A day after senior JD(U) leader and party general secretary K.C. Tyagi had indicated that the party could consider joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet if the party was invited to join the government at the Centre on a proportional basis, party president, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday dismissed all such talk as ‘faltu’ (frivolous). Earlier, after the 2019 parliamentary poll results, the BJP had ignored the JD(U)’s demand for “proportional representation” in the Union Cabinet.Mr. Tyagi had on Wednesday said that if there was an invitation to join the Union Cabinet on the basis of “proportional representation” from the Prime Minister and Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also BJP president, then “we will welcome the step”. The JD(U) leader, who was addressing media persons following Mr. Kumar’s re-election as national president at the party’s national council meeting in Delhi, added that “the BJP should adjust with the JD(U) at the Centre” as Mr. Kumar had given its NDA ally proportional representation in the State government. Mr. Tyagi’s comment had fuelled speculation that the JD(U) was possibly looking to drive a hard bargain with the BJP for a Cabinet berth amid the saffron party’s face-off over power-sharing with alliance partner Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.However, on Thursday, the JD(U) President rubbished all such speculation. “Aisi koi baat nahin hui hai… sab faltu baat hai (no such talks have taken place… all this is frivolous talk),” said a poker-faced Mr. Kumar, while responding to queries from journalists in Patna on the sidelines of a function to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.Earlier this year, after winning 16 seats in Bihar in the general elections, compared to the BJP’s 17, the JD(U) had found its demand for “proportional representation” in the Union Cabinet being brushed aside by the BJP, which had asserted that alliance partners would only get “symbolic representation” in the government.The contradictory statements by the top JD(U) leaders over joining the Union Cabinet drew a jibe from the Opposition RJD. “Some senior JD(U) leaders are desperate and keen to join the Union Cabinet but their leader Nitish Kumar is blocking their road,” remarked RJD leader and party MLA Bhai Birendra. “So, when party leader K.C. Tyagi expressed desire, Mr. Kumar snubbed it the day after,” quipped Mr. Birendra. The Congress too took a swipe at the JD(U) over the issue. “Nitish Kumar is soon going to land in a very difficult situation within his party itself,” said senior Bihar Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra. “Bihar is slated to go for Assembly polls next year and there is much to be seen between the BJP and JD(U)… the real drama will unfold when talks on seat sharing would start between the two partners,” he added.
Gábor Mátrai, the vice-president of communications at Hungarian media and telecom regulator the NMHH is to leave the organisation by mutual consent.Mátrai’s departure follows the appointment by Hungarian premier Viktor Orbán of Mónika Karas as president of the NMHH, following the death of the previous president Annamárai Szalai.Mátrai was last year named as vice-president of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), the body set up to facilitate the exchange of information between European national telecom regulators and to advise the EC.
Consumer electronics provider Vestel and Swedish operating system platform maker Zenterio are partnering on a DVB-T2 set-top box that it is launching commercially in Uganda and Rwanda.The move comes ahead of a planned analogue terrestrial switch-off for much of Africa by June 2015, with DVB-T2, a system used to carry HDTV signals on terrestrial TV channels, expected to be important to this transition.The set-top will let viewers watch dozens of free-to-air digital channels and supports a high-quality HD picture.The companies said they will work with local partners SysCorp and TACT to analyse customer expectations and offer future services if they fit market demands – such as DVB-T2 hybrid with additional interactive services such as video-on-demand or catch-up TV.“Africa is an important market for Vestel and we are happy to begin set-top box sales into this market. We are aiming to expand DVB-T2 STB sales into other African countries in the coming years,” said Hakan Kutlu, Deputy General Manager, Vestel Trade.Zenterio CEO Samuel Lindstedt told DTVE: “Putting the Zenterio Operating System into this new retail DVB-T2 set-top box in Africa, specifically Rwanda and Uganda, shows the unparalleled flexibility and performance of our software and is proof that we can implement this technology for other emerging markets around the world.”
Italy’s antitrust regulator has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the division of Serie A football rights between Sky and Mediaset for the 2015-18 seasons, according to local reports.Sky and Mediaset are suspected of colluding to carve up the rights, freezing out rivals including Discovery-owned Eurosport.Last year Mediaset at the last minute secured DTT rights to the matches of leading teams in the face of what it saw as a threat to allocate both major packages on offer to Sky. Serie A clubs agreed to allocate package A, with exclusive satellite rights to the matches of the eight leading teams to Sky, while package B, with DTT rights, went to Mediaset along with a package covering the matches of the 12 remaining teams.In a statement, Mediaset said that the deal had been approved by regulator AgCom at the time. It said that no alternative broadcaster had submitted a bid above the price threshold for each package at the time, and that therefore such players could not have been discriminated against. It also argued that the sale of both major packages to a single player – such as Sky – would have been against the rules governing the central sale of rights.
Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel increased its subscriber base and grew revenue and profit in Q1, with CEO Francisco Arteche saying that the company’s bundling strategy was paying dividends.Francisco ArtecheEuskaltel’s revenue rose 26.6% to €176.6 million for the quarter, while EBITDA grew by 23.8% to €84.2 million. Operating cash flow was up 12.3% to €50.3 million, and Euskaltel posted a net profit of €14.6 million, up 10.9%.The company, which combines Basque Country operator Euskaltel, Asturias-based Telecable and Galician operator R, added 25,000 new contract sales in Q1, taking its revenue-generating untie base to 2.3 million.Euskaltel said that triple- and quad-play customers now account for 68.6% of the overall base, with an average of 3.6 products per customer.Euskaltel added 6,000 pay TV customers in the qurter, taking its base to 400,000, which was attributed to the success of its new 4K Android-based set0top box and the addition of a Netflix button to its remote control.The company added 3,000 broadband subscribers, taking its base to 492,000, and 18,000 mobile lines, taking its overall base of mobile lines to 933,000.Euskaltel said that its growth had been boosted by its expansion into the Navarre region, where it is selling its products over Orange’s network, although it did not break out numbers.“We have honoured our market announcement: a net rise in new customers and growth in revenue, EBITDA and profits,” said Arteche.Euskaltel’s management came under criticism in March from shareholder Zegona Communications, the former majority owner of Telecable. Zegona said that it was “disappointed” Euskaltel’s performance, which it claimed had resulted in a €41.5 million decline in the value of its investment.