Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category

UPC Hungary and Liberty Global’s Stephen Kelly Win Cable Europe Innovation Awards at #CableCongress

(Brussels, 12 March) Cable Europe, the trade association representing the European cable industry, today awarded UPC Hungary and Liberty Global’s Stephen Kelly with awards for innovation and individual achievement, respectively. Caroline Van Weede, Managing Director of Cable Europe, and Peter Percosan, Partner, Digital Strategy, presented the honours on the second day of Cable Congress taking place this week in Brussels.

UPC Hungary won the Cable Europe Innovation Award, voted on by delegates at Cable Congress, for bringing more than 20 TV apps to legacy set-top-boxes (STBs) in partnership with Metrological and ActiveVideo Networks and others such as YouTube. Bringing online content to pay-TV subscribers is a win-win for the online and pay-TV industries, but last summer, no one had been able to do it at scale without the purchase of costly set-top-boxes (STB). This has provided UPC Hungary with a powerful new service differentiator that is a world’s-first achievement for cable: the ability to offer an almost limitless source of online content to every subscriber, without the cost and time-to-market that rolling out new set-top boxes would have entailed.

In accepting the award, Severina Pascu, CEO of UPC Romania & Hungary, said: “This idea is truly innovative. It’s a beautiful way to bring together innovation and customer experience, and at the end of the day, this started from a real customer need – content anywhere, anytime, on any device.”

The Innovation Award celebrates special projects of cable companies that make a difference for customers and demonstrate opportunities for future growth. Other nominees in the category this year included OptimizAIR by Telenet and Celeno, an airtime management solution to enhance Telenet’s W-Fi Hotspot service and improve the end user experience. In addition, Spanish operator R was nominated for its cloud video engine allowing real-time generation of interactive channels and integrated VOD, catch-up and zapping.

Stephen Kelly, Communications Architect at Liberty Global, was honoured with the Cable Europe Fellow Award in recognition of his many contributions over 15 years in the industry. Kelly was instrumental in the launch of the hugely successful Virgin Media London Underground Wi-Fi solution, which was deployed in advance of the 2012 Olympics. Most recently, he defined Liberty Global’s Pan European Wi-Fi Architecture, which is being rolled out across its footprint. He has also been a key contributor to CableLabs’s development of industry-wide Wi-Fi specifications and standards.

For the latest news on Cable Congress, please visit www.cablecongress.com, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow all of the discussion live using #cablecongress.

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European Cable Revenues Grow 4.6% in 2014 #cablecongress

Industry’s tight focus on investment-driven innovation yields more than €1 billion in new revenues

 

(Brussels, 11 March) In an era of intense platform competition, content convergence and audience fragmentation, the European cable sector grew top-line revenues to €21.5 billion in 2014, up 4.6%, according to new IHS statistics released today by the industry’s trade association, Cable Europe, at Cable Congress in Brussels. The more than €1 billon increase in annual revenues came on the back of cable’s continued investments in high-speed broadband networks, new platforms and services as it challenges both incumbents and new market players.

Cable’s connectivity-driven growth continued with a 9% increase in broadband revenues and a 5.3% rise in telephony revenues. Telephony and internet new comprise 50% of cable’s total revenues. In addition, more than 2.7 million Revenue Generating Units (RGUs), the industry metric for the total sum of TV, internet and telephony subscribers, were added in 2014, up 2.4% and now totalling 112.5 million. Despite a net loss in cable TV subscribers, total TV revenues increased by more than 2% in 2014 as the switch to digital services accelerated. With 6% growth in digital TV revenues and a more than 13% uptick in video-on-demand revenues almost 75% of total TV revenues are now digital.

Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, commented: “Our sector is growing through a time of tremendous change both in terms of the speed of technological development and new market entrants. Over-the-top players delivering services through the internet are reinventing business models and shaking up the traditional competitive scene. Consumers on the other hand expect affordable prices, good quality service and great content. Our smart investments to build superior networks are paying off in the form of state-of-the-art broadband access and a better-than-ever content experience.”

“Cable’s 2014 performance is particularly impressive in the face of increased competition from new entrants and alongside a new generation of digital savvy consumers, added Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth. “We are the main challenger to the telco incumbents in most member states across Europe. But we’re not only making massive investments to take on the traditional competitors, our smart pipe is actually enabling the emergence of new ‘frenemies’ in an era where broadband internet has become a primary mode of content distribution. Our future success will hinge on continued technology, infrastructure and service investment, a favourable
regulatory environment, and deeper partnerships with global content providers.”

Cable Congress 2015 is taking place in Brussels until Friday 13 March. Please visit www.cablecongress.com for the latest updates, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow the conversation live using #cablecongress.

Cable Europe and CTAM Europe Announce Enhanced Partnership with Global Content Providers #CableCongress

HBO Europe and Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe first to sign up

(Brussels, 11 March 2015) Cable Europe and CTAM Europe are announcing today at Cable Congress in Brussels that they are joining forces to enhance cooperation with the content, programming and production sector. HBO Europe and Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe are the first to sign formal joint membership agreements with the two bodies in a move that reflects increasing convergence between content and distribution platforms and offers Associate Membership of Cable Europe alongside continued engagement in CTAME’s marketing and intelligence activities.

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth commented: “This move puts consumers even more firmly at the heart of all we do by combining cable’s high quality connectivity service and technology superiority with world-class, deeply enriching content. Cable is a truly smart pipe based on future-proof technology that is unmatched by other platforms. That’s why our industry is uniquely positioned to work horizontally with multinational cross-platform providers to set the agenda in an increasingly converged content environment.”

The membership package will enhance co-operation and expertise on strategic issues of mutual interest and concern as well as strengthen both sectors’ respective activities. Together the members will build ‘know-how’ across all aspects of the wider industry in order to advise and learn, strengthen relationships and build on synergies in their external dialogue with mutual stakeholders. The partnerships will also create a new forum for the development of collaboration and best practice in areas such as affiliate marketing.

Stefan Liebig, Vice President Content, Distribution and Sales Northern Europe, Viacom International Media Networks commented: “Closer cooperation between cable and content drives growth for all players in the ecosystem and deliver a better experience for consumers. We’re excited to be teaming up with cable operators and other content players.”

Alek Kutela, Senior Vice President of Marketing at HBO Europe, said;
“We are delighted to partner with Cable Europe and CTAM Europe and we look forward to working together in the future.”

Cable Congress, taking place in Brussels from 11-13 March, will dive deeper into the issues and opportunities raised by convergence, changing content consumption trends and increasing platform competition. To learn more please visit: www.cablecongress.com

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For more information, please contact:
Virginia Lee
Cable Europe
Director of Communications
T: +32 2 556 2102
E: virginia.lee@cable-europe.eu

www.cable-europe.eu

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Cable Decision Makers Take Stage This Week at #CableCongress

Brussels edition will highlight dynamic connections in the cable ecosystem

(Brussels, 9 March 2015) Cable Europe’s Cable Congress, the premier annual industry gathering, returns to Brussels, the decision-making centre of Europe, between 11-13 March. The 2015 programme will focus on dynamic connections in the cable ecosystem and feature a star-studded line-up of C-level executives across cable, content, technology and new media.

To kick off the event, Cable Europe will present brand new EU28 statistics from IHS on the latest growth trends in the European cable industry. Europe’s cable industry now serves more than 112 million Revenue Generating Units (RGUs), the industry metric measuring the number of TV, internet and telephony subscriptions.
More statistics on revenue and subscriber growth in these three product areas will be unveiled during a Day 1 press conference taking place on 11 March at 9:30 at The Square in Brussels.

“Cable Congress could not be happening at a more exciting, transformational time for our industry,” said Executive Chairman of Cable Europe, Matthias Kurth. “Technology is moving at an incredibly fast pace, driving the creation of new business models, platforms and services that can offer the consumer all the content they want, when they want, where they want it, to any device. But cable provides much more than simply connectivity or content. Thanks to several waves of investment-driven innovation, cable technology today offers an enhanced TV experience and state of the art broadband access. I’m excited to hear more from decision makers across the ecosystem on how we can continue to be a key enabler of a premium digital lifestyle.”

In addition to the release of new industry data, the 2015 Cable Congress programme is packed with engaging sessions and high-profile executive appearances, including:

  • Leading C-suiters on winning strategies in an era of transformation, including Mike Fries (Liberty Global), Guillaume de Posch (RTL Group), Matt Brittin (Google Europe), Philipp Humm (Vodafone) and Manuel Cubero (Vodafone & Kabel Deutschland)
  • All-CEO “footprint focus” on Central and Eastern Europe with Severina Pascu (UPC Romania / Hungary), Harald Rösch (Blizoo Media and Broadband), Levente Málnay (AMC Networks International – Central Europe) and Tomasz Żurański (Vectra).
  • Globally renowned trend analyser Shari Swan, CEO & Founder of Streative Branding
  • CTOs from Liberty Global, Ziggo, ONO and NBNCo.
  • An exclusive interview with BEREC Chair 2015, Fátima Barros.
  • A focus on finance and dealmaking with Marisa Drew (Credit Suisse), Andrew Barron (ComHem), Burkhard Koep (Altice) and Clif Marriott (Goldman Sachs) and Andrea Salvato (Liberty Global)

New content, programme updates and interviews are being added regularly to www.cablecongress.com.

Cable, Content and Technology Set to Converge in Europe’s Capital #CableCongress

Cable Congress, the annual flagship event for the European cable and media industries, returns this year to Brussels between 11-13 March to focus on the interplay between platforms and content in a converged world. The industry’s leading business figures and technologists will explore strategies to deal with new challenges and opportunities in this era of convergence, emerging business models and hyper competition.

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth commented: “The last year will go down in cable history as one of strategic shifts, featuring greater investments in mobile and new partnerships with content and technology players. Cable has always been a technology leader, making massive investments in infrastructure and bandwidth to enable a truly smart pipe capable of delivering best-in-class customer experiences. This year’s Congress will highlight our increased integration with content creators, apps players and over-the-top platforms, the role private sector investment should play in our future, and pathways to better regulation – all while keeping the consumer top of mind.”

The 2015 edition of Cable Congress also takes place at an important time in the policy cycle on the heels of an ambitious EU investment plan to support broadband and digital infrastructure and as the European Commission begins to prepare its strategy to realise a Digital Single Market in Europe. This year’s events will be one of the first to bring all relevant stakeholders together to discuss how to turn these ambitions into reality and bring concrete benefits to European consumers.

The 2015 Cable Congress programme will feature the launch of new EU28 industry data and trends from IHS Screen Digest, the presentation of the Cable Europe Awards recognising innovation and achievement, and an impressive line-up of speakers. Highlights include:

  • BBC World News Presenter Babita Sharma as Master of Ceremonies
  • An exclusive interview with Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries by CNN’s Becky Anderson
  • Keynote presentations by Guillaume de Posch (Co-CEO, RTL Group) and Philipp Humm (Regional CEO Europe, Vodafone)
  • Views from the top with leading executives Giorgio Stock (Turner Broadcasting System), Manuel Cubero (Vodafone & Kabel Deutschland), Matt Brittin (Google), and Wilfried Urner (SES Platform Services)
  • A CEO panel on Central & Eastern Europe featuring Severina Pascu (UPC Romania/Hungary), Harald Rösch (Blizoo Media and Broadband), Levente Málnay (AMC Network International), and Tomasz Zuranski (Vectra)
  • A dedicated policy track featuring a fireside chat with Fátima Barros, (Chair ANACOM & Chair 2015 BEREC)

New content, programme updates and interviews are being added regularly to www.cablecongress.com.

Cable Congress 2014 Addresses Changing Industry Dynamics, Highlights New Opportunities

(Amsterdam, 14 March) Cable Europe’s Cable Congress 2014, the flagship gathering of the European cable industry, today concluded three days of dynamic discussions on the flourishing future of cable amid a changing competitive landscape. Cable’s infrastructure was widely acknowledged to be the industry’s most important asset – key to helping cable move into new growth areas, satisfy customer demand for bandwidth-consuming entertainment and communications services, enable new and innovative product platforms such as over-the-top, and drive further consolidation, including convergence with mobile.

According to the industry’s leading technologists, cable’s pipe – with almost 1 GHz of capacity and a long and useful evolution path – is barely out of grade school from a high-speed data perspective. With CableLabs DOCSIS 3.1 deployment on track and set to support 10 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream, there is a lot more life in cable’s networks. “DOCSIS 3.1 was created with high capacity goals in mind to satisfy subscriber bandwidth demands deep into 2020 decade,” according to Ayham Al-Banna, Systems Architect at ARRIS.

Driving higher capacity and faster speeds in cable’s existing infrastructure is important over the long term as customer demand for over-the-top content, new applications and digital services skyrockets, but Guy Bisson of IHS believes cable is well positioned vis-à-vis its competitors. “Because of the enormous potential of DOCSIS 3.1, cable will continue to beat telco competitors on speed at a similar price point,” Bisson said. “The next network challenge will be over-the-top. In five years from now, 20% (or one hour) of the average person’s total daily TV consumption will be non-linear.”

As Cable Congress 2014 draws to a close, industry players expressed confidence in their ability to deliver on cable’s promise of faster speeds, higher-quality content and services and greater competition. Keeping up the happy marriage between cable and content, through deeper partnerships, multi-screen access, and advances in user-friendly functionality, will continue to be a key strategic focus in the years ahead.

Cable Europe’s Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth commented: “We’ve heard this week that infrastructure matters, and that cable needs to leverage its investments to drive growth in new areas as we increasingly move to converged services. At the same time, regulators need to ensure the industry can continue to consolidate so that cable’s investments and innovations can reach consumers on a larger scale.”

Cable Europe’s Cable Congress will be back in 2015, taking place in Brussels on 11-13 March.

Infrastructure Driving Growth and Deals #cablecongress

Infrastructure Driving Growth and Deals Positions cable operators to move beyond triple play, pursue cable-mobile convergence

(Amsterdam, 13 March) Strong growth in the cable industry will continue in 2014 and beyond, participants at Day 2 of Cable Europe’s 2014 Cable Congress heard this morning. Cable customers have overwhelmingly embraced digital TV services, with over half of European customers now having made the switch, but significant opportunities remain in Eastern Europe and for providers to move beyond successful triple play packages to offer new services.

“There is a bar of gold sitting on the mantelpiece if you are investing in Central European cable,” according to Guy Bisson, Research Director Television at IHS, pointing out that conversion to digital in Central Europe has only just passed 25%. “Revenue-wise TV is key,” he added, “because it boosts the value of the customer and moves them into the triple play.”

Across Europe, IHS research shows that video-on-demand services grew by almost 20% in 2013, demonstrating the take up of new services. According to Bisson, the challenge for cable now is to move from “pure breed to hybrid,” building on the success of triple play to include mobile, over-the-top, home networks and Wi-Fi roaming. “Infrastructure matters,” says Bisson, giving cable a significant advantage in the future delivery of communications and entertainment services.

Cable’s superior infrastructure is also a key driver of consolidation in the industry, with an increasing number of deals in Western Europe in recent years. Bisson points out that deals in Western Europe have been valued at up to €3,000 per home, compared to around €1,000 per home in Central and Eastern Europe.

Clif Marriot, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, believes “we’re making our way in Europe towards concluding the first wave of consolidation, which is creating one cable operator in each regional market. Cable-mobile convergence is next.” With respect to deals in the content space, the panel suggested that partnerships rather than M&A would remain the primary focus for operators.

For the latest news on Cable Congress 2014, please visit http://www.cablecongress.com, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow all of the discussion live using #cablecongress.

Ziggo and ComHem’s Emma Svalin Sahlman Win Cable Europe Innovation Awards at Cable Congress

Ziggo and ComHem’s Emma Svalin Sahlman Win Cable Europe Innovation Awards at Cable Congress

ONO receives special mention for sustainability project

(Amsterdam, 13 March) Cable Europe, the trade association representing the European cable industry, today awarded Ziggo and ComHem’s Emma Svalin Sahlman with awards for innovation and individual achievement, respectively. Caroline Van Weede, Managing Director of Cable Europe, and Peter Percosan, Partner, Digital Strategy, presented the honours on the second day of Cable Congress, taking place this week in Amsterdam.

Ziggo won the Cable Europe Innovation Award, voted on by delegates at Cable Congress, for its Interactive Digital Cable with no STB offer. Last year Ziggo became the first operator in the world to deliver VOD and catch-up TV services to CI Plus 1.3 devices, eliminating the need for a set-top box and allowing consumers to realize the Bring Your Own Device promise.

The Innovation Award recognizes a special project that stands out in helping cable innovate and stay ahead of the customer. Other strong nominees in the category included Telenet’s SmartAid project, an innovation that leverages all existing administrative and technical information to provide a holistic troubleshooting experience across its service organizations; and GET’s basic tier package, the world’s freest and largest TV offer of its kind.

Emma Svalin Sahlman, Head of Product TV at ComHem, was honoured with the Cable Europe Fellow Award in recognition of her work in bringing TiVo to life at Sweden’s biggest cable company. In accepting the honour, she commented: “Integrating TiVo and building a completely new platform in 18 months doesn’t only require a strong leader but a great team, great management and suppliers supporting us. Now we have the strongest product on the Swedish market.”

Spanish cable operator ONO received a special mention for introducing an innovative management model and online tools especially designed to reduce power consumption and support eco-friendly attitudes and procedures within the company. Van Weede commented: “This is a special project that clearly demonstrates that the cable industry is also innovating to have a sustainable impact on the future.”
awards 2014 photos

For the latest news on Cable Congress, please visit http://www.cablecongress.com, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow all of the discussion live using #cablecongress.

Content Partnerships, Technology Collaboration, Convergence and Consolidation Top Cable’s Agenda

(Amsterdam, 12 March) Executives from across the cable industry called for deeper partnerships with content players, continued collaboration on technology standards and greater convergence of products and services on Day 1 of Cable Europe’s 2014 Cable Congress. With consolidation of the still fragmented cable marketplace ongoing, they also advocated for “de-stressing” the regulatory environment to better stimulate Europe’s digital economy.

“Marriage with content is our future,” according to Michael Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, citing the vast majority of consumers migrating to a digital experience and demanding more and more content on multiple screens and on-demand. “We’re in the business of connectivity first and foremost – that includes connecting people to great content and providing functionality to enhance the viewing experience.”

Content players echoed the need for continued collaboration, highlighting how cable’s delivery of breakthrough advances in digital technology – interactive user-interfaces and channel guides, VOD and DVR – has profoundly changed the way content is both consumed and created. “The convergence of these technological developments has changed the viewer mindset, putting you in control to watch on your own schedule and absorb more from what you see,” said keynote speaker and AMC Networks President & CEO Josh Sapan. “This combination has also given birth to a new brand of scripted drama, influencing what is written, produced and directed, and changing the pace and style of the dramatic world. Good stories and new technology are the foundation for the success of TV.”

Cable is expected to continue to play a crucial role in this ongoing content shift as network capacity, bundling and service convergence increases. According to Manuel Cubero, COO of Kabel Deutschland, operators need to focus on bundling high-value services and maintaining quality networks, but continued innovation and investment is key. “The moment you think you’re good then you’ve lost; being top-notch is a continuous fight.”

Cable Congress 2014 will continue tomorrow and Friday. To keep up with the conversation, please visit www.cablecongress.com, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow all of the discussion live using #cablecongress.

Cable Top-line Growth Accelerates by 5.9% in 2013

Industry adds more than €1 billion in revenues at YE2013 on the back of strong uptick in high-speed broadband and telephony subscribers and continued switch to digital services

(Amsterdam, 12 March) Cable investments in high-speed broadband connections and new service platforms drove top-line revenues across Europe up 5.9% to €21.9bn in 2013, according to new IHS statistics released by Cable Europe, the industry’s trade association, at Cable Congress 2014 in Amsterdam. The more than €1bn increase in annual revenues benefited from 9.1% growth in broadband revenues, 6.5% growth in telephony revenues and a greater share of TV revenues now digital (more than 70%) than ever before.

Cable Europe President Manuel Kohnstamm commented: “The past year has seen significant transformation and change in our industry, and all of us feel good about cable’s ability to grow through those cycles. As our customers increasingly go digital, over-the-top and outside the home, cable is positioned as the future of entertainment”.

The cable sector has received positive attention lately with the announcement of acquisitions and IPOs. The consolidation of the sector is a necessary step for fuelling cable companies’ competitive moves in a very dynamic environment. Demanding consumers, new technologies, very aggressive telecom operators and agile OTTs are constantly reinventing the market.

“Cable is a shining star at a time when Europe’s leaders are calling for more investment in digital infrastructure to connect our continent,” said Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth.“We continue to attract European consumers with a truly unparalleled connectivity platform. While digital TV subscribers now make up the majority of TV subscriptions in Europe, converting the remaining 25.9 million analogue customers is one of cable’s many long-term runways to growth.”

For the latest news on Cable Congress 2014, please visit www.cablecongress.com, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow all of the discussion live using #cablecongress.

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