The Canadian Press TORONTO — An American man visiting Toronto is facing charges after police say he allegedly tried to take a loaded gun into the CN Tower.Toronto police say the man set off security scanners at the iconic landmark Friday afternoon and a search revealed a revolver in his backpack.Const. Victor Kwong says the man, who is from Phoenix, Ariz., is a licensed gun owner in the state and came to Toronto on business.Kwong says police believe the man had no intention of using the gun.Erik Hall, 26, is charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and careless storage of a firearm.Kwong says investigators believe Hall brought the gun with him from the U.S. Arizona man accused of taking loaded gun to CN Tower Friday, April 28, 2017 Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Toronto
Royal Brunei Airlines is celebrating after the return of the Ho Chi Minh service that started again last week.The airline originally made plans to resume flights to Ho Chi Minh City in July this year, after popular demand from customers for the service was clear.With a frequency of four times a week, the service started Friday, 17 October 2014, the service allows Australian travelers to go from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh via Brunei.Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its attractive tourist entrepreneurial landmarks and Royal Brunei hopes that this new route will boost passenger numbers.Royal Brunei’s deputy chairman, Dermot Mannion said in July that the new route is aimed to develop and increase connectivity for our markets.“Ho Chi Minh City has emerged a frontrunner in providing connections for key markets from Melbourne, Dubai and London, we are delighted to include Ho Chi Minh City, an exciting holiday and business destination, into our network,” Mr Mannion said.The return of Royal Brunei to Ho Chi Minh City will create more holiday options for the travelling Bruneians, and also make for easier connectivity between key destinations to Brunei and onwards to Ho Chi Minh City.The four weekly flights to Ho Chi Minh will be operated by an Airbus A319 for flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays while on Sundays the flight will be operated by an Airbus A320.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wiseman
Go back to the enewsletterFollowing a year-long extensive renovation and redesign, Taj Connemara in Chennai is again welcoming guests. Dating back to 1854, the hotel’s legendary history has been brought to life with fresh and modern sensibilities.“Taj Connemara is another jewel in the Taj portfolio of iconic heritage hotels,” Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), said.“We are committed to continuing our century-old legacy of restoring historical treasures across the globe for our guests. The newly renovated Taj Connemara draws on the hotel’s illustrious past while offering patrons a distinctive, modern and individualistic experience. We are happy to announce that Taj Connemara will resume its place in the cultural heart of Chennai. ”Heritage Room © Taj Connemara, ChennaiRestoration of a Design IconTaj Connemara’s refreshed design has eclectic architectural influences of Classic Colonial, Art Deco and distinctive elements from the celebrated architect, Geoffrey Bawa’s ‘Tropical Modernism’ style, coupled with a timeless refreshing interior design.The hotel’s 147 rooms and suites spread across the Tower and Heritage wings are each appointed with elegant four-poster beds, vintage prints and objets d’art. Sensitive preservation of the Art Deco façade and interiors will showcase the hotel’s original features including wooden carvings sourced from the 16th- and 17th-century temples of Mahabalipuram. Unique for a city hotel, guests will enjoy 4.5 acres of landscaped greens and enclosed atrium gardens.The Colonial Corridor © Taj Connemara, ChennaiFood & BeverageRestaurants and bars at the Taj Connemara include The Lady Connemara Bar & Lounge; the city’s first licensed bar reclaims its position as the place to be seen at. Novel culinary experiences showcase nostalgic Anglo-Indian dishes and regional Madras specialties in a relaxed ambience at the all-day-diner Verandah, while the quintessentially Chennai experience Raintree continues to serve authentic Chettinad fare in an alfresco setting.Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of Tamil Nadu. Recently declared as a Creative City by UNESCO, Chennai is enjoying its place in the spotlight for its many strengths including its cuisine, architecture, culture and musical heritage. The hotel’s concierge team will curate exclusive experiences, including heritage tours retracing the city’s colonial past and opportunities to engage with the thriving performing arts scene, textile industry, the Mahabalipuram temple complex (declared a UNESCO heritage site) and the fragrant and flavourful Tamil street food.Taj’s portfolio comprises hotels across the globe including presence in India, North America, United Kingdom, Africa, Middle East, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal.Go back to the enewsletter
State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine is joined by New Baltimore Police Department Chief Tim Wiley at the Michigan House of Representatives 9/11 anniversary ceremony.New Baltimore Police Chief Tim Wiley traveled to Lansing today as the guest of state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine for the Michigan House of Representatives’ annual memorial for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and recognition of all first responders in the state.“I was honored to have Chief Wiley stand with me today as we honored the bravest among us – the men and women who set fear aside each day to keep us safe in our communities,” said LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township. “It’s important to recognize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, as well as pay tribute to those who currently serve, whether it is thousands of miles away overseas or in our local fire and police departments here at home.”Special acknowledgement of eight law enforcement, emergency services and military personnel from Michigan killed in the line of duty during the past year was presented by individual lawmakers who read the names into the honor roll.Tim Wiley, 35, was born and raised in New Baltimore and appointed chief of the New Baltimore Police Department in April 2010, after having served for 12 years on the force. 11Sep New Baltimore police chief joins LaFontaine for 9/11 ceremony Categories: News,Photos
LANSING – Legislation written by state Rep. Daniela García, which continues a hospital’s ability to maintain an automated prescription device within its facility or an affiliated location, was approved by the state Senate Wednesday and is headed to the governor’s desk.House Bill 5877 is in response to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations that stipulated automated devices could be operated within a hospital only if it had a licensed pharmacy at the same address. The DEA also specified that if a device was located at an affiliated facility of the hospital, it would have to be under the control of a licensed pharmacist.“Hospitals will be able to continue to offer the same level of pharmacy services to patients with this legislation,” said Rep. García, R-Holland. “Patients would have been negatively impacted by the federal regulation, so we acted quickly so that continuity of care for patients would not be interrupted.”Automated devices, commonly referred to as Pyxis machines, are a secure measure to ensure the correct medication and dosage is prescribed for a patient, via a licensed health professional. Hospitals and health care facilities have been using the prescription devices, with security measures such as fingerprint recognition, to assist in correct distribution of medications for almost 30 years.“Without this legislation, the DEA regulation would have affected 47 health care facilities across the state in 2017,” said Rep. García. “There’s no estimate to how many patients could have been affected, especially with health systems relying on affiliated facilities to provide care and services across a larger area.”###About Rep. García:State Rep. Daniela García is a first-term lawmaker representing the 90th House District. The 90th District represents southern Ottawa County, including the cities of Zeeland and Holland. Rep. García can be reached toll-free at (517)373-0830, via email at DanielaGarcia@house.mi.gov or on her website. For additional updates follow House Republicans on Facebook and Twitter. 15Dec Automated prescription device legislation approved by Senate Categories: Garcia News,News #####
30May House panel advances Rep. Cole’s ‘right to carry’ legislation Categories: Cole News State Rep. Triston Cole speaks before the House Judiciary Committee in support of his legislation to enable law-abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols without obtaining a government-issued permit.State Rep. Triston Cole’s legislation enabling law-abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols without obtaining a government-issued permit was approved today by the House Judiciary Committee.Cole’s legislation, House Bill 4419, is part of a four-bill package that gives people back their fundamental right to bear arms and ensures that law-abiding citizens do not have additional burdens placed on them for carrying a pistol for their personal protection.“The current law already allows law-abiding citizens to carry openly without getting a license. People who are legally allowed to possess a pistol shouldn’t be taxed to conceal it under a coat,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “The only change under these bills is that those same honest people would be allowed to conceal their gun under a piece of clothing.”Cole stressed that the legislation would not give criminals more access to pistols.“This legislation does not remove the requirement that a person get a background check to purchase a handgun,” he said. “In addition, any person prohibited from purchasing a firearm under state or federal law would not be allowed to carry. They’re not allowed to possess, so they wouldn’t be allowed to carry under these bills.”Under the plan, the current CPL permitting structure will remain in place to allow Michigan residents an option to obtain a CPL to continue to carry and receive reciprocity in states that recognize Michigan’s permit. A CPL will also be necessary for people to carry openly in certain restricted zones.House Bills 4416-19 now move to the full House for consideration.###
15Jun Rep. Howell announces Goodland Park funding Categories: Howell News,News Legislator joins colleagues in approving recreation billState Rep. Gary Howell today joined his House colleagues in voting for a bill to fund land acquisition and park improvements across the state, including a land purchase for Goodland Township Park.State Rep. Gary Howell of North Branch (right) has a discussion on the House Floor with state Rep. Yousef Rabhi of Ann Arbor.Howell, of North Branch, said the Natural Resources Trust Fund land buy will use dedicated money for such purchases to buy nine acres of land adjacent to the township hall and library that will become Goodland Township Park. Currently the land is an undeveloped field with a wooded area on the northern edge. The land will provide visitors with access to high quality recreation space. In the future, the township plans to develop a walking path, pavilion, play equipment, access drive and parking lot. The park will be developed in conjunction with the existing fishing pond and future site of an historic schoolhouse located on township-owned land to the east of the new parcel.“Lapeer County is rich in scenic natural resources, and these projects will give more families access to that beauty,” Howell said. “This is a great example of using dedicated funds that do not involve state taxpayer dollars and partnering with local governments to improve our quality of life.”The funding is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments for the projects.The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.#####The bill is Senate Bill 76.
Categories: Lower News,News A proposal to fix Michigan’s no-fault car insurance system, supported by state Rep. Jim Lower, today was signed into law.The new law will bring hundreds of dollars in savings to drivers in Gratiot and Montcalm counties through lower car insurance prices – offering personal injury coverage options, combating fraud and abuse, and addressing medical costs.“I am proud to be a part of the historic 100th Michigan Legislature and the reforms within this proposal are truly historic due to the decades of gridlock that state government faced with this issue,” said Lower, of Greenville. “The Legislature took the lead on this after hearing loud and clear from residents across the state who were facing tough financial decisions because of the high cost of car insurance. They needed real rate relief and this plan delivers that.”Mandated unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance plans is a primary reason why costs are so high in Michigan. The new law allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – all while providing more affordable options.For the first time in Michigan’s history, drivers will be able to have a choice in their level of PIP coverage. Beginning in 2020, many will be able to opt out of personal injury protection altogether, including seniors with retiree health coverage such as Medicare and those with health insurance policies that cover car accident-related injuries. Others will be able to continue with unlimited coverage or choose PIP limits of $250,000 or $500,000. A $50,000 option will be available for drivers on Medicaid.Other reforms include:• A fee schedule to rein in runaway costs that result from medical care providers charging far more to treat car accident victims than other patients.• An anti-fraud unit will help crack down on those abusing the system, helping to further lower car insurance rates.• Non-driving factors, such as ZIP codes, home ownership and educational level, can’t be used to determine rates. 30May Rep. Lower commends signature of plan to reform state’s broken car insurance system
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 19, 2014; Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewDon’t knock on doors in Baldwin, Pennsylvania to solicit money for a nonprofit unless you’re carrying your registration. Stephanie Hacke reports for the Tribune-Review that Baldwin has passed an ordinance requiring members of nonprofit, religious, and charitable organizations to register with the Baldwin police before they solicit for anything on a door-to-door basis.Baldwin’s previous solicitation ordinance had covered commercial solicitors who were selling or advertising door-to-door or house-to-house, but exempted political and religious organizations. The new requirement is that nonprofit and charitable solicitors have to submit a criminal record check and a valid driver’s license. In addition, a resident of Baldwin who gets a house-to-house solicitation permit would pay $15 a week, $50 a month, or $75 for three months; a nonresident would pay $10 a day for the privilege of soliciting.The free speech issues in the Baldwin ordinance virtually jump off the page. After being contacted by a nonprofit that would have had to register 20 people it had recruited to administer a house-to-house survey, the American Civil Liberties Union has contacted the Borough to suggest that the ordinance violates the First Amendment.With a population of some 20,000, Baldwin Borough’s slogan is, “Just a nice place to live!” Located in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, Baldwin may be a lovely place, but it is difficult to think of it as a good “nice place” if it enacts laws that violate constitutional free speech protections.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share9TweetShare6Email15 SharesJ. Bicking / Shutterstock.comJuly 9, 2015; The HillThis week, the NAACP will be taking on the government of North Carolina in a legal challenge to the Tar Heel State’s restrictive voting rights legislation, or, probably better put, the state’s legislation to restrict voting rights. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s invalidation of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Southern states such as North Carolina went to town to enact voting laws that ordinarily would have required the review of the U.S. Department of Justice and in many cases might not have passed civil rights muster.An article in Charlotte’s black newspaper, the Charlotte Post, described in a nutshell the comprehensive restrictions in the state’s voting rights law:“The Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights group, called H.B. 589 a ‘monster’ bill that shortens the early voting period by a full week, eliminates same-day registration, requires strict forms of voter ID, resources that disproportionately affect minority and low-income voters. The bill also blocks out out-of-precinct voting and expands the ability to challenge voters at the polls, and ends a pre-registration program for 16- and 17-year olds.”Advancement Project attorneys who will appear in court in the trial plan to argue that the state legislature was fully aware of the racial implications of the law, that it would result in lower black voter registration and turnout; for example, 41 percent of North Carolina blacks participating in the 2012 elections used same-day registration, a practice that the state’s new voting rights law would prohibit. The North Carolina statute may be, according to the Advancement Project’s Penda Hair, the worst voter suppression law in the nation.With civil rights organizations such as the nonprofit Advancement Project leading the charge, you would think that the voting rights movement couldn’t lose, but there are tough issues to confront in both the courts and in political organizing. The NPQ Newswire and the Cohen Report have both devoted much space to the work of voting rights advocacy organizations, including a very candid interview with Judith Browne Dianis, the co-director of the Advancement Project, on the path that the voting rights movement has had to navigate from Bloody Sunday in Selma to today’s crop of voter ID laws. The voting rights path was hardly helped by the Supreme Court this past spring when it allowed the Wisconsin voter ID law to go into effect.The other co-director of the Advancement Project, Penda Hair, wrote a piece for The Hill that puts the North Carolina case in the context of what nonprofits and community leaders should be doing to overturn these laws given the Wisconsin decision. Although the court has nixed Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Section 2 still “bans voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race, (though) it is enforced only through lawsuits.” That means nonprofits have to pursue a two-part structure: litigation to show that laws like North Carolina’s are harmful to people of color combined with political organizing targeting state legislatures, as North Carolina advocates have done with their “Moral Mondays” protests and marches.The strategy is difficult in a number of ways. Litigation is often long and costly, and the number of foundations willing to support a litigation strategy that could consume years is pretty limited. Moreover, although it should be good enough simply to demonstrate the significantly disproportional adverse impacts on the voting rights of persons of color, the willingness of so many North Carolina legislators to acknowledge their racial intentions will help the Advancement Project make its case in court; the vocal intent of legislators to use voter ID laws to suppress black voter registration and turnout is helpful in court strategies, but legislators in other states may not have been quite as open as some North Carolina lawmakers were about their motivations. The political organizing strategy related to litigation is sometimes complex in and of itself. It is difficult to keep the community fully and effectively engaged while the battle enters the courtroom and stays there and the conversations remain among lawyers.The voting rights problem is found in more than just Southern states. Recently, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie threated to veto a voting rights bill, the Democracy Act, which would make voter registration automatic for people getting their drivers licenses, permit people to register online to vote, and establish two weeks of “early voting.” There is voting rights litigation and organizing to be pursued in states beyond the Deep South.In light of the Supreme Court decision, more states will take stabs at disenfranchising black voters. If nonprofits recall that their deep down core mission, protecting democracy, is what unites most nonprofits, they will quickly perceive that their efforts to enhance and expand voting rights is a cross-cutting civil rights issue, just as the removal of the Confederate battle flag was for South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who led the charge to remove the banner from South Carolina’ statehouse. The Confederate flag was and is a symbol of our nation’s sad history of racial hatred. Voter ID laws like North Carolina’s are as well, and like the flag should be overturned by state legislators — or, if they won’t do it, then by the federal courts. —Rick CohenShare9TweetShare6Email15 Shares
Share5TweetShareEmail5 Shares“Amazon HQ2 Announcement,” Maryland GovPicsNovember 13, 2018; Washington Post, New York Times, and The TennesseanIt took more than a year—remember the original request for proposals in September 2017?—but the location of Amazon’s second headquarters city is now official. Surprise! It’s actually two cities, with Long Island City in Queens (across the East River from Manhattan) and Crystal City in Arlington (across the Potomac River from Washington, DC) as the “winners.” Amazon’s decision to split its second headquarters, which had been telegraphed last week, means that Seattle will remain the prime company headquarters.The two locations may give the bookies who took bets on Amazon’s decision some payout math to do. Still, the folks who chose New York City at 60–1 odds probably won’t mind their half-payout. (Crystal City, by contrast, was a heavy favorite, so no big-money winners there.) We’ll see if New York Governor Andrew Cuomo makes good on his pledge to change his first name to “Amazon.”As expected, Amazon is collecting public subsidies in the process. The amount offered had been a closely guarded secret. Now we know that in New York City, the state and city combined are providing $1.85 billion in tax breaks to the tech giant—about $74,000 per job.Northern Virginia is also providing significant aid to Amazon. Jonathan O’Connell and Robert McCartney report in the Washington Post direct subsidies totaling $573 million, as well as $223 million for transportation improvements. O’Connell and McCartney add that, “Virginia Tech plans to build a $1 billion graduate campus in Alexandria focused on innovation, part of the higher education package the state offered the company.”Nashville will house an “Operations Center of Excellence,” which is expected to employ 5,000 people. The center will coordinate customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. Amazon is collecting money from Nashville too. The Tennessean reports Amazon will get “performance-based incentives of up to $102 million.”But some “losing” cities, which now have the chance to invest in more effective and inclusive homegrown economic development, offered even more. As the New York Times’ Bryce Covert summarizes:Maryland bid $6.5 billion in tax incentives and another $2 billion in infrastructure upgrades, and its transportation secretary at one point offered the city a “blank check.” Newark, New Jersey, topped that, dangling $7 billion in front of Amazon. Columbus, Ohio, said it would waive all property taxes for 15 years. Chicago offered to let the company pocket between 50 and 100 percent of the income taxes its employees would pay to the city. Fresno, California, proposed giving Amazon joint control over deciding where to spend its taxes.Times columnist Michael Kimmelman adds that,Scandalously, American cities and states now spend some $90 billion a year in cash and tax incentives to attract companies, money that could go for infrastructure, schools and police, and that usually doesn’t pay off, as Derek Thompson pointed out this week in The Atlantic. Amazon’s nondisclosure clause set up a process that allowed it, in effect, to crowdsource vast swaths of information about cities while preventing their citizens from knowing what their elected officials were doing to entice the $860 billion company.Of course, economic development incentives were never expected to be the primary driver of Amazon’s decision. As NPQ noted last January, citing Good Jobs First, state and local taxes are only 1.8 percent of an average company’s tax structure. More factors in Amazon’s decision include the following:The existence of footholds in both communities. Karen Weise of the Times notes that “about 1,800 people in advertising, fashion and publishing already work for Amazon in New York, and roughly 2,500 corporate and technical employees work in Northern Virginia and Washington.”Personal connections. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns a $23 million mansion in Washington, DC, as well as the Washington Post.Easily assembled land. In Crystal City, for instance, the $4.4 billion real estate firm JBG Smith “owns a majority of the property in the bid—enough to accommodate the entire project on its own,” the Post The existence of large workforces of highly educated white-collar workers that the firm wants to hire.Not everyone is pleased to be selected by Amazon. For instance, the Post reports that residents in the “nearby Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria expressed worry earlier this year that Amazon’s arrival would worsen daily rush-hour backups that already slow traffic to a crawl.” Housing, the Post adds, is also a major concern. The regional council of governments estimated a 65,000-unit shortfall by 2025; Amazon’s arrival makes that gap thousands of units larger.Meanwhile, nonprofits consider how to respond. In northern Virginia, Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia, tells the Post, “Thousands of new high-paying jobs could be a boon to our community, but we deserve to know the cost. Tens of thousands of new workers and their families are sure to strain community resources when it comes to affordable housing, mass transit and traffic, and quality local schools. It’s only right that Amazon pay their fair share.”—Steve DubbShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
TV technology company SeaChange International has named Raghu Rau as its permanent CEO.Rau was appointed interim CEO in November last year, replacing Bill Styslinger.“Raghu’s leadership and excellent grasp of our business was apparent from the moment he assumed responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the company. In a matter of just a few months, he has dramatically improved SeaChange’s overall operations and its ability to serve global markets, to the immediate benefit of our customers as well as our shareholders and employees,” said Thomas Olson, chairman, SeaChange.Rau joined the SeaChange Board of Directors in July 2010. He previously held a number of senior leadership positions at Motorola and served on the board of Microtune, which was then acquired by Zoran Corporation. He currently serves on the board of directors of Aviat Networks, a provider of wireless transmission systems.This story has been corrected: the initial version incorrectly stated that Raghu Rau replaced Yvette Kanouff as CEO.
Swiss alternative telecom operator Sunrise had 38,000 IPTV customers at the end of last year, with over 8,000 further customers having placed orders by the end of December.Sunrise introduced its IPTV service at the beginning of 2012, offering a single package of TV and fixed and mobile telephony and internet services. It also offers a catch-up TV service, Comeback TV.According to Sunrise, 12% of Swiss consumers that opted to subscribe to a digital TV offering in the fourth quarter of 2012 chose Sunrise.
KPN-owned IPTV service provider Glashart Media has migrated its interactive services to ActiveVideo’s CloudTV H5 platform.Netherlands-based Glashart Media is using CloudTV H5 to deliver cloud UIs and other rich interactive services – including an EPG, on-demand video, Cloud DVR, and other advanced applications – to thin-client IPTV devices.The CloudTV-powered service is live in approximately 140,000 homes and is attracting an average of 1,200 new customers each week, according to AcitveVideo.CloudTV H5 decouples the user experience from devices by delivering HTML5-based interactive services from the cloud.“CloudTV has been essential to Glashart Media’s ability to achieve key success metrics, including an annual doubling of subscribers and VOD take rates of three items per subscriber per month,” said Niels Jonkman, manager of development at Glashart Media. “The performance enhancements of CloudTV H5 and the ability to work with the deep pool of HTML5 web developers are enabling us to accelerate innovation of new services, to drive increased customer penetration and to enter new market areas.”“A key advantage of a solution based entirely in the cloud is the ability to execute upgrades in the network, rather than at the device level,” said Ronald Brockmann, chief technology officer of ActiveVideo. “Transitioning Glashart Media to CloudTV H5 – an entirely new platform – required only a simple software upgrade in the cloud; there was no new equipment needed, no changes to network infrastructure and no inconvenience to customers.”Using browser technology, CloudTV renders the complete UI in the cloud to enable consistent multiscreen delivery of advanced user interfaces. The CloudTV H5 platform streams user experiences with low latency in either H.264 or MPEG2 via IP or QAM networks to set-tops, CI Plus TVs or connected devices, according to ActiveVideo.CloudTV is available on more than 10 million devices in the US and internationally with Cablevision Systems, Ziggo, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and other operators and with Comcast in a multi-stage trial. Charter Communications is also using CloudTV to support its cloud-based UI strategy. CloudTV also is on Philips-brand NetTVs and is powering interactive services for Net2TV, a virtual service provider.ActiveVideo will exhibit at IBC on stand 3.B13
The European cable industry remains a business characterized by strong growth and investment in cable is likely to remain attractive to mobile operators and other potential entrants, according to a report by IHS.According to the European Broadband Cable Report, published in collaboration with industry association Cable Europe, the value of the European cable industry grew by over 5% in 2012 and future prospects remain robust. Cable generated revenues of €22.4 billion in 2012 and cable operators served 61.3 million European homes. Cable accounted for 112.9 million revenue generating units, including 28.7 million broadband internet customers, and ARPU hit €26.60 a month across the EU.Revenue growth has been driven by telecom services, which now account for 46% of all cable revenue across Europe. According to the report, telecom revenues now account for more revenue than TV in 10 markets. Cable’s ability to bundle, as well as its focus on rolling out WiFi networks, will enable it to continue to grow and position it to deliver OTT content to multiple devices as well, according to the report.The report’s authors argue that “the combination of Vodafone with Kabel Deutschland looks more like the beginning of a prolonged strategic trend than a one-off purchase”.
ITV said that viewing share for its main channel was up 3% in the first nine months of the year, with CEO Adam Crozier praising ITV’s on-screen performance and “increasingly varied and high quality schedule.”The UK broadcaster said that ITV2 and ITV3 remained the most popular digital channels in the UK, with Crozier commenting that its strong viewing performance “clearly stands us in good stead for our 2014 advertising agreements.”ITV’s share of viewing for ITV Family – its entire portfolio of channels including ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and equivalent +1 and HD feeds – was up 4%.For the nine months ending September 30, ITV reported revenues of £1.897 billion (€2.26 billion), up 5% year-on-year. Of this £1.342 billion came from ITV Broadcast and Online, and £555 million from its content arm ITV Studios.
Russian pay TV leader Tricolor TV is to begin broadcasting its new service for Siberia on the Express AT1 satellite at 56° East on April 16.At a press conference yesterday, Igor Kotsarev, technical director at Tricolor TV owners National Satellite Company, said that the new service, Tricolor TV Sibir, would comprise over two dozen channels initially and would be boosted with the addition of regional channels later.Tricolor TV acting CEO and director for regional development Sergey Stavropoltsev said that the launch of Express AT1 had eliminated the capacity divide between Siberia and the western parts of Russia, enabling Siberians to benefit from the same quality of digital TV as residents of other parts of the country.
Chase CareyThe president and chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox, Chase Carey, failed to rule out making another 100% bid for BSkyB but said that the firm’s current focus is on establishing Sky Europe.Speaking at the Royal Television Society conference in London this morning, Carey, said that 21st Century Fox’s plan “right now” is to pursue its July-announced Sky Europe deal – which will see Fox sell to BSkyB its 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland and 100% stake in Sky Italia, while keeping a 39.14% shareholding in BSkyB.However, he added: “I don’t think it ever makes sense for us to say, long-term, we’re not going to do X, Y and Z. I think you have to see how the world evolves and that’s just reality. But certainly what I can say clearly is we have no plans, we have no initiatives underway.”Carey, as News Corp chairman, had led efforts by the firm to buy 100% of BSkyB, but dropped the offer in 2011 in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. News Corp was subsequently divided in two – splitting into News Corp as its publishing division and 21st Century Fox as entertainment and media arm.Speaking about the future direction of 21st Century Fox’s business, Carey said there was no “second choice” to its recent US$76 billion Time Warner bid, which Fox abandoned earlier this year, but said the firm would continue to invest in “great content.”“Time Warner was very much a unique opportunity for us that we thought at a point in time,” said Carey. He claimed the deal was “uniquely attractive” as it would have enabled it to define next-generation consumer experiences and how content is packaged and accessed.“We were very clear there isn’t a second choice to Time Warner. We’re going to go back to pursuing what we’ve been pursuing, which is largely been building businesses, building channels in the United States, building channels internationally, continuing to invest in content.”In line with this, he said that the mooted Shine-Endemol merger is “in process,” adding “we hope that it comes to completion in the short-term future.”Referring to Fox’s acquisition of a stake in Vice Media, and its recent first-look deal with BOOM! Studios, Carey described both as “opportunistic investments.”“We are a content company. We like content. We like to be taking opportunities to invest in all different types of content. Our acquisition of Shine a couple of years ago was an investment that enabled us to anticipate an exciting part of the content world that we didn’t think we had the base in that we would like to have – which was the international marketplace, the unscripted marketplace,” said Carey.“I think we’ll continue to look for ways to broaden our footprint and our investment into content creation in really every place we do business,” he added, citing Italy, Germany and the UK as specific examples.Talking about the rationale behind the establishment of Sky Europe, Carey said it was a unique opportunity for “putting the Sky franchises together under one umbrella at a point in time where you have a degree of consolidation going on in Europe.”“We felt the best path to putting the Skys together was through this process and it was the one we could move forward with most efficiently, most effectively and most quickly,” said Carey.“We’re very excited about the future of the BSkyB franchise – [with] Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland as part of it.”
Streaming service Netflix will debut an Edward Norton-produced documentary about a man that immerses himself in masculinity ahead of becoming a dad.My Own Man will launch on Netflix on March 6 in all operating territories,having already launched with success as the Tribeca Film Festival.The doc follows director and father-to-be David Sampliner as he undertakes warrior weekends, vocal lessons and hunts in an attempt to “man up” for his unborn child before realising his issues are with his own father.Norton (Fight Club), who executive produces, appears in the doc. He said: “You rarely see an artist document their own personal experience with such candour and simultaneously offer such deep insights into the very universal struggle to communicate within a family.”Norton also produced Sampliner’s 2004 film Dirty Work.
Rupert MurdochTwenty First Century Fox has moved swiftly to deny reports that its executives have held early-stage takeover talks with Discovery Communications.The US-listed giant, whose assets include the Fox broadcast network, numerous US and international cable channels and a US movie studio, was reported by the Australian Financial Review to have met with Discovery two weeks ago.Discovery runs 48 channel brands around the world, including Discovery, Animal Planet and Eurosport. A Fox-Discovery tie-up would create a global US$100 billion (€88 billion) entertainment business spanning factual, film, entertainment and sport.The financial paper, citing sources close to the situation, said that senior execs from both companies had met with investment bankers.Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, however, moved swiftly to deny the talks took place and the AFR story was untrue.Last year Fox failed in to execute a takeover of Time Warner.