News

SC overturns Lahore High Court verdict staying DTH licence auction

The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a 2016 judgement of the Lahore High Court that had set aside Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) regulations prohibiting television broadcasters from entering the Direct-to-Home (DTH) market.

DTH is a digital box that gives customers channels permitted to be aired in the country without a cable connection.

Pemra had auctioned three DTH programming licences in November, 2016. The auction was held after the Supreme Court allowed the authority to proceed with the auction, but barred it from awarding the contract till the final determination of the case by the LHC.

The LHC had ruled in December 2016 that Pemra had acted in violation of its own ordinance while conducting the bidding for DTH licences and set aside the auction.

The decision was subsequently challenged in the apex court by Pemra and other companies, including Messrs MAG Entertain­ment (Pvt) Ltd, Messrs Startimes Communications Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and Shahzad Sky (Pvt) Ltd.

Ruling on the appeals, a five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday overturned the high court’s verdict.

With the apex court’s judgement, the Pemra rules under which the auction was held in November 2016 have been restored. The auction itself has been reinstated as well.

The auction
On Nov 24, 2016 Pemra had auctioned three DTH licences for Rs14.69 billion with the aim of curbing the proliferation of illegal Indian DTH broadcasts, which were annually causing the loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

The auction was held with the condition that no broadcaster would enter the DTH market themselves. This condition was later challenged in the Lahore High Court.

The authority had subsequently argued before the LHC that the establishment of a DTH platform for distribution of television content requires expenditures running into the billions, and, therefore, only the biggest broadcasters would be in a position to set up such a platform.

It said that if the broadcasters were allowed to enter the DTH market, one or more of the larger broadcast channels would end up controlling the distribution of the content while controlling one-third or more of the market.

In such a broadcaster-cum-distributor scenario, significant powers would be vested in one of the larger broadcasters, the petition had argued.

Pemra had emphasised that the regulatory decision to not allow a broadcaster from owning and controlling one-third or more of the DTH distribution market was a reasonable decision that required no detailed setting of standards or empirical data collection.

But the high court judgement had imposed unwarranted restrictions on the scope of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 in arriving at the conclusion that vertical integration between broadcasters and distributors might not be prohibited through rules-making.

Global agencies discuss illegal streaming challenges

Over 90 people representing law enforcement, rights owners, platform operators, media technology providers, broadcasters and other trade associations from Europe, the US, the Far East, Middle East and Latin America participated in the second AAPA (Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance) workshop on illegal streaming, held in London, recently.

The workshop allowed for an exchange of views about trends and developments in illegal streaming; the challenges faced by law enforcement; how to collaborate with intermediaries; and future challenges. Discussion also took place on the adequacy of existing laws. A key theme of the day was the importance of collaboration and co-operation in the fight against audiovisual piracy.

“Events such as this are vitally important to our common, shared fight against piracy,” stated Mark Mulready, VP of AAPA and VP Cyber Security Services, Irdeto. “The sharing of knowledge and expertise and collaborative action within the private sector and between the public and private sector allows all concerned to leverage our resources to greater effect. This workshop provides the basis for strengthening and expanding the co-operative global efforts which exist already.”

“AAPA is pleased to host this workshop and encourage dialogue,” added Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AAPA. “The participation of law enforcement officers from INTERPOL, Europol, Spain, the UK, the FBI, Hong Kong and Germany demonstrates also that law enforcement agencies consider IP crime to be a priority and highlights the global nature of piracy.”

Reliance Jio offers 1.1TB FTTH broadband data in select markets: Report

Reliance Jio has begun offering fibre to the home (FTTH) broadband connections

NEW DELHI: Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has begun offering fibre to the home (FTTH) broadband connections with 1.1 terabytes (TB) of free data at speeds of 100 megabits per second (mbps) in select markets in the country, the Hindu reported.

The 4G entrant is expected to roll out commercial services in the second half of this year, the report added.

“The initial FTTH plan includes 100 gigabytes (GB) of free data at 100 mbps speed; once the data limited is exhausted, the customers can do top-up of 40 GB of free data 25 times in a month, effectively meaning 1,100 GB of free data a month,” a source told The Hindu.

The report said that interested customers can get JioFiber connection by paying an interest-free refundable security deposit of Rs 4,500.

The Jio router can be also used as a set-top box when the company launches internet protocol television (IPTV) services.

Reliance Jio recently said that it has begun trials for enterprise solutions, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and the Internet of Things (IoT) services in the country.

“The company continues to make progress for delivering Enterprise solutions, FTTH and IoT with beta trials initiated in a few locations. These services are being offered using the same integrated network and platforms,” the telco said in a statement.

The telco said that these new services will lead to further data consumption on the network. Its total wireless data traffic during the last quarter stood at 506 crore GB.

Jio will launch its FTTH service for both households and enterprise customers. In the residential segment, it is eyeing to capture 100 million television households across 30 cities in India.

Intelsat General (IGC) Again Selected to Deliver Radio and Television Programming to U.S. Troops Worldwide

IGC will lead team providing global service to the American Forces Network (AFN) using six satellites and five teleports

McLean, VA, April 24, 2018
Intelsat General, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intelsat (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network and leader in integrated satellite communications, today announced that the Company will distribute television and radio programming to U.S. servicemen and women stationed around the world, working with the support of three other satellite and ground service providers.

Intelsat General has been carrying the global satellite feed for the American Forces Network (AFN) for more than 15 years, bringing U.S. troops on land and at sea a wide variety of television and radio programming. The new one-year contract with four renewable option years will involve six satellites and five teleports at various locations around the globe, as well as the IntelsatOne terrestrial fiber network. The other partners involved in providing the service are SES Government Solutions, Korea Telecom and Allen Communications.

“We have been supporting the American Forces Network for a number of years and this new contract will allow us to continue to distribute programming that is so important to the morale of our troops at home, at sea and abroad,” said Rick Henry, VP of Sales and Marketing for Intelsat General. “Our globalized network enables AFN programming to reach more than one million service men and women stationed in the most remote areas of the globe, allowing them to feel closer to home whether they are watching an NFL football game or an episode of a television series.”

The AFN will provide Intelsat General with three data streams for distribution globally, using uplink teleports in California and Maryland in the United States as well as South Korea and Germany. Intelsat will distribute the AFN programming to ships at sea and fixed military bases in the Atlantic Ocean Region, the Indian Ocean Region, and the Continental U.S., Greenland, Central America and Cuba.

The American Forces Network, based at Fort Meade in Maryland, traces its origins to a single Army radio station established in Kodiak, Alaska, to entertain isolated soldiers at the beginning of World War II. It has since grown to provide a wide range of around-the-clock radio and television programming from a variety of commercial sources, giving U.S. troops worldwide the same access to news, sports and entertainment that they might enjoy at home.

About Intelsat General
Intelsat General (IGC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intelsat, operator of the world’s first Globalized Network and leader in integrated satellite communications. IGC provides its government and commercial customers with high-quality, cost-effective, communications solutions via Intelsat’s leading satellite backbone and terrestrial infrastructure. Our customers rely on IGC to provide secure and seamless broadband connectivity, video communications, and mobility services for mission-critical operations anywhere on the globe through our open, inter-operable architecture. www.intelsatgeneral.com

VIACOM INTERNATIONAL MEDIA NETWORKS EXPANDS COLLABORATION WITH SOLAR ENTERTAINMENT TO DEBUT MTV CLASSIC IN THE PHILIPPINES

24-Hour network celebrating music legends from the 1980s to the 2000s to enter Asia for the first time on AGILASAT, Solar Digital’s TV platform on 2 May 2018

BALI, 24 APRIL 2018 – Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), today announced its expanded collaboration with Solar Entertainment Corporation, content provider and television network, to debut MTV Classic in the Philippines. This marks the first time that the 24-hour music channel will be available in Asia. Effective 2 May, MTV Classic will be offered on AGILASAT – a joint venture TV satellite service between Solar and global satellite operator ABS that delivers premium entertainment via direct-to-operator facility to households in the country.

“Building on the success of last year’s collaboration on MTVph, we’re thrilled to bolster our strategic collaboration with Solar with MTV Classic and officially debut it for the first time in the Philippines. This reinforces the importance of the Filipino market as we deepen our brand presence here, which demonstrates our commitment to strengthen programming, local engagement and to cater to the viewing preferences of Filipino audiences,” said Paras Sharma, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Southeast Asia, Viacom International Media Networks. “Whether it’s Nirvana or Destiny’s Child, MTV Classic is the home for music legends that shaped pop culture via their music videos.”

MTV Classic showcases the artists and hits that have been part of the music landscape since the network’s inception in 1981. The 24-hour music channel will feature a non-stop music programing mix of rock, R&B anthems, classic power ballads and retro pop from some of the world’s greatest superstars including, Madonna, Duran, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Spice Girls, Queen, U2, Whitney Houston, Prince and more.

Rene Esguerra, Chief Operating Officer of Solar Digital Media Holdings, Inc., added, “We are excited to continue working with VIMN and extend the iconic MTV brand on our platform. The addition of MTV Classic will appeal to a range of audiences both young and old, bringing AGILASAT closer to our goal of meeting the key content needs of our subscribers.”

The launch of MTV Classic follows the initial collaboration between VIMN and Solar to launch MTVph in the Philippines last year.

###

About AGILASAT
AGILASAT is a groundbreaking free-to-view TV service that delivers sports, news, lifestyle, kid movies, general entertainment, and local programming to homes across the Philippines. It will host a bouquet of up to 50 high-quality local and international channels. Distribution of AGILASAT is through a built-in package with partner Pay TV providers (DTO).

This new service will be available on C-band via the ABS-6 satellite covering the entire country. Unlike most Ku-band DTH services, the C-band service is more resistant to rain degradation.

About Solar Entertainment Corporation
Solar Entertainment Corporation is one of the largest content providers and channel operators in Southeast Asia. It is committed to elevating the network to a global standard and maintaining Solar as a leader and innovator in the industry. Until today, Solar continues to widen its programming to meet the demands of emerging audiences. www.solarentertainmentcorp.com

About MTV
MTV is the world’s biggest youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of nearly 785 million households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. Outside of the United States, MTV is part of Viacom International Media Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all platforms. For more information about MTV in Asia, visit www.mtvasia.com.

About Viacom International Media Networks
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), is comprised of many of the world’s most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, MTV LIVE HD, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, and more. Viacom brands reach more than 3.8 billion cumulative subscribers in 180+ countries and territories via more than 200 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties, in 40 languages. Keep up with VIMN news by visiting the VIMN PR Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/VIMN_PR. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com, blog.viacom.com and the Viacom Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/Viacom.

Media Contact:
Viacom International Media Networks
Adeline Ong
Senior Director, Corporate Communications, Asia
e: adeline.ong@vimn.com

NAGRA and Cinema Buying Group-NATO Partner to Promote myCinema, NAGRA’s New Alternative Content and Live Event Service

Premier entertainment technology and security solution provider, NAGRA, is working closely with movie theatre owners and the cinema buying Group-NATO to transform movie theatres into entertainment centers via myCinema

Phoenix, AZ – Washington, D.C. – April 23, 2018 – NAGRA, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company and the leading provider of digital content distribution and content protection, and the Cinema Buying Group-National Association of Theater Owners have signed a definitive partnership agreement. Under the agreement NAGRA will bring alternative content and live event cinema to the CBG-NATO membership. myCinema, the new NAGRA broadband-based solution premiering at Cinemacon 2018, will offer a large catalog of titles both live and previously recorded content to theater circuits of all sizes with a significant focus on serving the independent theater owners represented in the Cinema Buying Group-NATO.

With today’s announcement of a business development and marketing agreement between NAGRA and the Cinema Buying Group-NATO, theatre owners in North America can contract with NAGRA with the help of CBG-NATO to efficiently deploy the myCinema service into their theatres.

“In the 21st century theatres are becoming diverse and energized entertainment centers for the communities they serve,” said Bill Campbell, Managing Director of NATO’s Cinema Buying Group. Mr. Campbell further stated, “With myCinema, theatre owners are able to offer a broad range of alternative content and live events, including live musical events, sporting events and Broadway shows, faith-based programming and independent films from around the globe, as well as unique e-sporting events and leagues. The imagination is the only limit and the programming library theater management can choose from is growing constantly. This is an exciting new evolution in theatre programming.”

NAGRA will announce the public launch of myCinema at the upcoming Cinemacon 2018 event in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 23-26, 2018. This innovative new service will empower cinema owners and operators to revitalize their entertainment enterprise, expand their customer base and enhance the cinema-going entertainment experience.

myCinema enables owners and operators to schedule and promote music events, sporting events, opera, ballet, Broadway, first-run independent film, re-releases of some of the best known and beloved film franchises, cinematic TV, eSports, content from around the globe, and more. Featuring excellent quality presentation of the best available content, the NAGRA solution will empower cinema owners to increase their revenue and expand the entertainment services they provide to their existing and growing base of customers. Launching this year in North America, the NAGRA service leverages the best available streaming, sound, data/recommendations, loyalty programs and high-value content security solutions, pioneered by NAGRA and its technology experts.

“Working with industry leaders and the Cinema Buying Group-NATO is an excellent way to expedite the deployment of myCinema,” said Tim Warner Jr, Vice President Exhibitor Relations, NAGRA. “These trusted relationships help cinema owners recognize the great opportunity that alternative content and live events hold for them and for their customers. As well, NAGRA’s new myCinema service helps theatre owners benefit from the greater opportunity and revenue from the deployment of digital cinema within their enterprises.”

“myCinema is a win-win for theatre owners. It provides CBG members the opportunity to more effectively appeal to the diverse interests of their individual communities and the audiences they serve,” continued Bill Campbell. “By programming high-quality events, presentations and experiences at any time of the day, myCinema allows for and encourages improved attendance during off-peak periods through non-traditional uses of our member theaters. This program is exactly the kind of programming option that was envisioned during the industry’s conversion to digital cinema and is evidence that the CBG remains attentive to all areas of operations in our program offerings. We are very excited to be able to offer NAGRA’s myCinema to our loyal members.”

Please visit www.mycinema.live to subscribe for media alerts.

About Cinema Buying Group-NATO
Cinema Buying Group-NATO, a semi-autonomous buying program of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), is a group of over 400 independent movie theater companies formed to combine the buying capacity of the membership for purposes of: securing volume discounts and competitive pricing and/or terms across a broad spectrum of relevant and vital products and services; offering enhanced promotion and merchandising of movies and concessions; developing strategic relationships with manufacturers and suppliers by offering cost-saving products or services that can be passed on to members that elect to buy; and ultimately providing greater access to available opportunities for the member companies. CBG-NATO also serves as a vehicle for industry manufacturers and suppliers to partner with this important and vital membership in ways that can offer meaningful upside to both the supportive vendor partners and participating CBG-NATO members.

About NAGRA
NAGRA, a digital TV division of the Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S), provides security and multiscreen user experience solutions for the monetization of digital media. The company offers content providers and DTV service providers worldwide secure, open and integrated platforms and applications over broadcast, broadband and mobile platforms, enabling compelling and personalized viewing experiences. Please visit dtv.nagra.com for more information.

Media Contacts

Brad Wardlow
Cinema Buying Group – NATO
469-628-6363
bkw@cbgpurchasing.com

Ivan Schnider
Marketing Communications
+41 21 732 09 40
ivan.schnider@nagra.com

Christine Oury
Marketing Communications
+1 415 962 5433
christine.oury@nagra.com

Tim Warner
Exhibitor Relations
+1 406 461 4618
tim.warner@nagra.com

Viu scores content collaboration with GMM Channel

A solid vote from the top entertainment company in Thailand for Viu’s freemium OTT video model

PCCW (SEHK:0008) – HONG KONG, April 20, 2018 – Viu, a leading pan-regional OTT video service by PCCW Media Group, has made inroads in bringing local content to the online video audience in Thailand with a content deal with GMM Channel, one of the largest entertainment companies in Thailand. The deal also signifies Viu’s continual expansion of localized content to suit the viewers in different markets.

This milestone deal adds up to 200 hours of selected premium content from GMM25 under GMM Channel for Viu audience in Thailand, beefing up its already massive volume of Asian premium content available on the platform. It also bears testament to the success of freemium OTT video model spearheaded by Viu, which offers all viewers free access to its content with ad-support, while premium subscribers can enjoy a wealth of features on the OTT platform.

Ms. Janice Lee, Managing Director, PCCW Media Group, said, “We can expect substantial synergy in this collaboration that will benefit us both. Since Viu coined the pioneering free and premium tiers of services tailored for different viewing habits of Asian netizens, the number of monthly active users has grown to over 16 million by the end of 2017. Our extensive audience base can ensure local broadcasters like GMM Channel may further expand their reach, whereas the premium program lineup from GMM25 will enable us to offer more relevant, highly localized content to attract more viewers. We look forward to working closer with more content providers like GMM Channel to deliver more engaging local content to our users.”

Amassing the highest digital TV viewership on social media platforms in Thailand, GMM25 is renowned for its realistic approach and “taboo-themed” dramas, which are particularly popular among the millennials who form the majority of online video audience. GMM25’s programs always feature famous cast members, remarkable cinematography and a powerful screenplay, all essential elements that strike a chord with local viewers.

Ms. Boosaba DaoRueng, Group Chief Executive Officer of GMM Grammy Public Company Limited, said, “GMM25 offers a variety of content such as huge hit based-on-true stories drama and unique variety shows which speaks well to audiences of the new generation. The ever so growing millennial audiences make our collaboration with Viu an essential move. We aim to cross function our existing audiences and capitalize on these millions of active users. To capture the increasing number of OTT users, both GMM25 and Viu are focused on constantly pioneering and innovating both the content and the platform. With these major factors, we are confident the collaboration will see both of our business goals meet.”

Viu will be the only OTT platform to watch, on demand, certain selected premium GMM25 programs for up to the first 30 days after the initial local telecast and online simulcast by GMM, such as the well-liked Love Song Love Series, as well as The Crime, which stars veteran actors Oil-Thana and Ja-Natthaweeranuch in a crime investigation series that follows a group of skilled police officers who take on challenging cases. The immensely popular variety show Club Friday Show* will also enjoy an exclusive headstart on Viu. All Viu users in Thailand can enjoy the selected latest GMM25 content right after local telecast and GMM online simulcast while premium users can enjoy additional features such as unlimited episode download and HD 1080p video quality.

– # –

* Viu OTT platform will be the only OTT platform to watch, on demand, the Club Friday Show in the first 15 days subsequent to the initial local telecast and GMM online simulcast.

About Viu
Viu is a leading pan-regional over-the-top (OTT) video streaming service operated by PCCW Media Group. It is available in 15 markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Middle East countries of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Operating with both an ad-supported tier and a premium subscription tier of service with more features, Viu delivers premium Asian content in different genres from top content providers with local language subtitles as well as original production series under the ‘Viu Original’ initiative.

Viu offers users express delivery of telecast content, streaming and download features, and localized user interfaces. With the patented Dynamic Adaptive Transcoding technology, Viu can provide smooth, unbuffered viewing experience regardless of device or network conditions.

The service can be accessed via Viu app (available for free on App Store and Google Play) on connected devices, e.g. smartphones and tablets, as well as on web by logging into www.viu.com.

About PCCW Media
The media group of PCCW is a leading, fully integrated multimedia and entertainment group in Hong Kong.

The media group operates the leading pay-TV service in Hong Kong under the Now TV brand delivering both self-produced and licensed content to its customers using advanced IPTV technology. Now TV offers more than 190 linear channels of local, Asian and international programming. Its premium content can also be accessed on-demand and on the go via Now Player app. It is also a leading producer of Chinese language news, financial news and sports programming in addition to Asian infotainment content which complements its wide portfolio of licensed movie and international television content.

The media group is also engaged in the provision of over-the-top (OTT) video service under the Viu brand in Hong Kong and other places in the region. In addition, MOOV is a hugely popular lossless music digital streaming service in Hong Kong.

Moreover, the media group operates one of Asia’s leading directories businesses under the Yellow Pages brand.

About PCCW Limited
PCCW Limited (SEHK: 0008) is a global company headquartered in Hong Kong which holds interests in telecommunications, media, IT solutions, property development and investment, and other businesses.

The Company holds a majority interest in the HKT Trust and HKT Limited, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider and leading operator in fixed-line, broadband and mobile communication services. HKT meets the needs of the Hong Kong public and local and international businesses with a wide range of services including local telephony, local data and broadband, international telecommunications, mobile, and other telecommunications businesses such as customer premises equipment sale, outsourcing, consulting, and contact centers.

PCCW also owns a fully integrated multimedia and entertainment group in Hong Kong, PCCW Media. PCCW Media operates the largest local pay-TV operation, Now TV, and is engaged in the provision of over-the-top (OTT) video service under the Viu brand in Hong Kong and other places in the region.

Through HK Television Entertainment Company Limited, PCCW also operates a domestic free television service in Hong Kong.

Also wholly-owned by the Group, PCCW Solutions is a leading information technology outsourcing and business process outsourcing provider in Hong Kong and mainland China.

In addition, PCCW holds a majority interest in Pacific Century Premium Developments Limited, and other overseas investments. To learn more about PCCW, please visit www.pccw.com.

About GMM Channel
GMM Channel, also known as GMM25, is a Thai digital terrestrial television channel, a subsidiary of GMM Grammy Public Company Limited, which is the largest media conglomerate entertainment company in the country, launched in 2014. GMM Channel offers a variety of content, such as huge hit based-on-true stories drama and unique variety shows speak well to audiences of the new generation, making GMM Channel a prominent choice of entertainment renowned for realistic contents as well as innovative contents. The subsidiary enables GMM Channel to provide a full total media solution with radio, concerts, on ground events, and online media, completing GMM Channel’s entertainment services as a modern entertainment outlet.

For further information, please contact:
Ivan Ho
PCCW
Tel: +852 2883-8747
Email: ivan.wy.ho@pccw.com

Marina Leung
Magnus Muses Limited
Tel: +852 3951 0222 / +852 9203 6203
Email: Marina.leung@magnusmuses.com

Natthakan Achariyapermsin
GMM Channel Company Limited
Tel: +66 2836 7260
Email: natthakan.ach@gmmchannel.com

Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia Promotes Virginia Lim to Senior Vice President and General Manager

SINGAPORE (April 19, 2018) — Virginia Lim has been promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager at Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks, Asia, it was announced today by George Chien, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific.

Based in Singapore and reporting to Chien, Lim will oversee the management and operations of SPT Networks’ portfolio in Southeast Asia and in China. In her capacity as General Manager, Lim will also be responsible for both distribution and advertising revenue as well the overall content strategy.

“Virginia is a highly respected leader in Asia with a proven track record of delivering premium content throughout the region. With content being core to SPT Networks, Asia, Virginia’s business leadership will solidify our ability to maintain our strength in linear television while executing our soon-to-be announced digital, direct-to-consumer businesses. Additionally, with the new infrastructure that Virginia is putting in place, I am confident that she will drive new innovations that adapt to the consumer needs,” said Chien.

Lim joined SPT Networks, Asia in 2008 and since then has been instrumental in growing the company’s five genre-defining channels – AXN, ONE, GEM, Animax and Sony Channel – in 20 territories across the region and reaching 47 million households.

“This is a challenging yet exciting time for the industry, and with our talented team at SPT Networks, Asia, I am confident that we will continue to deliver the best in Asian and English general entertainment, while at the same time creating significant value for both our business partners and consumers,” said Lim. “I’m optimistic about the next chapter in our story as it promises to be SPT Networks’ best one yet.”

Lim’s announcement coincides with the recent appointment of Derek Wong as Vice President of Production and the promotion of Avani Bhanchawat to Vice President of Advertising and Sponsorship Sales, who both report to Lim. Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines operations will continue to report to Chien.

About Sony Pictures Television Networks
Sony Pictures Television Networks operates branded entertainment channels reaching nearly two billion subscribers around the world. Based in Culver City, Amsterdam, Budapest, London, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, Munich, Singapore and Tokyo, Sony’s linear and digital networks offer high quality film and television content from Sony Pictures and third-parties, as well as original content commissioned globally and locally. Sony Pictures Television Networks is a division of Sony Pictures Television Inc., a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

www.SonyPicturesTelevision.com

Media Enquiries:
Jennifer Doig
Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia
jennifer_doig@spe.sony.com / +65 6622 4278

VIVO IPL 2018 ON STAR CREATES VIEWERSHIP HISTORY MOST WATCHED INAUGURAL WEEK FOR IPL EVER!

Continuing the surge of the opening day TV viewership growth of 37% the opening week saw a 23% growth versus year ago *
Unprecedented reach of 371 million viewers recorded on Television and Hotstar in Week 1 **
Multi-lingual coverage a massive success – Growth in South at 34% versus year ago ***

Mumbai, April 19 2018: The inaugural week of the VIVO IPL 2018, recorded a historic opening with 371 million viewers recorded on television & Hotstar. The television viewership stood at 288.4 million viewers (BARC 2+ U+R) and a platform reach of 82.4 million viewers on Hotstar. This is the highest ever inaugural week viewership recorded for IPL since its launch.

Unmatched in its sheer scale, the VIVO IPL 2018 broadcast has been reimagined on the Star India Network offering fans a multi-lingual viewing experience in 6 languages, Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali. The tournament is being broadcast on 10 TV channels and live streamed on Hotstar with an aim to reach out to more fans across TV and digital than ever before. Other firsts include an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experience and Watch&Play on Hotstar providing an unmatched engagement opportunity for fans. Star India has also launched the #SelectDugout on Star Sports Select, a bespoke offering for the ardent cricket fan who likes to stay ahead of the game.

Television reach for the opening week stood at 288.4 million viewers driven by 30% increase in reach in South. The audience demographic of Males 15+ AB, Urban registered an impressive 273 Million impressions with a 23% growth versus year ago. The growth recorded was not limited to the core cricket fan with total Urban gross impressions at 854 million at 17% growth versus last year. Interestingly ~40% of the viewers were women a testimony to the universal appeal of IPL.

Hotstar registered a viewership of 82.4 million viewers on the platform with a phenomenal growth of 76% versus last year. With a 5.5 million concurrency during the CSK vs KKR game on April 10, 2018, Hotstar has smashed the global record for peak concurrency on a digital platform for a live sporting event, a record it has since then beaten with a peak concurrency of 6.0 million achieved during the MI vs RCB game on April 17, 2018.

Speaking on the response to the opening week of Vivo IPL 2018, Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India, said, “We sought to re-imagine the way IPL was presented to fans and are delighted with how fans have responded across both TV and Hotstar, helping us set new viewership and conversation benchmarks. The consumption growth is a truly satisfying yardstick of unmatched fan delight and value for brands. Even though it is early days, this has already become the most watched IPL ever on a tournament to date basis, and we hope to continue to engage fans powered by localization and technology across TV and Hotstar.”


* Male 15 + AB Urban audience registers 387 million gross impressions in the opening week at 23% growth versus year ago. Source: BARC
**Television viewership as per BARC 2+ U+R , Week15 data & Hotstar platform viewership from 7th April to 13th April compared versus 2017 data
***Source BARC Male 15+ AB Urban

Celestial Tiger Entertainment Ties Up Winners of 13 Awards at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards

The Company Acquired Exclusive Rights in Southeast Asia to the Highest Number of Award-Winners among Pay TV Networks

Hong Kong (April 16, 2018) – Celestial Tiger Entertainment (CTE), operator of the largest bouquet of pan-Asian channels dedicated to Asian entertainment, revealed today that it has first and exclusive rights to six award-winning films, the highest number of award-winning movies honoured at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards in Southeast Asia among all regional pay TV networks. The Hong Kong Film Awards took place last night at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. A total of 19 awards were given out during the four-hour ceremony.

Among the winners to which CTE has exclusive first run rights for its channels Celestial Movies and cHK in key Southeast Asian markets, is Best Film-winner Our Time Will Come. The Ann Hui-directed historical drama also won Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction and Best Original Film Score. Other winners premiering only on CTE channels include Paradox, Chasing the Dragon, Shock Wave, Wu Kong and Concerto of the Bully.

“It’s a great honour that our company boasts first and exclusive rights to the highest number of award-winning titles at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards in Southeast Asia. This reaffirms our commitment to acquire the highest quality movies for our viewers through our long-term relationships with the top Chinese movie producers.” said Ofanny Choi, Executive Vice President, TV Networks, Celestial Tiger Entertainment.

The full list of award winners to premiere exclusively on CTE channels are:
Our Time Will Come: Five awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction and Best Original Film Score
Paradox: Best Actor, Best Action Choreography and Best Sound Design
Shock Wave: Best Supporting Actor
Chasing The Dragon: Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography
Concerto of the Bully: Best Original Film Song
Wu Kong: Best Visual Effects

This year, Celestial Movies not only celebrates its 15th anniversary, but also its continued strong rating performance across the region. In Malaysia, CTE’s Chinese movie channels – Celestial Movies, Celestial Movies HD and CCM – are the top three most-watched regional movie channels among Astro’s Chinese 4+ subscribers this year*. Meanwhile, in Singapore, among SingTel TV’s Chinese audience, cHK was the third most-watched channel among all pay TV channels this year**.

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*Source: Kantar Media, Malaysia DTAM
Note: Jan-Feb, 2018, Astro Chinese 4+/ 20+, ranked by Rtg (‘000) across movie channels on Astro, whole day, consolidated data (as of Mar 6, 2018)
**Source: SG-TAM
Note: Jan-Feb, 2018, Singtel Chinese 4+/ 20+, ranked by Rtg (‘000) across reported pay TV channels, whole day, consolidated data (as of Mar 7, 2018)

Media Contact:
Pauline Poon
Celestial Tiger Entertainment
T: 852 2239 6131
E: pauline.poon@celestialtiger.com

About Celestial Tiger Entertainment
CELESTIAL TIGER ENTERTAINMENT (CTE) is a leading independent media company dedicated to entertaining audiences in Asia and beyond. The company creates and distributes branded pay television channels and services targeted at Asian consumers.

CTE operates a powerful bouquet of distinct pay television services including: CELESTIAL MOVIES, the premier 24-hour first-run Chinese movie channel in Asia and beyond; CCM, the world’s most-widely distributed Chinese movie channel with an unparalleled array of Chinese movie masterpieces; cHK, a general entertainment channel offering cool, chic, and contemporary celebrity-powered Hong Kong entertainment; KIX, the ultimate destination for action entertainment; MIAO MI, the Mandarin edutainment channel created for preschool kids across Asia; and THRILL, Asia’s only regional horror, thriller and suspense movie channel. All of CTE’s channel brands are available as linear, on-demand and over-the-top services. CTE also produces original production for its bouquet of channels.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, CTE’s majority shareholders are Saban Capital Group, a leading private investment firm specializing in the media, entertainment and communications industries; Celestial Pictures, a diversified Asian entertainment company owned by Astro Overseas Limited; and Lionsgate, the world’s largest independent filmed entertainment studio.

For more information, please visit www.celestialtiger.com.