New Zealand to host a range of sports activities in 2017

first_imgNew Zealand’s pristine golfing landscapes have never been busier nor more in the spotlight with three major golf tournaments scheduled in 2017, one of which will play out on the country’s newest golf course.The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open teed off in Queenstown on March 9, 2017, marking the first of three major golf events taking place in New Zealand in 2017. Alongside this event, New Zealand is gearing up to host its first ever LPGA Tour event in September, the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open, before the prestigious Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship takes place in the capital city in October.These major golf events help to cement New Zealand’s reputation as a world-class golf destination, providing the host courses with exposure the world-over. For newly opened Windross Farm in Auckland, the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open will provide a high profile introduction to the international golfing world as Lydia Ko tees off in her first LPGA Tour on home ground.While the three international events will attract their share of international golfing fans over a brief few days, the golf courses provide a year-round attraction for visitors to New Zealand. To showcase New Zealand’s golf offering to the world, Tourism New Zealand has released a series of promotional videos which hone in on each of the event host regions.Each video captures the extent to which the country’s stunning landscapes shape its golf courses, with mountains, coastlines and valleys back-dropping many of the best. They also focus on the award-winning food and wine and thrilling adventure activities to be found in close proximity to each course and awaiting visitors when they step off the green.last_img read more

Fairholme Lawsuit Conference Set to Begin Next Week

first_img Fairholme Funds FHFA U.S. Court of Federal Claims 2015-03-25 Samantha Guzman A status conference for a lawsuit filed by Wall Street investment firm Fairholme Funds against the government over the sweeping of GSE profits into the U.S. Department of Treasury is scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, according to a spokesperson in the chambers of U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Margaret Sweeney.In late January, Sweeney denied the government’s attempt to stay court proceedings in the case, ruling that Fairholme could continue to pursue its lawsuit against the government, which was originally filed in 2013. The suit claims that the sweeping of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits into Treasury, a practice authorized by Congress in August 2012, equates to taking private property for public use without “just compensation,” which is forbidden by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.The GSEs have been under conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) since September 2008, at which time they needed a government bailout totaling $188 billion to stay afloat. They returned to profitability in 2012 and are predicted to earn about $21 billion a year for the foreseeable future, according to Fairholme CEO Bruce Berkowitz on a conference call with investors in early February.”Today, Washington bureaucrats are unlawfully holding these profitable companies captive in a perpetual conservatorship,” Berkowitz wrote in a letter to shareholders in January. “Congress never authorized Treasury to become Fannie and Freddie’s ‘overlord’ – forcing the companies to spend all their capital on executive branch prerogatives and circumventing the legislature’s appropriations process. Indeed, the power of the purse remains vested in Congress under the Constitution. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 does not authorize any federal agency to use these two publicly traded, shareholder-owned companies as a piggy bank. Yet, in an unprecedented abuse of executive power, the bureaucrats have illegally expropriated and de facto nationalized two of the most valuable companies in the world with apparent impunity. Worse still, their actions are now endangering our housing market, making it more difficult for lower- and middle-income Americans to access mortgage credit.”The lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in September 2014 on the grounds that the government had been given the authority by Congress under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to sweep GSE profits into Treasury.At the same time he dismissed the Fairholme suit, Lamberth also rejected a similar suit filed against the government by Perry Capital. Fairholme appealed Lamberth’s ruling and Sweeney, in the Court of Federal Claims, revived the case four months later. Fairholme has reportedly been gathering information for the case in order to bolster their argument that the Court of Federal Claims, not the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., has jurisdiction over the case.Analyst Peter Chapman noted that there is no record of Fairholme serving any subpoenas for the case to date, and that it has not been revealed for certain who they intend to depose. Chapman said the government’s lawyers will likely tell Sweeney that no witness Fairholme could depose at this stage could help determine whether or not the Court of Federal Claims has jurisdiction in the case.Chapman said the government’s lawyers will likely present an argument at the upcoming status conference that Sweeney’s court does not have jurisdiction over the case with the claim that “shareholders hold physical shares in Fannie and Freddie in their brokerage accounts.  The same shares that held prior to execution of the Third Amendment are still there today, and the speculators who purchased shares following execution of the Third Amendment still own those same shares today. The government’s taken nothing.  The losses some shareholders have realized are merely a reflection of reality in owning common stock in insolvent companies, and the shareholders who acquired shares at their absolute bottom and have realized a profit can’t be heard to complain.”A spokesperson from Treasury declined to comment on the case, and an attorney for Fairholme Funds, David Thompson, said they did not have a comment at this time. March 25, 2015 543 Views Sharecenter_img Fairholme Lawsuit Conference Set to Begin Next Week in Daily Dose, Featured, Governmentlast_img read more

Rep Bizon House lawmakers unveil 201516 Action Plan to focus on Michigans

first_img05Feb Rep. Bizon, House lawmakers unveil 2015-16 Action Plan to focus on Michigan’s future State Rep. John Bizon took part in a Capitol news conference today to unveil key priorities for the upcoming legislative session that will foster job growth, prepare students for future job opportunities and strengthen Michigan’s economy.At the event, House Republican lawmakers outlined their top priorities for the 98th Legislature as the new session gets underway. Bizon said he is happy to see an emphasis on improving education and job-training opportunities for Michigan students.“In order for Michigan’s economy to continue to grow, we have to make sure our students are getting a world-class education providing, including greater access to vocational education to fill vacancies in the skilled trades,” said Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “Our focus on filling these critical job openings while improving educational opportunities for all Michigan children will ensure a brighter future for generations to come.”The GOP’s Action Plan for the new legislative session can be viewed at gophouse.org/focusonmich/.### Categories: Bizon Newslast_img read more

Two Florida Nonprofit Leaders Call for State Commission on Nonprofits

first_imgShare77Tweet10ShareEmail87 Shares“The Incorruptible Watchdog,” Thibauld NionDecember 8, 2018; Tallahassee DemocratIn an open letter, Kelly Otte, a founder of the Oasis Center for Women and Girls in Tallahassee, and Alyce Lee Stansbury, a longtime fundraising consultant, call on the state’s incoming governor, Ron DeSantis, to create “an Office of Nonprofit Concerns or Governor’s Task Force on the Independent Sector or the Commission on Philanthropy & Nonprofits.”Writing in the Tallahassee Democrat, Otte and Stansbury, citing Florida Nonprofit Alliance data, note that the sector employs over 534,000 workers, generates $26.6 billion in wages and $89.9 billion in total revenue. “The nonprofit sector is as big as the manufacturing and construction industries and yet is largely ignored as a significant contributor to the state’s economy and the quality of life for its citizens,” they add.Instead, unlike some states, such as New York, that have more or less consistent regulation under a single state agency, regulation in Florida is split among multiple departments. “The Department of Agriculture, Department of Financial Services, and Department of State all have some role in the oversight or licensing of Florida nonprofits,” Otte and Stansbury note.The result, Otte and Stansbury contend, is that regulation has been “primarily reactive and often predicated by the fraudulent actions of a few, rather than strategic, proactive and comprehensive.”What might an Office of Nonprofit Concerns do? Otte and Stansbury lay out a few priority areas. Among these are the following:Make recommendations regarding whether and under what conditions to promote registration of hybrid categories of business, such as low-profit limited liability corporations (L3Cs).Establish government contracting rules. “Nonprofits,” Otte and Stansbury explain, “often have multiple contracts with state agencies that have different rules and procedures, sometimes one nonprofit to another. Timeliness of payments by state agencies has been a long-time problem.”Establish common nonprofit regulations. According to Otte and Stansbury, “The laws regarding board governance are almost non-existent in Florida.”Restore a state employee charitable giving campaign. As NPQ reported, the 38-year-old tradition died earlier this year. Otte and Stansbury acknowledge the program’s troubled past, culminating in the absurdity of an outside fundraising firm that kept an estimated 50 percent of funds raised for itself, but suggest that a concerted sector effort could put the program back on a sound footing, writing that they are “still flabbergasted at how the state went from facilitating millions of dollars of opportunity for employee charitable giving to almost nothing.”Coordinate state government and nonprofit delivery of services.Otte and Stansbury conclude that, “One of the biggest needs will be one of the most challenging. When working together to care for its most vulnerable citizens, the government and nonprofit sectors have an obligation to talk honestly about the costs of doing so. This requires a fair, financially feasible partnership that benefits both sectors… Multiple states and major US cities including Jacksonville and Miami-Dade have implemented philanthropic-government partnerships to inform public policy and strengthen the ability of all three sectors [private, public and nonprofit] to address pressing public problems, so we know it can be done.”What Otte and Stansbury do not address is that the New York model is based in and anchored by the attorney general’s office, which has acted with zeal on that state’s issues concerning nonprofits.—Steve DubbShare77Tweet10ShareEmail87 Shareslast_img read more

Canal Plus has named Raphaël De Andréis as deputy

first_imgCanal Plus has named Raphaël De Andréis as deputy director-general in charge of pay TV activities and Ara Aprikian as deputy director-general in charge of free TV.De Andréis, who was previously president of Havas-owned BETC Euro RSCG, where he advised Canal Plus and CanalSat on communications strategy, will take charge of the broadcaster’s premium and thematic channels. Aprikian, who previously worked in a number of roles for TF1, before taking a senior editorial role with Canal Plus in 2005, will look after Canal Plus’s free-to-air windows, news channel i>Télé and Bolloré’s Direct 8 and Direct Star channels, subject to regulatory approval of the latter’s acquisition.Both will report to Rodolphe Belmer, deputy director general, editorial, at Canal Plus Group and director-general, editorial, at Canal Plus France.last_img read more

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Universal Pictur

first_imgSony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros Home Entertainment are to encode movies and TV shows in the UltraViolet Common File Format using Dolby Digital Plus, enabling UltraViolet users to view content with Dolby Digital Plus sound.The UltraViolet CFF is due to launch later this year, following work done by DECE members to develop the format, which is designed to play in all UltraViolet players with DECE-approved DRMs. The CFF is also designed to allow users to move or copy a downloaded file between UltraViolet media player apps and devices, allowing them to pay the movie or show on any device without having to download it multiple times.Dolby Digital Plus is currently enabled across more than one billion devices in the marketplace, according to Dolby.“The movies and television shows from Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. are legendary,” said Ron Geller, vice-president, worldwide content relations, Dolby. “These studios continue to create compelling entertainment that delights audiences around the world. Dolby is proud to serve as their trusted partner for UltraViolet CFF and apply our nearly 50 years of audio and video innovation to help ensure that the quality of the UltraViolet enabled entertainment experience exceeds every consumer expectation.”last_img read more

Channel operator Scripps Networks Interactive repo

first_imgChannel operator Scripps Networks Interactive reported strong third quarter results, which chairman, president and CEO Kenneth W. Lowe attributed to the popularity of its lifestyle networks. The firm, which owns channel brands including HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel, reported consolidated revenues for the quarter of US$617 million (€460 million) – up 9% year-on-year. Net income was US$129 million, compared with US$118 million in the same quarter last year.Scripps’ lifestyle media division saw revenues increase by 7.8% to US$595 million, driven by advertising and affiliate fee revenue growth. On-air television advertising revenue increased 9.2%, partially offset by a decrease in digital advertising. Overall ad revenues grew 7.5% to US$403 million.Its ‘corporate and other’ division, which consists primarily of Scripps’ international operations, saw revenues increase 63% to US$23.2 million. This was largely attributed to Scripps’ April buyout of Asian Food Channel and the launch of uLive.com.“We’ve created a valuable portfolio of lifestyle networks — as well as industry-leading websites and apps — that attract a highly engaged and upscale audience of food, home and travel enthusiasts,” said Lowe.last_img read more

Twitter users recall TV advertisements at a far gr

first_imgTwitter users recall TV advertisements at a far greater rate than non-users, according to an upcoming study from the social media platform.Jean-Philippe Maheu, managing director, global brand strategy at Twitter said the new research shows that users of the social network who tweet while watching TV are much more likely than non-Twitter users to remember the advertisements running between the show they are watching.“There’s a 37% increase in ad recall among people watching TV and tweeting,” he said, adding that users tweeting about TV shows are doing so through their airing not during commercial breaks.Maheu revealed the research findings at the opening keynote of this year’s NATPE event in Miami.In the session, entitled ‘TV x Twitter: How to Make the Social Soundtrack Integral to your Business’, executives from the social media platform told delegates how the worlds of Twitter and TV are increasingly intertwined.Delegates were told that four out of five US viewers are regularly using another device while watching TV.Twitter’s head of TV Fred Graver said that after last year’s Upfront presentations in the US, broadcasters and cable channels invited Twitter to work with the producers making their shows to help them better engage with audiences.He cited CBS series The Good Wife and NBC’s Law & Order: SVU as the two shows that had gone on to be the series that have most successfully used the platform to engage with audiences.Graver went on to say that Twitter will increasingly become a tool for discovering TV content.“I don’t think anyone will be watching ‘TV’ on Twitter,” he said. “It will point people to other devices. It will become a guru that helps you watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it. People have recreated the TV guide on TV.”last_img read more

French cable operator Numericable saw its net prof

first_imgFrench cable operator Numericable saw its net profit for the first quarter rise by almost half thanks to growth in subscribers and lower debt charges. Numericable added 70,000 subscribers in the year to March, representing growth of 4.3%. Multi-play customers were up 5.6%, while TV-only customers dropped by 15%. ARPU grew by 2.7% to €42.10.Numericable posted a profit of €35 million, up 48%, on revenues of €327.6 million, up 1%. Residential revenues grw3 by 1.8% to €219.2 million.The company confirmed its objectives for the next two years of growing revenue by between 2% and 5%, with an EBITDA margin target of 50% by 2016.Numericable also said it expected its acquisition of SFR to close by the end of the year.last_img read more

David Rice Music video platform Vevo has appointed

first_imgDavid RiceMusic video platform Vevo has appointed the former CBS Interactive and Yahoo! executive David Rice to the newly-created position of chief product officer.Rice, who takes up his role immediately, will oversee product development for Vevo, including coming up with developing and operating music video services across any screen.He will be based in San Francisco and report to Vevo president and CEO, Rio Caraeff.Prior to joining Vevo, Rice was senior vice president and general manager of CBS Interactive’s games division. From 2010-2012, he was Vice President, Media Properties at Yahoo!“Bringing our first Chief Product Officer on board is an important milestone for Vevo and underscores the company’s commitment to building great viewer focused entertainment experiences,” said Caraeff. “With David’s leadership, Vevo is well-positioned to grow our product operations as we approach our five year anniversary later this year.”last_img read more

Samuel Gähwiler Switzerlandbased Joiz Global has

first_imgSamuel GähwilerSwitzerland-based Joiz Global has appointed the former controller of digital at  publisher and media group Tamedia, Samuel Gähwiler, as its managing director. Gähwiler will develop the company’s creative and commercial strategy, working with clients and Joiz developers to produce marketing solutions.Another new hire, Itai Aaronsohn, has been named head of product and will report to Gähwiler.Joiz Global is a marketing firm that claims to unite TV, online and mobile to “increase and enhance consumer interaction, motivating viewers to become highly engaged users.”last_img read more

Liberty Globalowned cable operator UPC Poland has

first_imgLiberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Poland has implemented a decoder update that removes SD channels from the menu of viewers that have access to the same channels in HD. The operator said the change would enable viewers to access their preferred channels more easily and remove duplications.UPC Poland has implemented the change on its Mediabox HD and Mediabox decoders and on its MediaModuł CI+ conditional access module. The changes do not apply to its Kaon or recently launched Horizon set-tops.last_img read more

Belgacom will legally change its name to Proximus

first_imgBelgacom will legally change its name to Proximus later this month, having grouped all products and services under the commercial brand in September.Belgacom said that it is speeding up its Proximus rebrand after witnessing positive customer response to the name. The company will be known as Proximus SA under public law effective June 22. Its stockmarket ticker symbol will become PROX instead of BELG from June 19.“In the days and weeks following the commercial rebranding, the response from customers, suppliers, stakeholders, investors and employees was unanimously positive,” said Belgacom in a statement.“That is why the decision was taken to speed up the rebranding of Belgacom SA under public law to Proximus SA under public law. At the same time this also simplifies communication.”Belgacom’s general assembly first decided to change the company name under public law to Proximus SA on 15 April 2015.last_img read more

Netflix reported a record number of new subscriber

first_imgNetflix reported a record number of new subscribers in Q1, but its share price dropped more than 7% in after-hours trading after it issued a weak forecast for the current quarter.Netflix said it expects to add 2.5 million members in the second quarter of 2016 – 2.0 million internationally and 500,000 in the US. By comparison, in Q2 2015 it added 2.4 million international members and 900,000 in the US – a total of 3.3 million.The SVOD service said that its Q2 US forecast was in line with previous years, but acknowledged a “modest impact from un-grandfathering” – the process of upping legacy users’ price plans from an introductory US$7.99 or US$8.99 per month to Netflix’s now standard US$9.99 for its HD, two-screen plan.Currently more than half of Netflix US users pay a reduced rate for its US$9.99 offering – something that Netflix said it will phase out gradually over the remainder of 2016.Internationally, Netflix said that it expects to add less users in Q2 2016 than a year earlier due to a “tough comparison against the Australia/New Zealand launch”.“The ANZ growth spike in Q2 last year resulted in international Q2 net adds more than doubling year over year (from 1.12 million to 2.37 million). While ANZ is growing steadily this Q2, it is less than the launch spike last year,” said Netflix in its quarterly letter to shareholders.Netflix said that its launch in 130 new countries at the beginning of this year meant that its Q1 results “captured the initial surge of sign-ups”, with net additions expected to drop sequentially in Q2 as a result.Announcing its Q1 2016 results, Netflix said that it added a record 6.74 million subscribers in the quarter – up from 4.88 million in Q1 2015.The bulk of these additions were international users, with 2.23 million new members logged in the US – down slightly from the 2.28 million new members recorded in Q1 2015.International revenues grew 57% year-on-year to US$652 million. International losses widened year-on-year to a loss of US$104 million – though Netflix said that this was “better than forecast due to the timing of content spend”.In the US, Netflix’s revenues rose 18% year-on-year to US$1.16 billion. It attributed this to 14% growth in average paid memberships and a 3% increase in ARPU. US contribution profit grew 32% year-on-year to US$413 million.last_img read more

Ghanas MegaChoice Digital Network has signed a 1

first_imgGhana’s Mega-Choice Digital Network has signed a 10-year contract with Eutelsat for distribution of its new direct-to-home (DTH) TV service.Mega-Choice, an associate company of Ghana’s first private television network Crystal TV, has taken capacity on the Eutelsat 16A satellite.It will initially offer its TV service to viewers in Ghana, but plans to extend to other West African markets as part of a second phase of growth.The new platform will offer a mix of free-to-air and pay channels with a particular focus on news and entertainment.Aljazeera English, Crystal TV Prime, Deutsche Welle, E TV Ghana, EWTN Africa and Asia, France 24 English, CGTN, Paradise Music Channel and Metro TV will be among the first free-to-air channels to be available.Its pay TV line-up will include a number of channels from SPI International/Filmbox Channels Group, such as Filmbox Africa, Filmbox Arthouse and Filmbox Action.last_img read more

UK commercial broadcaster ITVs performance looks

first_imgUK commercial broadcaster ITV’s performance looks set to worsen as a result of a Brexit-related economic slowdown and increased costs related to next year’s football World Cup, according to an analysis by Berenberg.According to analysts Sarah Simon and Alastair Reid, ITV is likely to face a continued deterioration in the media buyer outlook for the UK TV advertising market.Challenging the view that the broadcaster’s prospects for the second half of the year are stronger than the first four months, for which ITV management has predicted a 7% decline in advertising, Berenberg pointed to  “the tough comparison with last year’s football-boosted ad market” as well as continued nervousness following the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.On the positive side, Berenberg noted that ITV’s management is reducing programming expenditure this year by about £25 million, helped by the lack of big sports events. However, next year ITV will be broadcasting the football world cup in partnership with the BBC, on the basis of a deal signed in 2014, “when the market was showing robust growth, and Brexit was not even a potential cloud in the sky”.Postulating that these rights were negotiated “for a higher price than those for the 2014 tournament in Brazil”, the analysts expect a significant increase in programming costs for ITV next year at a time when the ad market will still be undergoing negative growth.Finally, Berenberg’s analysts said they remained sceptical that ITV would be able to gain some cash through levying retransmission fees, despite changes in the offing that could enable it to do so in theory.While the forthcoming Digital Economy bill, set to pass by the summer, will lift the “must offer” status of the main ITV channel, meaning that ITV will be able to negotiate commercial terms with Virgin Media, the analysts point out that the channel is “distributed unencrypted via satellite and via DTT, which means that a simple USB DTT connector could allow Virgin consumers to continue watching ITV even if the cable operator will not pay to re-distribute the signal over its network”.Any deal with Sky on retransmission would meanwhile require separate European legislative moves, with further uncertainty surrounding this because of Brexit.last_img read more

More than one million illegal settop boxes that a

first_imgMore than one million illegal set-top boxes that allow users to stream content illegally have been sold in the UK over the past two years, according to a new report from IP protection body FACT UK.The report, titled ‘Cracking Down on Digital Piracy’, gathers insights from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), FACT, City of London Police, Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), Police Scotland and Entura International, and claims that piracy is “putting the public at significant risk”.The report says that piracy exposes children to inappropriate content – such as ads for casinos and dating sites – as “the majority of criminals behind digital piracy make their money from advertising”.It also claims that Kodi box add-ons have no parental controls or security standards, and that, with most streaming now happening over social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, criminals can attract more viewers and “put more users at risk of malware or security issues”.“A quarter of Brits access digital material illegally, and often don’t realise the risks associated with that, for them and their families,” said FACT director general, Kieron Sharp.“Pirates are not Robin Hood characters; they are criminals who do it to make money through illicit means. As a result, the risks are high – inappropriate advertising that could be seen by young children, electrical safety associated with counterfeit parts, and financial cyber crime.”The report claims that anything from “tens of millions to hundreds of millions of pounds” are going to criminal groups each year as a result of piracy – through ad revenues, subscription fees and malware that can hijack users’ computers.With the rise of bitcoin, more gangs are also using the dark web to sell illicit information like the illegal software used to modify set-top boxes or customer data acquired through malware, according to the study.“While it may be tempting for people to think they are getting a bargain when streaming illegally, it’s important to remember that there are organised criminals behind it, often associated with other serious crimes,” said the head of the PIPCU, detective chief inspector Pete Ratcliffe.“Pirating content is not a petty crime; from release groups, to site operators to set-top box wholesalers and distributers, there is an international criminal business model.”To access the full report click here.last_img read more

Arts Council England and technology innovation cen

first_imgArts Council England and technology innovation centre Digital Catapult have launched a new programme that will see VR and AR content makers pitch to the BBC and Google.Virtual, augmented and mixed reality content creators can apply to get support and funding through  the CreativeXR scheme, with up to 20 companies to be supported by the project.Successful applicants will be offered workshops with industry leaders to support the development of their concepts. They will also get access to Digital Catapult Immersive Labs and up to £20,000 of funding to develop their immersive prototypes.In the New Year CreativeXR teams will pitch their work at a final commissioner showcase, attended by partners including Google and the BBC.“The potential of AR and VR to enhance our experience of a story and elicit emotion needs to be exploited,” said Aurelien Simon, head of immersive at Digital Catapult.“With CreativeXR, we want to give content creators and innovators the support, space, technology and funding that they need to develop their prototype ideas. Doing so will provide audiences with better, multi-faceted experiences, while supporting the UK in gaining a greater share of the lucrative global immersive market.”CreativeXR is calling for submissions to focus on “creative, consumer-facing experiences enabled by immersive technologies”. These can include artistic pieces, cultural experiences, new forms of fiction or non-fiction storytelling, and new forms of interactive entertainment.The deadline for entrants is November 2 and interested parties can apply online through the CreativeXR website.last_img read more

OTT software provider Vewd has unveiled Vewd Atom

first_imgOTT software provider Vewd has unveiled Vewd Atom, a new OTT platform that the company says will bring apps and streaming experiences to operator devices previously incapable of accessing OTT services.Vewd Atom’s virtualised OTT architecture consists of Vewd’s OTT platform running in the cloud  connected to a lightweight client on the device. Vewd says that operators with legacy devices can use the platform to combat churn, introduce the same OTT experience across all set-top boxes, control all devices through one cloud-based interface and add new OTT services directly in the cloud without the need of firmware upgrades.The company said that applications run ‘sandboxed’ in a controlled cloud environment while video is streamed directly to devices supports modern encryption standards. The company claims that the platform will scale to millions of users without requiring the cost of processing and hosting OTT video.“Vewd Atom is the antidote to cord-cutting,” said Aneesh Rajaram, CEO, Vewd. “It offers all of the modern features potential cord-cutters actively seek while reducing the technical burden on operators. Not only can we help reduce churn, but strengthen the value of pay TV by adding OTT services to hundreds of millions of devices already in the field. This creates the perfect win-win scenario for operators to continue to grow their business.”last_img read more

Sportsmedia technology company Deltatre has agr

first_imgSports-media technology company, Deltatre, has agreed to buy OTT software firm Massive Interactive in a deal worth roughly US$127 million.Deltatre said that the combined company will be the “largest independent OTT solution provider in the world,” with the deal helping the company to expand into the entertainment industry and widen its geographic reach in the Asia Pacific region.Deltatre provides end-to-end OTT video delivery for sports services like ATP’s Tennis TV, NFL Game Pass Europe and Juventus Pass, while Massive’s user experience software underpins streaming services for clients like the BBC, Bell Media and Channel 5.The deal gives Deltatre valuable new UX capabilities. Massive will operate as a division of Deltatre, which at the close of the deal will have 18 offices worldwide and nearly 1,000 full-time staff.“This shift to OTT is accelerating throughout the world, and the ability to customise individual viewing experiences and create genuine consumer engagement is vital to the movement,” said Deltatre co-founder and CEO, Giampiero Rinaudo.“The acquisition strengthens our leadership positions and expands us both globally and into important growth areas. Massive is a brilliant company and a fine addition for Deltatre.”Massive co-founder and CEO Ron Downey described Deltatre as “the ideal partner” to help accelerate its global growth strategy, claiming the merged company will be “the leading B2B vendor for live and OTT video platforms globally.”“The integration of our targeted UX platform, Massive AXIS, with Deltatre’s robust product portfolio will combine to offer our customers a highly scalable, quick-to-market solution that drives engagement and increase the profitability of over-the-top video services.”Deltatre was founded in Italy in 1986 and now has 12 offices in Turin, London, Hamburg, Munich, Los Angeles, New York, Sandy Utah, Singapore, Mumbai, Paris, Geneva and Tokyo. Alongside OTT and live streaming, it offers a range of solutions including websites and apps, broadcast production services, and live and studio graphics playout.Bruin Sports Capital – an international media, sports, marketing and branded lifestyle company – acquired Deltatre in 2016. Bruin was founded a year earlier by former IMG Sports & Entertainment president and board member George Pyne.Commenting on the Massive deal, Pyne said it “adds another dimension to its [Deltatre’s] value proposition to the sports industry and expands the company into entertainment sector which will quickly see the value of Deltatre’s three decades of game-changing media innovation.”Massive was founded in 1996, is headquartered in London and has offices in New York, Sydney and Prague. Its clients include DAZN, Deutsche Telekom, Foxtel in Australia, Sky New Zealand and YouView in the UK.The Deltatre-Massive deal follows a number of acquisitions in the OTT technology space in recent years, the most high-profile of which have seen media companies buy and take technology providers in-house.Endeavor, the parent brand of companies including WME, IMG and UFC, agreed to buy NeuLion in March in a deal valued at roughly US$250 million (€200 million).Meanwhile, Disney agreed to pay US$1.58 billion (€1.34 billion) to up its stake in BAMTech to 75% last August. The video streaming technology firm is being used to underpin Disney’s push into direct-to-customer streaming services, including ESPN+ and its forthcoming Disney SVOD service.last_img read more