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  • 09 Apr 2007

    Secured S-DMB crosses 3 million in South Korea

    Seoul- Secured Satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (S-DMB) devices in Korea have exceeded 3 million, according to content security provider Irdeto. And that doesn’t include other secure or non-secure devices in the Korean market. As the supplier of surface mounted device (SMDs) chips and subscriber identity modules (SIMs) for mobile devices that support TU Media’s S-DMB service, Irdeto also reported TU Media has 1.1 million subscribers, with take-up averaging 1,600 new subscribers per day since its launch in May 2005. Irdeto provides conditional access (CA) technology to manage users’ access to TU Media’s 15 video and 19 audio broadcast channels on some 90 different devices including phones, PDAs, in-car devices and portable multimedia players. It also provides its solutions to device manufacturers Samsung, LG and Motorola. In maximizing ARPU and reach to relevant market segments, TU Media offers multiple usage models which Irdeto’s CA technology supports, including subscription, pre-paid, pay per time, impulse pay per view and ordered pay per view.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    Mobile TV trials underway in Taiwan

    Taipei- Taiwanese broadcasters China Network Systems (CNS) and Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) have begun testing MediaFLO, the mobile TV technology from Qualcomm, in Taipei, featuring four live channels of CNS content and up to three live channels of TTV content. “We will use the trial to evaluate our business model for building a mobile broadcasting platform in Taiwan and to better understand how to migrate the platform to a commercial service,” said Daniel Cheung, Chief Operating Officer of CNS. Last October Taiwan’s National Communications Commission issued four licenses to trial mobile TV in the country-three using DVB-H technology, and one with MediaFLO.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    KTV topper walks the plank

    Tokyo- Soichiro Chigusa, President of Kansai Telecasting Corp. (KTV) has quit, taking the rap for the use of bogus scientific data in the broadcaster’s popular Sunday night quiz/variety show Hakkutsu Aruaru Daijiten II (Encyclopedia of Living II), which resulted in KTV’s expulsion from the National Association of Japanese Commercial Broadcasters (Minporen). He’s been succeeded by Masashi Kataoka, Executive Director of KTV.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    Digital broadcasts to cell phones on the rise in Japan

    Tokyo - Almost 10 million people, or about 10% of Japanese cell phone users, will be watching One Seg distribution of digital terrestrial TV signals by this summer as sales of 3G cell phones capable of receiving digital signals more than doubled in February over January, totaling about 5 million, according to Japan Electronics Information and Technology Association (JEITA). One Seg, meaning one of the 13 segments of digital terrestrial broadcasting frequencies used for distribution to cell phones, was launched in April 2006 by all three cell phone carriers. KDDI expects more than 70% of all cell phones sold each month will be One Seg models. So far, TV signals received by One Seg terminals are all from digital terrestrial broadcasting, using the same programmes and commercials: thus there are no additional revenue streams for broadcasters. But by the end of 2008 programmes proprietary to One Segare expected to be decontrolled, creating new business opportunities.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    Focus Media makes major online acquisition

    Beijing—Focus Media, China’s largest overseas listed advertising firm, has acquired online advertising service firm Allyes for US$300 million, comprising US$70 million in cash and nearly 20 million newly issued Focus shares. Allyes, a provider of Internet advertising technology that allows advertisers to control creative production, tracking, targeting and performance analysis, will become a subsidiary of Focus Media. Shanghai-based Focus Media expects total revenues this year to hit $390 million-$400 million, nearly double last year, the company said in a statement reported by Shanghai Daily. Focus Media runs thousands of flat-screen TVs displaying advertisements in stores, offices, theatres and apartment buildings.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    China to launch High Def broadcasts in October

    Beijing—China Central TV will start broadcasting high-definition programmes in October, and the Chinese standard on terrestrial digital broadcasting will be implemented in August, according to Zhang Haitao, deputy director of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). Zhang said SARFT had formed six working groups in cooperation with several other ministries to implement the terrestrial digital broadcasting standard. Du Baichuan, chief engineer of SARFT, said China will provide digital TV, high-definition TV, mobile TV and Internet protocol TV as scheduled before the Olympic Games kick off in seven host cities next year. There are more than 360 million TV households in China and 140 million families have cable TV, but there are only 12 million digital TV users. China Daily notes the transition to digital TV may be difficult because many Chinese households already get more than 30 satellite channels and will not want to pay more for similar programming.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    China’s first DBS system under construction

    Beijing—China Direct Broadcasting Satellite Co., Ltd., a joint venture between China Satellite Communications Corporation and SINO Satellite Communications Co. Ltd., has begun building China’s first direct radio and television broadcasting system. China plans to use the SB4000 commercial satellite platform developed by France’s Alcatel Alenia Aerospace to launch its Chinasat 9 satellite in 2007, and the Chinese-made Dongfanghong IV satellite platform to launch SinoSat-4 in 2008. The signals will reach more than 98% of the country, according to People’s Daily Online.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    Celestial Pictures reaches for the sky

    Hong Kong- Celestial Pictures plans to produce between 120 and 150 hours of big budget drama series this year and to invest in and distribute 150 hours as a third party. Between its own output and acquisitions, the company aims to handle about 300 episodes annually, according to Chie Executive William Pfeiffer. On the slate are two co-productions with mainland China, including Empress Feng of Northern Wei Dynasty, a 40-episode series about the rise of Empress Feng during her reign over the Northern Wei Dynasty; Celestial is partnering China’s Shanxi TV and Datong Production. The other project is Champion, a 30-episode drama inspired by the women’s volleyball team’s loss at the Sydney Olympics, looking at how the team is preparing for the 2008 Games. It’s a co-prod between Celestial and China’s ZhongShiTaiHe Movie & Culture Media Co. Branching into factual programming, Celestial has produced the cinema Hong Kong Documentary Series comprising Cinema Hong Kong: Kung Fu, Cinema Hong Kong: Swordfighting and Cinema Hong Kong: The Beauties of the Shaw Studio.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    Nat Geo Adventure to debut in 40 countries from May

    Washington- National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) will launch the Nat Geo Adventure channel in more than 40 countries worldwide including Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, Israel, Africa and the Middle East on May 1. Nat Geo Adventure programmes focus on the signature themes of National Geographic of adventure and exploration, which appeal to the younger audience. The channel aims to balance localized content with overarching story lines and to go beyond conventional travel content to chronicle travel experiences that have changed people’s lives.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    POP Networks and Gapit Communications to help deliver Vietnam Idol

    Ho Chi Minh- Mobile media services company i-POP Networks and Vietnamese mobile content provider Gapit Communications have been appointed by FremantleMedia, Vietnam Advertising Company (VAC) and Ho Chi Minh Television (HTV), as exclusive mobile service provider for the inaugural Vietnam Idol debuting this summer. According to FremantleMedia, the Idol franchise has generated more than 2 billion votes across 50 countries. Local versions have aired in more than 35 territories. Vietnam Idol is expected to screen as an unprecedented same day broadcast on HTV9 and at least seven TV stations in Vietnam. Working with FremantleMedia, HTV9 and sponsor Unilever, i-POP and Gapit will manage telephony elements including in-programme SMS and telephone voting, mobile alerts and games, content creation and downloads (wallpapers, screensavers, ringtones), mobile contests, and have the rights to produce exclusive made-for-mobile videos.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    US- Korea free trade agreement under fire

    Seoul - Cable companies and some content providers fear the newly signed US-Korea free trade agreement will result in a deluge of U.S. investment in the cable sector and warn that U.S. programming will be more costly and command more screen time. The Korean Cable TV Association slammed the U.S.’s demand to open the market as “cultural imperialism,” which would result in massive U.S. investment that would swallow the cable TV industry. Under South Korean law, foreigners cannot hold more than 49% of shares in a broadcasting firm or more than 30% in a newspaper company. The association claims the U.S. already accounts for 67.6% of imported programmes, and such heavy dependence on American cultural content would worsen if the market were fully opened. And it warns that foreign firms would hike the prices of broadcasting rights for popular programs such as the English Premier League, Major League Baseball and Hollywood movies.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    Start-up children’s channel KidsCo being pitched to Asian cablers

    London- Sparrowhawk Media has begun pitching the children’s channel KidsCo to cable operators in Asia, and service could make its debut in the region in late 2007. A co-venture between Sparrowhawk, DIC Entertainment and Corus Entertainment Inc.’s Nelvana Enterprises, the new channel will offer animation and live action series and movies, localized market-by-market and programmed by day-parts to target segmented audiences. KidsCo will draw on DIC’s library of more than 3,000 half-hours, including Inspector Gadget, Strawberry Shortcake, Madeline, Dennis the Menace, and Care Bears; and a similar volume from Nelvana, including Babar, Franklin, The Adventures of Tintin and Rolie Polie Olie. It will acquire programming from other suppliers, produce original properties and feature prime-time family movies. The first launches will be in Central and Eastern Europe this autumn, followed by roll-outs throughout 2008 and 2009 in approximately 40 territories across Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    BBC Worldwide plans production co-venture in India

    London- BBC Worldwide has flagged that it’s looking to form a production partnership in India, similar to its alliance in Australia with the Freehand Group to develop new formats. BBC Worldwide Director of Content and Production, Wayne Garvie, said, “Local productions and formats are key to our growth plans. With BBC Worldwide’s vast programme offering, there are fantastic opportunities to extend this to local versioning, not just with our entertainment formats but also with scripted formats from our drama and comedy catalogues. Our growing network of international partnerships and production bases, together with our expertise in this field, gives us the ability to create entirely new productions for our international audiences.” Last January BBC Worldwide bought 25% of Freehand, giving the producer a first view option for Australia and New Zealand on all BBC and independent formats to which BBC Worldwide has rights. The deal also means Freehand’s formats will be distributed through BBC Worldwide’s global distribution network.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    CJ Group eyes expansion in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh City - South Korea's CJ Group is looking to expand into Vietnam's burgeoning entertainment and leisure industry, having operated here for ten years in other business sectors. At a meeting between Group officials and HCMC authorities last week, CJ Group Chairman Jay Hyun Lee said the company plans to develop film studio and entertainment complexes in the city over the next few years. CJ Group has been working with HCM City Television (HTV) to explore the possibility of jointly building a film studio in Cu Chi District. It has also co-operated with a local production company to make the 100-episode Scent of Coriander. With reported revenues of US$9.2 billion last year, CJ Group is among Korea's top ten companies. Its existing interests in Vietnam include two fertilizer factories in HCMC and Hanoi.... Read More

  • 09 Apr 2007

    Free mobile broadcasts to start in Korea in May

    Seoul- Beginning next month, South Koreans will be able to watch free TV programs on mobile handsets.... Read More

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