Let’s be honest, how many businesses do you know who are successful and don’t have a website? No business aiming for success would dare to venture out without first securing a website, which has an address easy to remember. We offer you five ways to make your website work for both you and your business.– Cut it backPeople seem to use the expression ‘less is more’ in many aspects of life. In the case of a website, this is certainly true. If people are bombarded with information when they are searching for answers about your business and what it can offer them, they may leave instantly. Websites that are cluttered with far too many words appear unattractive and can be off-putting.– Consider your web host carefullyIf your web host isn’t working for you, are you able to look into a different one? All too many people complain about the dreamhost status stating it is down again, so why not choose an alternative? It’s always worth doing careful research and talking to likeminded business professionals to gather recommendations.– Update it regularlyIf you change aspects of your business, such as your opening hours, your prices, or even your workers, update your website to reflect this. There is nothing more frustrating than searching for the answers to a question and discovering that it hasn’t been updated for three years. Even more annoying when you turn up expecting the business to be open and the opening hours have changed.Writing a blog is another great way of providing your customers with regular updates. Not only that, but you are able to link to previous posts and other business’. Working together with local companies, provided they aren’t rivals, can be incredibly beneficial. Getting them to provide guest blog posts, and you reciprocating, means that you’ll likely get more traffic.– Link to social mediaMost businesses have a sound online presence via social media in addition to their website. Linking social media to the website itself, for example via a feed, is a great idea. As with point 3, it gives almost instant updates as it is much simpler to post announcements there in a rush than it is on your website. Having clickable icons linked to your various social accounts can increase your followers and numbers of likes.– Clear calls to actionClever use of calls to action on your website are a great addition. Offering the visitors the chance to take part in a ‘free trial’ or subscribe to a free mailing list are great ways of increasing engagement and sparking interest in what you have to offer. Opting to have a banner is a common decision. Do make sure that whatever the call to action is links clearly to your website and the visitor’s desire. For example, if you have a blog post entitled ‘5 ways to get your car ready for the winter’ and the call to action is asking you to consider getting a free sample of anti-freeze screen wash, the two are linked and so it would be a good marketing ploy.
Destination Fiji is expanding its services to work with the travel trade beyond its core meetings, incentives, conference and weddings business.Managing director Trudi Peet says Destination Fiji’s move towards being a niche wholesaler comes at a time when clients are increasingly looking for authentic experiences and bespoke itineraries.‘We are not about competing with big wholesalers for the usual packaged holidays. We personalise every itinerary, often with complex requests.We will take the time to listen to our client’s requirements, find out what they love (and don’t love) when they go on holiday, understand their timeframe, budget, food preferences, family dynamics, special interests and so forth and match these requirements with the perfect location.It’s important to show agents and their clients that there is a deeper and more comprehensive side of Fiji.’ Peet says that when agents call or email with their client’s brief, Destination Fiji will go to every effort to put together an itinerary with interesting and varied options, book what is required and pay the agent a generous commission.‘We have great direct relationships with suppliers, our pricing is competitive, and most importantly we pride ourselves with our in-depth and up to date knowledge of Fiji.We don’t recommend any property or activity we haven’t physically seen, experienced or stayed at giving us a high level of comfort to send your valued clients to a property or activity with confidence.We are true Fiji specialists.’The post Destination Fiji expands niche wholesaler service appeared first on Discover the South Pacific.Source: Blog
Categories: Leutheuser News,News State Rep. Eric Leutheuser, of Hillsdale, has scheduled February coffee hour sessions with residents in the Hillsdale and Coldwater area.The coffee hours will be:Saturday, Feb. 4, 8-9 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, located at 210 W. Carleton Road, in the Hillsdale Market House plaza.Saturday, Feb. 18, 8-9 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, located 857 E. Chicago St., Coldwater“The residents of Hillsdale and Branch counties can always reach out to me by email or phone, but meeting face-to-face is my strong preference and that’s why I look forward to my February coffee hours,” Leutheuser said. “We’re in the first few weeks of a new year and legislative session, so I’m really hoping to hear from the folks about what’s important to them.”Residents unable to attend these office hours, or have a question or concern, may contact Leutheuser’s office in Lansing at 517-373-1794, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail at N-992 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.### 30Jan Rep. Leutheuser announces February coffee hours
The Michigan Legislature today gave final legislative approval to bills protecting public services and the retirement benefits for police, firefighters and other local government employees – including a measure sponsored by Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Township.The reforms emphasize proper reporting from local governments to identify ones that may be in financial trouble due to underfunded retirement plans. The legislation mirrors recommendations from a task force assembled earlier this year by Gov. Rick Snyder, which Glenn said is exactly what he was asked to do by Midland Fire Chief Chris Coughlin and three Midland firefighters who visited Glenn at his Lansing office.The bills are now headed to Snyder for his consideration.“This reform package is a significant step toward ensuring our first responders and other municipal employees get the retirement benefits they expect and deserve,” Glenn said after the votes. “Our police and firefighters put themselves in harm’s way for our protection. The least we can do is help ensure their retirement benefits are protected.”Snyder’s task force explored the critical challenges posed by Michigan’s underfunded local government employee retirement systems – which have unfunded liabilities fast approaching $20 billion.The multi-bill package creates a reporting system with uniform financial and accounting standards for local government retirement plans. An early detection system will help local governments and the state identify potential funding problems and act quickly to mitigate them. Communities will be vetted through a state treasurer’s fiscal impact evaluation and retirement systems will be flagged as underfunded when municipalities aren’t meeting recommended criteria to alleviate their debts.Communities will be required to make a minimum level of payments related to retirement systems for new hires.Glenn sponsors House Bill 5301, which is part of the final legislative package headed to the governor. Glenn’s bill provides that a reciprocal unit and a reciprocal retirement system must comply with any applicable requirements of the package’s primary bills.The Senate approved Glenn’s bill by a 38-0 vote. The House approved it by a 106-3 margin.##### Categories: Glenn News,News 12Dec Michigan Legislature gives final approval to Rep. Glenn’s bill protecting retiree benefits for police, firefighters
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 6, 2014; Boston GlobeYet another example of cash-strapped local governments going after community-based nonprofits for tax revenues is highlighted in a case scheduled to come before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.The Boston Globe reports that a number of conservation groups in Massachusetts could take a hit if a small town in the Berkshires wins a case before the state’s highest court this week. The case could determine whether municipalities can tax land owned by such groups as the Nature Conservancy and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. That includes some 1.25 million acres in Massachusetts that have been protected by private nonprofit land trusts.The key to the dispute is over how publicly accessible and active the land needs to be to qualify for a charitable tax exemption. The conservation groups argue that simply preserving the land for public use and protecting it from development should be sufficient to make it tax-exempt. But the Town of Hawley in Western Massachusetts has challenged that by arguing that the land needs to be broadly available and accessible.The Globe says it all started when Hawley sent the New England Forestry Foundation a $173 property tax bill for a 120-acre parcel of woodland that the group owns about an hour north of Springfield. Town officials said that the Forestry Foundation had done little to encourage public use of the woods, so it did not qualify for a tax exemption.The other conservation groups say that would set a dangerous precedent, and they are concerned that their land could be taxed as well if Hawley prevails. They told the Globe that the taxes they would face would threaten their ability to buy new land and protect it from development, going so far as to say that “in some instances, it could spell the demise of the smaller land trusts.”The case hinges on the conservation nonprofit’s ability to demonstrate that its property truly benefits the public, says the article, which explains that the Forestry Foundation bought the land from a couple in 1999, and opened it to the public, posting a sign that reads, “We invite respectful public visits.”But Hawley officials tell the Globe that the public efforts went no further, pointing to a 2013 ruling by the Appellate Tax Board that there was a lack of signage on the road to the forest, that there was no mention of it on the foundation’s website, and that it was located at the end of a dirt road that appeared to be a private driveway with a gate to limit vehicle access.Hawley said that implies that the foundation did not promote enough public use to qualify for a tax exemption, according to the Globe, saying it has to do “more than just sit there.” The Foundation says that public activity is just one way to measure the benefit of conservation land, and that benefits also include having clean air, water, and wildlife.The article by reporter Michael Levenson says that other municipalities are watching the case closely in the belief they may have similar conservation land in their communities that could be taxed. Local officials think vast tracts of conservation land are improperly classified as tax-exempt, and if the town wins, cash-strapped communities probably will scrutinize conservation land as a possible source of cash. Land trusts would regard this as putting a chilling effect on future conservation efforts.The case revives the ongoing argument over the benefit of nonprofits to communities. Do they create enough public benefit and deliver enough community services to warrant an exemption from taxes? As nonprofits and government compete for limited resources, it’s the classic scrap over a shrinking pie. And the irony of it all is that both of these sectors of our society are pledged to do the same thing: help people and make our communities better places.—Larry KaplanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share18Tweet8Share1Email27 Shares“Tug of War.” Credit: toffeehoffAugust 2, 2017; Chicago TribuneNonprofits in Illinois have been breathing a lot easier since a full-year budget was finally enacted. But state funds for local public schools are now in limbo, the victim of the continuing political tug-of-war that had kept Illinois budget-less for more than two years.On Tuesday, August 1st, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner partially vetoed a bill that had established a new funding formula for Illinois public schools. According to the Chicago Tribune, he took this action because he felt the bill had been structured by the Democratic-controlled state legislature to unfairly favor Chicago Public Schools.Rauner rewrote the measure to take away a $250 million block grant that Chicago Public Schools has long received and changed how the funding formula weights CPS pension funding when dividing up new money for schools. The governor said his amendatory veto would keep an extra $221 million for CPS pensions, but put it in a separate appropriation which would have to be approved by lawmakers.The governor described his action as “not about taking resources from Chicago. This is about making historic changes to help poor children in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois.”He further explained his thinking in comments to reporters:All of our children should be treated equitably. SB1 in its current form basically took the significant increase in school funding that I have advocated for and diverted hundreds of millions of dollars of it away from the classrooms around the state and diverted it to Chicago.State law gives the governor the right to change specific parts of the bill as part of an amendatory veto. The Illinois legislature now has 30 days—15 for the House and Senate each—to consider and accept his changes or let the bill die, making it impossible for the State to begin sending any funds to local school districts. Because the legislature is now in a special session, a supermajority would be needed to consent or override the veto, as desired. Legislative leaders had hoped the governor would delay issuing his veto so the clock would not begin and they would have time to work out a compromise. That hope has now been dashed.The revised funding formula was designed to fix a longstanding approach that many felt did not recognize the rising costs of educating high-risk students nor compensate for school districts with low property values that limited their ability to fund themselves as wealthier districts did. Without an approved funding formula, the state funds expected to begin arriving in local school accounts on August 10th won’t come.The governor’s decision continues the ongoing battle between a staunch Republican who believes in a limited government and wants to lower taxes and a Democratic leadership who opposes him. With his 2018 reelection campaign already heating up, the governor may be trying to shore up his base by starting a fight over funding for Chicago Schools.Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, responded quickly, accusing the governor of thinking solely about “his own personal brand of cynical politics.”It is well past time for Gov. Rauner to stop playing politics with our children’s futures, start demonstrating leadership and ensure a child’s education isn’t determined by their ZIP code or his political whims.Democratic Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, who has been cast by Gov. Rauner as his archenemy, said in a statement that “The governor has yet again chosen crisis over compromise, but Democrats will continue to work with legislative Republicans in order to enact education funding that is fair to every student, every school and every community.”State funding contributes only a small portion of the budgets of wealthier suburban districts. For them, the delay in receiving state funds will not pose a major challenge. Poorer districts rely more heavily on state funds and have limited reserves to draw upon. For them, the delay will be difficult and may cause immediate reductions in school programs and services. The hundreds of millions of dollars that the governor has said should not be going to Chicago Public Schools have been included in a very tight budget by the CPS school board. Losing these funds will mean serious cutbacks, affecting thousands of children.With the clock now counting down, the resolution of this standoff is unclear. As with the state budget, it is possible that a bipartisan supermajority can be forged to override the veto and let the law go into force as originally enacted. It is also possible such a majority can be forged to give approval to the governor’s specific changes and leave Chicago children holding the short end of the stick. Perhaps a new formula can be crafted that both the governor and the Democratic leadership can sign off on and it can be passed. All that is clear is that local school leaders have some immediate work to do as they develop plans to go forward with a new school year without state funds in the bank.—Martin LevineShare18Tweet8Share1Email27 Shares
Red Bee Media has secured a contract with BSkyB to provide live and pre-recorded subtitling for various channels. The broadcast services provider will deliver live subtitling for Sky News, Sky Sports and four Sky Sports channels. Pre-recorded subtitling will be provided for Sky 1, Sky Atlantic and Sky Living.Bill Patrizio, CEO of Red Bee Media, said: “This deal with BSkyB is a significant win for Red Bee Media and really demonstrates the quality of our subtitling services for both live TV and pre-recorded programming. Red Bee Media is a pioneer in the development of access services, and we continue to invest in and develop new technologies to enable us to maximise our clients’ content and grow with their business needs. We believe it’s essential to make TV accessible to everyone, and we’re looking forward to working with BSkyB to deliver our industry-leading subtitling services to the 10 million plus Sky subscribers across the UK.”
BBC director general Tony HallThe BBC is to launch an enhanced iPlayer catch-up service including a 30-day viewing window and personalised on-demand features across multiple screens and a download-to-own store allowing viewers to purchase BBC programmes, according to director general Tony Hall.Unveiling his plans for the BBC’s digital future at the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House, Hall said that licence fee payers should have access to TV and radio programmes before they are broadcast on the corporation’s channels.“I want the BBC of the future to have a much closer relationship with audiences. We should be treating them like owners not just as licence fee payers. People should not be saying ‘the BBC’, but ‘my BBC’, ‘our BBC’,” said Hall. “Our audiences demand to be involved and expect to participate. In the future they will talk to us and we will listen.”Plans for the iPlayer include a 30-day catch-up window, subject to approval by the BBC Trust, iPlayer-only curated content and channels, and “the chance for users to be the scheduler by accessing content before broadcast at times that suit them,” said Hall.“The iPlayer is the best in the world – but we want to make it even better. We want it to transform it from being catch-up TV – to online TV. So, starting next year, we will reinvent the iPlayer,” said Hall. “So, we’re going to give you more content, more opportunities to watch our shows, making them available for free not just for seven days – but for thirty. We will give you the chance to see programmes before they’ve even been broadcast and ‘first on iPlayer’. Imagine if you had the evening’s recorded schedule at your disposal – so you could sit at home and be your own scheduler, picking what you like, when you like, from our channels.”Hall said a new BBC Store would allow viewers to buy, watch and keep a selection of BBC programmes.“Because we know people often want to go back and see older programmes – sometimes classics, sometimes more recent – we plan to launch something called BBC Store, a new commercial online service which will offer people in the UK the chance to buy a whole range of programmes to watch and keep forever,” he said.Other initiatives include making coverage of live events available with video, audio, text and statistics across TV, computers, mobiles and tablets.“From next year, this multi-layered service will power the Winter Olympics, the World Cup, the FA Cup and Commonwealth Games, alongside major festivals like the Proms, the Edinburgh Festival and Glastonbury. It will also support big television events and major news events such as Election Night,” said Hall.The BBC will invest an extra 20% in arts programming and will fully digitise its Shakespeare archive in time for the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death, said Hall.The BBC will also launch a new digital music service, BBC Playlister, that will allow radio listeners to bookmark music to listen to at the time of their choice.Another project called Open Minds that will see highlights from Radio 3, Radio 4 and the World Service packaged to offer personalised collections of content.Hall said he would also open up BBC commissioning to include online content from a new generation of content makers.“We want to harness the energy of the YouTube generation. We’ll invite them in to the BBC and fund them to make brilliant programmes. We’ll free them from the conventional commissioning process and encourage them to experiment and make original online content so they can inform, educate and entertain – each other,” he said.
Tumble LeafAmazon Prime Instant Video’s latest children’s programming pilots comprise three cartoons and a pair of live-action series.The SVOD service’s content arm, Amazon Studios, has greenlit animated shows The Stinky & Dirty Show, Buddy: Tech Detective and Niko and the Sword of Light, and live-action shows Table 58 and Just Add Magic.They join the previously announced Sara Solves it on Amazon’s new slate of kids pilots that launch in early 2015. Amazon’s latest batch of drama and comedy pilots will made be available to subscribers this week.The Stinky & Dirty Show is a preschool show based on a book series from Jim and Kate McMullan, and comes from Ireland’s Brown Bag Films. It follows” the adventures and mishaps faced by best friends and unlikely heroes Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty the backhoe loader”.Another preschool toon, Buddy: Tech Detective, comes from Zodiak Kids-owned UK prodco The Foundation, with Jennifer Hamburg attached to write. Jellyfish Animation isattached.Niko and the Sword of Light is for kids aged 6-11 and based on a graphic comic from Imaginism Studios (Alice in Wonderland) and Studio NX (Tree Fu Tim).Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex) will write the show, which comes from Titmouse (Turbo FAST) and follows a young boy with a magic sword that embarks on a quest to defeat enemies and bring light back to his land.Live-action shows Table 58 and Just Add Magic are also for 6-11s. The former is a single-cam comedy from May Chan (Phineas & Ferb) about a group of geeks that occupy a high school lunch room table.Just Add Magic is based on Cindy Callaghan’s young adult book series of the same name, with Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco (Fairly Odd Parents) andNancy Cohen (Sabrina) adapting it for Amazon.Another single-cam comedy, it follows on a girl and her best friends that discover her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook.Episodes from Amazon’s first group of commissioned kids shows – Tumble Leaf, Creative Galaxy and Annedroids – launch on September 5, October 3 and October 30, respectively.
Streaming service Netflix has revived Longmire, commissioning a fourth season after US cable net A&E axed the cop drama.Producer Warner Horizon Television has been shopping the series around since A&E decided to give it the chop in August.Netflix has now stepped into the fray and ordered a 10-part series that will premiere exclusively on its services in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.“When Warner Horizon Television came to us with the idea for a new season of Longmire, we were intrigued because the series is so unique, and consistently great,” said Cindy Holland, VP of original content at Netflix.“We are thrilled to help continue Walt Longmire’s story for his large and passionate following.”This is not the first time Netflix has revived a shelved linear series. It brought back comedies Arrested Development and Trailer Park Boys, and drama The Killing.Contemporary crime thriller Longmire is based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels from author Craig Johnson. Season four will pick up moments after the end of season three, in which the Longmire character (Robert Taylor) uncover who murdered his wife.The Shepherd/Robin Company produces the show in association with Warner Horizon.
The BBC has appointed its former controller of news production, Jenny Baxter, as the new chief operating officer for BBC England. Baxter will take over from Alice Webb, who becomes director of BBC Children’s next month, and will be responsible for BBC activities from its three key non-London bases in Salford, Birmingham and Bristol.She will work alongside Peter Salmon, director of BBC England, and with Joe Godwin to oversee the move of the BBC Academy, which will be the BBC’s centre for training, to Birmingham.Baxter is a 30-year BBC veteran whose previous roles included leading BBC News’ move to MediaCityUK in Salford. She will take up her new post, which is based in Salford, at Easter.
Sigve BrekkeNorwegian telco Telenor has named Sigve Brekke as the company’s new Group President and CEO. He will succeed current CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas by August 17. Brekke is the Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Group’s Asia operations and a former Norwegian deputy defence minister. He joined Telenor in 1999 and has held several executive positions in the company. According to Telenor, he was instrumental in establishing Telenor Group as a leading international mobile operator.Baksaas is stepping down after 13 years. He will continue as advisor to the Board of Directors until the end of 2016 and will then serve as chairman of mobile industry association the GSMA.“It is a great honour to be asked to lead Telenor. Our company’s Norwegian and international success is a result of Telenor Group’s ability to provide digital communication services that are valuable to our customers. Telenor’s strategy, including our financial priorities, form a solid platform for value creation for our shareholders and continued growth in Norway, Europe and Asia. We are poised to capture value from the opportunities arising from strong demand for internet services and I look forward to executing our strategy together with our 33,000 employees,” said Brekke.
The number of UK pay TV subs planning to cancel their service has almost doubled in the past six months, according to new research commissioned by investment bank Liberum.Its consumer survey, conducted by Research Now, found a sharp increase in the proportion of people planning to cancel their current pay TV subscription with cost cited as the primary reason for churning.“Virgin Media saw a drop off in pay TV customers in the previous quarter and, while Sky’s changing to KPI disclosure makes it harder to see exact trends, we suspect their traditional monthly pay TV subs packages may be coming under the same sort of pressure,” Liberum said in its research note.Telco BT is also picking ups TV subs from unhappy Sky customers, according to Liberum. “Dissatisfaction with Sky as a reason for switching to BT again saw a sharp rise in the quarter,” the bank said. “This now means that there has been an effective doubling over the past six months in those stating this as the key driver to switch to BT.”It added that should Sky try to wholly pass on the increased costs of soccer rights, it faces losing more customers: “If Sky plans to offset its PL fees through consumer price increases we might see further cancellations due to costs in the future.”BT this week announced plans for a new 4K service and unveiled its plans for coverage of Champions League football, after acquiring package of rights although this is not a key subs driver yet, according to the research. However, Liberum added new pricing plans for the BT Sports packs may prove a significant subs driver particularly as 46% of survey respondents with Sky said they ‘would switch to BT if its pay TV packages were better priced’.
Basque region cable operator Euskaltel has acquired Galician operator R for €1.155 billion including debt, in a cash and shares transaction, confirming its role as the consolidator amongst the three independent operators in the northern part of Spain.The deal values R, which is 70% owned by investment group CVC and 30% by local bank Abanca, at 10.9 time EBITDA. Euskaltel itself has a market value of around €1.202 billion.The agreement will give CVC a controlling stake in the combined company alongside existing Euskaltel shareholder Kutxabank.Euskaltel, which recently floated on the Bilbao exchange, is the largest of the three groups, with a subscdriber base of 381,000 and 2014 revenues of €321 million, followed by R, with 333,000 customers and revenues of €234 million.
Former FremantleMedia executive Simon Spalding has taken a non-executive chairman role at Blurrt, the social media analysis firm based in Wales.Spalding was formerly FremantleMedia’s Asian boss and also oversaw the producer and distributor’s European operation.At Blurrt he will advise the start-up strategy and oversee its growth plans in the UK and international markets. The social media firm added that he will lead investor relations and oversee sales and marketing.The company, which launched in 2013, has worked with ITV and Warner Bros., uses proprietary software to analyse real-time social media activity.Spalding said: “I was drawn to Blurrt because I instantly loved what their product could do. The platform has a unique ability to discover and surface social content in a way that no-one else in the market can currently offer – and that in itself is hugely exciting.”He added: “In all my previous roles I have focused on creating and capturing value from unique content. The platform has uses across a broad range of industry sectors and is easily scalable on an international basis.”
Video technology provider Ooyala has filed a lawsuit against rival Brightcove, alleging “deliberate and willful misappropriation of proprietary trade secrets”.The suit accuses Brightcove of using customer contact lists, confidential sales pitches and pricing, marketing plans and corporate strategies to “undermine and exploit Ooyala’s business dealings and sales efforts” throughout Latin America.Ooyala said in a statement that it is seeking an injunction in a Boston federal court to stop Brightcove’s misappropriation of trade secrets, and is asking Brightcove and the named employees in the case to “return all proprietary materials and destroy all customer information”.The complaint, which was filed at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, named Brightcove and two former Ooyala employees, who now work at Brightcove –Darío Pérez Real, and Raúl Francisco García Domíngue – as defendants in the case.“In the final three months of Defendant Perez’s employment as a senior sales executive at Ooyala, and while he was being courted to join Ooyala’s direct competitor Brightcove, Perez surreptitiously sent to Brightcove a wealth of Ooyala’s confidential and trade secret information,” alleged Ooyala in the filing.It claimed that this information included contact information for current and prospective clients, specific fees and prices for clients, customised client specifications, expiration and renewal dates for customer contracts, Salesforce reports containing prospective client intelligence and market analysis, communications with clients, and meeting dates with prospective and existing clients.“The misappropriation of trade secrets was coordinated by defendant Garcia, a former vice president of Ooyala and current head of Brightcove’s Latin America division,” the filing claimed.In a statement sent to Digital TV Europe, Brightcove rejected the allegations and claimed that the lawsuit is “entirely without merit”.“We are aware of Ooyala’s assertions concerning the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. When first alerted to these assertions by Ooyala, we reviewed them in good faith and reached out to Ooyala in an effort to address its concerns,” said a spokesperson for Brightcove.“Ooyala disengaged from that conversation and then filed this suit. Brightcove believes that this lawsuit is entirely without merit. We are working to resolve the matter, which is narrowly focused on a particular region and does not concern our products, services or technology.”
CCS Insight has raised its forecast for 5G rollouts after strong industry momentum in the last six months – but says that Europe continues to trail the early adoption of the US and Asia.The research firm now forecasts that there will be almost 60 million global 5G connections in 2020, up more than 50% on its previous outlook of October 2017.In 2021, CCS Insight expects there to be 280 million global 5G connections, up 25% on its earlier forecast.The 1 billion 5G connections-mark is expected to be reached in mid-2023, while the projection for 2025 now stands at 2.7 billion connections.The revised figures come after the telecom industry standards body, 3GPP, ratified specifications for 5G in December, leading to a number of operators in the US and Asia target commercial deployment in 2019.CCS Insight predicts that initial commercial 5G services could appear – on a limited scale – as soon as late 2018 in the US.However, it claims that China will quickly take the lead after early deployments in developed markets like South Korea, Japan and the US.The new stats predict that China will reach 100 million 5G connections in 2021, before passing 1 billion in 2025. By then, China is expected to account for 40% of global 5G connections.In Western Europe, 5G connections are expected to pass 100 million connections in early 2023, with CCS claiming that the region “appears further adrift of the leading markets than ever before”.The report said that while some European operators seem to be showing more appetite for 5G than others, Western Europe “continues to be hindered” by market fragmentation, lack of scale, increasing regulation and a focus on 4G networks.“We see the first 5G smartphones emerging in 2019, but these will be relatively few in number,” said Marina Koytcheva, CCS Insights’ vice-president of forecasting. “The real ramp-up will come in 2021, when over 350 million 5G handsets will be sold worldwide.”CCS Insight principal analyst, Kester Mann, added: “The industry might be struggling to establish the business models for investment in 5G, but this isn’t stopping leading operators battling for bragging rights to launch the first networks.“Competitive forces and the need for capacity are the leading drivers of early deployment, although we caution this could set unrealistic expectations for initial network capability.”The news comes in the same week that the UK’s four main mobile operators – EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone – each successfully bid for UK spectrum earmarked for 5G. The auction, which also included some 4G bandwidth, raised a total £1.356 billion (€1.55 billion).
Indian streaming video service Hotstar has set a new world record for online streaming with 8.26 million concurrent viewers, according to the company’s CDN provider Akamai.On May 22 Hotstar streamed the first qualifier match of this season’s Vivo Indian Premier league cricket between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings, with 8.26 million peak concurrent viewers tuning in simultaneously. Over four hours, more than 26 million viewers tuned into Hotstar to watch the match.The previous record for concurrent streams is believed to have been established by YouTube when Felix Baumgartner’s space jump in 2012 saw a peak of just over eight million concurrent viewers tuning in to watch the event.Last year recorded a peak concurrency of 4.8 million simultaneous viewers during the India-Pakistan ICC Champions’ Trophy final cricket match, the highest in the APAC at that time.The opening week of Vivo IPL 2018 broke this record with 5.5 million concurrency recorded on April, 10 followed by a peak of 7.1 million on April 25.The Vivo IPL 2018 tournament, now in its final week, ends this Sunday. This is the fifth year that Hotstar has streamed the tournament. The current edition of the tournament has included features such as Watch’NPlay, a skill-based game that tests cricket fans’ knowledge as they watch, virtual reality and feeds available in eight languages.Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar said: “Four years ago, when we started streaming IPL, eight million viewers would have been a big deal for the whole tournament. Crossing eight million simultaneous users is a testimony to the power of Vivo IPL and evidence of the abiding passion of cricket fans. It is not just about the scale, however. It is about reinventing the sports experience online and constantly raising the bar. Our objective is to create the future of social TV. And we are proud that the tech that we are building is expanding the frontiers of online video.”Parimal Pandya, vice president, media, APJ, Akamai Technologies, said: “Over the past year and a half, Hotstar has broken several online viewing records at the regional level. A contributing factor was technology from Akamai playing a role in bringing down the latency drastically so users can enjoy the live action almost as well as people watching it on their television. This is a clear indicator of the fact that, driven by technology from Akamai, live sporting action can be enjoyed on a smartphone which is the new frontier for audience engagement and growth.”
Swedish conglomerate Kinnevik’s board has resolved to propose the distribution of all the company’s shares in Modern Times Group (MTG) to its shareholders, following a reclassification of Kinnevik’s MTG class A shares into MTG class B shares. The board intends to present the proposal at an EGM of shareholders during the third quarter.The move follows the January announcement of the merger between mobile telecoms player Tele2 and cable operator Com Hem, when Kinnevik agreed to effect pro-competitive measures , if required, to complete the deal.Kinnevik has participated in the European Commission’s merger control procedure to identify measures that would enable merger clearance. By distributing all of Kinnevik’s shares in MTG, Kinnevik said it would both ensure clearance of the merger of Tele2 and Com Hem, and deliver an extraordinary dividend to Kinnevik’s shareholders totallikng SEK4.9 billion (€483 million) based on the MTG class B share price as at June 13.The distribution also gives Kinnevik’s shareholders the opportunity to become direct shareholders in MTG and Nordic Entertainment Group following the split of MTG into two parts that is expected to be completed during the second half of 2018.Georgi Ganev, CEO of Kinnevik, said:”For over 30 years, MTG has shaped the future of entertainment and has successfully transformed from a traditional broadcaster into a global digital entertainer. By distributing our shares in MTG to our shareholders, we honor our commitment to support the merger of Tele2 and Com Hem while simultaneously allowing our shareholders to retain their exposure to MTG – both of which I am convinced will create long-term value for our shareholders.”
German cable operator Tele Columbus, which operates under the PŸUR brand, has signed up for a regional government-supported initiative to develop fibre networks in Schleswig-Holstein.Tele Columbus HQThe operator has joined the Bündnis für den Glasfaserausbau, an alliance to promote fibre deployment in the northern German state.Tele Columbus CEO Timm Degenhardt signed up to the alliance at a meeting with Schleswig-Holstein minister of economic affairs Bern Bucholz. The aim of the initiative so to provide the whole of Schleswig-Holstein with fast fibre connectivity by 2025.Tele Columbus said it was already deeply involved in the state, providing broadband and cable TV services in the cities of Kiel, Flensburg, Lübeck and Neumünster along with a number of other municipalities. The company’s largest current investment in Schleswig-Holstein is a fibre deployment in the Plön district in eastern part of the state.The operator is collaborating with the state Zweckverband – a special purpose association of local city governments that covers 46 municipalities in the state – to build its networks. Tele Columbus has built out networks in about half of the 46 municipalities with a plan to complete all of them by the end of this year.Currently about 39% of Schleswig-Holstein’s homes are passed with FTTH or FTTB networks.