Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bankrate Federal Reserve Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Service Providers 2013-06-13 Tory Barringer in Data, Origination Mortgage rates continued to climb this week, but the near-term future is going to depend on how the Federal Reserve reacts.[IMAGE]According to “”Freddie Mac’s””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.98 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending June 13, up from 3.91 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.71 percent.The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.10 percent (0.7 point), up from 3.03 percent in the last survey.Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.79 percent (0.6 point), an increase from 2.74 percent. The 1-year ARM was flat at 2.58 percent (0.4 point).[COLUMN_BREAK]Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said there has been a shift in demand as rates continue their upward trend.””With the ongoing run up in fixed mortgage rates, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) are becoming more popular among homeowners looking to refinance and for home purchasers,”” Nothaft said, noting that the share of conventional mortgage applications for ARMs rose from 13 percent at the beginning of May (the most recent low) to 17 percent last week (according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association).””Bankrate.com’s””:http://www.bankrate.com/ weekly national survey shows the 30-year fixed setting a new 14-month high of 4.14 percent, while the 15-year fixed average was up to 3.32 percent.At the same time, the 5/1 ARM climbed to an even 3.00 percent.””All eyes now turn to the Federal Reserve, with next week holding a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee followed by Ben Bernanke’s press conference,”” Bankrate said in a release. “”Long-term interest rates–to which mortgage rates are closely related–have jumped in recent weeks on speculation that the Fed will decrease the amount of monthly bond-buying stimulus. Where mortgage rates go from here is dependent on what comes out of next week’s Fed meeting.”” June 13, 2013 391 Views Mortgage Rates Rise for 6th Straight Week Share
State Rep. Amanda Price, third from right, joins Gov. Rick Snyder as he signs Public Act 198 of 2014 into law. The law, authored by Price, R-Park Township, makes Michigan a more nursing-mom friendly state.Legislation to make Michigan a more nursing-mom friendly state was signed into law recently by Gov. Rick Snyder, announced state Rep. Amanda Price.Public Act 198 of 2014, authored by Price, protects nursing mothers by helping them feel as comfortable as possible when feeding their child in a public place. Together with PA 199’14, the measures ensure moms who are breastfeeding in public cannot be charged with indecent exposure or disorderly conduct for an act seen as natural and beneficial to many.“Moms across our state need to know that they can – and should – nurse their child wherever and whenever they need to, without worrying about repercussions,” said Price, R-Park Township. “This is a common-sense measure to help Michigan mothers feel as comfortable as possible when breastfeeding, and I am glad it received such overwhelming support.”The governor also signed PA 197’14, which creates the Breastfeeding Antidiscrimination Act so that business owners cannot deny service to nursing mothers. Michigan joins 25 other states with similar laws protecting nursing mothers.### Categories: News 25Jun Governor signs Price legislation to make Michigan more nursing-mom friendly
Measure reduces taxpayer cost, increases notice visibilityThe Michigan House today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, which will afford counties the flexibility to post delinquent property tax notices.House Bill 4298 adjusts the number of weeks a county treasurer is required to post notices of delinquent property taxes to two weeks, allows published notices to be prepared as inserts and allows county treasurers to publish tax foreclosure notices online, in addition to regularly published notices.“This bill saves tax dollars and improves visibility of property tax notices,” Bumstead said. “Foreclosing governmental units should have the flexibility to publish this information in a cost-effective manner that provides appropriate notice to taxpayers.”HB 4298 was introduced thanks to Newaygo County Treasurer Holly Moon, who brought attention to this issue in Lansing. Treasurer Moon has been working in cooperation with Rep. Bumstead and shared her first-hand experience of the tax foreclosure process and the obstacles she has faced.“I am grateful to have an excellent partner in Holly Moon,” said Bumstead. “Together, we have been able to educate my House colleagues on the importance of this bill and will continue to work until this becomes law.”HB 4298 will be sent to the Senate for consideration.### 10Dec Bumstead bill offers flexibility for local delinquent tax notices Categories: News
Categories: Diana Farrington News,Diana Farrington Photos State Rep. Diana Farrington recently spent 24 hours with the Sterling Heights Fire Department to experience what a typical shift is like for local firefighters. “It is truly amazing to see what this group does to assist and protect our community on a daily basis,” Farrington said. “Thank you to Captain Brantley and the entire department for giving me this opportunity.” 02Nov Rep. Farrington experiences day in the life of local firefighters
24May Rep. Afendoulis makes historic vote to guarantee lower rates for Michigan drivers House approves bipartisan overhaul of no-fault reformsThe Michigan House today approved a bipartisan plan to fix our state’s much-maligned car insurance system and guarantee rate reductions for all Michigan drivers, state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis announced.Afendoulis voted in favor of a bipartisan solution that has features designed to end Michigan’s long-standing tenure as the state with the costliest car insurance rates in the nation. The plan should soon be headed to the governor for her expected signature.“After over 40 years of skyrocketing costs and calls for change, Michigan drivers will finally receive that change,” Afendoulis said. “It took a while, but after decades of gridlock in Lansing, I’m honored to have played a role in finding a bipartisan reform plan that guarantees rate relief for every West Michigan family.”The solution:Guarantees cost savings for all Michigan drivers through rate rollbacks on the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of policies;Gives drivers a choice on the PIP portion of their policies for the first time in history;Ends price gouging by medical providers for car accident victims; andCombats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.“After constructive talks with the governor and key players in the health care arena, I respect their willingness to compromise and be part of the solution,” Afendoulis said. “I understand change this big creates uncertainty, but through open dialogue, there’s no doubt we created the best solution possible for everyone in Michigan.”Rep. Afendoulis offered an amendment to provide special funding consideration for free-standing rehabilitation facilities like Mary Free Bed rehabilitation hospital.“The services offered by Mary Free Bed can mean the difference between a life of independence and comfort and a life of struggle and independence and I want to make sure to safeguard their ongoing ability to do so,” she said. “While my amendment wasn’t adopted, I am confident we will be able to continue to tweak Michigan’s auto insurance program to make it the best it can be for the people of the state of Michigan.”Afendoulis has been a leading advocate for reforms as a member of the House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates Committee – the special panel solely dedicated to crafting a long-lasting solution that lowers costs for drivers.Senate Bill 1 now advances to the Senate for final legislative approval. Categories: Lynn Afendoulis News
04Jun Rep. Hauck invites residents to town hall meeting on road funding Categories: Hauck News State Rep. Roger Hauck has announced a special town hall meeting with special guest Rep. Jack O’Malley on Monday, June 10 to discuss road funding in the state of Michigan.Rep. O’Malley serves as chairman of the House Transportation Committee and is traveling throughout Michigan to discuss road funding with local residents. O’Malley’s committee also held six weeks of special hearings to dive into the discrepancy between the level of road funding and the quality of road construction.“People in Michigan, myself included, are fed up with the deteriorating condition of our roads,” Hauck said. “This town hall gives me the opportunity to hear directly from you as I work with Rep. O’Malley and the rest of my colleagues to find affordable solutions to this issue. I encourage you to attend, share your thoughts and ask any questions you’d like answered.”The town hall will take place at the Isabella County Commission on Aging, located at 2200 S. Lincoln Road in Mt. Pleasant. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the discussion will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., with time allotted for questions. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend.For more information, please contact Rep. Hauck’s office at (571) 373-1789 or email RogerHauck@house.mi.gov.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.comMarch 2, 2015; PoynterIn light of the Justice Department’s intrepid efforts to impose long prison sentences on public-spirited whistleblowers while letting former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus off the hook for his less than public-spirited disclosures to his mistress, it is worth noting that the Supreme Court in January delivered a whistleblower ruling that was positive and important for journalists and for nonprofits concerned about freedom of speech and the tenets of democracy.Kimberly Chow, an Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, penned an article about the January SCOTUS ruling concerning whistleblower Robert MacLean, a federal air marshal whose revelations to an MSNBC reporter eventually wound up as a Supreme Court case. In 2003, MacLean became concerned when, due to Transportation Security Administration cutbacks in 2003, the agency announced that no marshals would be on overnight flights from Las Vegas in July and August of that year, despite Department of Homeland Security warnings of threats of terrorist airplane hijackings at that time. Alarmed, MacLean tried and failed to get TSA supervisors and administrators to understand the danger of the agency’s decision. After that, he told an MSNBC reporter about the situation, which elicited concern from members of Congress, prompting the agency to reverse its decision about Las Vegas flights. When the TSA discovered that MacLean had been the source of the leak, he was fired for having disclosed sensitive security information without authorization—a TSA regulation. The Court ruled in favor of MacLean, saying that federal agencies can’t simply enact regulations that insulate themselves from federal statutes that protect whistleblowers.“In reinforcing the federal protections given to whistleblowers, the Court recognized the valuable role whistleblowers play in holding the government accountable,” Chow wrote. “By extension, the news media that reports on their disclosures also scored a victory.”In taking the case to the Supreme Court, MacLean was represented pro bono by Neal Katyal, a partner at Hogan Lovells and a former acting U.S. Solicitor General. “The MacLean decision recognizes that the media can and does play an important role in uncovering government corruption, abuse, and, frankly, inanity,” Katyal said about the SCOTUS ruling. “This is a first-rate example of how the media helped get Robert MacLean’s message out and potentially stop a catastrophic decision to remove air marshals at a time of high terrorist threat.”Given the selective enforcement of the laws, comparing the Petraeus case to the prosecution of former CIA operative John Kiriakou, who just got out of prison for serving just about two years for leaking information about American waterboarding torture practices, and the threatened prosecution of Edward Snowden, the MacLean case is a step forward. At least it says that federal agencies cannot simply circumvent federal whistleblowing protections by generating anti-whistleblowing regulations like the TSA’s. Now the next step is for nonprofits and journalists to remind the Obama Administration that if it is going to let Petraeus walk for his indiscretions, which had no public interest purpose, the White House should seriously rethink its intransigent stance on whistleblowers like Kiriakou and Snowden, whose motivations were quite different from Petraeus’s—and much more in line with MacLean’s.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share22TweetShareEmail22 Shares December 4, 2018; Civil EatsLast month, with 59 percent voter approval, Denver passed Ordinance 302. Placed on the ballot by the Healthy Food For Denver Kids campaign, the measure establishes a mini-sales tax (eight hundredths of one percent) for 10 years to fund healthy food access and education programs for youth in Denver.Writing for Civil Eats, Rachel Cernasky explains that, “Under the initiative, a 13-person commission will be created (through a preexisting city-coordinated process) to allocate the funds.” The measure is expected to raise $11.2 million in the first year. Funds raised will go to Denver groups already working to get more healthy food to children in low-income families.“According to the Healthy Food campaign,” Cernasky writes, “one in seven kids in Denver missed a meal in the last 30 days because of cost; Colorado itself is the third fastest-growing state for childhood hunger.”As Cernasky explains, using taxes to improve health is not uncommon. For instance, Philadelphia’s soda tax raised $79 million in its first year. Other cities with soda and sugar taxes include Berkeley, California; San Francisco, California; and Boulder, Colorado.The Denver approach is different, however, since it is not a sin tax, but rather a general city sales tax of .08 percent. Effectively, the tax measure approved by voters in November raises the sales tax paid by Denver consumers from 3.65 percent to 3.73 percent.The tax helps finance Denver’s long-term strategic plan to achieve a healthy and equitable food system. The 2017 Denver Food Vision outlines twelve key goals:Invest in building community-driven complete neighborhood food environmentsExpand community food production and sharingImprove access to a wide variety of healthy food retail optionsEnsure that healthy food is affordable for everyonePromote healthy food environments and education for youthIncrease community demand for healthy foodsDevelop Denver as an epicenter for the regional food economySupport the creation, expansion and economic strength of Denver food businessesSpur innovation and entrepreneurship across food and agricultural industriesExpand and preserve regional food system assets and infrastructurePromote environmentally regenerative and climate smart food systemsReduce amount of food going to wasteShannon Spurlock, manager of external relations for the nonprofit urban agriculture and education organization Denver Urban Gardens, notes that the tax was needed to have the ability to make progress on those goals. “A plan without funding is really hard to consistently implement,” Spurlock tells Cernasky.Early education is a central focus of the Denver plan. It’s crucial “to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” says Spurlock, who adds that, “This investment in kids—it’s not just for the next 10 years, but the lessons and experiences that they learn now have the potential to benefit them for a lifetime.”Denver Urban Gardens is one likely recipient of city funds because they already work with schools throughout Denver. Other Denver nonprofits that are likely to get funding include GrowHaus, Re:Vision, and Denver Food Rescue. That said, decisions regarding allocation of tax revenues received will not occur until mid-2019.Spurlock indicates that because the tax provides new revenues, it is her hope that the tax will help groups to expand and deepen their work. For Denver Urban Gardens, that includes stronger partnerships with Denver schools, a key focus for her group. “There’s a lot of research out there showing that when kids grow their own food, they’re more likely to eat it,” Spurlock adds.—Steve DubbShare22TweetShareEmail22 Shares
Telenet has provided a preview of its new connected TV app, Yelo TV, which is based on Liberty Global’s Horizon user interface.The Belgian cable operator’s multiscreen service Yelo launched in 2010 and is available on smartphones, tablets and PCs. It will launch on connected TVs early next year, Telenet said.The TV app will let Yelo TV users view photos and videos that are stored on PCs, smartphones and tablets via the TV. TV recordings will be viewable on any Yelo-registered device.“Telenet focuses on three elements when it comes to watching television: watch what you want, when you want and where you want, and be always assured of the best quality and the greatest user-friendliness,” said Inge Smidts, senior vice-president residential marketing, Telenet. “The Yelo application that we launched in 2010 was already a first step. With Yelo TV, Telenet is taking the next step, and we are creating an entirely new user experience. This is a new way of watching TV that responds to the customer’s need to watch his favourite content on any screen he wants. Watching television no longer stops at the TV set. Thanks to the latest technology, it is possible to connect different devices with each other and have the viewing experience flow seamlessly from one to the other, when and where the customer wants. Yelo TV ensures the same look and feel on all screens that the customer has, and creates an optimum television experience, with more interactivity and freedom.”
Liberty Global CEO Mike FriesLiberty Global and Virgin Media have agreed a deal whereby the international service provider will acquire the UK’s sole large-scale cable operator in a stock and cash merger valued at approximately US$23.3 billion (€17.2 billion) in enterprise value terms, including debt. The deal gives Virgin Media an equity value of US$16 billion.Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett has said he will step down when the deal is complete.Virgin Media shareholders will receive US$17.50 in cash, 0.2582 Liberty Global Series A shares and 0.1928 Liberty Global Series C shares for each Virgin Media share that they hold. Based on Liberty Global’s share price on February 4, this gives Virgin Media shares a value of US$47.87, implying a 24% premium on Virgin Media’s share price.The merger of the two companies will create a service provider with 25 million customers across 14 countries.“Adding Virgin Media to our large and growing European operations is a natural extension of the value creation strategy we’ve been successfully using for over seven years. Virgin Media will add significant scale and a first-class management team in Europe’s largest and most dynamic media and communications market. After the deal, roughly 80% of Liberty Global’s revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries – the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries. “Like all of our strategic acquisitions we expect this combination to yield meaningful operating and capex synergies of approximately US$180 million per year upon full integration. But just as importantly, Virgin Media’s market leading innovation and product expertise, particularly in mobile and B2B, will accelerate our own development of these business segments.”Fries said that the deal would provide “attractive free cashflow enhancement” and would enable it to increase its share buyback commitment. The company has set a buyback target of US$3.5 billion over a two-year period after the deal closes.Liberty Global intends to increase Virgin Media’s debt by over US$3 billion to help finance the cash element of the deal, which amounts to US$5.9 billion. Liberty Global will also tap its existing credit facilities to finance the acquisition.Liberty Global will also transfer its business address from Delaware to the UK as part of the deal and become a subsidiary of a UK plc holding company. Liberty Global said the creation of a new UK-based holding company would have a number of benefits, “including increased strategic and financial flexibility, as it pertains to value creation for shareholders”. The company will be listed on the NASDAQ exchange but may also look to implement a European listing.John Malone, who controls about 35% of Liberty Global’s voting stock, has committed to support the acquisition, as has Richard Branson, whose Virgin Group holds a 3% stake in Virgin Media.“This deal is good news for the company, its customers and our people. Together, Liberty Global and Virgin Media are in a great position to shake up the industry and bring the full power of digital technology to UK consumers,” said Branson.
Amazon has extended the terms of a programming deal with CBS, adding a raft of new series to its Prime streaming service.The deal between Amazon and CBS gives the former content from the US CBS network and from the CBS Television Distribution catalogue.The new deal also allows Amazon to add shows from cable network Showtime.New titles available to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video customers include CBS shows Next Top Model, Everybody Loves Raymond and Undercover Boss.Showtime titles include The Tudors and The L Word.There will also be classic library series including the complete Star Trek franchise.“We’re very pleased to extend our relationship with Amazon and their Prime Instant Video service,” said Scott Koondel, chief corporate licensing officer for CBS Corporation. “Clearly the appetite for CBS programming continues to be very healthy, and we look forward to continuing to reach and establish new fans through Amazon’s terrific platform.”
US content provider NBCUniversal is in talks with a number of internet video services to provide a full line-up of programming akin to the packages currently provided for pay TV service providers.Cable giant Comcast revealed in a compliance report, required as a condition of its acquisition of NBCUniversal, that it had received and was negotiating ‘full freight’ requests from a number of providers.Under the terms of the FCC’s approval of the absorption of NBCUniversal by Comcast, the pair must offer programming to “legitimate” over-the-top video providers on the same terms that it would be made available to traditional pay TV providers.Comcast said a “minority” of online video providers had made requests for an offer for its full programming line-up, without specifying which ones. NBCUniversal aready provides a range of its content to OTT players including Amazon.com and Flixster.
Nonce PaoliniTF1 Group’s chief executive Nonce Paolini has struck out at Canal+ and other rivals and has said that his group has had no choice but to try to migrate its news channel, LCI to free-to-air on the French digital-terrestrial platform. The move has been blamed for contributing to the rapid decline of the viability of the pay TV service. Media regulator the CSA is due to rule at the end of July on whether LCI can migrate to free-to-air, along with general channel Paris Première and documentary channel Planète+.In an interview with Le Figaro, Paolini said that Canal+ and Numericable had halved the carriage fees they paid for carriage of LCI three years ago and that, if LCI continued on pay TV, the channel’s future would be hard to sustain.Paolini denied allegations by Canal+ chief executive Bertrand Meheut and Alain Weill, CEO of rival free news service BFMTV that TF1 had a dominant market position in news and in the advertising market. He said that there was a plethora of news programmes from different providers on French TV. Paolini said that TF1 Group had a gross share of 43% in the advertising market but that TMC and NT1 were now part of a separate organisation as far as ad sales are concerned. Paolini said that TF1, far from abusing a dominant position, had lost €400 million in revenues since 2007.
Georg KoflerGerman media executive Georg Kofler, the former CEO of Premiere, which later became Sky Deutschland, has been tipped as a possible buyer for Vivendi-owned German OTT subscription VoD provider Watchever by news magazine Der Spiegel.According to the magazine, Kofler has offered to invest in Watchever, but on condition that Vivendi continue to bear the company’s losses and supplies content to the service.Watchever’s founders, Stefan Schulz and Sabine Anger, are to leave the company at the end of this month. Der Spiegel has reported that the pair are also in the running to acquire Watchever and are in talks with potential investors.Vivendi has reportedly struggled to attract interested buyers for the operation. Most recently, Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe has ruled out any acquisition of Watchever by his group, saying his company is “not interested”.Watchever has named Vivendi executive Karim Ayari as its new managing director following the departure of Schulz and Anger.Vivendi posted an exceptional provision of €48 million in its first half earnings report related to its “transformation plan” for Watchever. According to Der Spiegel, the company has about 350,000 customers for its €8.99 a month SVoD service.
Magdalena MalinovaVideo analytics and audience measurement specialist TVbeat has been chosen by Telekom Austria subsidiaries VIPnet in Croatia and Mobiltel in Bulgaria to measure their content performance and understand trends on viewing behaviour for live and on-demand content. Magdalena Malinova, TVbeat’s VP of Business Development, said: “We’re delighted to begin working with Vipnet and Mobiltel, both part of the respectable Telekom Austria Group. People are now watching TV across multiple devices at a time and place convenient for them, so we developed a new solution to analyse all this data. These upcoming partnerships mark another great and exciting development for TVbeat as we expand across Central and Eastern Europe and we believe this will uncover new opportunities for Vipnet and Mobiltel as they will better understand content consumption, through in-depth insights and trends.”
Online video specialist Piksel has teamed up with European airline Transavia to provide enhanced in-flight entertainment.Transavia is using Piksel Voyage, the company’s mass transit video-on-demand product to offer on-demand content to passengers’ own devices in-flight.Using the Piksel Palette technology and Voyage, Transavia is enabling consumers to select and download video content on to their personal devices, prior to boarding a flight.Viewers can choose from a range of premium TV shows and films to download onto tablets and smartphones. The content is locked until the passenger boards the flight, when it then becomes available to view. Once the flight has ended, the content is automatically deleted from the device, reducing any potential licensing issues, according to Piksel.Piksel partnered with Global Eagle Entertainment to provide its system to Transavia.“We see this as a major disruptor for the industry, and believe this model will quickly become the future of in-flight entertainment services,” said Mark Christie, chief technology officer at Piksel. “Through working with Transavia, it’s exciting to show how Piksel’s services-oriented architecture, which we call the Piksel Palette, can flexibly adapt to address the business challenges of a whole new industry. Our unrivaled experience in delivering video to consumers wherever they are, across all devices, is enabling us to deliver true innovation for airline passengers.”Roy Scheerder, Chief Commercial Officer at Transavia commented: “The way people consume media has changed rapidly in recent years, and the airline industry needs to reflect this in its in-flight entertainment systems. Our aim was to both boost the flying experience for our customers and cut out the high costs of installing on-board infrastructure for video delivery. Working with Piksel demonstrates Transavia’s leadership in Europe as the premiere affordable airline in hospitality, services and digital; choosing to go the extra mile for our passengers. The Transavia Entertainment app helps us to offer a great passenger experience on board, providing our passengers with an innovative and engaging in-flight entertainment product that they can enjoy, while empowering them to select and view their preferred content on their own devices during their flight with Transavia – meeting the needs of today’s passenger.”
Vimeo has bought streaming video platform VHX, in a move that will let users offer subscription video on demand channels.VHX allows people to launch their own cross-platform SVOD services, and with the deal Vimeo said that it will now offer a “complete streaming ecosystem” for individual creators, niche programmers and major media partners to deliver subscription video channels.“Online video is expanding from a few, mainstream subscription services into a flourishing world of interest-based streaming channels, much like the evolution from broadcast to cable television,” said Vimeo CEO, Kerry Trainor.“Vimeo is home to the world’s leading video creators and the viewers who love them, and we’re excited to add VHX’s team and technology to our streaming marketplace. As the video universe continues to unbundle, Vimeo offers the ideal home for the next generation of premium video channels serving passionate global audiences.”VHX said that in the long-term, the Vimeo deal will allow it to improve its service quicker with better streaming infrastructure, better apps, more marketing and business development, and access to a large global audience.In the short-term it said that it would be “business as usual” for its existing customers, which include companies like Comedy Central, Vice, Drafthouse Films and rock band the Foo Fighters.VHX co-founder and CEO, Jamie Wilkinson said: “Adding our platform to Vimeo’s massive community of creators and consumers means we’ll be able to move faster and help creators large and small succeed in the over-the-top streaming market.”The deal was agreed for undisclosed terms.
Kaltura has teamed up with VR content company Inception, and partners 24i, Encompass and Harmonic, to launch a VR alliance.The alliance is designed to showcase “the future of TV experiences”, with Kaltura due to demonstrate its vision for “VR in an OTT world” at IBC.Kaltura said it is continuing to add OTT players, customers and partners to the scheme with the goal of “promoting an open ecosystem of technology providers and app developers”.The IBC demonstration at IBC will include VR360 content as well as an Inception-powered virtual store, which is currently in closed beta and is due to launch in the fourth quarter.“Adding VR experiences will help OTT players to redefine their propositions to gain considerable competitive advantage. The opportunities for creating exciting, immersive viewing experiences for sports events, concerts and other types of content are endless, and also open up new monetization options,” said Kaltura co-founder and CEO, Ron Yekutiel.“Our experience in helping customers negotiate their OTT journeys means that we are ideally placed, together with our ecosystem partners, to help them navigate the emerging VR landscape.”Inception CEO Benny Arbel said: “The Inception app has the most cutting edge technology for viewing VR, and we are excited to work with Kaltura to provide this technology to OTT players.”Kaltura is exhibiting at IBC on stand 3.A63
Under CEO Niels Breining, Danish cable operatpr YouSee has had a strong year, introducing new à la carte TV products and driving digital pay TV uptake. The company also recently launched iPhone and iPad apps.Age 56Education MSc. EconomicsPrevious positions TDC Business, CFO (1996-99); Det Danske Hedeselskab, senior executive vice-president (1995-96); TDC, excecutive vice-president ((1991-95); Jydsk Telefon, chief of staff (1988-91); Jydsk Telefon, CFO (1979-88).Last year’s highlights First of all, that we’ve managed to introduce a new digital à la carte product as a supplement to our basic TV package. This has required renegotiation of several contracts with the broadcasters, reshuffling the channels in our network and building a completely new user interface to allow our customers to pick and choose their own channels. The product offers 70 TV channels from 19 national and international broadcasters. It requires a subscription of at least four channels and subscribers can change channels on a monthly base. I’m convinced that the industry need to acquire the increasing consumer tendency towards demand for more individual choices. Many consumers consider TV packages old fashioned or obsolete, therefore, we have to meet the demand for individual choices by renewing our portfolio. The increasing range of OTT services will strengthen the tendency even further. I believe, however, TV packages will remain. But we need to be able to offer à la carte without the restrictions of four channels as a minimum to meet the consumer expectation and the reality of a stronger competition from among others the the OTT concept.Most significant industry development The continuing growth in the number of digitised costumers. Nearly 70% of our customers have a digital flat screen TV or digital box. And also, the fast growing movement of the TV technology going from broadcast DVB to unicast, interactive IP-based distribution.Goals for next year We need to increase the capacity of our network to meet the increasing request for on-demand services. We’ve initiated a rather large scale investment programme which hopefully will decrease the average size of our network segments from 2,000 to around 500 customers during the next couple of years. At the same time, we intend to develop and implement an OTT strategy with which we will be able to offer our products on other platforms than the cable network. Since 2009, YouSee has offered web TV, both as a free value added service to our broadband customers and as a subscription product to non-YouSee customers. Just recently, we have launched an iPad and iPhone app making it possible to watch your TV channels on tablets. An android app will follow shortly.Industry challenges and opportunities OTT has it all. New operators will challenge our position as TV distributors by offering their products on top of our network. We can fight it by closing broadband offerings on cable network, but in my opinion, that strategy is far too short sighted and highly unsustainable. We – as an industry – have to embrace OTT, instead of being locked to a specific technical platform we should see OTT as a way to expand our activities to new markets. We would not have the benefits of being alone on the market nor to control the gates. Competition will be strong and maybe much stronger than we’re used to, but we have the benefit of being a long term partner of the broadcasters and rights owners. We know how to make a business out of collecting entertaining content and putting up attractive products.Alternative career choice Based on my career it would probably have been in telecommunications. My years in forestry felt great. An interesting alternative could’ve been within the health sector.TV character most identified with Having watched TV for so many years it is difficult to single out one specific personality. And I wouldn’t exactly say that I identify with them; I’ve been entertained, informed, shocked, thrilled, felt happy, but nonetheless, I have never identified with any of them.Most admired personality The men and women who participate in public debates and constantly defend their opponents’ rights to express their views, no matter how much they disagree with them.Life outside work Whenever and wherever the time and the weather permits it, you’ll probably find my on the green chasing a lower handicap.
ShareTweet “There is a big thing that happens, a new girl moves in and it changes things.“It is hilarious, Lisa McGee’s writing is just fantastic and the characters, some you may recognise from Derry Girls, this is where some of those characters evolved from.”Gerard said he hoped audiences would fall in love with the characters and step away from the boxsets for a night and enjoy some live theatre.“It is like watching Derry Girls live,” he said.Writer Lisa McGee said: “Girls and Dolls tells the story of two ten year old girls, Emma and Clare, who meet on an unusually hot Summers day in the 1980’s. It will be a brief friendship, but one which will cast a shadow over them for the rest of their lives.“Set in Derry, in the same colourful neighbourhood that my sitcom Derry Girls takes place, Emma and Clare guide us through their world, it’s larger than life characters and the sectarian tension they don’t fully understand.“When I wrote Girls and Dolls back in 2006, I wanted to write about memory, about how two people may view the same event completely differently, and to ask the question, can we ever really escape our past? As Emma and Clare tell the story of that summer, they struggle to understand what they did, what they became, and how they were judged.“I’m very excited about this new production. Jamie -Lee and Jennifer are huge talents and the Millennium Forum are to be applauded for such stellar casting. I can’t wait to see them in action.”This brand new production by Millennium Forum Productions and Sodabread Theatre Company performs at Belfast’s SSE Arena this weekend as part of an Irish Tour.Derry Girls star to bring writer’s ‘prequel’ to stage was last modified: September 23rd, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: BelfastCHANNEL 4CHANNEL 4’S DERRY GIRLS COMEDY SERIES A HUGE HIT WITH VIEWERSDerry Girls star to bring writer’s ‘prequel’ to stageDirector Gerard McCabeLISA MCGEESSE ARENA GIRLS and Dolls will run at the SSE Arena is running on Saturday, September 22, at the SSE Arena in BelfastIt was penned by Derry-born writer Lisa McGee long before Derry Girls became a household hit and an award winning Channel 4 comedy.It will feature one of the stars Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who plays Michelle Mallon. The debut play from Lisa is said to have inspired the hit Channel 4 series.Set in Derry in the 1980s, it follows friends Emma and Clare as they grow up and also stars The Young Offenders actor Jennifer Barry.Director Gerard McCabe said: “The show is all about friendships you make when you are younger, before you move to secondary school. 2It is how those friendships change and asks the question, ‘Can best friends stay as best friends as they grow up’.