info heading info content Province: PuntarenasConstruction: 290m2Land: 685m2Bedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 3.5Parking: 2A/C: YesThe price has been reduced from $370,000 to $350,000 No related posts. https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/06.jpg Previous Image https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/05.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/3.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/01.jpg The houses are located in a sub-condominium called Xanadu (29 house spots, only 10 of them are already built) in Los Delfines Club & Golf Condominium. Located in Tambor, Puntarenas.This property home is nested in a beautiful gated community. The house borders a golf course and is short walking distance to the beach. Totally furnished and ready to be purchase or to be rented.An area of 296 square metersTwo-floor housesThree bedroomsTwo-car garageA yard with a swimming poolBalconies and terracesSell price: $350,000 – Completely furnished. In-house financing available with five to seven years 8.5 percent interest and 25 percent down payment.Rent: Maximum two weeks at a time.Rent price: $320 per night with a maximum of 14 nights, 6 adults, no pets, and no smoking inside of the house. A week during low-season is $1,700 and $2,200 during high-season. Christmas, New Years, and Easter week are not included.Check out all of our offerings in our new real estate section here Facebook Comments Reduced from $370,000 to $350,000 OBOMario SaénzEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: +(506) 8851-8990 https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/08.jpg Next Image https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/04.jpg
16Mar Rep. Canfield announces March office hours State Rep. Edward Canfield, R-Sebewaing, invites residents of the 84th House District to join him March 23 for office hours.“My favorite part of this job are the people I represent and getting to meet with them personally is the best way to ensure I represent them well in Lansing,” Rep. Canfield said. “I urge residents with questions and concerns about state government to please join me.”The event will take place on Monday, March 23, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Peppermill Restaurant at 685 N. Port Crescent St. in Bad Axe.Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to contact Rep. Canfield’s office by phone at 517-373-0476, or by email at EdwardCanfield@house.mi.gov. Categories: Canfield News
Categories: Barrett News State Rep. Tom Barrett is hosting a free lunch forum on pipeline and energy infrastructure, as well as veterans issues, at the American Legion in Grand Ledge at noon on Saturday.Rep. Barrett will be accompanied by Vets4Energy, a non-profit group of volunteer veterans, to discuss how energy security helps America achieve national security.“Energy is vital to the U.S. Armed Forces and our country’s national security, said Barrett, who serves as a helicopter pilot in the Michigan National Guard. “Being a member of the armed forces myself, I realize how the effectiveness of our military depends on energy.”The forum will also discuss the importance of hiring veterans to help fill new energy jobs and how to find more accessible energy at affordable prices to keep the military strong in force.“I strongly encourage any active military personnel and veterans to come out and join the lunch forum,” said Barrett, of Potterville. “There is much to talk about on the Veterans Energy Pipeline, which helps connect veterans with top jobs in the oil and natural gas industry.”### 12Jul Rep. Barrett to host lunch forum at Grand Ledge American Legion
Categories: Alexander News,Alexander Photos 09May Committee approves Rep. Alexander plan to honor fallen Corrections Officers Jack Budd and Josephine McCallum The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week approved legislation authored by state Rep. Julie Alexander to rename a portion of I-94 in Jackson County between the 139 and 141 exits as the Corrections Officers Jack Budd and Josephine McCallum Memorial Highway.State Rep. Julie Alexander with Brent Kowitz (left) and Jeremy Tripp (right) testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.Budd was working at the State Prison of Southern Michigan on Dec. 27, 1987 when he was attacked and murdered by an inmate. He left behind a wife and son.McCallum was found murdered at the bottom of a stairwell in the activities building of the State Prison of Southern Michigan on March 24, 1987. She left behind a son and husband. “These dedicated corrections officers were killed in the line of duty while performing an important job – maintaining public safety,” said Alexander, of Hanover. “Renaming a portion of I-94 after these correction officers will help us reflect on the sacrifice they made for our community during their time of service.”Brent Kowitz, a member of the Michigan Corrections Organization, Service Employees International Union, and Local 526M testified in support of the bill with Governmental and Political Affairs Director, Jeremy Tripp of the Michigan Corrections Organization in attendance as well.House Bill 5923 moves to the full House for consideration###
Many southwest Michigan schools get $240 more per studentState Rep. Beth Griffin, a former teacher, said today that Van Buren and Kalamazoo County students are headed back to class supported by a record investment from the state.“I am committed to leaving a better Michigan to our children and grandchildren, and we are steadily adding resources to help fulfill that commitment,” Griffin said. “Whether a student plans to attend college or enter the job market right after graduation, we are providing the help they will need to succeed.”In her two years in the Michigan House, Griffin has voted to bring an additional estimated $11.4 million directly into the school districts she helps represent. Decatur Public Schools, for example, will have received an estimated $274,079 in additional basic foundation allowance money alone over the two-year period. South Haven Public Schools will have added more than $700,000 over two years, and Parchment School District, where Griffin once taught, is in line to receive an estimated $580,000 in additional basic foundation allowance over the two-year period. That translates to $360 per student for the three school districts – including $240 per-student for the new school year — and it does not count money allocated for at-risk students and other programs.Michigan’s commitment to education goes well beyond the basic foundation allowance.The state also is allocating $100 million statewide for the Marshall Plan for Talent, designed to expand and improve skilled trade career opportunities for students.School safety also is a high priority with $25 million set aside statewide for grants to improve building security, plus additional resources to expand the OK2SAY school safety tip reporting system.Overall, Michigan is committing $14.8 billion to the schools budget in the upcoming fiscal year – more than a quarter of the overall state budget. Categories: Griffin News,News 24Aug Back-to-school season comes with record financial commitment, Rep. Griffin says ###
State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, today announced the creation of a special website to keep people informed about the House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates and give Michigan drivers a chance to get their voices heard.The committee today launched www.ReduceMiRatesNow.com, allowing anyone to easily offer input that could help shape future legislation.“This is a great opportunity for residents in the Upper Peninsula to tell their personal stories and help their voice be heard when it comes to lowering car insurance rates for every driver across the state,” said LaFave, who serves on the committee. “If we are going to craft a solution that better serves the interests of Michigan families, it only makes sense to hear from the very people being affected by the highest average car insurance premiums in the nation.”The committee website will include a news tab allowing residents to keep up to date with developments and committee meeting schedules. Ideas submitted by Michigan drivers concerning legislation will go directly to the committee, assuring every submission will be considered.“Please share your stories,” LaFave said. “This helps ensure everyone has a seat at the table, and provides much-needed transparency and accountability to the process. As I’ve toured the district for the past three years, I’ve heard time and time again that this is the number one priority residents want remedied. I want a solution and have been fighting an uphill battle to get one across the finish line. Now is your time to join the fight.”LaFave also encourages residents to “like” the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ReduceMiRatesNow/ to follow the latest news regarding the committee. Lawmaker announces new committee website providing latest news, meeting times and public interaction Categories: LaFave News 21Feb LaFave: U.P. residents encouraged to be part of the no-fault solution
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 18, 2015; CNNPope Francis I issued a papal encyclical on the environment Thursday and few on Earth were not blamed for the current state of the planet. The 184-page document titled Laudato Si (“Praise Be to You”) and subtitled “On Care for Our Common Home” endorses current theories on climate change, asserting that human industrial activity has accelerated the warming of the Earth’s surface, endangering the world’s population and the Earth itself.Climate change skeptics and political conservatives have criticized the encyclical for inserting the Catholic Church directly into scientific and political controversies, in effect taking sides in the climate debate. Political liberals and those who believe changes in human activity can slow or even reverse global warming are applauding Francis’s entry into the debate.Francis isn’t the first pope to address the environment and the Church’s role in protecting it. Both the relatively “liberal” Paul VI in 1971 and “conservative” Saint John Paul II wrote about the need for conservation and environmental awareness. However, Francis is the first to address the subject in terms of human trusteeship of the Earth rather than human dominion over the world’s resources.The CNN article goes beyond the climate change headlines to discuss some of the theological underpinnings of the encyclical. Laudato Si touches on a recurring theme in Francis’s writings—the perils of the “throwaway society” where everything from plastic bottles to the world’s poor and unborn children are regarded only in terms of their short-term utility or inconvenience to those exercising power over them. Francis says: “We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.” He cautions that “the world’s problems cannot be analyzed or explained in isolation.” To Francis, the problems associated with trusteeship of the Earth are holistic, so the solutions must also be holistic.The encyclical places significant blame for the Earth’s current moral and environmental state on technological innovation. Francis’s own suggested solutions lean toward personal and societal simplification—consume less, take the bus, be open to God’s inspiration, etc. Ironically, most climate change initiatives place heavy reliance in new, more efficient technologies to replace the old, harmful ones in the belief that emerging science can rescue us from past science. While many praise the scientific findings of the encyclical, relatively few pay attention to the underlying philosophical and religious rationale, perpetuating the fatal flaw that Francis identifies of treating issues in isolation.Francis has used his influence to focus additional attention on the issues surrounding climate change as several international climate-related conferences are slated for later this year. Many Catholic and Protestant churches have pledged to use the encyclical’s teachings in communications with their members. Observers have said Francis has placed the Catholic Church squarely in the middle of the most controversial scientific debate since the early Renaissance and Galileo. Then, as now, the key to papal credibility is to get both the science and the dogma right.—Michael WylandShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share7TweetShare9Email16 Sharesliving wage / kyle rwSeptember 8, 2016; Washington PostAfter seven years of stagnation, the federal minimum wage is a hot topic of debate during this presidential election, and this will affect many nonprofit workers in very-low-wage jobs like childcare and direct care for the disabled.Currently, 29 states have implemented a minimum wage that is higher than the minimum set by the federal government at $7.25. Yet, even in those states, individuals earning the minimum wage have trouble making ends meet. In fact, an individual working full time at the federal minimum wage would just barely be at the poverty line after taxes.When the Federal Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938, the minimum wage was set specifically so individuals of all skill levels could earn “more than a bare subsistence level.” This statement can be a bit vague, however, as the subsistence level depends on location. For instance, Virginia has opted to keep its minimum wage at the federal $7.25 hourly rate. However, depending on where you live within the state, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $700 to upwards of $2000.This becomes more convoluted when we consider that many people live in Maryland and Virginia but work in Washington, D.C., and vice versa. The Metro D.C. area shares a high cost of living, but depending on whether they work in Maryland, where the minimum wage is $8.75, the District, where the minimum wage is $11.50, or Virginia, an individual’s financial situation can differ widely.What this means for people earning minimum wage is the need to make difficult decisions about basic living needs, even housing. Back in 2009, when the current minimum wage went into effect, the National Coalition for the Homeless indicated that 44 percent of residents in homeless shelters had full-time jobs and were making the minimum wage. Stephanie Berkowitz, president and CEO of Northern Virginia Family Service, estimates that 70 percent of the people using the organization’s housing program are working and 60 percent of the individuals in their homeless shelters are employed. In terms of meeting the “bare subsistence level,” it would seem that someone working forty hours a week should at the very least be able to afford housing.Opponents to raising the minimum wage cite concerns over increased unemployment, the impact on small businesses, and economic downturn overall. However, the Department of Labor debunks these concerns on its “Minimum Wage Mythbusters” page, notably indicating that over 600 economists, seven of whom are Nobel Prize winners, wrote a letter to President Obama saying, in part:In recent years there have been important developments in the academic literature on the effect of increases in the minimum wage on employment, with the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market. Research suggests that a minimum wage increase could have a small stimulative effective on the economy as low-wage workers spend their additional earnings, raising demand and job growth, and providing some help on the jobs front.After years of effort, it appears that the “Fight for $15” campaign is gaining ground. Just a few months ago, District officials approved raising the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. to $15 per hour by 2020, increasing the rate by about seventy cents a year. A handful of other states and cities have also agreed to raise the minimum wage to $15, putting more pressure on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. For nonprofits paying less than a living wage, any advocacy should include aggressive provisions for raising rates to cover costs. But the train seems to be leaving the station and nonprofits need to be involved, as they are in many cases.As the debate persists, President Obama urges officials to consider, “If you truly believe you could work full time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”—Sheela NimishakaviShare7TweetShare9Email16 Shares
Share15Tweet2ShareEmail17 Shares“Clocks 2” by KengoMay 22, 2017; VoxThis fall, when Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, many people felt it as more than a political loss. They despaired or felt unsafe, as though they and their communities were being attacked and their fellow citizens only watched silently. It has been frustrating to watch as years of progress on a number of issues—women’s rights, climate protection, education, criminal justice reform—are stymied or reversed. To many progressives, it feels as the past has intruded upon the present and hidden holders of unpopular opinions have come out of the woodwork in greater numbers than were ever anticipated.But is that what’s really happening? Vox recently collected polls on major issues from numerous sources, and found some surprising results. Nearly two-thirds of Americans agree that immigration helps the United States more than it hurts and oppose the much-touted wall on the Mexican border; more than half of Americans say they want a government that does more to solve problems and meet people’s needs rather than leaving it to businesses; nearly three-quarters of Americans see foreign trade as an economic opportunity, not a threat.We are not at war with our fellow citizens; we agree on more than we think. This isn’t to say there aren’t people with extreme views or that issues like climate change, civil rights, and economic justice championed by liberals and progressives don’t still need constant attention. But if these numbers are anything to go by, advocacy works. Lots of these progressive-conservative ratios have flipped within the last 10 years. But what are we doing with that consensus? Given those figures, Democrats should have triumphed, but instead they were beaten in the great majority of races, resulting in a net gain of almost 1,000 federal and state offices for the GOP since 2008. If most Americans support foreign trade, how did we get a president who threatens to pull out of NATO and NAFTA?This is not the place (if there ever is one) to analyze the election, but to ask where the work of nonprofits is needed or supported and what shape it should take. If most Americans’ opinions on climate change and immigration align with the values of progressive civic society, how can we connect that to policies and policymakers who hold those views as well? Do we have a wider base of funding and support than we thought?As Vox points out, part of the disparity between the views shown in the chart and those represented in government is due to gerrymandering; in several states, progressive candidates got more than half of the popular votes but less than half of the Congressional seats. Racially biased voting districts have been challenged in North Carolina and other places, but voting rights are not yet universal and districts reflect that bias.Part of it has to do with the story we tell about our society and how people feel they fit into it. People understand themselves and their history through stories; white Americans are used to being the protagonists of America’s story, and that may be more important to voters than gun control or tax policy. In fact, as NPQ reported, racial identity played a major role in the results. Yuval Noah Harari wondered in The New Yorker if liberalism was at an end, saying, “As people lose faith in the system’s ability to fulfill their expectations, they become disillusioned even amid unprecedented peace and prosperity.” As pure liberalism proves itself inadequate to deal with huge problems like climate change or cybersecurity, as alternative histories brought to light by civil rights campaigns threaten the story white Americans grew up hearing about themselves, reactionary voting can result in representation that doesn’t align with (some) policy values. But perhaps there’s an opportunity here to bridge a divide.The opportunity for nonprofits is to capitalize on and expand the areas of consensus. Most Americans support public intervention to help solve big problems—a decidedly illiberal view in economic terms, but one that is great news for the public sector. The story of nonprofit advocacy and civic values did not stop or swerve with the November election; there is reason to believe that the good work being done is having an effect. Now, as Vox’s Ruy Teixeira said, you may return to your regularly scheduled panic.—Erin RubinShare15Tweet2ShareEmail17 Shares
3D channel High TV will be available to viewers in the Nordic region after the broadcaster signed a deal with pay TV operator Viasat.High TV 3D will be on-air on Viasat’s 3D channel, available on the Viasat satellite platforms in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland from August 13. The channel airs entertainment shows, news, travel shows from around the world, exclusive dramas, comedies, fitness programmes and movies.“We are pleased to improve our 3D offering with the addition of High TV 3D channel. Our viewers will now be able to enjoy even more 3D content especially produced for the 3D format, said Viasat Broadcasting’s head of Nordic pay TV channels Per Tellander.
UK regulator Ofcom is to delay a decision on awarding local TV licences in key cities including London while it awaits additional information from applicants.According to reports the process of awarding local DTT licences in cities including London, Leeds and Manchester is likely to be delayed by three months while the regulator asks applicants to clarify how much original content they will provide and the extent of their news coverage.An Ofcom spokesman was cited by the MediaGuardian website as saying that Ofcom had decided to ask for clarification from the remaining licence applicants after asking a number of existing franchise winners to clarify their programming plans.Separately, Ofcom has re-awarded licences to the franchise winners of the Nottingham and Sheffield franchises after discovering minor irregularities in the original processes.Ofcom last week unveiled proposals for the use of ‘white space’ spectrum between frequency bands that have been reserved for digital TV broadcasting. Ofcom believes this spectrum could be used for rural wireless broadband access or new machine-to-machine networks.
Al Kabir Season 3 on OSN YahalaMiddle East pay TV provider OSN has debuted its first international channel venture with the launch of general entertainment service OSN Ya Hala on the TalkTalk YouView platform in the UK.OSN Ya Hala is distributed by France-based Thema. According to OSN, the move marks the first time that a bespoke Arabic entertainment channel has been broadcast to an international audience.The UK launch is aimed at the approximately 240,000 British Arabs, including 110,000 who live in London. Content on OSN Ya Hala, OSN’s flagship channel, includes cooking themed drama Alf Akla w Akla and Znood El Sitt Season 2, popular Egyptian comedy Al Kabir Season 3, Bassem Youssef’s Amerika Bil Arabi and epic Egyptian drama series Adam w Jamila.“We are excited about OSN Ya Hala going international and joining TalkTalk, one of the premier networks in Europe,” said OSN CEO David Butorac. “We launched OSN Ya Hala in August 2011, OSN’s first step into original Arabic language content. The channel has proven to be hugely successful and is now the second most watched channel on our network. The launch of OSN Ya Hala internationally underlines our commitment to fulfill the entertainment needs of Arabs living abroad making world class Arabic television content accessible to millions.”
Hybrid networks and the ability of content providers to bypass the relationship that access network providers have with their subscribers presents a new challenge for operators, leading them to seek new forms of partnership, according to Ivar Slavenburg, business innovation manager at Dutch cable operator Ziggo.Hybrid delivery to multiple devices has a number of disadvantages for operators, according to Slavenburg, speaking at content security provider Verimatrix’s Multi-Network Solutions in the Real World event at IBC in Amsterdam.Slavenburg said that until now Ziggo has created value through four main activities – its network, access services, media services – transcoding and ingestion – and media sales to its customers.Increasingly, however, cable operators see content providers creating their own apps for multi-device access, including the likes of HBO, in whose Dutch operation Ziggo has a stake. On the delivery of OTT content over Ziggo’s network, Slavenburg said that the company was now seeing OTT players deliver content that Ziggo was also trying to sell direct to its customers, leading to a potential conflict of interest.Slavenburg said that Ziggo’s focus was on upselling subscribers to take additional content. However, content providers were focusing on creating experences and enriching them with additional information and content around different screens. “This is now possible in the hybrid model,” said Slavenburg. “There is a broader range of ways in which content is disclosed to our subscribers.”“There is a benefit for the consumer but there is a disadvantage for us because we don’t record exactly what the customer is doing any more,” said Slavenburg.In the future, device manufacturers such as games consoles makers will build branded services, said Slavenburg. “It would be difficult for us to make the jump to become a gaming company but why shouldn’t we cooperate on one of the [four] layers…and still have our customer addressable for other services. We have to start thinking in layers. It is a different discussion than in the past, all because of hybrid network technology.”Ziggo will roll out 4G in the next year. The company also has over one million WiFi slots in its network area.“We have to be capable of running different technologies over our network,” said Slavenburg.
Belarus telco Beltelecom has launched a new Family HD package as part of its Zala TV service.The package is being trialled with channels Nickelodeon HD, Travel and Adventure HD, TV 1000 Comedy HD and Hunting and Fishing HD.
Telenor Hungary has launched a new OTT TV service, MyTV, offering live TV, catch-up TV and video-on-demand across a range of internet connected devices and screens.The service will deliver 14 channels initially, covering news, kids, sport and general interest programming.The channels at launch include AXN, AXN White, AXN Black, Duna, Duna World, Fashion Box, FilmBox, FilmBox Arthouse, FilmBox Extra, M1, M2, Sundance channel, Story4, and Story5, with more to launch in the near future.As a promotional offer, MyTV users will have unlimited access to premium Hollywood movies free of charge for the first three months. Telenor plans to introduce a range of subscription packages as the service evolves.Telenor has tapped UK-based platform provider UUX to deliver the service. UUX provides a cloud-based ‘internet TV as-a-service’ platform that it says can manage and support millions of multiscreen interactions daily and deliver a unified smartphone-based user interface.Telenor is a leading provider of mobile phone services in Hungary, with a market share of 30% and about 3.5 million residential and business customers.“Telenor Hungary is proud to launch MyTV as a revolutionary new service for the Hungarian market. We focus on a convenient, easy-to-use service offering high-quality content provided by our partners. We will continuously improve the service and extend our TV and video offering based on customer feedback,” said Christopher Laska, CEO of Telenor Hungary.“The incredible speed of deployment at Telenor shows that our solution really is turnkey,” said Lou Schwartz, CEO of UUX. “We’ve built a best-in-class solution which offers seamless multi-screen experiences and does it without requiring capex investment. I’m very excited that Telenor Hungary’s subscribers are the first in Europe to benefit from our iTaaS platform and really looking forward to MyTV entertaining Telenor customers throughout Hungary.”
French telecom regulator ARCEP has launched a consultation on Fibre to the Distribution Point (FttDP) – the deployment of fibre networks close to consumer premises but connected to existing copper or coaxial cable for the final connection.The regulator has set up a working group under Pierre-Jean Benghozi et Philippe Distler to lead a discussion of the use of FttDP to drive high-speed broadband in France, composed of operators, local authority associations and government departments.According to ARCEP, this group, which has met three times over the last eight months, has not made a definitive conclusion on the merits of the technology. However, the current consensus is that the technology could be used on an ad hoc basis to remedy transitory problems rather than as a large-scale, systematic means of upgrading the local loop.The consultation will run until April 28.
Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de PoschRTL Group has posted a €88 million impairment in its first-half results as a consequence of the new advertising tax rules implemented by the Hungarian government.Co-CEOs Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch said that new advertising tax would “strongly reduce the profitability of RTL Hungary”, which, together with continued problems in the French market and a poor showing by production arm FremantleMedia, would mean a revised outlook for the full year.“Furthermore, today’s impairment charge demonstrates the significant damage caused by the new advertising tax in Hungary. As we already said in July: the precipitous introduction of the confiscatory advertising tax is an alarming signal for all international investors in Hungary,” the pair said.“Our audience and financial success has always included two key elements: a local, decentralised management structure and being politically independent. RTL is and will remain deeply rooted in Hungary.”RTL posted revenues of €2.687 billion for the first half, down 2.5% with reported EBITA of €519 million, down 6%. The drop in revenue was primarily down to negative exchange rates effects, poor advertising sales in France and lower revenues from FremantleMedia and UFA Sports.Schäferkordt and De Posch said that “finding the new hits – big and small – is a joint priority for both our broadcasters and for FremantleMedia”.French broadcast subsidiary M6 Group saw EBITA drop from €127 million to €113 million year-on-year due to a tough advertising environment.The group received a much-needed boost from digital revenues, which grew 10% to €113 million. German unit Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland reported its best ever first half operating profit, with EBITA growing by 2.3% to €313 million. RTL’s Dutch unit also performed strongly.Schäferkordt and De Posch said that online video is at the hear of the company’s digital strategy and that it expected to more than double online video views this year to 40 billion. The pair said that the company would also invest in short-form digital content and advertising technology via its SpotXchange investment.FremantleMedia reported significantly lower EBITA of €29 million, down year-on-year from €47 million, mainly due to lower production and distribution volume, one-off costs at the company’s headquarters and negative foreign exchange rate effects.
Intel could be the next company to enter the HDMI dongle market in competition with Google’s successful Chromecast product, according to various reports.Intel’s SVP and general manager, PC client group, Kirk Skaugen, unveiled a device at an Intel investor conference in Santa Clara, California, but did not give details of its capabilities beyond saying it could be inserted into the port of a smart TV or other monitor.Skaugen said the stick would “bring intelligence” to other devices and could be seen as an extension to laptops and mini-desktops.
Belarusian mobile telco Velcom is launching an OTT TV service targeted at smart TV users this summer.The operator will also provide a set-top box for non-smart TV owners with an HDMI port on their displays, and the service will be available on the web as well as on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.Velcom’s service, Voka TV, will include Ukraine-based Megogo’s offering, as well as a kids package.Subscribers in rural areas without fixed broadband will be able to access the service via 4G broadband. Velcom said its 3G network would cover 97% of the country by the end of this year.The operator has tapped technology provider SPB TV to deliver the service.Cloud and managed services director Dmitry Kirilenko said that the launch would provide Belarusians with greater freedom of choice for viewing TV channels as well as a legal means of accessing video content.
Stanislav GeorgievNetflix’s content has little appeal for CEE audiences, and OTT is currently only really useful as a way for pay TV providers to deliver catch-up and multiscreen services, attendees at the NEM heard this morning.Speaking on a panel on DTH and OTT at the event in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Stanislav Georgiev, head of broadcast at Telekom Austria Group, said that Netflix’s content is “irrelevant for this region” and that the subscription VOD service’s catalogue in this part of the world was “very disappointing”.He said that given that the latest US shows are broadcast on free TV channels, there is little rationale for SVOD across the region. Georgiev said OTT was really only needed as a technology solution to offer catch-up and multiscreen.Georgiev said that it is very hard to monetise OTT in the region, and in particular SVOD, and claimed that the likely revenues relative to the cost of content simply does not make it viable.Georgiev said Telekom Austria, which launched DTH in Croatia relatively recently, wanted to service households with whatever technology is available. “OTT is a natural step for multiscreen. We started with linear channels in Austria and added SVOD. But the primary reason we used OTT technology is interactivity – catch-up services and non-linear services and multiscreen.”He made an exception of Pickbox’s SVOD offering, saying that the local player had a relevant service for the region because of its content. “If something comes that is relevant, we as a telco would love to deliver it. If there is nothing relevant we make our own investment to offer interactive features [via OTT].”Telekom Austria’s strategy is to offer bundled services, driven by broadband rather than TV. “You have to start with broadband and then offer TV services on top of that,” he said. “If you go into a market where 80% of homes have satellite dishes then satellite makes sense.”Bill Wijdeveld, VP of business development at pay TV operator M7 Group, speaking on the same panel, said his company also saw OTT an enabler for things that are not efficient to do over satellite such as catch-up TV. “It is fully complementary,” he said.He said that M7 Group was beginning to build hybrid offerings to complement its DTH offerings and will launch its hybrid IP and satellite box in the Czech Republic and Slovakia this summer, enabling it to offer catch-up services. It has already launched this in the Benelux region and Austria.Wijdeveld said that M7 was open to making Netflix available through its boxes. “For Netflix it may be wise to team up with operators. We don’t see it as a threat. We are a content enabler.”CEE markets ‘too small’ for NetflixYesterday at NEM, Central European Media Enterprises (CME) co-CEO Christophe Mainusch said that Netflix will not be able to compete with local players in central and eastern Europe because the markets are too small to justify a significant investment in local content by the subscription VoD giant, and because the price difference between Netflix and existing pay TV services is not large enough to incentivise pay TV subscribers to churn.Mainusch said that local broadcasters and video-on-demand providers had two advantages over Netflix. First, he said, the price difference between pay TV and Netflix was not as great as in the US. Second, Netflix has no local content in the CEE markets, unlike in the US. He claimed that CME’s on-demand services, Voyo and – in Croatia – Oyo, are therefore likely to be able to compete effectively.Christoph MainuschMainusch said that most primetime viewing at CME-owned Nova TV in Czech Republic, for example, is locally produced content. He claimed that Netflix will not be able to compete because these markets are “simply too small”. CME and its peers can provide compelling VoD platforms that will be able to outperform transnational players, he added.Mainusch said that predictions of the decline of traditional free and pay TV broadcasting in general is misplaced. He said that total TV usage has increased by 13% in the CEE countries in which CME is active over the last 10 years, and the number of channels in the Czech Republic has almost doubled in the same period. The number of free channels has increased five fold in 10 years, he said, while pay TV penetration has grown from 39 to 65% over the same period.“TV has experienced immense fragmentation over the last 10 years. The number of channels will grow in the next 10 years by 50%. But fragmentation – the increase of the number of channels – is much stronger than the loss of viewing of main linear TV channels.”He said that traditional broadcasters can stay ahead by following a multichannel strategy. The main TV groups in Czech Republic have only lost 10% of their viewership despite the proliferation of channels., while CME’s ad market share has grown from 48% to 54% over the last 10 years.“The question is will the TV industry experience the same fate as the music industry and will the CEE market experience the same as the US market?” said Mainusch, referring to US ‘cord-nevers’ – millennials who had never signed up for pay TV and never would.He said the answer is no, noting that TV had always reached consumers electronically and the changes were not so disruptive as those faced by the music industry.Mainusch said that challenges remain – notably the advance of multiscreen viewing and the proliferation of content sources. “We are fighting for the time of consumers and competition is stronger as we are confronted by new players, but these risks are balanced by opportunities to make our content available on all platforms at all times.”Mainusch said that online share of advertising had grown from 4% to 17% but that TV’s share had also grown in the last 10 years, mostly at the expense of print. He said that TV is still the strongest and “generates a deeper connection and attracts more attention than any other medium”.To ensure that this continues, TV has to be available on all platforms. “Fragment before others do it for you” and maintain strong brands, he advised. “Don’t be afraid of Facebook and Twitter. Use them as well they need our content and will be valuable partners for us in the future.”Mainusch said premium content is key to the future of TV as is a local presence and a strong investment in news and journalism. In addition, broadcasters have to offer millennials the content they want and ensure that it is present everywhere and convenient for viewers, he said.Live OTT is part of the future of TV and the future of the internet is “more like TV rather than the other way around,” according to Mainusch.He conceded that linear broadcasters do face challenges, noting that premium content is expensive, and that demand for premium content in CEE is much greater than the market is able to provide. The main means of financing content is advertising and there is therefore a need for measurement systems that capture all video consumption in order for broadcasters to make money from non linear consumption, he said. “Time shifted viewing is measured but not allocated to the channels in some of our markets.”