Europe's online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in packaged media and new delivery technologies

News in Brief - july 2012


ACROSS the USA and Western Europe, the video games industry will witness steady growth through to 2015, reaching $15.7bn and €10.2bn respectively in total retail value, according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting. Across both regions, the packaged games market will start to witness a slow decline in value throughout the forecast period, but this decline will be offset by the growth in online and mobile gaming with online being most significant. The retail value of online games is expected to hit $6bn in 2015 in the USA, a rise from $3bn in 2011, and in Western Europe value is expected to reach €3bn in 2015, rising from €1.5bn in 2011.

3D TV sets' share of all televisions available at retail in the US grew to 30.9% in the second quarter, up from 27.8% in the earlier quarter, according to HIS iSppli. A similar increase occurred for Smart TVs, growing to 44.3%, up from 40.9%; and for LED-backlit LCD sets, rising to 63.5%, up from 59.2%. Increases also took place in some large sizes. The 46-inch LCD?s share in retail rose to 12.2%, up from 11.8%. Share for the 60-inch LCD increased to 5.2%, up from 4.2%. Plasma sets saw an even greater expansion, with the 60-inch increasing to 23.6%, up from 18.6%; and the 65-inch growing to 6.9%, up from 6.1%.

VIDEO technology company KIT Digital is relocating its HQ to New York. It said that it will de-list its shares from the Prague stock exchange and move to New York, where it would continue to list its stock on the NASDAQ exchange. KIT's board of directors has approved the plan. The company announced in June that it was in talks with several parties which have expressed an interest in acquiring the company.

CEA, the Consumer Electronics Association, has come up with a new standard that sets the manner in which closed captioning information would be sent in the 3D format. CEA-708.1, Digital Television (DTV) Closed Captioning: 3D Extensions Standard for the Eyewear indicates how the glasses used in active shutter technology sets be designed. It is aimed at ensuring viewers don't have to remove glasses while viewing 2D content. It would also help two different viewers to see different images, an advantage in the case of gaming programmes.

THE ONTARIO Court of Justice has approved the sale of most of Cinram's assets and businesses in the US, Canada, the UK, France and Germany to newly-formed subsidiaries of Najafi Companies. On 25 June, Cinram sought bankruptcy protection from creditors in the US, after reaching a deal to sell virtually all its assets to Najafi. The Toronto-based replicator filed Chapter 15 court papers in Delaware, listing more than $500 million in debt and as much as $50 million in assets (Bloomberg). Eight affiliates also sought court protection.

PARAMOUNT Home Media Distribution has signed a deal with TF1 Video to distribute the commercial broadcaster?s Blu-ray and DVD releases in France. Starting 1 September, Paramount will distribute the titles to mass merchants, specialty stores and online retailers.

THE ALLIANCE Against Intellectual Property Theft has elected Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, as its new Chairman. He succeeds Lavinia Carey, Director-General of the British Video Association, who set up the Alliance 14 years ago and is stepping down. The Alliance is a UK-based coalition of 22 trade associations and enforcement organisations whose objective is "to tackle all forms of copyright theft to ensure continued protection for rights holders and creative industries who contribute over 8% of the UK's GDP."

AUSTRALIA's police have seized more than 30,000 DVDs during a morning raid on Melbourne market stallholders allegedly selling pirated movies and television shows worth up to $180,000.

CHINA's State Internet Information Office and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) have this week jointly issued a circular asking online video content providers to closely examine their videos before making them available for viewing. According to the circular, video content providers will be held responsible for the videos posted on their websites. The circular also instructed relevant industry associations to step up self-disciplinary efforts regarding video content.

EIGHTY-ONE per cent of UK residents say that they don't own a single BD disc or BD player and 39% claim that they can't tell the difference between Blu-ray and DVD images. Of the 1,348 people polled for a survey commissioned by MyVoucherCodes, 53% said that the films were overpriced. On average, the 19% of people who have bought into the high-definition technology own three discs each, whereas 38% of all respondents claim that they own more than 100 DVDs. The poll hasn't revealed how many of those asked actually own a high-definition television.

NETFLIX subscribers watched more than 1 billion hours of online video last month. The milestone announced last week by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings came a day after Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney issued an upbeat report about the company's future. The stock is still struggling to recover from last fall's sharp increase in US prices, which triggered a backlash among customers and investors alike.