ACCC Air Asia court proceedings commence

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced legal proceeding against Air Asia for allegedly failing to disclose full airfare prices on flights between Australia and international destinations. In an online statement the ACCC said it is seeking a declaration from Air Asia for failing to follow Australian laws, an injunction restraining any future mishaps, penalties, ACCC costs as well as a public apology on its website. Expected to return to court for discussion on 2 March this year, the Commission explained that the alleged misleading conduct was in relation to flights between Melbourne and Macau, London, Ho Chi Minh City, New Deli, Hangzhou and Chengdu, Perth and Macau, London, Ho Chi Minh City, New Deli, Hangzhou and Chengdu as well as the Gold Coast to Ho Chi Minh City. last_img read more

Read More

Go back to the enewsletter Coral Expeditions and t

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterCoral Expeditions and the Australian Geographic have joined forces in a new partnership, uniting a shared heritage of exploration and conservation of the coastlines around Australia. The venture will allow for a deeper level of guest immersion on board the Coral Expeditions fleet.The partnership will encompass special Australian Geographic-curated expeditions and the development of year-round Australian Geographic Society “In Residence” programs using the research facilities on the new-built Coral Adventurer, due to launch in April 2019.The alliance will launch four especially curated immersive expeditions. Each of those voyages to remote expedition destinations will contribute funds benefiting projects of the Australian Geographic Society.The itineraries include:10–22 September 2019 – Ningaloo and the bluewater wonders of Australia’s west – A coastal odyssey from Broome incorporating the Rowley Shoals, Montebello Islands and the Dampier Archipelago4–15 October 2019 – The saltwater people of northern Australia – A journey across the top of Australia from Darwin to Cairns via the Torres Strait, Arnhem Land, Cape York and The Great Barrier Reef12–24 November 2019–- Pioneers and frontiers of Papua New Guinea – An expedition along the exotic coastline of PNG from Madang to Cairns via Sanananda and the Sepik River2–14 January 2020 – Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands odyssey – Exploration along the ancient spice routes and history in the West Papua region taking in legendary Cenderawasih BayCoral Adventurer has been designed as a specialist tropical expedition ship and will host the Australian Geographic Society Research Room. This is a dedicated interpretive space to host live science, culture and research projects that connect guests and destinations in an engaging format across all voyages. These projects will be integrated into the Coral Adventurer’s offerings all year-round with scientists, cultural leaders, artists, adventurers and storytellers in residence joining departures and taking an active role in the education of guests.Mark Fifield, Coral Expeditions Group General Manager, comments: “This is an important and exciting partnership development for Coral Expeditions. For over 30 years, Coral Expeditions has had one purpose: taking small groups of like-minded explorers on our ships to the most remote parts of the world with expert guidance and warm Australian hospitality. We are pleased to grow with a partner who shares both our passion and our uniquely Australian ethos.”Jo Runciman, Managing Director at Australian Geographic said, “These special Expeditions will be supporting scientific endeavour in some of our most remote regions via the unique scientists-in-residence programs running on board the Coral Adventurer. In addition to this, part proceeds from these expeditions will also go towards supporting the Australian Geographic Society in its endeavours to fund Adventure and Conservation projects.”Expeditions are available to book along with a range of year around experiences with Coral Expeditions.Visit www.coralexpeditions.com or phone 1800 079 545.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Read More

Laiki Bank administrator resigns in conflict of interest dispute

first_imgLAIKI BANK administrator Andri Antoniadi has resigned after disagreeing with the Resolution Authority over the appointment of a certain law firm to handle the case against the defunct lender’s former strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos.The resignation was confirmed by Central Bank executive Stelios Kiliaris.Kiliaris told the Cyprus News Agency that Antoniadi resigned after the Central Bank put Chrysis Demetriades on the case against Vgenopoulos.Reports said Antoniadi resigned because she believes there was an issue of conflict of interest since the law firm had borrowed from Laiki with favourable terms when the bank was under Vgenopoulos’ control.Kiliaris said the matter had been examined by the authority which judged that there was no such issue.In her letter to the authority, Antoniadi suggested that the outcome of the case would be disastrous and “I have no doubt that the blame would be born entirely by you.”Cyprus was forced to shut down Laiki in March 2013 and impose massive losses on depositors in Bank of Cyprus to keep it afloat and get €10 billion in aid from international lenders.In June of that year, a Nicosia district court issued an interim order freezing assets worth around €5.3 billion belonging to Vgenopoulos and two other people.The interim court orders, which have a global reach, were secured by Antoniadi.The court froze assets belonging to Vgenopoulos and former Laiki CEO Efthimios Bouloutas worth €3.79 billion and those belonging to former board member Kyriacos Magiras worth €1.5 billion.It also banned Vgenopoulos’ Marfin Investment Group (MIG) Holdings SA from making any payments or transfers to the benefit of the three men.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Read More

Rep Runestad welcomes parenting advocates to the Capitol

first_img Categories: Runestad News State Rep. Jim Runestad of White Lake welcomed a group of mothers, stepmothers and grandmothers to the Capitol for their inaugural Michigan Women for Shared Parenting legislative day on Wednesday. The women, representing 10 counties, traveled to Lansing from around the state to meet with legislators and discuss their support of family court reforms.Each woman shared her personal story with Rep. Runestad and a bipartisan group of legislators regarding the effect of court decisions on families. “As a stepmother I appreciate the important roles both parents play in the lives of their children. Children grow from the opportunity to foster meaningful relationships with each parent without either one being ‘better’ or ‘more important’ in the eyes of the system,” said Tara Rodriguez from Portland.The women discussed the impact of having a child’s grandparents and other family members entirely cut out of his or her life due to a court’s preference of unequal parenting time arrangements.“When there are two loving and fit parents who do the everyday work to take care of a child pre-divorce or separation, there needs to be a presumption that post-divorce, there will also be two loving and fit parents continuing to take care of a child,” Rep. Runestad said. “Otherwise, we are cutting out half of their support system, half of their family members and half of their identity as a person.”Michigan Women for Shared Parenting recently formed in an effort to restructure the state’s existing family court laws. Rep. Runestad is the sponsor of House Bill 4691, the Michigan Shared Parenting Act, which is currently on the House floor. 28Sep Rep. Runestad welcomes parenting advocates to the Capitollast_img read more

Read More

House committee approves Rep Tedder bill to expand school zone speed limits

first_img Categories: News,Tedder News 08Feb House committee approves Rep. Tedder bill to expand school zone speed limits Legislation enforces school zone speed limits to overhead pedestrian walkwaysThe Michigan House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Jim Tedder to expand school zone speed limits to roads with an overhead crosswalk.Under current Michigan law, school zone speed limits cannot be enforced on highways where overhead pedestrian walkways are constructed.Tedder said this must be changed to protect Michigan students.“This legislation provides local governments with the option of enforcing school zone speed limits in areas which may be dangerous for students walking to school,” said Tedder, of Clarkston.  “Students will be able to walk safely to and from school without having to worry about higher traffic in certain areas.”This legislation does not apply to walkways that span over expressways.Waterford Schools have a situation where exempting the overhead pedestrian walkway from school zone speed limits has created safety issues, Tedder said.House Bill 4840 moves to the full House for consideration.###last_img read more

Read More

Voter Protection on Election Day The Role for Nonprofits

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 2, 2014; Washington PostIn Alabama on Election Day, an example of a voting rights issue that goes beyond voter IDs will be in play. In a state thoroughly dominated by the Republican Party, the lines to demarcate legislative districts have been drawn in such a way as to concentrate black voters in largely black districts that will, presumably, lean Democratic (a small number of districts, to be sure) and create other very white districts that will vote Republican. For example, in Montgomery, to bring State Senator Quinton Ross’s district up to its needed size, the state added 15,785 people—only 36 of whom were white. As the Washington Post described the situation, the Alabama practice makes white voting districts whiter, gerrymandered to an extreme degree of racial separation and polarization.Like some of the state initiatives on voter ID programs, Alabama’s gerrymandering effectively disenfranchises many black voters. But minority voters, particularly black voters, have faced and are likely to face other problems with voting on Election Day in multiple states, including, as Stephanie Mencimer writes in Mother Jones, particularly long lines to vote. In 2012, black voters faced wait times at the polls that were twice as long as those faced by whites and almost one-third longer than the wait times challenging Latino voters.Several national nonprofits will be monitoring today’s elections, giving special attention to states that have enacted changes in voting procedures that could effectively disenfranchise more voters. Under a coalition umbrella called Election Protection, the election-monitoring nonprofits include the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Advancement Project, the NAACP, and the League of Women Voters.In an op-ed for MSNBC, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Barbara Arnwine, wrote, “On this Election Day, instead of being heard, the voices of hundreds of thousands of voters may be silenced because of stringent new voting laws that have the clear effect of keeping eligible voters away from the ballot box.”Arwine warned, “As voters, we must act as voting rights champions at all levels of advocacy and work in concert to lessen the pernicious effects of discrimination on the rights of American citizens.” To us at Nonprofit Quarterly, the voting rights champions on Election Day should be nonprofits as well—and not just those in the Election Protection coalition, because nonprofits have a core mission in defending and enhancing democratic rights in this nation.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Read More

New Memphis RapeKit Facility a Model for Other Cities

first_imgShare1TweetShareEmail1 SharesDecember 9, 2015; LocalMemphis.comMemphis, Tennessee has established a $1 million state-of-the-art facility for storing rape kits, physical evidence such as blood and DNA samples resulting from sexual assault. The new Memphis center will ease its backlog while sending a reassuring message to victims of sexual assault.While the rape kit backlog is a national scandal, placing women and girls at risk all over the country, the responses or lack thereof are largely local. Memphis has accumulated a backlog of more than 12,000 rape kits over the past 40 years. Officials have been working diligently the past few years to test each kit. About 8,000 have been examined or are in the process of being examined, and a little more than a third (4,200) require additional analysis.This effort has included the construction of a modern storage facility for all future rape kits collected in the city. The new temperature-controlled center stores forensic evidence with some of the most advanced technology. The facility will help reassure law enforcement officials and victims that the evidence in a case is secure while also centralizing storage, making it easy for officials to keep track of each kit.“This facility is about greater accountability,” said Memphis Director of Police Toney Armstrong.With the city’s effort to set aside funding to construct a high-tech facility for preserving rape-kit evidence, officials are making a powerful statement to victims about the importance of prosecuting their cases.“Our goal here is to make sure survivors have the resources that they need, that every kit in our possession now undergoes forensic analysis, and that we get the justice outcomes we are all seeking,” said Doug McGowan of the Memphis Sexual Assault Task Force.Considering where Memphis started, this remarkable development is a model for other cities, which face a lack of funds to support the technology and personnel needed to test rape kits, and to test them in a reasonable amount of time. As NPQ has previously reported, cities such as Houston, Detroit, and New York have not been as proactive as Memphis.The same can be said of many states. For example, victims and advocacy groups have criticized New Mexico for its delay in funding efforts to test its known backlog of 5,000 rape kits. But as many as 35 agencies in New Mexico, mostly in rural areas, have yet to report their total number of untested kits. Officials estimate it will cost $8 million over five years to eliminate the state’s backlog.“It’s a horrendous reality that is happening across the country and it is not specific to New Mexico,” said Julianna Koob, an advocate for the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. “And it simply comes down to a lack of resources.”As NPQ previously noted, a lack of funding is a major factor for the nationwide backlog. The issue is compounded by society’s attitude toward rape. It’s difficult to imagine a lab having insufficient funds to process evidence for a murder or robbery without that problem being quickly remedied to bring the perpetrators to justice.As other states and cities continue to grapple with backlogs, they should learn from past mistakes and similar responses that make testing kits a priority. — Shafaq HasanShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shareslast_img read more

Read More

Girl Scouts vs Boy Scouts An Odd Historical Moment

first_imgShare114Tweet30Share15Email159 SharesBy Viktor Gurniak, Yarko (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsAugust 23, 2017; Washington PostWhat should the scouting experience provide for the youth of the United States? That’s a question both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of America have been grappling with recently, but the boys may have just undercut the girls, and not necessarily for the best.The Boy Scouts (BSA) announced in May that they would consider opening more of their programs to girls; in the months since then, they’ve considered allowing girls to join the troops as full members. A statement from the Boy Scouts’ director of national communications Effie Delimarkos said, “In evaluating the possibility of serving the whole family, we’ve been having conversations with our members and volunteers to see how to make Scouting accessible for families.”The Girl Scouts (GSUSA) declared themselves “disappointed in the lack of transparency as we learned that you are surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents,” in a letter Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan wrote to Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson, which was made public by BuzzFeed.GSUSA accused BSA of trying to broaden their recruitment base to make up for declining membership. While the Boy Scouts have seen a precipitous decline in numbers, the Girl Scouts aren’t doing much better. Hopinkah Hannan’s letter recommended that “Boy Scouts should instead take steps to ensure that they are expanding the scope of their programming to all boys, including those who BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys.” BSA has been open to all races since 1916, before the law required integration or equal opportunity, but scouts of color have “not seen the same opportunities for leadership in their communities as they progressed through the Scouts,” according to the African American Registry.The Boy Scouts’ declining numbers can likely also be attributed to the proliferation of extracurricular options available to young people and a backlash against the other unpopular positions BSA has held, such as a strong resistance to allowing gay scouts. Opening the organization to girls could be seen as a gesture toward inclusion, albeit a strange one, meant to improve BSA’s public profile.Despite their similar names and missions, the Boy and Girl Scouts are very different organizations. GSUSA has lobbied for women’s education and health initiatives, while BSA explicitly bans advocacy. GSUSA has also been inclusive of gay and transgender members, and since 1993 they have declared themselves open to all beliefs, unlike the Boy Scouts, who reject atheist or agnostic members. The Boy Scouts famously had to be forced to include gay and transgender scouts, and as the Atlantic points out, “the BSA tends to wrap itself around existing power structures—so that, for instance, scout troops are chartered by community organizations, most frequently churches.”Given these differences, perhaps it’s not surprising that they have responded differently to their declining enrollment. GSUSA announced 23 new leadership badges this year, most of them STEM- or conservation-based. Hopinkah Hannan wrote, “Over the last century, GSUSA has adapted to the changing environment, always prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of girls. For BSA to explore a program for girls without such priorities is reckless.”Technically, allowing girls to join isn’t opposed to the BSA’s mission, which is to prepare “every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader.” But is it in the best interest of girls to join an organization that has to be dragged kicking and screaming into equal inclusion? Where is the confirmation that BSA has considered what’s best for girls, and how they are molded into leaders? Evidence shows that many girls thrive in female-only environments, where all leadership roles are filled by women and there is a safe space for them to discuss crises of confidence and other issues.Many co-ed youth scouting or scout-like programs exist, such as Adventure Scouts USA or the BSA’s own Venturing program for older teens. These programs teach outdoor skills and provide adventurous nature experiences for their members, but unlike the Scouts programs, they aren’t explicitly designed as lifelong leadership development.Should the Boy Scouts open up to girls? Are they sacrificing the potential best interests of girls to their own potential PR gain, or are they genuinely interested in inclusive growth? If this represents a strong departure from their historic roots, is that what’s best for tomorrow’s leaders?—Erin RubinShare114Tweet30Share15Email159 Shareslast_img read more

Read More

Study Finds White Wealth Rises after Disasters but Declines for People of

first_imgShare186TweetShareEmail186 SharesAugust 22, 2018; ColorlinesA new study in the journal Social Problems by Junia Howell of the University of Pittsburgh and James (Jim) Elliott of Rice University in Houston concluded that when natural disasters hit, people of color not only bear the brunt of the damage, they also aren’t able to bounce back to the same degree as whites. Disparities such as these are critical to examine in light of what appears to be a permanent increase in climate change-induced natural disasters.“Last year, the United States suffered more than $260 billion in direct damages from natural disasters—mainly from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria,” says Howell. “And there were also numerous wildfires, floods and tornadoes. Data show that since 2000, approximately 99 percent of counties in the United States have experienced significant damage from some type of natural disaster, with costs expected to increase significantly over coming years.”Howell and Elliott’s study, which covered the 1999 to 2013 period, found that in counties with at least $10 billion in damages from natural disasters, whites gained an average $126,000 in wealth per household following recovery efforts. Yet wealth among blacks, Latinxs, and Asians decreased by $10,000–$29,000.As Ayana Bird writes in Colorlines, two primary reasons are given for this disparity: “One is that whites tend to live in areas that have higher levels of reinvestment via infrastructure projects after natural disasters. Second, areas that receive more financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have a greater increase in wealth inequality.”Elliott adds that the data show that “whites accumulate more wealth after natural disasters while residents of color accumulate less. What this means is wealth inequality is increasing in counties that are hit by more disasters.” According to a Rice University press release describing the study’s findings—to take just one example—in Harris County, Texas, which was hit by Category-3 Hurricane Rita in 2005 during the study period, the increase in the disaster-related wealth gap between white households and Black households was $87,000.Howell, a report coauthor, tells Rice University that, “It’s unclear why more FEMA aid is exacerbating inequality.” But some other data in the study makes it clearer why this might be the case. Specifically, Howell and Elliott “found that after natural disasters wealth inequality also increases based on home ownership.”Individuals who owned homes in counties that experienced high levels of natural disaster damage accumulated $72,000 more wealth on average than their counterparts in counties with few disasters. Renters, on the other hand, lost $61,000 in wealth on average relative to renters in counties with few natural disasters.“Put another way, natural disasters were responsible for a $133,000 increase in inequality between homeowners and renters in the hardest hit counties,” Elliott says.And, for a host of reasons that can be traced back to a history of redlining and many other discriminatory practices that starkly restricted Blacks and other people of color from becoming homeowners, Blacks are far more likely to be renters than whites. A recent report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found that 43 percent of Blacks in the United States owned homes in 2017, compared to 72 percent for whites.Another finding from the study shows that FEMA aid also sets in motion a process of private reinvestment that leads to “additional increases in wealth inequality beyond that attributed to the natural disasters themselves.” These data show that whites living in counties that received at least $900 million in FEMA aid accumulated an additional $55,000 in household wealth. Conversely, Blacks in similar counties accumulated $82,000 less wealth. Similarly, Latinxs accumulated $65,000 less on average, and others (mostly Asian Americans) accumulated $51,000 less.—Steve DubbShare186TweetShareEmail186 Shareslast_img read more

Read More

Dutch cable operator Ziggo has posted strong digit

first_imgDutch cable operator Ziggo has posted strong digital subscriber and revenue growth on the back of its pre-summer campaign for its bundled offering and the launch of a new TV proposition including more HD channels.Ziggo grew its digital TV subscriber base by 130,000 in the third quarter to 944,000, taking penetration of digital TV to 70% of its subscriber base. Its bundled All-in-1 offering boosted fixed telephony subscribers by 59,000, giving it 1.311 million telephony customers in total, and the company recorded the highest quarterly growth in broadband subscribers – 39,000 – since it was created in its present form in 2007, taking its total to 1.643 million. Total RGUs numbered 6.919 million, up 5.1%. Total customers, including analogue subscribers, fell by 2.5% to 3.021 million.Ziggo posted revenues of €375.6 million, up 9.7% year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA was €210 million, up 5.5%.Free operating cash flow grew slightly year-on-year, and the company’s debt-to-EBITDA ratio fell from 4.5 to 3.98 in the first nine months of this year.The company said it expected further revenue growth for the remainder of the year, with operating costs rising slightly as the company continued to invest in marketing and sales.“As anticipated, we experienced a very busy summer that started with successful marketing campaigns in June and July driving the addition of many new bundle customers,” said Bernard Dijkuizen, CEO. “These campaigns have resulted in strong third quarter market share gains in triple play, internet, telephony and B2B. We also successfully introduced our new TV proposition early September and migrated more than three million TV customers to our new TV proposition.”last_img read more

Read More

Europe now has over 3000 audiovisual ondemand se

first_imgEurope now has over 3,000 audiovisual on-demand services including 447 VOD services dedicated to movies, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory.In addition to EU-based services, over 130 movie VOD services based outside the EU, mostly in the US and Switzerland, target EU states.The European Audiovisual Observatory identified 3,087 on-demand services in May, including catch-up TV services, newspapers’ video services and various kinds of VOD services, including general-interest, films, TV fiction, music, animation and children’s or adult programmes. Of these, 2,733 services were based in the EU. Apart from the 447 VOD services, 44 were trailer services and 10 were film archive services.The European Audiovisual Observatory identified 76 subscription VOD services across Europe.A significant number of VOD services were concentrated in a few territories, largely or partly targeting territories outside their base country. Luxembourg had 86 services, including the iTunes Stores for most of Europe and a number of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia as well as Netflix. Luxembourg is also home to Xbox video services for 15 countriesSweden was home to 36 services, including a number targeting the Nordic territories and one targeting Spain, and the Czech Republic home to 31, including a number of HBO On Demand services.In total, 52% of VOD services identified by the European Audiovisual Observatory available in a particular country are established in a separate country, making implementation of national content creation rules more difficult to enforce.Of the larger EU states, the UK has 48 VOD services, followed by France with 34 and Germany with 33.A number of services based in the US also target Europe. Of the 53 subscription channels recently launched by YouTube, 29 are available in Europe and charged for in euros.last_img read more

Read More

Telekom Austrias supervisory board has agreed wit

first_imgTelekom Austria’s supervisory board has agreed with chief financial officer Hans Tschuden that his contract should be “prematurely dissolved” by May 31, 2014. Tschuden, who has been Telekom Austria’s CFO since April 2007 and was appointed vice chairman of the management board of Telekom Austria in January 2009, will leave the firm after its annual general meeting for the year 2013.Telekom Austria said that the board will announce who will succeed Tschuden “in a timely manner.”“I would like to thank Hans Tschuden for his strong contribution during his many years as CFO of Telekom Austria Group in particular for his role during the growth phase of the company. I wish him all the best for his future endeavours”, said Rudolf Kemler, chairman of the supervisory board of Telekom Austria Group.last_img read more

Read More

French service provider SFRNumericable has this w

first_imgFrench service provider SFR-Numericable has this week published terms for opening its cable network up to rival operators, a condition for regulatory agreement to Numericable’s acquisition of mobile operator SFR.However the company’s offers have already attracted criticism for being too expensive.Numericable has published two reference offers – a white label offering which allows MVNOs without their own fixed line consumer premises equipment to access its network via the Numericable box, and a bitstream offering, allowing rival operators with existing fixed broadband services to access Numericable’s network using their own boxes.The two reference offers have been put to the competition watchdog which will consult on them with interested parties.In addition to significant upfront fees, including a €50,000 technical study fee, €5 million to make the service available and €250,000 a year in maintenance fees, the white label offering will cost €12 per month per line for 30Mbps to 100Mbps and €16 for higher than 200Mbps. Numericable will also charge €10 per month for each Mbps consumed by the end user.The bitstream offering will involve similar upfront costs along with a charge of €13 per line per month for the lower speeds and €17 for the higher speeds, along with €9 per month for each Mbps used by consumers and various other costs.French MVNOs have so far failed to express enthusiasm for the offering, according to local reports. Jérôme Birba, CEO of CIC Mobile, was quoted by financial daily Les Echos as saying that the condition wouldn’t permit it to offer sufficiently attractive quad-play offerings.last_img read more

Read More

Kids ondemand edutainment service Hopster has sec

first_imgKids on-demand edutainment service Hopster has secured carriage on the Vodafone Play subscription video-on-demand service in Iceland.Hopster is now available in all three Vodafone Play packages across Iceland – Vodafone Play, Vodafone Play M and Vodafone Play L – and will bring hundreds of local-language episodes of its shows to kids in the country, including Thomas & Friends, Pingu and Bob the Builder.Hopster said it has also been working on the localisation of other shows, including Max & Ruby, Wanda and the Alien, Peg + Cat, which will also be premiering on the Vodafone Play subscription service.An accompanying Icelandic-language mobile app that will include Hopster’s suite of educational games and interactive interface is currently in the works and will be launching in Iceland early 2016.Nick Walters, founder and CEO at Hopster says: “We’re really excited to be working with Vodafone Iceland. Their approach ties in nicely with what we believe in at Hopster, which is helping kids to learn through the shows they love, in a safe and ad-free environment that’s built just for them. We look forward to introducing Hopster to children and parents across Iceland, and feel it’s important they enjoy the app to the fullest without any language barriers.”Björn Víglundsson, COO at Vodafone Iceland adds: “We are thrilled with the agreement with Hopster and very excited to offer our customers this great kids TV and learning VoD platform,  something we are confident that will be very well received in Iceland. We couldn‘t be happier to be able to include Hopster in our TV offerings and look forward to the partnership. The Play-to-Learn approach of the content included is of great importance and goes well with our approach of products for the younger generation growing up.”last_img read more

Read More

Drazen Mavric OTT in central and eastern Europe fa

first_imgDrazen MavricOTT in central and eastern Europe faces significant challenges and players in the OTT market are unlikely to see significant revenues from services in the medium term, according to executives from the region taking part in a panel debate at the NEM event in Dubrovnik, Croatia, this morning.Drazen Mavric, head of the management board at Central European Media Enterprises (CME)-owned Croatian commercial broadcaster Nova TV said that premium OTT services faced a significant number of obstacles including piracy, the cost of rights and low disposable income.“Piracy is the primary obstacle. When we launch a series it is available on pirated sites. I see this as the primary problem. There is also the problem of broadband penetration and [low income],” he said. “There will be no real growth for OTT in the region until we get over these obstacles.”While premium OTT is problematic, Mavric said that in the longer term it could pose a competitive challenge to pay TV, with limited income leading to viewers making a choice between OTT and pay TV. “I believe that OTT, because of its flexibility and convenience, may be at the forefront,” he said.Mavric said that CME had been the first to bring OTT to the market in the region. He said that bundling content and offering more hours made more sense than launching transactional VoD or investing in premium content for online platforms only. He added that Nova TV had seen “steady growth” despite the numerous obstacles to OTT gaining traction.“We have been here for several years. Generally in Croatia we base our service on our own domestic production which proved to be the right strategy,” he said. “Our brand, the strongest in Croatia, helps us position our OTT service on the market. You need some competitive edge. Our own production gives us differentiation.”Speaking on the same panel, Nikola Francetic, group wholesale, head of group media, content and broadcast, Telekom Austria, agreed that OTT would take some time to deliver significant revenues.“I don’t see it being a big part of our business [in the near future],” said Francetic. He said that the small size of the markets, the challenges in investing in original content and the difficulty of achieving scale were significant hurdles.Francetic said that cord-cutting was unlikely to develop significantly in CEE. Whereas typical US cable subscriptions are in the range of US$100, in CEE OTT offerings were “half to two thirds” the price of multi-play packages from pay TV operators.He said that the market “still needs education” in addition to the other challenges. However, the launch of bundled offerings by existing pay TV players could lead to development. “To bundle OTT with a basic subscription means that people will eventually see they need it.”Francetic said that Telekom Austria did have “multiple points of contact with OTT”. Multiplay packages are part of Telekom Austria’s offering across the region and “it is important to offer OTT” as part of that. However, he said that the telco was still at an early stage. He added that the operator would build its own OTT platform to encourage consumers to take its content on multiple screens, and then partner with content providers to build revenue.last_img read more

Read More

Stéphane Richard Orange could forge a closer relat

first_imgStéphane RichardOrange could forge a closer relationship with Vivendi and Canal+ and the pair are in permanent dialogue, according to Orange CEO Stéphane Richard.In an interview with French daily La Tribune, Richard said that orange and Vivendi had plenty of things to exchange given that Vivendi was a content player and Orange was a distributor of content. He said that the pair were also aligned geographically in France, Poland and Africa. However, Richard said that Orange had no interest in Italy, where Vivendi has a significant stake in Telecom Italia. He told La Tribune that he had no discussions with Vivendi on the Italian market.Richard stopped short of saying that the pair were talking about more ambitious forms of cooperation for now, but said that they had an interest in intensifying their relationship. He also said that other content players in France and elsewhere were interested in forging relationships with the company.Richard said that Orange’s main interests in further expansion, following the failure of its acquisition of Bouygues Telecom, were Europe outside France and the Middle East and Africa. However, he said that Orange would weight opportunities carefully.Orange yesterday completed the acquisition of mobile operator Airtel Burkina Faso in concert with its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire. Burkina Faso is the 20th country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group.last_img read more

Read More

Liberty Globalowned cable operator UPC Poland has

first_imgLiberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Poland has joined the list of Polish TV operators providing the Metro HD and WP HD channels.Metro HD is a new channel providing a mix of movies, documentaries and reality shows, while WP HD offers news and magazine programming covering Poland.UPC Poland will offer both channels as part of its Max package. The pair will also be available in the wider Select package until January 11 as part of a promotional offering.Cable operator Vectra has also added the two channels to its line-up along with a raft of other channels, while IPTV operator. Netia has added WP to its offering along with other channels.last_img read more

Read More

African pay TV revenues will climb from US44 bil

first_imgAfrican pay TV revenues will climb from US$4.4 billion (€4.1 billion) last year to reach US$6 billion by 2021, according to research by Dataxis.For the year ending 2016, Africa pay TV subscribers stood at approximately 18.7 million subscribers, representing an increase of approximately two million subscribers compared to the previous year.Pascal OrhanOf these 18.7 million subscribers, 14 million were direct-to-home subs and the remaining were mostly pay digital terrestrial television (DTT) customers, with “limited cable and IPTV deployments”.“The satellite operator MultiChoice, owned by Naspers Limited has been the key player in Anglophone Africa pay TV market since its launch. However, the new entrant of the year, Econet Media/ Kwesé along with StarTimes and Zuku will change this configuration”, said Dataxis chief analyst, Pascal Orhan.Dataxis predicted that the DTT digital migration process in Sub Saharan African should be completed by 2021, though said that today “the full transition is still far from completed”.last_img read more

Read More

UK Christian broadcaster Revelation TV has tapped

first_imgUK Christian broadcaster Revelation TV has tapped Globecast to provide playout capabilities including daily live feeds and schedule-driven recordings of the feeds, exception-based quality control of content and metadata supply to Revelation’s scheduling systems.Revelation TV already uses Globecast to provide satellite capacity for distribution on the Sky platform from the 28.2° East position currently occupied by the Astra 2G satellite.The channel is available in the UK on the Sky and Freesat platforms and across Europe via Roku’s media player.Gordon Pettie, CEO at Revelation TV said: “After many years of managing our own playout, we felt it was time to enlist Globecast for this so we can increase our efficiency and concentrate on other areas of our business. Because we’ve already been working with Globecast for several years, we have a deep level of trust with them to provide the mix of broadcast business acumen and technical know-how we need to keep our channel running on a 24-hour, seven-day a week basis.”Juliet Bayliss, sales director at Globecast said: “We’re delighted to be building upon our strong and highly valued relationship with Revelation TV to manage their playout operations. This is a great way for us to help them simplify their daily operations and optimize their business processes – both of which are hugely important for a 24/7 broadcaster.”last_img read more

Read More

Netflix is set to launch on IPTV settop boxes in

first_imgNetflix is set to launch on IPTV set-top boxes in South Korea for the first time after the SVOD giant stuck a deal with local telecoms operator LG U+.The deal will give viewers access to Netflix on the U+tv set-top box from November 16, with LG U+ customers able to access the service through the U+tv home menu or via a Netflix button on their LG U+ remote.Existing U+tv customers will have their set-top box automatically upgraded so they can use it to access Netflix. They will also have the option to pay for a Netflix subscription through their LG U+ bill.“Netflix is guided by the singular focus to give consumers choice and control over the entertainment they love. In pursuing that goal, we’ve built a global service that helps our members discover stories they love and these stories come from everywhere in the world,” said Tony Zameczkowski, vice-president, business development, Netflix Asia.“Through this partnership with LG U+, we are making it even easier for Korean consumers to access these great stories, delivered over LG U+’s IPTV screens in the highest quality, in the most engaging way.”LG U+’s vice-president of home media, Song Gu-young, said: “Today’s announcement is a meaningful one as we expand the freedom of content choice for U+tv members amid the global trend of telcos introducing Netflix’s distinctive content to their consumers.”To mark the IPTV Netflix service launch, LG U+ users who sign up for a VOD premium plan and U+ broadband (Giga Internet Safe or Giga Internet Slim Safe) by December 31 will be able access Netflix for three months as part of a promotional offer.last_img read more

Read More