Monthly Archiv: August, 2019

Hoitenga to lead House Communications and Technology Committee

first_img Northern Michigan representative also to serve on three key committeesState Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, has been appointed by Speaker Tom Leonard to serve as chair of the House Communications and Technology Committee.As chair of the committee, Hoitenga will play a key role running meetings, setting priorities and organizing informational hearings to help people understand important issues related to communications and technology.“I’m honored to be selected for this important leadership role,” Hoitenga said. “There are always new advancements taking place in the area of communications and technology, and I’m looking forward to preparing Michigan to take advantage of them and improve the lives of people in our state.”Hoitenga, whose son is a member of the Marine Corps, has also been appointed to the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.“I know first-hand just how much the members of our military and their families sacrifice for our county,” Hoitenga said. “It will be an honor to work on policy that makes life better for our veterans and their loved ones. This is a responsibility I take very seriously.”In addition, she will serve on the Regulatory Reform and Insurance committees.The House has 26 bipartisan committees that discuss, analyze and revise legislation before presenting it to the full chamber for consideration.### Categories: Hoitenga News 26Jan Hoitenga to lead House Communications and Technology Committeelast_img read more

Rep Marino votes to support lakeshore conservation and recreation

first_img State Rep. Steve Marino voted today in favor of a plan to improve Waterfront Park in Harrison Township and to add acreage to two other Clinton Township parks.The legislation approved by the House of Representatives, with Marino’s support, includes $156,000 to remove an existing seawall at Waterfront Park along Jefferson Avenue and replace it with a stone breakwater and marsh. The project will also include the addition of recreation amenities, including a kayak launch, boardwalk and educational exhibits.“You can’t define ‘summer’ in Macomb County without talking about Lake St. Clair,” said Marino, of Harrison Township. “I am excited to see one of our waterfront parks receive updates that will make it accessible for even more residents to enjoy a greater range of summer activities. If escaping this winter’s bitter cold doesn’t have you already wishing for summer, this project is certainly one more reason to look forward to it.”The plan also includes $421,000 for the acquisition of two separate parcels of land that are a part of longer-term plans to expand and enhance Clinton Township parks.The full plan approved by the House today includes $26 million for 34 recreational development projects and 30 land acquisition projects statewide, including the three Macomb County projects.  Investments outlined in the proposal were recommended by the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board in December. Recommendations are subject to approval by the Michigan Legislature, a process started within the House Appropriations Committee last week. House Bill 4244 next advances to the Senate for further consideration.Money in the Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from the development of minerals on state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments.### 07Mar Rep. Marino votes to support lakeshore conservation and recreation Categories: Featured news,Marino News,Newslast_img read more

Promoting Affordable Housing Development A Tale of Two Portlands

first_imgShare61TweetShare34Email95 SharesSeptember 24, 2015; Portland Press HeraldCoast to coast, cities are looking for ways to promote the development of affordable low-income housing. The latest census data suggest that the 20th century model of poverty is giving way to a new phenomenon that involves the hollowing out of the middle class. Writing at the Bipartisan Policy Center, J. Ronald Terwilliger argues, “Housing is a Growing Source of Instability.” Rising housing costs in the face of stagnant wage growth are a critical factor in pushing formerly-middle-class households into economic instability. A new study by the Joint Center for Housing and the Enterprise Community Partners forecasts that rent burdens will inexorably increase over the next decade.From Portland, Maine, comes this story of a study showing that local laws requiring housing developers to create “affordable” units do not have an adverse effect on development or rents. The Press Herald cited this study in a review of plans to adopt a new policy that would require developers to create affordable units when developing new rental housing. “After more than a decade of stagnant development, Portland is experiencing a wave of market rate housing projects, especially downtown, as well several projects that are intended to accommodate low-income families. That is pushing many middle class families out of the city, according to a recent report by the Greater Portland Council of Governments.”Under the proposal that Portland, Maine, is considering, developers would be required to produce 10 percent of their units for households at 100–120 percent of Area Median Income. In exchange, developers would be permitted to ask for increased density or tax abatements. According to a study by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy cited in the article, “flexibility and incentives are needed; inclusionary zoning ordinances have been challenged in court and can be designed to minimize legal risk; follow-up enforcement and stewardship are needed.” In other words, thoughtful, calibrated and targeted policies.Portland, Oregon, faces a different kind of affordable housing issue—too many homeless people. But unlike the Portland in Maine, Mayor Charlie Hales in Oregon is proposing to convert public buildings into shelters instead of leveraging the private sector developers. Mayor Hales’s sketchy plan seems to entail relaxing zoning and building code requirements to permit city-owned buildings to be converted to residential shelters. Financing for the conversion is still unclear:“Hales, asked about a financial commitment Wednesday, made none. ‘That’s a good question,’ he said. ‘And that’s something that the City Council ought to take up when we get the declaration in front of them.’ Hales also offered no new solution to rising rental rates in Portland—which have reached an average of $1,243 a month—although he said costs could flatline when more units come on line. ‘This is a market problem, not a natural disaster,’ Hales said of rising rents. ‘So I don’t think we actually have the legal authority to impose rent control.’”The contrast between these two approaches is astounding. In Maine, city officials are using a consensus-building approach to manage the housing economy to make room for a variety of income levels. In Oregon, politicians are offering short-term emergency solutions to long-standing needs in a “hot” rental market. Neither is exactly ideological. In Maine, “social planners” are incentivizing private investors to meet community housing needs using a broad consensus approach. In Oregon, “free marketeers” are converting public property (and funds?) to address the social needs of the poor in a highly partisan and contentious atmosphere. Which is liberal? Which is conservative?Portland, Maine’s approach of offering tax abatement or density incentives is very similar to the Affordability Ordinance now being challenged in Chicago. However, these two incentives are very different approaches. Traditionally, tax abatements are easy for cities to offer because property taxes are not their sole source of revenue. On the other hand, tax abatements are often opposed by school systems, which rely heavily on property tax revenues. Density, on the other hand, costs virtually nothing and promotes economic activity, which generates revenue for public coffers. NPQ’s Rick Cohen examined density as an affordable housing strategy in “Density Bonuses: A Tool for Affordable Housing Development.” A recent New York Times feature story, “The Curious Politics of the ‘Nudge’” profiles the science of so-called “nudge” policies. Could encouraging increased density be a nudge?Whether building taller or smaller, the principle is the same: More rent-paying units per acre of land should help developers to keep rents affordable. And smaller is chic with millennials, and maybe with the empty nesters, the two demographic groups driving the development of urban rental housing. Permitting or promoting increased residential density could have little or no cost to the city, but might be enough of an incentive for developers to set aside some “affordable” units.—Spencer WellsShare61TweetShare34Email95 Shareslast_img read more

Insufficient Affordable Housing in the Ohio Heartland

first_imgShare7TweetShareEmail7 SharesOctober 6, 2015; Columbus DispatchThe Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) is opening up the housing choice voucher waiting list for the first time in seven years, and 24,000 households filed online applications for a lottery to win one of the spots on it. In reporting this news, the Columbus Dispatch hit squarely at two of the three key problems facing renters in mid-Ohio: lack of income and lack of housing units. The missing element in the story is the problem of economic segregation.Problem one: Too many mid-Ohio households can’t afford safe and decent housing. The housing choice voucher (HCV), colloquially known as “the gold card,” is a federal program managed by local housing authorities. Under the HCV program, a tenant household finds a suitable home that can pass a Housing Quality Standard inspection and where the landlord will accept the HCV. The voucher tenant then pays 30 percent of household income toward the rent, and the CMHA pays the difference up to an agreed-upon market rate. Total rent is reasonable under a cap that is set by HUD and the housing authority, based on regional fair market rents.Housing choice vouchers are designed to bridge the affordability gap. Without an HCV, a low-income household will likely be “rent burdened,” a term meaning that the household pays more than 30 percent of its income for rent, leaving little left for other necessities. Rent-burdened families have to make hard choices between rent and food, medicine, or transportation to work. The Bipartisan Policy Center notes that housing is a major source of household instability.Nationally, only about 34 percent of households eligible for HCVs actually get to the top of the waiting list to get “the gold card.” According to the article, CMHA expects to serve 200 households immediately, and then 70 households each month using HCVs that come back to CMHA as other households leave the program. CMHA has about 13,000 HCVs in circulation in the Columbus housing market.Problem two: Columbus has too few rental units. Following the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008, thousands of former homeowners became renters. Their numbers were augmented by Millennials, who are flocking to metropolitan areas and seeking rental housing. Unlike much of Ohio, Columbus and the mid-Ohio region are experiencing a growth spurt as the economy revives. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate that the Dispatch article about HCV shifts to highlight a new collaboration of 11 nonprofit housing providers, the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio (AHACO).Formed about a year ago, the Alliance is focused on addressing the needs of 54,000 people who need affordable housing. “We’re not talking about building all new units. Our focus is making that number of units available to low-income households,” says AHACO spokesperson E.J. Thomas. In fact, AHACO as an organization won’t be developing any units. While each member organization continues to focus on its mission, the goal of AHACO is to combine the advocacy energies of the 11 charter members to grow the resources for affordable housing development and operations. “With a healthy job market and lively attractions, Columbus is among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. But the boom feels more like a bust to many residents whose lives are compromised by the high cost of housing.”The idea of pulling together eleven nonprofit housing developers that are potentially in competition with each other for scarce resources seems counterintuitive, but the idea makes sense from another perspective. As NPQ contributor Rick Cohen notes:Ultimately, what is needed is a constituency of private and public sector actors, of government officials, private developers, local employers, and nonprofit developers, to coalesce and mobilize around the need for affordable housing. As one observer said, the case for affordable housing is pretty self-evident. What is often missing is the political will to do something.By showing the value of affordable housing to the business and civic sectors of Columbus, AHACO seeks to increase the available resources going to affordable housing development. Mr. Thomas says AHACO is engaging civic partners with the message that stable affordable housing will pay long-term dividends in the form of a stable workforce and reduced dependence on health and social service interventions. “A stable home provides a solid platform for positive growth, vibrant neighborhoods, and economic prosperity. When housing is safe and affordable, individuals have a stable foundation to pursue healthy lifestyles, education, and better jobs.”So far missing in the AHACO story is the problem of economic segregation. City officials were caught off guard when a study by urbanologist Richard Florida listed Columbus high on a list of the most economically segregated cities in the U.S. AHACO president E.J. Thomas acknowledges that inclusion is an unresolved issue for his group. “We talk about this at every meeting,” Mr. Thomas says. “We know it is an issue.”Because each of the member organizations comes to AHACO from the specialized niche in which it has traditionally operated, exclusion could be baked into the group. President Thomas is quick to point out that another AHACO goal is to find new ways to deliver affordable housing opportunities. Having all the nonprofit housing providers at the table is a start towards that longer-term goal.All these issues interact. Ideally, a tool like housing choice vouchers would help low-income households to move from poor neighborhoods to areas of opportunity, but as rents rise because of a shortage of rental units, the Housing Authority is faced with a hard choice. Without additional federal funding, increasing the payment standard to promote mobility will reduce the number of “gold cards” that are available. Income discrimination is the other factor that limits HCV households. Unlike many urban areas, landlords in Ohio are free to discriminate against HCV households based on their “source of income.” Perhaps AHACO will add source-of-income discrimination and more federal funding for the HCV program to their advocacy agenda in the coming year.—Spencer WellsShare7TweetShareEmail7 Shareslast_img read more

Is Your Nonprofit a Dangerous Dumping Ground

first_imgShare24Tweet30Share28Email82 SharesMaxPixel. Creative Commons 0. Public domain.October 24, 2017; Chicago TribuneThere are any number of variations on this story occurring all over the United States. See if you recognize a nonprofit near you.The Chicago Tribune released an article earlier this week documenting the egregious failure of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) Intact Family Services program and its nonprofit contractors, which resulted in the tragic deaths of 15 children since privatization of the program. This heartbreaking case exemplifies all that can go wrong when state functions are privatized recklessly and when public-private partnerships lack proper oversight, accountability, funding, and support.The story began a little over five years ago when, as some NPQ readers will remember, many states were plagued with gaping budget holes. Illinois was among the states with budget deficits up to twenty percent of overall expenditure. In an effort to balance the budget, the state slashed funding for public services—one such service being the DCFS Intact Family Services program. After scotch-taping the budget holes, Illinois then faced a two-year budget impasse, which again left public services and nonprofits relying on public funding reeling.The goal of Intact Family Services, as the name suggests, is to keep families together through the provision of case management and safety monitoring services for families considered at-risk for abuse and neglect. At-risk families tend to have parents who struggle with substance abuse or anger management but otherwise have not given the state reason to place the children in foster care.Given the meager budget Intact Family Services was left with following the 2012 cuts, the program restructured and changed its eligibility criteria so that only the riskiest families, defined as a family that had six or more abuse investigations, were served by Intact Family Services. In addition, the entire caseload was outsourced to nonprofit organizations. In hindsight, trouble was brewing under the surface. At the time of the budget cuts and restructure, an Intact Family Services fact sheet indicated that DCFS Director Richard Calica “claims that DCFS can limp along by pushing off the most at-risk families onto existing DCFS private contractors—without providing any additional resources for those agencies.”Moreover, there is evidence that the Illinois DCFS has been a troubled agency. NPQ has discussed the executive turnover at the agency, the most recent of which was George Sheldon, who resigned amid an investigation for conflict of interest. At the time that DCFS passed the Intact Family Services program on to nonprofit contractors, the agency was already under fire for child deaths under their watch, suggesting possible problems with the Intact Family Services model. If after six abuse investigations a family is still only considered “at risk,” what does it take for the family to be deemed unsafe?A possible consequence of staff turnover, both DCFS and nonprofit representatives questioned by the Tribune agree there was little programmatic oversight. DCFS Director Beverly Walker admits, “When we did that privatization, we…more or less just sent cases over and we didn’t have any expectations—or any good expectations—about what (the nonprofits) were going to do.”Kathy Grzelak, chief of Kaleidoscope 4 Kids, one of the Intact Family Services nonprofit contractors, said that while DCFS representatives did occasionally perform inspections, little information was communicated to the nonprofit. She said, “There is nothing in writing. There is no accountability. When are we going to get a more robust conversation about how we are doing?”That this is a tragic story goes without saying, but this case also raises incredibly important questions for the nonprofit sector. In “The Four Impulses of Nonprofits and What They Each Create,” Lester Salamon discusses the debate “over the extent to which we can rely on nonprofit institutions to handle critical public needs.” As more nonprofits are being relied on to be the primary provider of social and safety net services, what ground rules need to be created?This case brings up a question that NPQ has posed previously—when should nonprofits turn down funding? In addition to refusing contracts that don’t allow a nonprofit to recoup full costs, perhaps add this to the list: Turn down state contracts when the state agency is under fire, the program has a questionable model, and the agency knowingly expects nonprofits to take on an unrealistic caseload.Lastly, what responsibility do state agencies have in ensuring that nonprofit contractors operate effectively? Does the buck stop with the nonprofit, or with the lead agency, which should have been supervising the situation better?The Illinois DCFS and its nonprofit partners are playing the blame game, each placing the onus of responsibility on the other party. At the end of the day, both agencies were charged with ensuring the safety of the 15 children who died. There are no winners here.—Sheela NimishakaviShare24Tweet30Share28Email82 Shareslast_img read more

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has struck its first

first_imgUK commercial broadcaster ITV has struck its first mobile TV catch-up deal with mobile operator Three UK.Seachange International-owned On Demand Group has been chosen by ITV to deliver the latter’s content to smartphones via Three’s mobile network.Under the terms of the deal, Three’s customers will be able to watch a selection of the latest catch-up and archive content from ITV including X-Factor, Coronation Street, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.last_img

Netflix has struck a deal with Miramax to make Mir

first_imgNetflix has struck a deal with Miramax to make Miramax titles available on its forthcoming service in the UK and Ireland.Titles that will be available on the Netflix service in the UK and Ireland, in addition to movies already available in the US and Latin America, will include The Aviator, Bad Santa, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Chocolat and Finding Neverland.“Netflix is proud to be able to offer the unmatched mix of award-winning, independent and commercially successful films Miramax is known for,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. “Miramax films are already favorites of Netflix members in the US and Latin America and we’re sure they’ll be incredibly popular in the UK and Ireland as well.”Netflix’s service for the UK and Ireland is scheduled to go live in early 2012.last_img

International channel operator AMC Networks has ap

first_imgInternational channel operator AMC Networks has appointed John Derderian as senior counsel for its global channels arm AMC/Sundance Channel Global.Derderian will be in charge of all legal issues at the company and will negotiate carriage deals with cable, satellite, IPTV, and other pay television operators in Europe, Asia, and Latin America as the company looks to expand its network of channels. He was previously an associate at law firm Skadden, Arps and Hogan Lovells.last_img

Multiscreen technology company Elemental Technolog

first_imgMultiscreen technology company Elemental Technologies has announced that its customer base has more than doubled this year to include 250 media countries in nearly 40 countries.The company also said revenue growth year-on-year has exceeded 200%, with customer wins including the BBC, Columbus Communications, Media Prima, NHK and Red Bee.“By any measure, 2012 has been outstanding for Elemental – a gratifying endorsement of our sustainable growth strategy and best-in-class product line. Sales of our flagship Elemental Server and Elemental Live systems accelerated, and our recently launched Elemental Stream solution is off to a strong start,” said Sam Blackman, CEO and co-founder of Elemental. “We are grateful that so many customers have entrusted us with the critical responsibility of powering their innovative multiscreen, OTT and TV Everywhere deployments.”last_img

LG Smart TV Despite having the wow factor Ultra

first_imgLG Smart TVDespite having “the wow factor” Ultra High Definition take-up faces a number of challenges, including a slow TV replacement cycle among consumers, according to LG Electronics’ director of EU innovation R&D, Stuart Savage.Speaking at the Digital World Summit in London this week, Savage warned that like HD before it, UHD will take a long time to become a mass-market proposition, and warned that TV buying trends have slipped back into a roughly seven-year cycle.“Taking a step back to look at how HD developed, arguably it took 15 to 20 years from its initial inception before it became a huge mass-market proposition that it is today. Even today there’s still a lot of SD content around. UHD is probably going to take a similar course, so it’s not going to happen instantly, I think we all accept that,” said Savage.“We’re not going to get the perfect storm that we had a few years ago when high definition, analogue switch-off, flat panels, all arrived and there were multiple simultaneous reasons why people wanted to move at a single point. We saw at that point an exponential growth in sales of TVs. That’s now steadied off again and we’re now back into the normal lifecycle of TV purchasing.”Savage added: “UHD certainly has a wow-factor for consumers. Consumers who have seen it love it and say ‘when can I have it, when’s the broadcasting starting?’ Well unfortunately it’s not quite as simple as that.”He said that currently there are lot of challenges and Ultra HD parameters to be worked out, though predicted that the industry will eventually “arrive at the same place.”last_img read more

South African pay TV operator MultiChoices digita

first_imgSouth African pay TV operator MultiChoice’s digital-terrestrial pay TV service GOtv has launched in Rwanda.Rwandans who purchase a GOtv set-top will receive two months’ subscription bundled in.The service faces competition in Rwanda from China’s StarTimes. MultiChoice’s DStv platform is also available in the country.The GOtv service is being launched in partnership with local media group Tele 10, which last year unveiled plans to launch a mobile TV offering in association with Net-M, a German NTT Docomo affiliate, France’s Mobibase and Germany’s Cyberroute.GOtv is currently available in Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.last_img

Liberty Media is to spinoff its cable assets into

first_imgLiberty Media is to spin-off its cable assets into a separate publicly-traded business.The company has announced the creation of Liberty Broadband, which will house Liberty’s 26.4% stake in US cable company Charter Communications, a minority shareholding in Time Warner Cable and mobile unit True Position Technologies.This follows a complex Charter agreement to acquire and swap 3.9 million cable subscribers from TWC, which NBCUniversal owner Comcast Communication was forced to dispense with as a term of its US$45.2 billion takeover of TWC. That deal still requires regulatory approval.“We believe a separate Liberty Broadband will offer investors greater choice and transparency, and is well timed with Charter’s agreements with Comcast which will result in Charter owning or serving over eight million video customers,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media’s president and CEO.“We anticipate completing the distribution of the Series C shares in the third quarter and the spin-off by the end of the year.”Liberty Media had planned to create two cable distribution divisions, Liberty Media Group and Liberty Broadband Group, though this plan has now been shelved in favour of a hard spin and creation of Liberty Broadband.Liberty spun out premium US cable business Starz into a separate company last year.Liberty Media will house radio business Sirius XM, Live National Entertainment and the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Liberty Media last week posted first quarter revenues of US$1.01 billion, up US$222 million year-on-year. Operating income grew US$4 million to US$155 million.It emerged last week John Malone’s other major cable business, Liberty Global, is buying UK-based production powerhouse All3Media along with Discovery Communications, and will launch a 50-50 joint venture company to house that stake.last_img read more

Sky is planning to launch a next generation Now

first_imgSky is planning to launch a “next generation” Now TV box later this year, and is planning to launch a similar device in Italy as part of a wider over-the-top push.Speaking on Sky’s earnings call yesterday, group CEO Jeremy Darroch said that there were further opportunities for the newly expanded Sky to “really get behind” its OTT offerings in each of its territories and “transform some of the learnings from the UK into Italy and Germany.”Following Sky’s Germany launch in December of a Roku-powered streaming media box to let viewers access Sky Online and Snap on their TVs, Darroch said that it now planned to launch “a similar box” in Italy. Sky first launched its Roku-powered Now TV box to compliment its UK over-the-top offering back in July 2013.Discussing Sky’s plans for Now TV in the UK, Darroch said that in the next few months it would launch a “major marketing campaign” for the service and roll out a new look and feel for the brand.“We’ll be updating our user interface to drive engagement and consumption and we’ve got an outstanding line up of new exclusive content, which will bring to the next generation of Now TV box which will also upgrade later in the year,” said Darroch.In its fiscal second quarter results yesterday, Sky said that Now TV enjoyed a “record quarter of growth” boosted by partnerships with retailers like Dixons Carphone and new commercial partnerships with companies including Google and Vodafone. While it did not break down user or revenue numbers for Now TV, Sky said that transactions through the service had trebled.It also said in a presentation to investors that it planned to push the service harder in 2015 with the brand campaign, more marketing support and the upgraded user interface and experience.“As penetration of connected devices increases, Sky is opening up new revenue streams. Revenues to Sky Store in the UK and Ireland were up 90% year on year with ‘buy and keep’ now regularly ranked number one or two among digital retailers for new releases,” said Sky in its earnings report.Separately, it was reported earlier this week that Sky is planning to launch a next-generation set-top box for its pay TV subscribers in the spring that will support ultra high-definition, 4K content.Sky’s footprint now spans the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy after Sky completed its acquisition of Sky Italia and 95.8% of Sky Deutschland at the end of last year.last_img read more

PCCW Media Group is launching its overthetop OT

first_imgPCCW Media Group is launching its over-the-top (OTT) multi-screen video service, Viu in Singapore.The firm said the rollout is marks a further step in Viu’s regional expansion, after it went live first in Hong Kong.PCCW said the service will now be progressively rolled out in Malaysia, Indonesia and India with an expanding Asian content catalogue of Korean, Japanese, Chinese titles and more to suit the different markets.At the same time Viu has agreed a pan-regional deal with four Korean broadcasters – SBS, KBS, MBC and CJ E&M.last_img

A ban on junk food advertising in the UK will appl

first_imgA ban on junk food advertising in the UK will apply across all media, extending the rules that already apply to kids TV.The widening of the ban beyond TV means advertising of all high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) products is prohibited online and on social media, in print and in cinemas.The HFSS ban in kids TV has divided opinion, with many parents and consumer groups welcoming the move. Producers and channel operators in the UK have, however, noted that it removed the financial structures that underpinned the financing of kids content.Commercial channels ITV and Channel 4 both reduced their commitment to kids TV in the wake of the original TV ban, leaving pubcaster the BBC as the only large-scale commissioner of kids programming in the UK.The new media-wide rules, announced this morning by the UK Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), come into force in July 2017. Specifically, commercials for HFSS products aimed at under 16s will be prohibited.Some lobby groups have called for the measures to go further and extend to all content that has a large under 16 audience. The CAP notes the new rules do apply to all content where 25% of the audience is children.James BestA UK Department of Health model is used to decide what products qualify as HFSS.“Childhood obesity is a serious and complex issue and one that we’re determined to play our part in tackling,” said James Best, CAP chairman.“These restrictions will significantly reduce the number of ads for high, fat, salt or sugar products seen by children. Our tough new rules are a clear demonstration that the ad industry is willing and ready to act on its responsibilities and puts the protection of children at the heart of its work.”last_img read more

David ZaslavDiscovery Communications CEO David Zas

first_imgDavid ZaslavDiscovery Communications CEO David Zaslav has said the ability to mine Scripps Networks Interactive’s catalogue was the key driver behind the US$14.6 billion deal.During a roundtable discussion at MIPCOM last week, Zaslav passionately talked up the deal, whose price tag raised eyebrows after an initial valuation was around US$9 billion, saying its rationale had been “a little bit misunderstood.“What people don’t see, which is the most important thing to us, is they own all of their content, which has long view length and superfans, and really aligns with us,” he said.“When we looked at the market place, we saw us, Scripps and Disney as the only three global media companies that own all of their content and have the ability to sell it to any platform. We saw it as a very large acquisition of superfan IP.”From a more traditional standpoint, he added there was “substantial synergy” between Discovery and Scripps, said Zaslav. “Together we have most of the quality brands in the US with meaningful scale. People are looking for quality brands in bundles and we think together we will have a lot of weight.”He also reaffirmed that some Scripps brands may be moved to new platforms as Discovery looks to take them around the world to exploit the wholly owned catalogue of content.Questioned how producers would survive if major media groups continue to push deeper into IP and rights ownership, Zaslav suggested the number of new commissioning platforms – including Facebook, Snap and YouTube, Netflix and Amazon plus more traditional networks ­­– meant there was more business for prodcos than ever before.He said Discovery’s 50% ownership of UK-based All3Media meant the Marylands-based content giant could “steady” its bet on historically small profit margins.The Scripps deal still needs regulatory and shareholder approval.On completion, Scripps’ shareholders (95% of whom are from the Scripps family) will own 20% of Discovery’s stock, with Scripps chairman, president and CEO Kenneth Lowe expected to join the board.last_img read more

Danish telco and cable operator TDC is to make its

first_imgDanish telco and cable operator TDC is to make its Telmore Play on-demand service available to viewers throughout the EU from April 1, when new EU rules on trans-frontier content portability come into force.TDC said that it would make all entertainment services available across Europe, including TV and movie streaming to mobile devices.The EU has so far restricted enforcing content portability to news and current affairs programming, following decisions by the European Parliament and Council that fell short of more far-reaching changes demand by the European Commission.TDC said that Telmore Play customers would be able to stream HBO Nordic, TV 2 Play, CMORE and My Bio content across EU frontiers from April.Jens Grønlund, director of Telmore, said that Play customers would be able to enjoy all their entertainment packages anywhere in the EU. The service will also be available in Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.Users will also be able to access the Telmore Music, Flipp and Bookmate e-reaching services.Viewers will be able to access their packages for up to 30 days at a time outside Denmark. They will be able to access the content again for the same period after returning to the country between trips.last_img read more

UK TV platform Freeview is due to launch a new mob

first_imgUK TV platform Freeview is due to launch a new mobile app on January 22, 2019 that it says will act as a “one-stop-shop” for the nation’s most-watched content.The free-to-use app will let viewers stream live channels from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and access on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and UKTV Play.Further catch up players and live channels have been promised “in due course”, with the app to launch on iOS initially followed by an Android rollout in early 2019.Freeview announced the app at its Outside the Box event at BAFTA in London today, claiming it to be a “significant step” for the platform.The app will allow viewers to watch live Freeview programming without using a TV aerial for the first time, marking a major evolution of the Freeview service in line with changing viewing habits.“In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, the new Freeview mobile app is an excellent example of broadcaster and industry collaboration in action,” said Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK – the organisation that leads the development of Freeview.“Today’s viewers value having access to their favourite shows when and where they want and the new app provides the aggregated experience that consumers increasingly expect from a TV provider.“We’re putting the best of free-to-air content – public service and commercial – in to one place on mobile just as we have on TV, ensuring that great free tv is available to everyone wherever they are”.The app is the result of a collaboration between Digital UK and Freeview’s common shareholders – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and infrastructure firm Arqiva. The latter led the software build and integrated the app with the content providers’ metadata feeds.News of the app comes after Ofcom CEO Sharon White in March urged the UK’s public service broadcasters to work together in order to compete in an age of changing viewing habits and large digital rivals like Netflix and Amazon.“Our PSBs may increasingly need to join forces to increase their bargaining power, just as they are doing with TV manufacturers. Increasingly, they will need to collaborate to compete,” White told delegates of Deloitte and Enders Analysis’ ‘Media and Telecoms 2018 & Beyond’ conference in London earlier this year.The new Freeview app will replace the current Freeview TV Guide app, which lists what’s on the TV service for the next seven days.last_img read more

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Amazon has added the AE Networks History Play st

first_imgAmazon has added the A+E Networks’ History Play streaming service to its line-up of Prime Video Channels in the UK, Germany and Austria, marking the first time the service has been available in the three countries.Prime members will gain access to History Play with an add -n subscription of £3.99 in the UK and €3.99 per month in Germany and Austria, with a seven-day free trial in the UK and a 14-day free trial in Germany and Austria.The service will be available on smart TVs, iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire tablets and games consoles and through the web.At launch the service will offer UK Prime members shows including Madness front man Suggs who teams up with leading detectorist Stephen Taylor as they unearth secrets from the Second World War inWW2 Treasure Hunters, Hunting Hitler and The Curse of Oak Island.“We’re thrilled to now offer Prime members in the UK, Germany and Austria access to a wide-range of popular documentaries and series for the first time with A+E’s on-demand subscription service, History Play, through Prime Video Channels.  History Play adds an incredible line up of ground-breaking stories across different areas of history, to the wide selection of entertainment we offer customers through Prime Video Channels in the UK, Germany and Austria,” said Julian Monaghan, European MD of Channels at Amazon Prime Video. Dean Possenniskie, managing director, A+E Networks EMEA, said: “Launching History Play is a great opportunity to share our quality content with new audiences through Prime Video Channels.  With our mix of UK talent-led commissions and our best-in-class factual programming from around the world, History Play will present a unique offering to Prime members.”last_img read more