31 January 2013


AIB | the global knowledge network for
television, radio, online and mobile
In this briefing...
Programming and production
Full house for Top Gear | More African news | Relaunch spurs Channel NewsAsia | Bigger Eurosport audiences
AIB recommends
Mobile World Congress 2013
Distribution, technology, business
Portugal's PSB saved - for now | HD means luxury lifestyle | BlackBerry 10 - what about content?

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Full house for Top Gear global app

Top Gear image
Top Gear, the BBC motoring programme that often has more comedy than facts, is getting its own global app to accompany the launch of the latest series on the BBC's international channels.
Top Gear Bingo! - developed using UK-based Monterosa’s LViS platform - encourages viewers to look out for well known phrases, cars and items synonymous with the hit motoring entertainment programme, ticking them off on their screens in a similar style to a traditional bingo game. The free-to-play web app is accessed by logging into the local BBC channel’s website where viewers can invite friends to join them through Facebook, comparing scores while playing along with the live broadcast. A brand new game is available with every episode.
Duncan Gray, Commercial Director of Top Gear at BBC Worldwide says: “We wanted to create a free Top Gear game that enhances our international viewers’ enjoyment of the show’s premiere broadcast. And we hope that the unique way we’ve been able to integrate advertisers into the proposition will be well received.”

News for Africa, from Africa
A new pan-African news channel launches in February from Lagos. TVC News is headed by Nigel Parsons who launched Al Jazeera English. Backed by TV Continental, a terrestrial general entertainment channel in the country, the new news channel will be available across Africa and in Europe. TVC News joins eNews Channel Africa, the 24 hour-a-day news channel from e.TV in South Africa that is now expanding its operations across Africa and into Europe. You can find out more about the forthcoming TVC News launch in the latest edition of The Channel, the AIB's international media magazine. See page 28 for an interview with Nigel Parsons at the new TVC News headquarters that's now about to go on air.

Relaunch for Channel NewsAsia
Regional broadcaster Channel NewsAsia has revealed a new look and new programmes to help viewers better “Understand Asia” in its new 24 hour-a-day service. The ambitious expansion plan encompasses significant boosts to its programming line-up, and investments in new bureaux and facilities across Asia, enabling Channel NewsAsia to produce more original content and news stories for the additional hours of “live” broadcasting, 24 hours a day, up from the current 20 hours.
Debra SoonChannel NewsAsia’s Managing Director Debra Soon says, “As the focus of the world economy shifts towards Asia, we believe we are well-positioned to deliver what we’ve been doing daily since 1999, and help audiences around the world better Understand Asia. We have made substantial investments to provide more business content about Asia, from Asia. We intend to increase our lead in covering South East Asia better than other broadcasters operating here, and we will cover South Asia better. This is all part of the drive to deliver insightful documentaries and programmes for viewers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
More on this story on page 14 of the latest edition of The Channel, the AIB's international media magazine.

Eurosport audiences rise
World class events, strong production and great live coverage brought the Eurosport Group an 8% rise in average TV audiences in 2012 compared with 2011 (which itself was up 11% on 2010). The Eurosport channel saw 6% growth, with Eurosport 2 achieving a 20% growth. Positive audiences have continued in early 2013 year with the Ski Jumping Four Hills Tournament  attracting 31.9m different European viewers while 3.4m fans watched Messi win his fourth Ballon d'Or on 7 Jan. The Australian Open and football Africa Cup of Nations also attracted large audiences in January.
See the Eurosport 2013 Programme Guide here.

Kenya coverage threats
As elections in Kenya approach news crews and journalists covering the story are advised to take note of the safety situation in the country. INSI, the International News Safety Institute, has provided advice to those intending to travel to the country. You can read it here.

AIB recommends...events and more
Mobile World Congress - Barcelona, 25-28 February 2013

The meeting of the world's mobile industry, from handset manufacturers to app developers. In the same city but a new venue, MWC 2013 includes a conference and an exhibition that will be attended by those wanting to learn more about the latest trends and developments in mobile in every market on the planet.
The latest edition of the AIB's international media magazine, The Channel, will be available to all delegates at MWC 2013.

Privatisation postponed
Portugal's public broadcaster RTP
will not be privatised as had been thought. The national broadcaster that operates an international service in addition to its domestic channels had attracted interest from media groups including Angola's Newshold. The plan had first been put forward in the autumn of 2011 as part of the bailout agreement between the Portuguese government and the IMF, EC and European Central Bank.
Now a major restructuring of the broadcaster will take place - following close on the heels of the merger of radio broadcaster RDP and TV broadcaster RTP in 2004. Some observers suggest that a third of RTP's staff could lose their jobs.

Luxury lifestyle grows in HD
Lifestyle channel Luxe.tv has gained new carriage deals in Russia, Portugal and Angola. ER Telecom in Russia is now carrying the HD channel and it has been added to the digital extended basic tier of Cabovisao, the Portuguese cable operator. In Angola, DTH operator ZAP has placed the channel on the extended basic tier known as Zap Premium.
Luxe.TV was rescued from bankruptcy by its founder, Jean Stock, and the business model changed to a pay-TV channel in 2011.

BlackBerry 10 pay-TV content enabled
The trade and consumer press around the world
have reported extensively on the launch of BlackBerry's new operating system and the two new handsets that will run on it. And with 70,000 apps available today, the Canadian manufacturer is definitely trying to woo customers who want an Android or iPhone experience on a BB device. However, there's still a long way to go before BB's apps gain the momentum of its competitors who have ten times as many apps available.
There's a big question for media owners - should they devote time and resources into serving the BB market when most of their consumers now own iOS or Android phones. One company rushed out an announcement that could help. Canada's QuickPlay Media says it is now supporting BlackBerry 10 to allow pay-TV operators to reach subscribers on the two new phones instantly. By combining the most popular form of adaptive streaming (HTTP Live Streaming) and carrier grade DRM technology for the new BlackBerry platform, QuickPlay says that can provide a highly secure and positive user experience. MVPDs looking to quickly and cost effectively roll out VOD and Live TV services to subscribers using any BlackBerry 10 smartphone or other mobile device can do so by leveraging QuickPlay’s managed services offerings.
AIB is in touch with BlackBerry on behalf of its members to explore the opportunities BB can now offer to media companies. Meanwhile, we're looking forward to experimenting with the new handsets.

New Zealand’s national public service
broadcaster, Radio New Zealand, has initiated an appointment process to find a replacement for Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief, Peter Cavanagh, when he completes his term later this year.  “It has been a great privilege for me to lead a world class public service broadcaster like Radio New Zealand over the past decade, but at the end of the year it will be time for me to move on to other things," said Cavanagh. In making his announcement he noted that Radio New Zealand was one of the most successful public broadcasters anywhere in the world. The Board has initiated a recruitment process to appoint a new CEO - details of the appointment process have been posted on the Radio New Zealand website www.radionz.co.nz/ceo

Yulia MitrovichIt's all change at CTC Media where Viacheslav Sinadski, Chief Strategy Officer, is due to leave the Russian media company on 1 February. Yulia Mitrovich (pictured) has been appointed Chief Strategy and Digital Media Officer to suceed Sinadski. Mitrovich will be responsible for updating and implementing the Company's strategies in all the key development areas. One of her main challenges will be to accelerate the development of new media and strengthen the Company's position in this market segment.
Boris Podolsky, CEO of CTC Media, commented: "We see digital media as a strategic area, which is inextricably linked with and naturally complements our main television business, as well as offering great long-term growth potential."
Earlier this month, CTC Media appointed Elmira Makhmutova as its chief marketing officer.

Eurosport Chairman & CEO Laurent-Eric Le Lay has been nominated for a prestigious European digital award. The Digital TV Europe Euro 50 Awards acknowledge success across different media industry areas, such as innovation, technology and leadership. Laurent-Eric has been nominated in the Content category which is awarded to a leading executive of a channel provider or content aggregator in recognition of outstanding success in his or her field. Digital TV Europe selected Laurent-Eric as one of its Top 50 digital leaders of 2012. The Euro 50 Awards wil be held in London on 6 March. Follow @LaurentEric 

BBC World News has appointed Linda Yueh as Chief Business Correspondent, a new Singapore-based position that signals the channel’s continuing commitment to Asia and determination to expand the breadth and depth of its international business coverage.
The BBC is investing heavily in new programmes and facilities for its international news channel as it seeks to build on its success building audiences and reputation around the world. EArlier this month the channel unveiled a dramatic new look when it re-launched from its new studios in central London. A refreshed schedule includes a new daily programme, Global, presented by long-time BBC News presenter and reporter Jon Sopel. Other recent appointments include Yalda Hakim, one ofAustralia’s brightest international journalists who joined the channel as a current affairs correspondent and presenter for a new weekly current affairs programme which goes on air in the Spring.

The Channel | Issue 1 2013The latest edition of the AIB's international media magazine, The Channel, has just been published and is being mailed to thousands of subscribers around the world.
This edition focuses on Africa which, as readers will discover, is very much open for business. Find out about developments in new channels, new satellite initiatives, mobile for the region and much more.

The only truly international media magazine covering TV, radio and online media, The Channel is in its 19th year of publication. It's respected globally and read by decision-makers and media leaders. You can subscribe to the magazine for a modest sum that covers international postage costs. Visit
See past editions of the magazine at


AIB seeks Sales and Marketing Executive

AIB is looking for a Sales and Marketing Executive to help us drive advertising and sponsorship for this international not-for-profit industry association.

Full details of the post – which can be full- or part-time – as well as how to apply are available here.

AIB Executive Committee

AIB members to elect new Executive Committee

The AIB's top advisory group will have new members when elections to the Executive Committee take place in February. Nominations to this six-person committee that helps set the strategic direction of the AIB have been submitted by a range of our members across the world.
The Executive Committee has an important role in influencing policy and standards in broadcasting and electronic media globally. It works, for example, to shape regulatory policy in many markets globally. It is unique in bringing together the views, knowledge and expertise of the broadcasting industry from all parts of the world.

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