China's Xiaomi to invest $1 billion to expand internet TV content

Burgeoning TV unit includes its Xiaomi TV as well as a set-top box


BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Xiaomi Technology Co Ltd [XTC.UL] said on Tuesday it would spend $1 billion to expand its internet TV content as the world's third largest smartphone maker ramps up its push into the living room, and a market estimated to be worth $3 billion.

Xiaomi's burgeoning TV unit includes its Xiaomi TV as well as a set-top box, which both use its software and content. The company is best known for its budget smartphones and tablets that have won it legions of fans worldwide.

Rostelecom grows earnings on broadband, TV demand

Russian telecoms incumbent Rostelecom has flagged growth in revenues and profits on the back of rising demand for broadband and pay-TV services.

The state-controlled operator reported a 12% increase in net profit for the three months ending September, to RUB10.5 billion ($319 million), and a 2% rise in revenues, to RUB78.2 billion, compared with the same period of 2012.

BT pays 897 million pounds for football rights in challenge to Sky

UK telecoms incumbent BT has signed a £897 million ($1.43 billion) deal for rights to screen Champions League and Europa football matches in another move aimed at breaking the dominance of British Sky Broadcasting in the country’s pay-TV market.

The agreement follows the operator’s £738 million deal in 2012 for rights to broadcast 38 English Premier League matches over the next three years and may put further pressure on company profits.

Al Jazeera accuses AT&T of wrongly terminating contract


AT&T unfairly terminated an affiliation agreement with Al Jazeera America, the cable network says in a recently unsealed lawsuit that highlights AT&T's subscriber base in conservative states.

Under a heavily redacted description of the alleged "bad faith scheme," Al Jazeera (Doha, Qatar) notes in its complaint that "AT&T [Dallas, TX, USA] has a large subscriber base in Texas and other conservative states in the South and Southwest.

Al Jazeera America launches, but AT&T won't carry network


New cable network Al Jazeera America introduced itself to viewers on Tuesday with reports on political strife in Egypt and the impact of climate change on U.S. cities, shortly after a major pay TV distributor declined to carry the channel.

The decision by AT&T's (Dallas, TX, USA) U-verse pay-TV service stemmed from a contract dispute over terms to carry the new network, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said.

Al Jazeera (Doha, Qatar) responded by suing AT&T for breach of contract in Delaware Chancery Court.

Vodafone agrees $10 billion takeover of Kabel Deutschland

Vodafone has agreed a £6.6 billion ($10.14 billion) takeover of Germany’s Kabel Deutschland aimed at bolstering its presence in the country’s broadband and TV markets.

The deal will create a company with combined revenues of €11.5 billion ($15.1 billion), as well as 32.4 million mobile, five million broadband and 7.6 million TV customers.

Vodafone moves for Kabel Deutschland in quad-play push


Vodafone said on Wednesday it had made an approach to buy Germany's biggest cable company Kabel Deutschland in what could be its largest deal since 2007 and mark a departure from its roots as a pure mobile operator.

Vodafone (Newbury, UK) had been pursuing a possible 10 billion euro ($13.3 billion) bid for the German firm since earlier this year, and hired Goldman Sachs to advise on options in February, sources told Reuters at the time.

"(Vodafone) confirms that it has made a preliminary approach to KD regarding a possible offer for the company," it said.

BT grows broadband market share in first quarter: Point Topic

UK telecoms incumbent BT strengthened its position in the country’s broadband market in the first three months of the year, according to new research from Point Topic, gaining 0.28% market share to give it 30.3% of the market altogether.

The retail business of BT (London, UK) now serves more than 6.7 million broadband customers, 800,000 of whom are also subscribers to BT Vision, the company’s television service.

BT slows revenue decline on demand for superfast broadband

UK telecoms incumbent BT says it has slowed its sales decline on the back of rising demand for superfast broadband services.

The operator has reported revenues of £4.79 billion ($7.36 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2012, a fall of just 2% since the same period a year earlier.

The figure was boosted by a relatively strong performance at BT Retail amid continuing declines at the operator’s wholesale and IT divisions.

Even so, net profit slid by 6.3% to £591 million.

AT&T revenue disappoints as it loses cellphone subscribers


AT&T Inc reported a net loss of cellphone subscribers in the first quarter as it lost market share to bigger rival Verizon Wireless, sending its shares down about 2 percent.

As a result AT&T's revenue missed Wall Street expectations as its subscriber growth was driven by tablet computer users who pay lower monthly fees than phone users.

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