Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How men can have a healthy 2019 Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) – An approaching storm prompted the U.S. military to place its base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under an alert Wednesday and cancel several days of pretrial hearings in the case of five prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks.The military planned to evacuate about 200 people, including legal teams and relatives of Sept. 11 victims, who traveled to the remote base in southeast Cuba to attend hearings that had been scheduled to start Thursday, said Army Lt. Col. Joseph Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman. Comments Share The judge in the case, Army Col. James Pohl, issued an order postponing the hearings until further notice due to a “concern for the safety and welfare of all personnel.”The Navy placed the base, which has about 6,000 personnel in all, on an alert Wednesday due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, which was expected to bring winds of nearly 60 mph (100 kph) within 72 hours. Officials warned military and civilian personnel to prepare emergency shelters and secure loose objects that could become projectiles in heavy wind.A prison spokesman, Navy Capt. Robert Durand, says all 168 prisoners will be in buildings that can sustain hurricane-force winds and that the military has plans in place to provide shelter for all troops and civilians.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Parents, stop beating yourself up
JACKSONVILLE8591524.56496125853+573.5315-33 CHICAGO8311444.575100416257+576.8829-19 BALTIMORE9561595.599112546833+3587.0234-14 TEAMCOMPATTCOMP %YARDS TDINTTD/INT RATIOPASSERRATING3-YEAR RECORD CINCINNATI10081665.605113027550+2583.3223-25 PITTSBURGH9931592.624122357038+3290.8032-16 SEATTLE8821458.605102145644+1281.9125-23 DALLAS11891804.659136539150+4093.8122-26 SAN DIEGO10631654.643129768348+3592.9624-24 CLEVELAND9441614.585101714549-473.7214-34 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact NEW ORLEANS13451994.6751532812255+6799.2231-17 BUFFALO9611608.598106587263+978.1016-32 Top Stories GREEN BAY11021651.6671385812229+93109.9936-12 HOUSTON10071595.631121126634+3291.2528-20 INDIANAPOLIS10911841.593122977049+2180.8823-25 NY GIANTS10211667.612129028656+3088.5728-20 WASHINGTON9861638.602119856451+1382.7821-27 SAN FRANCISCO8481387.611103576028+3290.1530-18 MINNESOTA8911498.59595175255-374.3919-29 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Most who followed the team in any capacity knew there would be a drop off from the production at the quarterback position after Warner’s exodus. But you would have had to be Nostradamus after LASIK surgery to see at the time how badly the position would suffer.In Warner’s last three seasons as a Cardinal, he completed 65.4 percent (1,021-of-1,562) of his passes for 11,753 yards with 83 touchdowns and only 45 interceptions. In that time span, Warner was 24-18 as a starter while guiding the Cardinals to back-to-back NFC West titles and an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII.I’m not breaking any news here, but the three years that have followed have been a quarterbacking disaster.Don’t believe me? Look at the numbers. The Cardinals are 18-30 since Warner’s retirement, which is the fifth-worst record in the league in that span. But concentrating just on QB play, Arizona has been even worse. The six-headed monster (comprised of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer) has completed 929-of-1,719 passes for 10,601 yards with 42 touchdowns and 63 interceptions. They combined to complete only 54 percent of their passes, the worst in the league over the three-season span (the Jets are next-worst at 55.6 percent.) They’ve combined to throw only 42 touchdown passes in 48 regular season games — the worst mark in the league. To put that in perspective, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints has thrown more than that in each of the last two regular seasons! TENNESSEE8441598.591109686345+1881.3221-27 NY JETS8701565.556101406051+974.6125-23 MIAMI9081530.593106055047+378.5120-28 PHILADELPHIA10451733.603125666853+1582.8822-26 DETROIT12512039.614142118949+4086.7920-28 CAROLINA8521493.571106514950-176.3515-33 TAMPA BAY9821648.596115467047+2383.2121-27 ARIZONA9291719.540106014263-2165.6918-30 ST. LOUIS9781696.577105534939+1076.1116-32 – / 21 KANSAS CITY8461450.58394144846+275.5719-29 OAKLAND9701644.590118826255+780.0020-28 0 Comments Share NEW ENGLAND11351760.6451412311026+84103.9439-9 DENVER9531597.597116868236+4690.0225-23 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Compounding the lack of touchdown passes is the number of interceptions Cardinals quarterbacks have thrown — 63, tied for the most in the league with Buffalo. The Cardinals are one of only four teams along with Carolina, Minnesota and Cleveland, with a negative touchdown-to-interception ratio, and their mark (-21) is 17 picks worse than the second-worst team.And then we come to the all-important stat of Passer Rating. While, predictably, teams like Green Bay (109.99), New England (103.94) and New Orleans (99.22) top the list, the Cardinals bring up the rear with a paltry figure of 65.69 — by far the worst in the league since the beginning of the 2011 season. Second-worst? Jacksonville, with a rating of 73.53.Sorry I had to be the one to crystallize the ineptitude of Cardinals quarterbacks in the last three years. Sure, you had a good idea about it already, but still.The bad news is the Cardinals still haven’t found a solution at the position heading into the 2013 season.NFL PASSING STATS 2010-2012 ATLANTA11481786.643128098936+5393.7436-12 I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve read a reference to the fact that it was three years ago — January 29, 2010 — that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner hung up his cleats after a stellar 12-year NFL career. Unfortunately, it will be the most painful reminder of that event.It hurt at the time. The Cardinals were not only relevant for the first time since they had moved to the Valley from St. Louis in 1988, they were among the best and most exciting teams in the league.
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “So many great things happened for me and my family in St. Louis due to the people and the support of the community and just that period of time and watching that community come together,” Warner said. “We will always have a special place in our heart.”Warner’s career took him from stocking groceries to the Arena Football League, and then, in 1999, with the help of some lucky breaks, Warner became an NFL legend.When starting quarterback Trent Green went down in the preseason, Warner finally got his opportunity and promptly took full advantage of it. He threw for 4,353 yards and 41 touchdowns while leading what was billed at the time as the “Greatest Show on Turf,” to a 13-3 record and a thrilling 23-16 win over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. It was the Rams’ only championship in St. Louis.Warner’s Rams would return to the Super Bowl two years later as a 14-point favorite over the New England Patriots and an unknown quarterback named Tom Brady, who went on to lead a fourth quarter comeback that was capped off by Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal that won the game as time expired.“I definitely don’t associate myself with the L.A. Rams and what does that look like as part of the Rams family being from here on out, it will be something that I’m completely unfamiliar with from the organization,” Warner said. “I’m very interested in seeing how this all plays out and how you feel as a member of the Rams family, but a member of somewhere else and something different — how that feels and what that looks like going forward.” LISTEN: Kurt Warner, former Cardinals quarterback Before he became a Valley sports legend by leading the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl, Kurt Warner was a legend in another NFL city.And when the history of the St. Louis Rams is written, Warner will go down as one of its greatest players ever.But on the day after the NFL announced the St. Louis Rams are no more and are heading back to Los Angeles, where they played from 1946-1994, Warner has mixed feelings.He told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday morning how it’s difficult and is not sure where his place will be with the L.A. Rams. If the Rams do decided to retire Warner’s No. 13 jersey, it will hang from a stadium in a city that Warner has no connection with. It will be similar circumstance that another Rams great faced for the last 21 years when Eric Dickerson’s No. 29 hung from the rafters of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, despite him playing for the Los Angeles version of the Rams from 1983-87.On Tuesday night, Dickerson tweeted two simple words regarding his former team returning to L.A., “Welcome Home!”“It would definitely be strange to be at a completely different building and kind of go through that process,” Warner said of being associated with the Los Angeles version of the Rams. “Again, only time will tell what this means for former St. Louis Rams and what that looks like moving forward.“Maybe it’s not that big of a deal as I think. You’re just proud to be associated with the Rams organization regardless of where they are. So I really don’t know. It’s just kind of a wired feeling to think that a huge part of my career and some great memeories were established in St. Louis and now I will probably never go back to see another Rams game in St. Louis and be a part of that. It will be strange.” St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner talks to Rams head coach Dick Vermeil, at center, and other coaches during a St. Louis Rams timeout in the second quarter in Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Your browser does not support the audio element. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments Share
New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineWinner of 9 tournaments in 2011 including the Australian Open and Wimbledon, Audemars Piguet’s new ambassador Novak Djokovic has now won the US Open, his fourth prestigious Grand Slam tournament victory of his career.Djokovic is truly enjoying an exceptional season in 2011. After fighting hard in the US Open semis against Swiss champion Roger Federer, and losing the first two sets, he managed to win the following three sets to advance into the finals.The clash with Spanish player Rafael Nadal was eagerly anticipated. While the two have played 29 times in their careers, Djokovic had the advantage of having beaten the Spanish player five times already in 2011. Producing a nearly perfect performance to match his nearly perfect season, the No. 1-ranked Djokovic returned brilliantly, whipped winners from all angles and beat No. 2 Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 in a match filled with lengthy, mesmerizing points to earn the first U.S. Open championship of his career and third Grand Slam trophy of 2011.After an intense match, Novak Djokovic finally hoisted the trophy while proudly wearing his favourite watch; a Royal Oak Offshore Diver.Audemars Piguet is proud to have the world’s number 1 tennis player as part of its team of ambassadors and to share with him the same values of excellence and audacity.www.audemarspiguet.com
15Jun Reps. Lauwers, LaFontaine give unique virtual tour of the Capitol Categories: Lauwers News Lawmakers take Marysville students on field trip using video chatState Reps. Dan Lauwers and Andrea LaFontaine today gave students at Gardens Elementary in Marysville their first-ever virtual tour of the Capitol.Using a video chat program, the lawmakers showed the third-graders around the House and Senate chambers, the governor’s office and the old courtroom for the Michigan Supreme Court. The students even got to experience a view of the Capitol’s dome as Reps. Lauwers and LaFontaine lay down on the floor of the rotunda, often a favorite activity of kids who visit the Capitol in person.“This was a unique way to reach out to students who couldn’t make it to the Capitol, and pique their interest in state government,” said Rep. Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “I loved seeing their enthusiasm as they got an interactive, behind-the-scenes look at what we do in Lansing.”Rep. LaFontaine – who attended high school and college with Mrs. Jessica Hebel, the technology teacher at Gardens Elementary – said Mrs. Hebel has been so innovative in hosting an array of virtual field trips, giving her students a front row seat on tours of local farms, Puerto Rico, and now the state Capitol.“This virtual tour was a great opportunity for students who couldn’t make it to the Capitol building this year,” said Rep. LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township. “Even if they couldn’t be here in person, these students got an interactive, first-hand tour of the beautiful building we are fortunate to work in. And to no surprise on our end, the students were able to rattle off all three branches of government without hesitation. It was a great way for the students to demonstrate what they learned in their classroom lessons on government.”##### PHOTO: Rep. Dan Lauwers, left, and Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, right, video chat with third-grade students at Gardens Elementary in Marysville as they gave the kids a virtual tour of the Capitol.
State Rep. Roger Victory, of Hudsonville, has been appointed to serve the state budget committee as chair of the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee by Speaker Tom Leonard.“It’s an honor to be appointed to this position allows me to reflect on my professional experience when making important budget decisions for our state,” Victory said.Victory owns Victory Farms, a year-round specialty crop producer in Michigan. He is also an executive board member of the Michigan Vegetable Council, vice president of the Vriesland Growers Cooperative and serves on the National Council of Agricultural Employees.The third-term legislator was also selected to serve as a member of the Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Transportation subcommittees.“I believe in creating a budget that works for the people of Michigan,” he said. “That means tightening our belts and making wise and responsible investments that will benefit our state economy.”House committees will have their first meetings in the coming weeks.### Categories: Victory News 26Jan Rep. Victory to play a key role in budget committee
Categories: Howrylak News,News 07Sep Rep. Howrylak plan protects vulnerable adults from acts of coercion A proposal introduced Thursday by state Rep. Martin Howrylak provides penalties for an individual who attempts to extract sexually explicit visual material from vulnerable adults, including seniors and the mentally or physically disabled.The dangerous trend has become more common with technological advancements such as smart phones and social media. According to the Justice Department, people with intellectual disabilities are victims of some of the highest rates of sexual assault with a rate seven times that of people without disabilities.The idea for this legislation comes from a local resident to whom this nightmare scenario occurred, Howrylak said. The young woman was preyed upon and her vulnerable status was used to the perpetrator’s advantage. Unbeknownst to her parents, the young woman fearfully complied with these requests as this “bad man,” in the young woman’s terms, barraged her with coercive commands.” Because no current Michigan law covers this situation, the suspect was sentenced to less than a week in jail for his actions at the city level.“It’s the role of state government to ensure that the public is protected,” said Howrylak, of Troy. “My bill is very simple – it cracks down on the act of coercing, persuading or outright blackmailing someone who is vulnerable into providing them with explicit material. We’ve seen a spike in this disturbing activity with the rise in technology and Michigan should be on the forefront of deterring it.”If passed, House Bill 6347 would protect vulnerable adults from anyone who may request, persuade, convince, threaten, command, force, or coerce them into providing sexually explicit visual material. A violation of this would result in a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. HB 6347 has been referred to the House Law and Justice Committee for consideration.
Share5TweetShare4Email9 Shares October 11, 2015; The AgeThe claims to fame of the Latrobe area of Pennsylvania are Rolling Rock beer and Arnold Palmer. In the very far away Latrobe Valley of Australia, one of the less attractive features is the presence of four operating coal-burning plants that burn lignite, or “brown coal,” a low-heat but high-carbon-generating fuel. Australia’s Greens are calling for the closure of these brown coal plants, declaring it inevitable. Ellen Sandell, a spokesperson for Victoria state’s Greens, explained that the regions needs a government body to oversee the transition from coal to cleaner energy sources and also to attract new industries to the region to replace the lost coal-dependent jobs.This issue arises for U.S. foundations and nonprofits, too, as they try to shut down coal-burning plants—and coal mining in general—while finding new economic opportunities for the communities that have historically depended on coal for jobs and commerce.The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation has been a leader in this arena for some time, supporting, for example, the Appalachian Transition Fellowship toward creating and accelerating transition in Central Appalachia. Unlike the retrograde politicians who will do whatever they can to insulate the coal industry against inevitable change, the Fellowship indicates that the transition away from coal “allows regionally-based industries to prosper while also protecting and supporting the environmental and social well-being of the region….[but it] depends upon increasing the capacity of organizations and stakeholders working to address the systemic problems of the region.” The fellows get sponsored and hosted by one or more regional institutions to learn about and share ideas around sustainable energy, local food systems, and alternative economic models for Appalachia.Founded by a young inheritor of wealth, the Chorus Foundation has made economic transition from coal-dependent economies a focal point for its giving. Among its anchor grantees on transition from coal have been Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development. In 2015, Chorus made grants building upon ten grants that apparently came out of a 2014 RFP based on a set of principles for the economic transition, economic activities that are sustainable, utilizing clean and renewable energy sources, “supported by an authentic participatory democracy,” “celebrat(ing) Kentucky’s unique culture,” and “invest(ing) in the workers and communities that have been tied to the old fossil fuel-based economy.”The Chorus Foundation’s support for economic transition isn’t just in Appalachia. It has also supported the Black Mesa Water Coalition, which has taken aim at four coal-burning plans and two coalmines in and around the Navajo Nation. The BMWC’s strategy, like all of the transition projects described here, recognizes that jobs are at stake, particularly in an area like the Navajo Nation where unemployment is already over 50 percent. “It’s not only about transitioning our utility,” remarks the BMWC’s Nicole Alex, “but also, how are we going to transition this society that has been impacted, and how are we going to transition this economy that has been devastated by energy development?”Contrast the attention of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Chorus Foundation, and nonprofits such as MACED, KFTC, and BMWC to the well-being of the communities, with the approach of Peabody Coal Company, which owns the two coal mines located on the Navajo reservation itself. In Indiana, 208 retired Squaw Creek Coal Company miners and their dependents (the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put the number at 969 retired miners) were stunned to learn that in the bankruptcy negotiations regarding Patriot Coal Company, the company proposed stripping the retirees of $18 million in health insurance to pay for the bankruptcy attorneys and other bankruptcy legal costs. What was Patriot? It was a spin-off of Peabody, structured to control a small mining interest at Squaw Creek, but loaded with Peabody’s pension and health insurance obligations. With all those obligations and so little in the way of assets, Patriot progressed inexorably toward bankruptcy, putting the pension and health benefits at clearly foreseeable risk. Patriot had already spun off Peabody’s health insurance and pension obligations into a fund with only enough capital adequate for only a few years. The treatment of the Squaw Creek retirees simply shows how much Peabody was concerned about the welfare of the people who devoted their lives to its coal mining operations.The comparison is all but obvious. In an editorial titled, “Coal companies have a final dirty trick for miners,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminded its readers about the old coal industry joke: “The company gets the profits; the miners get the shaft.” As the editorial explained:Officials at the United Mine Workers of America make a convincing case that Patriot was designed to fail from conception. It was created, they argue, so that two of the nation’s largest coal companies, Peabody and St. Louis-based Arch Coal, could shed expensive union pension and health obligations promised to miners.[…]These miners were promised health care benefits for life. After decades in unsafe and unhealthy conditions in the mines, many of them depend on those benefits to treat respiratory conditions, chronic injuries and other work-related maladies.But those promises, like so many made by the coal industry, turned out to be empty. Coal executives will walk away from the ruins of Patriot with pockets stuffed full. During the previous reorganization, executives were paid nearly $7 million in bonuses even as worker pay and benefits were slashed.But the miners, current and retired? Well, we all know what they’ll get.The transition strategy of Peabody/Patriot and other coal companies is clear: Foundations have to be strong and united in their fight to replace dirty coal with clean, renewable energies while not screwing workers in the process.—Rick CohenShare5TweetShare4Email9 Shares
TV software company Access has announced the UK launch of NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile.The new web kit-based HTML5 browser offers support for DTV and IPTV standards including BBC iPlayer, D-Book 7 and HbbTV. As well as providing operators with an HTML5 web-browser, the browser is also a user interface and graphics engine, designed to enable functionality including the display and running on TVs, set-top boxes and CE devices of animated and 3D EPGs and VOD portals, and running multiplayer HTML5 games. Access will highlight the NX 2.0 DTV Profile at IP&TV World Forum 2012 in London from March 20-22.“We have developed NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile using the WebKit Core and then used our extensive expertise in delivering embedded software solutions to provide the video industry with the best possible browser for connected TV, media sharing and OTT applications,” said Neale Foster, vice-president of global sales, Access. “It’s clear that the desktop browser industry is 100% behind HTML5 and we think it’s crucial that the broadcast and video industries follow suit. Our approach of extending WebKit engine with specific industry requirements such as HbbTV, BBC iPlayer, DLNA and D-Book 7 provides TV and set-top box manufacturers, middleware providers, chipset vendors and application developers with the best browser for rendering web contents and displaying on-screen UI and graphics. We will continue to develop new functionality to make sure that the technology lead that NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile has continues to increase.”
Bridge Technologies has released a new advanced reporting engine for its VBC controller-server.The VBC controller-server provides data correlation and drives the digital monitoring probe system’s graphic status displays. Hosting the new reporting engine, the VBC provides the capability for operators to automate the generation of detailed reports for use in analysis and verification.Based on the VBC’s built-in PostScript interpreter, the reporting engine produces PDF documents to pinpoint specific issues, and can be set up to automate report production and distribution to mailing lists. Including data on a range of parameters used in monitoring terrestrial – including DVB-T2 – satellite, cable and OTT services, the reports complement the system’s existing capabilities for data export to third-party systems.“Like every aspect of the Bridge Technologies system, the reporting capability delivers outstanding value by being incredibly easy to use,” said Simen Frostad, Bridge Technologies chairman. “Tools can be as clever as you like, but if they are too complicated to use, the benefits are limited. So our reporting engine delivers great results with very little initial configuration, and then automates the process, leaving staff free to get on with providing unbeatable service quality.”All customers of Bridge Technologies with VBC controller-servers and a reporting license will receive the new reporting capability as standard.Bridge Technologies will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 1.A30
UK-based digital TV software specialist Pixsan has licensed Comcast Reference Development Kit (RDK) and will provide outsourced RDK implementations to operators, equipment manufacturers and chipset providers. Comcast’s RDK is designed to provide a common framework for tru2way interactive TV via IP or hybrid boxes and gateways.“Pixsan has been developing digital TV software platforms for many years and we are particularly excited about RDK and its recent progression into European DVB markets,” said Pixsan managing director Jon Williams. “The key to success for rapid broadcast-IP uptake at all levels of the value chain, namely consumer, operator and device, needs to be a common framework approach and RDK offers our markets exactly this opportunity.”
TiVo has launched a limited edition, low-price TiVo Roamio over-the-air DVR, aimed at US customers who do not have cable or satellite service.Initially retailing at US$49.99 (€37.87) , TiVo Roamio OTA is an antenna DVR that will allow customers to watch and record programmes from their local TV networks, and access popular internet video services like Netflix and YouTube.The device contains 500GB of storage, capable of storing 75 hours of HD programming and recording up to four shows simultaneously.Like other TiVo Roamio-branded devices, it also includes universal search, free mobile apps, and compatibility with TiVo Stream and TiVo Mini devices to extend the TV experience throughout the home and beyond.“Many top TV shows in America are available with a simple HD antenna. TiVo is devoted to making the best possible cable TV user experience available through our operator partners and in retail, but we recognise some viewers opt not to receive the benefits a subscription with a cable provider offers,” said said TiVo CMO Ira Bahr.“TiVo Roamio OTA makes sure that they too can get a best in class DVR experience through an antenna, including our world renowned interface and industry defining recording capability at our most affordable price point ever.”
Dominik KoechlinThe chairman of the board of directors for Swiss service provider Sunrise, Dominik Koechlin, has died unexpectedly aged 56.In a statement, Sunrise said that Koechlin passed away after “a rapid deterioration in his state of health on 12 July, 2015.”Sunrise vice-chairman Lorne Somerville said: “Dominik’s death is a tragic loss for all of us. He was the first independent member to join the board when CVC made its investment in Sunrise in October 2010. He has been a constant source of wisdom, generosity and kindness throughout his time with us. We offer his family our deepest and most sincere condolences.”The Sunrise board has appointed Somerville as its new chairman for the remaining term of office until the next ordinary general meeting of shareholders. Current board member Peter Schöpfer has been appointed as the new vice-chairman, while current board member Jesper Ovesen joins the nomination and compensation committee of the board.
HBO Bulgaria has pulled its HBO and Cinemax services from pay TV operator Bulsatcom’s platform after what it describes as the latter’s continuing failure to pay licence fees owed to it.HBO Bulgaria said that it hoped to resolve the situation but that discussions between the pair were currently suspended.Stara Zagora-based Bulsatcom hit back by accusing HBO of demanding unrealistically high prices and minimum subscriber guarantees while the pair were negotiating a new contract.The pay TV operator said that the terms would mean a significant hike in prices for its subscribers and accused HBO of acting in bad faith.Bulsatcom has said it will compensate prepaid customers with the HBO package by delivering services of their choice up to 150% of the value of the package.
Technicolor reported a 30% year-on-year increase in Q3 profits as its Connected Home and Entertainment Services divisions continued to drive growth.Announcing its third quarter revenues, Technicolor said they were up 29.8% at constant and 29.3% at current currency, coming in at €1.135 billion – reflecting “solid organic performance” and “further benefits from last year acquisitions”.Technicolor, which completed its buyout of Cisco’s set-top box division for US$600 million (€561 million) last November, said its Connected Home division, where this asset now sits, turned in a “solid performance” with revenue up 82.9% on a like-for-like basis to €606 million.Second half revenues for Connected Home will be in line with first half revenues with a strong focus on execution in a “market challenged by component shortages and international shipping disruptions,” said Technicolor.Entertainment Services, which covers services including post-production, VFX and virtual reality (VR), experienced a 16.6% increase in revenues at constant rates to €486 million.The company also cited the launch of its VR and augmented reality (AR) Technicolor Experience Center in July as a highlight for the quarter.“Our third quarter revenues have been solid as we continued to perform well and win major new awards across all our activities,” said Technicolor CEO, Frederic Rose. “We confirm our objectives for 2016 and remain strongly focused on operational execution.”
Telco TV technology provider Netgem is to widen its product offering to deliver smart home products in response to what it says is demand from some of its customers.The move comes as the French company posted a 6% decline in revenues for the full year to €74.3 million and a 15% decline in Q4 revenues to €15.5 million.Netgem will focus its incremental R&D investments on its Cloud Service Platform, focusing on a single-app user experience, secure management and analytical tools, interoperability with the proprietary offerings of larger players in the space and a limited range of digital devices targeted at Netgem’s core telecom market clients.Netgem said that the development of the new connected devices would make use of existing technological assets and be complemented by appropriate partnerships. The company will initially focus on voice control, connected sound, surveillance and home automation.Netgem said it would debut its new product line at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.Despite its fall in revenues, Netgem said that it would report gross profit growth on a full year basis, as revenue from its cloud-based TV platform and the software-as-as-service model was already more than compensating downward pressure on device prices.Last year saw Netgem launch Vitis, a separate ‘fibre virtual network operator’ with the aim of offering high-speed broadband services in five underserved French departments, headed by former Videofutur chief Mathias Hautefort, with Netgem taking a 55% stake in the venture. Vitis results were not consolidated for the last two months of 2016.Netgem has separately secured a raft of additional content partnerships to take its total content partners to more than 60 at the end of last year.Sylvain ThevenotNetgem, which packages content for service providers as well as providing technology, has signed partnerships with content providers including Hayu, Cool School, Plex, Smart Kids TV Gamefly, SPI and Couchplay Games.“The telecoms market is an incredibly competitive space, with a range of service providers competing for hard to maintain revenue streams and gain new customers” said Sylvain Thevenot, managing director of Netgem.“By signing agreements with leading content providers on our #TelcoTV platform, we are enabling telcos to save both in terms of cost and time-to-market as they deploy engaging TV programming to their customers. Operators can then focus on delivering the best customer experience, rather than having to deal with the challenges of securing and maintaining content services and building out content management infrastructure.”
Russian service provider Akado has added MTV Russia to its programming line-up as part of its basic digital package.The addition of the channel comes via an agreement between Akado, which operates the Komkor service in Moscow and St Petersburg, and Viacom International Media Networks.The channel will be the 11th Viacom service on the Akado platform, joining Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon HD, Nick Jr, Paramount Comedy, MTV Rocks, MTV Hits, MTV Dance, MTV Live, the European feed of VH1 and VH1 Classic.Viacom relaunched MTV Russia, the dedicated Russian version of the MTV brand, in 2013 after reacquiring control of the licence after the expiration of an agreement with Russian media outfit Prof Media.Prof Media owned and operated the MTV Russia franchise from 2007, but decided to replace it in 2012 amid falling ratings. Viacom reacquired the rights and relaunched the service from London.Akado Group CEO Sergei Nazarov said he expected that the addition of MTV Russia would contribute to growing the operator’s subscriber base.Features of the channel this year include Casa Musica, a show seeking to highlight young Russian artists, and an updated MTV Top 20 programme.Separately, Russian satellite pay TV provider NTV+ has added Nickelodeon to its programming line-up.
Dutch telco KPN added 23,000 IPTV subscribers in the quarter to September, along with 11,000 broadband subscribers and 12,000 post-paid mobile customers.The telco’s IPTV base increased by 5.5% year-on-year to 2.095 million. However, other TV customers – principally those of digital-terrestrial TV offering Digitenne – declined by 17% to 279,000, meaning that KPN’s overall TV base increased by 2.3% to 2.374 million. The company claimed a 31% market share, flat year-on-year.KPN said that 62% of its post-paid mobile customers now took fixed-mobile bundles, up from 53% a year ago. ARPU per home increased 4.9% year-on-year to €43.Fixed-mobile households increased by 19% to 1.189 million, while fixed-only households declined by 9.1% to 2.41 million.Triple-play penetration was more or less flat, 0.9% up at 1.723 million. Dual-play penetration increased significantly, up 9.6% to 841,000.Despite a small increase in consumer revenue for the year-to-date, KPN’s overall nine-months and third-quarter revenues were down. Revenues for the first nine months were down 3.9% to €4.884 billion. EBITDA was down 3.2% to €1.746 billion.“In the third quarter of 2017, our new propositions have led to a strong operational performance in Consumer. Customers appreciate the freedom of choice and we’re encouraged about our ability to upsell additional content packages. In Business, we see ample appetite for bundled services, especially in SME where the uptake of our flagship product KPN ÉÉN is accelerating. We have announced the acquisition of QSight IT to further strengthen our leading security services portfolio. However, our financial results in Business continue to be impacted by competition on price in the LE and corporate mobile market,” said outgoing CEO Eelco Blok.
AMC Networks International UK (AMCNI UK) has appointed Sam Rowden and Alina Florea to newly created roles.Sam RowdenRowden will now assume the role of director of programming for CBS Channels and Florea will become director of acquisitions and content partnerships.Both were previously employees of AMNCNI UK and will continue to report to Kevin Dickie, SVP for Channels Group, UK, MEA and Poland.Rowden, most recently director of programming for CBS reality and new media will now have full responsibility for the programming strategy for the whole CBS channel portfolio across the UK and EMEA consistent of CBS Action, CBS Drama, CBS Reality, Horror Channel and CBS Europa.Having joined the company in 2007 and during her time, CBS Reality has become the biggest factual entertainment channel in the UK amongst adult women, and a Top 10 most watched non-PSB channel amongst all adults, according to AMC.Alina FloreaIn her expanded role Florea will oversee content acquisitions across AMCNI UK’s portfolio of 10 brands, and also manager studio relations and content partnerships.Dickie said: “Alina is an accomplished acquisitions strategist while Sam has been the driving force behind the growth of CBS Reality and has been leading the way with original productions.“Both of them have been key contributors to the continued growth of AMCNI UK and their judgement and insight will continue to be invaluable to the business.”
Univision Communications, the entertainment company serving Hispanic America, has revealed that Tonia O’Connor has decided to step down as chief revenue officerTonia O’ConnorO’Connor departs after the exit of a string of top execs at the network, with CEO Randy Falco departing in May after chief content officer, Isaac Lee, and programming chief, Lourdes Diaz, also left. Falco was quickly replaced by Vincent Sadusky.O’Connor played a key role in the company’s expansion from three networks to 17 broadcast, cable and digital networks, as well as developing Univision’s distribution and content windowing strategy for digital and mobile platforms.O’Connor successfully negotiated and secured distribution for multiple newly-launched Univision networks and also launched the company’s direct-to-consumer live streaming and on demand subscription video service, Univision NOW, as well as the development of the Univision Creator Network.She also led the industry’s first experiential upfront with Univision’s Culture Unbound earlier this year.The company’s Board of Directors said: “For more than a decade, Tonia O’Connor has been a key figure in transforming Univision from a niche media asset into a major player in the US media landscape.“We greatly appreciate her leadership and the important role she played in driving the company’s growth, negotiating complex transactions and developing new revenue streams. We thank her and wish her well and continued success in her new endeavors.”O’Connor added: “Univision is a uniquely positioned company, unlike any other brand. I am incredibly proud of helping transform Univision into a media powerhouse – with the most loyal audience and billions in enterprise value.“I will always treasure my experience and colleagues from Univision, which I will carry with me as I take on new challenges and continue to make an impact.”