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Deals, launches and products

The purchase by Vivendi of the 44% of 2nd placed French cellular outfit SFR which it didn’t own, from Vodafone, also has a few implications for the Pa


Published: 7 April, 2011


The purchase by Vivendi of the 44% of 2nd placed French cellular outfit SFR which it didn’t own, from Vodafone, also has a few implications for the Pay TV business over there, because it also owns the IPTV player once called Neuf which has 2.4 million IPTV subscribers. There is no change of control, so there is unlikely to be any strategy change, but Vodafone won’t have the right to look over the shoulder of a successful IPTV service and copy the details around Europe – not that it ever has, since its strategy has always been on a country by country basis. Meanwhile Vodafone spent $5 billion of the $11 billion cash it got on buying out Essar in India, so it still has lots of cash if it wants to buy into more fixed line business.

The Wall Street Journal is the favorite place for studios to drop their news, and a the top six told the US newspaper that they were suing the over the Internet movie-rental company, Zediva, as we predicted they would want to. What we didn’t work out was how the company was breaking the rules since it buys DVDs and plays them over the web. The logic has been to say that this constitutes a public performance, and that it must pay royalties. Zediva may have to pay for more expensive DVDs since they are rental DVDs, but it argues that no royalty is required because it’s just DVD rental. This will be a long and messy legal action one supposes.

Arris says that it has a new version of its ConvergeMedia Flex Streaming engine call the XMS Flex engine. In August Arris launched a version of the VoD server software for small to large VOD installations using a managed CDN edge server, a library server, a time-shifted TV Server and management software, and now has upgraded this to full lifecycle content management including intelligent asset management, across the CDN in a lights out operation which it says can scale dynamically. Lights out is a term used in IT for a server farm that doesn’t need people. The system includes advertising management, personalized ad insertion into VoD, and OnDemand support for ALL screens.

The Verivue group we met for the first time at IPTV World Forum has cut one of its earliest deals in Europe with Telekomunikacja Polska, the France Telecom owned telco for its OneVantage Content Delivery system. TP has with half a million pay TV customers, half IPTV and half satellite and has now built a national CDN to deliver a broad range of content services to its subscribers, presumably VoD. The initial service has already been use to offer live streaming of several major events across Poland, capturing some of the largest online audiences in Polish history. This week Verivue, announced its OneVantage integrated suite of CDN software tools used in this deal, which it says has all the elements to offer a multi-tenant CDN network, including a high performance cache, a request router for dynamic cache selection, and a full management and analytics suite. Verivue was featured in our IPTV World Forum discussion on CDNs and how they will form a key battleground in OTT video delivery.

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