Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
ProSieben and Discovery to launch SVOD service
A joint TV streaming service called Joyn has been confirmed by ProSiebenSat.1 chief executive Max Conze during its Q1 earnings call on Thursday, reported Reuters. The service is set to launch in June in partnership with Discovery and will offer a slate of 50 channels live as well as on-demand video in a response “to the challenge of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.”
Vodafone inks Telefónica deal
In a move to help subside competition concerns over its large takeover of Liberty Global in Europe, Vodafone UK has agreed on a wholesale cable deal with Telefónica. According to the Financial Times, the European Commission is set to undertake market testing of the remedy package, which is expected to conclude this month with the deal is subject to the completion of Vodafone’s purchase of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.
Roku celebrates 8.9bn streamed video in Q1
The company announced an ”outstanding first quarter” to its shareholders with record growth in revenue to $72.5 million, ending the quarter with 29.1 million active accounts who collectively streamed 8.9 billion hours of audio and video. Variety reported the company expects its annual revenue to surpass $1 billion and forecasts a 40% year-on-year growth.
Sinclair pays $9.6bn for Disney’s Sports assets
Sinclair Broadcast Group will acquire the equity interests in 21 regional sports networks and Fox College Sports, which were acquired by Disney in its acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets in March. According to Forbes, the purchase price was $9.6 billion with the transaction reaching a total enterprise value of $10.6 billion. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
OneWeb first satellite orbit mission successful
OneWeb launched six pilot satellites into a transfer orbit on 27 February and has confirmed the first batch of satellites has reached its designated position with a total 648 satellites planned to join the Low Earth orbit (LEO) mission, reported Advanced Television. This first batch of satellites were built by Airbus at its France facility and OneWeb and Airbus together are now mass-producing satellites from their new joint-venture Florida factory.
Google launches Pixel 3a phone for $399
Google announced at its I/O developer conference a new mid-range device to join its Android phone line-up and is available immediately for $399 with a 5.6-inch display and a screen resolution of 1,080 X 2,220 pixels. Variety reported its processor is not as powerful as the flagship Google devices but the camera benefits from advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to offer features including Night Mode and a special HDR mode that optimises images under low-light conditions.
ITV CEO says ad-sales down because of Brexit
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said the UK broadcaster is trying to reduce its reliance on advertising sales as it has forecasted a 6% decline in the first half of the year during the release of its Q1 results. According to Bloomberg McCall is seeking to reduce its reliance on advertising by expanding ITV’s production unit and grow its direct-to-consumer division.
Facebook co-founder calls for company break up
Facebook chief executives Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has called for the break up of the social network. Zuckerberg’s control over Facebook, Instagram and What’s App is “staggering” according to Hughes who wrote an opinion article for The New York Times. He said: “The government needs to do two things - break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable.”
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