French cable operator Numericable launches its IPO today, one of the biggest public offerings in France since 2009.Numericable is offering about a quarter of its total capital on the Paris stock exchange and is hoping to raise about €650 million with a price range between €20.30 and €24.80, valuing the company at between €5.06-5.57 billion including €2.75 billion of debt.The IPO will allow private equity investors Carlyle and Cinven a partial exit, while Patrick Drahi’s investment vehicle Altice will increase its stake in the operator from 24% to 30%.By 10:00 Numericable’s shares were being traded for €26.39, according to financial daily Les Echos.
Liberty Global’s satellite unit, UPC DTH, has now surpassed 800,000 customers in Europe – a more than 60% increase since the formation of the division in 2010.Liberty provides satellite TV services in Central and Eastern Europe operating under the brand names freeSAT in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, UPC Direct in Hungary, and Focus Sat in Romania.UPC DTH claims that it continues to expand its channel portfolio and has brought 18 new international and local channels, many in HD, to its customers over the past 12 months.“To mark the milestone of surpassing 800,000 customers, UPC DTH awarded its 800,000th customer, Elena D. from Bucharest a Focus Sat customer with one year free service,” said UPC DTH.“In addition, UPC DTH has announced a competition starting Wednesday, October 21, with a year’s free service available to a total of five winners across the four operating countries.”
Satellite operator Eutelsat now claims to offer more than 1,000 channels in high definition, following the launch of Chinese channel CGTN HD in Europe earlier this month.Eutelsat said that HD TV continues to gain ground across its broadcast satellites, with 240 HD channels launched in 2016 – equalling the total number launched during the previous two years.HD take-up was particularly strong at Eutelsat’s flagship Hotbird position, with HD channels now accounting for almost one in four channels in the line-up.Eutelsat attributed this to progressive HD adoption by public broadcasters like Rai and CCTV; new premium pay TV content in flagship platforms including Sky Italia, Polsat, nc+ and Nova; and a wave of new free-to-air channels like Euronews HD and Al Jazeera English.Eutelsat said that its Hotbird neighbourhood now has a total of 250 HD channels, up 25% year-on-year.The other two neighbourhoods it highlighted as notable for “exclusive content and market leadership” were: its 7/8° West position over the Middle East and North Africa, which has almost 150 HD channels, up 40% in a year; and its 36° East position, serving Russian and African markets, which has 114 HD channels, up 14%.Eutelsat’s commercial and development director, Michel Azibert, described last year as a “tipping point for High Definition TV across our portfolio of video neighbourhoods, culminating in a new landmark of 1,000 channels, many of which are exclusive to Eutelsat”.“We are fully equipped to accommodate this accelerating pace and to work closely with broadcasters as they transition to an enhanced viewing experience.”Eutelsat’s 1,000 HD channel mark was reached following the launch of CGTN HD, the news and current affairs channel of China’s CCTV media organization. This represented CCTV’s first move into HDTV in Europe.
Spanish regulator the CNMC has fined Telefónica-owned pay TV operator DTS €661,796 for failure to meet its obligations to finance European content creation in 2014.The CNMC found that DTS, which formerly operated pay TV services under the Canal+ brand, was in breach of its obligations under the Spanish audiovisual communications law, which requires telecom operators that distribute TV services to allocate 5% of their operating income to finance European content. In the case of public companies, the amount is 6%.The imposition of a file follows an investigation by the CNMC, opened in March, after its analysis of spending by operators for 2014 showed DTS falling short of its obligations to the tune of €7.4 million.Telefónica, which has since acquired DTS and committed to a major programme of investment in drama series, spent €4 million in 2014, exceeding its obligation comfortably.The CNMC’s analysis for 2015 also found DTS falling short of its required spend.