Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
Netflix shares hit record high
Netflix added 8.33 million subscribers in its fourth quarter of 2017 with shares in the SVoD service rising more than 8%. The video streaming giant’s market capitalisation also passed $100 billion for the first time. According to CNBC, Netflix will continue its winning streak with plans to spend up to $8 billion on original productions in 2018.
CMA blocks Fox takeover of Sky
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced the takeover of Sky by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox is “not in public interest”. The Independent reported that the CMA looked into the bid in the context of media plurality rather than competition and found news outlets controlled by the Murdoch Trust are consumed by almost a third of the UK’s population.
Facebook hires Eurosport Exec for live streaming push
Eurosport’s Chief Executive Peter Hutton has been hired by Facebook to lead its multibillion-dollar push into live sport. According to The Guardian, his appointment comes before the 9 February deadline for bids starting around £6 billion for the TV and digital rights for the 2019-2022 Premier League matches. The move positions Facebook as a leading competitor to traditional broadcasters to cover the prime sports rights.
UK government bids to tackle fake news
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the UK government will launch a rapid response team to tackle fake news by monitoring social media to “identify and challenge disinformation”. Concerns have been raised, according to Sky News, the unit would be used to comment on matters of legitimate political contention, rather than retaining neutrality. A Cabinet Office spokesperson told Sky News: “The Government is committed to tackling false information and the Government Communications Service plays a crucial role in this.”
Irdeto acquires Denuvo
Platform security specialist Iredeto has acquired digital gaming security expert Denuvo to provides technology for anti-cheat and anti-piracy solutions for games on desktop, mobile, console and virtual reality games. By 2020 the global gaming market is estimated to be worth $128.5 billion and the partnership brings together security expertise to combat piracy and helps prevent revenue loss for publishers, Advanced Television reported.
A Facebook engineer has invented a new unit of time called a ’flick’. It has been designed to help developers keep video effects in sync and is the next unit of time after a nanosecond. Derived from a “frame-tick” it is 1/705,600,000 of a second. According to the BBC, it will give programmers a way to measure the time between media frames without using fractions.
EU to fine Qualcomm $1.23B
The European Commission announced it would be issuing a $1.23 billion fine to Qualcomm after its long-standing dominance in the LTE chipsets market. According to Tech Crunch, the fine is for abusing its market position between 2011 and 2016 specifically with Apple’s iPhones. Qualcomm said it will appeal the case and the decision does not relate to its licensing business.
Sky set to focus on IP networks & content surge
On-screen viewing of Sky brands were up 6% annually with record viewing of original programmes across Italy, German and the UK. Rapid TV News reported following the strong results, Sky will follow Netflix in a major content push throughout 2018. It has dropped hints it will add to its traditional satellite delivery by turning towards IP networks building on the original production entertainment strategy.