Air Canada voted top airline in Canada and North America in global

first_imgGlobal Traveler Magazine Awards based on survey of more than 25,000 readers Air Canada has been voted the Best Airline in Canada and the Best Airline in North America by the readers of Global Traveler magazine in an international survey of business travelers.“We are excited and proud to receive this important recognition from customers who travel most frequently and are in a position to best compare Air Canada’s products and services with those of its peers. Clearly customers appreciate our on-board amenities, including our new and refurbished cabin interiors, and our consolidated hub at Toronto, which makes it easy for travelers to connect seamlessly between domestic, transborder and international flights to destinations throughout our global network,” said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.  “Mostly, this award is testament to the hard work of Air Canada’s employees and their dedication to offering our customers a superior product.”The Global Traveler Reader Survey Awards are based on the responses of more than 25,000 readers of Global Traveler Magazine. Global Traveler readers are frequent premium travelers who average 32 round-trip flights a year, with 96 per cent traveling in first or business class regularly.Air Canada has renewed its international and North American fleets with new Boeing 777 and Embraer aircraft.  Air Canada has completed a major refurbishment program of its existing fleets to offer all customers brand new seats and personal entertainment systems at each seat, fleet wide on North American and international routes.  New fleet-wide amenities include digital quality in-seat monitors with touch-screen controls offering a wide selection of audio and video on demand programming, standard in-seat power within reach of every customer and industry leading lie-flat beds in Executive First suites, Air Canada’s international business class service.  In addition, Air Canada customers benefit from a simplified airport experience for connecting between U.S.-Canada transborder flights and either domestic Canada or international overseas flights world wide, via new facilities all under one roof at its main Toronto hub.Montréal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is the 13th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 33 million customers annually. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network for Canadian domestic, transborder and international travel. Air Canada aircraft offer customers individualized seatback in-flight entertainment systems with hundreds of hours of digital audio-visual entertainment. Source = Air Canadalast_img read more

ABS More Americans going Down Under

ABS More Americans going Down Under

first_imgRecent Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the number of US visitors to Australia lifted to 508,000 last year, up 6.2 per cent from 201, the Daily Telegraph reports.  American tourists in total spent $2.5 billion in the local economy in 2013. According to the ABS data, the US is the third biggest market in terms of money spent and the fourth biggest in terms of international arrivals.  Source = ETB News: T.N. “The global GFC (global financial crisis) hit the US pretty hard, and inevitably this has had an impact over the past few years on the numbers of Americans travelling Down Under,” Tourism Australia spokesman Leo Seaton said. center_img The increase has created a bouyant atomsphere for the Australian tourism sector, which has been struggling with a high Australian dollar and the growth of interest in other countries.  An increasing number of Americans are travelling to Australia, thanks to the lower Australian dollar, improved economic conditions in the US and Oprah Winfrey’s visit. last_img read more

Our love affair with plastic proving hard to break

Our love affair with plastic proving hard to break

first_imgBy Annette Chrysostomou What’s with all the plastic? Plastic bags, once ubiquitous in Cyprus’ supermarkets and available for free until just one and a half months ago, now cost six cents. Everybody suddenly agrees that they are terribly harmful and should have been banned ages ago.The new laws on plastic bags have cut usage by as much as 85 per cent, the Cyprus employers and industrialists federation (OEB) said on July 24, a mere three weeks after the charge was imposed.Supermarkets have no problem with sticking to the new law, though fines for not complying have still not been announced.Which shows that once a decision has been made, changes can be implemented quickly and without much fuss.The new law is part of Europe’s gradual transition to a circular economy in the face of environmental destruction. The question is whether it needs to be that gradual.It could be called slow, with some EU targets set as late as 2025. is the idea that consumers must be treated gently and guided towards this circular economy, as if it is somehow a degradation?We must retain our consumer lifestyle, seems to be the message, even if we drown in garbage until we slowly change.Don’t get me wrong, banning plastic bags is great, and next in line is a proposed ban on plastic straws, a measure which some chains have already announced they will do by 2020.The catch is, most people have the idea they cannot just drink from a glass or cup, but the straws have to be replaced.Even the biggest opponents of plastic have a problem with drinking a frappe without a straw. Of course, disregarding frappe – and freddo espresso, and freddo cappuccino? – one could just drink most cold and hot drinks without any type of straw, from a glass, or a mug.What do companies and environmentalists propose instead? Presumably, a transition. It is suggested – by environmentalists, that is – to use paper straws (not good for hot drinks), metal straws (ditto), stainless steel straws or bamboo straws, the message being they can be reused or recycled but we need straws!Starbucks has announced it will phase out its use of plastic straws by 2020.  They say they have racked their brains on what to use instead (for their non-reusable cups) and come up with cold cup strawless lids. Which, they say, are of a different type of plastic, one that is easier to recycle.According to the company, “they will become the standard lid for all iced drinks except Frappuccino, which will be served with a straw made from paper or PLA compostable plastic manufactured from fermented plant starch or other sustainable material.”Fortune magazine reported another problem with replacing plastic.“San Diego is considering prohibiting a particularly ubiquitous plastic product: expanded polystyrene (EPS)—better known as styrofoam—which is used widely in takeout food containers.”What they are replacing it with is paper, not a good idea.“EPS products are significantly cheaper and less resource-intensive than similar products made of different materials. For example, manufacturing a disposable paper cup requires at least 20 per cent more fossil fuel and almost 50 per cent more electricity than a styrofoam cup does,” the same article goes on to say. “Paper goods, the most likely alternative to EPS, create more waste and water and air pollution than EPS does.”Top ten trash found in one day at a clean-up of beaches by 789,138 volunteers in more than 100 countriesOne still has to produce and throw a paper cup and a paper straw away, and the environment will suffer for it.Why not just go back to the mug or glass?For one, it is nowadays considered unhygienic.  Starbucks call their solution of a plastic cover “clean”, and the latest habit of packaging plastic straws in a plastic wrapper before handing it to customers reflects this idea of cleanliness or the need to present a sterile product.The problem is rooted in more than a need for avoiding bacteria. Professor of gender studies at Berkeley University Minoo Moallem, who in 2017 did a study on our daily plastic use, says ““Plastic is so much a part of who we are.”It is definitely a habit that is at least partly rooted in habits which have very little basis in reasoning. Fresh juices are routinely served with a straw, while few people would consider drinking beer or wine sipping through one.Just half a century ago, we lived big chunks of our lives without plastic, but it now seems hard.Moallem suggests it is not that easy to go back to the old days. “Older generations had sustainable ways of living,” she says. “Many of them were developed by women. They were experts in recycling, reusing, preserving, maintaining. But that is now lost. It’s a wealth of knowledge that we don’t have access to anymore.”So should we be happy when in a couple of years café and bar owners in Cyprus will realise that offering each customer who orders a cold drink a plastic straw in a plastic wrapping is not a good thing and applaud them for contributing to the circular economy?In one country at least, things are moving faster. France banned all disposable plastic dishes and cutlery in 2016. Manufacturers and retailers have until 2020 to ensure that any disposable products they sell are made of biologically sourced materials and can be composted in a domestic composter.One could go a step further, or should one say back? The Guardian recently reported that in mediaeval Europe, people used to carry their own personal knife for every eating occasion. There was no expectation that cutlery would be provided. You May LikeDr. Marty Nature's Feast SupplementHow to Give Your Cat The Essential Vitamins They NeedDr. Marty Nature’s Feast SupplementUndoOpoopa7 Greatest French Tennis Players You Should Know! | yes.opoopa.comOpoopaUndoBukisaWild ‘Coyote’ Turns Out To Be Something ElseBukisaUndo At least 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate’s office in KabulUndoCyprus’ Dothraki warriorUndoFilm review: Child’s Play ***Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Roberts announces April office hours

Rep Roberts announces April office hours

first_img Categories: Roberts News 28Mar Rep. Roberts announces April office hours State Rep. Brett Roberts invites residents from the 65th House District to meet with him during his April office hours.Rep. Roberts will be available Monday, April 11, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Eaton Rapids Library, 220 S. Main St. in Eaton Rapids, and from noon to 1 p.m. at the Grass Lake Township Hall, 373 Lakeside Drive in Grass Lake. Appointments are not necessary.“It’s always great to sit down with residents in our district,” said Rep. Roberts, R-Eaton Township. “I look forward to hearing any concerns and answering questions about state government.”Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to contact Rep. Roberts’ office by phone at (517) 373-1775, or by email at BrettRoberts@house.mi.gov. ###last_img read more

Rep Griffin votes for program to study opioid use abuse

Rep Griffin votes for program to study opioid use abuse

first_img31Oct Rep. Griffin votes for program to study opioid use, abuse Categories: Griffin News,News State Rep. Beth Griffin today voted in favor of a budget supplemental bill that includes a pilot program in Kalamazoo County to identify people at high risk of opioid addiction.Griffin, of Mattawan, said she supports this program because it will help people with identifying if they have a tendency for addiction to opioids and other prescription painkillers.The study will test Medicaid recipients for indicators of a high risk toward the adverse use of opioids and enable doctors to prescribe other medications that may avoid abuse.“I voted for this bill because we must do everything we can to curtail the opioid abuse epidemic that is destroying so many families, not just in Michigan but across our nation,” Griffin said. “The results obtained from this local study could have a sweeping impact on methods we could use to address this growing problem on a statewide level.”The bill now goes to the governor for consideration.#####The legislation is Senate Bill 253.center_img Legislator says findings could have statewide impactlast_img read more

House supports Rep Lucido bills to better protect children

House supports Rep Lucido bills to better protect children

first_img The state House today advanced bills from state Rep. Peter Lucido to better protect children from criminals with multiple child abuse convictions.“Our law enforcement and prosecutors, not to forget our state’s children, need another weapon to get repeat child abusers off the streets,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “All forms of child abuse are awful, terrible crimes. The only thing worse is someone who does it over and over being able to do it again.”Lucido’s two-bill package focuses on third- and fourth-degree offenses with a third-degree violation occurring when an individual “knowingly or intentionally” causes a child to be harmed, while a fourth-degree infraction involves reckless actions that leads to the physical harm. If enacted, the legislation will require any prior child abuse conviction – regardless of degree – to count as a repeat violation and qualifies for stricter sentencing.The legislation strengthens penalties starting with a second conviction, expanding possible prison time up to five years for a third-degree offense and two more years for a fourth-degree violation. Current law allows for two-year and one-year sentences for respective convictions.In comparison, first-degree violations, when a defendant “knowingly or intentionally” intended to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child, can carry up to life imprisonment. A second-degree infraction can include a penalty of 10 years in prison for a first violation, 20 years for the second.“We have a moral obligation to protect children, especially from individuals who hurt kids over and over again,” said Lucido, vice chair of the Law and Justice Committee. “Let’s give them five years in prison, instead of two years, to think about it.”HBs 4486 and 4487 both advance to the Senate for its consideration.### Categories: Lucido News,News 08Feb House supports Rep. Lucido bills to better protect childrenlast_img read more

Rep LaFave House approve plan to help UP farmers devastated by record

Rep LaFave House approve plan to help UP farmers devastated by record

first_img20Jun Rep. LaFave, House approve plan to help U.P. farmers devastated by record rainfall Categories: LaFave News The Michigan House and state Rep. Beau LaFave today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.The plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.“This spring has been one of the rainiest on record and crop farmers, processers and other agriculture-related businesses in the Upper Peninsula have been devastated,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “No one could have prepared for or anticipated this bad weather. This program will help stabilize the finances of Michigan’s second-largest economic industry – one that hundreds of thousands of our families and neighbors depend on to make a living. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I am proud to provide this much-needed and deserved support for our hard-working farmers across the state.”Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.House Bill 4234 provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012.LaFave also recently joined House colleagues in submitting a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture regarding federal support.last_img read more

Foundation Fights Sexism in the Video Gaming Industry

Foundation Fights Sexism in the Video Gaming Industry

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 20, 2014; EscapistThe Escapist, a video gaming online magazine, tells the story of the four women of the Code Liberation Foundation who got together with the aim of providing safe spaces for women to learn how to code for video games.At IndieCade East, the International Festival of Independent Games held this past February in New York, the foundation’s spokespeople talked about their experiences growing up in a medium that discouraged their voices, and how they plan to change video games’ image problem. Their solution is to teach women how to code and make it clear that their voices are important.“Code Liberation Foundation’s Catt Small, Phoenix Perry, Jane Friedhoff, and Nina Freeman are all women who were interested in programming at a young age but were discouraged from the field before college. They’re now all game programmers, and hope to fix the damage that prevents women from entering the field,” the Escapist reports.Perry delivered harsh statistics concerning the sizeable decline in women programmers since 1991. When it comes to games programming in particular, women make up four percent of the field. The video gaming and visual effects industries are notoriously dominated by men; the Visual Effects Society, an international organization representing computer imaging artists in gaming and entertainment, reports that its membership is about 80 percent male.Perry believes misogynistic advertising is one cause behind the decline. Small explained to the audience that as a girl growing up, media fed her negative messages about women, and that the problem continues today. Perry told festival attendees that it’s time to fix this image problem: “We undo the damage. We woman up.”Code Liberation offers free classes for women on a number of platforms, and holds most of its classes at NYU’s Brooklyn campus; its workshop slides are available for free. The foundation’s goal is to inspire young girls to code. Freeman’s interest in teaching high school girls comes from the fact that computer science courses in secondary education have declined since 2005, and that only 18.6 percent of the students who took the AP Computer Science exam last year were women.—Larry KaplanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Police Reaction to Rams Protest Leads to Charity Donation

Police Reaction to Rams Protest Leads to Charity Donation

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares December 11, 2014;SB NationA group calling itself Boycott St. Louis Rams is accepting donations of Rams logo clothing from former fans who are protesting the players’ “hands up” demonstration from the game against the Oakland Raiders on November 30th. Their intention is to donate the clothing to homeless people, thus acting, they say in a Facebook post, as a positive force for good, “as opposed to [in] the destructive fashion that some protesters have chosen.” The group also seems talented in the art of performance theater; this campaign followed a ceremonial burning of some Rams jerseys at a local sports bar.Perhaps due to blowback like this, the team (as of last night) planned to make a donation of an undisclosed size to The BackStoppers, a charity serving the families of fallen first responders, before the Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals. The director of BackStoppers publically expressed gratitude, but had no comment on the team’s motivation. (This is not the first time that the Rams have supported the BackStoppers organization, by the way.)Gabe Crocker, president of the St. Louis County Police Officers Association, damned the donation with faint praise, calling it a “good first step” but going on to say, “The players’ actions had a profoundly negative impact on public safety personnel and their supporters throughout the community…I still would not expect many public safety folks to be lining up for tickets.” The Association had called for the five players to be disciplined for their protest. The Rams and the NFL declined to take this step, but a few days later, the Rams met with the police union to express their “understanding” and regret over any offense taken. They have clearly denied making an apology to the police association, however.For another story of how the events of Ferguson have moved people around the country, read our newswire on the outpouring of support for a local library that’s become a community refuge.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Much Ado about Democracy in Africa

Much Ado about Democracy in Africa

first_imgShare15Tweet8ShareEmail23 Shares“President Zuma,” by Linh DoFebruary 21, 2018; The ConversationMohammed Diatta’s commentary in The Conversation offers a brief prognosis of democracy in Africa following the departure in mid-February 2018 of South African president Jacob Zuma—one of the latest African leaders to vacate office. Diatta is careful to state that not all of Africa’s departed presidents were deposed and cites the divergent examples of Angola, Liberia, and Zimbabwe. However, and perhaps unwittingly, Diatta appears to rehash some longstanding distortions of political order in Africa. There have been countless debates about this, and there isn’t enough space here to bring them all into critical conversation, so this article highlights just the most pressing gaps.Firstly, not enough attention is paid to the reasons why some of Africa’s less popular presidents have fallen. Zuma and Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn are but the freshest casualties of a wave that began with the “North African Spring,” a wave propelled by movements of ordinary women and men who have tired of what Diatta calls “the old order.” That wave has ebbed over the years, but it is resurgent now, even in the face of violent suppression, and it is not yet done purging those leaders who would stand in the way of true people’s power. There is consensus that these revolts have not brought about desired change, but is the envisaged change the same for people protesting on the streets of Africa’s capitals as it is for those purporting to support it from the world’s political nerve centers/metropoles?Starting from the title, “Africa waves some leaders goodbye: but is the democratic deficit any narrower,” the notion of a democratic deficit runs through the article. It appears to play on the myth that this situation is peculiar to Africa, an inaccuracy that is tackled in this Guardian article from 2016. The truth is that there is a global deficit, to the extent that there are democratic flaws even in those countries that have arrogated to themselves the dubious distinction of democracy promoter and champion. Again, this tag doesn’t acknowledge the gains made in countries like Benin and Ghana within the frame of democracy and good governance. Further, amid recognition that there are different forms of democracy and government around the world, the whole idea of democratic deficit stems from divergent assessments and perceptions of compliance with the liberal democratic model of government. So, when Diatta writes, “The [African Union] must, more than ever, have all its member states sing to the tune of democracy,” the question that arises is, “Whose tune?”The article makes several broad-sweep statements that reproduce the reduction of Africa to a monolithic entity. They lose ground against Nic Cheeseman’s proposition that there are “three (or four, or five) Africas” as far as democracy goes. Given these different representations of democracy, convergence does not seem likely or desirable. As Claude Ake posits, African democracy must and will find its own path, and that it is not inherently bad for being different from the norm.It’s proper to speculate on the fate of democracy in Africa. But the current focus on how the departure of the current generation of leaders will enhance democratic practice is only half the puzzle. The question this article should really be asking is if and how well this wave of change that has uprooted leaders in its wake since the North African Spring will resituate political power from African elites and their Western allies to the ordinary men and women who put them there.Diatta alludes to the need to “overhaul” the system, but that system, built as it is on free regular elections and popular representation, has proven unwieldy in the context of the complex cultural compositions of many African countries. The greatest value of the departure of Zuma and his colleagues is to rekindle debate around governance in Africa in ways that seek solutions to the quandary in which it has languished since the 1960s: Will it continue to battle its way toward a foreign concept of democracy? Or will it find and tread its own path?—Titilope F. AjayiShare15Tweet8ShareEmail23 Shareslast_img read more

Nashville Considers Further Restrictions on Tax Abatements

Nashville Considers Further Restrictions on Tax Abatements

first_imgShare2TweetShareEmail2 SharesBob Mendes.October 11, 2018; Next CityEconomic development incentives, a fancy term for reducing tax bills through property tax abatements for corporations in exchange for a promise of investment or job creation, have typically been hidden from view. But they are starting to attract more public attention, both because of new accounting rules that push cities seeking bond financing—that is, nearly all cities—to publicly state how much they spend on corporate tax breaks, and because of the highly visible ongoing competition to become Amazon’s second headquarters’ city. In Tennessee, the cost of such incentive payments statewide exceeds $200 million a year.But the acceptability of tax incentives in Tennessee is changing, at least in the capital city of Nashville. Last January, as NPQ covered, Nashville’s Metro Council passed by voice vote (an earlier vote passed by a 30–5 margin) a resolution that requires “companies hoping to receive incentives to make prior estimates on wages and jobs created or retained, as well as disclose past safety violations.” Council disgust at not knowing how many public dollars the city they govern was offering to Amazon helped fuel support for this measure.Then, in the spring, the mayor’s budget left an estimated $17-million hole in the school budget.Meanwhile, Mike Richter of the Tennessean reports that $9.3 million in property taxes had been diverted “from schools to pay off redevelopment loans—for downtown hotels, luxury condos, and other projects” using a method of financing known as tax-increment financing (because the increment in property tax value goes to pay off the loan, rather than support city services).Now, Nashville Metro Council Member Bob Mendes has proposed requiring that property tax abatement deals hold school districts harmless. In other words, should this policy take effect, the city would only be allowed to offer tax abatements for corporations for the non-school portion of the property tax bill.Jared Brey in Next City writes that Mendes, who has been a council member for three years, believes he has the votes to pass his proposal. However, Mendes has agreed to delay pushing it forward in exchange for a city agreement “to make no new TIF deals until at least next summer, when a committee is expected to wrap up a comprehensive study of Nashville’s TIF program and make recommendations for its improvement.”As NPQ has covered, two independent studies released this year—one by Timothy Bartik of the W.E. Upjohn Institute and the other by David Merriman, published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy—found that corporate tax abatements have damaging effects, particularly for education. Bartik, for instance, found that, “Every 10 percent siphoned from K–12 spending results in a long-term wage decrease in the community of eight percent.” Merriman, in his report, recommended precisely the policy that Mendes in Nashville is now proposing—that is, an outright ban on school district property taxes being diverted to finance economic development.For his part, Mendes is confident that some variant of the policy he is proposing will become law. As Mendes puts it, “I think there’s a pretty widespread feeling, even among people who are hardcore, downtown business-type folks, that some of what we’ve done with TIF over the last 10 years when the city has been booming is maybe not the ideal usage.”—Steve DubbShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shareslast_img read more

Al Jazeeras new French sports channels will be ca

first_imgAl Jazeera’s new French sports channels will be carried by DTH service CanalSat after the two parties struck a deal.Following weeks of negotiations, CanalSat is now offering beIN Sport 1, which launched on June 1, and beIN Sport 2 will be available next month. The channels will cost €11 per month.Al Jazeera launched the channels after it won the rights to broadcast French Ligue 1 and Champions League football. Last month, police raided the offices of Charles Biétry, the head of beIN Sport, following a complaint by Canal Plus that the broadcaster had engaged in malpractices in poaching Canal Plus staff.last_img read more

Global teleport content management and playout se

first_imgGlobal teleport, content management and playout services provider, SatLink Communications, has agreed a new partnership deal with Pi Telecom to deliver a cloud-based TV everywhere platform.Through the deal, SatLink is expanding into IP delivery through the launch of a new end-to-end OTT platform that will let broadcasters and TV operators offer an immediate TV everywhere service to subscribers on all screens.Pi Telecom is a specialist in the development and marketing of interactive video solutions for hybrid (DVB+IP), IPTV and OTT networks.The solution will be available on a pay-per-service model, with the managed service to be offered via the cloud within days.last_img read more

Pascal Lamy Mobile industry body the GSMA has cal

Pascal Lamy Mobile industry body the GSMA has cal

first_imgPascal LamyMobile industry body the GSMA, has called for a “timely release” of the 700 Mhz band for mobile use, and an accelerated review of the sub-700 Mhz UHF band.The GSMA, which represents mobile operators around the world, called on the European Commission to support requests for release of the 700MHz band for mobile use “preferably between 2018 and 2020 and potentially earlier” for markets that are able to release it sooner – such as Finland, France, Germany and Sweden.It also said that a review of the sub-700MHz band (470-694 MHz) should take place between the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) in November and WRC-19 in 2019.The GSMA called for the EC should support a co-primary mobile broadcasting allocation in the UHF band at WRC-15, with Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA saying: “A co-primary allocation will give [EC] member states full flexibility to use UHF spectrum for both mobile and broadcast in the future.“If mobile data continues to grow as predicted, national governments will retain the option of reallocating more spectrum to mobile if required.”The comments follow the EC’s publication this week of the public consultation results of the Lamy Report on 700MHz spectrum band. The original report was put together by European Commissioner Pascal Lamy and published in September 2014.Following the consultation, the EC said that a “vast majority of the respondents” were in favour of establishing a common deadline to clear the 700 MHz band and supported the Lamy Report’s proposal of 2020 – plus-or-minus two years – for doing so.There was also “broad support” for a common European approach to the sub-700MHz band at the WRC-15.The Lamy report said that current use of the 470-694 MHz band should be safeguarded until 2030 to provide “regulatory security and stability for terrestrial broadcasters” with a review by 2025 to assess technology and market developments of the UHF spectrum.On publication of the initial Lamy report, the EBU, which represents the interests of public broadcasters in Europe, welcomed the recommendation that the EU safeguard access to spectrum below 700 MHz for DTT, but voiced concerns that 2020, plus-or-minus two-years, timescale for the release of the 700Mhz band would not give broadcasters and viewers enough time to adapt to the new spectrum arrangements.last_img read more

A new producer category has been added to the upco

A new producer category has been added to the upco

first_imgA new producer category has been added to the upcoming Content Innovation Awards, which are being organised by Digital TV Europe and its sister title TBI.At the same time, following multiple requests, the deadline for submissions across all categories has been extended until July 31 to allow more times for entries.The new International production company of the Year category will recognise the international producer who has had a standout year, with the award being given at a gala ceremony on the eve of MIPCOM in Cannes this year.Whether a standout commission, a startlingly successful start-up or a prolific existing producer, the award will go to the one programme maker that has helped shape the international TV industry in the past year.The award will sit alongside the other categories already announced, with the event organisers extending submission deadlines to allows interested parties to submit an entry and be considered alongside the huge number received so far.The categories will be judged by a panel of industry experts. Details of each of the categories and how to enter can be found here.last_img read more

A large proportion of North American Netflix subs

A large proportion of North American Netflix subs

first_imgA large proportion of North American Netflix subs would not pay more than US$15 for the streaming service, limiting its ability to raise prices as well as driving subs growth, according to new research.TiVo-owned TV technology firm Digitalsmiths conduct a quarterly survey, asking consumers about content trends and SVOD and pay TV usage.The 3,114 survey respondents said that Netflix’s most appealing current features were, in order, price, the ability to create different profiles within one subscription, and the search function. Within that list, the relative importance of profiles has increased since the same question was asked last year.In terms of pricing, 29.3% said they would not pay any more for Netflix, while 39.1% said they would pay between US$12-15. Should prices rise beyond that level, the number of people who said they would pay got gradually smaller.If a monthly sub was in the US$16-19 range 8.4% said they would pay, that proportion falls to 6.5% if the price was between US$20-23, and 3% if it was hiked to between US$24-27. Less than 2% said they would pay if prices went beyond US$28.Netflix has been introducing price hikes in the US, including for long-term users who had been insulated from increases, and internationally and the Digitalsmiths research provides an insight into how far they can push subscription costs in the current environment.In its most recent results, the US-based streaming service missed its subs guidance, but a slew of new programming is set to roll out through the rest of this year as it ramps up spend on original series and films.Overall, 63% of respondents in the Digitalsmiths survey said they use SVOD services and within that group Netflix was the most popular in Q2, with a 53.7% share, ahead of Amazon with 24%, and Hulu with 11.8%.Netflix’s share has gradually increased in recent quarters and stood at 49.4% at the same point last year. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have now been the top three US SVOD services for six quarters.last_img read more

French radio and TV group NRJ is planning to sell

French radio and TV group NRJ is planning to sell

first_imgFrench radio and TV group NRJ is planning to sell its transmission arm, Towercast, and aims to raise over €300 million from the sale, according to local reports.According to Le Figaro newspaper, the sale of the transmission towers outfit will be launched imminently.According to the paper, NRJ Group founder and CEO Jean-Paul Baudecroux has managed mergers and acquisitions specialist Invest Corporate Finance to study the sale of the transmission towers outfit. The paper reports that NRJ has received a number of expressions of interest on the parts of investment funds and potential industry buyers.According to financial daily Les Echos, citing unnamed sources, NRJ is likely to hire Kepler Cheuvreux to lead the process.The move to sell Towercast follows the receipt of a payment of €18 million from the French government related to the sale of frequencies in the 700MHz band range to telecom companies, which led to the loss of two multiplexes and a sharp drop in revenue and profit last year.Towercast competes with TDF in supplying transmission services in the country, and a sale could enable it to expand its customer base by dissociating it from a particular broadcast group – a point made explicitly by Baudecroux to Le Figaro. He said that Towercast was not a core asset for NRJ and could grow its revenue by 20-25% as an independent by acquiring a more diversified client base.Towercast saw its revenues decline by 12.8% and operating income by 24% last year, leading some analysts to conclude that the price being demanded by NRJ is too high.A sale could give the media group a significant cash boost to be invested in its core business. However, there has also been speculation that NRJ could follow the sale of its towers unit with the sale of other assets. The group owns TV channels NRJ12 and Chérie 25 as well as a number of radio services.last_img read more

People who watch video games are more likely are m

People who watch video games are more likely are m

first_imgPeople who watch video games are more likely are more likely to take up subscription video-on-demand services than the average user, while only a minority of US SVOD customers use streaming services more frequently than broadcast or cable TV, according to a survey by Juniper Research.According to Juniper’s Digital TV & Video Streaming Survey: Consumer Attitudes 2018, based on a study of consumers in the US, UK and China, people who watched video games take an average of six SVOD services, compared to between two and three for non-gamers.People who watch games are bigger consumers of video generally, with 70% watching streaming video services several times a day compared with 56% for the average users. However, only 26% of game stream viewers watch dedicated eSports events, the survey found.The survey also found that only 35% of US SVOD users watch their streaming services more frequently than terrestrial or cable TV. Among sports streaming viewers, 92% reported watching sports content elsewhere in addition to on their streaming service.Netflix was the market leader among SVOD players in the US and UK, used by over 80% of respondents in the two countries, and was the only provider expected to grow its share of existing SVOD users.Amazon Prime Video was watched by over 50% of US respondents and 48% of UK respondents.last_img read more

It is understood the charges are in relation to a

It is understood the charges are in relation to a

first_imgIt is understood the charges are in relation to a robbery at commercial premises in the Spencer Road area of Derry last Sunday, September 4.MAN TO FACE DERRY COURT OVER ROBBERY OF COMMERCIAL PREMISES was last modified: September 7th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: DERRY MAGISTRATES’ COURTMAN TO FACE DERRY COURT OVER ROBBERY OF COMMERCIAL PREMISESPSNISPENCER ROAD ShareTweetcenter_img A MAN has been charged with 13 offences including robbery, theft, possession of an offensive weapon and dangerous driving.The 21-year-old is due to appear at Derry Magistrates’ Court today for a first remand hearing on the charges.last_img read more