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China Premier Li Keqiang addresses Thai Parliament

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first_img Top Stories Li told the Thai lawmakers that Thailand and China will boost their trade to $100 billion by the end of 2015 and that China will buy more Thai agricultural produce.“In the next five years, China will import 1 million tons of rice from Thailand and will also import more rubber,” Li said.Thailand’s government has struggled to sell much of the rice it has amassed in a rice-buying scheme that is a flagship policy of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration. The scheme has accumulated losses of at least $4.46 billion since it was introduced in 2011. Its inability to resell the high-priced rice on the international market allowed India and Vietnam to surpass Thailand in the value of their rice exports.Thai rubber farmers have staged a series of street demonstrations and blocked roads in recent months to pressure the government to shore up rubber prices, which have dropped since peaking in 2011 due to weak demand in a sluggish global economy.Li, who became premier in March, is the first foreign leader to give a speech in Parliament in at least 10 years. House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said he granted Li “an opportunity to speak directly to the representatives of the Thai people” because his visit was an “honor.” Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober BANGKOK (AP) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang became the first foreign leader to address Thailand’s Parliament in more than a decade Friday as he began a three-day visit aimed at strengthening ties and seeking business for his country’s high-speed railway technology.Li’s speech underscored China’s growing influence in Southeast Asia a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered the first speech by a foreign leader to Indonesia’s Parliament. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories The demonstrators dispersed Thursday after being promised that they could return to the protest site after the Chinese premier’s visit ends.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Li asked the lawmakers to support Chinese train technology. He is to open an exhibit on China’s high-speed rail system in Bangkok on Saturday.The two governments also signed memorandums of understanding on cooperation in railway projects, investment, energy, culture and other areas.“China has expressed interest in helping to develop the high-speed railway. On this, in principle, Thailand is willing to work with them at the government level and is asking to pay part of the expenses with agricultural produce,” Yingluck told reporters after meeting with Li.Last month, Parliament authorized 2.2 trillion baht ($70 billion) in loans for large transportation projects, including four high-speed rail lines that would connect Bangkok to other key cities and dual-track rail lines that could reduce the country’s dependence on road transport.Li is to travel to Chiang Mai, Yingluck’s hometown in northern Thailand, and then leave for Vietnam on Sunday.The Thai Cabinet invoked the Internal Security Act in three Bangkok districts prior to Li’s visit to pressure a group of anti-government protesters to leave an area near the prime minister’s office where they had camped out. The law allows authorities to seal off roads, take action against security threats and impose curfews. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Rep Hornberger ensures state library funding will benefit Michigan residents

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first_img15Mar Rep. Hornberger ensures state library funding will benefit Michigan residents Bill offers new provision to Interstate Library Compact entryThe Michigan House on Wednesday overwhelmingly advanced a bill sponsored by state Rep. Pamela Hornberger providing clarity to a previous law that entered Michigan into the Interstate Library Compact.With the signing of Public Act 173 of 2017, Michigan became the first state to join since 1976. The compact includes over 30 states nationwide, allowing out-of-state residents access to Michigan libraries in Indiana and Ohio, and vice versa. The agreement helps libraries provide more uniform services within their unique regions and is beneficial to residents in border communities who live closer to a library in another state than one within their own. While continuing to serve patrons from both Michigan and elsewhere in border areas, Hornberger wants to make sure only Michigan residents will be taken into account when library funding is requested and provided.“The way the language was written in the law states that libraries will receive funding on a per resident served basis,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township. “This could prove to be a problematic interpretation when Indiana and Ohio residents are being served by Michigan libraries using state funding. This is a common sense agreement with other states, but it’s also common sense to demand state taxpayer funds benefit the people of Michigan and my bill offers that needed specificity.”House Bill 5618 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Categories: Hornberger News,Newslast_img read more

House approves Rep Griffin plan to better protect student athletes from abuse

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first_img Categories: Filler News 19Jun House approves Rep. Griffin plan to better protect student athletes from abuse State Rep. Beth Griffin’s plan to better protect student athletes in Michigan from child abuse and sexual assault was approved today by the Michigan House with overwhelming support.Griffin, of Mattawan, said the measure is part of a comprehensive bipartisan plan to fix problems brought to light by the House’s inquiry into the handling of the Larry Nassar sexual assault investigation.Griffin’s legislation, House Bill 4376, includes athletic trainers in a list of professionals required to report evidence of child abuse, neglect and sexual abuse.“Trainers work very closely with young athletes, putting them in a position where they’re likely to pick up on signs of abuse or neglect,” said Griffin, who was a competitive gymnast as a child and has also coached youth sports, including gymnastics. “Increasing the number of adults who are proactive in identifying and reporting abuse will better protect Michigan children.”Current law requires a number of licensed professionals – including teachers, doctors, social workers and dentists – to report signs of abuse to the proper authorities. A separate measure approved by the House today, House Bill 4108, would add physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to the list.As a former teacher, Griffin herself was a mandatory reporter.“The experiences relayed by the young girls involved in the Nassar case hit home for all of us, especially those of us with children,” Griffin said. “I’m proud to be a part of a solution that will help protect young athletes in the future.”The bills now advance to the Senate for consideration.###last_img read more

Houstons Lunch Angel Descends to Show School Meal Programs Right Path

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first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 5, 2015; Click 2 HoustonThe U.S. school lunch program has been around for almost 70 years now, but some schools still struggle to get it right. That’s where Kenny “Lunch Angel” Thompson comes in. Last year, Thompson, a tutor and mentor at a Houston elementary school, helped pay the delinquent lunch accounts for over 60 elementary school children with almost $500 out of his own pocket.“I talked to the principal of the school and made it known that I didn’t want to ever see that again,” said Thompson. “I wanted to make a difference, and decided to pay off the lunch balances for the kids.”Children whose parents had not filled their lunch balances were consequently forced to eat alternative meals, often sandwiches of cold cheese slices or peanut butter and jelly, instead of hot lunches. Many of the students were already receiving reduced-cost lunches when they were placed on the alternate meal plans. Students would skip the lunch line to avoid the embarrassing and humiliating prospects of not being able to afford their meals.“It was horrifying; it broke my heart,” Thompson said last year. “These are elementary kids. They’re not bankers, and not responsible for the financial issues in the household.”His good deed quickly went viral, and donations started pouring in from places as far away as Australia, Europe, and South America. With these contributions, Thompson created the nonprofit Feed the Future Forward specifically to help students pay for their school meals.From that one school district, Thompson’s work has expanded to nearly 141 schools and 150,000 students in seven school districts. After a year of work, these schools have either completely or significantly eliminated the number of students being given alternative meals.“Never in a million years in my wildest dreams did I think [we’d] be sitting here a year later and talking about what we’ve accomplished,” says Thompson.The problem, of course, doesn’t start and end in Houston. If a student’s lunch balance was unpaid at a school in Utah, the school simply threw the lunches away and gave the student milk and a piece of fruit instead.Indeed, the merit of school meals is hotly debated nationally, as can be seen from the Twitter campaign #ThanksMichelleObama (in reference to the First Lady’s strong push for healthier lunches) and the interesting comparisons between America’s school lunches and those of other countries.Perhaps as a result of the changing and more dominant role schools play in students’ lives, the onus has been placed on schools to ensure students are fed. And with stricter USDA guidelines for calories, sugar, and fat intake, schools must also seriously contend not just with serving food, but with what exactly they are to serve.But should the responsibility to feed the country’s children nutritional, healthy meals remain solely with schools? Or, as seen with the “Lunch Angel,” is it a communal responsibility for which parents must also be held accountable?—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

The Power of Youth Protest

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first_imgShare3TweetShare2Email5 Shares“Protest Rally on O’Connell Street” by William MurphyApril 30, 2017; New York TimesIs an Arab Spring-style uprising bubbling up across Europe? Thousands of youth protestors recently took to the streets in Slovakia for an anti-corruption march, on the heels of similar protests in Romania, Macedonia, and Hungary, where academic freedom is under fire. Pushback against corruption has also roiled Russia, where young people remain as Vladimir Putin’s “long-term challenge.”.There are a few factors driving the trend, if it can be called that: corruption, the rise of nationalism and populism, and new generations finding their place in civil society. As the New York Times assessed:Corruption has been a stubborn problem in many of the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe. Things have grown so bad that some analysts now speak in terms of “state capture”—where all major state institutions are effectively in the hands of corrupt politicians and untouchable oligarchs. The problem is entering an even more critical stage, as authoritarian-minded leaders leverage the rise of nationalism and populism to consolidate power.But, “corruption is not the only target of the demonstrations,” the Times reports, although it can be a catch-all for leaders consolidating power by weakening civil society, the rule of law, and a free press. The recent protests are also capturing attention because of the young age of the participants. And, the same issues have ignited protest in other parts of the world, as well, including Venezuela, and Brazil.Here in the U.S., we’ve seen waves being made by large-scale protests, including the Women’s March, March for Science, Tax Day, May Day, and the Climate Change march. However, U.S. resistance efforts have appeared to be more multi-generational, although sporadic actions at colleges and high schools have popped up and longer-term movements like Black Lives Matter are fueled by young energy.Of course, the rise of social media and declining employment following a global recession could be fueling new movements, as was largely the case with the so-called Arab Spring (not to mention climate change acting as a threat multiplier).Senator John McCain also pointed to the ripple effects of the international refugee crisis as a factor in the uprisings in an opinion piece in the Washington Post calling for more American involvement in the region:First, the United States has to show up. As the prime minister of one southeastern European country told me, in no other region of the world do the words of American leaders carry greater weight or have a greater chance of spurring meaningful action toward progress. That is why sustained engagement and more frequent visits to the region by high-ranking U.S. officials to the region are so important…Finally, the United States must stand by the right of every nation in southeastern Europe to choose its own future free from outside interference, whether that be from an aggressive Russia that seeks to redraw the borders of Europe through violence or the terrorists who seek to destroy our common civilization. Expanding and deepening security cooperation with our regional allies and partners is essential.We must be prepared to uphold this commitment again in southeastern Europe, for the lessons of history are clear: We ignore this region at our own peril.Unfortunately, increasing American engagement abroad is not a top priority for the current administration, which has proposed devastating cuts to the State Department and has a mixed record on promoting human rights so far. However, politicians on both sides of the aisle have denounced the draft budget proposal.Can political parties abroad afford to ignore the youth bloc? According to an op-ed written by Ivan Krastev, the chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies, in the Times, the answer is unclear:Ruling parties can certainly decide to ignore the protests of the young. The reality in Central Europe is that, thanks to low birthrates and emigration, young people are a small and shrinking minority. According to 2016 government-sponsored report, one-third of Hungarians between 18 and 29 would consider moving away… But while ignoring the demands of the youth appears to be a promising electoral stratagem—it is easier to play on the fears of the old generations than to satisfy the hopes of the younger ones—it is ultimately self-defeating both socially and economically.Quartz points the finger back at those youth, who haven’t shown up at the ballot box despite their concerns, while identifying a hopeful trend.More than half of 18- to 34-year-olds in 35 countries said they would actively participate in a large-scale uprising against the generation in power if it happened in the next days or months. Lesson learned—want to engage the next generation? Take to the streets!—Anna BerryShare3TweetShare2Email5 Shareslast_img read more

US premium network HBO has promoted Richard Pleple

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US premium network HBO has promoted Richard Plepler to chief executive following the retirement of Bill Nelson. Plepler was previously co-president of HBO, a role he shared with Eric Kessler since 2007. As part of the new management structure, Kessler will become president and chief operating officer and Michael Lombardo will serve as president of programming. Both will report to Plepler.Nelson has been chairman and chief executive of HBO since 2007 and before that he was chief operating officer. Plepler, in partnership with Lombardo, has been responsible for greenlighting many of HBO’s hit series including Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, The Newsroom and Game of Thrones.“Bill and I have worked together for many, many years and though I’m sad to see him leave, I respect his decision to enjoy retirement. He is a world-class CEO and leaves the company well-positioned for the future,” said Jeff Bewkes, chairman and CEO of HBO parent company Time Warner.“HBO has been my home for almost 30 years so this decision was an emotional one. With my elevation to CEO more than five years ago, we set an ambitious agenda for HBO, and I’m proud to say that I feel the company has never been in better shape financially or creatively. I feel very comfortable in taking this step now because I know HBO will continue in its tradition of innovation and acclaimed programming and retain its superior position in our industry in the hands of Richard, Eric, Mike and the entire team,” added Nelson. read more

French content creators group SACD has expressed s

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first_imgFrench content creators group SACD has expressed strong concern at what it sees as procrastination on the part of the EC in its examination of the legality of France’s tax on service providers to support audiovisual content creation.The SACD said that the tax had been reformed and lowered by the French government last year. The government then notified the EC of the changes, but met with resistance from the EC’s DG Connect. The SACD condemned the delay in approving the changes, which it said allowed ISPs to escape responsibility for contributing to content creation and which had an adverse impact on the finances of the French Centre National du Cinéma (CNC). The SACD said that there was no justification for granting exemption from the tax to ISPs.last_img read more

SESs broadcast services unit SES Platform Service

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first_imgSES’s broadcast services unit SES Platform Services has signed a deal to broadcast TV channel Fashion One.The channel, which offers lifestyle news, celebrity profiles, holiday programmes and red carpet events, will be delivered in the clear from 19.2° East from today.“We are pleased to work with SES’ broadcasting solution and provide additional access to our viewers in Europe,” said Ashley Jordan, CEO of Fashion One. “Following our recent milestone of launching our recent European headquarters in Antwerp, the 19.2 degrees East orbital will allow us to further expand with a potential reach of 110 million television households in Europe.”last_img read more

French cable operator Numericable has added seven

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first_imgFrench cable operator Numericable has added seven new channels to its multiscreen offering, taking the total number of channels available to 55, including 13 exclusive channels.New channels on the offering, available on tablets and smartphones, include Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, MCM, Kombat Sport, Gulli, June and Mezzo Live HD.Numericable TV subscribers can view the channels by downloading a TV Mobile application, available for the Android and iOS platforms.last_img

African channels Benie TV and Ouest TV have chosen

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first_imgAfrican channels Benie TV and Ouest TV have chosen Globecast to distribute their programming via satellite to new audiences in West Africa.The two channels are now part of the Canalsat bouquet delivered on the SES-4 satellite, with Globecast providing transmission services.“Viewers in French-speaking African countries are hungry for news programming and specialized content, so joining SES-4 platform is a tremendous opportunity for Benie TV and Ouest TV,” said Lionel Antoine, sales manager Africa for Globecast.“The diversity of CANALSAT offer and our leadership position in the African market, enable us to provide the service levels these channels need to achieve a maximum visibility with their target audiences.”last_img read more

The European Commission has opened an indepth in

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first_imgThe European Commission has opened an “in-depth investigation” into Liberty Global’s planned buyout of Ziggo after voicing concerns that the deal “may reduce competition” in the Netherlands. In a statement, the Commission said that it will assess whether the deal is in line with EU merger regulations, adding it is worried the deal may limit competition in a number of pay TV and telecommunications markets in the country.“The Commission’s initial market investigation indicated that the proposed acquisition would raise competition concerns in the Dutch markets for: the acquisition of individual Dutch language audio visual content; the acquisition of TV channels; the wholesale supply of premium pay TV film channels; and the retail provision of fixed internet access, TV and fixed telephony services,” said the Commission which will now take until 18 September 2014 to make a decision on the matter.The Commission said that the merger would bring together two of the main players in the Dutch market and the only two suppliers of premium pay TV film channels. Liberty, through its subsidiary UPC, and Ziggo both currently own cable networks in the country.“At the wholesale level, the Commission found that the proposed acquisition could significantly increase the merged entity’s negotiation power towards content owners and TV channels suppliers. This could, in turn, negatively affect its competitors in retail pay TV and Dutch end consumers,” said the Commission.It added that the proposed deal could also reduce the competition for the wholesale supply of premium pay TV film channels by combining the Netherlands’ only two linear film channels – Film1 and HBO.The commission also said that the merged entity may have the ability to shut out competition from new OTT rivals, and claimed that, more broadly, the removal of Ziggo as an autonomous player could allow the remaining competitors in the market, particularly the merged company and KPN, to “coordinate their competitive behaviour and increase prices or delay investments.”The news will comes as a blow to Liberty, which only this week said it believed it was on track to complete the Ziggo deal in the second half of this year.“We understand that the European Commission has nearly completed its phase one investigation into our proposed acquisition of Ziggo, the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, and that the case is likely to move to a second phase at the EU level. No final decision has been taken, but we continue to expect closing to occur in the second half of 2014,” said Liberty CEO Mike Fries in the firm’s Q1 earnings announcement.last_img read more

Tatarstanbased service provider Tattelecom is to

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first_imgTatarstan-based service provider Tattelecom is to begin the commercial launch its new mobile TV service, Fly TV, at the beginning of July, according to local reports. According to Russian trade site ComNews, citing the company’s marketing director Alexander Smirnov, Tattelecom plans to launch a 40-channel service divided into three packages, combining pay and free services.The commercial launch follows a three-month testof the service, which made Fly TV available to Tattelecom subscribers equipped with Android and iOS devices.Smirnov told ComNews that Tattelecom plans to sign up 100,000 subscribers to he service by the end of this year. Mobile TV services from Russian national operators MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom are already available in Tatarstan.Tattelecom singed up Russian technology provider SPB TV at the end of last year t deliver the service, SPB TV provides the technology for broadcaster Amedia’s Amediatek OTT service.last_img read more

TV search and recommendations firm ThinkAnalytics

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first_imgTV search and recommendations firm ThinkAnalytics claims that more than 150 million subscribers now benefit from its technology after winning “several major new OTT contracts in North America and Europe” last year.The firm signed up new customers last year including Fox, Sony, Sunrise, Get and Viaplay, and has now seen Liberty Global roll out its technology as part of its Horizon platform in five countries.The company claims that more than 60 video service providers in over 30 countries have now selected it across Europe, the Americas and Asia, and that its technology now supports 22 languages worldwide, up from 17 in 2013. The firm also said that its revenue grew by 50% year-on-year in 2014 and that profits were up 200% over the same period.last_img read more

BBC Worldwides new premium drama channel BBC Fir

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first_imgBBC Worldwide’s new premium drama channel, BBC First, is set to make its European debut in the Netherlands next month. The BBC’s commercial arm said that the BBC First channel will launch in Europe on terrestrial provider KPN on May 16, with further platforms to follow throughout the Benelux region.The channel will air series including Wolf Hall, The Musketeers, Silent Witness and Last Tango in Halifax.“The Netherlands is an important territory for us and I am delighted that BBC First will make its European debut in this sophisticated market. Our channel roll out here signifies the greater level of commitment BBC Worldwide is making to reach its global audiences,” said Paul Dempsey, president for global markets at BBC Worldwide.Jaap Postma, director consumer-market at KPN said: “All BBC channels are high quality, and this new channel brand brings together premium series and crime dramas with Dutch subtitles that make it easier to watch…The channel will be free to watch at channel 23 for everybody that has Interactieve TV from KPN.”BBC First rolled out initially last year as a full linear service in Australia, on the Foxtel pay TV platform. It is also set to launch as a branded block on Sony’s AXN Mystery channel in Japan.BBC First will join BBC Worldwide’s pan-regional channel BBC Entertainment Europe and the rest of the UK BBC Public Service Channels currently carried by operators in The Netherlands.last_img read more

NBC Universal has invested US200 million €180 mi

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first_imgNBC Universal has invested US$200 million (€180 million) in news and viral media site Buzzfeed, with the companies due to explore “strategic partnerships” in the coming months.Commenting on the deal, NBCU CEO, Steve Burke, said that Buzzfeed is “among the most creative, popular and influential new media players” and uses technology, data and “superior editorial abilities” to create and share content.“BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal will be great strategic partners and we both have a lot to offer the other,” said BuzzFeed’s executive chairman, Kenneth Lerer. “We look forward to collaborating on television content, movies, the Olympics, and joint partnerships with ad agencies and brands.”The investment comes a week after NBCU also invested US$200 million in Vox Media – the parent company of digital brands like tech site The Verge, news site Vox.com and sports site SB Nation.last_img read more

Middle East pay TV broadcaster BeIN Media has begu

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first_imgMiddle East pay TV broadcaster BeIN Media has begun publishing a range of 360° video content on its website.The operator said that the move was designed to enable sports fans to enjoy a stadium-like-experience, manoeuvring in every direction within the stadium.The company said it planned to add more 360° videos in the future. Olivier Dufour, beIN Director of Digital said, “Our customers in MENA are extremely passionate about sports. Their expectations from beIN are extremely high. As a company we want to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve by constantly innovating. Launch of 360 degree videos is another step towards ensuring that beIN is the best sports platform in the region.”last_img read more

Intelsat 33e Intelsats new high throughput satell

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first_imgIntelsat 33eIntelsat’s new high throughput satellite, Intelsat 33e, successfully completed all in-orbit testing and entered service on January 29.The satellite is the second Intelsat Epic-branded high throughput satellite (HTS) to go into service and will extend the satellite operator’s C-, Ku- and Ka-band footprint across the Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions.Intelsat 33e’s spot beams can distribute regionalised content for media customers operating in the region. The satellite is also able to deliver broadband services to fixed and mobile network operators, aeronautical and maritime mobility service providers and government customers.Intelsat Epic services were launched in March 2016 with Intelsat 29e, which is located at 310° East and offers a footprint spanning the Americas, the Caribbean, Eastern United States and the burgeoning North Atlantic region.last_img read more

Telia TV4 Group Discovery Networks and Modern Ti

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first_imgTelia, TV4 Group, Discovery Networks and Modern Times Group (MTG) have teamed up to launch a new targeted advertising initiative in Sweden.The three broadcast groups have teamed up with Telia to provide dynamic advertising insertion on the Telia Play service, delivering localised advertising to individual subscribers based on the screen used and the location of the user.Mathias BergThe four groups have jointly developed a new solution for dynamically tailored advertising, enabling adverts to be customised based on a wide set of parameters.Targeting can be based on the approximate geographic area in which the subscriber is located, the channel being viewed, screen size and device type.TV4 is already customizing its advertising using the solution, and Discovery and MTG are now launching their own targeted advertising.Mathias Berg, operations manager at TV4 parent Bonnier Broadcasting said that the new solution provided a future-proof model for offering dynamic advertising on platforms other than TV4’s own. He said he expected the technology to become an industry standard for all TV players in the Swedish market.last_img read more

Skys recent spat with Discovery was resolved at t

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first_imgSky’s recent spat with Discovery was resolved at the 11th hour, but the acrimony on both sides was clear, writes Kate Bulkley. Big businesses in the TV world (or anywhere else, for that matter) are complicated, nuanced operations. At some point, it’s almost certain they will suffer from a classic case known as ‘the swan syndrome’ – while everything might look serene on the surface, there’s a lot of frantic panic paddling going on just underneath the waves.Sky’s ‘swan’ moment broke the surface recently and we all got a good look at what was going on. Not only did the pay TV giant’s most recent financial results show a profit plunge of 18% at its UK business for the six months to the end of December 2016, but the churn rate of people disconnecting from its services rose to 11.6%, up from 10.2% in the same period in 2015.If this were not enough to get the analysts sharpening their pencils, the same week the results were announced, one of Sky’s biggest independent suppliers, Discovery Communications, threatened to pull all its 13 channels, including Eurosport, off of the Sky platform because it claimed Sky was not prepared to pay it enough to carry its services. Discovery accused Sky of leveraging its “dominant market position” to pay the content provider less than it received a decade ago.These are not unconnected events. Sky’s dominant position in the UK – a market that provides 90% of the pan-European broadcaster’s profits – is facing increased threats on several fronts. Rival BT’s entrance into the sports market has added a deep-pocketed and savvy rival bidder for key rights.Separately, the amount paid for channels to be on the Sky platform is one area where Sky and any pay TV provider looks to drive a hard bargain, particularly when churn numbers are running high. The Sky-Discovery dispute was resolved at the 11th hour and a new carriage fee deal agreed. The details of which were not made public, but the acrimony on both sides was clear.What all this shows is the pressure on the traditional linear TV platforms to perform in an increasingly competitive world. Consumers have increasing amounts of choice, not least from big digital players like Netflix and Amazon, as well as home-grown, on-demand services delivered on broadband. Meanwhile, Google, Facebook and others are also adding more and more video content to their offers and becoming more telly-like. Even messaging app Snapchat is getting into the video game, for example, striking a recent deal with BBC Worldwide for exclusive content from the BBC’s Planet Earth II series for its Snapchat Discover platform, content that aired a day ahead of the linear debut of the programme on TV in the US and Canada.For Sky all this change is happening even as the pay TV giant is about to be wholly bought by 21st Century Fox in an £11.7bn (e13.8 billion) takeover, currently wending its way through the regulatory process in the UK and Europe. Putting Sky together with Fox is part of a bigger strategic plan by Rupert Murdoch and sons to add scale and clout to better compete in individual markets but also against the big digital players like Netflix and Google which have global footprints, deep pockets and big ambitions.The pressure has never been greater on Sky. So it should come as no surprise that CEO Jeremy Darroch took the occasion of its recent results to announce a new Sky product – a dish-less version of its pay TV offering. Set to launch next year, this will include the full slate of Sky’s TV channels delivered over broadband.Of course, Sky has dipped its toe in the OTT waters already with its Now TV service, a pay TV-lite product, with an estimated 500,000 subscribers to date, and in Germany Sky has launched an OTT service called Sky Ticket. But this newly mooted full-fat, Sky OTT service is in a whole new ball-park. This  ‘new era’ product will greatly appeal to Sky’s chairman James Murdoch who has always been more of a ‘digital’ guy than his father.Coupled with recent programming strategy shifts, Sky is embracing competitive realities. While football will remain an expensive but likely must-have feature on Sky’s shopping list, recent big decisions towards factual entertainment and away from factual documentaries and new comedy are part of a plan to create format shows that can be long-running and exportable.Sky’s head of content in the UK, Zai Bennett, wants a Big Brother-type series that it can re-commission across seasons and exploit on platforms around the world. Bennett called out Vin Diesel’s The Fast And The Furious, saying what he wants is a TV series like that – with the impact of a big Hollywood movie.  The appetite for drama series has never been higher and Sky has six drama series set to air this year at budget of  £25 million each. Perhaps surprisingly, Bennett is also thinking outside of the linear channel box: “We are not a linear channels business. We are a multi-platform business and the linear channels are a shop window,” he said in a recent interview.Sky is having to transform its business and it’s far from alone; there are a lot of swans out there all furiously paddling.Kate Bulkley is a broadcaster and writer specialising in media and telecommunications. tellkatenow@aol.comlast_img read more

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first_imgShareTweet A DERRY man accused of raiding three homes in one night in the city was found lying  unconscious by the side of a road, a court has heard.Adam McMonagle, (27), had allegedly broken into a 71-year-old woman’s home to steal a mobile phone as part of a crime spree in the city last month, prosecutors claim.Another resident discovered 20 boxes of diazepam pills and a tablet computer were missing. Mr Maguire said the suspect then staggered away, apparently intoxicated, towards the main entrance of the Gleneagles development.Residents alerted police to the suspect and police found him unconscious on the road.McMonagle was woken up by police who searched his person and allegedly found the pensioner’s mobile phone and a quantity of Xanax tablets.During subsequent police interviews, McMonagle claimed another man sold the phone for £20.The prosecution said police were opposed to McMonagle being released on bail.But his defence barrister argued that there was no forensic or identification evidence linking his client to the house raids.High Court judge Madam Justice McBride refused bail, stating: “There are concerns about the risk to the public.” McMonagle, of Carranbane Walk in the city, is charged with three counts of burglary, interference with vehicles and possessing Class C drugs.The raids on the homes were carried out in Gleneagles, Fern Park and Clon Elagh on August 7.Prosecution counsel Conor Maguire said the oldest victim’s home was targeted while she was getting ready for bed.Another resident startled the suspected burglar as he tried car and door handles in the neighbourhood.center_img DERRY BURGLARY SUSPECT FOUND UNCONSCIOUS ON ROAD, COURT HEARS was last modified: September 7th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ADAM MCMONAGLECARRANBANE WALKCLON ELAGHCOURT HEARSDERRY BURGLARY SUSPECT FOUND UNCONSCIOUS ON ROADFERN PARKGLENEAGLESPSNIlast_img read more