17th-21st June: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Petition for free TV licence surpasses 500,000 signatures
The British public have expressed anger over the BBC’s decision to scrap free TV licenses for over 75 year olds, with more than 500,000 people signing a petition named ’Switched Off: Save Free TV for Older People’. The Metro reported that as many as 3.7 million are expected to lose their free license. Experts have expressed concerns about the elderly losing out on watching TV and therefore, becoming at risk of social isolation. 

Disney data VP discusses audience and Fox deal
Disney vice president, audience modelling & data science Dana McGraw spoke with Ad Exchanger in an interview about the brand’s data-driven approach to its consumers. McGraw revealed that Disney takes extra care when considering the advertising it allows to be messaged to its audience - the company uses machine learning algorithms to model how its users are likely to act, which advertisers can then target based on predictions. On the Fox merger, McGraw said that Disney is currently working to integrate the data they have acquired from Fox assets such as FX and NatGeo.

India named top overseas market for BBC News 
The BBC has an audience reach of 50 million in India, making it the largest international market for the British broadcaster reports Rapid TV News. BBC News operates in nine languages in India. Overall, the global audience outreach for the BBC has risen to 426 million a week - a figure close to the broadcaster’s audience target of 500 million weekly.

Facebook announces Libra cryptocurrency
Facebook has unveiled its own cryptocurrency named Libra, which will allow Facebook users to buy things or send money to other users. TechCruch reported the cryptocurrency is expected to be considered as the new PayPal. Mark Zuckerberg has explained the philosophy behind Libra as an extension of Facebook’s privacy policy, enabling users to send money privately. 

Twitch acquires social platform Bebo
Amazon’s Twitch has bought social platform Bebo for up to $25 million in an effort to bolster its esports efforts, reported TechCrunch. Bebo pivoted its business focus to esports in 2018, saving it from a potential bankruptcy. The acquisition marks a key moment, as Amazon is reportedly working on a game streaming service to compete with the likes of Apple and Google.

YouTube considers removing kids content
Following the controversy surrounding kids content on YouTube, executives are considering moving content aimed at young people exclusively to the YouTube Kids app according to C21 Media. Google and YouTube have faced criticism for failing to adequately protect children from harmful content on the platform.  

BBC will broadcast Wimbledon in HD
The BBC will broadcast all Wimbledon matches in HD, according to TVB Europe. In addition, all Centre Court matches will be available to watch in UHD on the iPlayer app as well as on TV by pressing the red button.

Eurosport reports 31% Roland-Garros streaming increase
Eurosport has reported a significant rise in viewership for Roland-Garros coverage through its dedicated OTT streaming service Eurosport Player, according to Advanced Television. Tennis fans have engaged well with the platform and the Eurosport app, leading to the company’s success with gaining more eyeballs for the tennis tournament. Parent company Discovery said the success is thanks to its commitment to the direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy.