Glebe Island Expo tenderer revealed

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Sydney Harbour Expo @Glebe Island has been selected as the preferred tenderer to build and eventually remove the interim exhibition space at Glebe Island, with construction set to begin March 2013.Leading event and equipment hire company, Pages, is the company that formed Sydney Harbour Expo @Glebe Island, which houses its own in-house design and manufacturing capabilities.In order to cater to all of Sydney’s major exhibitions, Infrastructure NSW revealed that the temporary events facility will be larger than originally planned, at no extra cost to the government.“Previously, we asked tenderers for 15,000 sqm of enclosed space, with the extra 10,000 sqm to be available on a temporary basis for the larger shows,” Infrastructure NSW project director Tim Parker said.“With Pages on board, we are able to create a fully-enclosed and fully-serviced, marquee-style structure of 25,000 sqm – almost replicating the current exhibition space at Darling Harbour,” Mr Parker said. The NSW Government will also place emphasis on public transport to Glebe Island Expo, introducing shuttle services, ferries from Darling Harbour and buses from the CBD when events occur.“Our interim solution will provide a platform for transition when the new, world-class facilities at Darling Harbour open in late 2016,” Mr Parker said.Glebe Island’s role as an important port facility will continue while Glebe Island Expo is in use and port activities will continue once the temporary facility is removed.The new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct (SICEEP) at Darling Harbour will be constructed between late 2013 to late 2016. Sydney Harbour Expo @Glebe Island will build and remove the interim facility.last_img read more

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MH370 China Australia pick up pings

first_imgBoth Australia and China have received acoustic ‘pings’ or signals, which could be broadcasts from the black box of missing Malaysian flight MH370. Australia’s ship Ocean Shield detected one of the ultrasonic ‘pings’ of a frequency the same as that of a flight black box recorder last Sunday, the Guardian reported. Mr Houston said that the search was getting ever closer to where a blackbox signal might be picked up. The Australian detection comes off the back of reports that Chinese search ship Haixun 1 picked up a remote signal last Friday. Mr Houston also said that the satellite data being utilised to determine the flight path and therefore search zone for crash wreckage took second priority to ‘pinger’ leads. “Underwater the environment is quite difficult,” Mr Houston said. “There will be lots of occasions when noises will be transmitted over long distance, depending on the temperature layers in the water.”center_img Relatives of the 229 people on board have had their hopes raised and crushed with several reported sightings of MH370 wreckage. Both detections occurred two kilometres apart. Aviation experts have said that the black box could admit a signal for between another 15-30 days.  Former Australian Defence Chief, Angus Houston, who is leading the international search for the plane, said that the area that Haixun 1 is searching is four and a half kilometres deep, so any recovery operation would be dangerous and highly difficult. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

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Rep Webber encourages local residents to fish for free on Feb 13

first_img01Feb Rep. Webber encourages local residents to fish for free on Feb. 13 and 14 Categories: News,Webber News State Rep. Michael Webber encourages anglers to get out to the nearest lake to participate in Free Fishing Weekend, which will take place on Feb. 13 and 14.Free Fishing Weekend is an event hosted twice each year by Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources – once in February, and again in June. On Feb. 13 and 14, fishermen and women are not required to carry a license while fishing. As most Michigan lakes are frozen solid in February, the winter weekend event is traditionally used for ice fishing.“Even though it’s cold outside, ice fishing is a great way to enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors,” said Rep. Webber, R-Rochester Hills. “The DNR’s Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity to get out there with friends, family and young ones.”Because Michigan temperatures were generally mild until mid-January, Rep. Webber encourages anglers to take extra safety precautions when venturing out onto the ice to drop a line.A full listing of current and upcoming Free Fishing Weekend activities can be found online at www.michigan.gov/freefishing.###last_img read more

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Rep Kahle bill to protect human trafficking victims approved

first_img Legislation from state Rep. Bronna Kahle, which expands “safe harbor” protections to victims of human trafficking, was approved by the House Law and Justice Committee today. Kahle was joined by Adrian resident Kelly Castleberry, who serves on the Southern Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, in testifying before the committee today.House Bill 4219 will enact a recommendation of the Human Trafficking Commission by updating the deferred sentencing laws regarding human trafficking to protect more victims from criminal prosecution. The current law gives courts the flexibility to place an adult arrested for prostitution-type offenses to participate in a deferred sentencing program if he or she is determined to be a victim of human trafficking. This allows victims to receive counseling and avoid a criminal conviction on their record.“This is a common-sense solution to help protect the victims of human trafficking,” Kahle said. “We need to ensure that all victims of these heinous crimes are treated like victims, not like criminals, and give them the opportunity to put the criminal behavior associated with this awful crime in their past.”House Bill 4219 advances to the full House for consideration. 07Mar Rep. Kahle bill to protect human trafficking victims approved Categories: Kahle News,Newslast_img read more

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Rep Hoitenga invites residents to office hours

first_img Categories: Hoitenga News 04Nov Rep. Hoitenga invites residents to office hours State Rep. Michele Hoitenga of Manton announced her November office hours schedule for the residents of Wexford, Mecosta and Osceola counties.“Local office hours are very important,” Rep. Hoitenga said. “Accessibility and communication are essential components in our government, and I am determined to be available for all the people I represent.”The office hours schedule is as follows:Friday, Nov. 1011:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Cranker’s Coney Island, 213 S. State St. in Big Rapids; and4 to 5:30 p.m. at Burke’s Waterfront Restaurant, 2403 Sunnyside Drive in Cadillac.No appointment is necessary. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to contact Hoitenga’s office at (517) 373-1747, or email at MicheleHoitenga@house.mi.gov.last_img read more

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Rep Brann and Michigan House approve more money for road repairs

first_img Tags: road funding Categories: Brann News 21Feb Rep. Brann and Michigan House approve more money for road repairscenter_img Plan includes money specifically for West MichiganRoads in Kent County would benefit from legislation approved today by Rep. Tommy Brann and the Michigan House.The $175 million bill provides additional money for road preservation and construction across Michigan as early as this summer.“Taxpayers shouldn’t have to dodge potholes while driving around our state,” said Brann, of Wyoming. “With repeated freezes and thaws taking a toll on our roads this winter, the potholes are only going to get worse. We must prioritize funding to give our road repairs a boost right now before any more vehicles are damaged.”In addition to state projects, the bill includes money for county, city and village roads throughout Michigan. Estimated local allocations include Kent County ($3,337,648) and the City of Wyoming ($536,440), among others.The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment. The money included in the bill approved today comes in addition to previous changes providing more funding for road and bridge projects across the state.House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###last_img read more

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After Infiltrating PETA SeaWorld Evolves Will End Captive Breeding of Orca Whales

first_imgShare99TweetShareEmail99 SharesMarch 17, 2016; Washington PostSea World announced yesterday that it would end “all orca breeding” immediately, which means the whales in its care “will be the last generation of orcas at SeaWorld.” As readers will remember, the theme park has been under fire for years for what animal rights activists, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), describe as inhumane treatment of the animals.“Why the big news?” the company said in a statement. “SeaWorld has been listening and we’re changing. Society is changing and we’re changing with it. SeaWorld is finding new ways to continue to deliver on our purpose to inspire all our guest to take action to protect wild animals and wild places.”One might think from this statement that it has been a natural and gentle evolution, but perhaps not! Pressure has only intensified since the airing of a 2013 documentary, Blackfish. Revenue and attendance had been in steady decline for months when and the company’s CEO resigned in December 2014 and 300 workers were laid off, and then, in 2015, its killer whale shows in San Diego were discontinued. In California, the Coastal Commission decided that at least in that state, SeaWorld was disallowed from breeding the animals in captivity, though at the same time it approved an expansion of the tanks used to hold them. Sea World protested and filed suit in response to the decision about breeding.Then, last month, SeaWorld admitted that it infiltrated PETA for “security purposes,” declaring on its website:Following the completion of an investigation conducted by independent outside counsel, the board has directed that the company’s management team end a practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists in connection with efforts to maintain the safety and security of company employees, customers, and animals in the face of credible threats that the company had received.One covert operations SeaWorld employee was alleged to have been inciting aggressive action by PETA.“SeaWorld knows that the public is rejecting its cruel orca prisons and is so desperate that it created a corporate espionage campaign,” wrote PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a statement. “Instead of creating a dirty tricks department, SeaWorld should put its resources into releasing the orcas into coastal sanctuaries.”Meanwhile, the company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $11 million.Still, the company would have you believe that they have simply evolved from where they were last month. “This announcement reaffirms our commitment to not collect marine mammals from the wild,” the company said. “After all, we haven’t collected an orca from the wild in almost 40 years, and the orcas at SeaWorld were either born there or have spent almost their entire lives in human care.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare99TweetShareEmail99 Shareslast_img read more

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Landmark UN Ruling Calls On Ireland to Reform Abortion Laws

first_imgShare10TweetShareEmail10 SharesTen Thousand People Attended A Rally In Dublin In Memory Of Savita Halappanavar / William MurphyJune 9, 2016; The GuardianIn a landmark ruling last week, the UN’s Human Rights Committee has found Ireland’s policy prohibiting abortion is a violation of women’s human rights and is calling on the country to revise its law. The ruling was made based on a complaint for a case from 2011, wherein a woman alleges that the consequences of Ireland’s abortion laws amounted to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment [that] encroached on her dignity and physical and mental integrity.” In the Republic of Ireland, abortion is illegal unless the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s life, including suicide. While Northern Ireland is part of the UK, it also only permits abortions under strict circumstances, such as when the mother’s life is in danger. Ireland is the largest Western country that still criminalizes abortion. In this specific case, Amanda Mellet and her husband discovered their fetus had congenital heart defects and would likely die in utero or soon following birth. She was given the option to carry the fetus to term, knowing it would not survive, or travel overseas to a country where she could get an abortion at her own expense. According to the woman’s complaint, the health personnel refused to provide her the care she needed, including grief counseling after the termination. The woman could not wait in the UK to bring the remains of the fetus back with her; instead, she unceremoniously received them in the mail three weeks later.Not only did the woman have to manage the emotional toll of terminating her pregnancy in a foreign country without the physical presence and support of her family, but she also experienced the stigma of undergoing an abortion. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the complaint to the committee on behalf of Mellet. In its ruling, the committee recommends:The State party should amend its law on voluntary termination of pregnancy, including if necessary its Constitution, to ensure compliance with the Covenant, including ensuring effective, timely and accessible procedures for pregnancy termination in Ireland, and take measures to ensure that health-care providers are in a position to supply full information on safe abortion services without fearing being subjected to criminal sanctions, as indicated in these Views of the Committee.According to the ruling, as Ireland has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it is obligated to compensate Mellet and to ensure similar violations do not take place in the future. As such, this obligation takes the ruling from an abstract statement of ethics to a document that could spur real change. The executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, said, “The Irish government must act promptly. Ireland’s constitution is no excuse. It must be changed to allow the reforms required by this ruling.”This is exactly what some advocates are hoping for, particularly in other similar countries that also restrict access to abortion. “The decision is so significant that lawyers who are working with women who have been denied access to abortion across the world will be very encouraged and will be using it in their work to seek justice for their clients and legal change in countries where access to abortion services is criminalized,” said Leah Hoctor, who is the regional director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights. Mellet responded similarly to the decision, hoping it may prevent another woman from undergoing the same trauma.I hope the day will soon come when women in Ireland will be able to access the health services they need in our own country, where we can be with our loved ones, with our own medical team, and where we have our own familiar bed to go home and cry in. Subjecting women to so much additional pain and trauma simply must not continue.Ireland’s abortion policies have been scrutinized for several years now, with Amnesty International dedicating campaigns to bring attention to the issue. In April, a Northern Ireland 19-year-old woman received a suspended three-month prison sentence after her housemates reported her to the police when she bought drugs online to miscarry her pregnancy because she did not have access to a healthcare provider who provides abortions. (Unlike Mellet, this young woman could not afford the trip to the UK.) Last November, a High Court in Belfast ruled that Northern Irish abortion laws violate human rights when they fail to provide exemptions in cases of sexual assault or fetal abnormalities. However, the judge also left the matter up to the lawmakers to reform the law. In America, where abortion is legal, decreased accessibility to clinics equipped to conduct abortions is also already having a perceptible impact on women’s health. As NPQ reported, self-induced abortions are on the rise in Texas, where a 2013 law closed all but a handful of clinics in the state. If nothing else, we may see his ruling continue and empower reproductive rights activism in Ireland and abroad.—Shafaq HasanShare10TweetShareEmail10 Shareslast_img read more

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Temporary or Permanent Housing for the Homeless Is More Than a Policy

first_imgShare27TweetShare3Email30 SharesBLOCK CONDOS TODAY TO BUILD SOCIAL HOUSING TOMORROW / Kenny McdonaldAugust 15, 2016; Los Angeles TimesThrough agencies like the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), federal program dollars are being shifted from shelters and transitional services for the homeless to permanent housing. This policy has formed around the notion that temporary housing may create a habitually homeless client. In order to meet this current focus, some emergency and traditional shelters are closing or converting to permanent accommodations in Los Angeles County where the homelessness problem is the worst in the nation.But the shift toward permanent housing has had a cost: As money has been directed away from programs that combine services with shorter-term housing, the region’s homelessness problem has gotten worse.The county’s overall homeless population was roughly unchanged from 2015 to 2016. But the “unsheltered population”—those literally living on the street—increased by about 1,400, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s annual count.The change has been abrupt. For decades, the Panama Hotel on Skid Row provided shelter for up to 90 days in 220 rooms, along with resources and case managers. While it is still listed on the website of the nonprofit SRO Housing Corporation, which owns the hotel, it is now closed. The Panama will reopen next year, after renovation, to offer only 72 units of permanent housing.“We tried to transition as many as we could and farm out to other agencies,” said SRO Chief Executive Anita Nelson. “Unfortunately, some people went back on the street.”As we reported last month, old motels have been converted to transition housing for the homeless in California. It remains to be seen how the funding will continue for those nonprofit organizations that also provide transitional services in the converted motels. The homeless authority in L.A. cut the funding for transitional housing last year—2,000 fewer beds in 58 organizations—and more cuts are expected.To put this into perspective, Los Angeles County, with a population of 10 million, had approximately 45,000 homeless people in January, and a disturbing 31,000 of those individuals had no shelter. In comparison, New York City has a population of 8.5 million, and had 60,042 homeless in June…but a much lower proportion, 15,000, had no shelter. New York City has more homeless people than Los Angeles County per capita, but this may be influenced by the fact that NYC is legally required to provide housing for those without it. And, while NYC has more people without homes, there are shelter beds for the majority of those individuals.It should also be noted that among those seeking emergency placement across the country are victims of domestic violence and their children, for whom a shelter may be the only alternative to sleeping in a car in order to escape from an abuser. Transitional services are critical for that population, and a wait-list for permanent housing will not be helpful in the short term. Let us hope that Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority includes them in their calculations.—Marian ConwayShare27TweetShare3Email30 Shareslast_img read more

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Georgia Citys Residents Reject a ModernDay Version of White Flight

first_imgShare12TweetShareEmail12 SharesBy McFortner [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia CommonsNovember 5, 2018; CityLabJust two years ago, Stockbridge, a city of a little over 27,000 people located a half-hour south of Atlanta, was named in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as being among the “10 best US cities for African Americans.” And it was only this January when the city’s first Black mayor, Anthony Ford, took the oath of office.But apparently, some white residents weren’t too pleased to be in Stockbridge. Rather than move, they had a better idea: vote to secede. The good news is that the effort failed by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent, with 3,473 votes in favor of secession and 4,545 votes against. The less good news is that the vote was held at all.According to CityLab, the effect of this vote would be to remove from Stockbridge “the primest real estate and wealthiest households…leaving behind a smaller, mostly African American population with fewer resources to pay for Stockbridge city services.” You see, the Eagle’s Landing neighborhood of Stockbridge was rather exclusive (and whiter than the rest of the city). As Brentin Mock writes:Less than two miles from the Vulcan Materials rock quarry, where the popular fight scenes from the movie Black Panther were filmed, and near Hawkins Middle School, where the cult-status Netflix series Stranger Things is filmed, sits the castle called Eagle’s Landing Country Club. It’s a facility of pure wealthcraft spread over acres of land, complete with a 27-hole golf course, that sits in a sentinel position in front of an even larger land mass of Georgian and Federal Colonial homes. If you’ve ever watched the reality TV show T.I. and Tiny: Family Hustle, you’ll recognize Tiny’s house in this tony neighborhood.The vote in Stockbridge was set up in a way that was manifestly unfair, in that residents of the proposed Eagle’s Landing “city within the city” got to vote on whether to secede, while residents of the other neighborhoods of Stockbridge could only watch from the sidelines. To get this measure on the ballot, Eagle Landing secession proponents got the Georgia Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation that would permit a new city to form, not by combining unincorporated areas as is usually the case, but by leaving one city to form a new one.The people living in Stockbridge are on the whole racially and economically diverse. According to 2010 census data, the city was 55.7 percent Black, 25 percent white, 9.5 percent Latinx, 8.6 percent Asian American, and 1.2 percent Native American. But, like many (if not most) US cities, racial segregation is high.Vikki Consiglio, who chaired the Committee for the City of Eagle’s Landing, the pro-secession group, told CityLab that:I serve on the Henry County zoning board and so I kept seeing all of these places like Bojangles’, Waffle Houses, dollar stores, and all this going up…and I was like, why can’t we get a Cheesecake Factory, or a P.F. Chang’s, or a Houston’s? We have areas that have high incomes, so what’s the deal?…We want it to be that and more. We don’t want [Eagle’s Landing] to go down.Had secession been approved, it would have greatly impacted residents in Stockbridge because they would have had to pick up the bill from the hit the city’s tax base would have suffered. Stockbridge Mayor Anthony Ford told CityLab that “this particular de-annexation is looking to take that primary economic corridor out of our city limits and put it in this other city, and that would be revenue we no longer have to pay off our debts that we owe…If it goes through, we would have to impose a property tax on the remaining folks, and we don’t have a property tax right now.”Mayor Ford’s victory statement reflects the hope that the city can move forward now that the secession effort has been defeated at the polls. “We are extremely excited and grateful…we will continue to move forward united as one dynamic community made up of diverse Americans who proudly contribute to their society. We will celebrate a centennial birthday in 2020. Stockbridge continues to be a leader in the region and we will continue to represent all of our citizens.”—Martin Levine and Steve DubbShare12TweetShareEmail12 Shareslast_img read more

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Telco Lattelecom has claimed to be the largest TV

first_imgTelco Lattelecom has claimed to be the largest TV operator in the Baltics.The Latvian IPTV and DTT operator ended 2011 with 230,000 TV subscribers, compared to Lithuania’s TEO with 147,100 and Estonia’s Elion with 134,600 subscribers.“Lattelecom as the industry leader is working on product development and provides various television services suited to different customer groups. We are pleased that so many customers have chosen us as their service provider,” said Lattelecom CEO Juris Gulbis.Lattelecom began offering TV services in 2007.last_img

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BSkyB has axed Current TV from its pay TV platform

first_imgBSkyB has axed Current TV from its pay TV platform after the Al Gore-backed channel struggled for ratings.Current TV launched in the UK in 2007 with a line-up of news and documentaries, predominantly from independent producers. Sky is removing the channel from its entertainment package. It could remain as a free-to-air channel, but the bulk of its funding is understood to come from the subscription deal with the UK operator.Current TV is also carried by UK cable operator Virgin Media but that deal expires in March. The channel launched in the US in 2005 and has a reach of 30 million homes in the country.last_img

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International pay TV platform operator Liberty Glo

first_imgInternational pay TV platform operator Liberty Global has said it plans to buy back another US$1 billion (€760 million) of its own shares.The company, which has pay TV operations in 13 countries and also owns Chellomedia, has already been aggressively buying back its stock.Liberty embarked on a stock repurchase programme in 2005, since when it has repurchased over US$9 billion of equity.The company will acquire different classes of its own shares through 2013, taking the cumulative buyback total to over US$10 billion.The news came on the same day it was confirmed that Liberty Global was joining the Nasdaq 100 Index of top-performing companies.last_img

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Jana Bennett is to preside over a rebranded Bio ch

first_imgJana Bennett is to preside over a rebranded Bio channel, which will switch to more lifestyle-focused content that reflects “how people actually live their lives”.The move has been touted for some time and came a step closer after A+E Networks’ CEO Nancy Dubuc drafted in former BBC Worldwide content boss Bennett to oversee its second tier cable channels Bio and female-skewed LMN.FYI will launch in the US in the summer of 2014, with announcements on the future of the Bio brand in other international territory to follow at later dates.“The transition to FYI is the next phase in our strategy to bolster the A+E Networks portfolio by evolving and maturing our brands to allow for future growth in the rapidly changing media landscape,” said Dubuc.A slate of more than 30 series is in development, with programming announcements set for in the New Year.“FYI will be an upscale network with a younger and more modern sensibility than what we’ve seen on traditional lifestyle networks, in an effort to appeal to an audience that has been underserved on linear but thrives online.”Bennett, who joined A+E earlier this year, added the channel would offer viewers “a less prescriptive, more adventurous approach to their taste, space, social life and look” than other similar networks.Earlier this week, A+E took full control of its Italian channels business – a first for the Disney and Hearst-owned company in Europe.last_img read more

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Danish cable operator Stofa has hired marketing ag

first_imgDanish cable operator Stofa has hired marketing agencies OMD and Gekko to help with a strategic repositioning of its customer offerings. Along with branding and marketing agency Kunde & Co, OMD and Gekko will help Stofa establish greater visibility in the Danish market, according to the company.OMD replaces previous marketing agency partner Carat, while Gekko will handle Stofa’s relationship marketing.Stofa is currently in the process of acquiring 65,000 fibre customers from Waoo!, a network operator part-owned by energy company Syd Energi, which took over Stofa in November 2012.In November Syd Energi decided to withdraw its customers who took Waoo!’s broadband and TV offering and transfer them to Stofa, with the intention of terminating its interest in Waoo! in April. The move followed Syd Energi’s failure to persuade Waoo!’s other partners to agree to the integration of Waoo! with Stofa.Waoo! last year became the first Danish operator to offer Netflix’s service to its customers.last_img read more

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Lithuanian service provider Teo is giving up its l

first_imgLithuanian service provider Teo is giving up its licence to re-broadcast Eurosport HD, Discovery Showcase HD and National Geographic Channel HD over the digital-terrestrial network in the country’s second city, Kaunas, having earlier switched off the service in the capital, Vilnius.Teo launched HD broadcasts of Eurosport HD, Discovery Showcase HD and National Geographic Channel HD channels for DVB-T viewers in Vilnius and Kaunas in 2009, after winning a tender by the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission. However, the broadcaster says that a change in transmission services rates meant that it was no longer economic for it to continue. The Vilnius signal was switched off on April 1, and the service will be discontinued in Kaunas when Teo’s licence in the area expires on June 1.Teo said it would continue to to make the HD versions of the three channels available via its Teo Smart TV IPTV service.“Rebroadcasting of HD channels over DVB-T in Vilnius has become economically infeasible. In the absence of possibilities for the country-wide development of HD rebroadcasts, we are forced to give up HD rebroadcasts in Kaunas too. However, we continue to expand our fibre-optic access network in order that as many as possible residents of Lithuania have access to the modern technology-based Teo Smart TV,” said Nerijus Ivanauskas, head of B2C at Teo.last_img read more

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Jørgen Madsen Lindemann Modern Times Group MTG w

first_imgJørgen Madsen LindemannModern Times Group (MTG) will aim to make roughly SEK600 million (€64.6 million) in savings this year as it continues to evolves from a “traditional broadcaster into a digital entertainment company”.In its 2015 annual report, MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann said that the company has changed the way it works, transformed the business and identified SEK600 million of savings – “the majority of which will flow through in 2016”.These savings will be used to fund MTG’s ongoing investments in content and technology, and to help offset the ongoing currency headwinds, according to Lindemann.Commenting on MTG’s 2015 sale of its 38% stake in Russia’s CTC Media, its Ukrainian satellite TV platform, TV distribution companies in Sweden and “sub-scale operations in Hungary, Lindemann said this reflects a shift in strategic focus away from the geographical expansion of its broadcasting operations.Instead, MTG now aims to establish “category leadership in complementary digital entertainment verticals” that have global potential, he said.“Our relevance as an entertainer requires us to not just follow the behaviour of our existing consumers but also to identify new products to attract new audiences.”Lindemann said that MTG’s 2015 investment in Swedish MCN Splay, and its purchase last year of a 51% stake in European MCN Zoomin.TV, addresses the shift in millennial viewing primarily to social media entertainment platforms or multi-channel networks.Last year MTG also bought 74% of esports company Turtle Entertainment and and 100% of Scandinavian esports operator DreamHack.“These new digital businesses have already grown much faster than expected when we bought them, and doubled their sales to almost SEK1 billion in 2015 on a pro forma basis,” said Lindemann.“2015 was a year of major change for MTG, as we accelerated the pace of our strategic transformation from a traditional broadcaster into a digital entertainment company. We have a clear ambition to be not only the number one digital video entertainer in each of our markets, but also a global player in key digital verticals.“The moves that we are making right now are leading the way in the industry, as we adjust our core business to new consumption models, and add complementary online businesses that will shape the future of entertainment.”Last August MTG said it would axe around 300 jobs in a restructuring programme that cost it SEK700 million (€74 million) in its third quarter. The cuts were made across MTG’s operations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the UK.last_img read more

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Keith Underwood UK broadcaster Channel 4s investm

first_imgKeith UnderwoodUK broadcaster Channel 4’s investment in data and its re-invention of on-demand service 4oD as All 4, including online originals and acquisitions, means that it is successfully managing a transition to digital, according to Keith Underwood, director of strategy and technology. Speaking at the TV Connect event in London today, Underwood said that over 50% of the broadcaster’s revenues are likely to be ‘data-enabled’ by the end of this year.Underwood also said that the changes in viewing habits over the last decade had only reduced traditional TV viewing by three minutes a day on average, according to ratings agency BARB. He added that linear viewing, including viewing of recorded content, still represents 85% of all viewing, according to figures from regulator Ofcom.Adding broadcast VoD to the mix, TV viewing still amounts to over three hours a day on average.“The TV advertising market is in rude health, passing the £5 billion mark last year for the first time in history,” he said. “I have no desire to transform my company to an IP first company by the end of the decade. For the foreseeable future broadcast has a [premier] role in achieving our objectives.”Underwood said that C4 now has 13 million registered users including half of 16-34s in the country. “A well executed data strategy can add significant value,” he said. “We can now sell highly targeted inventory to advertisers.”Ad4You, the channel’s initiative, offers personalised ad experiences to its audiences, said Underwood. Features include the ability to inform viewers where they can buy products locally and the ability to share ad information on social media as well as targeting based on age and demographic data.“Last year 30% of our revenue was data enabled and this year that will increase to over 50%,” he said. He claimed this means that the channel is “indifferent” whether people watch linear channels or on-demand services as it could now effectively make money from both. “We are adding digital pounds to analogue pounds,” he said, playing on the oft-heard warning that building digital platforms may only add ‘digital pennies to analogue pounds’ in revenue while leading to additional costs. “We face the next phase of digital delivery with much optimism,” he said.Underwood said that Channel 4 would use digital distribution to increase the reach of its existing content and also to create new forms of content. He said that the old 4oD was based on delivering catch-up viewing. “This placed a constraint on our ability to grow,” he said. “We wanted to build a platform that could showcase new content and attract new audiences.”He said that All 4, its replacement, had a much wider remit to become a “video destination in its own right” sitting alongside the linear channels.Channel 4 has invested in original online content since 2014, staring with short-form content in the form of its Short Shorts initiative. He said the channel had commissioned 45 original short-form series since this initiative launched. Since then the channel has acquired original content, including curated foreign-language drama service Walter Presents, with 75 hours of foreign-language popular series available. This launched in January and has attracted over seven million views. C4 is in talks with potential international distribution partners, he said.last_img read more

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Cable and telecom group Altice is to launch its ne

first_imgCable and telecom group Altice is to launch its new French premium channel dedicated to movies and series, Altice Studio, on August 22.The new channel will be a key part of the entertainment element of Altice’s three-pronged move into content, alongside its news and sport services. It will supplement existing entertainment services SFR Play and the French operator’s subscription video-on-demand service as well as channels from NBCUniversal and Discovery, with which SFR has exclusive deals.Altice Studio will air 400 films a year and will launch two series each month, including exclusive series Taken and Riviera.Altice has concluded movie deals with distributors Gaumont, Pathé, Mars, Europacorp, Wild Side, SND, MK2, le Pacte and others, and will offer premieres including Les Pépites and Lion as part of its programming line-up. The operator’s deal with NBCUniversal will give it films including the latest Jason Bourne movie, animated comedy Sing, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fast & Furious 8 and Despicable Me 3. It will also air new series The Sinner immediately after its release in the US.Guénaëlle TrolyOther content on the channel will include a weekly magazine show on cinema and series presented by Candice Mahout and a weekly show dedicated to cinema called Différemment.Altice Studio will be integrated into SFR’s packages and will also be offered as an OTT TV service from September. The channel will be headed by Guénaëlle Troly, deputy CEO of RMC Découverte.“In line with what we’ve already announced, the launch of Altice Studio will enable Altice to complete its entertainment offering, wich, with news and sports, is the third pillar of our content strategy,” said Alan Weill, CEO of Altice Media.“In combining in one 360° platform Altice Studio and SFR Play, we are in effect launching the biggest offering of films and series in France, in a value proposition bringing together linear and non-linear consumption for the first time. I am convinced that these two modes of distribution will henceforth be absolutely inseparable. Our new 360° cinema and series platform meets the new ways in which the French are consuming fiction.”Altice’s announcement comes as rival Orange unveiled plans for its new Orange Content arm and deepened its alliance with Vivendi-owned pay TV outfit Canal+.last_img read more

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Roku is now looking to raise proposed maximum of U

first_imgRoku is now looking to raise proposed maximum of US$252 million in its planned IPO, according to amended registration statement filed with the SEC.The amended S-1 form, which was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week, said that Roku plans to offer some 15.67 million shares at between US$12 and US$14 per-share.The offering will reportedly value the firm at between US$1.1 and US$1.3 billion and will see Roku list its Class A common stock on the Nasdaq under the trading symbol ‘ROKU’.Roku first filed for its stock-market launch earlier this month, and initially set a proposed maximum offering price of US$100 million. It said it plans to use the offering to increase its capitalisation and financial flexibility.The filing update comes as Variety reported that Roku may be building an Amazon Echo-style smart speaker as part of an increased focus on its audio capabilities.Roku recently put out a number of job ads for audio-focused roles – including ‘senior software engineer, new products, audio (expert)’ and ‘senior interaction designer, voice’ – and has hired a number of experts with skills in areas like natural language understanding, artificial intelligence and far field voice engineering, according to the report.last_img read more

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