Netflix is expanding in Europe; with France and Fermany being the rumoured next market steps. OTT keeps gaining ground.
The deal is there: as reported earlier in the press Verizon has definitively decided to buy Intel’s online video division. Verizon is looking for technology in this field given other acquisitions it recently made:
In December, Verizon announced a definitive agreement to acquire EdgeCast, an industry leader in content delivery networks. Also in fourth-quarter 2013, Verizon announced the acquisition of upLynk’s exclusive technology that streamlines the process of uploading and encoding of video for live, linear and video-on-demand content.
It seems obvious Verizon is not using the Intel platform lock stock and barrel but will only use parts of it. And here is a statement from Eric Huggers we should all try to forget as quickly as possible (can’t these professional managers just keep their mouths shut if they really have nothing to say):
We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved. Intel provided us with the technological know-how and resources to develop products and services that will fundamentally change the way we experience TV, and now Verizon gives us access to the marketplace and the ability to scale. It’s the next logical step, and we’re excited about the road ahead.
Rovi lost cases in the past against Ziggo and Virgin cable. It tried again with another lawsuit which it it now has lost again. The details of the verdict are interesting in the sense of getting a glimpse on the typical subtleties in patent cases.
Rovi has been permitted to refine it’s main patent claim (probably on grounds the original was too wide). Ziggo has argued that the new claim does not apply to it’s EPG; since it requires a (technical) integration between the favourite list and the EPG, where the favourite list is composed/adapted in the EPG. The court agrees with Ziggo that it’s product merely permits to constrain the EPG to favourite channels, i.e. does not violate the Rovi patent claim.
BroadbandTVNews: Dutch court rules Ziggo does not infringe Rovi patent.
Euro commissioner Neelie Kroes seems to want to force the discussion on spectrum management to a quick close in 6 months from now by appointing former commissioner (i.e. heavyweight) Pascal Lamy as the lead for the advisory group on UHF spectrum management. Seems Kroes wants to force the spectrum to be more open to non-TV applications. A message strongly opposed by specifically public broadcasters and some of the larger EC countries (Spain, Italy, and to a somewhat lesser extent France and UK) where DTT is still a major way of viewing TV.
PayTV rights in the EU may no longer grant territorial exclusivity to a country. Regulators are testing the contracts studio’s are offering to PayTV operators in court. Offering such contracts effectively prevents free offering of services in the EC: i.e. if you are abroad you cannot watch your content, and operators should not have to refuse subscription requests from citizens of other countries. The challenge is not that content rights should be offered for all EC countries at once (which would create very problematic issues in the content market). But the legal line is quite fine: what does it mean for a payTV broadcaster in a small country if people from another country can simply subscribe to his content. Is that simply fine or does it require him to take a more expensive license.