Virgin redesigns Premium Economy class

first_imgVirgin redesigns Premium Economy classVirgin Australia today unveiled a major redesign of the Premium Economy cabin featured on board its Boeing 777 fleet, which will launch in late 2015.The new Premium Economy cabin will feature:An exclusive and intimate cabin size of 24 seats;A seat pitch of 41 inches, with more legroom than any other Australian airline;A plated meal service inspired by business class, tailored to the guest and accompanied by a selection of wines from our Business Class cellar;A Premium Larder for self-service food and beverages for the exclusive use of Premium Economy guests;Crew trained in Premium service; andDedicated check-in, Priority Boarding and Priority baggage (up to 64kg of baggage), enabling guests to speed through airport formalities.Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said: “We understand that Premium Economy guests want to arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and taken care of. We have therefore designed a more spacious and comfortable Premium Economy cabin and product, with a service that many other airlines reserve for their Business Class.“The Premium Economy cabin itself will be more spacious and comfortable, with more legroom than any other Australian airline and new cushioned seating to make the journey more restful.“We are confident that this will be the best Premium Economy experience flying from Australia across the Pacific,” Mr Hassell said.Guests will be able to choose different variations of their meals, with different garnishes, along with the time and speed of service.The new Premium Larder exclusively for Premium Economy guests will be replenished throughout the flight, stocked with an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, light meal options and snacks.The Premium Economy redesign will be rolled out with the airline’s revolutionary new Business Class suites launching on the Boeing 777 fleet later this year. Fly Virgin AustraliaSource = Virgin Australialast_img read more

Rep Howrylak introduces property tax relief bill to help Michigans hardworking taxpayers

first_img Categories: Howrylak News 05Mar Rep. Howrylak introduces property tax relief bill to help Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers State Rep. Martin Howrylak  introduced legislation that will restore the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit to many taxpayers who were recently eliminated from qualifying for the credit.Currently, homesteads with a taxable value greater than $135,000 do not qualify for the credit. House Bill 4278 increases that amount to $145,000 and provides for its annual adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).“It is important we ease the requirements to qualify for this tax credit, thus providing assistance to seniors and other hard-working taxpayers,” said Rep. Howrylak, R-Troy. “In talking with our neighbors in Clawson and Troy over the last two years, the Homestead Property Tax Credit was of great concern and frustration. Many Michigan residents were hit with the loss of this credit, and this bi-partisan bill will help alleviate some of that pressure.”The Homestead Property Tax Credit is currently phased out for people with total household resources between $41,000 and $50,000. HB 4278 would increase the phase-out to a new range of $51,000 and $70,000, which would be adjusted annually in accordance with the CPI.The measure was co-sponsored by 12 other representatives, including Democrats and Republicans.HB 4278 now moves to the House Tax Policy Committee for further consideration.###last_img read more

Rep Howrylak to host office hour in Troy

first_img11Sep Rep. Howrylak to host office hour in Troy State Rep. Martin Howrylak of Troy will host an open office hour on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Troy Library located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy.“I always look forward to meeting residents and discussing matters of state government,” Rep. Howrylak said. “Understanding the issues is one of the most important aspects of being a state representative.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Howrylak at 517-373-1783 or via email at Categories: Howrylak Newslast_img

Rep Runestad votes to provide tax relief to Michigan families

first_img State Rep. Jim Runestad today voted to approve a package of bills aimed at providing substantial income tax relief for families and seniors.The bills continue and increase personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their income taxes.Runestad, of White Lake, voted for the three-bill package that will enable people to keep more of their hard-earned money.“The federal tax reforms signed into law provide much-needed tax relieve, but Michigan residents rely on personal exemptions to help provide for their families,” Runestad said. “The legislation we approved today ensures these important exemptions will continue, and goes even further to put more money in the pockets of hardworking Michigan taxpayers.”The legislation, House Bills 5420-5422, will:Ensure Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month, and increase the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,300 for the 2018 tax year, with gradual increases reaching $4,800 for 2020;Certify taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions; andHouse Bills 5420-5422 now go to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Runestad News 25Jan Rep. Runestad votes to provide tax relief to Michigan familieslast_img read more

Rep Calley joins Michigan House in approving stillborn tax exemption

first_img12Apr Rep. Calley joins Michigan House in approving stillborn tax exemption Categories: Calley News,News State Rep. Julie Calley this week helped the Michigan House approve a plan to assist parents of a stillborn baby through a state income tax exemption.Calley, of Portland, co-sponsors the measure that received unanimous bipartisan support.There are roughly 550 to 650 stillbirths in Michigan each year, according to recent statistics. Families dealing with stillbirths often face thousands of dollars in expenses, first preparing for a baby and finally with funeral expenses.“Family is the foundation of our society, and this plan helps families during a very painful time,” said Calley, of Portland. “We can’t legislate away a family’s grief after losing a baby. But we can help in significant ways by recognizing a life, and helping ease a family’s expenses as we already do with tax exemptions for other dependents.”Michigan provided a stillborn child tax credit from 2006 until broad tax changes eliminated multiple credits in 2011.  Rather than a credit, the plan Calley co-sponsors would provide assistance through a one-time exemption for a dependent.Current Michigan law allows families to claim a one-time dependency exemption for a baby who dies shortly after birth. Calley said parents of a stillborn deserve the same acknowledgement.A taxpayer would need a certificate of stillbirth from the Department of Health and Human Services to qualify.House Bill 4522 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###last_img read more

Rep Lucido plan would prevent sewage from polluting Michigan waterways

first_img Categories: Lucido News Legislator continues mission to clean up Lake St. ClairState Rep. Peter Lucido submits legislation to the House enrolling clerk that will help eliminate the sewage discharges that end up in Lake St. Clair.State Rep. Peter Lucido today announced a plan to prevent sewage from discharging into waterways across Michigan, including Lake St. Clair.Lucido, of Shelby Township, said communities with combined sanitary and storm sewer systems frequently discharge sewage following periods of heavy rain in Oakland and Macomb counties.“Lake St. Clair is the jewel of Macomb County, but all of this disgusting pollution is mucking up our beaches,” Lucido said. “I’m committed to doing the right thing and getting our lake cleaned up once and for all.”The plan laid out in House Bill 6278 requires all municipalities in Michigan to completely separate their sewage systems from storm water systems by Dec. 31, 2022.“Once these systems are separated we should not have any more sewage flowing into Lake St. Clair – or any other lake, river or stream in our state,” Lucido said. “This is a problem that has gone on for far too long. It’s time to do something about it.”The bill will be referred to a committee on July 25.### 20Jun Rep. Lucido plan would prevent sewage from polluting Michigan waterwayslast_img read more

Reps Bellino Sheppard School safety grants will benefit southeast Michigan

first_img Categories: Bellino News,News 01Nov Reps. Bellino, Sheppard: School safety grants will benefit southeast Michigan State Reps. Joe Bellino and Jason Sheppard this week welcomed the announcement of $25 million in grants to improve school building safety across Michigan, including money specifically for schools in Monroe County and southern Wayne County.Both legislators have voted in favor of school safety initiatives in the state Legislature, including approval of the money for the grants announced this week by the Michigan State Police. The grants will help schools buy equipment and technology to improve building security.“There isn’t anything more important than protecting our kids, and these grants will help make school buildings more secure,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “It’s a positive, much-needed step.”Sheppard agreed, adding the grants are part of a multifaceted approach to improve school security.“We must take a proactive, comprehensive approach to creating a safer learning environment for our children – and these grants are an important advancement in that process,” said Sheppard, of Temperance.Some of the grant recipients in the region include Monroe Public Schools ($168,583), Ida Public Schools ($55,043 with a match requirement) and Gibraltar School District ($34,044).Overall, the Department of State Police awarded $25 million divided among more than 180 schools and districts across Michigan.###Note: A complete list of school safety grants is available on this Michigan State Police website:,4643,7-123-72297_34040_75045—,00.htmllast_img read more

Too Much Insularity May Be Problem at ScandalRidden Jewish Social Service Agencies

first_imgShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shares February 11, 2015; Jewish Daily ForwardIn New York, four large, high-profile Jewish social service agencies have been rocked by major scandal in recent years. These agencies are linked (along with around 95 others) by one network: the UJA-Federation of New York. Some believe there’s a problem with the interconnections between some of those large agencies and the UJA-Federation—specifically, in their overlapping boards and long tenured CEOs. Such a situation could lead to something of a closed system.Rabbi David Teutsch, who heads the Center for Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, comments, “Federations have an obligation to oversee their agencies, and that becomes difficult because of the intertwining of agency boards and cross-relationships that are fairly complex. They have to be more wary of conflicts of interest.”The UJA, of course, raises and distributed chartable dollars to member agencies. As a part of that process, they do ask for financial reporting and participation in organizational assessments, but these measures may not afford much protection to the network overall, where, presumably, the failures of one member reflect on the others.The Jewish publication Forward briefly describes the recent scandals: FEGS, with a budget of $200 million a year, announced in January that it would close altogether after its budget imploded and, as later reports suggest, multiple investigations into the agency were ongoing. The New York Legal Assistance Group saw its CEO resign in February as rumors of a federal investigation into financial irregularities circulated. William Rapfogel, the CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, was arrested in September of 2013 for fraud alleged to stretch back as much as twenty years and amounting to approximately $9 million. He’s now in jail while his organization seeks mergers to preserve its services. This prompted the UJA-Federation to promulgate new governance guidelines for its network agencies. And prior to all of that, Sol Adler, the former head of the 92nd Street Y, committed suicide after internal investigators found that he ignored an alleged scheme to extort contractors. (“Adler was having an affair with his secretary,” Forward reports, “whose son-in-law was carrying out the scheme.”)Forward points out that each of the four agencies were led by CEOs had been at the agencies for more than twenty years; three of them had been CEO for those two decades. Additionally, “FEGS and NYLAG both employed the accounting firm Loeb & Troper as their external auditors, while a former Loeb & Troper partner was the Met Council’s CFO from 2012 through 2014.”And board members were shared as well:“Joseph S. Allerhand, an attorney at the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, serves on the boards of NYLAG, Met Council and UJA-Federation. Goldstein, who became CEO of UJA-Federation in July 2014, previously served on the boards of NYLAG and UJA-Federation. Alan S. Jaffe, an attorney at Proskauer Rose, is on the board of NYLAG and UJA-Federation. Members of the Tisch family, an ultra-wealthy New York clan of investors and philanthropists, serve on the boards of Met Council, 92nd Street Y, FEGS and UJA-Federation.”“If you’re putting people on boards not insignificantly because you need their wealth supporting the organization, you may be putting a high percentage of people on boards who are not going to be attentive to the day-to-day of the organization and leave it to professionals,” Teutsch said. “That’s a danger.”Andres Spokoiny, president and CEO of the Jewish Funders Network, says that donors he’s spoken to have not, at least not yet, curbed their donations to the UJA.“When FEGS goes bust, when Met Council goes bust, who picks up the pieces? The Federation,” Spokoiny said. “You kind of need the strong safety net of Federation. Some funders are asking questions about governance, but some are saying, ‘Thank God we have Federation.’”—Ruth McCambridgeShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shareslast_img read more

Forced Treatment for Addicts Massachusetts Proposal Creates Concern on Many Levels

first_imgShare2TweetShareEmail2 SharesImage Credit: Tim EvansonOctober 10, 2015; Boston GlobeAsylums for public inebriates have a long history in this country, dating back to the second half of the 19th century. Recently, however, people with substance abuse issues have often ended up in other types of secure institutions. Now, a new proposed law in Massachusetts would make it easier to civilly commit addicts.Between October 30th and November 2nd of this year, 6,000 federal prisoners are to be released by the Bureau of Prisons in light of sentences for drug crimes that have since had their penalties reduced. These people are a portion of the body count from this nation’s long and apparently fruitless “war on drugs,” which featured harsh sentences for even the lowest level offenders.But even as that is occurring, we see other efforts to criminalize and institutionalize drug abusers, and those efforts are causing civil liberties advocates real concern. Yesterday, we discussed in a newswire the prosecution of women who have used drugs during pregnancy, and today we are covering an attempt by Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts to allow hospitals to involuntarily commit drug users deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.The proposed bill would authorize hospitals to seek a three-day hold, giving them time to evaluate the person and potentially seek a longer commitment to try to force treatment. There is already an option under current law to pursue a 90-day commitment for alcoholics or addicts who pose the potential to harm themselves or others, but this preliminary step would make that process easier.This law, and others which include a proposal to screen all high school students for substance use, is being proposed in the midst of a statewide spike in overdose deaths—1200 last year alone across the state.Barbara Herbert of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Society for Addiction Medicine calls the idea “provocative,” in that it could perhaps help people towards care when they need it, but she also cautioned that it may discourage addicts from seeking needed for fear of being forcibly committed. On the other hand, some believe the process allows people to get themselves into paid care in a system where access is often very difficult—and, indeed, the current commitment law is said to have often functioned in that way. If the addict is unwilling, though, there is that pesky issue of depriving people of their liberty through civil commitment, which is more than troubling and likely to spark some civil suits.Add that to the fact that the research on coerced treatment is not promising—Jeffrey Eisen of Lahey Behavioral Services in Danvers says the results of 30 years of studies on compulsory treatment have produced nothing more than inconclusive and inconsistent results—and the idea begins to look unpromising except as a weird route into otherwise inaccessible treatment.NPQ encourages readers to comment on this newly proposed law. What are the implications for treatment and for civil liberties? —Ruth McCambridgeShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shareslast_img read more

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Likens Himself to Adolf Hitler

first_imgShare2TweetShareEmail2 SharesBy Presidential Communications Operations Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsOctober 1, 2016; New York TimesRodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte, is the 16th and most recently elected president of the Philippines. Duterte was a prosecutor for Davao City before becoming mayor of the city during the Philippine Revolution of 1986. The success of Duterte’s seven terms (more than 22 years) in office are said to be primarily the result of his extrajudicial killing of drug users and criminals. It appears that he intends to bring the same brutal message and methodology to rest of the country that elected him.“Hitler massacred three million Jews,” Mr. Duterte said after returning to the Philippines from a trip to Vietnam, understating the toll cited by historians, which is six million. “Now, there is three million, there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” Killing that number of drug users would “finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he said. Since Mr. Duterte took office in June promising a grisly campaign against crime and drugs, the Philippines has seen a surge in killings of drug suspects.In September, in a hearing in the Philippines Senate investigating the extrajudicial killings of more than 3,000 suspected drug users (and a public official critical of Duterte) since he took office in June, a witness accused Duterte of paying a team of hit men to carry out the summary executions.During his presidential campaign, which Duterte won by a significant margin, he warned that the Philippines should build funeral parlors rather than prisons for drug pushers and that the criminals themselves should either flee the country or commit suicide rather than face his wrath.Human Rights Watch began its 2009 report on Duterte’s death squad operations with this quote from his days as mayor of Davao: “If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination.” The report claims that Duterte brazenly had some victims assassinated after announcing their names on local television.Will Duterte’s strongman tactics prevail in a country of 100 million citizens that has an aggressive press and a vibrant civil society? The recent Senate hearings indicate that the country’s checks and balances are at work. Will they work? And what about the international community? When the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Duterte’s endorsement of extrajudicial killings last August, Duterte simply threatened to pull out of the United Nations in a vulgar tirade.And what about relations between the U.S. and its former colony, now a major non-NATO ally? A few weeks ago, Duterte called President Obama a “son of a whore.” Duterte recently announced that “the countries’ coming joint military exercises would be their last.” During a visit to Vietnam, Duterte said he had received information that “the CIA is planning to kill me.” Does Duterte deserve the contempt of the U.S for his promotion of human rights violations in the name of ideological fervor? A spokesperson for the US embassy recently said that the United States would continue to work with the Philippines to “uphold our shared democratic values.”What shaped Duterte’s “values” was the raging Communist insurgency in the Philippines when Dutere first took office as mayor of Davao in the early 1980s. Writing for the Atlantic, Sheila Coronel offers a glimpse into Duterte’s convulsed world.Unless you saw the madness with your own eyes, it was hard to believe. On one trip to Davao, I found a city terrorized by bands of vigilantes, roaming the streets with guns or long knives, hunting for communists. The radio blared anti-communist tirades, the most incendiary of them from Jun Pala, a broadcaster who compared himself to Goebbels. Pala walked around Davao armed with a Magnum revolver and a hand grenade. On air, he threatened to behead rebel sympathizers and egged on the vigilantes as they gunned down or knifed suspected communists. One day, news photographers chanced upon a vigilante band that had beheaded a suspected guerrilla. The killers posed for pictures, and said they drank the blood from the sundered head.Today, Duterte is the popularly elected president of his country and a “world leader.”—James SchafferShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shareslast_img read more

Commercial broadcasters across Europe spent €151

first_imgCommercial broadcasters across Europe spent €15.1 billion on content in the last year for which programme spend was measured.The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) commissioned a study from the E-media Institute into the cumulative spend of advertiser-supported broadcasters in the region. The €15.1 billion figure is for 2010.“We know that European television is an €84 billion sector – but we did not know until today how much of that revenue is reinvested in sport, news, entertainment or movies,” said Philippe Delusinne, CEO of RTL Belgium and president of the ACT. “When the contributions of public broadcasters, and of smaller operators, are also taken into account, we conclude that overall around 40% of broadcasters’ revenues are reinvested in the next season’s schedule. Quite simply, great program content isn’t cheap.”The report findings come as European Commission research reveals the average European citizen watches linear TV for 228 minutes per day.last_img read more

Hybrid TV technology provider Httv is to integrate

first_imgHybrid TV technology provider Httv is to integrate Logiways’ VoDAccess broadband video-on-demand engine into its platform to deliver VOD to terrestrial, satellite, cable and IP networks with limited streaming bandwidth.Logiways will also use Httv’s firmware to power its broadcast VOD platforms, particularly in emerging markets.The pair will collaborate on future roadmap features to broaden the base of set-top and chipset options for their customers.At IBC, Httv and Logiways will demonstrate the range of features including pre-integrated advanced middleware, low-cost scalable VOD headends, card-based and cardless rights protection solutions, remote diagnostics, recommendation and audience measurement.Jean-Philippe Plantevin, Logiways CEO, said “The opportunity to partner with Httv, one of the true digital TV software innovators, brings significant synergies to both companies’ offers. By pre-integrating together, we are able to offer the market the advantages of low-cost, easy scalability and rapid deployment as well as a future-proof solution.”Separately, Logiways has chosen Cognik’s CogniKuest recommendation engine to power its next-generation  VodAccess VOD delivery platform for broadcasters and non-linear TV operators.“Our broadcast customers demand a VoD experience that is as advanced as the traditional services offered by Cable or IP. The integration of Cognik’s proven technology is a major step towards achieving that, by ensuring accurate optimisation of the available content storage on the users’ PVR, and more effective utilisation of broadcast bandwidth.Our ultimate aim is to deliver only the content that a particular viewer will want to purchase and view, and discreet, automated recommendation is a key driver towards that enhanced TV experience,” said Joel Minot, vice-president of marketing at Logiways.Httv will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 5.B26. Logiways will be exhibiting on Stand 2.C38blast_img read more

Roberto Loiola Italian alternative telco Wind has

first_imgRoberto LoiolaItalian alternative telco Wind has turned to Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix unit to provide CDN technology to support the launch of new video and TV services for its fixed and mobile subscribers.Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix 7810 Digital Media Delivery Platform will be used by Wind’s customers to manage video traffic on the Wind network. Velocix is also used by service providers including Telius, Oi and Time Warner Cable.Wind is Italy’s third largest mobile operator with about 22 million subscribers and the leading alternative fixed line player, with over three million subscribers.“Wind chose Alcatel-Lucent’s innovative CDN platform for future-proof video content delivery and to better address customers’ expectations, anywhere with any device, either fixed or mobile, smartphones, tablets, notebooks or smart TVs,” said Nicola Grassi, chief technology officer at Wind.“Our Velocix CDN platform puts service providers such as Wind in an ideal position to capitalize on growing consumer demand for high-quality video and rich media content delivered over both fixed and wireless broadband connections. It provides them all the tools they need to launch premium content services that generate new revenues, while lowering costs and providing supreme delivery performance. Furthermore, it equips them to offer content aggregators a truly reliable distribution and retail channel,” said Roberto Loiola, CEO and managing director, Alcatel-Lucent Italy.klast_img read more

Vodafone and Vimpelcomowned Italian mobile operat

first_imgVodafone and Vimpelcom-owned Italian mobile operator Wind have reportedly signed an agreement with broadband firm Metroweb to build a fibre-optic network in Italy. According to a Reuters report, Metroweb, which is partly owned by the Italian state, will act as a “building block” for the multi-billion euro plan – which will take place independent of Telecom Italia’s planned network upgrade plans.Details of the broadband plan are expected to be outlined in the coming days, with the scale and the timeframe for the project not yet clear, said Reuters.last_img

Tom Davidson Tom Davidson is stepping down as mana

first_imgTom DavidsonTom Davidson is stepping down as managing director of A+E Networks UK as part of a management restructure.Dean Possenniskie, A+E’s MD of EMEA, will succeed him, effective next Monday, July 20.Posseniskie is currently a board member of A+E and Sky joint venture A+E UK and will continue with this duties after taking the new job.“On behalf of A+E Networks and Sky, we thank Tom for his commitment and leadership during his successful tenure with the venture,” said Possenniskie.Davdison has been MD of A+E UK, which operates the UK History Channel among other networks, for seven years. During this the firm has launched channel brand such as Lifetime and H2 in the territory.In January, he promoted Heather Jones to become general manager of A+E UK’s channel brands.last_img

Apple CEO Tim Cook Apple CEO Tim Cook has describ

first_imgApple CEO, Tim CookApple CEO Tim Cook has described traditional TV viewing as a “terrible, broken process that none of us like” and claimed the new Apple TV will be fundamentally disruptive.Speaking at the WSJDLive conference in California, Cook said that the new Apple TV platform marks “the foundation of the future of TV,” and that television needs to be modernised and made more interactive.“It’s almost as if you step in a time capsule when you go in your living room and you turn on your TV. Why does a channel even exist? Think about it. My nephew asked me that once and I couldn’t answer it. It’s like when he asked what is this round thing? It’s a CD,” said Cook.“TV should be interactive. There’s much of TV that we want to interact with, but the way that we do that today is we have a device and we’re sitting there [with it] on our lap with the TV running. We’re maybe doing something socially, but these two things should be connected.”Discussing the TV experience today, Cook said it is “crazy” that TV schedules dictate what time to watch and that viewers have to decide whether to record a show in advance.“We have all this technology that is made to skip all these ads. We’ve developed a whole infrastructure to try to fix this terrible, broken process that none of us like,” said Cook.“The content owners have done a great job producing incredible content; there’s 700 channels of it. But you can’t find anything you want to watch, because if you just sit down and say ‘I’m interested in a comedy tonight’ what do you do? You start scanning through this age-old guide that was developed in the ’80s or so, and hasn’t really changed that much.“The user experience is in another decade than the way you live on your iPhone or your iPad or your Mac.”Apple unveiled its next generation Apple TV box last month, claiming the device had been rebuilt from the ground up.The revamped streaming device will run on the new tvOS operating system, based on Apple’s iOS, allowing iOS developers to create new apps and games specifically for Apple TV. These will be delivered to users through the new Apple TV App Store.Other new features include a new touch-surface remote control with built-in Siri voice commands, letting users search for TV shows and movies across multiple content providers by title, genre, cast, crew, rating or popularity.The new Apple TV will run on the Apple-designed A8 chip and retail from the end of October, priced in the US at US$149 for a 32GB model and US$199 for a 64GB model.last_img read more

CME coCEO Michael Del Nin The cochief executive

first_imgCME co-CEO Michael Del NinThe co-chief executive of Central European Media Enterprises (CME), Michael Del Nin, said the company’s “turnaround phase is now behind us” after reporting another quarter of improving results.Announcing its third quarter figures, CME said that revenues came in at US$117.3 million – a 5% year-on-year increase at constant like-for-like rates, but down 10.5% compared to Q4 2014 in real terms.Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) nearly tripled at constant rates to US$8.4 million and was up 184% in real terms.Meanwhile, CME’s loss from continuing operations narrowed to US$21.5 million, compared to a loss of US$51.3 million a year earlier.“Since joining CME two years ago, we have delivered on each and every one of the actions needed to turn the company around and that turnaround phase is now behind us,” said Del Nin.“The improvement in revenues, together with significant adjustments to the cost base of the company, have resulted in seven consecutive quarters of year-on-year OIBDA margin expansion.”For the quarter, CME said that its OIBDA margin was 7.1%, compared to 2.2% a year earlier.The firm also reported that TV ad markets increased by an estimated 7% in the first nine months of 2015 across the six countries CME operates in – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia.CME said its TV advertising revenues increased 8% at constant rates and its share of the TV advertising market increased in four out of six countries in the first nine months of 2015.“Key programs in prime time have outperformed their slot in the prior year despite continued focus on cost control. The reach we provide to advertisers is unmatched in our markets and that positions us perfectly to capitalise on strong and growing demand for television advertising,” said CME co-CEO Christoph Mainusch.last_img read more

Opera TV has launched its smart TV toolkit on LG s

first_imgOpera TV has launched its smart TV toolkit on LG smart TVs. Opera TV Snap is designed to enable the fast addition of smart TV channels to platforms.LG Smart TV will launch selected channels from Opera TV’s portfolio in eight markets: the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, USA, Mexico and Brazil.The first phase of the Opera TV launch will include up to 18 channels in each country, with thousands of videos ranging from movies and TV series, music, sports, news, lifestyle, and nature and travel. More channels will be added periodically, representing a significant opportunity for video content owners to reach LG’s vast audiences.Opera TV can be found in LG Smart World in the Entertainment category on both Netcast and WebOS device models shipped from year 2014.“With the fast-changing landscape  of online video consumption and distribution, content owners are keen to reach viewers on all screens, especially the largest screen in the home. At Opera TV, we’ve designed innovative products that enable them achieve this goal. Our partnership with LG represents a significant milestone in our journey to enable exciting living room experiences for end consumers,” said Aneesh Rajaram, SVP at Opera Software.last_img read more

Sinead Greenaway Multichannel broadcaster UKTV has

first_imgSinead GreenawayMultichannel broadcaster UKTV has extended its playout, video on-demand and access services contracts with Ericsson.The new multi-year agreement means Ericsson will continue to deliver playout services for UKTV’s portfolio of 10 channels.It will also continue to provide media management services for UKTV’s on-demand services including UKTV Play and deliver VOD content to other TV platforms and VOD aggregation services.At the same time, Ericsson will migrate UKTV’s VOD preparation services to its end-to-end ‘Package and Deliver’ managed service, which is powered by Ericsson’s cloud media processing service platform.Ericsson has additionally extended its access services contract with UKTV, which includes subtitling and audio description services across UKTV’s portfolio of content.“We are delighted to be continuing our long-standing relationship with Ericsson and look forward to working closely with them as we develop new services to harness opportunities offered through IP and cloud-based service provision,” said UKTV director of technology and operations, Sinead Greenaway.Thorsten Sauer, head of broadcast and media services, Ericsson added: “We look forward to strengthening our relationship further and helping UKTV to provide their audiences with the very best TV experience anytime, anywhere for years to come.”last_img read more

Traditional TV viewing among 1824 year olds in th

first_imgTraditional TV viewing among 18-24 year olds in the UK will fall by 10%-15% in 2018 and 2019 but the rate of decline may slow after this, according to new research by Deloitte.The UK media sector trends report mooted a ‘Great British switch off’ among younger viewers as demand for paid-for online media content continues to grow.However, live broadcast and events are tipped to continue to thrive in a digital world, generating £400 billion globally and £24bn in the UK in 2018. Globally, 98.5% of this revenue will be generated by what Deloitte termed “traditional forms of media”, including television, cinema, sports events, live music and theatre performances.“Many forces that distracted young people away from traditional TV, such as smartphones, social media and video piracy, have peaked,” said Paul Lee, head of research for technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte“Digital distractions will remain, but their impact is unlikely to increase further. Nevertheless, broadcasters, distributors and advertisers have to react to changing consumer habits. To this end, measurement’s scope will need to expand to include reactions to viewing, as well as minutes viewed.”Deloitte said that by the end of 2018, half of adults in developed countries will have at least two online-only media subscriptions, paying for TV, music, news or video games services. It expects this to double to four by 2020.In 2018 it tips there to be 350 million digital-only subscribers globally and around 580 million subscriptions to services. In the UK Deloitte estimates there are about 26 million online-only subscriptions.“The growing adoption of digital-only subscriptions is a clear indication of consumers showing increasing willingness to pay for content online, rather than relying on ad-funded media only,” said Dan Ison, partner and head of media and entertainment at Deloitte.Worldwide, the report predicts that live TV and radio broadcasting will account for 72% live revenues in 2018, with broadcast TV revenue alone accounting for £265 billion through advertising and subscriptions.last_img read more