Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news. 

Digital digest index

Fox News pulled from UK TV

21st Century Fox stopped airing Fox News on UK channels Tuesday 29 August at 4pm. Fox News has a US market focus and a spokesperson told Bloomberg it had no commercial interest in continuing the partnership. Bloomberg reported it is a timely move that could help address the wide spread concerns about the acquisition of Sky, while the BBC reported the decision was not related the Sky takeover. Broadband TV News shared that Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Karen Bradley has received further evidence to aid the final decision on the Fox-Sky acquisition. 

Scandinavian SVOD service

Viacom International Media Networks is set to launch the first Scandinavian streaming video on-demand (SVOD) service for selected pay TV window providers. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the new streaming service, called Paramount+, will host Paramount Pictures’ new film releases, classic movies and over 800 TV episodes from MTV and Comedy Central. 

5G trial expands in the US

AT&T released on Wednesday its commitment to trial 5G in three more US cities. The trials will test the speed of the service and its connection delivered by radio signal using high-band wireless airwaves and lag times. The trials are intended to determine if the millimeter wave spectrum can travel through infrastructure and the impact of the weather.    

Deutsche Telekom to rival Netflix and Amazon

The new video-on-demand service called Entertain TV Serien by German telco Deutsche Telekom is set to be launched by October 2017. According to reports, the VOD service will host debut German series as well as US productions such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Canadian crime TV series Cardinal.   

Alexa and Cortana aligned to outwit Siri

Amazon and Microsoft have joined their voice-controlled virtual assistants, Alexa and Cortana, in an attempt to outsmart Apple’s Siri. Consumers’ of Alexa will be able to ask Cortana to book a meeting and read an email, whilst Cortana users will be able to use Alexa to play music and turn on lights. The partnership is a first for two technology companies to share data from their network, but not a surprising move to tap into the smart home market, Reuters reported.     

Mayweather V McGregor fight breaks streaming record

The channel DSTV Now broke all streaming records following the live stream of The Money Fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. The audience peaked at 40% compared to previous records including prime time viewing. According to NexTV News DSTV Now has grown its monthly users over 50% in three months and claims live sport is its main growth driver. In other reports, 239 illegal piracy streams shared the fight exploiting social media channels and traditional pirate websites reaching an estimated 2,930,598 viewers.    

Facebook commissions original TV series 

The social media giant has confirmed its production of Last State Standing, a reality competition series where contestants from each American state will compete in a series of events to win $500,000. The series will be a first for anchored content according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has ambitious plans to move into premium, TV-style content, Variety reported.   

Andriod apps hijacked phones for DDOS attacks

Google Play Store has removed at least 300 apps after they were found to be secretly hijacking devices to transport traffic for large distribution denial (DDoS) attacks. The Verge shared that researchers uncovered the ’WireX’ botnet was the cause, with hidden malware inside the affected apps.