Amid calls for increased job security, 94 per cent of Qantas pilots yesterday voted in favour of taking industrial action against the carrier in the first such ballot since 1966. Qantas says it is “disappointed” with the threat made by its long-haul pilots, saying any stoppages would cause disruptions to Australian travellers as well as “drive up ticket prices” if successful.According to the carrier, the demands being made by the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) are “unsustainable” and in excess of the “sensible and reasonable increases in pay and conditions” the airline is willing to negotiate. As well as demanding a 2.5 per cent pay increase each year for the next three years and asking for two extra upgradeable tickets per year, pilots are calling on the airline to fund two full time union officials at a cost of up to AU$1 million per year.The biggest issue however is said to be equal pay for all Jetstar pilots. “Paying Qantas pilot rates to pilots for our low cost carrier Jetstar would drive up ticket prices, make Jetstar unprofitable and set precedents for other staff salaries,” the airline said in a statement.Despite an overwhelming majority of pilots electing to take protected industrial action, AIPA president Barry Jackson said its members would be doing “everything possible to minimise disruption to travellers and focus the pressure on management”.“Qantas pilots want to continue operating Qantas flights, but they know management has plans to shift Qantas operations to Asia and start mass outsourcing,” Captain Jackson said. “As a result, AIPA is insisting on a Qantas flight/Qantas pilot clause in the new enterprise agreement.”The news comes a fortnight after the airline was given notification by the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) that its members were planning industrial action against the airline. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H 94 per cent of Qantas pilots are unhappy with the airline
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Travelscene American Express members have again been strongly advised to continue supporting preferred partners if they are expected to reap rewards from the associations and choosing not to do so could potentially threaten future business.Travelscene Head of Product, Damien Borg, told consultants at the NCC last weekend, that to sell a non-preferred product could damage future business giving competitors the ability to steal potential business.“For every non-preferred product, we have a preferred product to sell, but it’s up to you to educate yourself on that,” Mr Borg said.“Every dollar you sell, they use against you to steal customers in future.”Mr Borg said the group was committed to growing sales in their channel as a priority, adding preferred partners were considered to be a “lifeline to our business”.“We are ready and prepared to help combat non-preferred activity,” he said.According to General Manager, Jacqui Timmins, some 55 per cent of current member sales are through preferred partners, an improvement but hard to quantify as a large proportion is toward hotel bookings, which are differentiated from wholesale and air transactions.“There’s a leakage but there’s an improvement. We’ve got so many preferred suppliers getting behind them (members), we’re a lot smarter now with the tools we give them to show what impact they are having on their business with what they are losing out on when they don’t support them (preferred partners),” Ms Timmins said. Ms Timmins revealed agents’ feedback toward preferred products was constantly provided to suppliers to encourage more point of sale material, marketing and advertising. “Our focus is on increasing our cruise partners and cruise in general. The Travelscene wholesale product is getting great support,” Ms Timmins said.Consultants were also advised to join the newly re-launched Quantum Consultant Programme (QC) to reap benefits which has already provided $160,000 or 30 million points for members. “We have suppliers knocking on the door trying to get into the programme, they see value in it,” Ms Timmins said.
Refi Borrowers in a Rising Mortgage Rate Environment CoreLogic loans mortgage Refinance 2018-08-21 Radhika Ojha The rise of mortgage rates over the past few months has triggered a significant slowdown in refinance loans. According to an analysis by CoreLogic, the needs of homeowners who refinance in a rising rate environment is different from the rate-and-term borrowers that dominated the market during the refinance boom.In this video, Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains how borrowers opt for refinance loans. “Homeowners that obtain a cash-out refinance when rates are at or above the rate on their prior loan may choose a term of up to 30 years on their new loan to keep the change in their monthly mortgage payment as small as possible,” Nothaft said.The analysis found that the share of refinance loans that cash out some home equity is generally very small during a refinance boom. “During 2012, when 30-year fixed-rates fell to an all-time low, the cash-out share of refinancing fell to 10 percent, the lowest recorded in CoreLogic’s public records data during the last two decades,” Nothaft noted. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination August 21, 2018 569 Views Share
Nielsen estimates about 16 million watched Michael Cohen AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, reads an opening statement as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Cohen says he’s cooperating with federal prosecutors in New York and hopes to receive a so-called Rule 35 motion from prosecutors that would reduce the time he is to spend in prison. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) by The Associated Press Posted Mar 1, 2019 9:48 am PDT NEW YORK — The Nielsen company says that 15.8 million people watched President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testify against him on television before a congressional committee.Nielsen estimated the viewership on eight different networks between 9:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday.The number contrasts with the 20.4 million who watched the daytime testimony of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh before a Senate committee last September.By a narrow margin, CBS was the most-watched network for the bulk of the testimony, followed by ABC and MSNBC.The Associated Press
Businesses could support organizations with special platesState Rep. Roger Victory, of Hudsonville (left) testifies with Cassy Puskala and Bob Craig to allow a fundraising license plate to be placed on a pickup truck or van that is company-owned in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.The Michigan House today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Roger Victory to allow a fundraising license plate to be placed on a pickup truck or van that is company-owned.Currently, only commercially-owned sedans are eligible for fundraising license plates. Businesses throughout the state would like to have the ability to support organizations and causes.This issue came to Rep. Victory’s attention when a small business owner in Ottawa County was denied an Agricultural Heritage plate for his new pickup truck.The bill would also benefit Grand Valley State University and other public universities who are currently unable to put fundraising license plates on university-owned trucks and vans.“Our small businesses are the pillars of our communities, letting them express their values and show support for great causes and organizations is just common sense,” said Victory, of Hudsonville. “Public universities will be able to brand their trucks and vans, resulting in an increase in awareness and support for these specialty plates.”House Bill 4907 moves to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Victory News 09Nov House approves Rep. Victory bill to allow fundraising license plates on commercial vehicles
Categories: Filler News 31May Rep. Filler announces June coffee hours State Rep. Graham Filler has announced his next set of local coffee hours will be held Friday, June 7 at the following times and locations:8 to 9:30 a.m. at Big Boy, 1408 Old U.S. 27 in St. Johns; and10 to 11 a.m. at Hearthstone Oven Bakery and Café, 126 S. Pine River St. in Ithaca.“Being an effective representative for our community involves actively listening to the residents that live here,” Filler said. “I welcome anyone with questions, concerns, or ideas to join me.”Rep. Filler will return to his regular schedule of hosting office hours on the second Friday of the month in July. No appointments are necessary to attend. Those unable to attend can contact Rep. Filler by phone at (517) 373-1778 or by email at GrahamFiller@house.mi.gov.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 16, 2015; Patriot-NewsJoe Paterno is once again the winningest coach in the history of college football. The NCAA had vacated his Penn State victories as part of the settlement agreement with the school because of Penn State’s, and specifically Paterno’s failure to report information known to the coach and to other school officials about child predator Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of young boys on and off the Penn State campus. The victories were restored as a result of a suit filed by Pennsylvania Senate majority leader Jake Corman, a Republican from Bellefonte and a Penn State graduate himself.That’s nice for the Paterno family, we guess. It seems to us, though, that Paterno, who was the most powerful person on Penn State’s campus bar none (including university president Graham Spanier) might have had many opportunities to spot something about his assistant coach’s unusual predilection for young boys, though he was looking at a guy like Sandusky who was operating with a child services nonprofit that had the bona fides of officials in state government agencies and of child welfare professionals. It would have been a tough call, to be sure.For that matter, Paterno might have had the chance to do something, like when he was told by Mike McQueary (then a grad student; later, to become assistant coach) that he had encountered Sandusky with a kid in the showers, though the specifics of what McQueary actually said or didn’t say and how he said it to Paterno have been reported in different, contradictory ways. It is what it is. Paterno is back at 409 college football victories, and in the end, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexual assault concerning 10 boys over a period of 15 years.What still rankles is that though Paterno and Penn State have been restored, nothing can really be done to restore the lost childhoods of Jerry Sandusky’s victims. Scores of commentators have expressed outrage at the strenuous efforts undertaken on behalf of “Penn State Nation,” as opposed to the equally strenuous efforts of many in the sports world and among Penn State supporters to put it all behind them. However, serious, official efforts aimed at Sandusky’s nonprofit, The Second Mile, seem to be lacking—despite vocal complaints from citizens that the nonprofit has basically escaped scrutiny for its responsibilities.“Where do Jerry Sandusky’s victims go to get their innocence back?” asked Kevin Scarbinsky, sports columnist for Alabama Media Group. ESPN’s Keith Olbermann pulled no punches in his commentary: “This is Penn State’s legacy. Football was more important to them than saving children.” The editorial board of the Reading Eagle offered this summary: “There are some things that, once lost, no legal settlement can restore. Things like lost innocence. Things like lost childhoods.”But after all the attention to Penn State, what about the nonprofit Sandusky founded, The Second Mile? Remember, while Sandusky may have perpetrated some of his abuse at Penn State, he found and recruited all of his victims through the nonprofit, ostensibly meant to help disadvantaged youth, though no one would have expected Sandusky’s kind of help.Unlike Penn State, The Second Mile went out of business, ultimately requesting the court to approve the transfer of its remaining $300,000 in assets to the Texas-based Arrow Child & Family Ministries. While Second Mile is out of the picture as a human service provider as a result of Sandusky, it’s still not totally dead—last year, it requested the court’s permission to sell the property it was going to use for its headquarters to a private developer for $1 million.What consequences were there for the directors and overseers of the nonprofit, who might have been in positions to know as much about Sandusky’s predatory behavior as Paterno and his colleagues at Penn State? Jack Raykovitz, hand-picked by Sandusky to run the nonprofit, was forced by the Second Mile board to resign immediately, and the number two person at the organization, Katherine Genovese, Raykovitz’s wife, was laid off not long after as Second Mile’s financial support largely evaporated. Nothing has given the leadership of The Second Mile the experience of a perp walk. As Pennsylvania veterinarian and Penn State graduate Elizabeth Morgan was quoted as saying in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Somebody is covering up for Jerry Sandusky and the Second Mile, and that needs to come out.”Let’s see what didn’t happen regarding Second Mile. Penn State contracted for a report by former FBI director Louis Freeh—a controversial product in and of itself, but at least there was an investigation and report. For Second Mile, it was former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, currently a candidate for mayor, who received the report assignment, but it wasn’t like Freeh’s charge to figure out what went wrong at Penn State. Abraham was apparently contracted in 2011 to focus on whether The Second Mile could continue to operate after the Sandusky imbroglio, though Abraham gave it a more aggressive cast at the time, saying:“We will be looking into who knew? What did they know? When did they know it? And what did they do? Sandusky certainly let this happen. Some people were aware. Who were they, and why didn’t they act in an appropriate fashion by informing the police?”Although Abraham formally ended her investigation within a year, without delivering a report, the Philadelphia Daily News’s Will Bunch reported recently that the former DA had actually “withdrawn from the matter within weeks after her role was announced.” One of her law partners said that they had concluded that no report was necessary and Abraham’s actual involvement had been “very limited.” The importance of the lack of investigation cannot be overstated. While much of the abuse may have happened on Penn State facilities, the children Sandusky molested were the responsibility of The Second Mile.Moreover, Raykovitz, as the executive director, state-mandated reporter of suspected child abuse (per the Pennsylvania State Code), and a trained psychologist, might have been in a position to notice something odd about Sandusky and his relationship with the boys, might have been able to pick up on Sandusky’s pattern of behavior (pedophiles typically “groom” their victims), and, after being told about the shower sex incident by Penn State’s Curley, could have and perhaps should have put two and two together and contacted the police or other authorities of his own volition.Somehow, Second Mile and its key people have escaped the scrutiny that the organization seems to deserve. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s investigation of how the Sandusky case was handled explicitly did not address “the general efficacy or propriety of the operations of The Second Mile,” or more specifically, “the question of whether The Second Mile, which no longer operates any programs, or any individual associated with The Second Mile, may have violated the law.” Why not?As a youth assistance organization, Second Mile was overseen and reviewed by state agencies, and the state’s oversight and investigations of Second Mile, if there had been any, were as significant as its police and judicial investigations. Even in Kane’s report, the telltale hints are there:In a search of Sandusky’s home, investigators found “several typed lists of Second Mile participants, with the names of some participants highlighted with hand-written asterisks.” (p. 21) In 2008, the head of the Clinton County Children and Youth Services informed Genovese that “he was suspending his office’s relationship with The Second Mile because an allegation of sexual abuse had been made against someone from The Second Mile.” According to the CYS director, Genovese “surmised” it was Sandusky, but in a response submitted to Kane’s office by Raykovitz and Genovese, Raykovitz met with Sandusky the next day and Sandusky “indicated” that he was being investigated. If Raykovitz knew enough to immediately meet with Sandusky the day after the CYS visit, or if Genovese simply surmised that it was Genovese, there’s an indication that Sandusky’s odd behavior had been noticed. (p. 36)In a footnote, the report noted that the Office of the Attorney General filed a motion of contempt against The Second Mile in July 2011 because of Second Mile’s “failure to produce certain records that had been subpoenaed back in January of 2011.” Second Mile reported that the records were missing and could not be found, but after the hearing and reaching an agreement on a plan to find the documents, some of the missing records were found after all. On p. 123, the report notes that the OAG noted that there was an “‘uncooperative atmosphere’ encompassing some Penn State University and Second Mile officials.” (p. 85)Although Kane dismisses the importance of this question, the investigators (and the press) found campaign contributions to then-Attorney General, later Governor Tom Corbett’s election campaign from state and regional board members of The Second Mile. The suspicion was that either, “first, that investigators were directed to steer clear of The Second Mile, either as a source of information about Sandusky victims or as a potential subject of criminal charges; second, that Attorney General Corbett strung the investigation along in order to realize additional campaign contributions before offending Second Mile board members by exposing the existence of the investigation or by bringing charges against Sandusky.” (pp. 110-111) Even if Kane thinks that the contributions weren’t a factor, they should have made for a deeper investigation of Second Mile.The fact that the victims, all identified by initials rather than names in the report, were Second Mile kids makes this nonprofit and its leadership responsible in some manner for Sandusky’s depredations. The organization should have been subjected to an investigation as deep as any review of Penn State, because Second Mile is where the sexual abuse was rooted and groomed.Second Mile deserved a thorough investigation for its culpability in the Sandusky mess. It never happened, and it may never happen. Penn State is high profile, with a cast of larger-than-life college football icons including characters like Paterno and Sandusky himself, but the roots of Sandusky’s crimes were in the nonprofit he founded and operated from. The NCAA may have restored lost football victories to the records of Penn State and the late Coach Paterno, but the state of Pennsylvania, Second Mile’s nonprofit peers, and the American public seem to have let Second Mile off the hook for its role in Sandusky’s heinous crimes.—Rick CohenThis piece has been modified to incorporate corrections regarding what was and was not told to certain Penn State and Second Mile personnel regarding the charges of Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys.ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share3TweetShareEmail3 SharesOctober 9, 2018; Community Impact Newsletter—The Woodlands (Houston, TX)In 2016, the Texas state legislature bluntly confronted their “broken” child welfare system and developed a series of reforms. While some of the changes had to do with improved processes, the real lesson (often revealed but not always learned) is that by far the most important predictor of quality in human services is the quality of the humans that provide the services.Due to low pay, excessive caseloads, and poor training and support, Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) workers had been turning over at alarming rates. This, of course, only accelerated the burnout issue for the remaining workers. The result: vulnerable children suffering abuse and neglect made worse by inadequate prevention and untimely responses to abuse reporting.Tejal Patel from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) identifies that CPS caseloads, which should be in the range of 14–17 per month, had risen to almost 22 at the height of the crisis, meaning the system was at about 50 percent over capacity.The first step in addressing this increasingly dangerous situation came in the form of $150 million in emergency funding in December 2016, allowing DFPS to hire 829 new caseworkers and give a $12,000 annual salary increase to existing caseworkers. Caseloads are now averaging 15 per month, well within the ideal range as identified by Patel.Some of the early results include a more-than-four-percent improvement in the number of children visited by a CPS worker in the expected 24–72 hours after a report of neglect or abuse. It’s still well short of the 100 percent that children deserve, but the response rate is now at 85.7 percent and climbing.Love Fosters Hope, a Montgomery County-based nonprofit that provides camps, mentoring, and outreach programs to foster children, was one of the leading advocates for CPS reform.“Retention of caseworkers has been an issue, and the pay scale has been on the lower end, so I think that’s definitely an improvement,” executive director Cindy Mericle says. “There’s no question that being a caseworker is a stressful job.”The pursuit of continued improvement in Texas child protective services will of course require more than salary increases and reduced caseloads. Advocates have identified education and training as a fundamental issue going forward, as well as accompanying reforms to systemic processes.“There needs to be required trauma training for caseworkers and foster families,” Mericle says. “There’s been so much research on how trauma impacts these kids, and if everyone involved understood trauma better, they’re going to do a better job.” (For more on how adverse childhood experiences and related trauma impact children, see this NPQ article).Advocates are also warning that while current improvements may be addressing some of the more egregious systemic deficiencies, as service delivery improves, one of the consequences will be a more engaged citizenry that will be more willing to report abuse and neglect if they believe that their interventions will result in real action.“The demand for child welfare resources is growing exponentially,” said Dannette Suding, Montgomery County Youth Services’ CEO. “Last year, we had to turn away 1,000 kids that needed our services.”Some of the most effective voices for child welfare reform are those who have directly experienced the foster system and its deficiencies. Victoria Rodriguez, 21, was part of the system from infancy to her teenage years and is pushing for improved screening of foster families.“All of my foster parents just did it for the paycheck,” Rodriguez said. “They didn’t supply the food or love or support that you need. My self-esteem was destroyed.”Neither the abuse and neglect of children nor the inadequacies of the systems meant to protect them are unique to Texas, and this makes the state’s pursuit of reforms worthy of additional study. As reductions in staff turnover and expected improvements in education and training continue, NPQ readers know exactly what these investments will reveal: Quality workers lead to quality outcomes, and the only way to keep and sustain a quality workforce is to pay and support them adequately—and that requires advocacy from more than just the groups involved.—Keenan WellarShare3TweetShareEmail3 Shares
Pay TV channel Romance TV HD is launching on the Kabel Deutschland (KDG) cable platform in Germany.Romance TV HD will launch on KDG’s platform in December as part of the latter’s premium HD package. The move brings the number of HD channels offered by the cabler to 26. Mainstream Media-owned Romance TV, which offer films, soap operas and TV series, will also be available immediately on-demand as part of KDG’s Video Select service in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin.
TeliaSonera has selected Cisco’s Remote-PHY solution to increase bandwidth and expand its service across its cable footprint in Finland.Using the solution, which is part of Cisco’s advanced access architecture, TeliaSonera aims to increase access network capacity, drive more productivity and increase operational efficiency.TeliaSonera already has an installed base of Cisco Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS), but says the addition of Cisco’s Remote-PHY solution will increase broadband service bandwidth for all subscribers, even in sparsely populated areas.“In a competitive environment, the ability to offer high-speed services to all our subscribers and connect those who previously were unable to access premium broadband services is a key differentiator. Through our work with Cisco, we are transforming our network to provide better services for our subscribers and address our operational and capital expenditure,” said TeliaSonera Finland’s cable network manager, Sakari Kangasvieri.Cisco Systems Finland’s regional sales manager, operators and outsourcers, Patrick Gordin, added: “Cable Service Providers across Europe are seeking ways to keep ahead of their customers’ bandwidth needs without incurring large capital or operational charges. Our innovative Remote-PHY solution is a key tool to help achieve these goals. Cisco is exhibiting at ANGA COM in hall 10.2, booth J13.
Canal+ has launched a new Canalplay Kids app for mobile devices. The app, available now, offers access to thousands of titles for 3-10 year-olds.The app is based on a simple, clear design with bright colours to appeal to kids and includes parental control functionality.Canalplay subscribers can download the app from iTunes and Google Play for iOS and Android devices.The launch follows Canal+’s creation of a space dedicted to kids on its Canalplay streaming offering.
French broadcaster TF1 has completed the sale of its OneCast transmission services unit to telecom infrastructure provider ITAS Group.TF1 entered into negotiations with ITAS in September for the sale of OneCast, which provides transmission services to the country’s digital-terrestrial network, competing with TDF and Towercast.
Liberty Global-owned UK cable operator Virgin Media has integrated Smallworld Fibre, the regional service provider it acquired earlier this year, and has begun offering its portfolio of TV and broadband services across the Smallworld footprint in the North-West of England and South-West of Scotland.The integration of Smallworld into the Virgin Media national network brings internet services up to 152Mbps and TiVo-based digital TV to an additional 44,000 homes across the region.Customers previously using Smallworld Fibre services in towns including Irvine, Carlisle, Lancaster and Morecambe were the first in their areas to be connected to Virgin Media’s services.“We’re delighted that Smallworld has joined our network, bringing the benefits of superfast connectivity to more homes. We’ve received warm welcomes from each new town we’ve moved into and believe that bringing faster broadband can create more opportunities for local people and support economic growth,” said Paul Buttery, Virgin Media’s chief customer technology and networks officer.
Retransmission fees for US TV station owners could reach US$10.3 billion annually by 2021, according to new research.This is in comparison with an expected figure for 2015 of US$6.3 billion, SNL Kagan’s industry retransmission fee projects suggests.Retransmission fees, which see cable and satellite platforms pay networks to broadcast their channels, have become a key battleground in the US as a means for broadcasters and their local affiliates to recoup revenues lost to falling advertising rates.SNL Kagan noted US station owners had “continued to secure higher retrans fees in recent negotiations, with strong advances made at year-end 2014 from renewals and annual step-ups in existing contracts”.Broadcast networks, meanwhile, have also found success in extracting more from fees with distributors, and cooperating between them and affiliate stations are improving on OTT services such as CBS All Access.This is providing new avenues to monetise content and hedge against potential retrans disputes, which are increasingly common, and loss of multichannel subscribers through cord-cutting.In light of its latest findings, analyst SNL Kagan has increased its projection for retrans revenues by 2020 to rise US$500 million to US$9.8 billion.
Satellite operator SES has signed a deal with Nigerian content aggregator and platform provider Cable Channels Nigeria (CCNL) to provide capacity at the 28.2° East orbital slot to distribute digital-terrestrial TV and DTH services.CCNL, a company licensed by the Nigeria National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), is the certified content aggregator and platform owner for the free-to-air DTT and DTH platforms in Nigeria, and is playing a central role in the country’s switchover process by getting channels onto the land-based DTT network and onto satellite as DTH, both offered under the brand FreeTV.SES will be providing the space segment and specific platform services for the DTH service which will be used to feed the DTT transmitters around the country via a hybrid DTH/DTT solution. Using teleport services provided by SES local teleport partner CWG, the channels are aggregated from all over Nigeria by way of microwave, fibre, IP or satellite, and then multiplexed before uplink to the ASTRA-2F satellite at 28.2 degrees East.“This agreement with SES will have a massive impact on consumers as we move towards the Nigeria DSO process. It moves over 25 million households from three to four analogue channels to 15 channels at launch, increasing to at least 30 channels in digital quality picture and sound,” said Mohammed Bawa, Vice Chairman of CCNL.
Krisztina HomolayCTAM Europe managing director, Krisztina Homolay, is due to step down after 10 years at the organisation.Homolay is due to leave on December 31, with the search for her successor currently underway.“We thank Krisztina for a decade of service bringing together all facets of the dynamic European cable business to deliver better products to consumers” said CTAM Europe co-chair and Liberty Global chief marketing officer, Inge Smidts.Homolay said: “I had ten wonderful years at CTAM Europe, where I learned a lot about our business and met some amazing and inspiring executives who changed my professional life forever.”CTAM Europe is a non–profit, membership-based organization that supports marketing and educational initiatives within the European Cable Industry.As of January 1 of this year, CTAM Europe’s activities have been performed under the legal structure of Cable Europe. The EuroSummit event will continue as part of the annual Cable Congress.
Guillaume de Posch and Bert HabetsThe presence of American Idol on Fox in the US in the first quarter last year cast an unflattering light on RTL Group’s comparative performance for the first three months of 2017, with revenue down 1.9% and EBITDA down 8.3%.Excluding the American Idol effect, RTL’s Q1 revenue was up 4%, in line with guidance, boosted by a strong advertising performance and digital growth. Production unit FremantleMedia has meanwhile announced that the talent show will be taken up by rival US network ABC.RTL posted sales of €1.405 billion for the quarter, and EBITDA of €264 million. In addition to American Idol, the EBITDA number was hit by lower contribution from M6-owned football club Girondins de Bordeaux. The French commercial broadcaster posted EBITDA of €76 million, down from €90 million.RTL’s digital revenue grew strongly by 48.3% to €178 million. MCN BroadbandTV’s revenue was up 118%, while StyleHaul was up 100%. Advertising technology outfit SpotX saw its revenue rise by 17%.April saw RTL participate in a Series B funding round for cross-screen data optimization specialist VideoAmp, taking its stake to 24%.“Following the exceptionally strong first quarter 2016 with an early Easter, we have returned to regular business in the first quarter of 2017. Nonetheless, our profitability remains on a high level and we will continue to significantly invest in digital and content,” said Bert Habets and Guillaume de Posch, co-CEOs of the group.The pair highlighted the significance of FremantleMedia’s ongoing push into drama and the forthcoming launch of Amercian gods on US pay TV channel Starz, which they said would contribute to renewed growth for the production outfit in the second quarter.
The TV market in the Middle East and Africa is set to grow by 30% between 2016-21, delivering revenues of €13.3 billion, according to research by IDATE.According to IDATE, growth is being driven largely by sub-Saharan Africa, which it says will be the world’s fastest-growing TV market over the next five years.The figures, which do not include Turkey and Israel, indicate average annual growth of 5.1%, with sub-Saharan Africa turning in the strongest performance with an average of 5.7% growth per annum. This would deliver a sub-Saharan TV market worth €9 billion in 2021.TV growth is largely being driven by satellite. According to the research group, over 80% of households in the Middle East and North Africa receive TV via satellite, while the figure for sub-Saharan Africa is 40% and rising.Alternative networks are progressing at a much slower pace. IDATE points to the slow development of digital-terrestrial broadcasting and argues that IPTV and cable networks will remain secondary, except in a small number of countries.Cable and MMDS networks will continue to be used, despite a sometimes uncertain legal situation, in parts of central and West Africa, while IPTV is available in the Gulf States.The big change underway in TV, however, is the development of OTT TV services, buoyed by the development of 3G and 4G mobile access.According to IDATE, the number of pay TV subscribers is set to virtually double in five years, alongside the rise of OTT video services.These typically low-cost services are contributing, along with still massive levels of piracy in the region, to driving down the price of pay TV plans, according to the research group.IDATE expects steady progress for pay TV services from a low base, but with subscriber growth outpacing revenue growth. Subscription video-on-demand services will grow alongside pay TV in the region, the company says.Despite growth in pay TV, free-to-air television remains dominant, with only 14% of households subscribing to pay services in 2016.IDATE says that the free TV business remains challenged by the underfunding of public channels, the uncertain financial situation of many private broadcasters and weakness in the advertising market, where growth is hindered by the lack of an homogenous audience measurement system. It nevertheless argues that untapped advertising revenue represents a source of potential future growth for these markets, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
The BBC is set to make all espisodes of David Attenborough’s latest series, Blue Planet II, available on the iPlayer in Ultra High Definition (UHD), High Dynamic Range (HDR).Blue Planet IIThe move marks the BBC’s second UHD HDR trial, with all seven espisodes of the series to be made available in this format after the final espiode airs on Sunday December 10.The BBC will use Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) – a version of HDR that was invented by BBC Research & Development and Japanese broadcaster NHK – to underpin its Ultra HD iPlayer streaming.It will also use the open DVB-DASH protocol, adaptive bitrate streaming, and HEVC (Main 10 Profile, Level 5.1) compression which supports the 10-bit data path required for the HDR television signal.The BBC first experimented with HLG, Ultra HD content last year by making a four-minute “experimental” clip of natural history series Planet Earth II available in the HDR format via the BBC iPlayer.In a post on the BBC R&D blog, the BBC said that audience feedback from last year’s trial “exceeded our expectations” – even though only a “handful” of devices were compatible with the BBC’s version of UHD at the time.“Thanks to our initial trial, the hard work of our colleagues developing Freeview Play and iPlayer, and our support of industry ‘plugfests’, from having just a handful of devices compatible with our vision for UHD a year ago, there are now around 300 devices from all major TV manufacturers,” according to BBC R&D.It added that viewers do not necessarily need an HDR TV to benefit from the higher resolution and wider colour gamut of the UHD iPlayer bitstreams that will be available as part of the Blue Planet IItrial.The HLG signal is backwards compatible with Standard Dynamic Range UHD TVs and can deliver high quality pictures to these UHD TVs that support the BT.2020 wide colour gamut, according to BBC R&D.“The extra quality that Ultra HD, HDR and the wider range of colours brings to audiences is unparalleled.,” said Matthew Postgate, chief technology and product officer, BBC Design & Engineering.“Blue Planet II is the first programme we’ve shown in such high quality and perfectly demonstrates how the BBC is pushing the boundaries of digital innovation. Making the full series available in Ultra HD and HDR on BBC iPlayer is the next step in reinventing the BBC for a new generation, and there’s not a better place to start than with the stunning Blue Planet II.”Charlotte Moore, director of content, BBC, added: “As the most watched programme of 2017, Blue Planet II, has captured the hearts of the nation. The series is a prime example of the world-class work of the BBC NHU documentary makers and I’m delighted that audiences will be able to watch the series in ground-breaking quality on BBC iPlayer.”
The number of pay tv subscribers is going to grow by 81 million between 2018-24, a rise of 8%.According to Digital TV Research, the global total is to rise to 1.1 billion people based on forecasts for 138 countries. The number of pay TV subs passed 1 billion in 2018. Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Every quarter we hear of alarming cord-cutting in the US. This will continue, with the US losing nearly 10 million subscribers between 2018 and 2024. About 28 of the 138 countries will lose subscribers between 2018 and 2024.”It is expected that China will supply about a third of the world’s pay TV subscribers, with 356 million expected by 2024. India will bring in another 17% of the total by 2024 – or 187 million. China and India will together provide half the world’s pay TV subscribers by 2024.IPTV will add 100 million subscribers between 2018 and 2024 to take its total to 357 million. IPTV overtook pay satellite TV subs in 2018. Satellite TV and pay DTT will each grow by only 7 million subs between 2018 and 2024. Murray continued: “However, it is not all bad news – 110 countries will gain subscribers. Asia Pacific will contribute six of the top 10 countries by pay TV subscriber additions. From the 81 million additional pay TV subs between 2018 and 2024, 29 million will come from India, 16 million from China and 8 million from Indonesia”.Digital cable TV will add 18 million subs between 2018 and 2024, but analog cable TV will lose 62 million subs – meaning a net loss for cable.