A move away from the traditional distribution networks this week as VRT decides to close it’s free-to-air terrestrial service and instead focus more on it’s OTT app; as DirecTV focuses on fibre and OTT in lieu of satellites.


  1. “No more satellites” says DirecTV owners

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said, DirecTV would be concentrating on building out fibre and OTT services for its customers. “We’re kind of done,” he told analysts during a Nov 29th presentation and earnings call.


  1. Free-to-air terrestrial TV ends in Flanders

Flemish broadcaster becomes first public broadcaster in Europe to ditch its own terrestrial TV service.

VRT closed its free-to-air terrestrial multiplex today (1st December 2018) after internal research indicated only around 1% of households in the Flanders region of Belgium used the signal.

There had been a small but vocal protest against the switch-off, which has been blamed on cost-cutting and changing viewing habits. VRT said it would not be worth the €1 million required to switch the signal to DVB-T2, the next generation of terrestrial broadcasting.


  1. Fries: Liberty’s sale of assets is ‘important inflection point for cable’

Liberty Global’s sale of assets marks “a pretty important inflection point for European cable” following a period of organic and acquisition growth for the company, according to CEO Mike Fries, speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference yesterday.

He said that cable in Europe now faces telecom competitors that are “pretty darn good at what they do”, while fixed-mobile convergence is “real” in a way that is not necessarily the case in the US market, for example, meaning that the company had to take some hard decisions about markets in which it lacks national scale.


  1. Research: 80% Smart TVs Internet-connected

Findings from analyst firm Parks Associates reveal that consumers are steadily adding connected entertainment devices to their households and using their smart features—83 per cent of Smart TV owners connect their device to the Internet, up from 70 per cent in 2014. Ownership of streaming media players has almost doubled from about 21 per cent of US broadband households in 2014 to almost 40 per cent in 2018, while Smart TV ownership has increased from 34 per cent to 53 per cent during the same time period.


  1. BBC iPlayer records ‘strongest month to date’

The BBC iPlayer on-demand service recorded its strongest month to date in October, boosted by the popularity of hit series Killing Eve, Doctor Who and The Cry.

BBC iPlayer recorded 334 million requests in October, up 18% year-on-year, with a new record for average daily requests of 10.8 million.

Based on number of requests, October beat all previous records, surpassing this January’s score of 328 million and last December’s 327 million.


  1. AWS Elemental says live contribution to the cloud has come of age

Following Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) recent announcement of AWS Elemental MediaConnect, Simon Frost, head of marketing and business development EMEA, has stated that the service is going to make life easier for sports broadcasters that use or intend to use cloud services for live contribution.


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