August 4, 1997Framing in a light scoop room.
OTT TV provider Viewster has seen the number of unique viewers for its mobile apps grow by 1,200% this year, according to the company. Viewster says that its Android app is now in the top 20 entertainment service apps globally and the number three app in Germany.Viewster’s iOS and Android apps now support Google Chromecast, while its mobile website is adaptively scaling for all screens, according to the company.
Michael LangDiscovery Networks International has upped Michael Lang, its UK-based corporate development and digital chief and the former CEO of movie studio Miramax, to president, international development, digital and Discovery Nordics.Lang, who will report to Discovery Networks International president and CEO JB Perrette in his new role, will be responsible for leading the overall business of the Nordic region consisting of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.Since joining Discovery in April, Lang has worked on digital initiatives including the recently-announced joint venture with Major League Baseball Advanced Media to launch BAMTech Europe, which will provide distribution platforms for sports, news and entertainment clients including Discovery’s own Eurosport Digital.Discovery is among the top three broadcasters in the Nordic territories through its ownership of TV Norge and Kanal 5 as well as its international brands. Discovery said that the region would also be key to its sports ambitions in Europe, particularly following its acquisition of rights to the Olympic Games from 2018.In his capacity as DNI’s Nordic chief, Lang will take over some of the responsibilities previously held by Dee Forbes, whose role as president and managing director of Northern Europe was split after her departure, with Susanna Dinnage taking over as president and managing director in the UK and Ireland, and Benelux being headed up by Alco De Jong under DNI’s CEEMEA division, headed by Kasia Kieli.Forbes left Discovery in April to take over as the first female director-general of Irish public broadcaster RTÉ.Lang will continue to head up DNI’s corporate development and digital efforts outside the US, in which capacity he will report to Bruce Campbell, chief development, distribution and legal officer.“In a little over six months, Mike has delivered tremendous value to our business, such as our ground-breaking BAMTech Europe partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He is a visionary and strategic leader, who will build on these strengths and unlock new opportunities for our Nordic business,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery Communications.“I have known Mike a long time, and he has always demonstrated a unique blend of operational expertise, business development and transformative thinking. Expanding Mike’s role to lead the Nordics business will help us to further secure long-term growth with the help of the highly experienced Nordic management team led by Harald Stromme and Christian Kemp,” said Perrette.
An agreement between Mediaset and Telecom Italia (TIM) to combine the former’s content with the latter’s distribution network and customer base is “desirable” provided Italy retains influence over development, according to the country’s undersecretary of state for telecommunications, Antonello Giacomelli.Antonello GiacomelliInterviewed by La Stampa newspaper, Giacomelli said that “an industrial agreement” between the pair that allows both to grow is “desirable” but that any collaboration between French media giant Vivendi, TIM’s largest shareholder, and Mediaset should not be one-sided in favour of the French group.Giacomelli told La Stampa that it was important to avoid leaving the cultural field entirely to the likes of Sky owner 21st Century Fox and Netflix, and that to achieve this European companies needed to collaborate across borders. However, he said, such an agreement should not involve Italy giving up control to France.The possibility of a deal between Mediaset and TIM has been touted in Italy recently as a possible alternative to the aborted agreement between Mediaset and Vivendi that would have seen the latter take control of Mediaset’s pay TV unit, Mediaset Premium. The Italian broadcaster and the French media giant are still engaged in a long-running legal battle over the cancellation of the deal by Vivendi and the alleged subsequent financial impact on Mediaset. Vivendi is separately engaged in a battle to convince Italy’s markets regulator CONSOB and the Italian government that it does not “control” Telecom Italia, potentially triggering government intervention, but that the pair are merely “coordinating” on specific issues of strategic importance.These areas include the creation of a possible move by TIM and Vivendi’s French pay TV unit Canal+ to create a new pay TV joint venture in Italy as an alternative to the abandoned Vivendi-Mediaset partnership – seen by some observers as a way to force Mediaset to the negotiating table.