile app grants SFR's 18 million clients unlimited access tocontent from its magazines and newspapers, including Libération, L'Express and L'Étudiant.Content will be free for all customers for a month and is expected to be integratedinto many fixed and mobile plans.

*French video game developer and publisher Gameloft's turnover reached €65.1million during the first quarter 2016, down 1%, reportsCercle Finance. EMEA accounted for 32% of the turnover, with Asia-Pacific at32%, North America at 22% and Latin America at 14%. The number of players inthe first quarter reached a monthly average of 157 million, with 19 milliondaily players. The company said it expects to have a turnover in excess of €350million by 2018.

*Technicolor's first-quartergroup revenue reached €1.26 billion, up 58.2%, Reuters reports.Acquisitions, which included Cisco Connected Devices and The Mill, had apositive impact on revenues, accordingto a company statement. Operating businesses for the French cinema and TVtechnology provider recorded 77% revenue growth in the first quarter. ConnectedHome more than doubled in size, production services were up over 50% and DVDservices increased by 25%.

*Walles Kotra will replace Michel Kops as overseas executive director atFrance Télévisions SAon May 9, reportsLe Blog TV News. Kops, who was with France Televisions for 45 years, will leavethe broadcaster at the end of May. Kotra will lead France Ô and the Outremers1ère channels. A former journalist, Kotra has worked as a director at RFONouvelle-Calédonie in Paris and Polynesia.

*French global communications service provider Sigfox launched its Internet ofThings network in Latin America with WND, accordingto a statement. The IoT network will be deployed throughout Brazil, startingwith Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. WND's geolocation device uses the network tohelp facilitate IoT applications that could include tracking people'sbelongings in near real-time on their mobile phones. The partners expect tohave citywide network coverage in Rio de Janeiro by July.


* Belgiancable operator Telenet GroupHolding NV is negotiating with Netflix Inc. over a possible integration of the serviceinto the Telenet platform, reportspublic broadcaster VRT. Competitor Proximus already offers Netflix. Until now, Telenet hastouted its own video services Play and Play More, which have 315,000subscribers. The talks with Netflix reportedly indicate a change of strategy ofthe Belgian cable operator, owned by Liberty Global.

*Chief Editor Isabel Albers is moving from Belgian business daily De Tijd to newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. Publisher DePersgroep appointed Albers to strengthen the content of the newspaper and toaccelerate the digital transformation, reportsDe Tijd. Albers worked at De Tijd forfive years.

*KPN NV and its peerscannot sustain the current growth of the mobile Internet traffic withouttechnological breakthroughs, reportsHet Financieele Dagblad. According toKPN chief technology officer Erik Hoving, it is necessary to develop photonicchips. In 10 years, the industry will no longer be able to do what it has doneover the last decade: the continuous process doubling of traffic, Hovingreportedly said.


* 's Norwegian unitacquired Nordix, abroadband operator in the country's Troms county, for an undisclosed sum,Telecompaper reports,citing Inside Telecom. CEO Berit Svendsen reportedly said that Telenor Norwaykept a low profile over the deal, which was completed the previous week. TheNorwegian Competition Authority reportedly had no objections to the transaction.

*Telenor was strongly criticized in a report on its handling of internal mattersregarding corruptionin VimpelCom Ltd., Dagens Næringsliv reports.The report from law firm Deloitte stated that Telenor's CEO and board, and theNorwegian Minister of Industry, were not told about the matter too late. ATelenor employee repeatedly expressed concern about VimpelCom's investments inUzbekistan as early as 2011, but former CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas was notinformed until March 2014, and the government was not told until October 2015.In February, VimpelCom admitted to corruption in Uzbekistan.

*Three venture capital firms offered to acquire Sweedish tech company QlikTechnologies Inc., Bloomberg News reports,citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The offer from Thoma Bravo, Bain Capitaland Permira values the target at $2.8 billion. Qlik is reportedly hired MorganStanley to help find interested buyers.

*Telia's Norwegian unit followed its competitor Telenor in removing extra costsfor roaming and mobile use in the EU, E24 reports.Telia's Norwegian mobile customers will be able to surf, call and text in theEU countries for the same price as in Norway from April 29. The Norwegiangovernment recently implemented EU rules on net neutrality and internationalroaming.

*Ericsson AB developeda software system that allows media companies to add 3D graphics to theirsports programs, Breakit reports.BBC has reportedly implemented the new technology, and is testing it in popularfootball show "Match of the Day."


*Three new DTT channels were launched in Spain, Advanced Television reports.Real Madrid Football Club's Real Madrid TV, Radio Blanca's DKiss and GrupoSecuoya's Ten complete the roster of channels belonging to the latest DTT map,according to the report.

*Four FilmBox channels operated by SPI International Inc. launched on Turkish platformD-Smart, Broadband TV News reports.Channels FilmBox HD, FightBox HD, DocuBox HD and Fast&FunBox HD willreportedly be offered with Turkish subtitles or dubbing.


* 's R&D unitRT Labs formed a new department for the development of e-governmentinfrastructure, Telecompaper reports,citing The Russian national operator named Alisa Korzhenevskaya,formerly with the Federal Ministry of Communications, as the head of the newunit.

*Poland's Office of Electronic Communications, or UKE, amended the terms of twocontracts involving UPC Polska Spzoo's access to cable ducts owned by , Telecompaper reports.With the decision, the telecom regulator settled the dispute between the twotelcos regarding access to the Orange SA unit's cable infrastructure.

*Akado Telecom addedseveral Eurosport channels to its lineup for digital TV subscribers in Moscowand St. Petersburg, Telecompaper reports,citing Eurosport 1 has been added to the Mix package, while Eurosport2 HD became part of the Sport and HD packages. Eurosport 1 HD has been alsoadded to the HD package.


: Despite higher scatterpricing and programming sellers' expectations for a robust market, media buyingexecutives gathered at an industry conference were not willing to concede thatthere will be major pricing and volume gains during the 2016-17 upfront.

: DreamWorks Animation comes with assetsand IP such as Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon, but some analysts questionedthe $3.8 billion valuation.

: SNL Kagan sat downwith Barry Tishgart, vice president of Comcast Wholesale, a division of ComcastCable, to discuss how technology is reshaping America's biggest cable andinternet service provider.

: Alphabet's Google Fiberinternet, video and telephone services only account for a fraction of themarket penetration in areas where the offerings are available, but major telcoand cable providers are gearing up for greater competition as the companyinvests in expanding its fiber footprint.

: SNL Kagan presents a weekly rundown ofexecutive changes in the media and communications industries.


Broadcast Investor: Deal market March — Moving veryslowly: For the first time since June 2015, and only for the 10thtime in the past 40 years, the monthly deal volume has dropped below $30million.

BroadcastInvestor: B-Stats Q1'16: One very big deal and 333 very small ones:In the first quarter, total deal volume, excluding construction permits andpartial deals, reached $4,695.4 million.

MultichannelTrends: Top 3 MSOs report blowout quarter, grow video subs again:Firing on all cylinders, the top three MSOs shifted into higher gear in thefirst quarter to achieve their fastest revenue growth in more than three years,topping, once again, Wall Street's expectations while keeping profitability atsolidly healthy levels.

BroadcastInvestor: Broadcast public trading multiples: TV, radio stocks spring up inApril: Optimism at the NAB Show over additional revenueopportunities in ATSC 3.0, the influx of political dollars, continued growth inretrans, new digital initiatives and potential cash proceeds from the FCC incentivespectrum auction boosted broadcast shares in April.

BroadcastInvestor: ATSC 3.0 making fast progress for broadcasters at NAB2016: The new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard was on full display forboth broadcasters and consumers at the National Association of BroadcastersConference held in Las Vegas.


LinkedIn seesrebound in March quarter, raises full-year outlook: LinkedInreported year-over-year revenue growth across the board, driven in large partby its Talent Solutions segment. The company now expects full-year non-GAAP EPSof $3.30 to $3.40, up from its earlier non-GAAP EPS guidance of $3.05 to $3.20.

Amazon widens revenue,margins, profitability in Q1: Amazon shares jumped in after-hourstrading as the company reported a consensus-beating first quarter.

Viacom execs eye strongupfront even as domestic ad sales continue to retreat: AlthoughViacom sustained a 5% drop in domestic ad sales during the quarter ended March31, executives believe reduced ad loads, data-driven tools and strength atNickelodeon will result in a strong upfront market for the embattled programmer.

Time Warner Cable CEOtouts Maxx impact, expects Charter merger to close next month: TimeWarner Cable saw an increase in profit and revenue in the first quarter as itgained more subscribers for its residential services, especially broadband. CEORobert Marcus said he expects the company's merger with Charter Communicationsto close in May.

Amanda Kelly,Anne Freier, Kees Pijnappels, Charlotte van Hek, Gerard O'Dwyer and EsbenSvendsen contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadlineof 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.