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Eutelsat continues to face a series of serious difficulties despite turning in “reassuring” first-half financial results, according to analysts at Berenberg.

Eutelsat last week reported a 5.7% decline in like-for-like revenues to €697 million. EBITDA dropped by 7.4% to €545 million.

According to Berenberg’s analysts, Eutelsat should see a boost in the second half from the entry into service of Eutelsat 172B and a number of new contract wins, but said it was taking a “wait and see” approach to the company. Berenberg predicts negative growth of 2% this year and placed a hold recommendation on Eutelsat’s stock.

Noting that “the whole satellite subsector is disappointing on revenue growth” Berenberg sid that Eutelsat’s LEAP cost-savings programme is nevertheless ahead of schedule, although it is not yet clear what impact cost-cutting will have on growth. However, EBITDA and free cash-flow are likely to be boosted in the near term, it said.

Eutelsat’s peers SES and Intelsat have also suffered from falling revenues and a declining order backlog in their most recently-reported quarters. Operators have attempted to focus on new growth areas to compensate for declines elsewhere.
KEF, the commission for the evaluation of the public licence fee for ARD and ZDF, aims for the public broadcasters to terminate the SD distribution of their TV channels on Astra (19.2° East) for DTH satellite households in mid-2020.

The channels would continue broadcasting in HD only. The move presented in KEF’s 21st report is mainly associated with cost savings.

According to KEF, ARD and ZDF are taking part in a ’round table’ on the future of satellite broadcasting under moderation of the media authorities. One of the topics would be the question when the parallel transmission of TV channels in SD and HD can be discontinued, the commission writes in its report. “There is now hope that such a step could be possible on the part of public broadcasters by mid-2020.” KEF therefore no longer recognises the financial needs for SD satellite broadcasting in the second half of 2020.

While SD switch-off on Astra would be relatively straightforward for the public broadcasters, the situation is more difficult for commercial broadcasters. The HD versions of their channels are not freely available, but part of the encrypted, subscription-fee based HD+ platform.

At present, however, less than 20% of German HD satellite households subscribe to HD+. The vast majority of households are satisfied with the unencrypted, free SD versions of RTL, Sat.1, ProSieben and other commercial channels. SD switch-off would therefore result in serious reach losses for commercial broadcasters – with corresponding effects on advertising revenues.

With Diveo from the M7 Group, there is now a second provider offering subscriptions to the HD versions of the commercial channels on Astra. German platform operator Media Broadcast is also expected to enter this market with Freenet TV Sat. It remains to be seen whether the new players will boost subscriptions and thus clear the way for the commercial broadcasters’ SD switch-off.
Telekom Romania has chosen Zenterio OS for a new series of set-top boxes (STBs) for its TV Interactiv IPTV service.

As a result, the telco’s customers can now enjoy a number of features including live TV, VOD, network PVR, time-shift TV, USB PVR and fast channel change on the new STBs.

Commenting on the development, Roxana Baias, marketing director at Telekom Romania, said: “Zenterio OS has been successfully powering our IPTV STBs for the last several years. Recently, we wanted to introduce a new STB hardware vendor and model to optimise hardware sourcing and leverage the harmonisation strategy in Deutsche Telekom Group.

“Zenterio OS made the introduction of new set-top boxes efficient and smooth, without any requirement for software integration. As the expense of the porting was a fraction of a full end-to-end integration project, Zenterio’s solution resulted in an efficient way of using resources for Telekom Romania.”

Jörgen Nilsson, CEO of Zenterio, added: “Zenterio enables Telekom Romania to use the same STB models as its parent company, Deutsche Telekom Group. Taking advantage of the investments at the group level not only saves money, but also provides access to value generating technologies that will keep Telekom Romania’s offering ahead of the market.

“Through the flexibility of Zenterio’s platform, Telekom Romania can integrate and launch new services on multiple boxes, from different hardware vendors, in an efficient and unified way. The harmonised software allows Telekom Romania to add enhanced features easily as the market evolves, ensuring that its subscribers always have access to the most compelling content and the best user experience.”
M6 has signed a new agreement with Bouygues Télécom, covering the distribution of all the groups channels and on demand services.

In line with other recent agreements in France, the agreement includes an extended broadcast window and access to enhanced services and features. There are also previews of selected programmes ahead of broadcast.

Restart, allowing viewers to join the show from the beginning of the transmission as well as mobile rights are also included.

Since the beginning of the year M6 has concluded agreements with Altice, Canal + and Orange. Free remains outstanding.
NBC News is due to close its acquisition of a 25% stake in Euronews this week, with the France-based news channel due to be rebranded EuronewsNBC. NBC will pay a reported US$30 million for the stake, with Euronews due to use the investment to staff up and expand its news coverage and programming.Deborah Turness is set to oversee the Euronews NBC partnership from NBC’s side, working in partnership with Euronews CEO Michael Peters.

News of the deal emerged in February after NBC News chief Andy Lack revealed the move in an internal memo to NBC staff.Lack reportedly told staff that NBC would invest in European journalism and strengthen the depth and pace of Euronews’ reporting.He also said that Noah Oppenheim, the executive in charge of the flagship Today programme, would take over from Deborah Turness as the US news network’s president.
BT Sport has agreed a new partnership with Snapchat that will bring coverage of the Champions League to the social media site’s 10 million daily users.Earlier, Snapchat produced moments taken from the semi-finals between AS Monaco and Juventus, and Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid using clips provided by BT. Under the banner Our Story finals day coverage will also feature Snaps submitted from fans in the stadium, those watching at home and fans in Madrid and Turin.“This partnership with will allow over 10m daily Snapchatters in the UK to experience what it feels like to be at the Champions League final.” said Ben Schwerin, VP Partnerships, Snap Inc. “We’re always thrilled to work with innovative partners like BT Sport to develop our sports coverage in the UK, in Europe and worldwide.”Jeremy Rosenberg, Head of Advertising Partnerships, BT Sport added “Social media has played a big part in BT Sport’s Champions League success, and we are delighted to explore this exciting new partnership with Snapchat, which will take football fans to the heart of sport. We believe these Stories complement our innovative live match coverage, and we hope to give new audiences a distinctive and engaging experience.”Official UEFA Champions League sponsor adidas will be running Snap Ads within Snapchat’s Our Story coverage of the final from Cardiff.Snapchat has previously partnered with some of Europe’s top football clubs including all UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Real Madrid, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco. ‘Dynamic Lenses’ allowed fans to paint their faces in team colours and head a ball in a game like experience
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