BT names Gavin Patterson as new CEO
BT announced today that Gavin Patterson will succeed Ian Livingston as chief executive of BT Group. Livingston will take up a role in government as Minister of State for Trade and Investment. He will continue as chief executive of BT until he steps down from his post and from BT's Board in September.
Gavin Patterson has served as chief executive of BT Retail and as a BT Board member since 2008, having joined the company as a senior executive four years prior to that. He will take over as chief executive of BT Group in September.
Sir Michael Rake, Chairman of BT, said: "Ian has done a tremendous job in transforming BT. His decision to accept a government post demonstrates the sense of public service which many of us know to be characteristic. He leaves behind him a very capable team, one which will take forward the strategy that has served BT well and which lays out the path to further success.
An announcement about the specific September date on which Ian will hand over the BT chief executive's post to Gavin will follow in due course.
Ofcom starts second phase of local TV licensing
Ofcom is starting the second phase of local TV licensing, inviting applications for new channels in seven locations across the UK.
Following the award of 19 licences in the first phase earlier this year, Ofcom is now opening up applications for local TV channels in Bangor, Cambridge, Middlesbrough, Mold, Scarborough, Swansea and York. These are the initial locations in the second phase of licensing.
The invitation follows legislation enabling Ofcom to issue local TV licences. In January 2013 Ofcom awarded a licence to Comux UK to operate the local TV 'multiplex', providing the transmission for every local TV station on digital terrestrial TV (DTT).
Following the high level of interest in phase one, Ofcom intends to advertise the remaining phase 2 locations over the course of the next year. Licensing the channels in stages will minimise the length of time between applications being submitted and licence awards being made.
The closing date for applications for Bangor, Cambridge, Middlesbrough, Mold, Scarborough, Swansea and York is 11 September 2013. It is possible that there may be channels in phase two locations on air by the end of 2014. As well as broadcasting on DTT, it is anticipated that local TV channels might also wish to offer their services on satellite, cable and online.
Ofcom is also consulting on merging four separate locations, which have not yet been advertised, to create two single licences. The areas are Tonbridge and Maidstone, and Hereford and Gloucester. The consultation closes on 17 July 2013
Liberty Global enters bid for Kabel Deutschland
Last week saw the confirmation from Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest cable operator, about the preliminary approach by Vodafone Group PLC regarding a possible offer for the company. In their statement about the approach, Vodafone Group said that "there is no certainty that any offer will ultimately be made nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made." Vodafone's initial offering price was not official disclosed by either Vodafone or Kabel Deutschland.
This week Kabel Deutschland confirmed that it had received a bid from Liberty Global. Reports in the Financial Times speculated that Liberty has made a bid of about 85 Euros, which is said to be a higher offer than Vodafone initially made. However, Kabel Deutschland's statement this week on Liberty's preliminary offer didn't disclose the price and calls the offer a "preliminary proposal."
Netflix to Premiere DreamWorks Branded Original TV Series
Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced a multi-year deal which will see Netflix as the home of a new original series from DreamWorks. The agreement marks the largest deal for original first-run content in Netflix history and is also the first time DreamWorks Animation's characters will be introduced into the television market as a branded collection of shows.
The deal encompasses over 300 hours of new programming and will see new shows inspired by characters from DreamWorks Animation's franchises and upcoming feature films as well as the Classic Media library, which DreamWorks acquired in 2012.
The first series is expected to begin airing in 2014, with Netflix premiering the shows in all the territories in which it operates.
"DreamWorks Animation is a valued partner in our global efforts to provide families the most engaging stories delivered however, whenever and wherever they want," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "This deal represents a major expansion of what's already a phenomenal relationship, allowing us to bring beloved DreamWorks characters to the 40 countries where Netflix operates and setting the stage for us to innovate together as we expand into new markets."