The Fiji Tourism Board is confident its long-term marketing campaign ‘Fiji Me’ will continue, despite an audit undertaken by the Board to find best ways to spend marketing budgets, according to CEO Jo Tuamoto. According to Mr Tuamoto who was in Sydney this week, the four year strategy has maintained its relevancy and consistency, but audit results in September may reveal the tourism board will need to evolve the branding in certain key markets. With an F$23.5 million budget for global marketing, producing a return of F$15.5 in tourism spending, Mr Tuamoto said the audit will target current and new outlet models, rather than advertising branding. “This is the first time we have undertaken an audit of this kind … it will give us an indication of what we need to do for our outlet model strategy,” he said. “We need to focus on our core, strategy will come in and out, but irrespective of that, it is a consistent message.” Only in January, Fiji Tourism created their own Facebook page which has since received 30,000 ‘fans’, but according to Mr Tuamoto the delay in social media strategies was due to budget constraints. “We’ve never had adequate funding and couldn’t have propelled it,” he said. Presenting the destination as an ideal family holiday, Mr Tuamoto said their biggest concern this year is would-be-visitors defecting to USA due to increased capacity, price and the strong Australian dollar. “We promote quality tourism, we won’t have overcrowding like other destinations,” Tourism Fiji Australian General Manager, Paresh Pant said. “Our advantage is we can use Fiji’s appeal … a Fiji experience is different. It still shines across as a good getaway de-stress market”, Mr Pant said. Mr Pant added that its favourable flight capacity for time-poor travellers puts the destination a step above other short haul markets. Fiji Tourism Board Paresh Pant & Jo Tuamoto in Sydney this week Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M
Source = Hotel Cozzi Hotel Cozzi Unveils Cartoon Network branded ExperienceHotel Cozzi Unveils Cartoon Network branded Experience in TaiwanHOTEL COZZI Ximen Tainan, a Cathay Hospitality Management property, has partnered with global entertainment brand Cartoon Network to theme rooms and facilities. Opening officially today, stars from Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls and We Bare Bears welcome guests on five floors of the hotel, which is located in Tainan – a popular tourist destination in southwest Taiwan.The branded experience begins at the entrance, where there is an eye-opening 3.5-metre-tall sculpture of Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. Never seen before in Taiwan, the theming continues in 54 rooms, in the Cartoon Network Party Café, at the hotel’s indoor recreation area and outdoor Funky Field playground.“Together with millions of Cartoon Network fans across this region, including here in Taiwan, we are thrilled to be partnering with Cathay Hospitality Management to create the very first Cartoon Network-themed family accommodation experience in Asia. HOTEL COZZI is a unique concept that will delight the many fans who love our hugely popular franchises The Powerpuff Girls, We Bare Bears and Adventure Time. Guests will be able to relax, eat and play surrounded by their favourite shows and characters,” said Vikram Sharma, Vice President of Cartoon Network Enterprises – Asia Pacific.More about HOTEL COZZI Ximen TainanSince its opening in 2015, HOTEL COZZI Ximen Tainan has become the go-to establishment for independent travellers. The vast 1,650-square-metre outdoor Funky Field playground, convenient location and attentive service are some of its key draws for families with children.Together with Cartoon Network, the hotel has added a local touch to its corridor walls by integrating cartoon characters into scenes of Tainan’s historical Shennong Old Street. These specially customized wall designs are exclusive to Taiwan and are the perfect backdrop for family selfies and wefies.As a family-friendly establishment, HOTEL COZZI Ximen Tainan is known for its indoor and outdoor leisure facilities. In the rebranding, one entire floor has been converted to a new indoor recreation area with two main zones. “Adventure Time Candy Kingdom”, is filled with fun attractions such as a Bubble Ball Pit, Candy Library and Bubblegum Game Wall. In “We Bare Bears Fun Land,” guests arrive at a farmers’ market to have an awesome time with Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear.The hotel’s signature Funky Field playground blends Cartoon Network elements to up its fun levels. Every attraction is now a photo spot. Build a sand castle with Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup at “The Powerpuff Girls Sandbox”, ride on the COZZI mini train and greet Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear at “We Bare Bears Station”, and drop by the “Adventure Time Playhouse” to enjoy to a music concert held by Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Ice King and Marceline the Vampire Queen.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback coach Byron Leftwich, left, greets head coach Steve WIlks prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals announced Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, that offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has been relieved of his duties and that Byron Leftwich will assume his position. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “Byron is just a great offensive mind,” Starks said. “He understands the concepts, he understands the play of the talent that he has and he’s always maximized (the talents) within whatever his constraints were.”After playing quarterback in the NFL for 10 years, Leftwich became an intern assisting the quarterbacks for the Cardinals under Bruce Arians in 2016. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2017 and remained in the position when Steve Wilks became head coach in 2018.Leftwich has learned under strong coaching minds including Mike Tomlin, Bruce Arians and Todd Haley in Pittsburgh and Jack Del Rio and Hue Jackson with the Jacksonville Jaguars.Related LinksArizona Cardinals fire OC Mike McCoy, promote Byron LeftwichThe Cardinals offense under fired OC Mike McCoy: By the numbersArizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim calls loss to Broncos ’embarrassing’Arizona Cardinals hit rock bottom in lopsided loss to DenverRapid Reactions: Cardinals struggle on both sides of ball in loss to DenverBy using what he’s learned from these coaches, Leftwich can combine different aspects — including some aspects from Arians’ offense in Arizona, Starks said.“I think he will take a lot of those different elements and apply it quickly to this team because he knows what they can do good,” he said, mentioning route-3 combinations, throwing vertically more often and occasional incorporating long throws in play-action.Though Leftwich comes in at offensive coordinator with a quarterbacks coach, Starks thinks he can also improve the run game. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich was named the new offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals after the team fired Mike McCoy on Friday morning.Former offensive tackle Max Starks, who was a teammate of Leftwich on the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008, 2010 and 2012, thinks the new Cardinals OC is up to the task.He talked highly of Leftwich on the Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday morning. 4 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “I really think that he’s going to get creative with the motions on how you get into the run schemes,” Starks said. “It’s not going to be as predictable.”Starks criticized the Arizona’s offense displayed during Thursday night’s 45-10 loss. He thinks the team should have ran the ball more and thrown less, and had specific complaints on how the offense was forced to call a timeout on the second play of the game because the receivers weren’t lined up correctly on a scripted play.“It was a complete lack of preparation,” Starks said. “It falls back on the coach to not have these guys prepared to play.”In Leftwich, he sees someone who can make play-calling clearer for the offense.“I think he will simplify the language for those receivers because they didn’t have these same issues a year ago,” Starks said. “I think that’s what’s going to be a biggest change that you’re going to notice off the bat. We’re not going to see all the timeouts and all of the hesitation moving forward.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
GREEK prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have agreed to hold a new trilateral meeting of the heads of state of their countries together with Cyprus, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Thursday.The agreement was reportedly made during a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of events marking the inauguration of a new Suez Canal waterway, attended by Cyprus Transport minister Marios Demetriades.The New Suez Canal, as it has been dubbed, cost Egypt some $8bn (€7.3bn). It is part of a larger undertaking to expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.Sources from Tsipras’ office told CNA that details on the three-way summit would be announced at a subsequent date. His office issued a short statement, saying the meeting with al-Sisi took place in a “particularly friendly climate” and that the two leaders further discussed delineating their countries’ respective maritime zones.They also discussed possible cooperation between the Suez Canal and the port of Piraeus.Due to broader geo-political reasons, neighbouring Greece and Egypt have yet to define their exclusive economic zones in respect to one another.The leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt have already held two such summits, the first in Cairo late in 2014, the second in Nicosia, in April of this year.Cyprus and Egypt are in talks exploring the possibility of gas cooperation.You May LikeIcePopMan Notices A Strange Hole In This Lake, So He Gets A Drone, Flies It Inside And Captures ThisIcePopUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Tags: #SB, education, local government, parental rights, state government, transgender students Column by State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona The U.S. Department of Education and Justice recently released unsolicited joint guidance in an attempt to provide educators information they need to ensure that all students, including transgender students, are able to attend school in an environment free from discrimination. This release served as a threat to schools across the nation by stating if they do not follow these guidelines they are liable to lose their federal funding under the discrimination clause of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.Residents in my local community have reached out to my office in record numbers since this joint release was issued expressing sincere concern and anger about how this affects their children and their school.As the father of three daughters, I whole-heartedly disagree with the federal government’s attempt to control our local schools, force an agenda to remove parental rights and tell us how to raise our children. This is a solution in search of a problem not to mention an extreme overreach of our federal government into each state, local communities, and our personal lives.I am not discriminating against transgender students, I am supportive of an individual’s choice to decide who they want to be. However, there comes a point when protecting all children trumps all else. These ill-conceived policy suggestions put the health and safety of my daughters and your children at risk.Under the rules being handed down by the federal government boys and girls would be able to use any restroom or locker room they chose. Placing demands on local schools to implement a federal rule without regard to states right and the 10th amendment is absolutely unacceptable.As parents, we must have a say in what happens in our child’s school. That means that parents, the school board and the local community need to come together and take a hard look at the situation and make a decision that serves the best interest of each individual and the student population as a whole.We cannot be left in the dark about what is going on in our children’s schools. This is not about hatred for transgender students, this is about maintaining local and state government control as well as parental rights.A far-away White House cannot tell us how to raise our children and it shouldn’t be threatening to pull funding to 16,500 local school districts, 7,000 postsecondary institutions, as well as charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries, and museums across the country. This has placed the interests of a few above the interests of our nation’s students receiving an outstanding education.Fear mongering is not an acceptable form of governing from our federal government. I will do everything I can to advocate for local government rights and for parents to have a say in every aspect of their child’s education.####### Categories: Cole News,Featured news,News 26May Rep. Cole advocates for parental rights
23Sep Rep. Hughes honors Mona Shores student at Capitol Categories: Hughes News,News Chloe Cowell, a student at Ross Park Elementary School, joined Rep. Holly Hughes at the state Capitol Thursday as a “Representative for a Day.”Chloe, a fourth grade student in Mrs. Young’s class at Ross Park, was selected as the winner of Rep. Hughes’ summer reading contest, which challenged Muskegon County elementary school students to fill out an entry form for every 10 books read between May to September. Chloe, a Mona Shores native, read 80 books and was invited to tour the state Capitol with her family, participated in a mock committee meeting and be sworn in as junior representative with Rep. Hughes.“Chloe did a phenomenal job to earn this trip to Lansing,” said Rep. Hughes, R-Montague. “Reading is so important in education and every child’s life, so I was glad to reward Chloe’s dedication while giving her a chance to see how our state government works. She was so excited that she asked if we were doing the summer reading program next year and promised to read even more books.”Rep. Hughes also recognized Chloe during Thursday’s House session.
Categories: Marino News,News State Rep. Steve Marino today said he has started meeting with people in the district every Monday and Friday to listen to concerns and ideas they have about state and local government.Marino, of Harrison Township, said he is available for office hour-style meetings between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. every Monday and Friday so he can accommodate the busy schedules of people who often are not able to attend office hours in the traditional setting at a coffee shop on a given time and date.“As a public servant, I work for the people in Harrison, Macomb and Clinton townships, and I should be available when it is convenient for them, not the other way around” Marino said. “My goal is to provide people the flexibility they deserve to set up one-on-one conversations that prioritize their schedules. It will better enable me to listen to their concerns and suggestions.“In some instances the subject matter might focus on something more personal, like an issue with income taxes or a question about unemployment benefits,” Marino said. “That is not a subject someone wants discussed in a group setting, so these individual meetings help accommodate the need for privacy as well.Those wishing to meet with Marino on Mondays and Fridays should call his office at 517-373-0113 to arrange a time and location.##### 25Jan Rep. Marino conducting weekly in-district office hours
State Rep. Triston Cole, of Mancelona, honored the efforts Vanderbilt Area Schools to help the district nearly erase its budget deficit over the past two years.“Vanderbilt now has the smallest budget shortfall of the 10 Michigan school districts to reduce their deficit within 24 months, that’s something to be proud of,” said Cole. “To go from $137,000 in debt to just under $11,000 within two years shows the efforts Vanderbilt’s leaders and school board have made to help the students and families.”The news of the Otsego County district’s effort was announced during a joint House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Education in Lansing on Wednesday. During testimony by the state school superintendent Brian Whiston and representatives of the state Department of Treasury, they supplied a quarterly financial update of state’s districts that have either had their deficit grow, shrink or be erased since June 2015.Vanderbilt is one of 10 districts to shrink their financial shortfall, with eight more erasing their deficit since June 2015.“We’re dedicated in Lansing to helping our school districts with our state budgeting a record amount for K-12 schools during the current school year,” Cole said. “That works well with a dedicated school district like Vanderbilt to make the right decisions while continuing its important mission in educating the children.”##### 12Oct Rep. Cole recognizes budget efforts made at Vanderbilt schools Categories: Cole News,News
Categories: News,VanderWall News State Rep. Curt VanderWall today announced funding for four recreational projects in Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties has been recommended by the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board.VanderWall, of Ludington, said the projects total more than $6.1 million. Funding is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments.“Northern Michigan is famous for its natural resources, lakes and rivers and other recreational jewels, and these projects will definitely make our region even more of a vacation destination,” VanderWall said. “These grants are designed to protect our natural resources as well, which are home to a variety of wildlife.”Projects in the district are:A $5 million land purchase of up to 372 acres from the Sargent Minerals Co., which is surrounded by Ludington State Park. The purchase will increase recreation opportunities and protect coastal habitats in the area.Acquisition of 316 acres in Mason County’s Pere Marquette Township, with 312 feet of frontage on Lake Michigan, a mile of frontage on Pere Marquette Lake and a half mile on Pere Marquette river. The land adjoins the Pere Marquette State Game Area, Buttersville Campground and Suttons Landing Park. The cost of the purchase is $839,400.A land purchase in Benzie County’s Homestead Township involving 52 acres, with almost one-third of a mile of frontage on the Platte River. The river is a federally designated Blue Ribbon Trout Stream and will offer anglers the chance to hook salmon, steelhead and trout. Cost of the land is $222,000.Development of a trailhead for the Lake Michigan Water Trail in Manistee County’s Magoon Creek Park in Filer Township. The $71,100 grant will pay for construction of a paved parking lot, amenities and access routes to the existing universally accessible restroom, existing pavilion and proposed overlook.The Legislature will consider the recommendations in 2018.##### 19Dec Rep. VanderWall: Funding recommended for four regional recreation projects
Measure is part of bipartisan plan in response to Larry Nassar scandalThe state House today approved Rep. Brandt Iden’s measure increasing protections for children under 12 from child pornography.“Child pornography victimizes innocent children in every way possible,” said Iden, of Oshtemo Township. “Michigan must continue to take bold action in the fight against this garbage. Not just the possession of images or video, but in all possible ways.”Iden’s plan creates stronger penalties for producing, distributing or financing child pornography. Individuals who distribute the pornographic material face up to 15 years in prison and a $75,000 fine. Anyone found to produce or finance production of the illegal images may be imprisoned up to 25 years and pay a $125,000 fine.This measure also requires a mandatory minimum of five years in prison for repeat convictions.Iden’s legislation is part of a 28-bill bipartisan package approved by the House to increase protections to Michigan’s residents in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.“With everything Nassar did, it’s often overlooked that he had a significant amount of child pornography when he was arrested. As a whole, this plan will make it virtually impossible for this kind of predator to exist in Michigan,” Iden said. “There were a dozen House committee hearings on this plan to improve our state’s protections of children. Medical professionals spoke up, as did retired judges, college administrators, parents, teachers, subject experts and survivors of Nassar’s crimes. My bill was a part of that discussion to develop a solution to make Michigan safer tomorrow than it is today.”House Bill 5794 advances to the Senate for its consideration. Categories: Iden News,News 24May House approves Rep. Iden bill to protect children from porn
02Apr Rep. Markkanen invites residents to first April office hour Rep. Greg Markkanen of Houghton announced his first April office hour for residents of the 110th district. Markkanen will be joined by special guest, former Senator Tom Casperson. Additional April office hours will be announced in the near future.“I am honored to be joined by former Senator Casperson to discuss issues impacting the 110th district,” Markkanen said. “Senator Casperson has done so many good things for the Upper Peninsula and he’s an excellent resource of knowledge and experience for fellow Yoopers.”The office hours schedule is as follows:Saturday, April 611:30 to 12:45 p.m. (CDT) at the Wakefield VFW, 107 US-2 in Wakefield.All times are listed in local time. Residents also may contact Rep. Markkanen at his Lansing office at (517) 373-0850 or GregMarkkanen@house.mi.gov. Categories: Markkanen News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares March 5, 2014; Neon TommyPerhaps you’ve seen the broadcasts of Russia Today among the many diverse channels in your cable package, or perhaps you’ve stumbled over RT’s professionally done newscasts while channel surfing in your hotel room. Launched in 2005, RT broadcasts news in English from a studio in Washington, D.C. If you might have thought Russia Today was simply an arm of the Russian government, you’re wrong, sort of; it is officially an “autonomous nonprofit organization” in Russia.Nevertheless, RT gives pretty solidly positive coverage to Vladimir Putin. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the coverage was over the top for RT news anchor Liz Wahl, who announced her resignation from the network while on the air, presumably without having informed her bosses that she was going to do so.“I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Wahl announced. “I’m proud of being an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that’s why after this newscast I’m resigning.”Wahl’s resignation followed this on-the-air statement from RT’s Abby Martin, who said during her Breaking the Set talk show, “Just because I work here, for RT, doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence and I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs. What Russia did is wrong.” Unlike Wahl, however, it doesn’t appear that Martin resigned.Wahl had complimented Martin in a tweet, congratulating “my girl” for her “spectacularly off-message in Ukraine broadcast.” Later, Wahl explained her resignation to CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “RT is not about the truth,” she said. “It’s about promoting a Putinist agenda. It’s also about bashing America.” In a public statement, RT acknowledged and even defended Martin’s statement as within the context of her talk show, but denounced Wahl for what it called her “self-promotional stunt.”Putin’s Ukrainian invasion might have been the opportunity for Wahl to resign, but it seems she had been uncomfortable with RT for some time. “It makes me sick that I worked there,” Wahl later told the Daily Beast. “When I came on board, from the beginning I knew what I was getting into, but I think I was more cautious and tried to stay as objective as I could.” She added, in a statement to CNN’s Piers Morgan, “I didn’t know exactly the extent of the propaganda that is this machine. I thought that the Cold War was over and maybe I didn’t realize that there would be this much of an infringement on the editorial…as much pressure…I tried to make the most of the situation. I am not saying that I haven’t done work that I’m not proud of. I tried to use my platform to pitch stories that I thought were important.”Maybe Wahl will find herself with a new job pretty soon, having certainly lifted her profile with her on-air resignation, but that isn’t the issue. The “autonomous nonprofit organization” which includes RT is hardly an unbiased news source, but then we don’t know of many—or any—that are.It takes a lot of guts to resign in protest against the policies of one’s employer when the resignation is over principle. Our favorite example of this kind of courage has long been the resignations of Peter Edelman and Mary Jo Bane as top officials in the Health and Human Services Department in 1996 in opposition to the Clinton Administration’s welfare reform proposals. We are always particularly impressed when these statements of principle occur within nonprofits, even a Russian autonomous nonprofit organization like Russia Today. As an employee—or former employee—of a nonprofit organization who chose principle over paycheck, Wahl reflects a nonprofit practice that we think should be honored by her peers in the nonprofit media.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
A+E Networks has launched apps for its A&E, History and Lifetime networks on Roku internet TV boxes in the US.Viewers will be able to watch full programmes and movies, as well as show clips, through the apps, which are available on Roku players including Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT, Roku HD and the Roku Streaming Stick.“The deal with Roku is another important step for us to ensure the continued expansion of our content across multiple platforms that our audiences want to see our content on,” said Dan Suratt, executive vice-president, digital media and business development, A+E Networks.The firm recently launched TV Everywhere apps for iOS and Android devices, as well as the Kindle Fire HD and Xbox 360 games console platforms.
ProSiebenSat.1 has named Gunnar Wiedenfels as deputy chief financial officer and Ralf Schremper to the new post of chief investment officer.Wiedenfels, who will report CFO Axel Salzmann and will retain his current role as CFO, national and chief group controller, will take up his new post on April 1.Schremper, who will also take up his post on April 1, will continue to act as executive vice-president, mergers and acquisitions and CFO, digital and adjacent.Schremper was responsible for ProSiebenSat.1’s said of its units in northern and eastern Europe and the Benelux region.
Liberty Global-owned Swiss cable operator UPC Cablecom has extended its mobile offer to all customers, establishing itself as a full quad-play provider.UPC Cablecom initially launched mobile services in April, but only to invited customers.UPC Cablecom has recently launched a ‘Wi-Free’ pilot, allowing customers to access the internet from mobile devices at friends’ homes via WiFi. All existing customers with a TV subscription can also watch TV and video-on-demand while out and about with the Horizon TV and Horizon TV Remote smartphone apps.Separately, UPC Cablecom announced it will offer the iPhone 5S, the latest smartphone model from Apple, and the iPhone 5C to its customer from June 27.
François ThielletCanal+’s international arm, Canal+ Overseas, has agreed to take a majority stake in channel distributor Thema.Created in 2005 by François Thiellet, Thema specialises in the distribution of general interest, thematic and ethnic TV channels to cable, satellite and IPTV operators in France and internatonally.It also controls French-language African channel Nollywood TV, which was launched in 2012 on the Free, SFR, Orange and Numericable platforms in France as part of the Le Bouquet Africain TV package. Since May 2013, Nollywood TV has also been broadcast in the Evasion offer of the TV operator CanalSat Afrique in more than 20 African countries.Canal+ has been investing significantly in the African market, most recently launching general entertainment channel A+.Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Thiellet will continue to head Thema’s activities.“The acquisition of the Thema group will accelerate our development strategy, particularly in Africa, and will also give us key know-how in the marketing and packaging of ethnic content, said Canal+ Overseas president Jacques Le Puy.“We are proud and delighted to be associated with Canal+ Overseas, whose resources and overseas reach will allow us to accelerate Thema’s global growth,” said Thiellet.
Al Jazeera-owned sports network BeIN Sports has tapped Cisco to provide its Videoscape TV service deliver platform to deliver advanced services across over 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. BeIN Sports is using Cisco’s VideoGuard conditional access system, Cisco MediaHighway middleware, and Cisco DVR and user interface technologies.Across the MENA region, BeIN Sports offers its services via a range of HD set-tops from different manufacturers, all all enabled by Cisco software and security solutions, ranging from a low-end zapper to a mid-range DVR, and a high-end media gateway enabled by Cisco middleware with a common user interface.“Consumer appetite for new video experiences and a connected lifestyle is developing so rapidly in the MENA region,” said Yousef Mohammed Al-Obaidly, deputy CEO beIN Sports.“It is opportune that we have teamed with Cisco to help us remain competitive by delivering new and exciting services faster than ever before. With premium content security top of our agenda, Cisco Videoscape can provide an open, flexible and fully secure platform that will reduce barriers to innovation and time to market. The first boxes launched in March, 2014 and we will continue to roll out many more high-end boxes throughout this next year.”
Non-linear viewing of content is set to continue to grow over the next three years, but it is not as likely to cannibalise linear TV viewing as in recent years, according to new research.The Forrester report, commissioned by converged TV and video advertising firm Videology, claims that in 2016 buyers and sellers are still projecting growth for digital video, but their outlook on linear TV has improved.Based on a survey of some 100 people from US advertisers, agencies, and media companies – including both traditional and online-only video content producers – almost half (49%) said they think consumers will spend more time watching TV at the time it is broadcast over the next three years.Some 73% of buyers and sellers predicted that consumers will stream more full-length shows online from networks and over-the-top services, and 70% said people will spend more time with original online professional programming. However, the report claims that these online sources are “set to complement, rather than replace, linear TV.”“Despite tremendous growth in alternative viewing options, TV is not going away,” said Scott Ferber, chairman and CEO, Videology.“The future of video advertising is not about a one-way shift to digital video, it’s a holistic approach to all screens. The lines between TV and video are all but indistinguishable to consumers, and the most successful advertising will take that same approach.”Elsewhere, 79% of survey respondents said that they believe consumers will increase time spent with smart TVs, 77% predicted an increase in watching TV through an internet-connected device, and 77% predicted an increase in smartphone viewing. However, at the same time 46% predicted an increase in how much time consumers will spend watching TV via set-top box or antenna.“Interestingly, this outlook on linear TV has improved from 2013. In our prior study, only 27% of buyers and sellers thought consumers would spend more time with linear TV in the future,” according to the study, which is titled ‘TV And Digital Video Evolve As Complementary Allies’.The study also found that 72% expect video buying to become more programmatic in the next three years, 71% think advertisers will shift dollars from linear TV to digital channels in the coming years and 76% believe technology will be a crucial component for success.
Fix&Foxi, Sky Arte and France 24 were among the winners at the Eutelsat TV Awards in Milan on Friday, while Russian pay TV platform secured a special award for being “in the vanguard of digital trends”.Fix&Foxi took the prize for best children’s channel, while Sky Arte Italy took top slot in the culture/documentary category, and France 24 won the prize for best news channel.Eutelsat assigned a Special Award to Russia’s Tricolor TV for its inclusive multiplatform strategy, adding new HD content, launching Russia’s first Ultra HD channels, developing non-linear services as well as access to broadband for the many beyond range of terrestrial networks.The People’s Choice award went to an African channel – Senegal’s 2STV – for the first time.Other winners in Milan included Jordan’s Roya TV, which took the prize in the lifestyle category, Russian’s Dom Kino, which was named best cinema channel, and Zap Viva from Angola, which took the top slot in the fiction/general entertainment category.Poland’s 4fun.tv took the prize in the music channels category, while Italy’s Rai Sport 1 HD was named best sport channel.The award for best programme was shared between BBC Persian’s Iran’s Nuclear Deal and Deutsche Welle’s Currentzis – The Classic Rebel.The Eutelsat TV Awards judges, chaired by Rai’s Duilio Giammaria, considered entries from 120 channels in 37 countries.
Altice and its US offshoot Altice USA are in the initial stages of putting together an offer to acquire number two US cable operator Charter Communications, according to various reports.According to CNBC, which first reported the move, citing unnamed sources, Altice is working with banks to finance a possible deal, which would involve a mix of cash and shares. According to CNBC, a bid is likely, although there is no guarantee that Altice will move forwards. While Altice would seek to finance a large part of the deal with debt, it is less clear that John Malone, whose Liberty Media owns 20.5% of Charter, and 25% of the voting rights, would be prepared to accept an offer with a large stock element.According to the Financial Times, citing sources close to Altice, the cable and telecom group is working on a US$185 billion bid.Patrick DrahiSuch a deal would be Altice boss Patrick Drahi’s biggest to date. Charter is currently worth over US$180 billion including debt, with a stock market value of about US$121 billion. Altice is valued at around US$32 billion, while Altice USA has a market capitalisation of around US$23 billion. Both are heavily indebted already.Charter beat Altice to take control of Time Warner Cable last year in a deal that valued the latter at US$78.7 billion, folding Bright House Networks, another operator it was acquiring at the same time, into the combined entity.Drahi told French parliamentarians at the time that acquiring Time Warner Cable was a step too far for Altice USA at that stage, but that there would be further opportunities to expand in the US cable market, where Altice had acquired number seven player Suddenlink.Altice subsequently acquired Cablevision, which it rebranded as Optimum, and filed a US$1.92 billion IPO in June.Charter and Verizon looked at a possible combination earlier this year, but nothing came of it. Others in the frame as possible buyers of Charter include Japan’s Softbank, which owns the US number four mobile player, Sprint. However, Softbank is also reliant on debt to fund any bid.Altice USA filed an IPO in June, widely seen as opening the way to further acquisitions. Drahi is on record as saying that he views expansion of his fixed-line business as a number one priority, with expansion into mobile following. Altice has also invested in content in Europe, seen by Drahi as the number three strategic priority.