The ESPY’s, an event full of touching moments. laughs, and great story lines, aired last night and certainly didn’t disappoint.One of the more lighthearted moments of the event, hosted by Pro Wrestling icon John Cena, was this video of members of the Manning family, Derek Jeter, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers reading letters from Peyton.It starts off looking like a heartfelt promo, right along the lines of Gatorade’s ad with Peyton that went viral, but then things quickly turn entertaining once Eli gets on screen.This is a great way to start your day. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Sponsored By Connatix
OlderWTTC partners with World Economic Forum for seamless travel initiatives Yotel has announced its first hotel in Australia.Yotel Melbourne is slated to open in 2022 and has been signed under a management agreement with Cornerstone Partners Group. Cornerstone is an integrated hospitality asset owner and developer with offices in Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia.The 244-room property will be located on 63-69 City Road in Southbank – within walking distance of Melbourne’s central business district, the Arts Precinct, Federation Square and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.Yotel Melbourne will be a flagship property for Yotel in Australia, featuring the brand’s latest generation of cabins (Yotel speak for rooms). “Over the past two years, we have been actively searching for the right locations and partners to roll out our brands in Australia, a key market for our global expansion and a key feeder market for our hotels in the US, Singapore and the UK. ADVERTISEMENT“With solid market fundamentals and global appeal, Melbourne is the perfect gateway to launch our first property in the country.“Moreover, we are delighted to enter the market with Cornerstone Partners Group, an international leader in hospitality and real estate investments,” said Hubert Viriot, chief executive of Yotel.The property will also feature a 24/7 gym and viewing deck with restaurant and bar.“Our group is focused on finding gaps in the hospitality markets across Asia Pacific.“In Australia, we believe there is an avenue for disruptive brands such as Yotel, which offer something completely new to the market. “We were also impressed by Yotel’s global development pipeline, focused on key gateway markets, which fits perfectly with our strategy, therefore it was only natural to join forces on our first project in Australia in Melbourne, one of the country’s most cosmopolitan and urbanised cities,” said Jason Chong, chief executive, Cornerstone Partners Group. NewerDP World raises capital for further expansion
The chairman of the island’s tourism organization (CTO) said on Thursday that hotels and restaurants in Cyprus comply with health and safety rules, seeking to allay concerns raised after an auditor-general report said the majority had no valid operating licences in 2016.Speaking before the House watchdog committee, Angelos Loizou said the matter will be resolved when parliament approves a regulatory framework that simplifies procedures and reduces red tape.Loizou said there is no problem if a hotel has a health and safety permit.“If there are cases where there is a health and safety issue that is where we intervene; we want to examine the case, look at the reasons, and if necessary, we will ask for a court order shutting it down,” he said. “Fortunately, we don’t have this problem.”He said the crux of the matter is the CTO issuing a licence. Currently around nine others also have to be issued by other authorities that have nothing to do with tourism but still have to be secured.“All these matters must be streamlined and that is why there is a bill concerning the regulatory framework, which deals with all these problems.”In a report published last week, the auditor-general said some 73 per cent of hotels and 36 per cent of restaurants and leisure centres were operating without licences in 2016.At the end of 2016 there were 233 hotels and 3,570 recreational centres operating, and due to the failure to meet the requirements of the relevant legislation, licences were renewed for only 63 hotels and 2,282 restaurants, the report said.Out of 26 five-star hotels, only six had a valid operating licence and only 12 out of 57 in the four-star category.Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides said the final approval of buildings is often seen as a formality ‘but there are also times when it is an issue of substance’.He said the state is right in letting owners secure approval certificates with footnotes or non-approved work, which are issued when the problems are not so important.Hotels however, had failed to comply with certain obligations, he added.Committee chairman Zaharias Koulias sought to play down the matter, saying that it was wrongly represented.“It was more or less revealed that there are hotels in Cyprus that operate without permits,” he said. “This was wrongly represented, either in good faith or in bad, and we must all be very careful when we talk about our tourism.”Koulias said foreigners consider Cypriot hotels as top class and if some cannot secure a licence because of planning regulations, that was a different matter.If some others didn’t succeed in securing a permit for other procedural reasons, it does not concern the operation or the quality, or the health and safety of the people staying there.Koulias added that there was no hotel without insurance coverage.You May LikeFood PreventWhat Might Happen if You Eat 2 Bananas a DayFood PreventUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoElectric Mosquito TrapThis Is Why Everyone Wants a Sonic For United States’s Mosquito ProblemElectric Mosquito TrapUndo British woman who claimed gang-rape taken to courtUndoBritain preparing for a no-deal BrexitUndoHeroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
By Alexia PapakyriacouCHARALAMBIDES- Christis dairy is giving €80,000 to help improve educational infrastructure, the company said yesterday.At a news conference yesterday, Charalambides announced a two-year volunteer campaign and slogan: “Through participation we become better’.By conducting research at the end of 2012 the company realised that people needed more positive news. “Cypriots are expecting socially responsible companies to help for the improvement in children’s entertainment places (parks and playgrounds)” CEO of Charalambides Marios Kampanelas said.“We took seriously into consideration the results of the research for the programme’s development. Works have already started and will last until the end of 2014,” Kampanelas added.By the end of 2013, ten projects will be completed. These include the purchase of new furniture for Pyrgos primary school in Limassol, the creation of exercise areas for children’s entertainment at Makenzy Beach, playground renovations at Polemi, in Paphos, and the purchase of new equipment for a nursery school in Klirou.The cost of these works will come to €50,000.Through a school competition the company will subsidise the best ideas to the tune of €30,000. Starting this month with every purchase of Charalambides chocolate milk 1 cent will go towards the scheme as will five cents from every children’s yoghurt Boome.Greek singer Sakis Rouvas who is the first official volunteer and ambassador for the programme was present at the news conference yesterday. The well-known Greek singer will strengthen the effort to attract volunteers with his song “Oi Kaliteroi” (The Best), which has been written especially to promote the project. All proceedings will be given to the project.“By participating in the programme, we become better especially this period when we need it more than ever. Volunteering and offering are the fundamentals for improving our lives and creating a better future for us and our children,” Rouvas said.People interested in becoming active members of the programme or just suggesting ideas for improving children’s lives can register on the dedicated facebook page: www.facebook.com/Symmetochi.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 SearchBack Pain Treatments That Might Surprise You. Search For Back Pain TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
The first Turkish Cypriot MEP, Niyazi Kizilyurek, has described his victory as hugely important because it was a result of cooperation between members of both communities.Kizilyurek, who was running on main opposition Akel’s ticket, was elected as one of the party’s two MEPs after winning 25,051 votes. Along with his co-candidate Giorgos Georgiou who got 27,063 votes, the two men will be Akel’s and Cyprus’ new representatives in the European Parliament.His election was of paramount importance, Kizilyurek told the Cyprus News Agency, not because he was the first Turkish Cypriot to be elected but because he was elected by both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.“I think it’s a special case in itself. It shows that there are many people in our country who are ready to work together for a better Cyprus for a better Europe,” Kizilyurek said.He thanked Akel that “opened the window to the Turkish Cypriots.”The Jasmine Movement that had six Turkish Cypriot candidates, got 1.7 per cent of the overall votes, and the Cyprus Socialist Party that was running with two Turkish Cypriot candidates, received 0,06 per cent of the votes by Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot voters.The turnout of Turkish Cypriots increased three times compared to the 2014 Euro-elections. in total 5,604 Turkish Cypriots voted on Sunday compared to just 1,856 in 2014.A total of 81,611 Turkish Cypriots were registered to vote. They constituted two per cent of the overall 44.99 per cent who voted on Sunday.The majority of Turkish Cypriots who did vote, 72 per cent voted for Akel, 23.6 per cent voted for the Jasmine Movement, 1.2 per cent voted for Disy, 1 per cent for the Cyprus Socialist Party, 0.8 per cent for Edek and 0.5 per cent for Diko. Another 0.2 per cent, which translates to 14 Turkish Cypriots, voted for far-right Elam.Around 1,000 Turkish Cypriots were reportedly not allowed to vote when they went to the polling stations for various reasons.President Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday night said he was satisfied with the increased participation of Turkish Cypriots in the elections.Akel leader Andros Kyprianou thanked Turkish Cypriot voters “who justified Akel’s choice of presenting a bicommunal ballot paper, a symbol of the party’s vision for the freedom and reunification of our country”.Kizilyurek’s election will send a very strong message to the EU that there are forces in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot community, “who do not settle for the existing situation, struggling to overthrow the status quo, liberate and reunite Cyprus.”Despite ‘warfare’ from the right and far-right wings in both sides of the divide, a large number of Turkish Cypriots participated in the elections, he said.Disy leader Averof Neophytou, who, prior to the elections had heavily criticised Akel for putting on its ticket a Turkish Cypriot candidate citing representation of the Turkish Cypriot community and not of the Republic of Cyprus, said: “We believe their participation positive because it constitutes, in actions, recognition of the Republic of Cyprus and disregard of the pseudo-state.”Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat congratulated Kizilyurek for his election, noting that “there are still reasons to be optimistic about the future of our country.”In his post on social media Talat said “It is an incredible development that the Greek Cypriots accepted a Turkish Cypriot to represent Cyprus … This means that there are still reasons to be optimistic about the future of our country.”Media in the north covered the results extensively, especially Kizilyurek’s election.Afrika, whose editor and columnist Sener Levent was one of the candidates running with the Jasmine Movement, said in its headline that participation from the north was at two per cent.The Jasmine Movement did not secure the success it was expecting, the daily said, reporting that it garnered 1.7 per cent of votes.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
21Apr Harrison resident, Tom Pirnstill receives Hometown Health Hero Award Categories: Johnson News,Johnson Photos From left: Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, Tom Pirnstill, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan. On Wednesday, April 15, Tom Pirnstill received a Hometown Health Hero Award from the Michigan Department of Community Health. He received the award for his efforts in the annual Paula Pirnstill Memorial Health Fair which is named for his late wife and currently in its eleventh year. Michigan’s annual Hometown Health Hero Award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond their normal duties to make a positive impact on the health of their local communities.
Categories: Kesto News 17Nov Kesto applauds Jewish Ensemble Theatre grant State Rep. Klint Kesto today applauded the Jewish Ensemble Theatre (JET) on their receiving a $15,000 grant from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). JET was one of 559 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2016 funding.JET holds the distinction of being the longest, continuously running professional Jewish theatre in North America, with 27 years of operation. Rep. Klint Kesto applauded the grant.“The Jewish Ensemble Theatre’s cultural impact on our community is immeasurable,” said Rep. Kesto, R-Commerce. “Through drama, JET enlightens us on both historical and contemporary sociopolitics. The Theatre has not only carved out their own artistic niche, but has also brought a needed voice and perspective for those of Jewish heritage.”Rep. Kesto expects that the theatre will receive more rewards in short order.“With nearly three decades of performances, JET keeps going strong,” Rep. Kesto said. “They have soldiered on through the recession and have kept the arts an important part of Michigan’s comeback.”A full list of grant awards around the state is available by visiting MCACA’s website. Rep. Kesto can be reached by phone at (517) 373-1799 or by e-mail, KlintKesto@house.mi.gov.
Michigan House Republicans released their Action Plan for the 2017-2018 session today, entitled “The Best Way Forward: Common-sense Leadership for the People of Michigan.” It highlighted key areas of focus for this legislative term.“Our state has made tremendous strides in recent years, and I look forward to continued progress,” said Rep. Julie Calley of Portland. “Our goal is to make Michigan a better place to live, work, and raise a family.“I am very pleased that extending internet service to rural areas is highlighted within the plan,” Calley continued. “High-speed, affordable broadband access is needed in all areas of Michigan for industry, education, and to meet the demands of everyday life.”Rep. Calley also praised the focus on improving behavioral healthcare.“Individuals need access to local services for mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders,” she said. “Access to quality care empowers Michiganders to live independent, self-determined lives to their fullest potential.”Calley also thanked Ionia County’s Sheriff Dale Miller, featured in the Action Plan, for being a voice from the law enforcement community.“Mentally ill prisoners have a whole set of different challenges when it comes to becoming productive members of society,” Sheriff Miller said in the Action Plan. “So much can be gained if we improve the way mental health services are delivered, especially before people have contact with the legal system. We need to give a voice to a vulnerable population that, frankly, has lacked necessary support.”The 2017-2018 House Republican Action Plan may be viewed at http://gophouse.org/best-way-forward/. Categories: Calley News,News 16Feb Calley applauds House Republican Action Plan
23Jun House approves Rep. Rendon bill to honor veterans Bill unanimously approved by HouseThe Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation authored by state Rep. Daire Rendon to name a portion of a highway in between Lake City and Kalkaska as the Veterans Highway.“Veterans Highway is to commemorate all of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country,” said Rendon, of Lake City. “Veterans make up a great portion of our communities and they will be supported by our neighbors, friends and family.”A portion of M-66 between M-55 in Lake City and M-72 in Kalkaska will be named as the Veterans Highway if this bill becomes law.There are 21.8 million veterans of the United States armed forces as of 2014, according to the Census Bureau. Ten percent of women are veterans. In 2015, there were over 672,213 veterans in Michigan.House Bill 4628 now moves to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Daire Rendon News
Categories: McCready News,News 28Aug Rep. McCready: Local K-12 schools in line for record funding ##### As K-12 school districts across the state gear up for a new school year, state Rep. Mike McCready said those schools are in line for a record amount of state funding.McCready, of Bloomfield Hills, said the 2017-18 school budget provides an increase from $60 to $120 per student for every school district in Michigan.“As the budget process took place this summer, we worked hard to invest in schools so every district in the state has a greater amount of funding to provide a quality education to our kids,” McCready said. “The children in K-12 schools today will be the leaders, teachers, job creators and workers of tomorrow. We need to ensure they have the tools to succeed.”McCready said that on top of the per-student increase, the budget provides more money for high-school students.“In addition, we are providing $25 for each high-school student because it costs more to provide a high-school education,” McCready said. “Our children deserve to have every opportunity to succeed once they are finished with school, and this added amount for high-school students helps in that goal.”McCready was involved in budget discussions this spring and voted for the funding increases.School districts in the communities McCready serves will receive the following estimated increases:Birmingham City School District, $679,215;Bloomfield Hills School District, $495,632;West Bloomfield School District, $726,461.
21Aug Rep. Lucido to select winner of summer reading contest on Sept. 1 Categories: Lucido News,News Winner awarded chance to be ‘Representative for a Day’State Rep. Peter Lucido of Shelby Township will be selecting the winner of his annual summer reading contest for local elementary school students on Sept. 1, 2018. The winner will join Rep. Lucido at the Capitol to serve as an honorary state representative for the day.Rep. Lucido hosted the contest to encourage students to keep their minds active and improve reading skills during the summer months.“Encouraging our children to spend a little bit of time reading over the summer is critically important for their future,” Lucido said. “Inspiring kids to read more will strengthen their knowledge and creativity.”Students in grades one through five who are residents of the 36th House district are eligible to participate. The district encompasses the townships of Shelby, Washington and Bruce, and the Village of Romeo. Participants track their reading on special bookmarks which have been distributed to schools and local libraries. Students can drop off completed bookmarks in boxes provided at local libraries before September 1, 2018. There is no limit to the amount of bookmarks that can be submitted, as long as each bookmark is completed.The representative will draw from the boxes to determine the winner, who will be invited to the Capitol with their family to act as state representative for a day.For questions regarding the contest, please contact Rep. Lucido at (888) MICH-REP, or by email at PeterLucido@house.mi.gov.####
Share5TweetShareEmail5 SharesJune 27, 2016; Texas TribuneIn a historic decision on its last day of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down two controversial provisions in a 2013 Texas law that has drastically reduced the number of accessible abortion facilities in the state. In a 5 to 3 decision in favor of the health clinics, with Justices Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito dissenting, the Court overturned two parts of Texas House Bill 2: the requirements that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles, and that abortion clinics meet the minimum standards of ambulatory surgical centers. The Justices agreed with abortion providers that the provisions have so acutely limited access to clinics they place an “undue burden” on women’s constitutional right to an abortion. The decision comes following the UN’s report calling Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws a violation of women’s human rights, another major step forward in the pro-choice movement.“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in the majority opinion. “Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, Casey, supra, at 878 (plurality opinion), and each violates the Federal Constitution.” In the decision’s most immediate aftermath, the plaintiffs will not have to close any more abortion clinics. In reaffirming and strengthening constitutional protections for abortion rights, it’s likely similar provisions in other states will be found to be unconstitutional, which will affect restrictions on abortions in the future. Currently, 14 states require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and 22 states have similar requirements on clinics meeting the standard of an ambulatory surgical center. “Every day, Whole Woman’s Health treats our patients with compassion, respect and dignity,” said the group’s CEO and founder, Amy Hagstrom Miller. “And today the Supreme Court did the same. We’re thrilled that today justice was served and our clinics stay open.” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton celebrated the decision as a victory for women, as did Planned Parenthood and other women’s rights groups. Pro-choice group NARAL said it was a “great day for women.” “The Justices apparently saw what we already knew—that the Texas law under review and all those like it are never about protecting women. They are about trying to ban abortion and undermining a woman’s dignity and ability to determine her own future,” said NARAL President Ilyse Hogue. “The Supreme Court rightfully rejected this assault on our constitutional rights and said with a clear voice that attacks on access to safe and legal abortion care—even deceptive attacks like the Texas law—will not stand. This decision will help to stem the public health crisis in Texas by allowing the remaining clinics in Texas to keep their doors open, and it paves the way for new clinics to open and meet the needs of the millions of women in underserved areas of Texas.”The law was passed in July 2013, and abortion providers filed the first lawsuit challenging the law the following September. Both provisions had been hailed as necessary requirements to maintain women’s safety during the abortion procedure and were part of “the compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children.” However, as noted by Justice Breyer’s majority opinion and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion, there is a “virtual absence of any health benefit” to women. According to the majority opinion, the ambulatory surgical center requirement not does “benefit patients and is unnecessary.” Justice Breyer also noted that there is “sufficient evidence” that the admitting privileges requirement has been instrumental in the needless closure of many Texas abortion clinics, a major point Justice Alito disputed in his dissent.Notably, Justice Ginsburg writes, “It is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.’”As NPQ observed when arguments for the case began in March, the limited availability of abortion clinics in the state is a well-documented consequence of the law, increasing the risk of women undertaking risky, self-induced abortions. More than half of the state’s clinics have closed in its aftermath, down from over forty clinics to just nineteen remaining. Had the law been upheld, it would have reduced that number down even further, leaving ten in the nation’s second most populous state. Further, the clinics would have been clustered in just four metropolitan areas, leaving vast areas without reasonable access. According to state health officials, there was a 14.2 percent drop in abortions in 2014 compared to 2013 before the law.—Shafaq HasanShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
The Crime & Investigation Network has secured carriage on the ‘n’ platform in Poland. The deal comes after the A+E Networks channel secured carriage on the Cyfrowy Polsat pay TV service last year. The ‘n’ deal means that the channel is now in five million Polish homes.Tom Davidson, managing director at A+E Networks UK, said: “Poland is a major TV market in Europe and extending distribution for our channel portfolio is a key priority for our business. We have ambitious growth plans for this market.”A+E says that, globally, the Crime & Investigation Network is now available in 98 million homes.
Modern Times Group-owned pan regional broadcast group Viasat Broadcasting has renewed its deal to air American football tournament the National Football League (NFL) across Scandinavia.The five year deal will include live broadcast rights on free television and pay television as well as live simulcast rights on mobile phones and online. In Sweden, viewers will be able to watch live games from the regular season, the playoffs and the Super Bowl on free-to-air network TV10 and premium pay channel Viasat Fotboll HD.In Norway, games will be show on Viasat 4, Viasat Sport and Viasat Sport HD. Finnish viewers can see games on the Nelonen Pro sports channel, while Danish fans can watch on free-to-air channel TV3 Plus and TV2 Sport 2 Denmark, its joint venture pay TV network.“The NFL is a premium worldwide sports right and the Super Bowl is one of the most watched events of the sporting calendar. The sport has a loyal following in the Nordic region and we are delighted to have extended our successful five year partnership for another five years,” said Peter Nörrelund, head of sports for Viasat. ”Viasat has supported the NFL and its fans in the Nordic region for many years, and we are pleased to be extending our partnership,” said Julie Moeller, NFL director of international media and business development.
In the run up to Cable Congress 2012, Digital TV Europe has spoken to executives from various European cable operators who reveal the challenges and issues facing the industry.Luis Lopes, chief operating officer Zon MultimédiaZon Multimédia is Portugal’s leading pay TV operator. Ahead of Cable Congress, chief operating officer Luis Lopez talked to Digital TV Europe about the company’s plans.Tomas Franzén, CEO Com HemIn the build up to Cable Congress, Tomas Franzén, CEO of Sweden’s largest cable operator Com Hem, tells Digital TV Europe about the company’s growth plans.Adrian Jezina, CEO B.netCroatian cable operator B.net is differentiating its offering in a competitive market by providing innovative new services. CEO Adrian Jezina talked to Digital TV Europe about his plans.Manuel Cubero, COO, Kabel DeutschlandIn the build-up to Cable Congress, Manuel Cubero, chief operating officer of Kabel Deutschland, talks to Digital TV Europe about the company’s plans.Cable Congress interview series – Compilation editionAll our exclusive Cable Congress executive interviews in one volume
About 80% of Czech over-the-top video-on-demand provider Topfun’s users access the service via connected TVs, according to Erik Uxa, project manager, VOD services, Topfun Media. “Smart TVs are what are mostly being used by customers,” said Uxa, speaking on a panel session at Informa’s Digital TV CEE conference yesterday.Uxa said that OTT providers had to target all devices in the market, regardless of the fragmented nature of the environment. As the OTT VOD industry was still new, it was too early to tell which devices would win out ultimately, and operators had to target as many as possible, he said. However, he said, in the Czech Republic connected TV platforms were proving to be the most popular currently.
Orange is adding ESPN America to its TV line-up. The French pay TV operator has signed a deal with the sports broadcaster and will add ESPN to its Orange TV Sport Pack, where it will join ESPN Classic.The US sports channel airs coverage of the NHL, MLB and X Games. Orange said it would offer an HD version of ESPN America shortly.
French media and telecoms group Vivendi’s annual shareholders’ meeting has approved the appointment of five new members of the group’s supervisory council.The new members are Vincent Bolloré, Pascal Cagni, Yseulys Costes, Alexandre de Juniac and Nathalie Bricault.The shareholders’ meeting also approved an increase in the annual dividend amounting to €1 per share, to be paid on May 17.
Digital TV and broadband technologies company Pace will preview its multiscreen Whole Home solution at IBC.The platform lets service providers distribute linear pay TV services and on-demand content to connected set-top boxes, tablets, smartphones, games consoles and connected TVs in the home.Pace said the pre-integrated Whole Home hardware and software solution lets pay TV and broadband providers extend their content reach while delivering an experience that engages subscribers with more screens and longer viewing.The Pace Elements software platform includes content protection with Titanium’s Unified Rights Management, Tungsten’s open standards-based device software, Helium’s gateway software that connects and distributes broadband media services around the home, and Cobalt’s Service Delivery Platform for interactive, personal and customisable services.It also uses Oxygen’s customisable user interface and Elements Framework and SDKs so operators can develop apps and services, and is integrated with Pace’s ECO Service Management platform.“Subscribers want TV technology that simply works, is invisible and instant, with an intuitive and consistent user experience across multiple devices. Discovery, playback, pause and resume should be effortless. Operators need technology platforms that are standards-based, flexible and free from vendor lock-in; that can quickly and easily be integrated into existing pay TV head-ends with minimal disruption,” said Pace International president, Shane McCarthy.At IBC Pace said it is also launching an enhanced version of its ECO Service Management platform, designed to optimise and simplify the delivery and management of triple-play and connected home services.It offers support for multi-vendor hardware and software networks, comprising remote configuration, trouble-shooting, device management and customer analytics to reduce opex and capex costs and improve the subscriber experience.Pace will exhibit at IBC at stand B19, Hall 1.
European broadcasting firm Modern Times Group (MTG) reported its fifth consecutive quarter of revenue growth in Q4, after a “year of investment” in the areas of content, digital and geographic expansion.Announcing its quarterly and full-year earnings, MTG said that its investments were “paying off in accelerated growth” and listed its buyout of Nice Entertainment Group and launch of channels for the first time in Turkey and Tanzania among its performance highlights for Q4.“We delivered the fifth consecutive quarter of accelerating sales growth with 14% constant FX growth in Q4, and 8% growth for the full year. We achieved record sales growth levels for our emerging market free-TV and pay-TV operations in 2013 and now face tough comps in what continue to be soft advertising markets,” said MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann.“Our Scandinavian free-TV operations have returned to growth, and our Nordic pay-TV business has continued to benefit from strong overall subscriber growth and rising prices. We are investing further in 2014 and always looking for opportunities to accelerate the momentum in the business.”Overall the firm reported net sales of SEK4.08 billion (€465 million) in the quarter and SEK14.1 billion for the full year. However net income for the quarter and full year were both down, coming in at SEK261 million and SEK1.17 billion respectively.In the last quarter MTG said the Swedish and Danish TV advertising markets were both stable, while the Norwegian TV ad market showed low levels of growth.The firm benefitted from Viaplay subscriber growth and rising average revenue per premium satellite subscriber, though MTG said that operating costs “increased significantly” due to the ongoing investments in premium movie and sports content.In free-TV emerging markets, sales for MTG’s combined Baltic operations were stable in the quarter, while its Czech operations reported 22% sales growth. MTG attributed the latter to its ongoing advertising sales cooperation with TV Barrandov, underlying sales growth and the launch of Prima ZOOM.Bulgarian sales were up 37% in the quarter, though sales fort its Hungarian operations were down 3%.“We are totally focused on our customers and the creation of engaging and exciting entertainment experiences, which is why we have acquired even more premium sports and movie rights, further expanded our agreements with leading content producers and distributors, and launched so many more channels and services on so many different networks and platforms,” said Lindemann.The earnings come in the same week that DTVE’s sister publication, TBI, reported that MTG is tipped to beat rivals to an agreement to buy into the fast-growing international channels group, Trace.