Free TV not for free

Kickback fees for distributing channels that are free on satellite: this is an awkward world. But it is what is happening on OTT (which has arguably higher distribution cost than satellite) in Germany for popular commercial FTA channels RTL and Pro7Sat1 on Magine TV: an OTT platform.

Of course it is known that RTL and Pro7Sat1 are looking for ways to get more leverage out of their popular positions and that the add market cannot give that. HD+ is one of the solutions for that; of course they could not introduce subscruptions for SD based on the fear they would loose viewers and thus advertising euros.

Magine TV launches in Germany.

HD+ grows to 1.5M subs.

Posted in OTT

Net-Neutrality Advocates Angered by FCC’s Plans

Net neutrality is practically gone, not only in Europe (where the worst problems of Kroes’ proposal were corrected by the EU parliament, but also in the USA where strong net neutrality rules have helped create an enormous industry that is changing the world. Now the people that move the bits will rule in the end. Ten years from now the full impact will be visible though no one will see it since the alternative will simply not there to compare against. It is a huge victory for the big telco/cable lobbyists. What will it mean for regular people: less choice, higher prices, slower (yes slower) internet speeds – the one thing that operators claim they need the money for from other businesses which they will now gradually absorb. Simply because innovation speed will grid to a halt, and not just slowly.

Netflix being forced into a deal with Comcast, UPC Netherlands effectively blocking Skype (on a 100Mbit/6Mbit line). That’s where we are heading.

Net-Neutrality Advocates Angered by FCC’s Planned New Rules |

Posted in OTT

M-Net steps up war on DTT encryption

This is an interesting case of open network versus private network interest. Multichoice (PayTV) does not want the standard settop boxes to have CA because it enables a competitor (e-TV) to run their business. Of course it is a valid question to ask “which CA”? And the actual choice is hardly ever a neutral onI. In some Nordig countries (Finland specifically) this was done with Conax in the past; all PayTV operators have equal access to the CA system.

The argument used by Multichoice may be valid: many CA systems have a cost for embedding. But the business model can usually be shifted to pricing the smartcard. Maybe a valid question is whether the access rights to the CA system are reasonable and equal, and.or whether Multichoice has a good erason to wish to select another CA or at least not the same CA as the standard one. The article gives to little background on these questions.

M-Net steps up war on DTT encryption.