Related posts:Costa Rica boasts clean energy — and bad car pollution PHOTO REPORT: University of Costa Rica celebrates World Environment Day One of Sea Shepherd’s missions in Costa Rica: Protecting whales To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ Ambassadors in Costa Rica from the European Union cycled on a new bike path along part of San José’s 4th and 6th avenues to encourage residents to leave their vehicles at home. The “cleteada” ended at the Legislative Assembly, where diplomats met with Costa Rican lawmakers to discuss the Paris Climate Conference COP 21 to be held in Paris, France, in December. “We are here to talk with Costa Rican lawmakers and show that it is possible to use the bicycle, a heathy and no-emissions vehicle, in the city. In Holland, we know that it is a slow process. but right now there are more bicycles than people,” Dutch Ambassador Mette Gonggrijp said. Facebook Comments
The race is on – keep voting for the wonderful Whitsundays!The race is on – keep voting for the wonderful Whitsundays!The Whitsundays is currently top in the annual Experience Oz ‘Australia’s Top 10 Destinations to Experience’ poll, which asks international travellers and domestic visitors to vote for their favourite spot in Australia.But the line-up is tight, with the Whitsundays just 6.2 per cent ahead of its close neighbour Mackay, just south of the Whitsundays.Regional Tourism Organisation Tourism Whitsundays is urging everyone to jump online and vote to ensure the Whitsundays maintains its crown. Last year, the Whitsundays romped home with voters naming it the number one spot in Australia to experience.So far this year, the Whitsundays have 22.5 per cent of the vote and Mackay has 16.3 per cent. Also ranking in the top 5 currently are The Kimberley, Ballarat and Newcastle.Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the race was on for the top spot and it was important for people to have their say if they hadn’t already voted.“We can’t let Mackay beat us – much as we love our neighbours down the road,” he said laughingly.“The Whitsundays took out top spot last year and it would be great to win it again this year.We know the Whitsundays is the best destination in Australia – it doesn’t surprise us that a lot of other destinations are competing with us – but we are a destination that has something for everyone.“The Whitsundays appeals to independent travellers, families, couples and honeymooners, and offers access to the 74 Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef, including Heart Reef, which can only be seen in the Whitsundays.“We also have more than 600,000 bed-nights on the ocean every year, magnificent barramundi fishing in Lake Proserpine and a reef you can walk to from Bowen.”Voting closes at 11.59pm on Monday October 23. Visit https://www.experienceoz.com.au/en/whitsunday-top-destinations#votenow to cast your vote. Voters also have the chance to win an epic trip to one of Australia’s top destinations.The Whitsundays has ranked in the top three spots in every ‘Australia’s Top 10 Destinations to Experience’ poll since its inception.Last year, Whitsunday Island was also voted the number one island to experience in the poll, which is run by Experience Oz, the premier website for travel experiences in Australia.To find out more about the Whitsundays and to book your next tropical escape, visit Tourism Whitsundays website www.tourismwhitsundays.com.auSource = Tourism Whitsundays
Categories: News State Rep. Al Pscholka attends the fourth annual 9/11 ceremony held by the Michigan House of Representatives along with Chief Mark Clapp of the St. Joseph Public Safety Department. 11Sep Local police chief joins Pscholka during House ceremony honoring 9/11 anniversary As a part of the Michigan House of Representatives’ fourth annual 9/11 memorial ceremony conducted today, Chief Mark Clapp from the St. Joseph Public Safety Department joined Rep. Al Pscholka in the House chambers.The House ceremony honored the four first responders from Michigan who lost their lives in the line of duty in the past year and also commemorated the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.“Our local first responders as well as those currently serving our country in the military put their lives on the line each day as they protect our communities and our nation,” said Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “It’s important that we pay tribute to those sacrifices and recognize the men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. It’s just one small way we can say thank you.”Lawmakers also paid tribute to Department of Corrections Deputy Corrections Keeper George Haight, whose name was recently inscribed in the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall after giving his life in the line of duty at Jackson Prison in 1893.The event featured the ringing of a fire bell following the reading of the names of each first responder who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2013. Special music was provided by a fire department bagpiper and “Taps” was played by two members of the Grand Ledge Marching Band.###
05Feb Franz bill honoring Trooper Butterfield signed into law by Gov. Snyder Categories: News Tags: #SB State Rep. Ray Franz honored State Trooper Paul K. Butterfield at a recent bill signing with Gov. Rick Snyder that named a portion of M-116 in Mason County after the fallen trooper.“Paul’s death is a terrible tragedy. He risked his life every day for the people of this community and now Trooper Butterfield’s life will be forever memorialized in Mason County,” said Franz, R-Onekama. “We not only acknowledge the sacrifices Paul made, but celebrate Paul’s life and the endearing qualities that made him such a kind-hearted and passionate person.”Franz worked with Trooper Butterfield as a first responder and firefighter when Butterfield was stationed in Manistee County. House Bill 5257, now Public Act 441 of 2014, was introduced by Franz and co-sponsored by Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. The majestic stretch of land in Mason County beginning at Lincoln River and continuing north to Big Sable River will now be known as Trooper Paul K. Butterfield II Memorial Highway.Trooper Butterfield’s fiancé, Jennifer Sielski, and his mother, Pat Butterfield, were also present at the bill-signing ceremony, along with Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole; Chief Deputy Steve Hansen; Deputy Jeremy King; and Deputy Brandon Romero, who were close friends and colleagues of Butterfield.Following the ceremony, Cole remarked on the significance of the day.“I know I speak for the other three deputies when I say that we are truly humbled to have been invited here today,” Cole said. “The bond we shared with Paul while serving as law officers together was truly one of kind. Paul was a man who always worked hard, maintained a positive attitude and was a modest individual. He didn’t became a lawman to receive accolades, he simply wanted to serve and protect his community because he had a heart of gold.“Myself and my deputies were the first to respond to the scene when we got reports of a trooper being shot,” Cole continued. “That being said, this memorial highway means more to us than most of you will ever know, and for that we are eternally grateful.”##### PHOTO ADVISORY: State Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, and Gov. Rick Snyder display Public Act 441, a new law naming a portion of M-116 in Mason County after fallen State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield. Also (from left): Chief Deputy Steve Hansen, Deputy Jeremy King, Pat Butterfield, Rep. Jon Bumstead, Jennifer Sielski, Sheriff Kim Cole and Deputy Brandon Romero.
24Mar Rep. Runestad introduces bills requiring refugee placement to become safer and more transparent State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, today introduced legislation to make refugee placements in Michigan both safe and more transparent, while also giving local government a voice in the process as required by federal immigration law.House Bills 5528-5529 will protect both our communities and refugees entering our communities.Michigan receives more refugees per capita than any other state in the nation, but it lacks a framework for defining how many refugees and families our state is capable of serving.“There is currently no system involving state and local governments for oversight of refugees entering the state,” said Rep. Runestad. “This is not only a security risk to our state, but is wide open for human trafficking abuses.“As a parent, I have a duty to protect my children, and as a state lawmaker, I have a duty to protect the rights of our local governments and our rights under the U.S. Constitution and federal law.”Rep. Runestad said federal immigration law requires that local governments be notified prior to placement of refugees in their communities and that they be involved in the process of placement and defining their local capacity for refugee placements. “This is being totally ignored leaving counties, schools and the state in the dark until placements have been made,” said Rep. Runestad. “Moreover, placements are made without regard to the ability of the school district to provide services or employability opportunities for the individual refugee.“The bills I introduced today propose an outline for communication between state departments and local governments in order to maximize placement success and minimize security risks for the state and refugees as allowed under current immigration law.”HBs 5528-5529 are referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Ethics.###### Tags: #SB, HB 5528, HB 5529, Runestad Categories: Featured news,News,Runestad News
Share2TweetShareEmail2 Shares July 8, 2015; CBS Los AngelesAfter weeks of lobbying by interest groups on both sides of the debate on death with dignity, the California legislative Assembly Health Committee voted on Tuesday to shelve a bill this year that would have made California the fifth state to legalize physician-assisted suicide, after Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Vermont.Among those that were actively lobbying in opposition to the bill were members of the Catholic Church, who were calling on parishioners to contact lawmakers and sway their votes to oppose the bill.Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez wrote to the committee urging lawmakers to oppose the bill that would enable those suffering from terminal illnesses to choose to end their lives legally. The Office of Life, Justice, and Peace of the diocese has a website dedicated to opposing the bill, and the Diocese of Orange also had a spotlight on their website urging followers to write letters to legislators to vote no to the considering the bill.“For the Catholic community here in Los Angeles, this is not a ‘Catholic’ issue or a question of our doctrine or ethics,” Gomez said in a statement after the vote. “For us, the issue of physician-assisted suicide involves fundamental questions of human dignity and social justice.”For some legislators, the Church’s involvement was not instrumental in reaching a decision. “It’s not a religious thing for me; it’s how this is going to be implemented in the real world,” said state assemblyman and Democrat Jimmy Gomez.While the Church has often been the opposite side of California’s liberal political agenda (including the national policy change in marriage equality), at least on the issue of death with dignity laws, it has found several like-minded interest groups, such as Californians Against Assisted Suicide, Choice is an Illusion, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, among others.“And we are not alone in our concerns,” said Archbishop Gomez in the statement. “We are part of a diverse and broad coalition—ranging from health care professionals and persons living with disabilities to leaders in our African American, Hispanic and immigrant communities.”Tim Rosales from Californians Against Assisted Suicide remarked on how this broad coalition opposing the bill, from clergy members to healthcare officials, helped affect the decision. Proponents of the bill also tried to enlist help from faith leaders, perhaps to show a similar spectrum of supporters.This wouldn’t be the first time that the Church has made it into mainstream news recently. A few weeks ago, NPQ covered some comments made by Pope Francis on a wide range of topics, including inciting more concern for the environment, a topic that usually does not acquire the same attention from the Church as gay marriage or reproductive rights.Over the last year or so, death with dignity has been gaining slow institutional support, as in the case of the California Medical Association. Stories such as that of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old diagnosed with terminal brain cancer who moved to Oregon to take advantage of the right-to-die law, also help to bring the issue to a personal level for the public. A Gallup poll from May indicates seven out of ten Americans support physician-assisted suicide, up ten percent from last year. Last year, a survey of 21,000 doctors also showed record support for assisted suicide, with 54 percent—for the first time, a majority of doctors—in favor of the practice.Time and again, right-to-die legislation gains strong state support only to die a quick death, either being vetoed by the governor or stalling in committees, as in California’s case. While the battle may have been lost for California supporters this year, the war may continue next year if they choose to reintroduce the bill for consideration.—Shafaq HasanShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shares
Share110Tweet27Share22Email159 SharesJanuary 22, 2018; WGRZIt is the product of more than a decade of community organizing, but residents in east Buffalo’s historic Fruit Belt neighborhood cheered when Common Council President Darius Pridgen announced on his radio program last Friday that the “City administration [will start] setting aside land…for the first land trust in the Fruit Belt.”Pridgen elaborated that the “land trust means those lots would stay in the hands of working class and low-income people. So, whatever the community land trust builds there, as far as housing, for 99 years it cannot be transferred to wealthy people. It cannot be sold to wealthy people.”As WGRZ reports, “The folks who live in the Fruit Belt neighborhood, east of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, worry that soaring property values are forcing people out who can’t afford to pay increased rent or property taxes.” The land trust provides an avenue to protect residents by creating a nonprofit, governed by a community board, that holds title to the land and provides affordable housing to residents.A 2016 policy brief from the nonprofit Partnership for the Public Good made the business case for the community land trust, which helped spur city action. The study estimates that “53 percent of residents spent over 30 percent of their income on housing” in a neighborhood where, as of 2014, poverty remains a high 42 percent. The city holds title to more than 200 vacant lots in the neighborhood—vacant lots that, if transferred to the community land trust, could help existing residents remain in the community and reduce their housing cost burdens. Pridgen’s announcement means that at least some of these 200 lots will be transferred to the trust.“I’m terribly excited,” says Annette Lott, treasurer of the nonprofit Fruit Belt Community Land Trust. The land trust ensures long-term affordability; in exchange for signing a purchase agreement at a below-market price, the buyer agrees to accept a lower price at sale, thereby ensuring that the housing remains available at below-market prices for future generations.Effectively, the land trust provides housing that serves as an intermediate rung between renting and owning. The stewardship of the community-based nonprofit also allows for residents to guide long-term planning. Another benefit of this structure is that the below-market prices help ensure that the land trust homebuyer does not get overextended, which is one reason why foreclosure rates on land trust homes are dramatically lower—about one eighth as high—than market-rate homes.As we have covered in NPQ, the idea of a community land trust—first used in the US as a mechanism to protect rural lands for Black farmers in the late 1960s in Albany, Georgia—has gained ground as a tool for cities seeking to preserve housing affordability for low-income residents as wealthier, often whiter, residents move in, frequently pushing residents of color out into suburban areas—reversing what had been the opposite pattern of previous decades.Buffalo joins a growing number of cities that are pursuing land trust solutions. Others acting in the past year include Washington, D.C., New York City, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.The Fruit Belt itself provides “a classic tale of how urban policies have destabilized the African American community and robbed low to moderate‐income blacks of the wealth producing power of homeownership,” notes Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., an urban studies professor and director of the Center for Urban Studies of the University at Buffalo. The Fruit Belt was originally German, but, starting in the 1950s, white flight and Black in-migration changed that dramatically.Taylor explains that,Two interactive factors triggered black migration to the Fruit Belt…. First, the building of the Kensington Expressway in 1960 split the Fruit Belt and separated most of it from the lower East Side and devalued property.… Second, during the 1950s, a massive urban renewal project on the lower East Side destroyed about 30 city blocks and decimated the historic center of Black Buffalo. Many of those displaced…settled in the Fruit Belt.The number of Blacks peaked at 9,125 in 1970, but neighborhood population would fall by more than two thirds by 2000. (As of 2013, the neighborhood had 2,670 residents, 83 percent of whom are Black). As Taylor details, “Between 1970 and 2000, the proportion of Fruit Belt residents living in poverty increased from 28 percent to 45 percent.” A key factor behind neighborhood decline, Taylor adds, was city-backed housing demolition that pushed residents out to facilitate the expansion of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).Ironically, now BNMC is driving a revival that threatens to displace residents again, only this time through rising prices. Lott notes that current “rents in the Fruit Belt are $1,400 in some places…much too high for individuals for low income and poor people to be able to afford.”The community land trust that Lott participates in is part of a broader effort to make sure that as the Fruit Belt neighborhood rebounds, a new wave of resident displacement is prevented. Involving a dozen local neighborhood groups and known as the Community First Alliance, the land trust is part of a broader strategy that includes support for local business development and the development of work pipelines to help residents obtain jobs at BNMC.—Steve DubbShare110Tweet27Share22Email159 Shares
European football body UEFA has awarded 2012-15 Europa League media rights in Portugal to commercial free-to-air broadcaster SIC.SIC has been granted the right to broadcast the best live match each matchweek. A highlights programme featuring the action from each round of games will follow SIC’s live match transmission.SIC will be able to exploit the rights on television, on the internet via www.sic.sapo.pt, and on mobile devices.Sports channel SporTV had previously acquired the remaining Europa League matches and highlights.
German pay TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland has acquired a package of Hollywood movies from Tele München. The deal means that the News Corp-backed operator will have access to exclusive premieres of movies including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Magic Mike and Astérix & Obélix – God save Britannia. Sky Deutschland has bought the pay TV rights to these movies, which will also be available via its video-on-demand service Sky Anytime, with subscribers able to access movies on the internet, iPad, iPod and Xbox360.Gary Davey, executive vice-president programming at Sky Deutschland, said: “The Tele München Gruppe is among the most important independent film rights distributors. With the new agreement we secure top-class productions and underline our leading position in the film sector.”Herbert Kloiber, owner and managing director of TMG, said: “Sky is an important partner for TMG. Our program highlights are innovatively marketed by the platforms Sky Go and Sky Anytime. We’re pleased that we were able to further expand our cooperation and that our products find their ideal way to film enthusiasts.”
Dutch cable operator Ziggo confirmed that it is back in talks with Liberty Global, after rejecting a preliminary takeover offer from the firm back in October.Responding to “recent market statement,” Ziggo said that further to its October statement it is “currently in discussions with Liberty Global regarding a potential offer for the company by Liberty Global.”“Further announcements will be made if and when relevant. There is no certainty that any agreement can be reached or that any offer will ultimately be made,” said the firm.In October, Ziggo said it had received a “preliminary proposal regarding a potential offer” from Liberty, but said that this offer was “considered inadequate.”Liberty already holds a 28.5% stake in Ziggo and, according to reports this week, a potential takeover could value the firm at more than €6 billion.News of the discussions sent Ziggo’s share price up by more than 7% during trading today.The approach marks the latest takeover attempt by Liberty Global, which agreed to buy the UK’s Virgin Media earlier this year for €17.2 billion.
Mobile telecom giant Vodafone has reportedly tabled a €6.9 billion bid for ONO.According to Spanish newspaper Expansión, citing sources close to the process, the cable operator’s board will consider the all-cash offer for 100% of the company’s capital today.The deal would include ONO’s €3.417 billion of debt, leaving about €3.48 billion for the company’s private equity majority owners – CCMP Capital, Providence Equity Partners, Thomas H Lee and Quadrangle – who together control 54% of ONO’s capital.However, according to the sources, ONO’s owners are still considering the alternative of an IPO, which could offer better value.According to Reuters, banking sources have indicated that Vodafone would need to come up with an offer equivalent to 10-12 times the company’s EBITDA of €752 million to produce something that was definitively better than the IPO alternative, meaning a bid of between €7.5 to €9 billion.The average going price for cable operators in recent months has been estimated at about 9.5 time EBITDA.Vodafone has plans in place to launch a fibre offering in Spain in April, with a target of passing three million homes by mid-SeptemberAsked during Vodafone quarterly results conference call last week to comment on the merits of acquiring versus building fixed-line assets in Spain, CEO Vittorio Colão said that there was a trade off between the cost of acquiring assets in a short time period and building, which could be cheaper but would take longer.“And at the end of the day, there is a breakeven point at which you say, ‘Well, this one, I would prefer, but at this price, it’s too expensive. And the other one is a lot of hard work, but at these conditions, it is cheaper’,” he said.
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, has launched Sesame Go, a new subscription VoD service that offers access to episodes of the famous kids TV show.Sesame GO is powered by the Kaltura MediaGo OTT Solution and can be accessed for US$3.99 (€2.89) per month or US$29.99 per year.Sesame Go is designed to provide an ad-free environment for children to watch Sesame Street, and offers the latest full-length TV episodes as well as “hundreds” of episodes from prior seasons.“Sesame GO provides families with a unique experience we have never offered before – a secure, ad-free environment with full-length Sesame Street TV episodes they can watch anytime and anywhere,” said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president, worldwide media distribution.
Alexandra ForslundSwedish free and pay TV broadcaster TV4 Group has named Alexandra Forslund as project manager for news. Forslund, who previously worked for news site Expressen.se, and has also worked for newspapers Aftonbladet and Norrköping, will join TV4 in the autumn.News programming director Viveka Hansson said Forslund had many years of experience in digital development and was “custom made” for the job.
YouTube has launched a trial version of its much-rumoured music subscription service, YouTube Music Key, offering users ad-free and offline playback of music and music videos.The beta service has gone live in the US, UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Finland and Ireland, and is available online and on the YouTube app for Android and iOS devices.YouTube Music Key lets users listen to music without ads and keep playing music videos even if they lock the screen or their mobile device or start using another app. It also lets users play music when they’re not connected to the internet.The service will work with official music videos, as well as songs and full albums, with YouTube announcing that it is bolstering the music content available on its site.“If a song exists in this world, you can probably find it on YouTube. But until today you couldn’t easily find and play full albums. In the coming days, you’ll be able to see an artist’s discography on YouTube, and play a full album with both their official music videos and high-quality songs our music partners added to YouTube,” said YouTube in a blog post announcing YouTube Music Key.When fully launched, the subscription service will cost US$9.99 per-month. For this price, users will also get access to Google Play Music All Access – Google’s existing Spotify-style, pay-monthly music offering.To mark the rollout of YouTube Music Key, the Google-owned video site is also adding recommended music playlists based on what a user likes and playlists of trending music across YouTube.
Simon GreenBT Sport has extended its deal with MP&Silva for exclusive rights to live Italian top flight football until 2017-18.BT currently holds rights to live Serie A in the UK and BT Sport has signed a contract to add another three years to the current deal. BT Sport will have the rights to show up to 380 exclusively live matches a season.The deal means that Italian football fans can continue to enjoy watching clubs such as AC Roma and AC Milan attempting to wrestle the league title from current champions Juventus on BT Sport.From August, BT Sport will also offer exclusive live midweek football from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “Serie A attracts some of the best players in the world and is a fantastic, competitive league featuring some of the legendary teams of European folklore, such as Juventus, AC Milan, Inter and Roma.”
Liberty Global has tapped Piksel to deliver online video to Horizon Go subscribers in Slovakia.UPC Slovakia is the 10th Liberty Global affiliate to offer Horizon Go, the mobile version of the group’s advanced TV platform. Applications made available through the use of Piksel’s Orion Enterprise Service Platform include a new user interface, the ability for phone users to use their device as a remote control for the main Horizon box, and the ability to use a ‘Push to TV’ function within the app. Additionally, improvements to the DRM means that the app now supports PlayReady and Widevine in parallel.Horizon Go now offers content streamed into a single app, improved navigation and search, personalised channel listings and the ability to watch programmes on up to three mobile devices simultaneously depending on the availability of rights.“The personal viewing habits of audiences are quickly changing as technology advances to support video on connected devices, especially tablets and smartphones. By mobilising its content, Liberty Global makes a huge leap in addressing consumer viewing habits, which have become increasingly fragmented as people own more mobile devices and use them for a wider variety of things. This is a shining example of how Piksel is helping its customers to leverage the value of their content through enabling new OTT service launches.”
Gilles PélissonFrance’s TF1 Group plans to focus on the development of thematic targeted channels rather than rely on the advertising pull of its flagship channel and to develop its production activity as part of a new strategy aimed at returning the group to growth.The shift in emphasis comes as TF1 saw its operating profit for the full year fall by two thirds, despite uplift in the fourth quarter.TF1 posted revenues of just over €2 billion for the year, up 2.9%. Operating profit plunged from €141.2 million in 2015 – a figure that admittedly included €33.7 million from the deconsolidation of Eurosport France – to €41.7 million last year.The 2016 figure included a number of exceptional items including a €25.4 million hit from a 2015 regulation on co-production in French drama, a €24.8 million charge on the amoritsation of goodwill related to the acquisition of Newen Studios, an €8.2 operating loss from LCI, which migrated to the free-to-air platform, and €25.3 million in charges related to the group’s transformation project.While broadcasting revenue fell significantly, TF1’s digital activities saw strong growth. MYTF1 attracted 10.7 users on IPTV boxes for its catch-up TV offering, while the platform as a whole saw 1.3 million free-to-view videos watched across the year, leading to uplift in advertising revenues.Presenting the company’s full year results to analysts this morning, CEO Gilles Pelisson said TF1 was developing a multi-screen strategy, and added that the company needed to extend its activity further down the value chain, develop its own content at competitive cost and expanding its distribution network to better expose its content. He said the group also needed to extend its reach outside of France by making the most of international production partnerships.Pelisson said that in general the company would also rely more on digital activity to drive growth and make the group more profitable.He said that by 2019 he expected the profit margin to reach double figures. To achieve this, he said, TF1 would need to maintain its advertising share this year. However, additional revenue excluding that from its five existing free-to-air channels should grow to more than a third of the total this year, he said.Pelisson said that in addition to improving the profitability of free-to-air services, an extension of digital activity and an expansion of production would also be important. He said the company would use digital platforms to distribute all its output.
Netflix shows, led by Orange is the New Black, completely dominated the list of most in-demand US digital originals in France at the end June, according to research by Parrot Analytics.Parrot Analytics analyses the demand for recent popular digital titles across international markets, based on the application of artificial intelligence to expressions of demand across social media, fan sites, peer-to-peer protocols and file-sharing platforms.In the week from June 26-July 2, Orange is the New Black saw an average of 5.965 million ‘demand expressions’ of this type, making the US prison drama by far the most sought-after show.Netflix accounted for all slots in the top 10 digital originals for this week, with sci-fi show Sense8 and Pablo Escobar drama Narcos taking the number two and three slots, totalling 4.4 million and 4.36 million in-demand expressions respectively.The other shows in the French top 10 were 13 Reasons Why, House of Cards, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Marvel’s Iron Fist, Daredevil and The Last Kingdom.As part of a new collaboration with Parrot Analytics, Digital TV Europe will provide regular updates on the most in-demand shows across key European markets in the coming months, based on Parrot’s unique datasets.
(l-r) Bernd Wendeln, Herbert Kloiber, and Georg RammeTele München Group has acquired a stake in recently-established, German-based digital content company, Load Studios.Endemol Shine Group’s former global managing director, Georg Ramme, set up Load Studios in early 2017 and the Berlin-based company specialises in creating and distributing short-form-content for social and mobile platforms and brands.Tele München has taken a “significant minority stake” in the business and said that the deal will further diversify its core business by expanding into the digital content market.”The investment in Load Studios supports our strategic goal to integrate new revenue streams into our existing business model,” said Tele München managing director, Herbert Kloiber.“We are looking forward to working with Load Studios and to taking advantage of all the new opportunities that arise from creating innovative content for the digital markets.”Ramme, who is Load Studios’ managing director, said: “As a dynamic and fully integrated media company, Tele München Group is a perfect match for us. The relationship will help us grow and expand into the international market place.”With the deal Ramme will continue to oversee all operational tasks at Load Studios, while Bernd Wendeln, Tele München’s head of corporate development and M&A, will serve as chairman of Load Studio’s board.Tele München Group defines itself as an integrated media company that covers all segments of audio-visual rights trading and distribution. It was first founded as a TV production company in 1970.
CBS chief Leslie Moonves received a standing ovation from buyers at its Upfronts presentation last night, as the company faces a crunch after launching a lawsuit against its controlling shareholders, the Redstone family, on MondayLes MoonvesIn an atypical Upfront presentation, Moonves walked out to a standing ovation from a sizeable portion of the crowd who were cheering and whistling for the exec, as the company announced new series such as The Neighbourhood, Happy Together and God Friended Me.The reception was especially poignant as the future of CBS remains uncertain after it made moves to block Shari Redstone’s efforts to forcibly merge the US broadcaster with former partner company Viacom.In a lawsuit filed on Monday in the Delaware Court of Chancery, CBS said it was seeking to prevent National Amusements, its controlling shareholder and investment firm of the Redstone family, from interfering with a special meeting of its board of directors who are voting on diluting the family’s voting rights.The Redstone family controls 80 per cent of the votes at CBS and Viacom, despite owning just about 10 per cent of the shares, which the company says may not lead to its best interests. Hours prior to the CBS Upfronts presentation, Redstone made moves to block the media company’s efforts by dictating changes to the rules of how CBS’s board operates. A Delaware Chancery Court judge put a brief pause on the legal battle on the same day, however.The pause will be upheld until CBS board members make the vote today, a move that may predict big changes in CBS’s future.News of a CBS/Viacom merger proposal broke in February, with CBS then making a below-market valuation of Viacom in April.The move is thought to be a push from Sumner Redstone, majority owner of National Amusements and father of Shari Redstone. The Redstone family is looking to reunite the two companies after their split in 2006.