Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ While Kevin Kolb looks for a house and attempts to gain familiarity with the Phoenix area, it appears he has already gained familiarity with the Cardinals star wide receiver. According to foxsportsarizona.com, Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald organized a private throwing session on the campus of Arizona State University earlier this month.Aware of the media frenzy that would follow the two kept this workout private, but it has now leaked and makes it appear as if Kolb to Arizona is imminent. There has been a lot of talk about Fitzgerald’s role in the acquisition of a new quarterback as the wide out is entering the final year of his contract.The Cardinals have said Fitzgerald does not have a say in who they will select as their starting quarterback in 2011.Fitzgerald himself told Sports 620 KTAR’s Paul Calvisi he leaves that up to the powers that be and focuses on his own job.Although teams are not allowed to talk during the lockout, Thursday’s news of Kolb looking for a house in Arizona coupled with the revelation that Kolb and Fitzgerald have worked out together will only increase speculation that Kevin Kolb will be the starting quarterback of the 2011 Arizona Cardinals. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments Share Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
Categories: Chatfield News,Chatfield Photos The Michigan maple syrup industry would have an easier road to transport maple sap under new legislation introduced by state Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering.Rep. Chatfield said House Bill 4418 would add maple sap to a list of agricultural commodities that are currently exempt from seasonal weight restrictions on roads. Once extracted from the tree, producers have a limited number of hours to transport maple sap to production facilities before it spoils. Additionally, air temperature plays a vital role in maple sap extraction, which generally creates a critical window of opportunity annually for producers to transport sap.“This legislation is about making it more efficient and less burdensome to produce Michigan-made maple syrup,” Rep. Chatfield said. “I believe there is a lot of potential to grow this local industry and strengthen our economy.”Nationally, Michigan ranks sixth in maple syrup production, and is third in the Midwest behind Wisconsin and Ohio. According to the national Agricultural Statistics Service, it takes 45 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup. Maple syrup is expensive to produce and as a result, the price for maple syrup is higher than most other food products.Rep. Chatfield said that Michigan is a minor producer of maple syrup although it does have the potential to expand. The state possesses the trees and has the climate and other attributes that makes it well-suited for increased production.“Maple syrup is another brand of Pure Michigan that has the potential to be sold across the entire country and around the world,” Rep. Chatfield said. Bill exempts maple sap transport from seasonal road restrictions 15Apr Rep. Chatfield introduces legislation to support Michigan maple syrup production
Categories: Reilly News 03Oct Rep. Reilly to meet with residents in Lake Orion State Rep. John Reilly of Oakland will host an office hour event on Monday, Oct. 30 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Conference Room B of the Orion Township Public Library located at 825 Joslyn Road in Lake Orion.“I always look forward to meeting residents and discussing important issues,” Rep. Reilly said. “Connecting with community members and listening to their concerns is one of my top priorities as a state representative.” No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Reilly at 517-373-1798 or via email at JohnReilly@house.mi.gov.
State Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain urges people in the Upper Peninsula to plan ahead and look into power and heating plans for the upcoming winter.“Everyone understands that winter can be brutal,” Rep. LaFave said. “I want to ensure everyone has the information to contact those who can assist them during emergencies with power and heating.”People are encouraged to reach out to their local Salvation Army, TrueNorth Community Services, The Heat and Warmth Fund, Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency or Superior Watershed Partnership for assistance. Those who need support with energy services are also encouraged to call 2-1-1 or go to mi211.org for assistance.Residents who have questions may contact LaFave at his Lansing office at (517) 373-0156 or BeauLaFave@house.mi.gov. 17Nov Rep. LaFave: Services available to help during winter months Categories: LaFave News
25Jan Rep. Cox approves bills giving families and seniors broader tax relief Tags: Tax relief Categories: Cox News The Michigan House today approved legislation giving Michigan families and seniors broader income tax relief.The bills continue and increase personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their income taxes, while providing additional relief for senior citizens.Rep. Cox, of Livonia, voted for the three-bill package that will enable people to keep more of their hard-earned money.“The people of Michigan need and deserve tax relief,” Cox said. “Any money that isn’t absolutely essential to run crucial government services should be returned to the people.”The legislation, House Bills 5420-5422, will:· Ensure Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month, and increases the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,300 for the 2018 tax year, with gradual increases reaching $4,800 for 2020;· Certify taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions if the city adopts a uniform ordinance; and· Help senior citizens in addition to the personal exemption increase by providing a $100 refundable income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older – or $200 for joint filers.House Bills 5420-5422 now move to the Senate for consideration.###
Categories: Webber News 03Apr Join Rep. Webber at his April office hours State Rep. Michael Webber of Rochester Hills invites residents to join him for his in-district office hours on Monday, April 15.“Some of the best ideas are generated from the members in our community,” Rep. Webber said. “I welcome anyone with concerns, ideas or issues to join me.”Rep. Webber will meet with residents at the following time and location:4 to 5:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, 2921 S. Rochester Road in Rochester Hills.No appointments are necessary to attend coffee hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Webber’s office at (517) 373-1773 or via email at MichaelWebber@house.mi.gov.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDecember 21, 2015; Los Angeles TimesWill learning and knowledge be important to decision-makers? In the midst of heated and polarized debates over how to solve the critical problems before us, is there room for solutions driven by the reality of our experience? Or are we best served by finding only the answers that are consistent with our philosophies and beliefs?The continuing argument about educational reform and national educational policy puts these questions center stage. One side of the ongoing debate has drawn their solutions from a firm belief that the marketplace’s “invisible hand,” if set free, will push education forward for all children. This belief leads to policies that create an educational marketplace in which all students can attend a school of their choice, a marketplace in which lower performing schools fail and be replaced by better performing schools. To make this marketplace a reality, it is necessary to eliminate the monopoly of traditional public schools, create new schools that can operate free from many of the traditional constraints of the public school system and offer channels for attendance at non-public schools.On the other side are those who see the weaknesses of our current educational efforts arising from economic and social inequities in our society and see solutions coming from more effective government policy. While it is easy to propose actions and argue in support of them based on our underlying philosophy, after decades of effort, should we not be basing our next steps on what we our actual experience has been and what we have learned along the way, even if it tends to challenge our beliefs?With the Los Angeles Unified School District currently considering a proposal to have charter schools grow to serve at least 50 percent of their students, a recent study of the Los Angeles schools, published by Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley, gives us a chance see if we can look what has become a very divisive issue from a reality based perspective. The study looked at the educational experiences of 66,000 pupils over the 2007-2011 period. LAUSD is the nation’s second largest system, hosting 229 charter schools and 112 campuses that enjoyed site-level autonomy by the end of 2011.Their findings don’t conveniently support a philosophical winner.Traditional Public School (TPS) campuses that converted to charter status…attracted more experienced and consistently credentialed teachers, and served relatively advantaged families, compared with newly created charter schools (start-ups). Charter schools overall attracted pupils achieving at higher levels as they began a grade cycle…relative to students attending traditional schools. After taking into account these differences in prior achievement and family background, students attending charter elementary or middle schools outperformed TPS peers over the four-year period. […] The benefits of attending a charter middle school appear to be consistent across subgroups and moderate in magnitude, especially for students in startups. Most other charter advantages remain small in magnitude or statistically insignificant. We detected no achievement differences between pupils attending charter versus TPS high schools.Clearly there are some benefits from charters for some students. But are these the result of policies and practices used in charter schools that could be implemented in a system responsible for all children? For policymakers, this should be the key question and where experience and knowledge should be paramount.The authors of the Berkeley study believe they have found some things that would question the wisdom of just expanding the marketplace.One nagging worry is that the spread of startup and conversion charters may further separate high from low-achieving students across LAUSD—organizational diversity that even inadvertently may worsen segregation. Nor do we understand how this evolving landscape of alternative schools may harm the educational trajectories of weaker students who remain in traditional schools. This threat of wider disparities could be minimized if LAUSD’s traditional schools responded to the challenge presented by charter schools. The District might learn, for example why charter middle schools appear to lift achievement higher, and then advance the effectiveness of TPS counterparts. Still, we don’t know whether the ongoing spread of charter schools serves to spur or erode LAUSD’s capacity to lift its own campuses. Our findings do suggest that many charter schools will continue to draw out higher achieving students from traditional schools. Finally, evaluation researchers often endeavor to associate variation in the internal features of organizations with varying results for students or clients. Instead, we have shown the utility of backing up to understand how segmented sets of schools are becoming more diverse in a less regulated field. The contrasting features of these diverse charter schools in Los Angeles each vying for stronger students, each advancing particular educational aims and social-class interests—then set a telling causal chain in motion. Researchers could better inform stakeholders and policy makers by capturing this entire process—illuminating how schools serve differing kids and families, acquire teachers and resources of varying quality, yielding unequal achievement effects.Will experience affect policymaking? Perhaps it will. The L.A. Times reported that school board President Steve Zimmer said the results of the research weren’t “earth-shattering” for either side of the debate:“When you’re talking about the same kids in the same situations, we’re not talking about huge breakthroughs for charters,” said Zimmer, who has supported most petitions to open or renew charters but also has criticized the rapid growth of charters as harmful to the school system. He added it would be important to learn why charters appear to benefit middle school students. “The data doesn’t indicate what charter middle schools are doing better, but it does give us some suggestion that there might be some effective approaches,” Zimmer said.But, then again, perhaps not. The California Charter Association quickly issued a statement challenging the study’s data.It is unfortunate that Dr. Fuller and his team seem unwilling to acknowledge that the credit for charter schools’ superior performance goes to the highly talented and driven educators who, with a healthy balance of autonomy and oversight, have innovated and adapted to their unique communities’ and students’ needs, yielding student gains that should be celebrated, not snubbed.It may be easier to keep the argument on simply ideological grounds, but the future will be better served if we can build processes that are capable of seeing beyond our biases and open to real learning.—Martin LevineShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share2Tweet13ShareEmail15 SharesCC BY-SA 3.0, LinkApril 24, 2019; New York TimesWhose consent counts, and whose can be ignored? That question has been resolved—and not in a good way—in a US Supreme Court case, Lamps Plus v. Varela, decided yesterday. In a five-to-four split, the Court weighed in on yet one more way to curtail the rights of workers to organize.The case involves a data breach of the tax filings of 1,300 Lamps Plus employees, with the hacker using the data obtained to file fraudulent returns. As Adam Liptak in the New York Times explains, Frank Varela, one of those employees, filed a class action suit on behalf of himself and the 1,300 other affected coworkers, accusing Lamps Plus of negligence in failing to protect employee data.Varela’s employment contract mandated arbitration, so a California judge remanded the case accordingly. The judge, however, reviewed the contract and said the 1,300 workers’ cases could be treated by the arbitration body as a single class.Lamps Plus appealed, demanding that Varela’s case be treated individually, even though 1,300 workers were affected. Varela and his coworkers, however, prevailed in a split decision among a three-person panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. According to the Ninth Circuit majority, because the arbitration clause did not ban a collective case, it was permitted. In particular, the Ninth Circuit applied a doctrine known as contra proferentem; this doctrine says that if ambiguity exists, then the court should rule against the contract drafter—in this case, the employer, Lamps Plus.This week at the US Supreme Court, however, a 5-4 court majority led by Chief Justice Roberts reversed that decision and said that only individual arbitrations were allowed. And yes, the 5-4 split was along the lines you might imagine. Favoring Lamps Plus were Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. Siding with Varela were justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.The logic of the court’s decision speaks to the Kafkaesque world that arbitration clauses often involve. According to the court majority, the wish of Varela and his coworkers to have their claims heard collectively must be denied because “the first principle that underscores all of our arbitration decisions” is that they must be about “strictly a matter of consent.” The employment contract at Lamps Plus was silent on whether or not class arbitration was permitted. The court majority held, therefore, that the company had not consented to class arbitration—only to the individual arbitration that Lamps Plus said in court that it wanted.But the idea that arbitration is strictly a matter of consent is laughable. After all, Varela and his coworkers surely would have preferred to avoid arbitration altogether. How do we know this? Well, the fact that they went directly to court in spite of the arbitration clause in their contracts is a clue. The employees “consented” to arbitration only in the sense that they decided it was better to be employed than have no jobs at all.As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminds us in her dissent, arbitration was initially intended as a means for disputes between businesses, which were assumed to have roughly equal power. But Ginsburg adds:In relatively recent years, [the US Supreme Court] has routinely deployed the law to deny to employees and consumers “effective relief against powerful economic entities… Arbitration clauses, the Court has decreed, may preclude judicial remedies even when submission to arbitration is made a take-it-or-leave-it condition of employment or is imposed on a consumer given no genuine choice in the matter… Propelled by the Court’s decisions, mandatory arbitration clauses in employment and consumer contracts have proliferated.And in case after case, workers therefore are disadvantaged in making their claims. NPQ has written before about the many nefarious consequences of forced arbitration, including regarding how arbitration clauses can be a powerful means to prevent successful prosecution of sexual harassment cases.As for the workers at Lamps Plus, the result, as Ginsburg explains, is as follows:Today’s decision underscores the irony of invoking “the first principle” that “arbitration is strictly a matter of consent”…to justify imposing individual arbitration on employees who surely would not choose to proceed solo. Respondent Frank Varela sought redress for negligence by his employer leading to a data breach affecting 1,300 employees.…The widely experienced neglect he identified cries out for collective treatment.…Shut from the Court’s sight is the “Hobson’s choice” employees face: “accept arbitration on their employer’s terms or give up their jobs.”—Steve DubbShare2Tweet13ShareEmail15 Shares
Al Jazeera has been awarded the French broadcasting rights for the majority of Champions League matches for the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons.The Qatar-based broadcaster beat pay TV operator Canal Plus to four out of five media rights packages. According to French press reports, Al Jazeera agreed to pay €61 million per year to air 133 matches live across its television channels, internet and mobile services, nearly double the €31 million previously paid by Canal Plus.European football governing body UEFA still has to sell rights to 13 ‘premium’ matches per year. French broadcaster TF1 paid €25 million for rights to the top matches for the current season.
German service provider NetCologne is adding ProSieben Maxx to its channel line-up.The free-to-air channel airs a range of US shows, including Homeland, House of Cards and movies including Captain America: The First Avenger in English with German subtitles, and other international content.NetCologne has also added Switzerland-based youth-oriented interactive channel joiz, airs a range of talks shows and music shows that allows the audience to interact via Facebook or Skype, and nrwision, which airs user generated content from media students and other members of the public from all over North-Rhine Westphalia, to its line-up.
Turner Broadcasting System has selected SES Platform Services to broadcast five channels in SD and HD. The agreement will also cover playout of on-demand and catch-up services.From November, SES Platform Services will provide playout for Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Glitz, TNT Film and TNT Serie for the German-speaking market. The two companies have also agreed to cooperate in the Benelux region, beginning with SES Platform Services broadcasting the Cartoon Network from February 2014.SES Platform Services will also provide playout for the on-demand and catch-up services operated by Turner’s distribution partners in the Benelux region and in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.From November 2013, SES Platform Services will also begin digitising Turner content and converting it into the necessary formats for digital distribution.“In SES Platform Services, we have found an experienced partner to transmit our channels. The state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure provided by SES in Munich has enabled us to optimise our work processes and provide our platform partners with even better service,” said Matthias Heinze, vice-president of commercial, PR and marketing for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Benelux region, central and eastern Europe and Russia at Turner Broadcasting System.
SES’s Astra 5B satellite has gone live at the 31.5° East position over central and eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS countries.The satellite will provide DTH and cable feed services as well as contribution feeds to digital-terrestrial transmitters across its target markets.The satellite was launched on board an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou in French Guyana on March 22. It is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders – 36 MHz equivalent – and six Ka-band transponders, as well as with L-band capacity for the EU satellite navigation service EGNOS.The satellite will replace Astra 1G at 31.5° East, increasing the capacity available from 19 Ku-band transponders to Astra 5B’s 40.“In line with our well-defined strategy, Astra 5B greatly increases SES’s satellite capacities over CEE, Russia and the CIS. With the Operational Service Date (OSD) of Astra 5B, SES has as of today 1,536 active satellite transponders on its global satellite fleet, comprising 55 active spacecraft at 37 orbital slots around the world,” said Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES.“We would like to thank our European partners at Airbus Defence and Space Systems and Arianespace for the successful Astra 5B mission.”
Barcroft TV, the high-performing UK-based YouTube channel, has signed an extended strategic partnership with multichannel network Rightster.Barcroft, which is owned by London-based factual and lifestyle indie producer Barcroft Media, has been part of the Rightster MCN since April last year, at which point it had 45,000 net subscribers.The channel is now the MCN’s top-performing channel, with 480,000 subs as of last month. In December, Barcroft TV overtook the One Direction and X Factor YouTube channels to become the most-watched net on the Google-owned platform.The new agreement between Barcroft and Rightster will see the latter support the creation of new Barcroft digital channels, and the production and curation of short- and long-form video.Rightster’s distribution service helps YouTube channel creators to place content into specific genres so it can be marketed and monetised more effectively.Rightster founder and CEO Charlie Muirhead said “the Holy Grail for brands is to be able to access the quality and scale of audience and advertisers previously only seen on TV”, but added: “The colossal fragmentation of online audiences means that this is no easy task.“Our partnership with Barcroft will enable us to offer the best of both worlds – superb content and curation, backed up with the technical, distribution and monetisation resources and skills to allow that content to attract the audience it deserves.”“Expanding our relationship will supercharge the next stage of Barcroft TV’s significant global growth and take us further down the road in our mission to become the world’s leading provider of factual content, all via our unique take on the amazing side of life,” said Barcroft founder and CEO Sam Barcroft (above).“Furthermore, our new Barcroft channels will enable brands to connect with specific audiences through their passion for unique and shareable videos.”
Sky has invested US$5 million (€4 million) in US advertising technology firm Sharethrough, as part of its plan to innovate by partnering with emerging tech companies.The investment forms part of a US$10 million round of funding raised by Sharethrough, a ‘native advertising’ firm that lets publishers monetise sites and apps with ads that are non-interruptive and stylistically similar to the surrounding content.Sky first partnered with Sharethrough last year, working with the firm to offer native advertising on its Sky Sports website.With the investment, Sky said its ad sales house Sky Media will start offering clients access to Sharethrough’s ad software. It will also adopt native ads to market products and services including Now TV, Sky TV and Sky Broadband.“This new partnership continues the work we’re doing to harness exciting technological developments and integrate them into our business. We’re pleased to be deepening our relationship with Sharethrough and look forward to building new links with other startups and tech entrepreneurs in the US and Europe,” said Sky’s director of business development, Emma Lloyd.Under the terms of the deal, Sky Media’s deputy managing director, Jamie West, will take a board observer position at Sharethrough. The other contributors to the US$10 million investment round included existing Sharethrough investors such as Floodgate, Elevation Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Silver Creek Ventures.Sky’s other tech investments include web streaming set-top box maker Roku, immersive video specialists Jaunt and the video delivery firm 1 Mainstream.
Some 61.5% of Belgian households now have interactive digital TV according to a new study on Belgian Telecom sector, commissioned by the country’s five major operators. The study, carried out by management consulting firm Arthur D. Little on behalf of Base Company, Mobistar, Proximus, Telenet and VOO, found that 80% of Belgian households have a broadband internet connection and 54% of Belgians have a mobile internet connection.“While telecom services usage has been growing strongly over the last years, the price index of telecom services has dropped by 7% since 2006 (versus an inflation at +17%). Nonetheless, compared to 2009, operators provide a substantially better offering that generates 4 to 7 times more value for money to the consumers,” according to the report.The ‘A New Deal for the Telecom Sector in Belgium’ study said that telecom operators in Belgium generated 59% of “digital ecosystem” revenues, while accounting for 87% of investments, 75% of direct jobs and 90% of taxes in 2013.It also claimed that the telecom operators’ investment in Belgium reached a record high of €1.8 billion in 2013 and injected more than €45 billion of value into the economy.Based on strong growth in telecom service use, the study argued in favour of a “Digital New Deal” to foster telecoms investment, guarantee regulatory predictability, build trust in networks and stimulate private investment in high-speed networks.
Metin TaskinSerbia-based hardware and software design outfit RT-RK is supplying wireless consumer premises equipment specialist AirTies Wireless Networks with a package of automated set-top box test system components. These include a rack system for testing multiple set-top box units, a picture quality measurement system and a system for testing in field. AirTies intends to use the equipment to improve test processes and solutions, primarily in its R&D and quality assurance departments.The delivered rack system enables full parallel execution of different test plans for set-top box units, according to the Novi Sad-based company. It utilises remote control and configuration, providing a single interface for functional, regression, stress, and performance testing. Supported by real-time grabbers and a user interface/dashboard framework for creation of tests, test plans, test execution scheduling, and remote execution monitoring, the system performs A/V analysis with OCR algorithms for testing of diverse scenarios and set-top box features.RT-RK’s picture quality measurement system is a no-reference real-time processing system for video and audio artifact detection. It provides quality measurements, which the company says closely correspond to subjective human visual assessment, obtained, tracked and alerted in real time.The system for testing in the field consists of a central monitoring and control system and remote stations. It is used for monitoring of real-time broadcast, set-top box services, performance measurement, video quality assessment, ongoing KPI measurement, and other related functions. The system is web based, allows remote configuration of the probes, and has mechanisms to facilitate test scenario creation and modification.“AirTies is committed to delivering premium content to any room and any device in the home. That relies on a high capacity Wi-Fi home network proven to guarantee the best quality of service in different wireless environments with the ability to reach a full range of devices for content delivery. As we have been expanding our set-top box portfolio, we have considered several options to ensure quality of products and bring them to market in the shortest possible time. We have chosen RT-RK, as we found they provide the most comprehensive and robust test solutions on the market today,” said Metin Taskin, CTO, AirTies.“We gladly serve AirTies as they renew and complement their existing testing solutions,” said Vukota Pekovic, Head of Marketing and Sales RT-RK. “Particularly, I am pleased as AirTies shows interest in using our solutions both in R&D and QA departments. That surely corresponds with our mission in testing of products in digital television, and is a sign of value of our solutions. For now, our cooperation continues with RT-RK’s engagement in preparation of test suites for AirTies’ set-top box models.”
James GibbonsDiscovery Communications is to launch its female-focused TLC channel in Turkey following its acquisition of Turkish national free to air entertainment channel CNBC-e from Doğuş Media Group.Launching this November, the new channel will replace CNBC-e and offer a mix of non-scripted and scripted international entertainment and lifestyle programming.Content will include Fear the Walking Dead and Aquarius plus the British period drama Poldark, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network shows Oprah Prime and Oprah’s Master Class.Shows previously on CNBC-e will also feature, including The Vikings, Hannibal and sitcom Mike & Molly. The completion of the CNBC-e acquisition comes as Discovery looks to implement the next stage in its strategic relationship with Doğuş Media Group, to expand its channel portfolio in Turkey, strengthen its ad sales offer and reinforce its position in the region. Doğuş was recently appointed as Discovery’s exclusive ad sales representative in Turkey, tasked, under the leadership of James Gibbons in London and Sissian Margos, General Manger, Discovery Networks Turkey, in Istanbul, to sell Discovery’s commercial portfolio, which with the addition of TLC now consists of four channels, including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science.“Today marks a new era in our Turkish business, as we close our deal with Doğuş Media Group to acquire CNBC-e and announce the launch of TLC – Discovery’s leading lifestyle and entertainment channel brand and first free to air channel in the growing Turkish market,” said James Gibbons, EVP & Country Manager, Emerging Business, Discovery Networks CEEMEA. “Discovery successfully runs both Pay-TV and free to air platforms in a number of markets across Europe, and TLC Turkey will offer a diverse mix of content that adds value to our existing strong portfolio, including dedicated feeds for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science. TLC is the channel Turkey has been waiting for and we look forward to presenting it to viewers and our commercial partners this November.”Doğuş Media Group’s chairman Erman Yerdelen said: “As Doğuş Media Group, we believe Discovery Communications will introduce the Turkish market to a totally new channel, reflecting the latest trends in various types of entertainment under a very strong brand like TLC. Thanks to its strong and diverse programming schedule, we are sure that Turkish viewers will be addicted to TLC Turkey and it will be the leading channel in its genre. We look forward to working alongside Discovery on future projects and offering even more surprises for Turkish viewers.”
Dutch start-up Mobile2Morrow (M2M) plans to launch a mobile-centric OTT TV service, aggregating content from channels targeting migrant audiences globally, this summer, with a target of reaching between 250,000 to 300,000 subscribers by the end of next year.Speaking to DTVE at the recent NEM event in Croatia, M2M chief executive Edwin Snelderwaard said that the company had developed a platform that delivers OTT video to iOS, Android and fourth-generation Apple TV devices.Snelderwaard said that M2M currently has about 100 channels on the platform, with plans to grow this to between 300 and 500 in the medium term, and with a goal of reaching 1,000 channels ultimately.Channels on the service include public channels targeting expatriates and international version of domestic channels.Channel partners can connect to the platform for free.“The cost for the channel owner is nothing,” said Snelderwaard. Channels will be able to charge a subscription fee to viewers, and their content will be protected from piracy, he said.M2M will also provide data on viewing and usage patterns to the channel providers. “Every month the channel owner gets an overview of how many people are watching,” said Snelderwaard.M2M will make money by taking a revenue share of subscription fees, he said.In addition to targeting mobile devices, M2M is also providing its own streaming box, an Android-based platform that Snelderwaard says also supports 4K content.In addition to live streaming of channels, Snelderwaard said that M2M is looking into interactive and 360° TV, and plans to add video-on-demand capability to supplement the live services.M2M launched in beta mode a couple of months ago, with most channels on board so far from Europe. Snelderwaard says that more channels are expected to join the platform soon from a range of countries worldwide.
American films and TV shows dominate the catalogues of Europe’s transactional and subscription VOD services, stats from the European Audiovisual Observatory show.A new study revealed 61% of TVOD catalogues and 67% of SVOD libraries are US-created films, with European content accounting for 25% and 20% respectively.Internationally acquired content represented 14% of TVOD catalogues and 13% of SVOD catalogues.For SVOD leader Netflix, 48% of its TV content was from the US, while the figure at widely distributed TVOD service iTunes was 42%.The study looked into 68 TVODservices, including Apple’s iTunes and Wuaki.TV, and 37 SVOD catalogues (28 of which were from Netflix’s various European services). Amazon’s pan-European service, which launched in December 2016, was not included.Of eight key Netflix territories in Europe, the UK had the most TV titles in the catalogue, with 514. The Netherlands was the lowest, at 306.US series percentage was highest in Finland, Denmark and Sweden (54%), with the lowest being in the UK, which stood at 39%.European shows were most prevalent in Germany (39%), with just 23% of Denmark’s catalogue coming from the continent. In the UK, only 10% was sourced from mainland Europe.The ‘Origin of films and TV content in VOD catalogues in the EU & Visibility of films on VOD services’ report noted there were fewer TVOD catalogues available than in reported in the 2015 edition of the same study.The Observatory’s head of market information, Gilles Fontaine, and analyst Christian Grece drafted the 324-page report for the DG Connect, which is part of the European Commission.
The UK government has unveiled plans to promote the quicker rollout of fibre broadband ahead of an eventual full switch from copper to fibre.Among the recommendations laid out in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) was new legislation that will guarantee full fibre connections to new build developments.The review also called for an “industry-led switchover” from copper to full fibre coordinated with Ofcom, and increased spectrum access for “innovative 5G services”.The government said that the changes it has proposed are essential to: give the majority of the UK population access to 5G; connect 15 million premises to full fibre broadband by 2025; and provide full fibre broadband coverage across all of the UK by 2033.“We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live, work or travel,” said Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Jeremy Wright.“This radical new blueprint for the future of telecommunications in this country will increase competition and investment in full fibre broadband, create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out infrastructure for 5G.”The proposals form part of the UK Government’s modern Industrial Strategy and were announced on the first day of the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells. The approach is aimed at driving large-scale commercial investment in fixed and wireless networks.FTIR is designed to spur competition and commercial investment in full fibre networks across “as much of the UK as possible”. However, the government said there will be some parts of the country where it will be unlikely that that the market will be able to deliver alone.It predicted that nationwide availability of full fibre is likely to require additional funding of roughly £3-£5 billion (€3.4-€5.6 billion) to support commercial investment in some 10% of areas – often rural locations.The UK government said its ‘outside-in’ strategy will see it support investment in the most difficult to reach areas at the same time as network competition serves the commercially viable areas.It added that it will use £200 million of its existing Superfast broadband programme to “further the delivery of full fibre networks immediately”.“The FTIR’s analysis indicates that, without change, full fibre broadband networks will at best only ever reach three quarters of the country, and it would take more than twenty years to do so,” said Wright. “It also indicates that 5G offers the potential for an expansion of the telecoms market, with opportunities for existing players and new entrants.”The government said that running copper and fibre networks in parallel is costly and inefficient, and a ‘fibre switchover’ strategy will be necessary to stimulate demand, enable new networks to achieve scale quicker, and to ensure a smooth transition process for customers.Switchover is expected to happen in the majority of the country by 2030, but the government said that timing will ultimately be dependent on the pace of fibre roll out and on the subsequent take-up of fibre products.The UK currently has only 4% full fibre connections and lags behind a number of European markets including Spain (71%), Portugal (89%) and France (28%).