24 June, 2016

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Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending June 24th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

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Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

As of July 1, China is strictly curtailing TV programmes based on overseas formats.  A new policy issued by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) imposes a bevy of restrictions on how channels can make use of foreign formats, restricting the number of such programmes and the times they can be shown.  Commentators noted this was the latest continuation of SAPPRFT’s crackdown on the Chinese satellite TV space.  The justification is simple: “Only self-innovated TV programs with Chinese cultural inheritance and characteristics can better carry the Chinese Dream themes, the socialist core values, as well as patriotism and Chinese fine traditions. And just in case broadcasters are tempted to favour ratings over patriotism, SAPPRFT head Tian Jin followed that edict with a stern warning in The People’s Daily the next day — toe the party line or face disciplinary action.
Anjan Mitra

Anjan Mitra

Executive Director, India

Indian Government relaxed foreign investment norms in various sectors, including media by bringing carriage services under automatic route for investments. But opinion is divided on whether it would attract actual investments; especially when the whole eco-system continues to be a challenging one with various policy measures, at times, working at cross-purpose. However, USIBC feels these reforms likely to boost India-US ties, though the organisation’s plea to relax foreign investment norms in news media sector went unanswered — for the time being at least.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

The music industry enlisted an A-list of well-known artists, including Taylor Swift, U2 and Paul McCartney, to implore the U.S. Congress to make changes in the DMCA Copyright Act.  The “take-down” procedures envisioned by the act don’t provide real-world protection, they said, and besides “It’s impossible for tens of thousands of individual songwriters and artists to muster the resources necessary to comply with its application.”   Some cynics said this all had to do with ongoing Youtube negotiations with music companies.  Maybe yes, maybe no…..but it’s interesting that just a couple weeks ago the British music industry was saying the same thing.  Anyway, there is a very real legal issue about old laws mandating unworkable copyright procedures in the digital age….and we hear the exact same thing about YouTube from many Asian video producers!  (But of course, if you want to believe The Masters of the Universe (aka Silicon Valley), it’s all about a few greedy musicians.)
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

A whole lot of streaming video news this week. At Viacom there is more playing than just the Sumner-Shari-Philippe Show, they have launched their first direct-to-consumer VOD platform. Xumo, (who?, yes, exactly, and that’s the point) Streams in Two More OTT ChannelsBitTorrent is now looking to launch a TV news network. Vanity Fair believes that the Days of Cord-Cutting Nirvana May Be Over. Variety wants to coin a new name for online content, “community programming.” Hmmm…brings back memories of Bob and Doug McKenzie.  And this gent has found a solution to “too much TV”, watch it at 1.6x the speed. Check it out. He may be onto something
Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President, Programme

Samsung has announced it has acquired the Canadian digital advertisement startup AdGear, The AdGear acquisition comes on the heels of an earlier report form the WSJ outlining Samsung’s push to expand advertising initiatives. The acquisition of the media software and ad services company  could have far reaching consequences with Samsung  expected to increase ads as it expands  the Smart TV  service and looks at ways to verify TV audiences across digital and mobile.

Staying in South Korea, the cable broadcasting company 
D’Live (part of  C&M ) has announced it has signed an exclusive STB licencing deal with Netflix for its service in Korea . The Korea Times had reported that negotiations had failed a few months back for a Netflix-exclusive deals with SK Broadband and LG Uplus over profit sharing disagreements. D’Live is Korea’s third-biggest cable TV operator and subscribers will be able to access Netflix services by clicking a Netflix-only button on the remote control.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Thai pay-TV Operator CTH announced a cessation of most pay-TV operations on August 1.   It’s been a long and difficult road for the company, which started as a cooperative of cable operators buying a few foreign channels, and morphed several times, finishing as a DTH operator.  Its moment of glory came in 2012, when it won the Premier League 3-year contract with an unprecedentedly high bid.   But that proved to be its undoing, as it never succeeded in recouping the outlay.   After BeIN sports won the latest EPL contract award, droves of CTH’s subscribers fled.  Regulators are worried, saying 40,000 remaining customers could be left in the lurch.   And for now, it’s very unclear what will happen to them.  


Meanwhile, in Singapore, there’s whining in the Straits Times: Omigod, soccer prices are high… My reaction is:  “