Categories: Lucido News,Lucido Photos 29Sep Rep. Lucido welcomes ‘Rep. for a Day’ contest winner to the Capitol State Rep. Peter J. Lucido today hosted a very special guest when Lilly Urban of Shelby Township joined the lawmaker as “Representative for a Day.”Lilly was selected as the winner of Rep. Lucido’s summer reading contest. The reading contest—which took place between May and August—invited elementary school students to fill out an entry bookmark each time they completed reading 10 books to win a trip to the Capitol.“We have ourselves a true future leader in Lilly Urban,” said Rep. Lucido, a Republican from Shelby Township. “She has shown the utmost dedication to her education by demonstrating the importance of reading and in doing so sets a great example for her peers.”After taking an oath and being sworn in as a “junior representative,” Lilly toured the Capitol alongside Rep. Lucido and then participated in a mock committee hearing followed by lunch with Rep. Lucido.“It was truly a pleasure having Miss Urban at the Capitol today,” Rep. Lucido said. “I have no doubt that we will see more from her in the future as her remarkable work ethic and positive attitude will take her far.”Rep. Lucido plans to host a similar reading contest next summer.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesSeptember 5, 2014; ColorLinesFrom the point of view of a former community organizer, the strategy for those who have organized rallies or advocacy events is to build momentum and awareness that can help push the cause forward. Often, this momentum and public awareness is short-lived.Over a month ago, an unarmed, 18-year-old, black teenager named Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri. The case reached communities all over the world, shining a light not only on the tensions between the black community and law enforcement, but also onto the militarization of local police forces and America’s ongoing struggle with race relations. Ferguson, a small suburb of St. Louis, was in the eye of the world. A couple of weeks later, according to ColorLines, a daily online newspaper from Race Forward, a national organization that advances racial justice through research, media, and practice, the “national media are gone and the police have stopped making drama with tanks, tear gas, and rubber bullets.”What is different from most events like this is that people are still coming to Ferguson to show their support and to protest. People are not only coming from nearby, but from cities and communities thousands of miles away. According to Akiba Solomon, the article’s author, she joined “journalists, lawyers, medics, organizers, pastors, students, tech experts and videographers…More than 500 of us have traveled from Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Portland, Tucson, Washington D.C., Winston-Salem and other cities to support the people of Ferguson and help turn a local moment into a national movement.”Michael Matlock from nearby St. Louis stated, “I couldn’t sit back on the sidelines; no more posting and tweeting…. This is the biggest thing I done seen since the Million Man March. We need to be out here supporting.” Lynetta Hayes, also from St. Louis, thinks about the treatment of her nephews by the police, stating, “They’re the same age as Michael Brown and they’re right here in this community…This could have been anyone, any one of our nieces, nephews, any one of our children.”The effort was organized by a group called Black Lives Matter and funded in part by social media fundraising through the online site GoFundMe. Black Lives Matter is not an organization but, according to its Facebook page, a “forum intended to build connections between Black people and our allies to fight anti-Black racism, to spark dialogue amongst Black people, and to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement.”The efforts of BLM have included congregations and families with children. Solomon describes the event she attended as peaceful and well organized, with leaders breaking everyone “into groups according to area of expertise and [planning] at least three local actions we will take. Deadlines are assigned and leaders assure us that we will have accountability partners to ensure that we do the work.”As the author rode home with her bus-mates, they took “a group photo with…hands up, the now-universal sign of resisting police and vigilante violence.” Ferguson for many will not be the typical march, but one that has real staying power.—John BrothersShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share5TweetShare3Email8 SharesBy Ggia – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, LinkJune 19, 2017; Al JazeeraWith all of the turmoil in America’s capital, it can be easy to forget about the issues plaguing the rest of the world. But, during today’s World Refugee Day, advocates here and abroad drew attention to the international refugee crisis. Unfortunately, the massive scale of the problem defies quick solutions and requires non-developing countries to step up with more financial and diplomatic support, not to mention a commitment to resettlement.The number of people forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict or persecution increased by 300,000 to 65.6 million from 2015 to 2016, according to a new report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Fifty-one percent are children, including 75,000 young people traveling alone. (This fascinating Fast Company visualization illustrates the flow of refugees around the world from 2000 to 2015.)Other worrisome trends include a rise in refugees fleeing the civil war in South Sudan:South Sudan’s civil war, which began in December 2013, has left tens of thousands dead and forced a total of 3.7 million people from their homes—nearly a third of the population.Overall, the refugee population from the world’s youngest country swelled 85 percent last year to reach 1.4 million by the end of 2016, the UNHCR report showed.But, with the conflict in Syria unrelenting, Syrians still make up the largest portion of refugees. The report notes that 55 percent of refugees come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.NPQ has reported extensively on the international refugee crisis and internally displaced people and how nonprofit organizations are playing a role. Outcomes have been mixed, especially when complex relief efforts need to be coordinated across cultures and borders. A recent report even showed that NGO anti-smuggling efforts actually worsened the situation for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.In fact, 84 percent of refugees are hosted in the world’s developing regions: Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Uganda, and Ethiopia are the top hosts, respectively. It speaks volumes that no countries in the Western world appear on that list, particularly when nationalism is on the rise.Here in the U.S., President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily blocking travel from seven (later changed to six) majority-Muslim countries, which has repeatedly been blocked by various courts as discriminatory and is now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The order and four-month hiatus on accepting new refugees devastated the network of refugee resettlement agencies, where hundreds of jobs have been cut since the President’s executive order. They had expected to receive 110,000 refugees this year.There is some good news: Statistics show that refugees can help the economies where they’re resettled. And, some American companies, including Airbnb and Chobani, are increasingly stepping up as advocates for refugees and immigrants, perhaps thanks to nonprofit initiatives like Welcoming America. The country’s newest Americans have even made their voices heard as leaders of their communities over the past decade.However, charitable dollars haven’t necessarily followed, although Giving USA’s 2016 report showed increases for international affairs organizations, among others, as immigration issues took center stage in public and political discourse pre and post-election.Without national governments and donors putting resources behind resettlement, and with conflicts growing in new regions, it’s unlikely the world will see a decline in refugee populations anytime soon.—Anna BerryShare5TweetShare3Email8 Shares
Share23TweetShareEmail23 SharesNovember 3, 2018; NPR, “Environment” and the New York TimesThe Climate Kids along with their nonprofit supporter, Our Children’s Trust, have won the ability to sue the federal government over its policies regarding climate change. The Supreme Court has determined that Juliana v. United States can move forward. The Climate Kids may take their case to federal court this month.The 21 plaintiffs, mostly minors who ranged in age from 8 to 19 at the time, began this legal journey by filing a suit, based on public trust doctrine, in Eugene, Oregon, in 2015. The suit charges that the government caused damage to the planet by encouraging production of fossil fuels while ignoring what they knew about the warming of the planet. The government has attempted numerous times in the last three years to have the lawsuit dismissed.Some climate change lawsuits, even those filed by municipalities, have been dismissed, as NPQ has reported. Often, the suits are filed with assistance from nonprofits, as is the case here, where Our Children’s Trust is backing the Climate Kids’ constitutional climate lawsuit.Kelsey Juliana, named plaintiff, is now 22 years old. She says, in a statement, “I want to trust that we are truly on track for trial without having further delays, but these defendants are treating this case, our democracy, and the security of mine and future generations like it’s a game. I’m tired of playing this game.”The lawsuit requests a national plan be created to “restore Earth’s energy balance” and “stabilize the climate system.”Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco, seeking a stay from the Supreme Court, did not believe the plaintiffs would be harmed by waiting for the justices to consider the case. He says the plaintiffs could not prove direct injury to sue: “All involve the diffuse effects of a generalized phenomenon on a global scale that are the same as those felt by any other person in their communities, in the United States, or throughout the world at large.”The plaintiffs responded:When a child suffers climate-induced flooding where the child sleeps, increased incidence of asthma attacks from climate-induced wildfire and smoke conditions in areas where the child exercises, dead coral reefs due to overly warm oceans where the child swims, and storm surges and rising seas perpetually attacking the barrier island where the child lives so that the child now routinely evacuates and experiences flooding in the child’s roads, home and school, those injuries are hardly generalized grievances.There’s no guarantee the government won’t attempt another stay, but the Climate Kids appear to be in it for the long haul.—Marian ConwayShare23TweetShareEmail23 Shares
HBO Nordic has selected Ericsson to manage the playout of its new online video service for the Nordic region.HBO Nordic will launch its first HBO-branded service in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland in October. The premium linear and on-demand offering will be available via the streaming site hbnordic.com. Ericsson has been selected to manage playout and media management services for the new platform under a five-year deal.
Vivendi’s supervisory board is set to confirm Bolloré chairman and CEO Vincent Bolloré as a member of its board at the company’s general shareholders’ meeting on April 30. Viviendi will also name Nathalie Bricault, who will represent the company’s employee shareholders for the first time, to the board, as well as former Apple Europe, Middle East, India and Africa general manager and vice-president Pascal Cagni. Also new to the board will be Yseulys Costes, chairman and CEO and founder of the interactive marketing company 1000mercis, and Alexandre de Juniac, chairman and CEO of Air France.Maureen Chiquet and Christophe de Margerie have decided not to renew their term of office in 2013.Bolloré was co-opted as a board member in December following the acquisition of channels Direct 8 and Direct Star by Canal Plus.
Russian service provider VimpelCom has appointed the former executive VP of strategy and new business development at energy company OJSC TNK-BP Management as the head of its Russian business unit. Mikhail Slobodin takes the role effective immediately, with the appointment coming as Anton Kudryashov was upped to the group executive board as chief group business development and portfolio officer.Kudryashov’s new role is effective from 14 October 2013 and his contract has been extended to the end of 2016.“I am very pleased that Anton has accepted our offer to join the group executive board. Under his strong leadership our business in Russia has reversed the negative trends of the previous years and has significantly strengthened its market position, through closing the gaps in products and services as well as successfully launching and executing key strategic projects aimed at improving the efficiency of the operations and achieving a superior customer experience,” said VimpelCom CEO Jo Lunder.In May, VimpelCom announced that chief financial officer Henk van Dalen had decided to leave the company when his contract expires in September 2013.
International sports broadcaster Eurosport has taken rights to key games in the Women’s Champions League football competition.It has taken rights to home games featuring VfL Potsdam and FFC Potsdam. The Discovery backed broadcaster will also have away games from the German teams.Underscoring the growing interest in women’s football on TV, Wolfsburg’s triumph over Olympique Lyonais in the 2013 Champions League won Eurosport 7.8 million viewers, a 62% increase on the audience for the 2012 final.Eurosport has recently bagged Women German Bundesliga rights and also shows Women’s World Cup Games.The broadcaster said it had a cumulative 55 million viewers for its coverage of the 2013 Euro Championships in Sweden in July, and saw a 53% increase in its average audience on the 2011 numbers when the tournament was last held.
Media services provider Globecast is using NAB to introduce a new OTT offering encompassing live, VoD and catch-up programming.OTT Live is for simulcast delivery of linear channels. OTT VoD ingests individual programme assets into the online video platform for VoD services and delivers the content over the Internet, and OTT Live-to-VoD creates a VoD package from entire linear channels.Globecast has partnered with Akamai as its preferred CDN supplier, while Kaltura is supplying its online video platform and app technologies as well as providing the video management layer.Anevia is supplying its Viamotion Plus solutions suite that interoperates with all transcoders currently available, according to the company. Globecast is deploying technology from Thomson Video Networks and Elemental to provide transcoding solutions for linear and non-linear content.Christine Jecko, chief marketing officer at Globecast, told DTVE that Globecast would deliver its OTT offering from all three of its global media centres in Singapore, Los Angeles and London. In addition to working with Akamai, she said that Globecast would also team up with local CDNs to meet the needs of content providers targeting specific markets where Akamai did not have a major presence, such as Russia.Jecko said that Globecast’s platform would deliver VoD preparation, including VoD files for catch-up TV as well as for on-demand content not in the live playlist.Globecast is targeting content providers and aggregators that want to deliver video content globally. Jecko said that the company believes there is substantial potential for growth in the Asian market in particular. She said that Globecast benefited from its position in the Chinese market, giving it a competitive advantage over rivals.“We are not only serving broadcasters but also content owners that want to go directly to customers via OTT,” she said. Another target market is smaller pay TV aggregators that would like third parties to deliver OTT services, in particular for mobile delivery.Jecko said Globecast primarily sees OTT delivery as complementary to satellite and other forms of broadcast.Globecast will this year add ‘edge playout’ to its portfolio of playout services, said Jecko. This involves the use of infrastructure in specific territories to localise content delivered over fibre from a main broadcast centre located elswhere. The idea, she said, is to enable broadcasters to market-test services in new countries, meeting local regulatory compliance requirements and potentially delivering localised graphics, advertising and content without the need to invest heavily in local infrastructure.Edge playout is seen as complementary but distinct from remote playout, already offered by Globecast, where playout in particular territories can be managed from a centre located somewhere else.
Sky said that it added 74,000 new TV customers in the three months ending March 31, more than double the growth that it experienced in the same quarter last year.Announcing its fiscal third quarter results, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said that Sky had a strong quarter and “continued to grow at an accelerated rate,” following concerns this week from analysts at Berenberg and Credit Suisse that it would suffer a decline in traditional pay TV subscribers for the first time.Sky said that it added 74,000 net new TV customers and 108,000 net new HD customers.It also recorded 284,000 new Sky Go Extra customers and said that 3.7 million customers now use its online offering Sky Go, up 13% year-on-year.On-demand usage tripled year-on-year, said Sky, and now accounts for more than 5% of viewing in connected Sky homes. On average, each connected home downloaded three pieces of content per week.“Our investment in connected TV services is delivering results. Almost 50% of Sky homes are now connected and this is transforming their viewing experience: connected customers are watching more TV, they’re more loyal and they’re more likely to recommend Sky,” said Darroch.“Nine months into our plans for the year, we have added almost a third more new paid-for subscription products than in the same period last year,” he added.Sky said that its connected TV base is now 5 million, having connected 600,000 more Sky+HD boxes in the quarter.In total, the firm claimed that it added 2.4 million new paid-for subscription products in the nine months since 30 June 2013, 31% more than the same period last year.Sky said that its adjusted Q3 revenue increased by 7% year-on-year to £5.666 billion. Adjusted EBITDA was down 2.4% to £1.233 billion, which Sky was a “good result” considering its connected services investment and an uplift in Premier League amortisation.
Google CardboardYouTube has added 360-degree video support to parent company Google’s virtual reality offering, Google Cardboard.Announcing the rollout, YouTube said that all of the service’s 360-degree content is now available on Google Cardboard, providing a “truly immersive experience”.Google Cardboard is an initiative that lets viewers place their phone in a folded cardboard holder that can be held up to their face, so that they can experience virtual reality apps.YouTube first announced that it had started to support 360-degree video uploads, allowing viewers to control the angle and point-of-view of supported video clips, in March.Viewers can access these videos from Android devices, the Chrome web browser and now also on iPhones and iPads running iOS 8.0 and above.“To give you more ways to start filming in 360, we’ve announced today the Jump capture rig, which consists of 16 camera modules in a circular arrangement,” said YouTube product manager Sanjeev Verma.“Jump lets you capture, assemble and share immersive, three-dimensional content so that even more people can experience a time or place like they’re actually there.”YouTube content creators can access these 360-degree camera rigs at the firm’s six global YouTube Space studios in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York, Sao Paulo and Berlin.
BBC director general, Tony HallThe BBC must “reinvent public service broadcasting” in a bid to take on digital video giants like Amazon and Netflix, according to director general Tony Hall.In a speech to BBC staff in Birmingham to mark the beginning of the BBC’s new 11-year charter period, Hall said that the BBC iPlayer must “make the leap from a catch-up service to a must-visit destination in its own right”.To do this, he highlighted personalisation as a “major priority” and said the BBC aims to grow the number of users who sign-in to the iPlayer from around three million today to 20 million “as quickly as possible”.“Our goal, even in the face of rapid growth by our competitors, is for iPlayer to be the number one online TV service in the UK. That will mean doubling our reach, and quadrupling the time each person spends on it every week. And we want do it by 2020,” said Hall.“By finding out more about our audiences and what they like, we can make better content, make it more relevant, and bring it to them more effectively. The closer and more personal our relationship with our audiences, the more I’m certain they will choose the BBC.”Hall said that he also wanted the BBC to examine how it can “push boundaries” in areas such as voice recognition and virtual reality.“As I’ve said many times before, we have to ride two horses: doing brilliant things on our existing channels and services, but also innovating in the digital space. Our task therefore is to reinvent public service broadcasting so that it works for all audiences, so that everyone gets value from the BBC,” said Hall.Discussing today’s changing media space, he said that 16-24 year-olds now spend 25% of their media time on social media and messaging, and across the whole of the TV market, time spent with young audiences has fallen by 20-30%.“The media landscape has changed beyond recognition. It is hugely more global and more competitive,” said Hall.“We’re now in an environment where Amazon, Netflix, and others are willing to invest huge amounts of money with no certain return in an attempt to capture market share where Facebook is looking at commissioning its own TV programmes, and Twitter is buying up sports rights and where moves such as the Fox-Sky merger are making the very biggest players even bigger.”To compete against these “big beasts”, Hall said that the BBC needs to be more entrepreneurial and must move away from working in silos – an old way of working that “simply cannot succeed”.Highlighting the BBC’s global ambitions, Hall said that he never wants the corporation to become a “publisher-broadcaster” and that owning intellectual property rights is key for the future.He pointed to the BBC’s production arm, BBC Studios, as critical to the BBC’s future global success and said this represents a “revolution in the way we source and make our programmes”.“I’m convinced that Studios is the only way we will secure our future as one of the very best programme-makers in the world,” he claimed.The BBC’s new Charter commenced on 1 January 2017 and under the terms of the new agreement, the BBC will scrap its governing body, the BBC Trust, as of April. In its place Ofcom will regulate the BBC and a new executive board will be created.Hall’s comments came on the same day that the BBC confirmed that David Clementi has been put forward as the preferred candidate for BBC chair – the head of this new executive board.
Pete FlammanPeter Flamman has landed a new role at Viacom and will oversee MTV and Nickelodeon across a large chunk of Europe as well as in Africa and the Middle East.Based in Madrid, he will oversee development and production, acquisitions, scheduling and operations across the channels and their digital services.Flamman replaces Laura Abril, who is now the senior VP editorial, Iberia, covering Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Channel.Flamman joined Viacom in late 2015, having been at Turner in London for almost 15 years in a variety of leadership roles including SVP and general manager for Northern Europe and UK; SVP and MD of Kids Brands for EMEA; and SVP and COO for Turner EMEA.He joined Viacom as senior VP of brands for northern Europe and his new titles is senior VP, youth and music and kids and familybrands across what VIMN calls its Southern & Western Europe, Africa and Middle East (SWEMEA) cluster. Flamman reports to reports to Raffaele Annecchino, president and managing director of VIMN SWEMEA.Annecchino said:“Pete’s years of industry experience and great track record make him an excellent fit for the team and the perfect choice to lead these brands forward.”Flamman added: “I’m delighted to be leading such diverse and talented teams and I’m looking forward to building on our successful glocal strategy for both of these key brand portfolios across the cluster.”
Facebook CEO, Mark ZuckerbergVideo will be a much bigger driver of Facebook’s business in the next few years than Facebook Messenger, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Speaking on the company’s second quarter earnings call, Zuckerberg said that Messenger and WhatsApp are a huge opportunity and are services it will invest a lot in over a three-to-five year period.However, he singled out video as having the possibility to reach large scale and shift the economics of the “current feed-based businesses” with mid-roll ads, revenue shares and a different margin structure.“One of the big questions that we’re focused on as we build this out,” said Zuckerberg, referring to the social network’s content plans.“We’re very committed to building it out because it’s what people in the community want. But one of the big things that we’re really very focused on is making sure that we get this right.”Zuckerberg said he wanted to do an “accurate and a full job of conveying what we’re actually thinking about as a business,” after noting that a lot of the questions on the call had focused on Facebook Messenger.He said he was “optimistic” about video and claimed it will a “much bigger driver of the business over the next two to three years”.Asked about Facebook’s augmented and mixed reality plans, Zuckerberg said: “Video is going to be the primary driver or one of the big drivers over the next few years and Messenger maybe after that. I think AR is quite far down the road.”“But when you’re running an operation and serving people at this scale, I think you have a responsibility to invest in all these things that are downstream that could help shape and improve people’s lives, because I don’t think that there are that many other folks in the world who will.”Also speaking on the call, Facebook’s chief financial officer, David Wehner, said that the company expects video content investments to “contribute to operating expense growth in the second half of 2017.”He said Facebook now expects it full year 2017 total GAAP expense growth to be approximately 40% to 45%, narrowed from its previous range of 40% to 50%.In May Reuters reported that Facebook had signed deals with youth-focused media companies like BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Group Nine Media for a forthcoming video service made up of long- and short-form content interspersed with ads.In December Recode reported that Facebook had started talks with TV studios and video producers about licensing shows, in a bid to bolster its video efforts.Meanwhile, the social network hired CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen last summer as head of global creative strategy.Overall in Q2 Facebook reported a 45% year-on-year increase in total revenue to US$9.32 billion. Net income climbed 71% to US$3.89 billion.
Google’s European president Matt Brittin has said it is “appropriate” that YouTube is not subject to the same regulations as broadcasters and newspapers.Matt BrittinSpeaking at an RTS event in London this week, Google’s president of EMEA business and operations rejected the idea that YouTube is essentially broadcaster and should be treated as such in the eyes of law makers.He drew the distinction between YouTube, an open platform that has some 480 hours of content uploaded to it every minute, and a broadcaster that commissions content to fill a set amount of airtime.“When people say ‘are you a publisher or a platform’, ‘are you a broadcaster or not’, I think that carries with it a whole range of assumptions,” said Brittin.“I think it’s quite good to be specific about what’s different. So we’re not a broadcaster, I would say. But we do have responsibilities and we do have regulation that we need to comply with and follow. I’m sure that those regulations, as they have in other media, will develop over time.”Asked if he thought YouTube was regulated enough, Brittin said: “I don’t think any business person is going to put their hand up and say ‘we need loads more regulation’. But, we are regulated.“We don’t have the same set of rules as a newspaper, we don’t have the same set of rules as a television station, and I think that’s appropriate… But we do have laws and responsibilities that we comply with, and I think lawmakers rightly look at new areas.”YouTube has come under fire this year for playing host to, and in some instances making ad revenue from, extremist content. A recent investigation by The Times newspaper also flagged monetised videos that it claimed “exploit young children and appeal to paedophiles”.Discussing the issue of extremist content, Brittin said that YouTube had put in place a combination of policies, enforcement processes and has been working closely with experts on this area and has made “real progress”.Of the recent Times investigation, Brittin said that prior to the publication of the story, YouTube had introduced a new policy in June around child protection that it has been “improving over time”.He added that the efforts taken by YouTube to combat violent extremist content via a process of policy, enforcement and expertise is also being moved to other categories of controversial content.
UK public broadcaster Channel 4’s on-demand and catch-up service All4, along with the HD version of Channel 4, is to disappear from free-to-view satellite platform Freesat tomorrow after the pair failed to agree new carriage terms.Freesat said it remained “committed to bringing Freesat customers the very best content and hope to see the channels return soon”.The standard definition version of the channel along with digital services E4, More 4, 4seven and Film 4 are unaffected by the changes and remain available on the platform.UK regulations mean that Channel 4 is obliged to broadcast the standard-definition version of its services available across all platforms.Channel 4 cited a significant rise in fees as the reason for its decision to pull the services from Freesat, which is backed by the BBC and ITV.Freesat is available in over two million UK homes.
Conservative MP for Kenilworth and Southam, Jeremy Wright, has been named the UK’s new culture secretary after Matt Hancock took the health secretary role yesterday as part of a cabinet reshuffle.Jeremy WrightWright takes over from Hancock as secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, having worked as attorney general for the past four years. He has been MP for Kenilworth and Southam since 2010.Hancock replaces Jeremy Hunt as secretary of state for health and social care. Hunt has in turn taken over as foreign secretary following the resignation of Boris Johnson on Monday afternoon over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy.Hancock was upped to culture secretary in January to replace Karen Bradley. Prior to that was minister of state for digital from July 2016. The MP for West Suffolk was elected in the 2010 general election.“Loved the last two years @DCMS and thank you to all the brilliant digital dynamos, artists & mission-driven civil servants, who worked so hard to achieve so much,” Hancock Tweeted.“Really looking forward to joining @DHSCgovuk at such an important time for our great NHS. I can’t wait to get started.”The new digital, culture and media and sport secretary does not appear to be on Twitter.
Five million French viewers aged four and over watch live or catch-up TV programmes online every day, up 28% in the last two years, according to statistics released by French audience ratings agency Médiamétrie.According to the ratings agency, the proportion of people watching TV on their mobile phones has doubled in the last two years.Of the five million who watch TV online, Médiamétrie has calculated that two million only watch content online, boosting the total of 42.7 million who watch content via their TV.According to the ratings outfit, online TV viewers spend 65% of their time watching live content, mostly via TV channel sites and apps, which represent 46.8% of time spent watching TV content online.Pure OTT TV services such as Molotov or MyCanal account for 26.4% of time spent watching programmes online, according to Médiamétrie.The ratings outfit also found that 5.6% of French viewers over the age of 15 watch subscription video-on-demand services on a daily basis on top of linear TV viewing, up from 2.6% a year ago. Some three million individuals watch both TV and SVOD every day, with an average age of 31.
Digital TV Europe’s editorial team named Liberty Global’s Mike Fries as Industry Leader of the Year at our Euro 50 Awards last month (held at Cable Congress in Switzerland). Ahead of the show, he talked to Stuart Thomson about the company’s current plans.Liberty Global has long stood at the forefront of European cable’s drive to establish itself as the leading consumer distribution platform for voice, video and data. For CEO and president Mike Fries, the industry’s future rests on the pillars of the rapid development of broadband, digital TV, and further consolidation. Fries says Liberty’s goal is be perceived as a provider of ‘quality’ – enabling it to differentiate on the basis of reliability and speed in broadband, great content and enhanced services in TV.Broadband is at the forefront of competition between fixed-line service providers. “I think today it’s very much about speed and the bundle,” says Fries. “The bundle is the product and, within that product, a high-quality fast broadband service that delivers everything it says it can deliver is the number one driver of value.”While the battle for broadband remains primarily a matter of speed, competition for TV customers is increasingly focused on services including HDTV and DVRs. “We have nine million homes today that are still analogue. The reason we’re converting over a million of those homes each year to digital is that products like DVRs and HD are really killer apps,” says Fries. “When people receive an HD signal and when they start using the functionality of a DVR and see the benefits of clear signals and the variety and choice on digital platforms, there is no turning back.”The next phase for Liberty Global is the launch of its next-generation platform, the combined set-top and home gateway dubbed Project Horizon. The device, which will combine an in-home wireless network, IP delivery of content to multiple devices and an advanced user interface with search and recommendation capability, will initially be aimed at premium subscribers. “We’re not going to abandon our existing digital platforms so initially it’s going to be a high-end product meaning that it will be an upgrade or available to new customers,” says Fries. “But over time, because the cost is reasonable and because the functionality is so compelling, it should be our basic platform.”Investing in a high-end consumer premises device that is designed to complement the network capabilities of the operator is, says Fries, a strategy that makes perfect sense. The downward trend over time in the cost of consumer premises equipment means that operators can think about deploying new boxes without it having a deleterious impact on the bottom line. The box will launch in the Netherlands, with Switzerland and Germany to follow.One of the major factors that has held the cable industry back from competing more effectively with the vast power of the major fixed-line telecom providers is the fragmented nature of the industry. For this reason, consolidation remains Liberty Global’s third major area of strategic focus.“In our business scale is key. We want to do more of the things that we do really well and that means increasing our scale and scope in core markets,” says Fries. “Remember that we’re competing with very large nationwide telcos that can be anything from 10 to 20 times larger than the entire cable industry in any one country. We’re not naïve. To be competitive in our core markets we have to get bigger and have better reach in order to achieve the same kind of scale and efficiencies that our competitors have.”Liberty Global has recently made significant acquisitions in Poland (where it acquired Aster) and Germany, where it acquired North-Rhine Westphalia and Hesse operator Unitymedia, and has been identified as a possible buyer of Kabel BW in neighbouring Baden-Württemberg. Fries is keen to point out that merger and acquisition activity has to meet the goals of regulators as well as the company’s own corporate ambitions. But on the regulatory front in general, he is praiseful of the recognition now accorded by European and national regulators to cable’s role in bridging the digital divide and helping the EU to meet its 2020 broadband objectives. Liberty Global, he points out, has almost achieved those goals within its own footprint already, a claim that telcos would struggle to match.All things considered then, the European cable industry is in good shape to capture a significant share of the high-speed broadband market. And with over US$4.5 billion (?3.2 billion) in cash or near-cash equivalents available today to fund its expansion, Liberty Global is in good shape to capture a significant part of cable’s share. “We have credibility with and support from our shareholders and I don’t think our industry has ever been in better shape for access to the capital markets and credibility with investors,” says Fries.“The reason we’re converting over a million of those homes each year to digital is that products like DVRs and HDare really killer apps.”
ShareTweet Photos: Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)SPECIAL SHOWCASE HELD FOR SUMMER SONGS PROJECT was last modified: September 29th, 2014 by stephenstephen Tags: Derryshowcasesongssummer Mayor of Derry Cllr Brenda Stevenson with participants at a special showcase event for the Summer Songs Project held in the Foyle Disability Resource Centre in the Centre.Above: Cllr Stevenson is pictured with musicians Danielle Roelofsen (flute) and Patrick Ndombe (guitar). Front are pupils from the Model Primary, from left, Anna Leigh Harkin, Caoirse McCann, James Tomlinson, and Joshan Singh. Standing, from left, are Colin Coyle, Derry City Council, Oonagh McGillion, Derry City Council, Patrick McKeever, manager, Foyleville Day Care Centre, and, from right, volunteers Chris Rodgers, Andrea Mitchell, and Chris Kerr, volunteer co-ordinator, NW Volunteer Centre.Below: Mayor Stevenson with guest speakers Diane Greer and Rosalyn Young, North West Peace III Partnership, and Colin Coyle, Derry City Council.