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by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 13 2018 750

first_img by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 13, 2018 7:50 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Vancouver’s Robert Markus lands lead in Toronto production of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Actor Robert Markus is shown in this undated handout photo. Vancouver native Robert Markus will star in an upcoming Canadian production of the smash stage musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” Producers say he’ll play the title role in the show that’s set to begin performances at Mirvish Productions’ Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto on March 5. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Mirvish Productions TORONTO — Vancouver native Robert Markus will star in an upcoming Canadian production of the smash stage musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”Producers say he’ll play the title role in the show that’s set to begin performances at Mirvish Productions’ Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto on March 5.It’s the first international production of the show, which won six Tony Awards last year, including best musical.“Dear Evan Hansen” follows a teenager with social anxiety disorder and his struggles to fit in.The same creative team behind the Broadway production will launch the Toronto run.Markus has performed at the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, and theatres in Toronto, Calgary, Hamilton and London, Ont.Producers say they conducted a country-wide search for more than eight months to find their star.“Evan Hansen is a very difficult role to perform. It requires a strong and versatile voice to do justice to the brilliant score. It is an acting challenge. In fact, it is one of those roles that is almost impossible to fill,” producer David Mirvish said in a statement.“The actor playing it must not only be able to scale the acting and singing challenges, but also be able to lead the entire acting company (and) Robert Markus meets all these criteria and more.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgGaga, ‘A Star Is Born’ poised to dominate Golden Globes AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK — When the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards get underway Sunday night, who takes home statuettes is only a small part of the intrigue.What the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Beverly Hills, California, ceremony lacks in gravitas it usually makes up for in freewheeling frivolity and fun. The free-flowing booze helps.This year’s show, which will be broadcast live Sunday on NBC at 8 p.m. EST following an hour of red-carpet pre-show coverage, likely has awards in store for Bradley Cooper’s Oscar front-runner “A Star Is Born,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ period romp “The Favourite,” the Amazon comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Ryan Murphy’s anthology series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”Lady Gaga is poised to win not just one but two awards, for best actress in a drama and for the song “Shallow,” from “A Star Is Born.” (Gaga, who won a Globe in 2016 for her “American Horror Story: Hotel” performance, would still fall short of the three Globes won by Barbra Streisand for the 1976 version of “A Star Is Born.”)But the ceremony might hinge most on just what kind of party the Globes can muster this year. Last year’s ceremony, atypically serious for the Globes, was the first major awards show after the birth of the #MeToo movement following the Harvey Weinstein revelations. Female attendees wore black in solidarity. Presenter Natalie Portman pointedly introduced the “all male” directing nominees.A year later, little dust has settled. Hollywood remains consumed with gender inequality and highly placed men have continued to fall. This year’s best director nominees are also all male again.How much these subjects will be discussed in the broadcast, to be hosted by the unexpected pairing of Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, is unknown. Samberg and Oh have said they’re hoping to set a lively and carefree tone . Oh, the star of the BBC America drama series “Killing Eve,” is also a nominee.Last year’s show, like a lot of recent awards shows, saw ratings decline. Some 19 million tuned in to the Seth Meyers-hosted broadcast, an 11-per cent decline in viewership.This year, NBC has one thing in its favour: an NFL lead in. Ahead of the Globes, NBC is broadcasting the late afternoon Wild Card game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles.The array of nominees that have been sizable box office hits may potentially help the Globes, none more than Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther,” up for best picture (drama) and score. “A Star is Born,” which is expected to dominate the drama side of the movie awards, recently passed $200 million in domestic ticket sales.Adam McKay’s highly critical Dick Cheney portrait “Vice,” starring Christian Bale, comes in with a leading six nominations. While music-heavy films “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” opted to contend in the Globes’ drama categories, “Vice” tops the comedy-musical nominees, though it’s closely trailed by multiple nominees, including “The Favourite” and “Green Book,” Peter Farrelly’s interracial road trip tale starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.At stake are not just Golden Globes awards but Oscar momentum. Voting for the Academy Awards nominations begins Monday.Jeff Bridges will receive the Globes’ honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award. A similar television achievement award is also being launched, dubbed the Carol Burnett Award. Its first honoree will be Burnett, herself.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: complete coverage of the Golden Globes visit: Coyle, The Associated Presscenter_img by Jake Coyle, The Associated Press Posted Jan 6, 2019 3:52 am PDTlast_img read more

Shots fired during police chase in Larnaca

first_imgPolice in Larnaca fired shots in the early morning hours to stop a truck that was reported stolen and arrested a 21-year-old man.At around 1:30am on Friday, police said they received information about a suspicious vehicle in the Aradhippou area.After going to the area to investigate, officers saw a small truck that was carrying wheels and tyres with two people inside.Police signalled to the driver to stop, but he accelerated in an attempt to get away, prompting officers to give chase.During the chase, officers fired at the truck’s tyres to force it to stop. It eventually came to a halt after crashing into the patrol vehicle and its passengers tried to flee on foot.Officers caught one of the men, the 21-year-old suspect, while the other one managed to escape.Police said the 21-year-old initially resisted arrest but was eventually apprehended.From investigations that followed, it was determined that the truck had been stolen a few hours earlier from the Aradhippou area, while the wheels, tyres, and other objects inside the vehicle were also found to be stolen.Police said they had evidence linking the suspect with two more crimes – a break-in at a petrol station and a kiosk in the Larnaca district which occurred on August 29. From the petrol station, a motorbike was stolen and from the kiosk, an unknown amount of money, as well as many packets of cigarettes, were taken.You May LikeQuizGrizAlmost Nobody Aces This Baseball Quiz!QuizGrizUndoFlipopularStars That Have Aged FlawlesslyFlipopularUndoHistory By DayTop 50 Netflix Original ShowsHistory By DayUndo UK plays Brexit hardball with ‘stubborn’ EUUndoVerstappen wins crazy German Grand PrixUndoFresh case of Blue Nile virus in northUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Lauwers helps purchase prize lamb on behalf of House Agriculture Committee

first_img25Jul Rep. Lauwers helps purchase prize lamb on behalf of House Agriculture Committee Trent George of Niles stands with his prize lamb at the Michigan Livestock Auction in East Lansing. From left, are Andy Kok, Tyler Ernst, Jason Scramlin and Amelia Miller, of the Michigan Farm Bureau; and Rep. Dan Lauwers of Brockway Township.State Rep. Dan Lauwers helped purchase a showcase lamb on behalf of the state House Agriculture Committee at this week’s Michigan Livestock Auction at the Ag Expo in East Lansing.Lauwers, a farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee, helped pitch in part of the necessary funds to purchase the animal, which was designated as a Showcase Market Lamb.  Along with the House Agriculture Committee, several businesses and the Michigan Farm Bureau helped purchase the lamb.Lauwers represented the committee at the annual auction.“I’ve always been impressed by the support of Michigan food and agriculture companies at these important auctions,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township.  “I want to thank everyone for investing in today’s youth, whether with their dollars or volunteer efforts.  These events do a world of good for young people today.”A portion of the money generated from the animal sales are given to the young people who exhibited them as well as to a scholarship fund for participants.  Since 2000, the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships and educational awards to outstanding youth who have exhibited at livestock events in Michigan. Categories: Lauwers News,Lauwers Photoslast_img read more

Rep Afendoulis invites residents to November office hours

first_imgNo appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Afendoulis office at (517) 373-0218 or by email at 15Nov Rep. Afendoulis invites residents to November office hours State Rep. Chris Afendoulis today announced his upcoming office hours for the month of November.“Office hours are the best way for people to express their questions or concerns about state government,” Afendoulis said. “I encourage everyone to attend my office hours.”Rep. Afendoulis will be available at the following time and location:Tuesday, Nov. 217:30 to 9 a.m. at the Red Hot Inn, 3175 Leonard St. NE in Grand Rapids.center_img Categories: Afendoulis Newslast_img read more

Language Please People Take Global Warming Much More Seriously than Climate Change

first_imgShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares May 27, 2014;LiveScienceLet’s remind ourselves once again that language matters. Communications requires not only that you say something, but that the other person hears it, too. So understanding which words evoke which responses matters.A new study based on two surveys has found that many people respond more urgently to the term “global warming” than to “climate change.”“The studies found that the two terms are often not synonymous—they mean different things to different people—and activate different sets of beliefs, feelings and behaviors, as well as different degrees of urgency about the need to respond,” wrote the researchers. “Global warming refers to the increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature since the Industrial Revolution, primarily due to the emission of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels and land-use change, whereas climate change refers to the long-term change of the Earth’s climate, including changes in temperature, precipitation and wind patterns over a period of several decades or longer.”The media tends to use the terms interchangeably. Not so politicians, however. According to a 2011 study, conservatives tend to use the words “global warming” while liberals use “climate change.”For purposes of this newswire, we will look only to the second survey, where half of the participants were questioned using the term “climate change” and half questioned using the term “global warming.” What they found was that Americans are more concerned, threatened, and moved to act on “global warming” than on “climate change.”76 percent of those asked if “global warming” was bad said yes, as compared to 63 percent of those asked if “climate change” was bad15 percent of Americans feel “very worried” about global warming, versus 9 percent about climate change38 percent feel that global warming could harm them, as opposed to 30 percent who felt that way about climate change29 percent would take action against “global warming,” while only 23 percent who would fight “climate change.”People believe equally that “global warming” and “climate change” are indeed happening, but 27 percent of Americans feel “extremely sure” that “global warming” is happening, as opposed to 20 percent who said they felt that way about “climate change.”Men are 12 percent more likely to believe that “global warming” is happening than that “climate change” is happening.People between 31 and 48 are a full 21 percent more likely to believe in global warming over climate change.Self-described political liberals are 19 percent more likely to feel that extreme certainty when the term “global warming” is used, compared with “climate change”And finallyRepublicans are equally skeptical of both terms—Ruth McCambridgeShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shareslast_img read more

Personal Art Collection or TaxExempt Museum The Rules Are Vague

first_imgShare8Tweet1ShareEmail9 SharesJanuary 11, 2015; New York TimesThe New York Times reports that super-wealthy art collectors are establishing increasing numbers of limited-access, tax-exempt museums. These exclusive museums are often located on or near the property of the collector and offer the opportunity to have taxpayers subsidize and maintain multimillion-dollar purchases without providing the public much benefit.This issue connects to our recent coverage of the increases in philanthropy to elite institutions, but the IRS rules are unclear on what qualifies a private museum for a federal tax break, although most experts would agree that public access is an important consideration.The author of this article thinks the question must be seen in the context of a larger set of concerns about the wealth gap. Patricia Cohen writes, “At a time when concerns about inequality have heightened criticism of government policies that favor the wealthiest sliver of society, these tax breaks have come under sharper scrutiny.”Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, says, “I’m not against it being done, but it’s got to be done well. If there’s to be a public forgiveness for taxes there should be a clear public benefit, and it should not be entirely at the discretion of the person running the museum or foundation.”Of course, such museums in former private residences are not unusual. The quirky Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the embattled Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia (although it has since been moved from its original space), the Frick Collection in New York, and the Phillips Collection in Washington are all well-respected examples of such collections that do, in fact, host tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.On the other hand, Mitchell and Emily Wei Rales are said to have one of the world’s best collections of postwar art by such masters as Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock. (Mitchell Rales is the founder of the global Danaher Corporation.) Their Glenstone museum in Potomac, Maryland, founded in 2006 and with assets of more than $702 million including the art, is separated on a historic estate from the residence of its founders by only a duck pond. It hosted but 10,000 visitors between 2006 and 2013; only small, accompanied groups can visit it, and then only by appointment. In fact, the museum is now closed to the public until June, having just concluded its most recent exhibition.Similarly, the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont, also founded by a wealthy CEO, Andrew J. Hall of Astenbeck Capital Management, closes to the public between December and May. The museum opened recently, in the fall of 2013, and has only hosted 1500 visitors but has $38 million in total assets.“The basis for a museum being a tax-exempt nonprofit is that it’s educational, but to be educational, you have to provide access to the public,” said Lloyd Mayer, a professor at Notre Dame Law School. “The question is, ‘What is enough?’”Marcus S. Owens, the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, says that the IRS is concerned about locations “physically adjacent to the owner’s home or office” because it implies that the art is more for the enjoyment of the owner than the public. “Those strike me as too clever by half,” he said.Owens made reference to one case where tax-exempt status was revoked for a collector who claimed the sculptures near his pool were available for public viewing: “The fact that no effort was made to advise the general public of the availability of the garden through publicity or signs on the premises,” the IRS said in its 1987 ruling, “indicates an attempt to control and limit the size and timing of groups visiting the property.”Inviting small groups for private viewing was not seen as sufficient. But there are loopholes. Private operating foundations can qualify for a tax exemption without allowing visitors, and lending out works, giving grants, or making a collection available to researchers can also qualify an organization for tax exemption.Ralph E. Lerner, a co-author of Art Law: The Guide for Collectors, Investors, Dealers and Artists, says you do not need to provide public access necessarily, but, he emphasized, “you’ve got to obey the rules,” such as keeping the art out of your home when it is not on loan. “Don’t tell me you’re having one dinner party and moving it over for two hours.” (Collectors used to be able to donate works to a museum while remaining able to keep the art in their homes while they were still alive. A change in the tax law in 2006 outlawed that practice.)The Art Law guide advises that a private operating foundation may be perfect “for a collector who wants the tax benefits of donating his art collection yet cannot cope with losing total control over the collection.” Lerner says that applying the tax code “in a creative manner…gives the ability to have your cake and eat it too.”Lerner disagrees that setting up these museums on donor estates is abusive of the law. Pointing to the Frick and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, he said that the institutions, once built, could become more open over time. “If you take the long view,” he said, “I think it’s good for the arts.”If you take the short view, however, this practice looks like one more way to live very high on taxpayer dollars.—Ruth McCambridgeShare8Tweet1ShareEmail9 Shareslast_img read more

Capturing and Preserving the Memories of Holocaust Survivors

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 8, 2015; WashingtonianToday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls square on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp back in 1945. Museums and institutions around the world stand witness to the genocide that killed more than 10 million people and honor its importance and our memories of it. HBO globally released the much-awaited documentary of the liberation of the concentration camps, Night Will Fall, which includes long-lost graphic footage captured by soldiers and an editorial contribution from Alfred Hitchcock. The Museum of Jewish Heritage will be ringing the closing bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite and will also be holding a storytelling event featuring the children of Holocaust survivors recounting their experiences growing up and inheriting the stories of the Shoah.Holocaust museums have for decades depended on stories by survivors as poignant and humanizing features accompanying their visual exhibits. These firsthand accounts are particularly important now as more and more generations become removed from the history. According to a poll last year by the Anti-Defamation League, of the 53,000 people surveyed, more than half (54 percent) had never heard of the Holocaust. And with anti-Semitic activity building in Europe over the past several years—most recently the terrorist attacks in France—there appears to be a preemptive crisis in preserving the history of the Holocaust. What will museums do once these survivors, some of their best tools for educating the public, are gone?“We are, you know, a finite group,” says Halina Yasharoff Peabody, a survivor.  Like other survivors, Halina volunteers her time at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington to share her experiences at a concentration camp. She was just six when Hitler invaded Poland in the preliminary years of the Second World War. Now, 70 years after its conclusion, Yasharoff is turning 82 and, like her fellow survivors, will one day no longer be able to tell her story.As noted by Sarah Wildman in her article for the Washingtonian, survivors are a large part of why Holocaust museums like the U.S. Holocaust Museum came into existence in the first place—as forums to collect and preserve history where survivors and their stories are welcome, years after they were ousted from their homes and labeled social pariahs, whether as Jews, homosexuals, Romani folk, or the mentally handicapped.“In the first years, postwar survivors weren’t considered trustworthy,” says Jean-Marc Dreyfus, reader in Holocaust studies at the University of Manchester. In the years that followed, and up to the present day, museums and other cultural institutions around the world compiled the considerable evidence into historical exhibits, including the shoes infamously stolen from the feet of victims arriving at the camps, and eventually gathered testimonies from eyewitnesses. However, these museums and survivor accounts serve as more than mere mementos of the genocide to be studied and forgotten; these institutions and testimonies are here to educate the public—hopefully continually, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day was always intended to do.Knowing the value that a personal connection to a survivor can bring to the experience of learning about the Holocaust, what will museums do once survivors are no longer able to retell their own stories? Who can replace them?“Nothing will,” says Sara Bloomfield, the Holocaust Museum’s director. “It is not the right question. The real question is: How do you make sure the Holocaust is relevant to new generations, knowing not only that the Holocaust will have receded in time but also that there will be no more World War II soldiers or survivors?”One way, as noted by the Washingtonian and evinced by museums like the Museum of Jewish Heritage, is through the children of the survivors, and later their children as well. While derivatives of the original story, children of survivors retelling their stories can also provide the needed perspective of growing up in the aftermath of the Holocaust.More than that, for the sake of preserving this oral history, survivors may be encouraged to open receptacles of thoughts and feelings of the genocide they may not have delved into before. Sharing these memories with others can overcome the pain of reliving them. Finding and preserving survivors’ art, as in the Yad Vashem museum in Israel, which holds the largest collection of art made during the Holocaust, can help convey the stories of the victims who did not survive, as is the case for most of the art at Yad Vashem.Films like Night Will Follow will keep the memories alive long after those who have lived them are gone. Again, while the documentary will be difficult to watch, particularly the raw scenes from the camps, generations and those after us must expose ourselves to what happened so we can forestall it in the future.But of course, like those many years ago, we must begin by listening and retelling survivors’ stories to family, friends, and strangers that will listen.“[Museums] will do their best to carry our memories,” Halina says. “We have given our pictures, our papers. They can’t make us live longer than we are going to. They are there to make people understand what can happen if we are not vigilant. And in my family, the second and third generation is also working very hard to learn our stories. My granddaughter, for instance, says she will make a movie.”—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Two Foundation Presidents Philanthropy Cant Make Good for Bad Public Policy

first_imgShare20Tweet53Share49Email122 SharesOctober 31, 2016; Houston ChronicleNPQ has long expressed concern about the dangers of private money in public systems. Here, two leaders on Houston’s philanthropic scene do the same.Anna Stern of Houston Endowment and Elena Marks of Episcopal Health Foundation collaborated on a letter printed yesterday in the Houston Chronicle after its editorial board recently urged the Houston Independent School District to accept $7.5 million from the Kinder Foundation, writing, “Philanthropic gifts are needed in an environment where the state legislature is abdicating its constitutional responsibility.”Stern and Marks, however, say that kind of statement alarms them. It’s not just that philanthropic dollars cannot replace public dollars; they should not, especially when the backdrop of public policy and spending is inadequate to the needs of communities and families. They point out:Locally, HISD is facing a $162 million loss in revenue due to the state’s public education funding system, and we are spending $70 million in Harris County property tax revenue due to the state’s refusal to accept federal funds to insure low-income citizens.Philanthropy is not capable, they reiterate, of continually propping up on an ongoing basis the poorly funded and inadequate systems caused by irresponsible government. “Our foundations’ missions are broader in geography and scope,” they write. “But even if we focused all of our efforts on these two government-generated shortfalls, the amount needed is more than twice our combined annual budgets. Sound public policy, not philanthropy, is the solution to these problems.”As many have noted before them, Stern and Marks say the role for philanthropy as it works alongside government is in helping with experimentation: “Whereas government tends to move incrementally and may be risk-averse, especially when there is uncertainty about budget implications, philanthropy can support government innovation by funding pilot programs and underwriting start-up costs that enable government to experiment with relatively little risk.”Our foundations are currently co-funding such an initiative. Working with the Harris Center for Mental Health and Houston Police Department, we are underwriting the costs of a pilot program that places mental health counselors at HPD’s 911 call center so that counselors rather than police officers respond to calls that are best handled by the mental health professionals. The two-fold goal of the pilot is to provide appropriate help to 911 callers and to reduce HPD costs associated with dispatching police officers where they are not needed.If the pilot is successful, we expect HPD to institutionalize this practice. If the pilot is not successful, all of us will have learned new information, and the two foundations—not the governmental entities—will have absorbed the financial costs.—Ruth McCambridgeShare20Tweet53Share49Email122 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgBelarusian pay TV operator Cosmos TV has launched a conditional access module (CAM) service, enabling subscribers to access its HDTV services without the need for a set-top box.The module, giving access to Cosmos TV channels at a discounted rate, is available for BYR405,000 (€38).last_img

first_imgUK cable operator Virgin Media will use video delivery infrastructure firm Harmonic to power its MPEG-DASH trial. A live demo of the new Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH) protocol, using the Harmonic ProMedia Multiscreen Solutions is being displayed at ANGA COM this week.Using Harmonic’s ProMedia Live real-time transcoder and ProMedia Package stream packager in its innovations research headend facility in London, Virgin Media aims to deliver more efficient and cost-effective high-quality broadcasts to TVs, PCs, tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes, and other IP-connected devices, Harmonic said.Harmonic’s ProMedia Live transcodes MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC H.264 content to multiple high-quality adaptive bit-rate streams optimised for the Virgin Media MPEG-DASH service.“As part of an integrated headend solution, Harmonic’s ProMedia Suite optimises multiscreen delivery by eliminating the need to separately encode, encrypt, store, and transport each piece of video content to ensure compatibility with multiple HTTP delivery formats. The demo at ANGA COM will highlight the operational efficiencies achieved by implementing an MPEG-DASH-based workflow for next-generation multiscreen services converging on one ABR format, and unifying multiscreen delivery for tablets, PCs, and smartphones, in addition to set-top boxes and Smart TVs,” said Dale Barnes, director of advanced technologies and innovation at Virgin Media.The MPEG-DASH workflow will be showcased at the Harmonic stand S10 located in Hall 10.1.last_img read more

first_imgAdult content specialist Private Media Group is to launch a new TV entertainment channel – PrivateTV – later this month on the Eutelsat 13B satellite at 13° East. Private will also launch a French-language version of the channel, PrivateTV France with original short form French language programming.The company has teamed up with TMC Content Group, a stakeholder in the new venture and owner of a leading German language adult broadcaster, to launch the service. Private already supplied content to TMC under a separate deal.“Simply put, PrivateTV and PrivateTV France are exclusive, original and addictive. With a refreshing scene driven format, thematic scheduling and the iconic Private brand we deliver the promise of the on-line experience to the TV, the only platform which can adequately convey the quality of our content. Of course Private has been in the European broadcast market for over a dozen years and is already a library and branding partner with Playboy Plus who operates and distributes Private Spice. We expect Private Spice and PrivateTV to be complementary in the market.” Private’s CEO Charles Prast said. “Private has always focused on innovative operator friendly strategies to provide entertainment to their viewers and the launch of PrivateTV is a further endeavor in this direction.”last_img read more

first_imgViacom’s Comedy Central has launched a two-hour programming block on the TMF channel in Belgium. The Comedy Channel block will air on Viacom-owned TMF, which broadcasts to the Flemish region of Belgium, from 22:00-24:00.The channel kicked off its Belgian launch with a promotional spoof of YouTube video Push to add drama, which it said was picked up by all major Belgian news media.last_img

South African media conglomerate Naspers the owne

first_imgSouth African media conglomerate Naspers, the owner of MultiChoice, added 340,000 pay TV customers in the six months ending September 30, taking its subscriber base to 8.4 million homes.Announcing its annual results, Naspers, which provides pay TV services through MultiChoice under the DStv and GOtv brands, said that the “solid subscriber growth” drove pay TV revenues up by 18% year-on-year to R20.2 billion (€1.48 billion).“MultiChoice now operates DTT in 11 countries and has around 873 000 subscribers. We continue to scale our transmission platform and place decoders in markets where we expect analogue switch-offs in the foreseeable future. These switch-offs, once implemented, should provide momentum for further subscriber growth,” said Naspers.The firms said that its pay TV customers now rent some 600,000 movies per month through its BoxOffice service and that it will soon expand the service into sub-Saharan Africa.It added that its personal video recorder (PVR) base has also expanded to nearly 1,2m subscribers, claiming that it will “continue to invest in our online products and offerings.”Naspers has established regional production hubs in Nigeria and Kenya, and in South Africa the firm has invested more than R1bn invested in local content in the past year.Overall the firm said that core headline earnings grew 24% to R6.1bn, despite expensing R4.4bn for the “continued development of the group’s ecommerce and pay-television platforms.”“The second half of the year is traditionally the most active part of the year for most of our businesses. We expect some pick-up in spend as we capitalise on the holiday season, which could result in lower core headline earnings for that period,” said CFO, Basil Sgourdos.“Our goal remains to develop online classifieds, etail and DTT to deliver future growth and create value over time.”last_img read more

Michael Thornton The Society of Cable Telecommunic

first_imgMichael ThorntonThe Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE US) and the Society for Broadband Professionals (SCTE UK) have signed a memorandum of understanding, designed to “address brand confusion”.The pact will address confusion between the two SCTE brands and lay the foundations for developing a longer-term relationship between the two technical education organisations and their affiliated brands, according to the two societies.Together, the organisations said they plan to increase the quality of training outcomes for the benefit of the cable broadband community worldwide.“Our two societies share a common goal of improving engineering standards and skills throughout our industry. Eliminating confusion between our brands is the first step towards global collaboration that can help the industry to maintain – and even increase – its competitive edge,” said Michael Thornton, president, Society for Broadband Professionals.Currently, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers operates globally via the International Society of Broadband Experts (ISBE). The Society for Broadband Professionals operates globally and conducts training through Broadband Training Limited (BTL).last_img read more

Virtual pay TV operators in the US are making more

first_imgVirtual pay TV operators in the US are making more than twice the revenue of traditional pay TV operators per channel per month, according to Ampere Analysis.The new research claims there is “more money to go around” in the skinny pay TV bundle than in traditional US pay TV packages, making the switch to ‘virtual’ pay TV potentially lucrative for channels.While the national average revenue per channel per customer for traditional pay TV is US$0.23 a month, virtual pay TV operators make a healthier US$0.59 per channel per month on average, according to the report.Even removing the cost of carrying US national networks, the remaining revenue per channel for skinny bundle packages still stands at US$0.48, “more than double the average for traditional pay TV”, said Ampere’s research.“US pay TV operators have needed to balance carriage fees and revenue for a long time. However, with the increasing migration of pay TV subscribers to OTT services, that balancing act is only set to become more precarious,” said Ampere Analysis research director, Guy Bisson.“Despite the fees they are charged to include US networks in their streaming packages, vMSOs (virtual Multiple Systems Operators) have made a better job of reconciling the carriage fees versus revenues per channel equation.“For channels, the shift to streaming and rise of vMSOs looks like a potentially strong plus – providing they have strong enough brands to make the cut.”last_img read more

BBC Worldwides flagship entertainment channel BB

first_imgBBC Worldwide’s flagship entertainment channel, BBC Brit, will become available in HD on DStv channel 120 from October 5.The BBC’s commercial arm announced that DStv Compact, Compact Plus and Premium customers will be able to access the high definition feed of the channel on this date.From October 8, DStv Premium customers will also be able to access more content on BBC First as the drama channel ups its broadcast time to 12 hours per-day.“Since its launch two years ago, our BBC BRIT channel has successfully grown its loyal fan base,” said Joel Churcher, vice-president and general manger of Africa, BBC Worldwide.“Over recent months we’ve been evolving the schedule, looking at what our audiences most enjoy and creating a fresh and vibrant on-air environment. BBC BRIT viewers can look forward to a schedule that is packed with the biggest, boldest and most creative shows on television – and now all in HD quality.”Aletta Alberts, general manager of content at MultiChoice South Africa said: “Our focus is to continue to enhance the entertainment experience for our customers. Offering BBC Brit in HD, and extending the broadcast hours off BBC First, gives our customers a front row seat to the best of British entertainment.”last_img read more

The average eSports fan in Spain is a 24 yearold

first_imgThe average eSports fan in Spain is a 24 year-old male who spends more than five hours a day on surfing the internet and is a heavy user of social media, according to a study unveiled at the Madrid Gaming Experience event for Modern Times Group-owned eSports leader ESL and Telefónica/Movistar, ESL’s partner for the Spanish market.The study showed that the audience for eSports in the 25-35 year-old range has increased by 7% in the last year, while the audience in the core 20-24 age range has remained stable.Movistar interpreted the figures as providing evidence that fans of eSports are maintaining their enthusiasm as they grow older and that the discipline has no fixed upper limit to the age of its audience.The study found that over 60% of the eSports audience spend over five hours a day connected to the internet and that 99% use the web as their main channel of information.Use of the TV amid eSports fans was limited to 45%, suggesting that the eSports industry and related brands would have more impact in focusing their marketing activities on digital platforms.Over 75% of the eSports audience used digital platforms such as Twitch and YouTube along with social networks, particularly Twitter, indicating, said Movistar, the importance for eSports media groups to maintain instantaneous bidirectional communication with fans via digital platforms.Between 70-80% of those surveyed purchased desktop computers and smartphones in the last year, these being the main devices used to consume eSports.Counter Strike: Global Offfensive was the most popular game in eSports, attracting over 60% of the audience, followed by League of Legends and Overwatch.The second Estudio de Audencia de eSports de España surveyed around 10,000 respondents among the audience for ESL’s channels in Spain.“For Telefónica to become the leading provider of fibre connectivity for the eSports sector and to form part of the development of this industry together with ESL, is, beyond being a strategic objective, now a reality as this study has shown,” said Dante Caccatore, head of communication, commercial and client experience for Telefónica.last_img read more

TMobiles delayed US home TV service is due to la

first_imgT-Mobile’s delayed US home TV service is due to launch in the first half of this year, the company confirmed on its fourth quarter 2018 earnings call.Responding to a question about the company’s TV strategy, chief operating officer Mike Sievert said T-Mobile is “quality-driven”, not “date-driven,” adding that its TV service rollout is closely tied to its home broadband strategy.“Those two can operate independently of each other, but they really operate well in concert in our future plans – particularly in the context of the New T-Mobile where we have very ambitious home broadband plans,” he said.Also speaking on the call, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that the company would start to pilot home broadband offers in 2019 using 4G LTE and later 5G, with plans to offer broadband to 52% of US zip codes.Initially T-Mobile will be testing its broadband and TV services separately, but Legere said that the ultimate strategy is for home TV and home broadband to be a “blended go-to-market approach”.T-Mobile’s TV service was originally due to launch in late 2018 and will be powered by Layer3, the TV technology company it acquired in December 2017.Sievert said that T-Mobile is getting “great learnings” from customers in four cities where it has already launched a predecessor product under the Layer3 TV brand. It plans to use this feedback to add improvements before rebranding and rolling it out as its home TV offering.“Every single media brand either has or is developing an OTT solution and most of these companies don’t have a way to bring these products to market,” said Sievert. “They don’t have distributed networks like us, they don’t have access to the phones like we have.”“We don’t have plans to develop an undifferentiated skinny bundle,” he added. “We think there’s a more nuanced role for us to play in helping you get access to the great media brands out there that you love, and to be able to put together your own media subscription in smaller pieces – US$5, US$6, US$7, US$8 at a time.”At the time of its Layer3 takeover, T-Mobile announced plans for a “disruptive new TV service” aimed at people who are “tired of all the BS that comes bundled with big cable and satellite TV”.last_img read more

Bunto TV a new advertisingsupported videoondem

first_imgBunto TV, a new advertising-supported video-on-demand service spealising in foreign-language series has launched commercially in the German market.The service, formerly known as Bumerang TV, offers a range of series from countries including Turkey and Spain including Turkish historical drama Muhtesem Yüzyil– The Magnificent Century or Das Osmanische Imperium: HAREM- Der Weg zur Machtin the German version, the first time the series has been dubbed into German.Bunto TV comes from aggregator Govinet Deutschland. The service was initially launched online in December ahead of this week’s full launch.The service debuted is available via the web, on tablets, smartphones and smart TV.last_img read more