Friday 1st August Advance Television News Various


BSkyB: subs up, sales down, ITV drags
MTG acquires Nova TV
Mediaset sues YouTube
Jetix, NBC Universal best placed on Italian DTT tender
DTG re-appoints Lindsay-Davies as Director General
Spain invests in DTT
Nokia ups venture fund
Disney up slightly
DISH Network HD upgrade
BT profit slump
87% coverage for French DTT
499m broadband connections by 2012
Moto keeps 3rd place




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BSkyB: subs up, sales down, ITV drags


BSkyB recorded its highest level of new customers for five years, confirming that 92,000 new customers had signed up for its products in the fourth quarter, bringing its customer base to 8.98 million. Levels of churn were also at their lowest level for three years at 9.8 per cent.

But the group took a further charge of £142 million (E173m) related to its investment in ITV. The cumulative hit related to its stake was £616 million for the year. This dented annual pre-tax profits which were sharply down at £60 million compared with £724 million last time.

Wholesale revenues decreased 13 per cent to £181 million, - a reflection of Virgin Media dropping the channel - while advertising revenues decreased 7 per cent to £328 million, also a reflection of reduced audiences on Virgin for Sky One.

Operating profits were £724 million compared with £815 million last time. Excluding exceptional costs of £28 million which compared with a £49 million gain last year, adjusted operating profit was £14 million lower than the prior year at £752 million, just shy of expectations of £753 million.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MTG acquires Nova TV

Modern Times Group (MTG), the international entertainment broadcasting group, has signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Nova Televisia Bulgaria for E620 million in cash from Antenna Bulgaria, a member of the Kyriakou-owned Antenna Group.

Nova Televisia Bulgaria was established in 1994 and owns 100 per cent of Nova, the second most watched TV channel in Bulgaria.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mediaset sues YouTube

Mediaset, the Italian media group, is suing Google for E500 million over alleged "illegal commercial use" of copyrighted video clips on YouTube. The move follows similar lawsuits from Viacom in the US and Telecinco, the Spanish broadcaster of which Mediaset is the largest shareholder. The cases are ongoing.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jetix, NBC Universal best placed on Italian DTT tender


Italyís Communications Authority (AgCom) has approved the final classifications for the tender that will award 40 per cent of the transmission capacity on five DTT multiplexes.

A total of 25 bids were presented by 18 organisations with points awarded for the "editorial plan", "company plan" and the "project for the use of transmission capacity", among other criteria.

Digital TV Channels, controlled by Jetix, received the most points (69) for its planned FTA channel aimed at kids aged 2-14. NBC Universal Global Networks Italia (66) came second with movie channel project. Joint third were NBC Universal Global Networks Italia with a "Factual" project and the Alphabet Consortium for a FTA/pay-TV education and training channel (both obtained 60 points).

Fifth was Rete Blu (57) with a channel dedicated to social, cultural and religious issues. Joint sixth ware Class Editori, for an FTA news channel; and Turner Entertainment Networks with Cartoon Network and Boomerang (all three with 55 points). Two companies placed ninth (52 points) - Walt Disney Company Italia with its three TV channels "Disney Family", "Disney Pre-School" and "Disney Animation", as well as AirPlus TV with six video streams which will carry nine pay-TV channels with family entertainment.

The broadcasters that will have to give up 40 per cent of the transmission capacity on their multiplexes are RAI (1 mux) Elettronica Industriale/Mediaset (2 mux) and Telecom Italia Media Broadcasting (2 mux). The capacity available is equal to around 9.5 Mbt/s for each mux, which means that only the nine best placed will get access. Only Telecomís MBone mux is configured on a regional basis, so it will be available exclusively to local broadcasters.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DTG re-appoints Lindsay-Davies as Director General

The DTG has confirmed that Richard Lindsay-Davies has been re-appointed as Director General of the Group. Lindsay-Davies left in December 2007 to join Freesat as Commercial Development Director and is returning to the Group after the sudden departure of his successor Dermot Nolan. He will take up the role again in October.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spain invests in DTT


From David Del Valle in Madrid

The Spanish Administration has allocated E8.72 million to complete the digital migration of 32 transition projects from now until June 30, 2009 following the first analogue switch-off in the country, in the city of Soria, was successfully made in July.

The DTT Technical Plan lays down 90 transition projects as a whole that cover all the territory which are divided into three different groups: the first, with a population under 500,000 inhabitants; the second, with a population between 500,000 and 700,000 inhabitants; and a third group with a population of over 700,000 inhabitants.

Meanwhile, Mediapro main shareholder in the commercial TV channel La Sexta, is finalising the launch of a pay TV DTT platform over the next weeks that would offer several channels, including a football TV channel.

Initially, the platform would be available to cable operators until the Administration gives the go-ahead to pay TV over DTT by changing the current legislation that prohibits any pay TV content on DTT.

Jaume Roures, the president of Mediapro, has urged the Government to change the law to authorise pay DTT content. "This new model should be included in the new Audiovisual Law and that should be implemented before next Christmas because the broadcasters canít waste two Christmas campaigns," he commented. Mediapro's football TV channel would broadcast at least 16 monthly soccer matches at a price of E1 per match.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nokia ups venture fund

Nokia will invest a further $150 million into its venture investment arm, hoping to find emerging Internet services from China and India. The investment raises funds under management of Nokia Growth Partners to $250 million, increasing Nokia's total venture investments to more than $900 million.

"The investment allows us to act on a global basis," said John Gardner, partner at Nokia Growth Partners, adding the firm aims to invest into 8 to 10 new firms each year. The venture arm plans to establish direct operations in India and China with the funds.

Meanwhile, Google is also considering establishing an investment fund for acquisitions.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Disney up slightly

Basic-cable networks powered modestly improved earnings reported Wednesday for its third quarter ended June 28th.

ESPN carriage fees and ad gains were the companyís single largest profit driver, but they were accompanied by higher ESPN program and overhead costs. "ESPN led the way, once again," Disney chief financial officer Tom Staggs told an investors' telephone conference. Income from continuing operations advanced 7 per cent to $1.28 billion. Revenue advanced 2 per cent to $9.24 billion.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DISH Network HD upgrade


DISH Network Corporation has set the bar for the next-generation HD standard by becoming the first in the industry to offer high definition programming in 1080p, the highest HD resolution available.

This new functionality is part of DISH Network's expansion in high definition services, which includes the rollout of TurboHD, the industry's first 100 per cent, all-HD suite of programming packages. DISH Network has also launched 17 new national HD channels, surpassing its goal of reaching 100 national HD channels five months ahead of schedule. DISH Network now offers up to 114 national HD channels and plans to expand that line-up to 150 channels by the end of 2008, made possible by the recent launch of Echo XI, the most powerful satellite in the company's fleet.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BT profit slump


Shares in BT Group slumped 11 per cent after the telco posted a 35 per cent fall in net profit and provided a worrying update over important parts of the business. BT said that net profit for the three months to June 30 dropped to £397 million pounds, (E484m) compared with £607 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago. A share buyback and restructuring costs contributed to the loss.

Revenue rose 3 per cent to £5.18 billion, from £5.03 billion with growth driven by major corporate customers.

Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT attempted to reassure the market, saying that the company's full year guidance remains unchanged.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

87% coverage for French DTT
France's communications regulator the CSA, has revealed that four new digital terrestrial television transmitters are to come on stream on August 1st. These join 50 sites already brought into service since March 2008.

The CSA will continue to work with DTT sector players to ensure the opening of some 150 new sites before the end of the year, in accordance with the requirement for coverage of 89 per cent of the population in 2008.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

499m broadband connections by 2012

Worldwide consumer broadband connections will grow from 323 million connections in 2007 to 499 million in 2012. According to Gartner Worldwide, consumer broadband connections penetrated 18 per cent of households in 2007, and by 2012 households with a broadband connection will reach 25 per cent.
Five countries exceeded 60 per cent broadband penetration into the home in 2007 and this is expected to grow to 17 countries by 2012. The five countries are Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Korea and Hong Kong.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moto keeps 3rd place

Motorola posted a small quarterly profit as it sold more mobile phones than expected and narrowly kept its No. 3 global ranking in the mobile phone market ahead of LG Electronics. Shares jumped 13 percent after Motorola also said it expects to report a profit for the full year of 6 cents to 8 cents per share on continuing operations