Rep Miller approves largest education budget in state history

first_img28Mar Rep. Miller approves largest education budget in state history Categories: Miller News,News State Rep. Aaron Miller, of Sturgis, today voted to increase the state’s allocation for each individual student by $100 as part of a $14.3 billion education budget.“Our state’s future is based on our students and our classrooms,” said Miller, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid. “That’s why I voted to approve this significant investment, so our kids can be proficient in reading, have better career and technical education programming, and have better educational opportunities than a year ago.”Among the key items in the approved education budget:Increases K-12 education funding to the highest ever in state history.Adds $100 more funding for each and every Michigan student, which adds up to $143 million more in Michigan’s classrooms.Increases funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs to $37.6 million, while also expanding grants for public-private partnership in CTE programs.Prioritizes early childhood literacy with $25.4 million dedicated to added instruction time, increased work with literacy coaches and in-classroom screenings to help K-3 students.Helps “at-risk students” with more funding for free or discounted lunches and added instruction time.The budget will be forwarded to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.#####last_img read more

Republican leaders announce their expectations for the State of the State address

first_img“Making Michigan the best home for families, talent, and jobs is the driving force behind the priorities identified by our caucus.  The Governor has an opportunity to embrace that shared vision and work with the legislature to improve our state,” said Shirkey.  “Our goal is for Michigan to continue on its growth trajectory and for us to see more investment in our state to the benefit of all citizens.” 12Feb Republican leaders announce their expectations for the State of the State address Categories: Chatfield News “Our shared legislative priorities represent ample opportunity to craft bipartisan solutions.  Reducing the cost of car insurance is not a goal exclusive to Republicans or Democrats, it’s a problem all Michiganders want us to fix.  Building a better infrastructure plan has nothing to do with who you voted for in the last election, it’s about continual improvement so that Michigan is an attractive option for capital investment,” said Shirkey.  “Our caucus is eager to partner with our colleagues in the House and the Governor to deliver solutions for Michigan.” 2019 Legislative Republican PrioritiesSpeaker of the House Lee Chatfield, of Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, of Clarklake, today announced the top issues they and their Republican caucus members hope to see included by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her State of the State address.  The issues represent shared priorities both leaders believe are essential to Michigan’s continued comeback. The shared priorities House and Senate Republicans expect to see highlighted in the address include the following:Lowering the nation’s highest auto insurance rates for Michigan familiesFixing Michigan’s infrastructureProtect and enhance the current funding to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridgesEnsure every student has access to clean drinking water in schoolSupport the Straits tunnel to secure energy and heat for Michigan families Supporting education and career readinessGive students options to design a career path that works for themGive teachers strong funding and time to teachGive parents more choice and greater control over their child’s future Making government work for everyone in MichiganContinue recent progress with criminal justice reformsFix the state’s broken mental health systemImprove government accountability and predictability “Focusing on these important topics would show Gov. Whitmer is on the right path and working on the right issues to begin her term,” said Chatfield.  “These priorities represent some of the items legislators hear about most often talking to people in their local communities and the most common causes for concern when people reach out to the Legislature for help.  They are also some of the biggest areas where a commitment from the governor to strong reforms can make a real difference in the lives of Michigan residents. “But these are not just the most pressing issues facing Michigan families; they are also common-sense, bipartisan reforms on which we can all agree. We have discussed policy priorities with our colleagues, and we can say with certainty that bringing these critical matters to the forefront will give the governor a leg up in finding common ground with the Legislature and a head start in delivering results for the people we represent.” Gov. Whitmer will present her first State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Tuesday night. Speaker Chatfield and Majority Leader Shirkey will be available to the media Wednesday morning to discuss the governor’s plans and answer questions about how well her remarks addressed the state’s top issues.last_img read more

Rep Griffin sets May indistrict office hours

first_img State Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, will meet with area residents this month during office hours across her district.“Office hours are a great way to talk about the issues affecting our local communities,” Rep. Griffin said. “I hope you’ll take the opportunity to join me and share what’s on your mind.”Rep. Griffin will be available Friday, May 17 at the following times and locations:11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Hartford City Hall, 19 W. Main St. in Hartford;1 to 2 p.m. at the South Haven Library, 314 Broadway St. in South Haven; and3 to 4 p.m. at Cooper Township Hall, 1590 D Ave. W. in Kalamazoo.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. Griffin may call her office at (517) 373-0839 or email BethGriffin@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Griffin News 13May Rep. Griffin sets May in-district office hourslast_img read more

Apples Diversity Report Comes with Apology from CEO Tim Cook

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesAugust 15, 2014; New York Times Blogs, “Bits”Following the trend of tech companies releasing analyses of the level of diversity in their organizations, Apple’s report comes in a manner emblematic of the design-focused company. A beautifully laid-out webpage and a short film accompany the numbers, tastefully graphed and tucked in a corner where they can be scrolled past without drawing too much attention. The focus is on the faces of Apple employees in all their variety, and on a message from Apple CEO Tim Cook—the first tech company CEO, according to a quote in USA Today from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to take a public stand on the issue of diversity.Here’s a transcript of the voice-over for the montage:“From the very beginning we have been a collective of individuals, different kinds of people from different kinds of places, an intersection or technology and the liberal arts, diverse backgrounds all working together, one powerful thing we share is the belief we can make a difference in this world, through our products and through our values, through who we are, for this reason we put inclusion and diversity at our very center, we honor individuality, human dignity and human equality, we want people to be themselves and contribution through their own individual experiences, because this environment inspires creativity and innovation and empowers us all to do the best work of our lives together.“Inclusion inspires innovation.”A nice sentiment. And, to their credit, Apple’s numbers on diversity do beat out their competitors at Google and Facebook by a little. According to the information disclosed, “Apple’s percentage of white American workers (55 percent) is lower than Google’s (61 percent), Twitter’s (59 percent) and Facebook’s (57 percent).” Thirty percent of their employees worldwide are women, and in the technical and leadership areas, the level of representation of people of color is double or triple that of companies like Twitter.That level of inclusion doesn’t satisfy Cook, however. In his statement, he says, “As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we’re committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.” He goes on to highlight members of the Apple team who exemplify the diverse nature of Apple’s employees—including a blind Apple Store Specialist who comes to work with her “seeing iDog”—and recount some of the philanthropic endeavors currently on Apple’s plate:“We recently pledged $100 million to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring cutting-edge technologies to economically disadvantaged schools. Eighty percent of the student population in the schools we will equip and support are from groups currently underrepresented in our industry.“Apple is also a sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBT rights organization, as well as the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which is encouraging young women to get involved in technology and the sciences. The work we do with these groups is meaningful and inspiring. We know we can do more, and we will.”The New York Times’ “Bits” blog also points out that Cook has “steadily added women or minorities to its executive roster. Crucial hires and promotions include Angela Ahrendts, who oversees Apple’s retail operations, and Denise Young-Smith, who took over human resources. In July, Apple also added a woman, Susan L. Wagner, to its boards.”These are notable steps. However, as is shown in an interactive series of graphs on the USA Today website, the tech field remains “mostly male” and “mostly white.” Hopefully, more Silicon Valley (and beyond) firms will make similar commitments to improve diversity, and get their CEOs to stand behind them.—Jason SchneidermanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

DAs Accuse Louisiana PDs of Trying to Abolish Death Penalty—By Defending Clients

first_imgShare26Tweet3ShareEmail29 SharesApril 26, 2016; The Advocate (New Orleans, LA)As is the case in other states, public defender offices in Louisiana are facing restrictions imposed upon them by their own budgets. This has led to a “restriction of services” by 33 of the 42 public defenders’ districts in Louisiana’s state courts. In that context, the Louisiana District Attorneys’ Association (LDAA) and the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office are accusing the state public defender board of mismanagement in prioritizing death penalty cases, claiming that it is a sneaky way of abolishing the death penalty.The state public defender, hired by the Louisiana Public Defender Board (LPDB), on the other hand, says that since state-funded nonprofit firms take over these cases, it doesn’t work that way. However, it admits spending around a third of its budget on these cases, including cases that have progressed to a post-conviction phase. These appeals seem to be part of what is being targeted, according to the Times-Picayune:Assistant District Attorney Hugo Holland, who works out of Lake Charles, said the board has an anti-death penalty bent right now, which means it is willing to fund every appeal effort.Holland may not be alone in that belief. In addition to providing a floor for local public defender funding, the legislation also dramatically changes the makeup of the state public defender board.If passed, the number of people on the board would change 15 to 11, and local public defenders would have much more say over who sat on it. Professors from local law schools would no longer have assigned slots on the board either. Holland believes those changes might mean that the amount of money allocated for death penalty defense could go down.But LDAA executive director Pete Adams accuses the state public defender board of flouting its “fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers with misguided fiscal priorities.” He asked, “When you run out of money, you have to make tough choices. Are you going to spend a third of your state money on capital prosecutions, of which there are very few?”East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III also thinks that the restriction of services is a ploy. “No question they’re holding us hostage to obtain more funding. That’s all it is,” he said. “It affects public safety.”Now, instead of looking at providing more funding for the public defenders, a bill is progressing in the legislature that would reorganize the legislatively-created LPDB, requiring that 65 percent of its annual funding go to local public defender districts.Reginald McIntyre, the chief public defender for the 21st Judicial District of Livingston, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa parishes, agrees that those local districts should get as much money as possible from the LPDB. “I don’t like to see any district in (restriction of services). It damages the system,” he said, “Without the public defender offices, you don’t have a smooth running court.”State Public Defender Jay Dixon says that the money must be spent on capital cases because the stakes are so high and the cases so expensive to mount. Still, he said, “It’s not that we prioritize capital (cases) over everything else.”Dixon says that the argument being advanced is badly framed because the state board was not created to totally fund the 42 public defender districts but to supplement them. Most of their revenue comes directly from court fees and these have fallen dramatically in recent years.If you add in fees, Dixon says, the total public defense budget in the state is $66 million, and that means that the state board is spending only a sixth of that budget on capital cases. This also means that 75 percent of the total public defense funding is spent by local districts. The system just needs more money, he contends.The argument has been building since last spring when Adams responded to a 2014 Louisiana Public Defender Board call for additional state funding. “An intentionally created fiscal emergency should not be accepted nor rewarded without verification,” Adams wrote in his April 2015 response to the LPDB report. “The threat of a work stoppage and appointment of private counsel to do the work of state and local agencies is designed to build support for additional LPDB funding.”Dixon says that only the district attorneys believe that public defense in Louisiana is sufficiently financed, and that prosecutors outspend public defenders by far. Meanwhile, all but four of the local public defender districts have turned over their capital cases to the state board, which contract those cases out to nonprofit law firms, which are not getting rich representing those cases. Defending these cases requires special certification and recertification processes that many public defenders do not have.“Doing capital defense is not financially rewarding. It’s a losing proposition,” Dixon added.The combined number of new and pending capital cases handled by local public defender districts and the contract offices is declining, going from 235 in 2008 to 131 in 2013, according to LPDB. But, again, according to the Picayune,Some legislators are growing tired of the cost of the death penalty. It’s not just that the public defenders board is spending $9.5 million on defense. Prosecutors spend a lot of time and money on their side of the cases. And it costs money to maintain death row at Angola.Rep. Steve Pylant, a conservative Republican and retired sheriff from Winnsboro, has always been supportive of the death penalty. But he wondered aloud during the committee meeting Thursday if it was worth the expense anymore, especially when so many of the convictions get overturned.He said he was considering switching sides, being for getting rid of the death penalty in Louisiana for good.So, if rigorously representing capital defendants were a nefarious way of making a financial case for eliminating the death penalty, perhaps it is a good—albeit risky—strategy.—Ruth McCambridgeShare26Tweet3ShareEmail29 Shareslast_img read more

The Return of Ebola in Africa Demands Nonprofits Understand Past Lessons

first_imgShare9Tweet3Share1Email13 Shares“Ebola virus.” Credited: CDC Global.May 14, 2017; Wall Street JournalThe very word “Ebola” sends waves of dread through many communities. It’s a horrible disease with extremely high infection and mortality rates and no cure. This week, the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw several citizens die of the disease, and the nation is scrambling to contain the outbreak before more are infected.Unlike Sierra Leone and other countries in western Africa where the 2014 epidemic hit, much of the Congo is densely forested and difficult to traverse. Experts hope that this will slow the spread of the disease. Conversely, as NPQ reported in November, the country has been hovering on the brink of civil war for months, and its health infrastructure has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “virtually broken down.” As Harvard physician Margaret Bordeaux has pointed out, the destruction of institutions and infrastructure kills more civilians in wartime than violence, and the DRC’s violent history has made its civilians perilously vulnerable to even preventable diseases, never mind rampant killers like Ebola.NPQ tracked the global response to the last Ebola epidemic, which was widely deemed insufficient and, in some cases, unfulfilled. Science journalist Laurie Garrett explained in Foreign Affairs, “The global health infrastructure has shown itself to be weak, fractured, prone to infighting, and more interested in searching for technological silver bullets than engaging in the hard slog of social mobilization and classic local public health work.”Global disease expert BT Slingsby said,Ebola was very much a wake-up call for our global society. Regardless of whether we’re dealing with a pandemic, such as Ebola, or antimicrobial resistance, or with more endemic diseases like malaria or tuberculosis—all of those infectious diseases have one thing in common: Innovations do not come from the free market on its own. But we need these innovations—and therapies, vaccines and diagnostics.Some took Slingsby at his word; there is a vaccine for Ebola, though it has not completed the testing and approval process and only appears to work on one of two common strains. The WHO has not yet decided whether to use it in the Congo, but has made preparations just in case.But while the WHO debates, there are other things that can be done. One of the biggest problems in the last outbreak, apart from insufficient and poorly deployed aid, was the initial failure of health workers to understand the burial traditions of affected communities and how they magnified the spread of the disease. Many cultures have burial rituals that include washing and dressing the body, but in a cruelly ironic twist, Ebola is most contagious right before and after a victim’s death—so anyone trying to bid goodbye to a loved one is especially prone to catch it.There were also problems of trust: When people died in health facilities, workers who knew safe burial practices often buried bodies in unmarked graves. According to National Geographic, “These disappearances stoked conspiracy theories that Ebola was a hoax. In one, doctors were said to be killing patients to steal their organs. The less people believed that Ebola was real, the less likely they were to bring deathly ill relatives to clinics and to stop honoring their dead relatives in the traditional way.”And finally, there’s very little incentive for local people to join the SDB (safe and dignified burial) teams because they are often shunned by their communities for doing so. SDB worker Mariatu Karbgo told Irin News, “‘Mamma G’ was the stigma name they gave me in my community, even in my own street. They said ‘I’m a General in dead bodies’… whenever they saw me they’d gather in a group, and shout ‘General in Ebola!’”These issues will be familiar to anyone who does community work. It’s important to gain the trust of your community, to learn about the complex issues faced by the people who live where you work and how a situation is locally understood. The goal of Ebola containment and prevention is not flexible, but the approach can leverage local resources—like the Freetown officials in Sierra Leone who eventually asked local imams to explain ritual workarounds and convince people that the rules were not absolute, causing a 1,000 percent jump in the number of safe burial teams.There are many lessons to be applied to the newest Ebola outbreak, and hopefully the scale will remain small. In an already fragile state, it will take enormous effort to create a health infrastructure that could deal with problems like Ebola and the cultural competency to enlist the community. Nonprofits who step in will certainly have their work cut out for them.—Erin RubinShare9Tweet3Share1Email13 Shareslast_img read more

Pay TV operator Sky Deutschland has named Erik Sch

first_imgPay TV operator Sky Deutschland has named Erik Schneider as vice-president, customer service. Schneider, who will be charged with direction of Sky’s service centre, will report to Euan Smith, executive vice-president of product and operations.Schneider previously worked for consulting, system integration and managed services specialist Live Reply. He has also worked for Telefónica O2 in Munich, and for General Electric.last_img

Ukrainian cable operator Volia has launched a new

first_imgUkrainian cable operator Volia has launched a new interactive TV platform that will be available over-the-top on third-party networks as well as on its own cable network.Volia Smart HD will offer over 130 digital channels, on-demand movies and access to other services including YouTube on the TV.Following the initial launch of the service, Volia will introduce a hybrid set-top box in the second quarter that will give access to internet-delivered video-on-demand and catch-up TV services.The first third-party network to sign up for the service is Datagroup, which operates residential services in Ukraine under the brand Domashniy Telecom. The company has approximately 107,000 internet customers across the country. Datagroup launched its own TV service in 2010 and has signed up just over 20,000 subscribers in Dnipropetrovsk, Zhmerynka, Nikolaev, Gadyach and Bar.Volia’s internet-delivered content will be made available using adaptive bit-rate streaming, allowing consumption on multiple devices including smartphones and tablets as well as TVs.Content partners for the Volia Smart HD on-demand offering will include YouTube, Oll.tv, Megogo.net and Sony.Volia’s platform has been designed by system integrator Azdio in partnership with Ukrainian system integrator Romsat. Technology for the service is being provided by middleware provider Minerva, set-top provider Entone, conditional access specialist Verimatrix, compression specialist Envivio and OTT technology specialist Anevia.last_img read more

LG has integrated online payment service PayPal in

first_imgLG has integrated online payment service PayPal into its smart TV platform, allowing users to buy products and services directly through their TV set. The electronics manufacturer has launched the service on its devices in the US, Canada and the UK. It also plans to roll it out in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia, starting from this month.“LG and PayPal will create a more user-friendly Smart TV experience, enabling the user to make faster, more secure digital payments,” said Richard Choi, senior VP of the LG Electronics’ Smart Business Center.“PayPal significantly reduces the number of steps the user has to take in order to complete a transaction; saving them time by eliminating the need to enter credit card and address details for each subsequent purchase. Moving forward, it will also make it possible for LG to better integrate digital commerce with first-class home entertainment.”Users can enter their PayPal details into their TV using the remote, and can choose a “remember me” option for easier payments.“We see smart TV as a high-potential platform for commerce in the coming years, and we’re thrilled to be at the forefront with LG in integrating the ease, security and functionality of PayPal directly into LG Smart TVs,” said Randall Davies , senior director of global business development at PayPal.last_img read more

Sky Deutschland has extended its Wimbledon tennis

first_imgSky Deutschland has extended its Wimbledon tennis rights through to 2018, taking exclusive broadcasting rights for TV, internet, IPTV, and mobile in Germany and Austria.The five-year extension was agreed with IMG Media on behalf of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Sky Deutschland said that in 2014, as in previous years, it will broadcast the tournament on multiple  channels and cover the action on several courts at the same time – live and in HD.“With its unique mix of tradition and world class athleticism, the tournament in Wimbledon is one of the highlights of every sports year. The continuation of our successful partnership over the next five years is proof of our editorial work and a major component of Sky’s strategy to offer customers exclusive programming,” said Burkhard Weber, Sky Deutschland’s senior vice president, sports.last_img read more

The Returned Netflix has acquired exclusive global

first_imgThe ReturnedNetflix has acquired exclusive global rights to The Returned, the US remake of French drama Les Revenants, from FremantleMedia International. The deal marks the first time the US-listed streaming service will have premiere rights an acquired drama on its services around the world.The series has been commissioned by US cable net A&E, which will debut it on March 9. Netflix will then launch it a day later on all of its international services except the US. In the States A&E has a one-year holdback on the show.The original French series, which was distributed by Zodiak Rights, series was an international success, selling to over 70 territories with buyers including Channel 4 in the UK and Sundance in the US. It follows the residents of a small mountain town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear.Last year A&E ordered a ten-episode US version of the show, with its fledgling drama production unit A+E Studios, on production duty alongside Fremantlemedia North America and Haut et Cort, which made the original French show. Lost writer Carlton Cuse has penned and exec produced the US version alongside Raelle Tucker (True Blood).FremantleMedia International is selling the US series. CEO Jens Richter said: “Netflix is a ground-breaking platform, synonymous with high-quality, character-driven content that really pushes at the boundaries. The internet television network is the perfect home for The Returned.”Erik Barmack, vice president of global independent content at Netflix added: “We can’t wait for our global audience to see Carlton and Raelle’s interpretation of The Returned, a sensation in its own right that we think is perfect for Netflix.”last_img read more

Bulgarian cable operator Blizoo has added SPI Inte

first_imgBulgarian cable operator Blizoo has added SPI International’s FilmBox HD channel to its line-up.FilmBox HD features a variety of movie genres including dramas, comedies, thrillers and horror movies as well as TV series. Blizoo is offering FilmBox HD in its Extra, Premium and Champion TV packages.“Bulgaria remains one of our high-priority markets in CEE. We are excited to partner with Blizoo, the leading cable operator in Bulgaria and to bring FilmBox HD with its top movie content to Blizoo subscribers,” said Berk Uziyel, executive director of Filmbox International.“Blizoo as a company always strives to provide its users with quality content. We believe that our new proposal FilmBox will respond more fully to the expectations of the customers who always want the best on the market. Our goal is to offer reliable products to create unforgettable experiences for consumers,” said Blizoo.last_img read more

Delphine Ernotte Cunci French media regulator the

first_imgDelphine Ernotte CunciFrench media regulator the CSA has authorised the launch of a news service by public broadcaster France Télévisions.The CSA said last week that it was greenlighting a request by the ministry of culture and communication for the distribution of the channel in standard definition. The service will be available on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform on channel 27, just after rival service LCI on channel 26.To make space for the service, the CSA has authorised the pubcaster to continue to broadcast its France Ô service in standard definition only. Other service from the public broadcaster are available in HD.The news service is the brainchild of France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte-Cunci, who was appointed to her role last year.France Télévisions will be responsible for the editorial content of the service, with Radio France, overseas TV organisation France Médias Monde and the Institut National de l’Audiovisue contributing. As envisaged by Ernotte-Cunci, the news service will include both a linear channel and on-demand elements.last_img read more

UK OTT video streaming service TVPlayer has struck

first_imgUK OTT video streaming service TVPlayer has struck a three-year deal with white-label cloud-based OTT video service Frequency to offer the latter’s content as part of its service.Under the deal, Frequency, founded by Blair Harrison, who was also behind internet video search outfit FastTV, will deliver a broad range of programming from digital brands, multi-channel networks and social influencers including Studio 71, Newsy, Jukin and Machinima.According to TVPlayer, the initial lineup will include at least 10 linear channels and will be introduced in February to TVPlayer’s platform. More than 150 on demand channels will be integrated with TVPlayer in late March.Frequency aggregates licensed content for operators, alongside a video platform including a personalisation engine. Operators can deploy the service over set-top boxes, mobile devices and the web.TVPlayer offers about 100 broadcast channels on its platform, including a premium teir of 30 channels available for £5.99 a month. The service claims over one million active users in the UK.Rob Hodgkinson, Chief Operating Officer of TVPlayer, said: “Keen to establish TVPlayer as the launch platform for lean-back video experiences, we wanted to instigate a comprehensive digital-first programming strategy alongside our premium broadcast offering, andwith Frequency, we’re able to do that with one deal and with one simple integration.”Ian Aaron, president of Frequency, said: “TVPlayer’s unique OTT platform and rapid growth in the UK makes them an exciting and strategic partner for Frequency.  Our expansive catalogue of top digital-first content, delivered in linear and on-demand formats, will enhance TVPlayer’s already compelling programming line-up.”last_img read more

Youth broadcaster The QYou has agreed a carriage d

Youth broadcaster The QYou has agreed a carriage deal with Portuguese telecoms operator NOWO, which will offer the channel to its 900,000 customers.The deal marks The QYou’s second  agreement for the Portuguese market, widening the distribution of its ‘best-of-web’ video output.“Online video content is hugely popular in Portugal and in order to meet the needs of our customers and further extend our reach among millennial audiences, we are including QYou in our programming line-up,” said NOWO’s chief marketing officer, José Henriques.The QYou founder and CEO, Curt Marvis, said: “This partnership with NOWO is our second in Portugal and demonstrates that operators across Western Europe are really seeing the value and potential of short-form video content to engage with millennial audiences.” read more

ProSiebenSat1 Media is acquiring a majority in Es

first_imgProSiebenSat.1 Media is acquiring a majority in Esome advertising technologies, a social-advertising provider in German-speaking region of Europe.Hamburg-based Esome bundles the technology and the management of social media campaigns on social networks, notably Facebook, for advertisers.ProSiebenSat.1 said that in the future, the technology will also be used for the optimisation of display, video and later for addressable TV advertising. The company will join the portfolio of ad-tech investments that ProSiebenSat.1 bundles at Advertising Platform Solutions. The acquisition is subject to approval by the responsible competition authorities.On the basis of KPIs, Esome optimises campaigns on social networks to implement its customers’ advertising activities. Over 200 national and international companies, including around half of the businesses listed on the DAX exchange, already rely on Esome’s technology, according to ProSiebenSat.1.Separately, ProSiebenSat.1 is expanding its ad-tech management team. Jana Eisenstein will join Advertising Platform Solutions as EVP on January 1 to manage the business together with Jens Mittnacht. Eisenstein was previously managing director for the EMEA region at advertising technology company Videology.ProSiebenSat.1’s other investments and activities in the ad-tech sector, which it bundles at Advertising Platform Solutions, include the German ad-tech holding company Virtual Minds, the video advertising network Smartstream.TV, the content marketplace Glomex and, subject to review by antitrust authorities, the influencer marketing platform Buzzbird. The Group is also involved in the European joint venture EBX.Christof Wahl, member of the executive board, digital, and COO ProSiebenSat.1 Group said: “The majority stake in esome is another boost for our positioning in the ad-tech sector and expands our expertise with KPI-based products in the attractive social-advertising market. With the aid of esome’s technology, performance-oriented and thus even more effective addressable TV campaigns will be a possibility in the future.”last_img read more

The US Advanced Television Systems Committee ATSC

first_imgThe US Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has approved the final elements that complete the ATSC 3.0 suite of next-generation TV standards.Gary Shapiro of the CTA, Gordon Smith of the NAB, and SCTE President Mark Richer celebrate the approval of the ATSC 3.0 at CESThe ATSC announced the release of ATSC 3.0 at CES in Las Vegas. According to the body, the new standards provide broadcasters with ew market opportunities through enhanced transmission and reception functionality and delivery of 4K Ultra HDTV, immersive audio, and interactive services using a mix of Internet and broadcast connections.The release of ATSC 3.0 follows approval of the standard for use by broadcasters by the FCC in November. The regulator voted three to two to approve ATSC 3.0, with a split on partisan lines amidst concerns about lack of a plan for backwards compatibility with existing systems.South Korean broadcasters initiated ATSC 3.0 broadcast service focused on Ultra HDTV last year and plan to transmit next month’s XXIII Winter Olympics in PyeongChang using the new standard.“Our suite of ATSC 3.0 standards paves the way for a new kind of television service, one that is far more flexible and adaptable than previous standards.  ATSC 3.0 will bring historic innovations to broadcasters and to viewers, from robust transmission to immersive audio, and from 4K Ultra-HDTV to interactive services and more.  The 20 individual standards that comprise the release of ATSC 3.0 will give broadcasters the ability to utilize new transmission methods and finally bring together innovations in both over-the-air and broadband services,” said ATSC President Mark Richer.“ATSC looks forward to continuing work on the standard, including its deployment in initial markets and future enhancements.  We remain uniquely positioned to support the first trial launches of ATSC 3.0 services and products beginning this year.  In addition to our ongoing standards work, the ATSC has a very important role in educating stakeholders about how the technology works and assisting in implementation planning in the U.S. and other parts of the world.”last_img read more

ANGA COM exhibitor Technetix has won two prizes at

first_imgANGA COM exhibitor Technetix has won two prizes at the SCTE (Society for Broadband Professionals) 2018 Technological Innovation Awards.The Technetix Virtual Segmentation solution was the winner in the Best Digital Processing Solution category. This technology provides extra capacity on existing coaxial cable to feed a Remote PHY device without deploying fibre to the new segmentation site. Fibre deep, node split, or distributed architectures can be used to segment networks into smaller service groups, according to Technetix. Fibre is often utilised but driving it deeper into the network means waiting longer for civic permits and higher costs and Technetix says that virtual segmentation solves this. This technology is currently being trialled by European broadband operators.Technetix was also awarded the Best CPE Solution for the EZ-Amp range of auto-adaptive band split amplifiers. The EZ-Amp features automatically switchable diplex filters that enable a ‘no touch’ upstream upgrade in the home. When upgrading legacy 65/85 MHz products to 204/258 MHz products today, Technetix enables users to prepare the home install to auto switch the upstream needed for DOCSIS 3.1. Every EZ-Amp eliminates the truck roll needed to upgrade the band-split for DOCSIS 3.1, according to the company.”I am delighted that the innovations developed and brought to the market by Technetix have been recognised by the industry,” said Paul Broadhurst, CEO, Technetix. “They both mitigate capex and are industry game changers which we look forward to introducing to a wider audience in the coming months.”Technetix will showcase both the Virtual Segmentation solution and the EZ-Amp at ANGA COM this year, along with their shortlisted DBx with Remote PHY platform. This solution retrofits to the modular DBx platform. Visit our stand in HallTechnnetix will exhibit at ANGA COM on stand 7.E41last_img read more

Skys overthetop service Now TV has added the Ha

first_imgSky’s over-the-top service Now TV has added the Hayu Pass to its range of contract-free, pick-and-mix passes in the UK.The £3.99 per-month pass gives subscribers access to Hayu’s catalogue of reality TV content and launches ahead of the season 15 premiere of Keeping Up with the Kardashians on August 6.NBCUniversal-owned Hayu offers more than 6,000 episodes of reality content, with a focus on US series like The Real Housewives and Botched.More than 200 series are featured on the SVOD service, the majority of which debut on the same day as their US launch.“As a world-leading producer of reality content, NBCUniversal is delighted to be partnering with Now TV for the all-reality service, Hayu,” said Hendrik McDermott, senior vice-president, branded on-demand, NBCUniversal International.Now TV managing director, Gidon Katz added: “If you’re serious about keeping up with the Kardashians and can’t wait for your next Real Housewives fix then the Hayu Pass on Now TV has you covered.”The Hayu pass joins Now TV’s existing range of content packages which are: the £3.99 per-month Kids Pass; the £7.99 per month Entertainment Pass; the £9.99 per-month Sky Cinema pass; and the Sky Sports Pass, which costs either £7.99 per day, £12.99 per week or £33.99 per month.last_img read more

ProSiebenSat1 has rolled out a new red button off

first_imgProSiebenSat.1 has rolled out a new red button offering for smart TVs in Germany, based on the HbbTV standard.The new red button portal offers full TV episodes and content, with the media library organised by topic into playlists.Smart TV users can access entertainment from the ProSieben, Sat.1, Kabel Eins, Sixx, ProSieben Maxx, Sat.1 Gold, and Kabel Eins Doku brands.Viewers can also press the red button to access an entertainment feed of digital news and entertainment information while watching TV, with ‘dual consumption’ a focus of the new offering.This interactivity extends to play-along quiz shows, which viewers can take part in. The broadcaster claimed this has already generated interaction rates as high as 26%.“We now know very well that viewers’ entertainment needs have become more complex. While our users watch linear TV, they simultaneously have the option to get additional information via HbbTV,” said Stefanie Lüdecke, co-managing director of ProSiebenSat.1 Digital.“With our new red button portals, we have created a first-class content platform and combined the best of the two worlds of TV and internet. We are thereby actively shaping the development of linear TV.”ProSiebenSat.1 said a survey it conducted into viewer activity before and after using the new red button services showed that 56% of viewers watched more TV than they did before using the offering.last_img read more