Aster’s new owner UPC is increasing the Polish cable operator’s broadband speeds.As part of the ongoing integration of Aster and UPC, the lowest broadband speed on Aster’s network will increase to 5Mbps from 0.5Mbps. The maximum speed will increase to 120Mbps from 60Mbps. The increases will be introduced gradually until the end of February. UPC completed the acquisition of Aster earlier this month. The deal will see UPC Poland increase its customer to 1.5 million customers, with a total of 2.5 million homes passed.
Discovery Communications has signed a content partnership deal with WASU Digital TV Media Group for WASU’s new pay-TV channel Qiu Suo.Under the deal, Discovery will provide factual and lifestyle programming and act as channel and content consultant to WASU for Qiu Suo, which launched in China on March 16.Qiu Suo, which translates as “quest for knowledge,” has a target audience of adults aged 25 through 54 years old and will air Discovery programming including The Big Brain Theory, Tanked and Bear Grylls series Man vs Wild.“This content partnership with WASU complements Discovery’s 20-year history of providing high quality, nonfiction programming to the Chinese market,” said JB Perrette, president, Discovery Networks International.“Through WASU’s new channel, Qiu Suo, Chinese viewers now have 24/7 access to the best of Discovery’s factual and lifestyle programming.”Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific’s president and managing director, Arjan Hoekstra hailed the deal as a “significant milestone for Discovery’s business in China.””The new channel will introduce millions of Chinese viewers to some of Discovery’s best content and, building on the success of our existing business in China, paves the way for the next phase of growth for Discovery in one of the world’s fastest growing economies,” added Hoekstra.
French media regulator the CSA has ordered public broadcaster France Télévisions to make its channels available to internet TV provider Playmédia’s Play.tv service with minimum delay following a request by the latter to force the broadcaster to engage with it.The CSA said that Playmedia’s services were not incompatible with France Télévisions’ public service mission and that the fact that the broadcaster did not hold all the rights necessary for the distribution of its programmes on the open internet did not allow it to avoid its obligation to make its channels available to third-party service providers. It said it was up to France Télévisions to obtain the necessary rights to meet its obligations and called on the broadcaster not to oppose the distribution of its services by Playmédia.The move is the latest development in a long-running dispute between Playmédia and France Télévisions, which has consistently refused to make its channels available to the service and has in the past denied that the CSA has any authority to intervene where this would violate its agreements with rightsholders. However France Télévisions’ services are available via other online platforms, such as that of Orange.
Netflix will launch widely on US pay TV operator Comcast’s X1 set-top boxes this week.In a joint statement the firms said that the subscription video-on-demand service will go live on millions of X1 devices across the country.The move will make it easy for X1 customers to browse the Netflix catalogue alongside the other live, on demand, DVR and web programming included with their Xfinity TV subscription.“We are excited to add Netflix to X1 and give our customers access to all the content they love in a way that has never been done before,” said Comcast Cable CEO, Neil Smit.“Netflix has been a terrific partner, and our incredible teams of engineers and designers have come together to create an experience that is not only seamless and intuitive, but also lets viewers search and watch tens of thousands of movies, shows, specials and documentaries with the sound of their voice.”Netflix CEO Reed Hastings added: “The Netflix integration into the X1 platform means our mutual customers will no longer need to change inputs or juggle remotes.”The rollout comes after Comcast started offering a beta version of the Netflix app in the ‘Comcast Labs’ section of its X1 boxes in September.