Your guide to what’s happening this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
UK broadcasters invest £125M to secure free TV
BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and network operator Arqiva have collaborated to invest £125 million over the next five years in Freeview Play. The agreement aims to accelerate Freeview’s transition to a complete hybrid platform to deliver free live and on-demand TV for UK audiences in response to the streaming competition from Netflix and Amazon, reported The Guardian.
Comcast submits bid for Fox
A formal $65 billion all-cash offer has been declared by Comcast in a move to rival Disney’s $52.4 billion bid in December. According to CNN, the offer was made one day after the federal judge approved AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. The winner of the bid will get rights to the Fox movie studio which includes franchises including Avatar and X-Men with Fox’s sports network and cable channels.
AT&T acquires Time Warner
Two days after a judge ruled the acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T does not violate antitrust laws the company closed the deal. CNN reported the deal costing $85 billion will unite Time Warner’s TV shows and films with AT&T’s large distribution network covering mobile and satellite. The US Justice Department still has the opportunity to appeal the ruling.
DAZN signs Italian football streaming deal
Perform Group’s DAZN will launch in Italy having secured exclusive multi-platform Serie A rights. According to Broadband TV News, itis the first time a pure live and on demand streaming service has been awarded exclusive Serie A rights.
C4 calls for greater PSB support
Channel 4 Chief Executive Alex Mahon has called for greater support and promotion of public service broadcasters to help counter the rise in social division and erosion of democratic values. TVB Europe reported Mahon warned that if left unchecked there could be “huge ramification for our democracy”.
Apple cracks down on hackers
Apple is set to change the default settings of its iPhone to stop hackers from unlocking devices without the correct authentication. The company has remained prominent in opposition to the US legislation to force technology companies to maintain access to users’ communications, according to the BBC. In a statement, Apple announced its strengthening its protections and security measures.
Broadcom’s financial woes
After the $5.5 billion merger with network gear maker Brocade in November, the chipmaker Broadcom has made1,100 redundancies across its businesses to cut costs, Reuters reported.
Ofcom calls for greater diversity from broadcasters
The UK radio industry under-represents ethnic minorities, disabled people and women according to research by Ofcom. Chief Executive Sharon White said broadcasters must act to attract a wider range of talent, The Guardian reported. The research highlights radio is behind the TV industry with only 6% of staff in the radio sector who are non-white, which is well below the UK population average of 14%.
AI enables radio journalist to work
Scottish technology company CereProc has used artificial intelligence (AI) to create a new voice for US radio journalist Jamie Dupree, 54 who suffers from a rare neurological condition which renders him speechless. CereProc has been developing an affordable and efficient AI system to generate and replicate a human voice. According to the BBC, it works by slicing audio recordings of words down to phonetics.