August 18

Zimbabwe nurse protesters return to their jobs

first_img Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressHARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – Eight nurses arrested on allegations of inciting violent protests against the firing of a popular Canadian doctor from a church mission hospital have been allowed to return to their posts, Zimbabwe court officials said Thursday.Officials said the nurses and 12 other villagers accused of staging the protests at the Salvation Army Howard Hospital, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Harare, are to reappear in a provincial court on Sept. 24 on charges carrying a penalty of imprisonment or a fine. His work at the hospital and his far reaching programs to treat AIDS sufferers in the impoverished Chiweshe district, where the hospital serves a community of 270,000 people, have won accolades from medical professionals in Zimbabwe and worldwide.The well-loved physician was carried shoulder high by villagers during the dispute at the mission over his future. Community elders said they wanted him to stay.Since then, there has been an outpouring of public anger at his dismissal.One of Thistle’s patients reported in a letter to the media last week she was turned away by a main Harare hospital after being told she only had months to live without costly surgery she could not afford.Thistle operated for a minor fee and she was now “up and about, with the problem rectified.”“Salvation Army officials must swallow humble pie and consider the will of the people,” she wrote.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters at the hospital on Aug. 17 demanding the reinstatement of Canadian Dr. Paul Thistle, fired by the Salvation Army for criticizing local church leaders.The nurses had been barred at an earlier bail hearing from returning to the mission.Thistle, from Scarborough in Canada, was given until Sept. 1 to leave Zimbabwe by the Salvation Army but has refused to go.He said Thursday he has not been contacted by state immigration authorities or police to deport him. He dismissed reports he has been holed up in the Canadian embassy in Harare.The Salvation Army has no authority to expel him from the country, he said. Some of those criticizing him likely meant to imply he was a fugitive with political ties, he said.Thistle told The Associated Press he is staying with his Zimbabwean family in Harare and hopes to remain at liberty in the country at least until after the charges against the nurses and his supporters are heard and the crisis facing the hospital eases.Colleagues said Thistle, who served at the hospital for 17 years, had recent disagreements with superiors over hospital development projects and funding, much of it raised by him and Canadian counterparts in the Salvation Army. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

August 17

South Africa to investigate allegations of accommodation pricefixing

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X South Africa will be investigating claims that hotels have been artificially inflating prices during the World Cup, as allegations of price-fixing begin to pile up.This latest news couldn’t come at a worse time, as airlines are already facing charges of collusion during the FIFA 2010 World Cup, but the tourism minister has urged travellers not to jump to conclusions.Urging travellers to realise that prices will naturally lift in peak periods, and that June and July are South Africa’s high season, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, South African Minister of Tourism says that the price increases could be natural.“In recent weeks we have noted allegations that accommodation establishments in the tourism industry are not responsible, and are inflating prices excessively,” said Minister Van Schalkwyk. “Until now our impression has been that this is not the case, but we believe it should be investigated and the results of the investigation made public. “I therefore believe that as a responsible government we should conduct an independent and scientifically sound survey to avoid a case where perceptions are created based on anecdotes.”He admits that there will “always be establishments” that will take chances with higher prices. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2082b/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=132&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a238f441″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

August 11

The writer went on to say the most important facto

first_imgThe writer went on to say the most important factor for the Cardinals in 2017 will be their defense, which was dominant at times in 2016 but wore down over the course of the season.Arizona finished second in yards allowed while leading the league in sacks and tying for fourth in takeaways, but the 22.6 points per game they surrendered placed them 14th.With that in mind, King believes the team’s best chance for success in 2017 is to rely on the defense while once again riding running back David Johnson, who in 2016 tallied 2,118 scrimmage yards with 20 total touchdowns.As for a prediction in 10 words or less, King offered:This team has a last-gasp feel to me. Opinions of the Arizona Cardinals are mixed, and with good reason.Two years ago they won 13 games and reached the NFC Championship Game, and after returning basically the entire team posted a 7-8-1 record and missed the playoffs.This past offseason saw them lose a handful of key players, but between free agency and the draft it appears as though they may not take a significant step back because of it.So, as they head into the 2017 season, what kind of team will they be? Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals NFL football head coach Bruce Arians signals his players during a voluntary team workout, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   That’s the question The MMQB’s Peter King struggled with when compiling his offseason power rankings, in which the Cardinals are placed 15th.Noting their additions, such as draft picks Haason Reddick and Budda Baker, along with the defections of Calais Campbell, Tony Jefferson and Marcus Cooper, King writes that the team appears to have enough talent to win.He points to the continuity along their coaching staff and in the front office as a plus, before saying we’ll know plenty about the Cardinals’ chances early in the season.Decisive schedule span: The first three weeks: at Detroit, at Indianapolis, Dallas at home. Three contenders, but none Arizona shouldn’t have a good chance to beat. And for the Cards to shrug off the ghosts of 2016, they’ve got to exit September at least 2-1.The schedule makers certainly gave the Cardinals a bit of a test early, with their first two games on the road and their third being a Monday Night tilt against one of the NFC’s best teams. If they can get through that early stretch, however, the team enters a part of its schedule that includes home games against San Francisco and Tampa Bay with road contests at Philadelphia and Los Angeles (in London) before a Week 8 bye. Despite King’s belief in the Cardinals, however, he admits he has the team 15th because he has no idea where to put them.There are quite literally two significant changes in personnel—in the front office, on the coaching staff, in the starting lineup—from last year’s 7-8-1 team to this year’s team. Last year the Cards were yo-yos: They started 3-3. They finished 3-3. After Thanksgiving, they scored 85 on the Saints and Rams; they gave up 86 to the Falcons and Saints.At times, such as in victories over the Buccaneers, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks, the Cardinals looked the part of a playoff team. But they also struggled in losses to the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, showing the flaws that ultimately doomed them.And the only significant losses were a giant of the front seven—6’8”, 300-pound defensive end Calais Campbell—and versatile safety Tony Jefferson. That’s it. So even if top draftees Haason Redick and Budda Baker and a healthy Tyrann Mathieu make up for the dearly departed in impact, are the Cardinals better than the team that finished the season? That will be the question that veteran coach Bruce Arians and 37-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer have to answer from day one. For most of 2016, this didn’t look like a team that was four quarters from the Super Bowl in 2015.King’s not wrong, you know. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

August 10

July 26 2002 Every Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm Sc

first_imgJuly 26, 2002 Every Tuesdayafternoon at 3 pm, “School of Thought” happens at Cosanti. This is anopportunity to have a philosophical dialogue with Paolo Soleri and opento the public. The same forum is also scheduled at Arcosanti, everyWednesday afternoon at 4 pm. [Photo & Text: SA] in Scottsdale in 1956. All the buildingsthere were experiments in earth-casting techniques and were builtduring a series of silt-pile workshops between 1956 and 1968. Cosantiis an Arizona Historic Site, open to the public 7 days a week from 9 amto 5 pm. There are metal and ceramic studios and a gallery. The generalaccounting office and shipping department are also located at Cosanti.Soleri lives at Cosanti 5 days a week and for 2 days a week he stays atArcosanti. [Photo: JAM & Text: SA]last_img read more

August 9

House President refers to crucial point in Cyprus talks

first_imgHouse of Representatives President Demetris Syllouris and Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou have spoken of a “crucial” point the Cyprus UN led negotiations have reached in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.Addressing a memorial service, on Sunday, Sylouris said that the talks and process of reaching a Cyprus problem solution are “at a crucial point.”“The aim of the Cypriot leadership but also of every citizen of the Republic of Cyprus is to guarantee our borders, the territorial integrity of our state and the guarantee of the human rights of Cypriot citizens, which are inalienable”, he noted.However, he continued, “Turkey’s provocative aims and its focus on expansionist goals act as an obstacle to every effort for a just solution of the Cyprus problem.”The House of Representatives President also said that “seeking to reach and implement a viable and democratic solution is our inalienable right.”At the same time, he explained, a functional solution of the Cyprus problem would create prospects for the island’s growth in a climate of prosperity. He reiterated, however that reaching such a solution depends entirely on Turkey and pointed out that “any difficulties and obstacles in our way should not deflect us from our goal.”On his part, Photiou, who was addressing another memorial service today, also spoke of a “crucial” point in the Cyprus process.He conveyed a message by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades that he stands with great responsibility before the ongoing developments and “is ready to take all necessary steps in order for our great goal to be reached.”He also called for unity on the internal front and recalled that President Anastasiades is not in Switzerland on his own but together with the entire National Council, the country’s top advisory body, comprised among others of all parliamentary party leaders.The Conference on Cyprus began on Wednesday, to help find a negotiated settlement to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.CNAYou May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes?FigLeaf Beta AppUndoFigLeaf Beta AppFigLeaf brings You 3 Easy Steps to Privacy on Your Terms…FigLeaf Beta AppUndoSenior Living | Search AdsGorgeous Senior Apartments in Rowland Heights Are Turning HeadsSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

August 9

Rep Brann introduces legislation to create Veterans Training Service Dog Pilot Program

first_img State Rep. Tommy Brann introduced legislation yesterday in the Michigan House of Representatives that would create the Veterans Training Service Dog Pilot Program within the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. A fund for the program would also be created within the Michigan Treasury.The pilot program would run for five years and would allow the department to run the program itself or through a qualified non-profit.“Service dogs have become very prominent for those with disabilities needing assistance,” said Brann, of Wyoming. “Man’s best friend has been known to be a great companion for those visually impaired, prone to seizures, suffering from diabetes and overwhelmed with anxiety. Service dogs also are crucial for our veterans with Posttraumatic stress disorder.”The program would give veterans with disabilities the chance to be paired with and assist a service dog in training.“This benefits not only the veteran in need of a helpful companion, but also the service dog,” said Brann. “Letting veterans join the training process will create better connection with the dog and will allow for dogs to be trained even more specifically to the veteran’s needs.”Legislation notes the service dog trial program fund can be funded through any source, but does not require the Legislature to appropriate money into it.House Bill 4843 will be referred to the House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs.### Categories: Brann News 13Jul Rep. Brann introduces legislation to create Veterans Training Service Dog Pilot Programlast_img read more

August 9

Rep Reilly New legislation prevents bridge card abuse

first_img State Rep. John Reilly of Oakland today introduced legislation to prevent cash assistance from being used to purchase alcohol and drugs, or for other inappropriate purposes.Cash could not be withdrawn from an ATM or point of sale device at a store under Reilly’s bill. “It’s tremendously irresponsible for the state to give away tax dollars in cash, with no ability to regulate how the money is ultimately spent,” Reilly said. “A bridge card’s purpose is to help families that need the assistance. Using cash assistance from an ATM to buy drugs or alcohol is breaking the law, but we currently have no means to enforce it.”A bridge card is issued to purchase certain food products and access cash benefits at a number of retailers and ATMs throughout the state.Under a recent law, bridge card holders cannot access cash benefits from ATMs at strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos. In 2013, a state investigation found that one casino in Michigan dispensed $87,000 from bridge cards.  However, cash can still be obtained today from other ATMs throughout the state.Misuse of food benefits is a violation of state and federal laws. Bridge cards also cannot be used to purchase lottery tickets, alcohol or tobacco. Cards can’t be used for gambling or illegal activities. People who break Food Assistance Program and cash program rules may be disqualified from the program, fined or put in prison.“The ostensible purpose of welfare benefits is to empower citizens to put their lives back together and lift themselves out of poverty.  We let these citizens down by enabling them to feed destructive behaviors using this cash assistance,” Rep. Reilly concluded.The legislation also requires that an individual’s picture be placed on their bridge cards upon issuance to discourage selling bridge cards as commodities.House Bill 5560 has been assigned to the Michigan House Families, Children and Seniors Committee.### Categories: News,Reilly News 14Feb Rep. Reilly: New legislation prevents bridge card abuselast_img read more

August 9

Rep Roberts votes to invest more money into road repairs

first_img Categories: Roberts News 21Feb Rep. Roberts votes to invest more money into road repairs Roads throughout the state would benefit from legislation approved today by Rep. Brett Roberts and the Michigan House.The $175 million bill provides additional money for road preservation and construction across Michigan as early as this summer.“One of the biggest concerns I receive from residents across the district is the quality and conditions of our roads,” said Roberts, of Charlotte. “Responsible budgeting and savings from last year have allowed us to immediately invest additional money in infrastructure repairs. Our tax payers and commuters deserve better roads, and the sooner we can deliver, the better.”In addition to state projects, the bill includes money for county, city and village roads throughout Michigan. Estimated local allocations include Eaton County ($858,937), Lenawee County ($792,457), Jackson County ($1,170,084), Brooklyn ($10,277), Cement City ($5066), Eaton Rapids ($39,617), Grass Lake ($10,279), Jackson ($272,289), Onsted ($7579) and Springport ($5614) among others.The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment. The money included in the bill approved today comes in addition to previous changes that provide more funding for road and bridge projects across the state.House Bill 4321 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.last_img read more

August 9

Rep Brann announces summer photo contest

first_img State Rep. Tommy Brann has announced a new summer photo contest to help decorate his Lansing office and showcase what the people of the city of Wyoming and Byron Township love most about the 77th  District. Winning photos will be framed and displayed in representative’s office in Lansing.Residents are encouraged to submit photos of the people or places that best represent the beauty and spirit of the 77th District. Three winners will be selected and invited to join the representative in Lansing for the unveiling of the framed photographs in early fall.“My Lansing office walls are a little bare,” Rep. Brann said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for residents to display their creativity and showcase the beautiful community we all call home.”All entries should be emailed to Rep. Brann by Friday, September 6 to TommyBrann@house.mi.gov. Entrants should be sure to include name, home address, phone number, and where the photo was taken within the 77th District. Participants seeking more information can call Rep. Brann’s office at 517-373-2277. Categories: Brann News 12Jun Rep. Brann announces summer photo contestlast_img read more

August 9

Casting a Skeptical Eye on Goldman Sachs Preschool SIB Program in Chicago

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Gil C / Shutterstock.com November 4, 2014; NBC ChicagoAs the accolades for Social Impact Bonds flow in, a few voices here and there are a bit skeptical about the Wall Street enthusiasm for this relatively untested financial instrument. Former Obama aide Rahm Emanuel is the mayor of Chicago, and like his former boss, whose administration has made SIBs (and their cousin, “Pay for Success”) a much-touted tool of social policy, Emanuel has concocted a scheme for social impact bonds to support enrolling 2,600 kids into preschool classes.Writing for NBC Chicago, Mark W. Anderson spotted the catches in the scheme:The Chicago pre-school program already exists (Chicago’s Child-Parent Centers, with a “proven track record,” according to an analysis by Chicago Catalyst). He hints that the City could try to find money to expand the preschool program, but rather has opted to have private investors like Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust, and the Pritzker Family Foundation front the money—to be paid back from the city budget anyhow, but with a substantial profit.Given that the program already exists and is known to work, the deal appears to be one, as described by Anderson—accurately, we believe— that “will allow banks to profit off the educational success of children with almost no risk to their own bottom lines.”The cost to the city could be significant: The banks will front $17 million, according to Anderson, but the city could pay as much as $30 million to the lenders if the program turns out to be successful. Given the history of the Child-Parent Centers program, that seems to be in the cards.That’s really the key. Who needs to be convinced that pre-K programs work? Who needs to be convinced that Chicago’s Child-Parent Centers work? In fact, the CPCs have been operating in Chicago since 1967, serving low-income neighborhoods and families with small preschool classes (teacher-to-pupil ratio of one to eight on average), parental participation through volunteering, home visits by a full-time staff member, and support for families through connections to social service and job training referrals, even provision of transportation as needed. Based on multiple years of longitudinal evaluations, the Promising Practices Network declared the Child-Parent Centers model “proven” for having demonstrated though third party evaluations “sizeable and significant gains in several outcome areas over 19 years of follow-up.”The combination of common sense plus these multiple external evaluations sends to message for Wall Street investors: It’s an almost no-risk deal, promising a pretty hefty return on investment. For banks, it also gives them the possibility of Community Reinvestment Act credits. And if that weren’t enough, there is a private family foundation taking a subordinate position in the financial deal, ensuring that the Wall Street firms will be maximally protected against the infinitesimal risk they might imagine is in the program.Wouldn’t it be preferable to see the likes of Goldman Sachs, with over $34 billion in revenue last year, over $8 billion in net income, and $911 billion in assets, take some real risk and put upfront money behind social programs that don’t have more than four decades of proof of concept but need the risk capital to experiment and test and try new things? For Goldman Sachs, the money that it could put into nonprofits as recoverable grants and predevelopment loans would be nothing more than rounding errors on its balance sheets, but would count immensely toward giving creative nonprofits—and public agencies—important working capital. But in this case, Goldman is taking the safe route, investing in the all-but-guaranteed CPC program with the taxpayers of Chicago on the hook to pay up.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

August 7

Croatian pay TV operator THrvatski Telekom has la

first_imgCroatian pay TV operator T-Hrvatski Telekom has launched a MAXtv service giving access to channels on computers and mobile devices.MAXtv To Go offers over 20 channels across three different packages. The basic package offers 15 channels, the Sport package offers five additional sports channels and MAXtv To Go Sport Plus offers a mix of eight sports and adult channels. The service is available exclusively through the T-Com and T-Mobile networks.The monthly fee for MAXtv To Go varies by package, with MAXtv and Sat MAXtv subscribers receiving a 50% discount. Without the discount, the basic package costs HRK50 (€6.60), MAXtv To Go Sport costs HRK75 and MAXtv To Go Sport Plus costs HRK90.last_img read more

August 7

Google has produced data showing that smartphone a

first_imgGoogle has produced data showing that smartphone and tablet usage has increased tenfold during the Olympic games.The technology giant said these were the first multiscreen Olympics as people search for information whilst watching the action on TV. In its first week, Olympics related searches on mobile devices, which includes smartphones and tablets, were 10 times higher than during the previous week.Google’s analysis showed that searched for Hey Jude during Paul McCartney’s performance during the opening ceremony surged, with the majority of searches being performed on smartphones. In Europe, searches on desktop computers still vastly outnumbered those on tablets, but in the US it was roughly equal.In the UK, 46% of Olympic-related internet searches took place on mobile devices during the first two days of the Olympics, compared with 44% in the Netherlands, 30% in Germany and 29% in France.last_img read more

August 7

Frances Bouygues Telecom has launched its Bbox ta

first_imgFrance’s Bouygues Telecom has launched its Bbox tab application on Android-based tablets following its launch on the Apple iPad in December.The Bbox tab allows Bbox subscribers to watch a number of TV channels live, access the TV guide and set reminders, programme recordings remotely, access the Bbox video-on-demand service and use the phone or tablet as a remote control.The app is available on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung Galaxy 8.9, Asus Nexus 7, Archos 10.1, Acer Iconia AF10 and Motorola Xoom, with other tablets set to follow.last_img read more

August 7

Swiss pay and free TV broadcaster TV4 Group has st

first_imgSwiss pay and free TV broadcaster TV4 Group has struck a deal with Svensk Elitfotboll (SEF) to secure rights to the country’s Allsvenskan and Superettan football tournaments for the 2016-19 seasons.Pay TV platform C More will remain the home of the Allsvenskan competition while TV4 Sport will broadcast Superrettan games.Johan Kleberg, CEO of C More, said that the partnership would allow TV4 Group to continue its investment in Swedish football over the coming years.last_img

August 7

Szymon Karbowski Toya is looking to OTT to serve d

first_imgSzymon KarbowskiToya is looking to OTT to serve distributed networks around the country and work in cooperation with local network operators, according to Szymon Karbowski, research and development director at the Polish cable operator.Toya has developed a digital platform that combines broadcast and internet services in its ‘third generation TV’ platform, Karbowski told attendees at the Digital TV CEE conference yesterday. In addition to serving existing customers, this platform can be used to extend reach through partnerships with smaller operators around the country, he said.About 75-80% of customers using the platform use some feature of it every day, said Karbowski, claiming “this shows that the platform is easy for everybody”. More than one movie is watched daily per customer, making an average of 30 movies watched monthly per customer. Ten per cent of customers generate 25% of revenue and this is the group Toya aims primarily to please. Customer churn for people who use the service is 100 times lower than analogue TV customers, said Karbowski.Relationships with broadcasters are at the core of the content offering, with a consistent look and feel between applications from different broadcasters. “The whole idea behind the interface is to make it simple and quick for everyone,” said Karbowski. Content applications are available from OTT players including ipla, iplex.pl, TVP.pl and TVN Player.The platform has been built with the help of Cubiware – which provided middleware that Karbowski said was flexible enough to give Toya full control – and Conax, which provides content security.Broadcast TV still accounts for the vast majority of TV watching, and this has changed little over the last four years, said Karbowski. However, when people are watching broadcast shows is starting to shift. “What’s changing is that people increasingly like to watch content offline.” For a number of shows, offline viewing figures are even higher than the number that watched the premiere of the series on live TV, he added.last_img read more

August 7

The managing director of German videoondemand se

first_imgThe managing director of German video-on-demand service Maxdome, Thomas Heise, has left the company as part of a reorganisation of parent firm ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s digital business. A spokesperson for ProSiebenSat.1 Group confirmed the departure, following reports in the German trade press earlier this month, with Maxdome now bundled together with the MyVideo platform and ProSiebenSat.1’s online channel platforms as part of a new ProsiebenSat.1 online video unit.This sits within ProSiebenSat.1 Digital, with Andreas Heyden, COO of ProSiebenSat.1 Digital taking over the leadership of Maxdome, on top of his existing responsibilities.Markan Karajica remains the overall MD and CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Digital, having led this arm of the business since April 2012.In May this year, ProSiebenSat.1 reported that digital and adjacent segment revenues grew by 43.9% year-on-year to €96.7 million in its first quarter of the year. This helped boost the company’s overall revenues by 12.7% to €562.8 million.The group said at the time that its MyVideo portal and the Maxdome video-on-demand service gave it a 48% market share in online video and a 40% share in the VOD market, with more than one million active Maxdome users.last_img read more

August 7

Swisscom has claimed a partial victory in its disp

first_imgSwisscom has claimed a partial victory in its dispute with cable operators over its exploitation of sports rights. The Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) has rejected an appeal by three cable operators in May to take precautionary measures against Swisscom. Comco launched an investigation into the distribution of sport on pay TV in April to see whether Swisscom’s arrangement with Swisscom to provide rights to pay TV arm Teleclub were in breach of the country’s antitrust laws.Comco said at the time that there were signs that Cinetrade and Swisscom were abusing their dominant position in pay TV sports rights, with Cinetrade refusing to distribute certain offers to competing platforms.Swisscom rejects the allegations and says that it introduced new competition to the market when it launched Swisscom TV in 2006. It said sports fans in the country now benefited from a much wider range of live broadcasts both on free and pay TV than was previously the case. Swisscom says that a certain amount of exclusivity is necessary to recoup the investment that both it and Cinetrade have made in developing sports broadcasting.last_img read more

August 7

Chase Carey 21st Century Fox should be on track to

first_imgChase Carey21st Century Fox should be on track to achieve its goals for troubled Italian direct-to-home operator Sky Italia by 2016 by taking costs out of the business as key programming deals expire, according to president and chief operating officer Chase Carey.21st Century Fox’s first full results saw a sharp fall in operating income from its satellite division, driven by lower contributions from Sky Italia that were partially compensated by the company’s consolidation of Sky Deutschland.For the full year, direct-to-home operating income before depreciation and amortisation fell to US397 million compared with US$561 million (€422 million) mostly as a result of lower contributions from Sky Italia. The latter saw programming costs increase, including approximately US$150 million of rights costs associated with the Olympics and expanded UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Formula One coverage.Speaking on a conference call on the results, Carey said he expected the coming year to be one of “exciting growth” for Sky Deutschland while in Italy the company will implement plans to reduce its costs.“In Italy, with Sky Italia, the strategy continues to be maintaining market leadership a competitive strength while restructuring cost for the reality of today’s Italian economy,” said Carey. “We have a number of key content agreements expiring in the next 12 to 24 months that will enable us to achieve our goal of taking $200 million plus out of the annual cost of this business. Profit in 2014 will also not be up much on 2013, because these agreements only begin to expire this year, but we’ll make real headway in 2015 while getting to our goal in 2016. This plan will enable us to have a very profitable and strong Sky Italia even in the current economic circumstances that can grow the top line more aggressively when the economy warrants.”Carey said that the new company’s priorities for the coming year would include building its US sports and entertainment networks and Asian sports networks with plans to invest US$200 million next year and more in 2015.He said the new networks should become profitable by 2016.21st Century Fox will also invest US$150 million in Fox this year, which Carey described as “an offensive not defensive strategy for this dual revenue business”.The company posted overall full year revenues of US$27.68 billion, up 10%, with three quarters of the growth attributed to cable network programming, filmed entertainment and television, and the remainder to the inclusion of Sky Deutshchland. OIBDA was US$6.26 billion, up 9%.last_img read more

August 7

UPC Netherlands  is to boost the number of HD serv

first_imgUPC Netherlands  is to boost the number of HD services it broadcasts to 50 from October 1 when it adds new channels to its offering, and is extending the catch-up period available to viewers of national channels Netherlands 1, 2 and 3.The Liberty Global-owned cable operator is adding E! Entertainment Television HD and Nat Geo Wild HD to its HD line up, while UPC Film1 Comeday & Kids HD will joint the service’s premium offering.UPC is also to extend the catch-up availability of programmes on public broadcaster NPO’s Netherlands 1, 2 and 3 channels from three to eight days.last_img read more

August 7

Overthetop TV platform FilmOn has launched new t

first_imgOver-the-top TV platform FilmOn has launched new technology that will let viewers access local US TV stations from anywhere using remote desktops connected to FilmOn’s antenna and DVR system. FilmOn claims the service will help “independent broadcasters across the country flourish” by letting viewers connect to local free to air channels in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Miami, Boston, Tampa, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Washington DC.The service requires no additional hardware or software, and works by letting viewers who access the FilmOn website on their computer or mobile device to connect to hundreds of thousands of temporarily assigned mini desktop computers in thirteen cities across the USA, which are connected to antenna farms, enabling free access to local stations.The launch comes in spite of an impending Supreme Court case, due to be held this year, challenging the legality of a similar online US TV streaming service, Aereo.“I’m tired of the majors screwing you, screwing me, and screwing the entire industry, by trying to shut down progress. TV is facing the same crossroads that the music industry did in the Napster era — making the wrong decisions right now could be fatal,” said FilmOn founder and CEO Alki David.last_img read more