Foreign minister will sort out diplomatic note that angered some embassies

first_imgBy Peter MichaelForeign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Saturday he would take the initiative to find a solution after his ministry sent out a note verbale to foreign embassies in Cyprus regarding visits to ancient sites in the north, which reports said sparked anger among the diplomatic community.A note verbale is a diplomatic letter prepared in the third person and unsigned, usually to protest something. The one in question was issued by Christodoulides own ministry but on Saturday he said he would resolve it.Politis reported on Saturday that the note verbale was sent to the foreign embassies in Cyprus at the request of the antiquities department, regarding visits to sites in the north.  It said the note was issued on June 4 along with letters from the antiquities department. The missive reminded embassies that only the latter had the authority over monuments and sites in the north as the competent authority of the Republic of Cyprus.“The aforesaid letters refer to the illegal use of monuments in the occupied areas… as well as the illegal use of the logo of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018,” the note verbal said.“The ministry of foreign affairs takes this opportunity in order to reiterate its position pertaining to the illegal use of monuments and archaeological sites.”It then cites UN Security Council resolutions relating to the sovereignty of Cyprus and non-recognition of the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state in the north.A letter from the antiquities department was attached to the note verbale, which stated that illegal events were being held at monuments and archaeological sites, Politis said.  A senior official at the department told the newspaper that the department filed this report with the ministry, as they regularly do.  Asked by the daily which events they were referring to, the official, the paper said,  asked for more time to respond adequately.The missive caused anger from some of the recipients, Politis said.  Specifically, the EU Representation in Cyprus, which has an information office in the north, said that the note was against the EU itself.  It said that the EU funds the maintenance of sites in Cyprus in the north, such as the Othello tower in Famagusta.Politis reported that the note verbale sent to ambassadors was the second, with the first having been sent on October 30, 2017.  At that time, an ambassador from a European country had said that they were obliged to visit the sites, so they can inform their home governments on the funds used to maintain them.Following the outcry from diplomats, Christodoulides said he would undertake the initiative to find a solution.  “There is a state law in place, which was made after 1974, with a goal of dealing with the issues regarding the destruction of cultural heritage,” he said.He added that there was an irregular state of affairs caused by the occupation, which necessitated the restoration of cultural heritage.  Christodoulides said the government was taking the appropriate steps in that direction.“Taking into account the facts… I can tell you that I have already informed some that I am taking the initiative to find the appropriate solution,” he said.  Politis later on Saturday reported that the note verbal had been sent by a ministry official without the minister’s knowledge. You May LikeC2 seriesC2 – Create Your Own Hype.C2 seriesUndoThe Travel Breeze15 Cities Well Known For Their Street ArtThe Travel BreezeUndoNCH SoftwareGet More Done in you Day. Speed your Typing with FastFox.NCH SoftwareUndo Widowers threaten legal action over pensionsUndoLicences for ENI and Total to explore block sevenUndoFilm review: Child’s Play ***Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Poleski invites Jackson mayor to State of the State address

first_img Categories: News State Rep. Earl Poleski stands with Jackson Mayor Jason Smith and the mayor’s wife, Ashley, on the House floor today prior to Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address.  Poleski invited Mayor Smith and his wife as his special guests for the address. Snyder delivered his key goals for the year during the speech. 16Jan Poleski invites Jackson mayor to State of the State addresslast_img

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Rep Hughes invites all area residents to 4th Annual Veterans Job Fair

first_img Categories: Featured news,Hughes News,News 08May Rep. Hughes invites all area residents to 4th Annual Veterans Job Fair Tags: #SB center_img Event to feature 65 local employers looking for talented employeesState Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, vice chair of the House Military and Veterans Committee, encourages veterans and non-veterans alike to attend the 4th Annual Veterans Job Fair on Friday, May 15 aboard the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum in Muskegon.The event was started in 2012 by Rep. Hughes and Dave Eling, director of the Veterans’ Center of Muskegon County. The Veterans’ Center of Muskegon County has helped matched hundreds of potential employees with employers since its inception.  Last year, over 90 employers from various industries were on hand to meet with prospective employees.“Returning veterans face many challenges, including higher rates of unemployment,” said Rep. Hughes.  “This event is designed to be a one-stop shop for bringing together our talented veterans and local workers with our wonderful area employers in a relaxing and stress-free environment.  Last year, of those seeking employment a third were veterans.”The Veterans Job Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum, 560 Mart St. in Muskegon.For more information, contact Rep. Hughes at 877-633-0331, via email at HollyHughes@house.mi.gov or the Veterans’ Center of Muskegon County by calling (231) 724-7143 or visiting www.muskegonveterans.com.###last_img read more

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Representative García invites residents to think local during Buy Michigan Week

first_img State Representative Daniela R. Garcí­a of Holland today highlighted an upcoming week-long event that emphasizes buying Michigan-made products.Purchasing goods and services locally leads to a positive ripple effect on the region, encouraging small business growth and more job opportunities while strengthening Michigan’s economy.“We get more money infused back into the state when people buy local. On average, 50 cents of each dollar spent locally stays within the community,” said Representative Garc­í­a, who serves as vice chair of the House Commerce and Trade Committee. “West Michigan has so many different industries to offer and people are working hard within those industries to provide for themselves and their families. Investing in these products and services is an investment in our communities and our state, and we can ensure that West Michigan continues to grow.”In October, Representative Garcí­­a also supported “Buy Nearby” in Michigan – a promotion for shopping at local retail outlets instead of alternatives via the internet. The Buy Nearby project estimated that if Michigan residents made a concerted effort to buy locally, an additional $9 billion in economic activity would follow and nearly 74,000 jobs could be created.Buy Michigan Week will run from July 28-Aug. 5. 27Jul Representative García invites residents to think local during Buy Michigan Week Categories: Garcia News,Newslast_img read more

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Rep Wendzel votes for more government accountability

first_img Plan extends open record requirements to governor, LegislatureState Rep. Pauline Wendzel today voted to approve a bipartisan plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan.Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor and the Legislature from open records laws. The bipartisan solution approved today would end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government. The House unanimously approved the multi-bill proposal.“How can we trust our government if it is not totally transparent?” Wendzel said. “This legislation will affect my personal office, and I support it because people need to be able to hold us accountable for our actions.”The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other types of communications – including those lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists – would not be exempt. House Bills 4007-13 and 4015-16 now advance to the Senate for consideration.### 19Mar Rep. Wendzel votes for more government accountability Categories: Wendzel Newslast_img read more

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Faithbased Org Deemed Insufficiently Charitable Denied Tax Exemption

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMarch 7, 2014; MLiveWhat may be a recognized nonprofit at the federal level may not meet the standards of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a nonprofit think tank that, according to its website, organizes “seminars aimed at educating religious leaders of all denominations, business executives, entrepreneurs, university professors, and academic researchers in economics principles, and in the connection that can exist between virtue and economic thinking.”According to Grand Rapids city assessor Scott Engerson in a rejection letter to the Institute, Acton “does not meet nonprofit charitable requirements according to case law.” Expanding on Engerson’s comment, Grand Rapids city attorney Catherine Mish stated in an online comment, “Acton does not qualify as a nonprofit educational institution under state property tax law because it’s not part of educational system that’s provided by the state and supported by public funds.”Acton’s executive director, Kris Mauren, said in a statement, “We are disappointed with the city assessor’s ruling, but we are confident that our appeal will be successful. Not only has Acton been successfully operating as a nonprofit since it’s founding in Grand Rapids in 1990, but our local educational, research and community outreach during these nearly 25 years has been extensive and growing.”As the issue became heated, the Grand Rapids Board of Review decided to ban the presence of recording devices in the hearing regarding the exemption. (According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, “the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation plans to file a complaint about the Board of Review’s ban under the Open Meetings Act.”)While the Acton case is the only nonprofit complaint to surface in Grand Rapids this year, according to David Thompson, vice president of the National Council of Nonprofits, state and local governments that are hurting financially are starting to look at the denial of property tax exemptions to nonprofits as a new tactic toward meeting budget concerns. In tracking tax exemption denials as well as fees imposed by government on nonprofits, Thompson states that “local government has been turning to nonprofits as a new source of revenue.”—John BrothersShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Children of Color Need LongTerm Allies

first_imgShare54Tweet25ShareEmail79 Shares“Young protester against Donald Trump,” Fibonacci Blue.July 8, 2018; New York TimesSuperficially, it seems that the current US presidential administration has it in for babies. Even as it searches—under court order—for a group of more than 100 children under the age of five (among 3,000 children altogether) who were separated from their mothers unnecessarily in this country and then quickly lost to them in the system, it threatens World Health Assembly delegates as they introduced a resolution encouraging breastfeeding over formula where possible at its meeting in Geneva last week.Decades of research indicate the clear multiple benefits of breast milk. The New York Times cites a 2016 Lancet study which determined that 800,000 child deaths a year could be prevented through universal breastfeeding. This means that growth in the baby formula industry depends on selling it to developing nations, as sales have flattened out in wealthier countries. Activism on the issue dates back to the ’70s and the launch of the Nestlé Boycott, which quickly spread across the US and Europe as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. At some point, the issue was declared resolved but was revived when formula purveyors reverted to their usual marketing targets.The resolution, which calls for an end to inaccurate or misleading marketing of formula, was expected to pass easily at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in Geneva. But not only did the United States block the resolution on, one assumes, the behalf of the lobbyists for a $70 billion industry who were quietly present at the meeting, but according to more than a dozen delegates, it openly threatened Ecuador, which was to have introduced the measure, with punishing trade measures and a withdrawal of military aid. During the deliberations, some American delegates even suggested the United States might cut its contribution the WHO, several negotiators said. Washington is the single largest contributor to the health organization, providing $845 million, or roughly 15 percent of its budget, last year.“We were astonished, appalled, and also saddened,” said Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, which now manages the Nestlé boycott. “What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the US holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health.”The Assembly scrambled to find another sponsor, but the schoolyard intimidation tactic rippled out to the many other poor nations whose populations had been the targets of the marketing campaigns. In the end, the Russian delegation stepped in to introduce the resolution, at which time the US stood down. The bizarre incident finally yielded the following bit of nonsense:A Russian delegate said the decision to introduce the breast-feeding resolution was a matter of principle.“We’re not trying to be a hero here, but we feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world,” said the delegate, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.The babies separated from their parents at the border do have something in common with the ones who were to be sold a bill of goods in the form of formula in developing countries—for the most part, they are black and brown. Maybe it is not about hating all babies, after all. But, though it’s tempting to indulge in self-righteousness, some worry that this wave of support for issues that disproportionately affect black and brown people owes more to hatred of Trump than to a persistent commitment to equity and justice.Lucia Allain, who organizes among undocumented immigrants for Cosecha, says, “I’ve been in this movement for 13 years, and we’ve been trying to engage allies for years. We’ve been saying, ‘Look, we need folks to come out. We need you to come out for us.’ But we really didn’t see it…Now we’re seeing allies come out with their children, allies come out and put their bodies in front of ours, putting themselves at risk for arrest, and that’s huge. I’ve never seen that before.”“This is not a new problem,” she continues, “but I feel like now people think, ‘Oh, Trump’s a bad guy, so of course he’s mistreating immigrants,’ but this happened when Obama was in office…this happened [under] George W. Bush…we can go back and back. The struggle is making sure these allies, who can go home and not worry about it in the way immigrant communities have to, don’t forget that.”“On the one hand, I’m really happy we have more allies and we have more people getting fired up about this,” said Abel Nuñez, executive director of the Central American Resource Center. “On the other, I’m concerned that immigration has become the flavor of the month, and it’s already losing some steam. If it’s not your community, you can walk away from it. We can’t.”“If they’re really interested in sticking with this fight for the long term, they need to partner with organizations that have been doing this work. Only then can you understand the contextual history of what we’re going through today,” he said. “But when I start talking about this in this way—about policy changes and the history and all that wonky stuff, it’s not about kids at the border. It’s not about this emotional scene. And people start to disengage. But that’s what we need: a long-term plan.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare54Tweet25ShareEmail79 Shareslast_img read more

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Panasonic has used the CES show in Las Vegas to un

first_imgPanasonic has used the CES show in Las Vegas to unveil Smart Viera, a new iteration of its Viera Connect connected TV platform centred on networking, easy operation, picture quality, ecology and design elements. The platform will include a cloud- based service, providing online movies and sports, as well as new apps in categories such as games, kids and health and fitness.Smart Viera gives the user access to weather reports and news, and a number of video-on-demand services. The appearance of social networking TV apps including Facebook and Twitter are designed to make large screen communication more comfortable for the consumer, according to Panasonic. A sidebar on the screen displays the wall and timeline for these social media sites, so viewers can directly write in SSN comments and tweets while simultaneously watching TV.Panasonic has developed a new Viera Touch Pad Controller, included with its VT50 and WT50 series sets, for easy web browsing and a newly developed application called Viera remote App allows an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone to be used as a remote control. Some 2012 Viera HDTVs – the VT50, GT50, WT50 models – will support multitasking by making it possible to open several web pages simultaneously and switch between them.last_img read more

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Orange is to launch its new combined settop box a

first_imgOrange is to launch its new combined set-top box and gateway, the Livebox play, on February 7.According to Orange, it has received about 100,000 pre-orders for the box in just over two weeks on the liveboxplay.orange.fr website.The Livebox Play is available form €39.90 a month as part of a new mulit-play package, with a €3 monthly rental charge for the box.The box facilitates fibre broadband at speeds of up to 200Mbps and iupload speeds of up to 50Mpbs. Dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity enables users to watch HD films on multiple streams.The box is based on an Intel Groveland processor. Users will be able to browse the internet and access multiple application stores, and interact on social networks direct form their TVs. The remote control includes gyroscopic control to change channels and adjust the volume with a simple stroke, a keyboard for surfing the internet and social networks and a joystick to play games directly on the TV. The remote also uses radio frequency so users no longer need to point it at the set-top box. A new cloud-based gaming package on TV delivers over 120 games as part of the Orange TV service to Livebox Play subscribers. The box comes with nine pre-installed games including new releases Asphalt 6 Adrenaline and Tintin – The Secret of the Unicorn.The box also includes an 80GB hard drive with a further 240 GB available on request. An add-on 3D Blu-ray player from Panasonic will be avialble from April for €99.“The new Livebox Play is packed full of cutting-edge technologies. In combination with the Livebox Play packages, customers will be able to use all their screens to enjoy a vast range of uses, including browsing the internet, playing games and social networking,” said Delphine Ernotte Cunci, executive director of Orange France.last_img read more

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CBS Chello Zones channels have been made availabl

first_imgCBS Chello Zone’s channels have been made available to all Virgin Media customers in the UK for one month as a promotional initiative.All Virgin Media customers can watch CBS Drama, CBS Reality, CBS Action and Horror Channel at no extra cost from September 3 for a one month taster period.  Currently Virgin Media customers only have access to some of the CBS Chello Zone channels depending on the package they subscribe to.Separately CBS Chello Zone has acquired the rights to Dexter Season 4, Numb3rs Season 1-2 and Deadwood Seasons 1-2 for CBS Action from CBS Studios International for its autumn line-up.Alina Florea, director of programming, CBS Chello Zone Channels, said: “This autumn is going to be packed full of hits for CBS Action. At a time so rich in quality TV entertainment, it is great to give our viewers the opportunity to watch some of the series which set the standard for big budget cinematic style ‘small-screen’ content, either for the first time or to enjoy again from the beginning.”last_img read more

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BBC director of television Danny Cohen is set to h

first_imgBBC director of television Danny Cohen is set to hire a controller of iPlayer, in a bid to establish the BBC’s online catch-up service as a “fifth channel.”Announcing the newly created role at a Royal Television Society event last night, Cohen said he wanted to position the iPlayer in a similar way to the BBC’s main linear networks – BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4.“BBC iPlayer is an increasingly important part of the way viewers enjoy our content. From now on I want us to think of BBC iPlayer as having the same status and value as a linear channel service. In essence, it becomes our fifth channel, creating and sharing content alongside our linear services,” said Cohen.The iPlayer controller role will be advertised in “due course”, said a spokesman for the BBC, with the new hire to take overall charge of exclusive online content planned for BBC iPlayer.This will range from short-form programming, to improved curation of content and premieres of BBC shows ahead of their transmission on the BBC’s linear channels. The iPlayer controller will report directly to Cohen.News of the appointment comes a week after BBC director general Tony Hall outlined plans for an enhanced iPlayer as part of his vision for the BBC’s digital future.This will include a 30-day catch-up window, subject to approval by the BBC Trust, iPlayer-only curated content and channels, and “the chance for users to be the scheduler by accessing content before broadcast at times that suit them,” said Hall.He also announced plans for a new BBC Store would allow viewers to buy, watch and keep a selection of BBC programmes.The new iPlayer controller will join BBC1 controller Charlotte More, BBC2 and BBC4 controller Janice Hadlow, and BBC3 controller Zai Bennett.last_img read more

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Sony 4K TV and Video Unlimited 4K service The pro

first_imgSony 4K TV and Video Unlimited 4K service.The proportion of North American households with a 4K TV set will pass 10% by the end of 2018, according to a new study by ABI Research. The report claims that ​Asia-Pacific, and China in particular, is expected to lead Ultra HD TV unit shipments, though North America will be the leader when it comes to 4K adoption and will be the first market to pass 5% adoption in 2017 and 10% at the end of 2018.ABI said that price will remain “the most critical factor” for 4K TV adoption, but said that OTT services like Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K service will help bridge the content gap and make 4K TVs a more valuable proposition.However, the research firm warned that forthcoming TV sports events that are due to trial 4K technology will be too soon to have an impact on the Ultra HD market.“Despite a very limited installed base there have already been a number of 4K trials from broadcasters, pay TV operators, and satellite operators,” said ABI senior analyst Michael Inouye.“While many point to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and Sochi Winter Olympics as highlights for 4K, these events will have a minimal impact on 4K adoption – it’s simply too early.”ABI said that as devices that support 4K reach the market – like the upcoming next generation games consoles from Microsoft and Sony – consumer awareness will continue to expand.“Unlike 3D, which required awkward glasses, 4K has the legs to become an industry norm. This isn’t a sprint, however, and it will take time for the necessary infrastructure, installed base of devices, and content to come together before 4K becomes an integral part of how the typical TV household consumes video content,” said ABI practice director Sam Rosen.last_img read more

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Polish telco Netia has deployed Witbes CDN Video

first_imgPolish telco Netia has deployed Witbe’s CDN Video Quality Manager to monitor its TV delivery network. Netia enlisted technology company Vector to implement Witbe’s solution and integrate it into its network.The Witbe solution, which the company will demo at ANGA COM, includes OTT monitoring robots and a new OTT v2 plugin for adaptive bitrate streaming.Netia is now using the solution to monitor 176 channels over its CDN infrastructure and is using it to detect unavailability, performance and conformance issues.“Witbe offered us all the technological features and guarantees of reliability and conformance we were looking for. We are confident that thanks to Witbe’s CDN Video Quality Manager, our subscribers will benefit from the service performance and availability that they are entitled to expect at all times,” said Netia CTO Miroslaw Suszek. Witbe will exhibit at ANGA COM on both M35, Hall 10.1.last_img read more

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French service provider SFR has introduced downloa

first_imgFrench service provider SFR has introduced download-based video-on-demand for multiscreen and offline viewing, including offering access to Orange Cinéma Séries’ OCS Go offering.The new service means that SFR customers with OCS subscriptions can use the OCS Go app to watch content on iOS and Android tablets and smartphones on-demand.The download functionality is a first for the French market and will enable users to access the Club Vidéo SFR VoD offering either in streaming mode on multiple screens or via download for offline viewing.Subscribers can use their SFR box to choose Club Vidéo SFR programmes and films, add them without a surcharge to a download playlist, and view them within 48 hours.The OCS Go service will enable SFR customers with OCS subscriptions to view content on smartphones and tablets, either via streaming or download, for up to 30 days after they air on linear TV.SFR has also added three new combination packages and a number of international packs to its TV service.Le Pack Divertissement + Cinéma offers all channels in the Divertissement (Entertainment) bouquet plus the 12 channels in the Cinéma bouquet for €19.99, rather than the €23.99 it would cost to take both packs separately.Le Pack Divertissement + Tentations includes all entertainment pack channels plus four adult channels for €19.99 instead of €23 for both packs separately, while Le Pack beIN Sports + Sport includes all the channels of the beIN Sports package plus the nine channels of the Sport pack for €15.99 instead of €17.99.SFR has introduced three international packages. Le Bouquet Musulman offers three Islamic religious channels, including one French service, for €2.99, while Le Bouquet Africabox includes new channel Africabox Séries and costs €4.90 a month. From July 14, SFR will also offer Le Bouquet Océan Indien, including Comoros Islands channel ORTC and Madagascar channel Televiziona Malagasy, for €6.90.last_img read more

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Ruwido will be exhibiting at IBC on stand 1F68

first_imgRuwido will be exhibiting at IBC on stand 1.F68 Austria-based remote control specialist Ruwido will use IBC to debut its ultra-thin ‘leaf’ remote control.According to Ruwido, the device reduced the technology components of a remote to the minimum in size and maximizes bandwidth by implementing Bluetooth Low Energy for data transmission.The remote measures 2.7mm in width and is manufactured using aluminium and carbon. The anodized remote control has an in-built keypad, and features integrated speech transmission.“Many interaction mechanisms have been tried, but nothing has turned out to be completely suitable on its own for TV navigation in everyday life. It is imperative that we continue to identify the interaction mechanisms which have already been proven to work, while adapting and enhancing them to meet the evolving needs of today´s TV landscape,” said Ferdinand Maier, CEO of Ruwido.last_img read more

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Austrian public broadcaster ORF has relaunched vid

first_imgAustrian public broadcaster ORF has relaunched video-on-demand site Flimmit with a new layout and expanded content offering after investing in the firm. Some 4,000 predominantly German-language titles – with a focus on Austrian productions – are now available on the service.Viewers can access the service for €7.50 per month, or €19.90 for a three-month subscription. An introductory offer will also allow users to pay €49.90 for a year’s access, as opposed to €75 per year.Flimmit launched in 2007, with ORF first reported to be in talks to buy into the firm last summer ahead of Netflix’s launch in Austria later last year.last_img read more

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Pay TV operator Sky has issued €600m of Euro denom

first_imgPay TV operator Sky has issued €600m of Euro denominated bonds.According to the operator, the new debt refinances the remaining piece of its bank bridge facility put in place for acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, completed in November 2014.  In addition, it provides funding for the acquisition of the approximately 4% of Sky Deutschland shares held by minority shareholders that will be acquired by Sky later this year through the previously announced “squeeze-out” process.last_img read more

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The value of Premier League football rights is set

first_imgThe value of Premier League football rights is set to break the £10 billion barrier for the first time, with Amazon emerging as a “significant potential bidder”, according to Ampere Analysis.The research firm predicts that the total value for UK and international rights in the upcoming auction for three seasons from 2019 – 2022 will reach £10.9 billion – up from £7.37 billion in the previous auction.Domestically Ampere predicts live rights will go for between £5.6 billion and £5.9 billion, marking an inflation rate of 9% and 15%. It said the international rights value could increase by 58% to reach £5.05bn.Sky and BT will remain “strong and viable bidders” and are unlikely to pull back on spend to the point where there is a decrease in absolute value of the Premier League, according to the predictions.Ampere said its ‘most likely scenario’ is that Sky takes four or five of the seven rights packages of 200 live games that are up for grabs, BT takes an additional two or three, while a third bidder – potentially Amazon or Liberty Global – takes one or two packages.According to the predictions report, Amazon represents a “significant potential bidder for international rights”, and its involvement as a bidder could be a key factor in inflating international rights this time around.However, it also said that any Amazon bid for UK rights would be limited to one of the smaller packages to “test the water this time around”.Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media in the UK, was cited as another possible new bidder having shown an increasing appetite for direct control of content in recent years, including Formula One rights.“Unlike the bidding for the 2017 to 2019 rights, life is now very much less certain. What has changed is the very real threat that Amazon will look to take at least some of the UK and later on, international rights,” said Guy Bisson, Research Director at Ampere Analysis.“At the same time, domestically, Sky and BT’s appetite to increase spend in line with the previous rates of inflation may have waned. The inflationary pressure will be focused on international rights and will be driven by the threat from Amazon and other potential new entrants.”Sky and BT’s business rationales have both changed since the previous auction, with margin pressure and the difficulty of justifying sport spend to cross-sell broadband meaning each is competing on the same terms, according to the research.The Ampere report made no mention of Facebook, which is said to have appointed Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton earlier this week as it looks to secure live sports rights. According to reports, Hutton will move to the social network after the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.last_img read more

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Russian service provider Rostelecom grew its pay T

first_imgRussian service provider Rostelecom grew its pay TV base by 5% last year to reach 9.8 million homes, with IPTV subscribers growing by 14% to reach 4.8 million. IPTV accounted for all new TV subscriber additions in the fourth quarter.Rostelecom had 12 million residential broadband subscribers at the end of the year, up 3%, with the number of fibre custoemrs growing 8% to 7.7 million.Mikhail OseevskyRevenue from TV services increased by 6% year-on-year to RUB27.3 billion (€386 million), boosted by strong growth in the fourth quarter of 12%, taking TV revenues in that quarter to over RUB7 billion. Overall, Rostelecom’s revenues were up 3% for the year to RUB305.3 billion. The company said TV revenues were boosted by higher ARPU and increased video-on-demand usage.The year saw the introduction to new packages for hospitality and business TV services, and the introduction of new sports packages.“For the third consecutive quarter we have demonstrated high revenue growth rates and positive OIBDA dynamics. We are delivering on a successful digital transformation of our business model, as evidenced by a double-digit revenue growth in the digital business stream and the content segment that remains key engine for Rostelecom’s strategic reformation,” said Rostelecom CEO Mikhail Oseevsky.“In the residential segment, in addition to core connectivity service, which continues to be in high demand, our new products with high added value, such as ‘Smart house’, ‘Interactive TV’, antivirus and other services, are gaining increasing prominence.”last_img read more

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