Long reads


International affairs

While the secret of success in the international channels business is hard to pin down, a number of key ingredients are common to the majority of providers. There is no single recipe for success in the international pay-TV channel business. Variations in social and economic conditions, different levels of pay-TV penetration, different tastes and different […]

Local heroes

Localisation – ranging from language versioning to fully-fledged localised channels – is increasingly seen as a key element of international channel providers’ strategies. Channel providers have invested in localisation of their services to varying degrees, from the basic minimum of local-language versions in the principal markets in which they operate, through local advertising windows to […]

Roads less travelled

Despite the hype surrounding non-linear content distribution, most international channel providers are reluctant to race ahead of existing distribution partners. The migration of audiences from linear channels to non-linear, on-demand and à la carte consumption of content has been a consistent theme in any discussion of pay-TV market strategies for years. More recently, the proliferation […]

The high life

HDTV is increasingly seen, even within Europe, as the de facto standard for pay-TV services. Andy Fry surveys recent developments. It’s been a long time coming, but HD channels have now moved into the pay-TV mainstream. While there is still a lot of variation in HD take-up from territory to territory, the last year has […]

Special occasions

Major sports events like this year’s World Cup place huge demands on global satellite capacity. To what extent does this mirror the occasional use market as a whole? Graham Pomphrey reports. “This year’s World Cup was the largest event in terms capacity demand that I have ever witnessed,” says Samantha McCloskey, vice president of global […]

Charge it

OSS and BSS systems are increasingly being called upon to support multi-play and multi-screen services. Anna Tobin surveys recent developments. Now we can watch TV on our telephones and shop for telephones on our TVs. We can download VOD on to our PCs and surf the net on our tablets. We can play with our […]

The personal touch

The shift from linear to on-demand viewing means that there is growing demand to create a more personalised viewing experience, including the ability to search for programmes and receive recommendations from friends. Stuart Thomson investigates. It is now accepted wisdom that service providers will face the prospect of a shift from linear viewing to on-demand […]

The third dimension

BSkyB will launch a dedicated 3D TV channel this year. With other operators set to follow, Graham Pomphrey assesses broadcaster strategies and the latest technologies on offer for this much-hyped technology. 3D video has, until recently, been confined to the cinema. If you exclude the limited forays into anaglyphic technology, that is. You may know […]

Play it again

The emergence of multi-screen delivery of content has had a significant impact on the channel playout business, reports Anna Tobin. Broadcasters have always hungered for good content to bring in audiences and revenues. Now, however, that content can be repackaged for multiple outlets: mobile devices; PC and TV, for example, the industry has realised that […]

Mapping the future

As demand for narrowcast video services grows, cable operators both in the US and Europe face a number of critical technology choices. Stuart Thomson looks at some of the key developments. US cable giant Comcast is currently pulling the industry towards its vision of the next-generation cable architecture. The focus of its current activity is […]

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