Category: jbartlvet

Penang Convention Exhibition Bureau appoints Alfa Destinations Marketing Private Limited as India

first_imgPenang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) recently announced the appointment of Alfa Destination Marketing Private Limited as its representative firm in India to manage travel trade strategy, public relations and industry alignment across both countries.India is proven to be a strong market for Penang and is one of the top five markets for business events in Penang. Over the past year, Penang has received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers. In 2017, 13% of business events of Asia Pacific origin were from India, contributing RM 190 million or USD 46 million. In 2018, Penang’s largest business event – V-CON 2018 – which saw a participation of 16,000 delegates from around the world reported that 80% of their delegates were from India. The number of Indian travellers flying into Penang has also increased in recent years. The Penang Immigration Department reported that for the period between January to November 2018, 7,250 Indian travellers flew into the Penang International Airport, compared to 6,569 in the same period in 2017. The 10.37% increase came despite there not being direct flights between Penang and India.To further attract the Indian outbound meetings and conference market, PCEB has introduced attractive support packages specially tailored for India.PCEB recently held the 2nd sales and media mission in India with partners from the Penang meeting with over 1000 travel trade contacts and media across four cities – Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.“We are so pleased and excited to add Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau to our existing client portfolio. Alfa’s focus will be to align and enhance the ‘Experiences Unfiltered’ campaign under PCEB through cooperative strategies with key wholesale, airline and trade partners, as well as increase awareness with key media stakeholders in India. Ultimately, this will increase the length of stay and contribute to grow the number of Indian visitors to Penang,” commented Kapil Pant, Director, Alfa Destinations Marketing Private Limited.With an estimated RM 685 million in development revenue in 2018 and more than 700 hotel rooms in the pipeline, there are many new ways for Indian families to experience the state.“We are proud to appoint Alfa Representatives in continuing our marketing and promotional efforts in India and its subcontinent markets. With their expertise of over 23 years, we look forward to welcoming more businesses from this segment to Penang,” said Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer for Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau.last_img read more

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Top Stories

first_img Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke As teams begin to bow out of the Kevin Kolb sweepstakes it would seem a deal between Philadelphia and Arizona is imminent. However, as of Tuesday afternoon no move had been made, and it could be because the Eagles are holding things up. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ It makes sense that the Eagles would want to get as much as they can from the Cardinals, just as the Cards would prefer to surrender as little as possible for Kolb. But who has the leverage right now? At first it seemed like the Eagles, as they had the QB who every team wanted. A bidding war was expected, one the Cardinals seemed willing to join.But teams have begun to fill their respective holes at QB, leaving the Cardinals as the only team left with a spot still available for Kolb. Comments   Share   Philly is still trying to leverage AZ on kolb. Thats a pricey game to play.less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet ReplyJason ColeJasonColeYahoo Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

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first_img 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “So far, I would say one of the guys — I’m not going to mention names — I think one of them is probably ready to start as a rookie,” Arians said. “All the rest, there are some really talented arms that need a year of learning how to play the position, especially at this level. If you’re plug-and-play then this draft is very small, but if you have time to bring them along then this draft is large because the talent level is there.”Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported that player Arians was referring to was Kizer, who threw for 5,805 yards and 47 touchdowns in 25 games over the last two years for the Fighting Irish. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Deshaun Watson runs a drill during pro day at Clemson, Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Clemson. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)center_img That process will continue Wednesday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.Big week for #Clemson QB Deshaun Watson: He’s visiting the #49ers (No. 2) today and tomorrow, then has #AZCardinals on Wednesday, per source— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 10, 2017Watson led Clemson to their first national championship since 1981 last season. The junior completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards with 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while running for 629 yards and nine more scores.In the College Football Playoff Championship, Watson riddled Alabama’s star-studded defense for 420 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 35-31 upset win.The Cardinals have already met with Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who reportedly impressed a large contingent of team staff.Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, another common projection to the Cardinals in various mock drafts, has also been mentioned — indirectly, mind you — in connection to Arizona. Last month, while speaking at the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL meetings in Phoenix, head coach Bruce Arians said he believes one quarterback from this year’s class could be ahead in the learning curve. Top Stories As the 2017 NFL Draft creeps closer and closer, the Arizona Cardinals continue doing their homework on potential picks.Arizona currently owns eight picks in this year’s event, including the 13th overall pick in the first round. While they have several areas of need, there has been plenty of speculation that this will be the year GM Steve Keim pulls the trigger on an early-round draft pick in an attempt to find a “quarterback of the future.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Rep Iden continues important volunteer efforts after becoming lawmaker

first_img After years spent contributing volunteer time and manpower to the Kalamazoo community, Rep. Brandt Iden of Oshtemo isn’t stopping anytime soon. “The holiday season offers a unique opportunity to reflect and give back to those most in need of help,” Rep. Iden said.Perhaps the two most recognizable of the many holiday giving programs in the United States are Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Rep. Iden has recently donated his time and efforts to both programs.You’ve seen them – the friendly faces of men and women ringing Christmas bells outside of your local grocery stores, asking for small change donations to be given to the needy. Rep. Iden volunteered at locations across Kalamazoo County, ringing the famous bell and collecting donations for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. First started in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has been the Salvation Army’s most visible fundraiser. The nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars collected go to assist the 37 million people in poverty in the United States.Additionally, Rep. Iden donated to one of the leading charities for toy distribution in the United States – the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. On Nov. 20, Rep. Iden delivered an armful of toys to the Marines welcoming the donations. Among the top charities in the nation, Toys for Tots remained on the leaderboard for the Philanthropy 400 in 2013 after delivering more than 16.8 million toys to about 7 million children across the country.In addition to donating volunteer time and toys, Rep. Iden also coordinated a donation from himself, as well as state representatives and state senators on both sides of the aisle for Kalamazoo Rotary Club’s Bundle Up Kalamazoo Program. The program accepts monetary donations for coats, hats, gloves, boots, and anything else that will keep children warm throughout the cold winter weather. Items donated for children in kindergarten through 12th grade will be given to Communities in Schools, and adult items will be given to Ministry with Community for distribution to all of those in need.“When we truly commit ourselves to creating a caring environment for everyone in our state, we can see it taking shape before our eyes,” Rep. Iden said. “Volunteering is a great way to get involved and impact our community in a positive way for those who need our help most.”If there’s one thing we know about Rep. Iden, it’s that he deeply values the well-being of his neighbors and wishes to help in any way that he can. Residents and neighbors can be assured – this won’t be the last time you see Rep. Iden giving back to his community. 25Nov Rep. Iden continues important volunteer efforts after becoming lawmaker Categories: Blog Features,Iden News,Newslast_img read more

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Rep Noble Its time to strengthen Michigans open records law

first_img Categories: News,Noble News State Rep. Jeff Noble today joined a bipartisan effort to make Michigan’s state government more open and accountable.Noble, of Plymouth, joined colleagues in announcing a proposal to make Michigan’s governor and lieutenant governor subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The proposal also calls for a similar disclosure requirement for state representatives and senators.“Making state government more accountable – that’s the whole point here,” Noble said. “I’m proud to join a broad coalition pushing for more openness. People deserve access to information that shows how their state government operates.”Michigan is one of just a few states that exempt the governor, lieutenant governor and Legislature from public disclosure laws.The new bills are similar to ones approved by the Michigan House last session. Those bills did not reach the governor’s desk.The section of the new proposal applying to lawmakers is called the Legislative Open Records Act. It would exempt some records, including letters to and from people in the lawmaker’s district, human resources files and ongoing legislative investigations or lawsuits.The Michigan House already has moved to make more information easily available to the public. Last month, the House posted the salary of every representative and employee on its website.### 01Feb Rep. Noble: It’s time to strengthen Michigan’s open records lawlast_img read more

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We Are All Social Enterprises Well Maybe Possibly…

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 31, 2015; ForbesIn the words of Forbes contributor Esha Chhabra, Atul Tandon believes that the “labels of nonprofit and for-profit are merely tax differentiators.” Although Chhabra mistakenly says that Tandon was executive director of the United Way rather than executive director of the United Way Worldwide’s International Network and VP for investor relations for just short of two years, Tandon knows a lot about the world of nonprofits, having also been Senior Vice President for donor engagement at World Vision United States and now running his own consulting firm, the Tandon Institute.Here’s what Tandon actually says about the definition of social enterprise:“It’s an enterprise that is focused on building the social good, the common good. It could be for-profit, it could be nonprofit, it could be a cooperative.”Remember than Tandon’s roots include longtime service to Citibank and dealing with corporate donors in his United Way and World Vision fundraising roles. It shouldn’t be surprising that he doesn’t attach a great deal of significance to the presence or absence of a profit motivation in social enterprises. In part, nonprofits don’t exist, despite their critics, to operate below the line. They also hope for financial returns, except that they reinvest their returns back into their operations rather than as profit to enterprise owners and shareholders.Chhabara suggests that Tandon, who promotes himself as a global entrepreneur and humanitarian, was “behind the rise of the ONE campaign,” which might be a slight overstatement of his role with Bono. She also says that Tandon has “cracked the secret on how to artfully raise funds for a cause,” a secret that some other professional fundraisers might suggest that they have cracked as well. At a minimum, he is enterprising.But social enterprise doesn’t necessarily lead to cracking the code. When Tandon left WorldVision United States in 2009, for example, the organization announced that it had to lay off between four and five percent of its U.S. workforce due to a decrease in cash donations and was going to cut between another two and three percent by not filling a number of open positions. Yet even today Tandon credits World Vision as a nonprofit social enterprise that “does a good job at continuously improving th[e] interaction” between the organization and its donors.“There’s no recipe, but I do believe that to be successful at engaging donors frankly what is needed is a transformative change within the nonprofit industry of how does the nonprofit industry look at itself. Forget about trying to look at the donors – they are who they are,” Tandon says, regarding his shift of the frame from “fundraising” to his preferred terminology of “donor engagement.” “Fundamentally when a non-profit starts to think, well, my job is actually two-sided: my job, my mission is on the one side to change the life of the beneficiary, so I’m changing lives; on the other side, I’m changing hearts.”That may be the ultimate definition of Tandon’s concept of social enterprise, not just fundraising, but to affect and change the hearts of donors, supporters, and partners. The question is whether or how much profit that flows to the owners and investors of a social enterprise alters and perhaps minimizes the impact on the heart.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Israeli Ag Minister Wins Few Friends by Proposing to Deport Cats En

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesNovember 2, 2015; ForwardIsrael’s Agricultural Minister Uri Ariel recently sent a letter to the Ministry of Environmental Protection proposing that the nation would be better served by deporting Israel’s stray cats than by spaying or neutering them: “Use the budget to transfer stray dogs and/or cats of one gender (all the males or all the females) to a foreign nation that will agree to accept them.”The idea of mass deportation of cats has created quite a firestorm among Israel’s animal lovers and quite a bit of fun-making among other observers, but Ariel has maintained that Israel should take the 4.5 million shekels budgeted annually for the spaying and neutering of strays and use that money to research alternative methods of dealing with them. (As a practitioner of Orthodox Judaism, Ariel abides by halachic law; the Talmud prohibits the sterilization of male humans and animals alike.)An Israeli nonprofit, Let the Animals Live, is expected to protest the decision at the Supreme Court.Ariel is a member of the far-right Jewish Home party, and Zahava Gal-On of the left-wing Meretz party has taken the opportunity to suggest that it may be time to find a country prepared to grant the minister shelter, rather than a bunch of cats.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Outlawed Nonprofit Owner of Clothing Bins Sues City of Jacksonville

first_imgShare3TweetShare1Email4 SharesNovember 16, 2015; Florida Times-UnionLocal governmental regulations can have a significant impact on the activities of community-based charities, sometimes detrimental to the point where it ends up in court. A law against unmanned recycling bins that collect donated goods has resulted in a lawsuit by a nonprofit that says the City of Jacksonville, Florida, is violating the U.S. Constitution.The Florida Times-Union reports on a lawsuit by Go Green Charity Recyclers, claiming that an ordinance passed by the city council in June “completely extinguishes…[its] ability to carry out its free speech by seeking donations through its bins.” The nonprofit also claims the law treats charities that use unmanned bins differently than those that operate thrift stores, which it says violates the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee.Go Green’s lawsuit lists 113 sites in the county where Jacksonville is located for its clothing bins. It says the money raised pays for scholarships, educational programs and clean water systems in Haiti.“These collection bins that are all over the city are an eyesore,” said the former councilman who introduced the legislation in May, calling it an attempt to make Jacksonville look better and protect neighborhoods from “de facto dumping grounds.”The prohibition impacts other organizations running donation bins, as well. The legislation’s author said he decided to introduce his bill after being told by “staff at local Goodwill outlets that neglected bins hurt the image of groups that rely on donations.”The rules didn’t affect thrift stores. Bin owners originally faced an August deadline to remove them, but Go Green asked for a restraining order and got the city seek a compromise – those talks are ongoing, and the lawsuit doesn’t rule out a legislative fix down the line.—Larry KaplanShare3TweetShare1Email4 Shareslast_img read more

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Is Resegregation an Unintended Consequence of School Choice

first_imgShare37TweetShare1Email38 SharesVoices of School Choice / Elvert BarnesJanuary 8, 2016; Chicago TribuneWhat have market forces done to our public schools? A recently published study by Duke University researchers, “The Growing Segmentation of the Charter School Sector in North Carolina,” may help us answer that question—with insights that should trouble policymakers.The authors provide a clear picture of how the marketplace looks as applied to the public education arena:A defining characteristic of charter schools is that they introduce a strong market element into public education. In a standard private sector market with differentiated products, new firms enter a market in response to profit-making opportunities. Over time, the firms that are well run and that satisfy consumer preferences will tend to expand or be replicated while those that are less successful—perhaps because they are not well managed or because they misjudged the nature of the demand—will not attract and keep customers and consequently have to go out of business. As a result of this Darwinian process of entry and exit, one would predict that the firms that survive in a newly established market space would, as a group, become more successful over time in delivering what customers want. If we apply this reasoning to the market for schooling, more choice should produce a better educational fit between what schools offer and what parents want for their children and ultimately lead to better outcomes, at least in terms of the outcome most widely valued and readily measured: standardized test scores.If schools are to be judged only on the basis of how their students perform, then the market’s “invisible hand” may have treated education well. Weak charters improved or closed. And those continuing to operate made improvements and learned from their experience to create better schools. But if one broadens one’s perspective to see individual schools as part of the larger system of public education, and place public education in a larger societal role beyond teaching the “three R’s,” there is much to be concerned about.Researchers found that parents, given the option to be in more segregated schools, choose to do so:The state’s charter schools, which started out disproportionately serving minority students, have been serving an increasingly white student population over time. In addition, during the period, individual charter schools have become increasingly racially imbalanced, in the sense that some are serving primarily minority students and others are serving primarily white students. The resulting market segmentation in the charter school sector reflects a major difference between charter schools and the typical textbook version of a private sector market. In the case of schools, consumers—in this case, parents—care not only about the quality of a school’s program but also the mix of students in the school. As a result, market forces will tend to lead not only to more satisfied consumers, but also to market segmentation, which in the case of schools is typically by the race of the student.Fifty years ago, this was a preference that we felt public education must not honor. Have societal conditions really changed so much that we now should no longer care?Because charter operators are responsible for their segment of public education and not the larger picture, they shape their “products” so they appeal to particular market segments. When “features” like transportation or school lunch that may be essential to lower income families are not required, the market may not really be open to all. This may place barriers to entry higher for some parts of the community than others and will impact the meaning of test score comparisons.The relatively high test scores gain of students in the charter schools at the end of our study period provides a misleading picture of the absolute effectiveness of charter schools relative to traditional public schools. In fact, our analysis of charter school effectiveness using test score models that control statistically for student selection with the use of student fixed effects shows no relative advantage for charter schools in reading and a disadvantage in math, at least for the students who switch. That is, the apparent success of the students switching from public schools to charter schools in recent years largely reflects the greater ability and motivation of the students who are switching…rather than the greater effectiveness of the charter schools relative to the traditional public schools.Looked at in a larger context, the marketplace has resulted in a disturbing outcome: “Charter schools in North Carolina are increasingly serving the interests of relatively able white students in racially imbalanced schools and…despite improvements in the charter school sector over time, charters schools are still no more effective on average than traditional public schools.” The findings of the North Carolina study could provide guidance for all policymakers responsible for public education.Chicago’s Public Schools have also turned to charters and the marketplace as key elements of their school improvement strategy. According to a Chicago Tribune study, currently, “Chicago Public Schools students who attend their assigned neighborhood schools are the minority now, as more than half of the district’s students choose charter, magnet and other options.”Mary Pattillo, a Northwestern University sociology professor who has researched how parents negotiate school choice in Chicago, told the Tribune how social networks played an important role.Once you get this phenomenon of so few neighborhood kids going to the school, then you have parents talking across generations and you have fewer and fewer information sources about the quality of the local public school. That means outdated or unfair reputations can linger, to the continued detriment of the neighborhood school. It’s unfortunate that parents don’t have high-quality options that are close by so they can simultaneously meet something that they want when they talk about schools: They want close, convenient and good. When it’s not good, they exercise choice.For Forrest Claypool, Chicago Public Schools’ superintendent, these larger concerns seem not to be on the table. “‘Parents…don’t really care about neighborhood enrollment boundaries—they care about quality choices for their children. I think that’s a good thing. I think it’s central to social justice, that parents have choices. That’s important, and that they be quality choices.”But if North Carolina’s experience has a lesson for Chicago, it is about the racial and economic segregation that may come along with this open market. “People who are choice advocates will say that this is a market demonstration,” said Eve Ewing, a sociologist at Harvard University and Chicago native. “The question is, what is the cost for the neighborhood in the long term, and also what is the cost for the kids who are in the school, still?”Will we be happy if choice works and test scores on average go up, but the differences between the top and the bottom widen and have a strong racial and class taint? That is a question for educational leaders and policymakers to take very seriously.—Martin LevineShare37TweetShare1Email38 Shareslast_img read more

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UK broadcaster Channel 4 is to use video technolog

first_imgUK broadcaster Channel 4 is to use video technology specialist FreeWheel’s advertising management platform to deliver a unified advertising platform across its digital activities.Channel 4 will use FreeWheel’s Monetisation Rights Management platform to consolidate its ad operations for Channel 4, E4 and Film 4. FreeWheel says the migration will give the broadcaster more options in managing ad rights for its 4oD video on demand service, display advertising across its network web sites, and video content syndicated to partner sites such as YouTube“Our viewers understand our dedication to bringing content from Channel 4’s network channels to digital platforms through our syndication efforts on iOS smartphones and tablets, gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3, and partner sites like YouTube,” said Barry John, advertising operations and inventory controller, Channel 4. “FreeWheel’s technology allows us to tie all of that together, so that we can better manage our ad selling process and maximise the revenue generated from our video content.”last_img read more

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Switzerlands largest commercial broadcaster 3 Plu

first_imgSwitzerland’s largest commercial broadcaster 3 Plus is launching a new channel, 4 Plus, that will be available on UPC Cabelcom’s cable network.The movie channel will be available to Cablecom’s digital and analogue customers.3 Plus founder and CEO Dominik Kaiser said, “3 Plus and UPC Cablecom have formed a successful team ever since the start of 3 Plus six years ago. I am very pleased that we are able to launch our new channel 4 Plus with UPC Cablecom and am sure that television audiences will be thrilled with 4 Plus too.”last_img

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Smart TV users are actively engaging with interact

first_imgSmart TV users are actively engaging with interactive advertising, according to a study of UK smart TV users by interactive advertising specialist Smartclip.The company said it found that half of its study’s smart TV users say that they have already interacted with an ad and 31% of people engage in an action as a result of watching a Smart TV ad. Twenty-four per cent search for more information on the product or brand and 20% talk about the product or brand to others. About half of UK viewers are tempted to interact when ads offer an incentive such as a discount or coupon, according to Smartclip.The survey found that over 75% of Smart TVs in the UK are more than 40 inches in size.Eighty-eight per cent of UK users have their smart TV in the living room and 78% of Smart TV users choose to use their smart TV set for internet features. The survey found that 78% said that connectivity is one of the main reasons they looked to purchase a smart TV device.The research was conducted by Smartclip in association with LG.last_img read more

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French cable operator Numericable is adding Japane

first_imgFrench cable operator Numericable is adding Japanese general interest and anime channel J-One to its programming line-up.The channel, which airs a mix of fiction, magazine, factual and reality programming as well as Manga series in their original version and mix of Japanese and Korean pop, will launch on Numericable on October 4.Separately, Numericable has launched its 200Mbps internet service in Marseille, Lyon and Nantes.last_img

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Dubaibased Arqaam Capital has raised its estimate

first_imgDubai-based Arqaam Capital has raised its estimate of pay TV group OSN’s worth from US$2.5 billion (€1.8 billion) to US$4.3 billion ahead of the company’s potential IPO.Arqaam said that OSN’s acquisition of South Asian channel provider Pehla Media & Entertainment in August would boost its performance. According to Arqaam, OSN posted revenue growth of 24% and subscriber growth of 22% in the first nine months of this year.Reuters reported last month that private equity investor Stanford Marine Group hired Deutsche Bank and Golgman Sachs to look at a stock market listing in London. OSN’s largest investor, Kuwait private equity and investment firm KIPCO, which holds a 60.5% stake in the operator, said in June that it had hired Rothschild Group to advise on the potential IPO.last_img read more

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Englishlanguage teaching channel English Club TV

first_imgEnglish-language teaching channel English Club TV has secured a deal with Finnish technology provider and aggregator Anvia TV.English Club TV will be included in the Anvia Base, Mix and Mini-Mix packages in standard definition. Anvia distributes TV via a range of local antenna systems and networks.Anvia TV seeks to be a frontrunner in the Finnish market. We always aim for premium, cutting edge content and technology. This deal supports our efforts. At English Club TV we have gained the provision of new and unique educational content. We look forward to sharing the educational experience with our customers and hope that viewers will learn whilst watching TV,” said Anvia content manager Jan Akerholm.last_img

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Swedish operator Com Hem has developed a virtual

first_imgSwedish operator Com Hem has developed a “virtual reality-based environment” for its online service Com Hem Play, as part of an experiment with VR technology.Com Hem said Com Hem Play VR is a proof of concept development that is part of its aim to improve customers’ TV experience and explore new potential platforms.Visitors attending the DreamHack Summer 2016 event in Jönköping, Sweden later this month will be able to try out the technology, which will allow them to watch Com Hem Play from a virtual living room environment.The platform is designed for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets.“Com Hem Labs regularly tests new concepts that enable us to offer our customers the television of tomorrow. Some ideas never leave the concept stage, while others do,” said Emma Svalin Sahlman, director of operations at Com Hem.“We will continue to develop Com Hem Play VR so that the platform is ready when the technology is ready to be launched to the consumers.“We know that a few television networks have said that they intend to start producing VR material, but there is not much content available as yet. The technical aspect has to be resolved first which is why we are taking these measures and we plan to continue testing.”last_img read more

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International lifestyle network Fashion One has ap

first_imgInternational lifestyle network Fashion One has appointed a new CEO.Ali Gursoy has been named in the role at New York-based Fashion One Group after a spell at Hong Kong-based Commercialize TV.He has worked in international programming for more than 15 years, with experience in content licensing and curation in territories such as North and Latin America, Europe and Asia. He also has spent time in the technology and media sectors.Fashion One hasn’t had a CEO for some time, with former chief Ashley Jordan stepping down from the role, and as chief exec of Fashion One parent Bigfoot Entertainment, in January 2015.Mick GleissnerIn the past fiscal year, Fashion One has expanded its mix of entertainment, lifestyle and fashion programming in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.“Ali is going to take Fashion One to the next level,” said Fashion One chairman and founder Mick Gleissner. His in-depth experience prowess in our industry, both fashion and content, combined with his network and ability to develop innovative products make him an extraordinary fit for Fashion One.”last_img read more

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Content provider Bulgaria Sat has selected Ericsso

first_imgContent provider Bulgaria Sat has selected Ericsson to deliver media processing hardware that will help deliver Standard Definition (SD), High Definition (HD) and 4K channels to TV subscribers across the Balkan region.Ericsson will deliver to Bulgaria Sat its AVP 4000 system encoders, 56 High Definition MPEG-4 services, three High Definition HEVC services and 46 Standard Definition MPEG-4 services.The solution will also offer the first 4K services delivered via the new Bulgariasat-1, Bulgaria’s first geostationary communications satellite , which launched in June.“The launch of BulgariaSat-1 marks a clear intention to expand the reach and scope of our content distribution,” said Maxim Zayakov, CEO of Bulgaria Sat and Bulsatcom.“As a long-standing strategic partner of Bulsatcom, Ericsson has consistently provided the very best technologies and solutions to enable us to give our subscribers a wide range of services and content.“With this latest agreement, we will be able to deliver a series of enhanced services – as well as our new 4K service – underlining the level of trust we place in the quality of Ericsson’s technology to deliver the performance and reliability our subscribers have come to expect.”Arpad Jordan, head of media processing and delivery, media solutions, Ericsson said: “As demand for ultra-high definition and 4K content increases, service providers need to transform their delivery to allow for greater reliability and efficiency to ensure their subscribers receive a high-quality viewing experience.“The AVP 4000 compression platform offers the necessary operational flexibility through its modular design allowing service providers to expand their channel offerings and move towards higher definition content in the future. Through our continued partnership with Bulsatcom, we are providing an encoding platform that meets the complex video processing demands of today’s TV and media market.”The deal marks the continuation of a 10-year relationship between Ericsson and Bulsatcom, the parent company of Bulgaria Sat.last_img read more

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The cordcutting revolution continued in 2018 wi

first_imgThe ‘cord-cutting revolution’ continued in 2018 with Netflix surpassing cable and satellite usage in the US for the first time, according to PwC research.The firm’s ‘A new video world order’ report found that pay TV subscriptions among US consumers fell to 67% in 2018, down from 73% in 2017 and 77% in 2016.By comparison, Netflix use climbed to 76% of US consumers last year, up from 73% in 2017 and 70% in 2016.“Our data shows that there is a convergence between older and younger generations,” said PwC.“Older consumers are increasingly cutting the cord and accessing more video content online, while younger consumers are showing signs of positive pay TV relationships.”The report found that 29% of US consumers aged 50-plus have now cut the cord, up from 19% in 2017, and that 61% of over 50s now access TV content online – up from 48% in 2016.At the same time, 22% of consumers aged 25-34 reported being in a ‘healthy’ and ‘committed’ partnership with their pay TV provider, compared to 16% among those aged 50 and above.Fewer people overall said they felt “trapped” by their pay TV provider – 20%, down from 22% last year.The research is based on a PwC survey of 2,016 people in the US, aged 18-59, with annual household incomes above US$40,000. This was carried out in October 2018.To download PwC’s full ‘A new video world order: What motivates consumers?’ report, click here (pdf).last_img read more

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Vivendi and Mediaset are not the best of friends

first_imgVivendi and Mediaset are not the best of friends. Few corporate fallings out have been more spectacular than that between the French and Italian media groups, which have been engaged in a running war of words, suit and counter-suit for the last three years.Vivendi’s decision to pull out of an agreement that would have seen it take control of Mediaset’s pay TV arm resulted in the stalling of its strategy to develop a pan-regional business across southern Europe based on cultural affinity and common interest. The collapse in relations between the pair also plunged Mediaset into a crisis as it fought to stem losses from its pay TV activity, eventually taking it into the arms of arch-rival Sky.Despite their differences, Vivendi and Mediaset do share common concerns and this week saw some evidence of a certain confluence of their strategic thinking. Vivendi-owned Canal+ struck a deal to take over international pay TV outfit M7 Group, while Mediaset made a friendly investment in Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1, taking a 9.6% share.Canal+ agreed to acquire M7, which offers satellite pay TV, hybrid and OTT TV services in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania and has a small operation in Germany, for €400 million.M7 recently expanded its pay TV footprint in central and eastern Europe by acquiring Liberty Global’s DTH operations in those markets, expanding its reach to Hungary and Romania as well as giving it more penetration in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.Mediaset CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi meanwhile made it clear that his company’s German investment was strategic, in line with his view that European media groups needed to join together to fight off the threat presented by US-based tech and media giants in an increasingly globalised business.Both companies understand that having scale – meaning international scale – will be crucial to survival in a world increasingly dominated by a few global media and tech giants.Canal+ has in recent years struggled to fight off attrition of its pay TV subscriber base in its home market, while its Canalplay subscription video-on-demand service was decimated by Netflix, something the operator blamed on restrictive local windowingand exclusivity rules. Canal+ launched a new SVOD offering, Canal+ Séries, in March.Canal+ chief Maxime Saada nevertheless said at the MIPTV event in April that he was looking to double his company’s global subscriber count, which is currently split on a roughly 50:50 basis between its domestic and international services. Saada said at the time that he expected the bulk of growth to come from international expansion.The acquisition of M7 – a traditional back-to-basics pay TV aggregator without any investment in exclusive rights or original content, but with a recently-launched hybrid platforms to enable the delivery of on-demand services – will give its new owner a ready-made distribution channel for its own significant investment in original programming as well as a foothold in the pay TV markets of the Benelux countries, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. (M7 also has a small but significant distribution platform in Germany through its acquisition some years ago of Eutelsat’s KabelKiosk.)So far so good. However, some may question whether an investment in traditional pay TV is the best move for Canal+ at a time when this model is already under threat. While M7 has made a success of things by keeping costs relatively low and offering targeted offerings aimed at niche or underserved markets, its acquisition– the biggest Canal+ has made since merging with TPS in the early 2000s –  is hardly transformational.For Mediaset, the failure of the Vivendi relationship and the subsequent decline of its struggling pay TV business, compounded by the loss of Serie A football rights, has left it looking for an alternative strategy to secure its future. Now primarilyonce again focused on the free-to-air market, the Italian broadcaster nevertheless faces a similar dilemma to its onetime ally turned arch-enemy – how to shore up a business model that is under threat from changing viewing patterns and the globalisation of the media business.For Mediaset – and its peers – investment in digital non-linear distribution and advanced advertising is a sine qua non. Mediaset has characterised its move to pull Mediaset Premium – the pay TV unit that was at the heart of its rupture with Viviendi – from Italy’s digital-terrestrial platform as a ‘transformation’ rather than a shutting down. CFO Marco Giordani recently said that the company was “adopting a more digital, modern way of serving our customers using OTT” with a Netflix-like ability to dip in and out rather than commit to a years-long contract. He said that Mediaset’s online business would be “a free or advertising-funded service with some pay services”.Mediaset is already involved in the European Media Alliance, a grouping of free-to-air broadcasters interested in developing at-scale platforms to deliver advanced advertising and realise synergies that can help them stave off the threat posed by online players. Its direct investment in ProSiebenSat.1 can be seen as the first step in a broader play to initiate the kind of consolidation that would create a broadcast group with the scale, access to rights and combination of over-the-air and digital broadcast assets that could enable it to better fight off global players. However, the route from taking a 9.6% stake in the German broadcaster to effectuating a more meaningful industrial consolidation is far from clear. While ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze welcomed the “friendly” investment, he has previously gone on record as saying he saw “no industrial logic”in a deeper consolidation.Vivendi and Mediaset share a desire to be active consolidators, but their moves so far have so lacked a real sense of a final destination. They also give the impression of trying to shore up core businesses that are under assault from new players and are struggling to tell a convincing growth story. (Time will tell whether Comcast’s acquisition of Sky, a more transformative deal than those discussed here, will deliver the goods.)It is certainly the case that attempting to consolidate media businesses across European frontiers, with fragmented national markets and diverse media cultures, is fraught with difficulty. It is not yet clear which players, if any, are most likely to rise to the challenge.last_img read more

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