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Liberty Global's asset sale; Spotify on content; ITV Studios' acquisition


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Liberty Global's asset sale; Spotify on content; ITV Studios' acquisition


* Vodafone Group PLC completed the acquisition of Liberty Global PLC's assets in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic for approximately €19.0 billion on a U.S. GAAP basis.

* Spotify Technology SA CEO Daniel Ek said the company is focused on providing users with more personalized, premium experiences and the strategy is paying off in user growth, despite a second-quarter miss on a key user figure. The music-streaming company's premium user figure fell on the low end of the company's guidance range of 107 million to 110 million and below Spotify's goal for growth on the high end of its given range.

* ITV PLC unit ITV Studios Ltd. agreed to acquire Israeli content distributor Armoza Formats for an undisclosed sum. Armoza Formats will join ITV Studios' Global Creative Network, led by Mike Beale.


* Discovery Inc.'s pan-European sports network Eurosport struck a deal with the International SAMBO Federation to broadcast the martial art in up to 65 countries across Europe and Asia-Pacific.

* Israeli software company Lightricks Ltd. said it intends to expand its presence in the U.K. and Germany following a $135 million in a series C funding led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing Group.

* Various soccer governing bodies and national associations have condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the activities of pirate broadcaster beoutQ for its continued illegal airing of soccer games in Saudi Arabia. The organizations believe beoutQ's activities harm rights holders, licensees and the viability of soccer as a sport. The group includes world soccer body FIFA, pan-European association UEFA, Germany's Bundesliga, Spain's LaLiga, the English Premier League and Italy's Lega Serie A.


* Private equity firm Permira Holdings Ltd. could exit U.K.-based video software provider Synamedia after three to four years, Reuters reports, citing Synamedia Chairman Abe Peled. Synamedia, which is eyeing an IPO after Permira's exit, is expecting continued growth due to a boost in video software demand.

* Vodafone Group said it completed the NZ$3.4 billion sale of its unit Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. to a consortium including infrastructure investment company Infratil Ltd. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

* Channel 4 (UK) has appointed former British Broadcasting Corp. executive Sacha Mirzoeff as factual commissioning editor and True Vision Executive Producer Will Rowson as commissioning editor for factual.

* Openreach Ltd. announced that it is building fiber-to-the-premises broadband technology in 36 new locations in the next 12 months. The company is prioritizing four locations in Scotland given the government's rates relief on new fiber broadband networks.


* Herbert Kloiber will leave the newly founded media company between German media groups Tele München Fernseh GmbH & Co KG, Universum Film GmbH, i&u TV and Wiedemann & Berg Film.

* The German Federal Cabinet decided to apply reduced tax rates to digital press products, following a European Union directive. Once adopted, newspapers and magazines would be treated equally regardless of whether they are published in paper or online.


* Ubisoft Entertainment SA has acquired a 70% stake in free-to-play mobile games publisher Green Panda Games for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition gives Ubisoft the option of increasing its stake to 100% in the coming four years.

* Altice France SA reported that its second-quarter revenue grew 4.0% year over year, without any reduced VAT benefit. Its adjusted second-quarter EBITDA was up 10.1% year over year, compared to a 4.6% year-over-year increase in the first quarter. It also saw an increase of about 31,000 residential fixed base customers and about 105,000 residential mobile postpaid base customers.

* Eutelsat Communications SA reported full-year 2018-2019 results which saw sales of €1.32 billion for the full year, down 5% from the year-ago period. EBITDA was down 4.3% to €1.03 billion, compared with €1.08 billion during the same period last year.

* Eutelsat Americas has confirmed a multiyear, multi-transponder agreement with Puerto Rico-based Ultra DTH Inc. for capacity on the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite. The transaction will support the launch of a white label DTH platform across the Caribbean and the Andean region.


* Altice Europe reported that its second-quarter revenue increased by 3.8% year over year. The company's adjusted EBITDA grew by 9.8% year over year. Altice Europe's total consolidated net debt at the end of the quarter was €30.1 billion.

* Belgian publisher Mediahuis NV has completed the acquisition of Irish company Independent News & Media PLC. Following completion, Mediahuis announced a number of changes to INM's management and board of directors, as well as the creation of an executive committee.

* Dutch public broadcaster NOS has appointed Daniël Kegel as new head of digital media from Sept. 1. Kegel replaces Lara Ankersmit.

* Belgian provider Mobile Vikings is no longer allowing its customers to consume data outside of the European Union, saying this measure should protect customers against unexpected high costs, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.


* Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak downgraded his rating on Spotify shares to "hold" from "buy," citing the company's premium-subscriber miss for a second consecutive quarter. In a research note, Wlodarczak said despite favorable year-over-year premium churn trends and monthly active user growth, the premium subscriber growth is "all that matters."

* Tobii AB rolled out Tobii Spotlight Technology, an eye-tracking offering, which delivers a broader set of foveation-related higher detail capabilities to visual systems.

* Schibsted ASA has purchased 58,000 own A-shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The shares were bought at a price of 238.3131 Norwegian kroner per share.

* Elisa Oyj has signed a 5G network agreement with the Port of Helsinki. The deal contracts Elisa to build a commercial 5G network at Helsinki's Western Harbour and adjacent Terminal 2 West in 2019.


* Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia has revamped its Atresplayer Premium streaming service into a "real TV on-demand" offering, Advanced Television reports. The platform will offer ad-free original series and series, as well as entertainment and current affairs content prior to their actual terrestrial broadcast.

* The European Commission approved €300 million of public funding to support the Greek government's Ultrafast Broadband Infrastructure Scheme. The initiative entails the rollout of fiber broadband services in areas across Greece where there is limited connectivity.

* Vodafone España SAU's complaints against Telefónica SA's Movistar for abusing a dominant position in the soccer TV market due to its bundled offers, has been dismissed by the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, Advanced Television reports. The Spanish watchdog said Movistar did not violate antitrust rules since other telcos such as Orange Espagne SAU offered parallel promotions. Orange SA owns Orange Espagne.

* Italian public broadcaster Rai is again appealing to a Milan court regarding Sky Italia SRL's decision to not renew its free-to-air broadcast deal covering UEFA Champions League matches, Telecompaper reports. Rai referred to the "imminent and irreparable damage" caused by the Sky Ltd. unit when it struck the deal with Mediaset SpA instead.

* Türk Telekomünikasyon AŞ named Ümit Önal as its acting general manager and CEO, taking over from Boulos Doany. Önal was most recently the Turkish operator's assistant general manager for marketing and customer care.

* Mediaset has conditionally accepted a demand by Simon Fiducaria to be included in the special list of shareholders who can get double voting rights in the company, Digital TV Europe reports. The Italian broadcaster has resisted Simon Fiducaria's status as an independent shareholder until now, considering it a proxy for Vivendi SA's shares.


* Russia's ER-Telecom JSC has secured a range of frequencies for its 5G trials, which could begin in the autumn, Broadband TV News reports, citing Izvestia. The spectrum was issued by the State Radio Frequency Commission.

* Group Ltd. is teaming up with video game publisher iDreamSky Technology Holdings Ltd. to expand the Russian internet company's gaming footprint in China, Reuters reports, citing sources. While specific details of the tie-up are yet to be known, the two companies will reportedly jointly publish games and invest in Asian and European markets. iDreamSky is backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd.

* Polish mobile operator Play Communications SA has added three channels from NBCUniversal International Networks Ltd. to its on-demand service Play Now, Advanced Television reports. NBCUniversal International Networks is a unit of Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC.


Q&A: Declining membership drives Mont. cable association to close: Montana Cable Telecommunications Association President Kristin Bekker said members have talked about going in on other conferences around the state.


Economics of Internet: State of UK OTT video: subscription: Over-the-top video subscriptions in the U.K. reached 17.2 million in 2018, surpassing multichannel for the first time.


Qualcomm's fiscal Q3 adjusted EPS falls 20% YOY; revenue misses estimates: The chipmaker also excluded in its fiscal fourth-quarter outlook royalty fee payments from Huawei as a final licensing agreement remains under negotiation.

Altice USA posts Q2 profit, revenue up 3.7% YOY; more share buybacks planned: Altice reported second-quarter attributable net income of $86.4 million, or 13 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $97.9 million, or a loss of 13 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

MediaTek to debut 2nd 5G chipset, Q2'19 net income down 12.6% YOY: The Taiwan-based chip designer said its second 5G chipset will feature in smartphones from the first half of 2020. It reported a 12.6% year-over-year drop in net income.

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

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