first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJuly 24, 2014; Santa Barbara ViewA nonprofit investigative news site has been closed in Santa Barbara after 13 other local media outlets sent a letter protesting the continuation of the project.Mission & State, an investigative news outlet, was launched less than two years ago with a $1 million grant (to be spent over three years) from the Knight Foundation and, apparently, management oversight of the Santa Barbara Foundation.Last Monday, the foundation’s president, Ron Gallo, emailed a letter to the other media outlets in Santa Barbara County calling it quits. But to be fair, the Foundation had already called it quits, at least as far as its own involvement was concerned, and it was attempting to hand over management of the news site to a for-profit site called Noozhawk. It was this move to which other media outlets objected—loudly enough to spark a public meeting on the proposed merger on July 15th. More than fifty people showed up, and representatives of local media outlets declared their unwillingness to fall in line with the plan, which would have maintained them as “collaborators” with a partner for whom seemingly no trust had been built.In the end, Lois Mitchell of the Orfalea Foundation proposed a reassessment of the plan, but right now, according to Gallo, the Santa Barbara Foundation intends to return the $300,000 that remains from the original $1 million to the Knight Foundation and will settle other obligations.Here is the most interesting excerpt from Gallo’s letter, which basically says that no one is to blame; everything is fine.“Relatively few of the Knight projects created long-term sustainable projects. Out of the 100 grants given, four have been singled out for additional funding by Knight.”Really?We know that foundations are not subject to pay-for-success measurements and the journalism field is in experimentation mode, but this situation is a bit over the top!—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgUEFA has awarded the 2012-15 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League French language media rights in Sub-Saharan Africa to Canal Plus Afrique.The pay TV operator will broadcast two live Champions League matches and a highlights programme each match night.French speaking viewers will also be able to watch at least two UEFA Europa League live matches per match week during the early stages of the competition, and at least one match per match week from the quarter-finals onwards.Live matches will also be shown on the operator’s website and on mobile devices.last_img

first_imgLiberty Global’s initial supply of its new Horizon set-top and gateway was “sold out” on its initial launch day, chief technology officer Balan Nair told attendees at the NDS IBC press lunch yesterday.Nair said the launch of Horizon on Friday had produced “nothing but great reviews” and the initial run had already sold out. He said Liberty Global planned to make its main commercial launch on September 21.“For the first three weeks we planned to ship it out to every fifth customer but every customer that called in has asked for the box,” said Nair. Nair said that Liberty Global would make Horizon its “standard box” and would not sell it as a premium product. Following the Dutch launch, a launch in Switzerland will follow in 60 days, he said.Nair said the rollout of Horizon would be hugely beneficial to Liberty Global. The company plans to roll out a thin-client device next year to enable delivery of streams to secondary TV sets. “The big cost [of deployment] is set-tops. That cost has dropped dramatically. Horizon gives you a gateway plus a couple of IP clients and you don’t have to ship out three HD DVRs,” he said.Speaking at the same press lunch, Jesper Andersen, senior vice-president and general manager of Cisco’s service provider video technology group said that Cisco’s acquisition of NDS brought together companies that were “entirely complementary”, with NDS bringing the opportunity to provide differentiated offerings to consumers together with Cisco’s portfolio of headend and set-top products. He said that the two companies also brought complementary strengths in international markets, with NDS having a stronger presence than Cisco in emerging markets including the Asia Pacific region and India.Andersen said that Cisco would create “firewalls” between parts of the business that worked with competing partners, enabling NDS middleware to continue to be deployed on third-party set-tops, while Cisco’s relationships with middleware vendors including Microsoft and TiVo can be maintained.last_img read more

first_imgIlse Howling, the managing director of UK digital-terrestrial service Freeview, has been appointed to the board of trustees of children’s charity UNICEF UK.Howling becomes the first female chair of the board and her appointment gives equal male and female representation to the UNICEF UK board.Lord Ashdown, President of UNICEF UK, welcomed Howling’s appointment and said she “brings an impressive track record as a trustee, plus a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills, especially in digital innovation and broadcast media.”Before joining Freeview in 2005, Howling spent 12 years at the BBC – latterly as head of digital marketing and communication.last_img

first_imgBelgian telco Mobistar has chosen Viaccess-Orca to provide content security for its new pay TV service.Mobstar will Viaccess-Orca’s Prime Sentinel smart card-based conditional access system.Mobistar’s cable-based service is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of this year following the introduction of regulations that enable alternative operators to access cable networks.Orange-owned mobile operator Mobistar plans to expand into TV and broadband services using Telenet and Brutélé-Tecteo’s networks.The company paid €600,000 to each operator for access to their networks in January. Under the open access regulations Telenet and Brutélé-Tecteo now have six months to put in place the infrastructure that will allow Mobistar to implement a service.“The collaboration with Viaccess-Orca will enable us to offer Belgian consumers competitive cable TV services,” said Jean Marc Harion, CEO of Mobistar. “Viaccess-Orca’s Prime Sentinel exceeds our requirements for content protection to guarantee the security of our television content and revenue streams.”last_img read more

first_imgTV ad revenue in the UK reached a record high of £4.63 billion (€5.59 billion) in 2013, a year-on-year increase of 3.5%, according to new research by Thinkbox.The figures represent all money invested by advertisers into commercial TV – across linear spot ads and sponsorships, broadcaster VOD and product placement – and mark the fourth consecutive year of growth for TV advertising in the UK.“Businesses know that TV works. The strength of TV ad investment reflects commercial TV’s health and also acknowledges the mountain of evidence proving TV’s unrivalled ability to create business profit,” said Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox’s CEO.Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial television in the UK, said that there were 737 advertisers new to the space or returning after at least five years, with these new players accounting for 2% of total TV ad revenues.It also said that last year TV advertising prices were the cheapest on record in real terms, some 38.5% cheaper than 20 years ago, while ad viewing was at a record high. The average viewer watched 47 ads a day –four ads more a day than five years ago, according to Thinkbox.The organisation predicts TV ad investment to grow again this year, boosted by the World Cup in Brazil. The Advertising Association/Warc predicts TV ad revenue to grow by 6% in 2014.last_img read more

first_imgPrivate equity group Macquarie’s European Infrastructure Fund 4 has agreed the acquisition of 100% of Slovakian transmission services provider Towercom from Hampden Investments.Edward Beckley, the CEO of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for Europe, said that Towercom was a successful operating company in a stable and growing economy and that under Macquarie it would continue to provide high-quality broadcasting transmission services in Slovakia.Towercom operates a network of 685 transmission towers across the country, providing coverage of TV and radio services.last_img

first_imgDana StrongVirgin Media’s parent company, Liberty Global, has upped Virgin’s chief operating officer Dana Strong to the new role of senior vice president, chief transformation officer for Liberty Global.Strong takes up her new role effective January 31 and at the same time will join Liberty Global’s executive management committee. She will report directly to Liberty CEO Mike Fries.Commenting on the appointment, Fries said that Strong would help to “identify and execute the strategic and operational opportunities that will shape Liberty Global’s success over the next five years” – something he claimed is one of his “highest priorities.”Strong leaves Virgin Media after 18 months, going out on a record-breaking quarter for subscriber and customer growth in Q4 2014.Paying tribute to her efforts there, Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge said: “She leaves the business with a strong management team, a new operating structure, and a transformed content and bundle offering for our customers. We expect to announce her replacement in the coming weeks.”Strong joined Liberty Global in 1999 and held a number of roles before becoming Virgin Media COO – including CEO of UPC Ireland and COO of Austar Entertainment in Australia.last_img read more

first_imgTele Columbus CEO and chairman, Ronny Verhelst.German cable operator Tele Columbus has turned in solid second quarter results, growing revenue by 2.3% to €54.3 million and increasing EBITDA by 9.2% to €27.7 million.The country’s number three operator, which completed the acquisition of number four player Primacom at the end of July, grew its internet and telephony subscriber bases to 213,000 and 202,000 respectively, boosted by the migration of 22,000 low-speed internet-only customer to dual-play flat-rate products in May. RGUs per subscriber reached an all time high of 1.5 at the end of June, up from 1.42 a year ago.The operator connected an additional 15,000 households to its upgraded two-way network in the quarter, taking the total of upgraded homes passed to 955,000. Homes connected grew by 9,000 in the quarter to 1.68 million, offsetting losses of some housing industry contracts. This number excludes the 1.2 million Primacom homes added at the end of July.Tele Columbus said it is planning to roll out its 400Mbps internet service, launched in Potsdam in April, to new regions.Tele Columbus confirmed its guidance for the rest of this year, with a target of 4-6% revenue growth, stabilisation of the number of homes connected at 2014 levels, capex of €80-€100 million and an increase of penetration of two-way upgraded networks to 60% by the end of the year.“Tele Columbus continues to successfully deliver on its growth strategy: For the second quarter of 2015, we report 2.3% top line growth paired with strong EBITDA development,” said Ronny Verhelst, CEO.“We have good traction in our new product offerings which confirms that we are successfully meeting the needs of our customers and partners in the housing industry. Our progress to date has been driven by our high-performance infrastructure and highly competitive product portfolio. Going forward, we see our development moving to the next level by joining forces with Primacom and maximising the potential of our combined platform.”last_img read more

first_imgUK free-to-air satellite platform Freesat will be available via LG TVs thanks to a strategic partnership with the electronics manufacturer.The Freesat service will be available on LG’s new and existing satellite-enabled smart TVs via a software rollout to customers.In a first for Freesat, owners of the LG, satellite-compatible TVs will gain access to over 200 subscription free TV and radio channels.LG will also launch Freesat channels on its new range of Freesat-enabled LG TVs. These new LF650 and LF630 models will be available in screen sizes ranging from 32-inches to 55-inches.“We’re excited to bring the Freesat offering to our new and existing smart TVs. We are committed to offering people the latest technology innovations, with which to enjoy their favourite content, and this partnership helps us to ensure LG customers are getting access to the very best,” said Andy Mackay, UK Commercial Director for LG Consumer Electronics.Matthew Huntington, chief technology officer at Freesat said: “Partnering with Freesat will provide customers even better choice; with over 200 channels, completely subscription free, this partnership between LG and Freesat is offering viewers something special.”last_img read more

first_imgAlmost a third of US consumers – more than 70 million people – are thinking of making changes to their paid TV service, according to a new GfK MRI report.The Cord Evolution study claims that there are twice as many pay TV ‘defectors’ – those who have reduced their paid TV service or are thinking of doing so – compared to ‘desirers’ who are generally loyal to traditional paid TV and/or are thinking of adding services.Overall GfK found that there were almost 50 million people (21% of the US population) that could be branded ‘defectors’, compared to about 22 million people (9% of the population) that fell into the ‘desirers’ category.“Today’s TV landscape has transformed into one big ‘trade-off’ ecosystem. Unless you are willing to pay for it all, you have to choose which services are within budget, and take which shows you get with them, sacrificing others in return,” said Christie Kawada, executive vice-president of product management and innovation at GfK MRI.“Unless you are willing to pay for it all, you have to choose which services are within budget, and take which shows you get with them, sacrificing others in return. The good news for content providers is that content still drives most viewing behaviour; so regardless of where content is offered, viewers will find a way to get it.”last_img read more

first_imgTotal annual TV shipments fell 4% year-over-year to 226 million units in 2015, according to new research by IHS.The research firm said that shipments of LCD TVs, the dominant display technology, fell less than 1% in 2015 to 224 million units, compared to a 7% increase in 2014.Plasma and CRT shipments have fallen to “negligible levels”, and while organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV is still in the “early stages of growth”, according to IHS.Despite the overall decline, unit shipments of 4K TVs rose by an impressive 173% to 32 million units, helped by an almost 30% erosion of selling-price-per-inch of display.“The pace of TV screen size growth slowed in 2015, and the average size of TV displays grew just 2% to 39.3 inches, which is about half the rate of growth in 2014. However the 4K TV mix at even mid-range screen sizes (between 40 inches and 50 inches) has been better than expected. 4K TV accounted for 50% of shipments of 55-inch-and-larger TVs in 2015, and 30% of 48-inch to 50-inch TVs,” said IHS.In the fourth quarter, global TV shipments declined 2% year-over-year, as North American TV shipments grew 2%. While overall TV shipments in emerging markets declined 6% percent year-on-year in Q4, TV shipments in China surged 12% due to sell-in for the Chinese New Year Holidays.Overall IHS said that an “abrupt weakening” of global demand for TV sets, combined with continued LCD capacity expansion, caused an oversupply in the market in the second half of 2015.“This resulted in extremely steep LCD TV panel price declines, but it has been difficult to pass the savings along to consumers, as inflation and currency depreciation in emerging markets have offset the cost reduction,” according to the research.last_img read more

first_imgReuters has launched version 2.0 of its mobile and online TV news service, Reuters TV, which includes a “major redesign” on both Apple TV and the web.Reuters said that the new version of the service introduces featured programs – thematic programs curated and hosted by Reuters journalists – alongside live feeds of global events and personalised video newscasts.It said that with its redesign it aims to “set the standard for premium online video delivery”, with Reuters TV managing director, Isaac Showman, commenting that it “brings us closer to our vision of deconstructing the traditional TV news experience and reimagining it for today.”“With version 2.0 of Reuters TV, users can choose between an always up-to-date, on-demand personalised newscast, live video coverage of developing global events, and in-depth thematic reporting that provides insight around major stories,” said Showman.Reuters TV first went live in February 2015 and is available for iOS and tvOS devices on the Apple App Store, Android devices via Google Play, and on the web globally at Reuters.tv.last_img read more

first_imgDutch worldwide online TV platform M2M TV has added Fight Channel and Fight Channel World HD to its a la carte offer.The deal means that M2M TV users will have access to Fight Channel Group’s diet of boxing, kickboxing and MMA – mixed martial arts.Fight Channel Group provides two linear channels: Fight Channel and Fight Channel World HD alongside PPV international live events.Fight Channel is 100% localised in the Croatian language and it has exclusive rights for the former Yugoslavia to UFC mixed martial arts.The launch of Fight Channel on M2M TV’s worldwide geo-blocked OTT platform adds to its presence on all major platforms in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia.Fight Channel Word HD is delivered worldwide in English in HD quality and offers different fighting brands than Fight Channel.  The channel is currently present in Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Bulgaria, South Africa, Australia, the Philippines, the Czech Republic and The Netherlands.last_img read more

first_imgPaywizard and Genius Digital have partnered to deliver pay TV customer insights that drive loyalty and growth.Payment specialist Paywizard and audience analytics firm Genius Digital said they aim to provide operators with a data-driven view of each subscriber’s customer journey – from acquisition to possible churn.The partnership combines Genius Digital’s access to usage data and consumer viewing habits, with Paywizard’s insights into subscriber decision-making and transactional behaviour.“Each time a customer interacts with a TV service, there is a series of critical decision points at which timely engagement from the operator has a massive impact on how that subscriber relationship will continue,” said Paywizard chief marketing officer, Bhavesh Vaghela.“Responding effectively at each of these key ‘decision moments’ is vital in order to ensure subscribers stay loyal and minimise churn. Having deeper data makes this task easier to achieve.”Genius Digital CEO, Tom Weiss, said: “Paywizard’s deep expertise around how subscribers make purchasing decisions at each stage of their customer journey makes them a perfect partner for us.“Combining this knowledge of the customer lifecycle with the audience data we collect across millions of devices at Genius Digital, means we can leverage our respective strengths to offer operators a really powerful platform that provides a more in-depth view of their customers than ever before.”last_img read more

first_imgBT has offered to invest up to £600 million (€670 million) to deliver internet speeds of 10Mbps to 99% of the UK by 2020, as it seeks to avoid government regulation.BT voluntarily offered to provide the UK-wide coverage after the government said it would introduce a Universal Service Obligation (USO) to give every home and business in the UK the right to request web speeds of at least 10 Megabits per second (Mbps).BT said it would invest an estimated £450 million to £600 million for the upgrades, with the faster service to largely be delivered by its Openreach infrastructure arm.It said it plans to use a range of technologies to deliver 10Mbps speeds – including fibre to the cabinet, fibre to the home and fixed wireless, which will be made available at “an affordable price” for hard to reach premises.“We already expect 95% of homes and businesses to have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps or faster by the end of 2017,” said BT CEO, Gavin Patterson.“Our latest initiative aims to ensure that all UK premises can get faster broadband, even in the hardest to reach parts of the UK.”Culture secretary Karen Bradley welcomed BT’s offer and said that the government will now look at whether this or a regulatory approach “works better” for homes and businesses.“Whichever of the two approaches we go with in the end, the driving force behind our decision making will be making sure we get the best deal for consumers,” said Bradley.Minister for digital and culture, Matt Hancock, described BT’s proposal as an “attractive offer”, saying that consumers will not have to request faster speeds – BT will deliver it “at no extra cost to the tax payer”.The UK government will now work with BT over the coming months to develop the proposal. If it is accepted, it will be legally-binding.The government will make a decision following its consultation on the regulatory USO.last_img read more

first_imgGad Gone WildNetflix is expanding its relationship with Gad Elmaleh, handing the French comedian his own series and an English-language stand-up special.The SVOD service ordered a French language stand-up special from Elmaleh in January this year, and has now put an eight-part comedy into production.Huge in France, a half-hour scripted show, follows Elmaleh as he moves to LA to reconnect with his estranged, comedy-hating teenage model son.“This project is incredibly personal to me, but more importantly it has such a universal theme that I can’t wait to share with the world,” said Elmaleh.“Let’s be real, getting my own series and a second stand-up special is really the only way I can stay in the US legally,” quipped the stand-up, who is currently touring the country with his English-language show.Showrunners Jarrad Paul and Andy Mogel (The Grinder) are Elmaleh’s series co-creators and executive producers.Netflix’s VP of original content, Cindy Holland, said the series would “provide a lot of laughs in any language”.Elmaleh’s French-language show, Gad Gone Wild (pictured), debuted on Netflix earlier this year, with Huge in France and the new English-language special following around the world at a later date.Late last week, Netflix acquired Channel 4’s documentary Trump: An American Dream, a four-part series from 72 Films looking at how Donald Trump rose to power in the US. The SVOD service took rights outside the UK.last_img read more

first_imgUK-based independent news producer DMA Media has acquired Brussels-based news facility outfit Headline NFP.DMA Media, which launches and operates news, business and digital channels, said it planned a major expansion of Headline NFP’s news services across Europe and around the world. The Brussels-based company provides video and live facilities for BBC News, Euronews NBC and France Télévisions, among others.DMA Media said that the deal means it can now provide specialist support and technical consultancy for its own news clients, as well as expanding the reach of Headline NFP in Europe and beyond. DMA Media is expected to open Headline studios in central London, Munich and Paris.Headline NFP will also offer its clients DMA Media’s expertise in channel launches and operations, online newsrooms, content distribution and media relations.DMA Media currently employs and manages a 200-strong outsourced editorial and operations team for the 24-hour privately-owned Persian news channel, Iran International. Previous launch projects include the BBC’s Arabic and Persian news channels, TRT World in Turkey and DMC News in Egypt.DMA Media’s Founder and Group CEO, Rob Beynon, said: “There’s nobody better at doing news than Headline NFP. They have the technology, the inventiveness and the facilities to keep the most demanding broadcasters in the middle of the Europe story, reliably and efficiently. I’ve known Headline NFP for many years, and its team of camera operators, editors, producers and engineers are world class – and they match DMA Media Group for unrivalled client service. We hope we can build on that reputation and extend Headline’s reach into new markets all over the world.”Hans Deforce, Founder and CEO of Headline NFP, said: “This is a win-win for Headline NFP and the DMA Media Group. It means we can now use our expertise and resources for news broadcasters everywhere. The industry is changing very fast, and we will continue to strive to be ahead of things, as we have been for 20 years. With the extra resources of the DMA Media Group, we’ll be looking at a new era of expansion for Headline.”last_img read more

first_imgITV believes there is “a real appetite” for a new British streaming service like BritBox, with CEO Carolyn McCall hailing the Q4 launch of the ITV-BBC JV alongside ITV’s new programmatic advertising platform as evidence of acceleration of the company’s digital and data capabilities in its latest quarterly update.Carolyn McCallIn its results announcement the commercial broadcaster cited its research showing that 44% of online homes are interested in subscribing to a new SVOD service which features British content, rising to 54% of homes with Netflix, as evidence that BritBox would find a market.The company said that growth in its existing on-demand platform ITV Hub was enabling it to collect more data that it had started to consolidate and unify with other data from across the business. It said that it had also started to grow consumer revenue from the subscriber acquisition model for the ad-free premium version of the service, Hub+, and that it had established a data framework for the launch of the new SVOD service.ITV said that Hub+ had doubled its subscriber base over the course of the last year to pass the 500,000 mark.Overall online viewing of ITV Hub was up 13% driven by viewing on mobile devices and connected TVs. The company said that ITV Hub now has 29 million registered users, up four million year-on-year, and monthly active users are up 37%, helped by compulsory registration on connected TVs.ITV’s existing direct-to-consumer revenues, including SVOD, competitions, merchandise, live events, gaming and pay per view events, declined marginally by 2% to £40 million over the first half of the year, due to less pay per view boxing and competitions being impacted by the absence of Saturday Night TakeawayITV’s net investment in BritBox for the six months to June was £3 million.Total broadcast and online revenue amounted to £991 million, down 5%, while broadcast and online adjusted EBITA was £211 million, down 18%“ITV delivered another good viewing performance in the first half of the year. Online revenues grew strongly up 18% despite tough comparatives, with Love Island providing a strong finish to the half. This was reflected in better than expected total advertising revenue,” said McCall.“The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy and creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business to enable ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities. We are making good progress in each area of our strategy as we become an increasingly digital entertainment company. BritBox is set to launch in Q4, as is our new programmatic addressable advertising platform, and we are accelerating our digital and data capabilities.”McCall said that ITV Studios remained on trace to deliver ITV’s full year guidance. She said that ITV had also identified an additional £5 million in cost savings this year, and £15 million between 2020-22.last_img read more

first_imgShareTweet Police are investigating reports that when the bus driver and several passenger tried to get the  man off the bus, an eldery woman was assaulted and an elderly man was pushed to the ground.As the female bus driver and several passengers attempted to remove the man from the bus, a scuffle broke out and an elderly woman was allegedly assaulted and an elderly man was pushed to the ground.A man in his 40s was arrested by police in Magherafelt for alleged assault and indecent assault.He remains in police custody being questioned over the attacks. MAN ARRESTED OVER ASSAULTS ON PASSENGERS ON BELFAST TO DERRY BUS was last modified: June 26th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: POLICE have arrested a man after they were called to a bus stop following complaints from several passengers that they were assaulted on the Belfast to Derry bus service.It is alleged he tried to indecently touch a number of female passengers.The bus driver was forced to stop the bus and called police to meet the Ulsterbus at the Castledawson roundabout. CASTLEDAWSON ROUND ABOUTMAN ARRESTED OVER ASSAULTS ON PASSENGERS ON BELFAST TO DERRY BUSPSNI MAGHERAFELTlast_img read more