Related posts:Costa Rica great Paulo Wanchope insists Ticos will ‘keep surprising the world’ Costa Rica uniforms are international best-sellers thanks to World Cup run A rebuttal to Wall Street Journal editor’s call for US World Cup fans to ignore Costa Rica Costa Rica’s last hurrah in historic World Cup run Costa Rica defender Michael Umaña (L) and goalkeeper Keylor Navas celebrate after defeating Greece on penalties at Pernambuco Arena in Recife on Sunday. After Navasmade the crucial save in penalty kicks, Umaña fired in the game-winner. The Ticos will play in the quarterfinals — their first appearance at that stage of the World Cup — on Saturday afternoon against the Netherlands. Facebook Comments
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility TORONTO (AP) — Alberta, Canada’s most conservative province, elected a left-of-center government, ending a 44-year-old conservative party dynasty,Voters in the western oil-rich province chose a New Democratic Party government in Tuesday’s election. Few had predicted such a result just 28 days ago when the election was called by Progressive Conservative Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, a former cabinet minister in Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative federal government. Prentice was previously one of Harper’s most trusted cabinet ministers and was considered a candidate to replace Harper one day.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories “Pigs do fly,” CTV television host Don Martin tweeted.After the votes were tallied, Prentice announced that he is done with public life and is stepping down as the leader of the Progressive Conservative party in the province. He also will vacate the seat he won in Tuesday’s election.Alberta is sometimes called the Texas of the North.“I think we might have made a little bit of history tonight,” incoming New Democratic Premier Rachel Notely said. “Change has finally come to Alberta.”Nelson Wiseman, a University of Toronto political science professor, said the result doesn’t mean Harper won’t do well in his home province in October’s federal election.Wiseman said it shows the NDP isn’t as radical as it once was and that campaigns matter. He said gaffes by Prentice and voter fatigue with Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party contributed.“The main message is a social democratic party isn’t all that radical any more. Americans are freaked out by socialism but when Tony Blair was in power in the U.K. they related to him as a strong ally,” Wiseman said.Notely has vowed to raise corporate tax rates and conduct a review of the province’s royalty structure to ensure that Albertans are getting a fair return for their oil and gas resources. Alberta has the world’s third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves. Check your body, save your life Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Comments Share Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 must play golf courses in Arizona
Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Kolb is not Bruce Arians’ guy, so he too has a built-in excuse to jettison the quarterback. Plus, Kolb’s salary cap figure made it a lot easier to cut him. The Cardinals offered a revamped deal, but Kolb balked.And like Leinart, Kolb will leave Arizona with question marks surrounding just who he really is as a quarterback. The reasons are different — Leinart was never granted an opportunity while Kolb was often injured — but the result is the same. The Arizona Cardinals still need a quarterback.Step on up, Drew Stanton. Bring your four career starts in five seasons and see if you can be the answer to the question that has puzzled the Cardinals organization for three years and counting.Here we go again. So the Kevin Kolb era has come to an end in the Valley of the Sun — if two injury-plagued seasons can constitute an era, that is.Give the Arizona Cardinals credit, though. Knowing they had to bring in a franchise quarterback on the heels of a disastrous 2010 season that saw Derek Anderson and Max Hall stink up the joint, they targeted Kolb, traded for him and signed him to a fat five-year, $63 million deal.And from the minute the ink dried on the contract, Kolb’s mere presence divided the Cardinal fan base. Supporters of the team split like a group of teenage girls waiting in line to see the latest Twilight Movie. “Team Kolb” and “Team Skelton” became keywords for the next two seasons of Cardinals football. Comments Share I certainly don’t believe Kolb “sucked” while he wore Cardinal red, but there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding his future in the league. The above numbers do indicate that when he’s healthy, Kolb is more than serviceable. And that’s all the Cardinals really needed to win games in 2012 — a serviceable signal caller who wouldn’t cripple the team with turnovers and mistakes. After his injury, the Cardinals were saddled with John Skelton and Ryan Lindley, who crippled the team with turnovers and mistakes. Kolb is, in a lot of ways, Matt Leinart Part II.Leinart, of course, was the Cardinals’ quarterback of the future when he was drafted back in 2006 and enjoyed a pretty solid rookie campaign on a bad football team. He struggled to maintain control of the starting position — but then again, Kurt Warner was on the roster.The former USC Heisman Trophy winner was cut following Warner’s retirement in 2010 by then-head coach Ken Whisenhunt despite completing 78.6 percent of his passes and posting a quarterback rating of 104.61 in four preseason games. Leinart wasn’t Whisenhunt’s guy. It was former head coach Dennis Green who was instrumental in nabbing the quarterback with the 10th overall selection of the 2006 NFL Draft. Whisenhunt had a built-in excuse not to choose Leinart as his starter, and ultimately cut him. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Hell, Kolb got booed in a mini-camp practice. By his own team’s fans!Many who denounced Kolb while he was here will relish the opportunity to sum up his Cardinal tenure in two words — “Kolb sucked.” Here we go again.Kevin Kolb didn’t “suck” as the quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. In games that he started, Arizona went 6-8. His touchdown-to-interception ratio was a respectable 17-to-11. His passer rating was 83.2 — again, very respectable. In fact, of the 40 NFL quarterbacks who have started ten or more games over the last two seasons, Kolb is 21st in quarterback rating. That’s a figure better than Chicago’s Jay Cutler, Philadelphia’s Michael Vick, Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman, St. Louis’ Sam Bradford and Minnesota’s Christian Ponder, just to name a few.What did “suck” was his luck. Turf toe injuries, like the one that sidelined Kolb for four weeks in 2011, happen. Freak concussions, like the one he suffered when the back of his head was struck by San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks’ knee, don’t happen often. Another freakish injury — this one to his ribs — ended a once-promising 2012 season for him and his team. The Cardinals were 4-1 at the time of the injury and finished 5-11. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Go back to the e-newsletterLeeu Collection has unveiled more details of the £10 million refurbishment of its Lake District hotel Linthwaite House, which will now reopen in March 2018.The original intention was for Linthwaite House to start operating again this month, however, with work being completed on new guest rooms – the Woodland Suites – in the property’s extensive gardens in the first quarter of 2018, a decision has now been made to wait until all the work is finished before welcoming guests again from 1 March 2018.The six Woodland Suites, two of which are interconnecting, feature floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells. With each room averaging 66 square metres, the Suites have an open-plan bedroom (with king-size beds and ensuite bathrooms with a bath and walk-in shower) linking to a large living space with all mod cons. Meanwhile, all the guest rooms in the main building have been completely renovated and now feature luxury amenities and finishes throughout.At innovative new restaurant, Stella, visitors will be able to sample some of the finest cuisine in the Lake District, influenced by international celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia and her passion for Italian cooking.Linthwaite House’s popular light-filled Bar & Conservatory, with outstanding views of Lake Windermere, will serve an all-day dining menu (including pizzas), a selection of afternoon teas and cocktails in the evenings.There have been some notable changes in the manicured grounds, in addition to the construction of the Woodland Suites.The newly created raised wooden Windermere Deck stands next to Linthwaite’s tranquil private tarn (or small lake) and enjoys views to the north of Lake Windermere and the mountains beyond, providing a magical woodland setting in which to enjoy light meals and early evening drinks.The new open-plan Garden Cabin bar overlooks the lawn in front of Linthwaite House and provides a sociable space for conversation over drinks. Guests will be able to help themselves to the honesty bar before sinking into a comfortable chair and relaxing while soaking up the Lake District views. Alternatively, they might like to try their hand at a game of boules or chess, making use of the hotel’s giant outdoor chessboard.A marquee in the grounds will offer a flexible venue for up to 240 people that ‘brings the outdoors in’ and provides a beautiful garden setting no matter what the weather conditions.All of the interiors have been created by designer Beverley Boswell who has brought the Leeu Collection’s signature style to Linthwaite House; Beverley was also responsible for the interiors at South African sister properties Leeu Estates, Leeu House and Le Quartier Français. Landscape artist Franchesca Watson has been responsible for the new garden design.Go back to the e-newsletter
Categories: Marino News State Rep. Steve Marino, of Harrison Township, encourages everyone to take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend on June 10 and 11.The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites residents and out-of-state visitors to fish without a license during the weekend, giving parents and grandparents an opportunity to introduce youngsters to a new and fun summer activity.“Free Fishing Weekend is the perfect chance to take advantage of the countless fishing spots we have right here in our own backyards,” Rep. Marino said. “Being a lifelong resident of our lakefront community, I have always enjoyed the great fishing our waterways provide.” Fishing license fees will be waived for two days, although all fishing regulations will still apply.For more information about visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing. You can always contact Rep. Marino’s legislative office at 517-373-0113 or via email at SteveMarino@house.mi.gov. 08Jun Rep. Marino encourages residents to take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend
Categories: News,Slagh News 29Jan Rep. Slagh plan gives communities control of speed limit signage State Rep. Bradley Slagh today introduced a plan to ensure safer neighborhood roads while also helping to save millions of dollars statewide by providing for a 25 mph basic speed on most residential streets.Many local governments, such as the city of Holland, are impacted by new laws that require costly studies and signage to enforce a 25 mph speed on residential streets. Slagh’s plan removes that costly requirement by allowing a jurisdiction’s residential streets to have a basic 25-mile-per-hour limit unless a different speed limit is posted.If Slagh’s plan is not enacted, all local governments will have to conduct speed and engineering studies to determine the speed limits on their residential streets. They will then be required to place new signs on these roads. Slagh said the city of Holland has estimated the mandates would cost nearly $200,000 — when nothing about their streets has changed.“This plan helps keep our residential neighborhood streets safe for our families and will help communities collectively save millions of dollars,” said Slagh, of Zeeland. “We must ensure local communities have this control and flexibility.”Slagh has worked closely with the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Michigan Municipal League to craft his plan.House Bill 4118 has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.###
Categories: Cole News State Rep. Triston Cole is hosting an essay contest for students in grades 6-12. The topic of the essay contest is ‘What is your favorite outdoor activity in Michigan during the summer and why?’ The winner will be able to spend the day shadowing Rep. Cole at the Capitol in Lansing.“As a lifelong resident of Northern Michigan and committed advocate of outdoor recreation, I am excited to hear stories from our students on what they do throughout the summer,” Cole said. “People come from all around the country to enjoy the same lakes, rivers, and trails that we are fortunate enough to use all summer long.”Students who wish to enter can submit an essay, one to three page, double spaced, describing their favorite outdoor activity.Submissions should be sent with the subject line “Summer Activity Essay” to Rep. Cole’s email at TristonCole@house.mi.gov by Aug. 15. 06Jun Rep. Cole announces essay contest for local students
Share22TweetShare5Email27 SharesVote / Ben ChunOctober 17, 2016; Washington PostThis has been an unusual election season, and so it is difficult to predict how current students will use information from the past year and a half to shape their future political involvement. A recent poll by Scholastic, an educational publishing company that has been conducting presidential polls with K–12 students since 1940, had Clinton beating Trump with 52 percent of votes. Still, even polls like this, representing about 153,000 K–12 students nationwide, can’t address the issue of engagement—how personally involved students feel with a particular issue.Already, about 18 U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, and New York, have been experimenting with a process known as participatory budgeting (PB) and looking closely at the impact on students. A few recent studies have revealed that the process “can open up the black box of policy making” and provide “a profound civic education.”According to a recent essay by Celina Su, the Marilyn J. Gittell chair of urban studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and a board member of New York City’s participatory budgeting steering committee, PB began in 1989 in Brazil and first appeared in the U.S. in 2010 when some Chicago residents were authorized to weigh in on the city’s discretionary funding decisions. Boston initiated the first youth-led PB process in an effort that has become known as “Youth Lead The Change,” wherein any resident can suggest ideas but only young people have the power to vote. Boston’s most recent round of the program will award a total of $1 million to support a range of initiatives, including more trash cans and recycling bins, a job and resource finder app, park renovations aimed to enrich the lives of people with disabilities, free Wi-Fi and charging stations at area bus stops and similar locations, flatscreen TVs in schools that’ll serve as “digital billboards,” and an app to lead people to special outdoor study spaces.As NPQ noted in its nonprofit newswire reporting on participatory budgeting in 2012 and 2013 (see here and here), New York City has been involved with PB since 2011–2012, when the City Council voted to test the process in four districts. The program has grown in the past five years, with the fourth cycle year (2014–2015) involving 50,000 adults and young people age 14 and older who voted on the allocation of more than $30 million of City Council funds. The New York Participatory Budgeting Research Board conducted a survey of the process by analyzing a random sample of 7,420 surveys from the 22,000 surveys that they received. According to Su, the results reveal that PB “has brought in many traditionally marginalized citizens—including young people.”In addition to analysis of data from 2015, Su and her team also conducted 80 interviews with past and present participants, which included 24 students. The findings show promise for PB’s impact on boosting civic engagement and suggest three additional conclusions about student involvement in the process:When peers contact them, more young people get involved.Young people learned new skills and gained confidence through the process.Young people will get involved if it is fun and if doing so builds trust with authority figures.Even with this analysis on this recent data, there is still some uncertainty about the long-term effects of the program. As an example of the kinds of questions that remain, Su writes, “When a participant’s beloved project doesn’t win funding, does she feel more frustrated and alienated than before, or might she then find alternative ways to mount the project?”In an attempt to answer her own question, Su offers, “The answers, of course, may depend on more than the PB process; they may also depend on whether local government actually responds to her concerns.” In a follow-up phone conversation, Su cited a New York-based nonprofit, PTAlink.org, that aims to increase the power and legal resources of New York City’s PTAs, which was a recent outgrowth of the city’s PB process. Su has hopes to conduct a longitudinal study to look at the impact the program has in mobilizing people in support of issues that they care about—but that will take time.—Anne EigemanShare22TweetShare5Email27 Shares
Verizon is reportedly considering a plan to acquire online video service Netflix as it looks to enter the video streaming market.The move, which was first reported via investor research firm Dealbreaker, would be a hugely significant development in the online video market and comes after a tough few months for Netflix, which abandoned plans to split its streaming and DVD services and halted plans for international expansion following large subscriber losses.Verizon, which currently operates the FiOS television service in the United States, was one of the suitors for online video service Hulu earlier this year. CEO Lowell McAdam told investors at the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference that the company was keen to break into the streaming market, but refused to confirm specific plans. ”The jury’s out, but I do believe there’s a place for over-the-top That model has yet to be determined and I hope we’ll be a player in that,” he said.Netflix shares rocketed up 6% by the end of yesterday’s financial market, closing at US$75.26 (€57), up US$4.37.The company has launched internationally in Canada and across Latin America and will launch in the UK and Ireland at the start of 2012. However, it has reigned in plans to launch in other markets until it returns to profitability.
The president and vice-president of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have been elected for a further two-year term during yesterday’s opening session of the EBU General Assembly in Strasbourg.Jean-Paul Philippot from Belgium’s RTBF has been appointed as president for a third term, while Claudio Cappon from Italy’s RAI has been appointed vice-president for a second full consecutive term.Themis Themistocleous from Cyprus’s CYBC was chosen to fill the vacant post of member of the executive board for the remainder of 2012. He replaces Teresa Pignatelli.“I am very grateful for the confidence and support of our Members. I look forward to continuing to work with the executive board and the director general to defend and promote the values that reflect our distinctiveness as public service media, and ensure that our audiences have free access to our content on all media platforms,” said Philippot.
A strong performance by Canal Plus Overseas in Africa helped compensate for a flat performance in metropolitan France to boost Canal Plus’s overall subscriber base to 11.363 million last year.Canal Plus recorded net growth of 147,000 subscriber in 2012, driven primarily by the overseas arm, which increased its base by 227,000 compared with 2011.Canal Plus France had 9.680 million subscribers, a slight decrease year-on-year. ARPU increased marginally to €48 thanks to improved cross-selling between the Canal Plus and CanalSat offerings.Canal Plus Group revenues increased by 3.2% year-on-year to €5.013 billion. The growth rate on a comparable basis, excluding former Bolloré free-to-air channels D8 ad D17 and the effect of its Polish agreement with TVN Group to create new platform nc+, amounted to 2.4%. EBITA excluding the new French channels and the Polish deal was up 1.9% to €714 million.Parent company Vivendi saw flat sales growth, with revenues of €29 billion for the year. EBITA was €2.3 billion, down 10.7% at constant currency. Revenues from fixed line telecom subsidiary SFR fell by 7.3% to €11.3 billion thanks to price competition and the effects of regulatory intervention.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Discovery Networks International are to launch an OWN programming block on the soon-to-launch TLC channel in the UK.The block will feature shows including Oprah’s Next Chapter, Oprah’s Master Class, Oprah’s Lifeclass, and Super Soul Sunday.According to Discovery, the introduction of the programming block is part of a drive to introduce OWN content to discovery’s female-focused flagship channels in the future as well as to boost general entertainment content on TLC. It said additional launches of OWN blocks on TLC channels internationally were being explored.“We are so proud to build on the great success that we have had airing Oprah’s Next Chapter with Lance Armstrong and Justin Bieber,ˇ said Luis Silberwasser, executive vice-president and chief content officer, DNI. “This is the next phase in showcasing the content that is like no other, the kind that only Oprah and her team at OWN can deliver. This is a real win for DNI, OWN, and most importantly, our viewers with the stars and celebrities that are featured across OWN programming. We are delighted to premiere this block in the UK on TLC at its launch.”OWN will continue its partnership with Passion Distribution to distribute other OWN programming internationally.Separately, DNI has acquired the show Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls to air on Discovery Channel internationally. The series, which will premiere in the US on NBC this summer, is co-produced by Bear Grylls Ventures and Ben Silverman’s multimedia studio, Electus. The series will premiere on Discovery Channel beginning in third quarter 2013 and will air in 218 countries and territories across western Europe, central and eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Content security specialist Conax has named Andreas Binderlehner as director of area sales for the German speaking region in Europe. Binderlehner will be responsible for development of business opportunities and expansion of sales of Conax Conditional Access and DRM solutions to Cable, Satellite, DTH and DTT Operators, ISPs and telcos in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.Binderlehner, who previously worked for compression technology specialist Envivio, has also held positions at Verimatrix and SeaChange.
Mobile operators in Africa have an audience that wants to consume video but currently does not deliver the connectivity necessary to support it, according to Brett StClair, head of new products, sub-Saharan Africa at Google South Africa. Speaking on the AfricaCast stream at the AfricaCom conference, StClair said that a business model for mobile video, which would be based on advertising, had still to be worked out. However, he said operators need to act to deliver connectivity to enable the market to take off.“Let’s get the service and the access right and open up the access speeds,” said StClair. “The opportunity is guys with smart devices that want to consume video but just can’t use the service at the moment.”Asked whether Google could not stimulate the infrastructure market itself by investing in access networks, StClair said that Google has invested in its Google Fiber project in the US, which has been running for six months, and is also investing in TV White Space technology in Africa and encouraging the opening up of spectrum.However, he said he said Google has to focus on what it does best. “Do we want to play in the connectivity space? We are only 50,000 people and we are a software company. I don’t think we want to be a connectivity company.”Over 70% of Africa is now covered by Google’s local caches, said StClair, bringing video closer to where it needs to be delivered.StClair said that Africa’s “Gen C” – YouTube’s core audience – is interested in local content, but the creation of African content for a diaspora audience is the key initial money-making opportunity. Providers including iROKUtv, which started out on YouTube, has tapped into the diaspora audience, he said.YouTube can also deliver international content to an African audience, he said.StClair said online video distribution in Africa is not just about mobile devices but about a multi-device strategy. Cloud computing, taking the processing away from the end-user devices, can accelerate this development, he said, citing the ability of Google’s ChromeCast devices to enable any TV to become a connected screen.
Mobile devices accounted for more than 20% of global video views, with this share set to more than double over the next five years, according to stats by ABI Research.The research firm claims that pay TV services will continue to be the primary video entertainment solution for many consumers, but predicted that overall time spent watching online video will pass 21 hours per month by 2019, up from 12.7 hours in 2013.Annual increases in online video viewing on smartphones and tablets is higher than any other category of device, including connected consumer electronics devices like games consoles or streaming dongles like Google’s Chromecast.“Along with time of day, video content also plays a critical role in the type of devices consumers use to watch online video. Short form video, for instance, is quickly becoming the domain of mobile devices. For connected CE [consumer electronic devices] it’s less about failing to compete with mobile, than it is a reflection of consumers’ lifestyles and how it dictates which devices are used and when,” said ABI practice director, Sam Rosen.ABI senior analyst Michael Inouye added: “As pay TV services continue to extend the reach of multiscreen services we expect more content, like live sporting events, to play an increasing role on mobile devices.”
Ash vs Evil DeadScandinavian pay TV platform C More has inked a programming deal with Starz and will take several of the premium cabler’s drama series on its channels and on-demand streaming services.The volume deal between C More and Starz’s digital and programme sales divisions, gives the pay TV operator digital and pay rights to upcoming series including Ash vs Evil Dead, Flesh and Bone and The Girlfriend Experience.It will also get current Starz series including Power, Black Sails and Survivor’s Remorse and subs will be able to stream these, as well as older shows The White Queen, Magic City and Party Down.C More has bagged rights across to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The upcoming series included in the deal will bow on C More soon after their debut on Starz in the US.“Our customers will now get access to Starz’s newest high-quality original series, which they can stream whenever they wish,” said Manfred Aronsson, CEO C More. “They will also have access to a compelling selection of independent movies to complement the groundbreaking original programming.”Mara Winokur, senior VP, Digital at Starz, added: “C More is a well-established regional partner that not only shares our vision for showcasing the premium quality of Starz Original programming to viewers across the region, but also shares our commitment to satisfying this audience’s growing preference for multiplatform viewing.”
A “steadily increasing” number of US broadband households are turning to streaming media players first when looking for online content, according to Parks Associates.The research firm said that 21% of US broadband households with at least one internet-connected consumer electronics (CE) device now use a streaming media player as “the primary platform for online video” – up from 12% a year ago.By comparison, Parks said that streaming video use declined for both connected gaming consoles and DVRs, and only increased modestly for smart TVs.“Streaming media players continue to stake out a growing portion of the connected home. Roku devices are now the third most widely used connected CE device, trailing only Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation as the most common platforms to access online video content on a TV set,” said Parks Associates research director, Barbara Kraus.Parks’ ‘The Streaming Media Device Landscape’ report claims that two-thirds of US broadband households connect at least one device to the internet.The Xbox games console was found to be the most commonly used CE device for streaming at more than 14%, followed by the PlayStation at just less than 14% and Roku at 10%.Currently, 20% of US broadband households own at least one streaming media player box and 8% own at least one streaming stick, according to Parks.
Advanced data and analytics will have a significant impact on the North American pay TV industry over the next five years, according to more than half of industry executives polled in a new study.Among the first findings from Nagra and research firm MTM’s Pay TV Innovation Forum 2017, was that developments in data and analytics will help pay TV operators to gain more flexibility and insight while reducing operating costs.Operators will be able to deliver value through personalised content and user interfaces, targeted ads and improvements to sales and marketing operations, according to the report.Elsewhere the study noted that the threat of content privacy is growing in the North American pay TV market, with challenges including more sophisticated pirates and the emergence of illegal IPTV set-top boxes and apps.It also listed the growing costs of pay TV subscriptions is another ‘key challenge’ in the rise of content piracy, but said that legitimate on-demand TV services will help to reduce the impact of piracy in the long term.“North American executives clearly recognise that the industry is experiencing a period of change and disruption – and are making the investments required to remain competitive in a challenging market,” said Jon Watts, managing partner, MTM.“This year’s research programme shows that the North American industry is moving forward, developing and extending product and service portfolios and addressing new opportunities. In areas like OTT, data and analytics and IoT, the region is leading the way,” said Jon Watts, managing partner, MTM.The study reported “strong generational differences” in the perceived value of pay TV services, with younger people opting more for multi-screen on-demand viewing, compared to the linear environments favoured by older viewers.This has led operators to rethink their pricing and business model approaches to “better address all demographics and market segments,” according to the report.“There are clearly significant challenges ahead, as competition grows – but the pay TV industry is on track to deliver improved value propositions to consumers. This is an industry in transition and it’s exciting to see the progress that is being made.”
European public broadcasters group the EBU has named Antonio Arcidiacono as director of innovation and technology. He will take up his post on September 1, replacing Simon Fell, who left the organisation earlier this year.Antonio ArcidiaconoArcidiacono has served as director of innovation and a member of the management committee at Eutelsat since 2008, with responsibility for launching IP-based satellite service among other things. He joined Eutelsat in 1990 and took part in key phases of the satellite operator’s development, initially as new services manager and head of the multimedia services business unit.Arcidiacono was also a founding member of the DVB and has been a member of its steering board since the project’s inception in 1993.“I’m delighted to be joining the EBU and to have the opportunity to work with all EBU Members, contributing my experience to the development of new ideas and launching successful initiatives to sustain technology and innovation excellence in the media industry. Maintaining and stimulating Public Service Media as the top quality reference in the market is, and will remain, the key mandate of public broadcasters,” said Arcidiacono.“I look forward to proposing new ideas and working with Members to launch new initiatives catalysing their efforts to grow and be successful in today’s challenging and competitive market.”EBU Director General Noel Curran said: “EBU Technology & Innovation has a strong history of ground breaking work in broadcasting technologies and standards thanks to our highly qualified and dedicated team of staff and members. I am confident that with Antonio’s broad portfolio of highly relevant experience, as well as strong management skills, we will build on this legacy and take it to the next level.”
COBA, the UK multichannel broadcasters’ association, has once again sounded the alarm on the likely impact of Brexit on the industry and has called on the government to seek an “ambitious” deal on broadcasting before companies are forced to activate their contingency plans.Speaking to the parliamentary committee on exiting the EU, COBA executive director Adam Minns said that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would put the future prospects of the £1 billion industry at risk by focusing broadcasters to restructure their operations to continue broadcasting in EU countries.Minns took the opportunity to point out that the international broadcasting business had grown by 50% since 2011, double the rate of the rest of the UK digital sector since 2011 and faster than growth for the creative industries in general. He said this growth would be put at risk if the UK is unable to offer new entrants or incumbents a licence to broadcast to EU countries.COBA also maintains that over the medium to long term this will damage the critical mass of the UK broadcasting sector, with a knock on impact to parts of the supply chain.The organization said that companies in the sector would need to activate their contingency plans within months and in some cases within weeks if no deal is in sight, with EU markets accounting for 45% of exports in digital services.“The Government has told us what is off the table, but it has not set out the type of arrangements that it wants to secure. We know the Government cannot promise a deal, but it can promise to fight for arrangements on broadcasting that are ambitious, and it can give industry confidence by explaining what that would look like,” said Minns.“Companies cannot wait until March 2019 to make these decisions – without more clarity, they will have to activate contingency plans within months or even weeks. It is crucial that the Government gives industry confidence that it will fight for broadcasting.”COBA has previously criticised the government white paper on exiting the EU for providing little detail on the type of arrangements the UK is seeking in its negotiations with the EU on broadcasting and has warned that broadcasters cannot wait until the exit date of March next year to activate their plans.Earlier this month, the organisation called for “urgent clarity” on whether there would be a post-Brexit transition period that will retain the status quo for broadcasters licensed in the UK.