Qantas Airways is trying to turn its attention back to flying and returning to profit after it paid off AUD $724 million in unsecured debt.The airline will pay back the amount in loans and bonds back this year, following its first junk bond raising of AUD $700 million and this means that its debt will be reduced by 47 per cent, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.Qantas is not suspected to return to profit until 2016 and half its debt will now not be due until 2019.The airline recorded a first-half year loss of in December because of fuel cost increases and its capacity war with Virgin Australia and its investment grade has been cut to BB+ by ratings agency Standard and Poors.Qantas expects to have a positive free cash flow from 2015.Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
11Sep Local fire chief joins Jenkins during House ceremony honoring 9/11 anniversary Categories: News State Rep. Nancy Jenkins was joined by Tecumseh Fire Chief Joe Tuckey today as a part of the annual 9/11 memorial service conducted by the Michigan House of Representatives. The ceremony honored the four first responders from Michigan who lost their lives in the line of duty in the past year and commemorated the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.“It is always a privilege to be a part of this event, and I am honored that Chief Tuckey was able to join me to today as we paid tribute to these brave men and women,” said Jenkins, R-Clayton. “First responders across our state deserve to be recognized and acknowledged for their service to our communities, and this is just one small way we can say thank you.”Lawmakers also paid tribute to Department of Corrections Deputy Corrections Keeper George Haight, whose name was recently inscribed in the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall after giving his life in the line of duty at Jackson Prison in 1893.The event featured the ringing of a fire bell following the reading of the names of each first responder who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2013. Special music was provided by a fire department bagpiper and “Taps” was played by two members of the Grand Ledge Marching Band.### State Rep. Nancy Jenkins attends the fourth annual 9/11 ceremony held by the Michigan House of Representatives along with Chief Joe Tuckey from the Tecumseh Fire Department.
State Rep. Dave Pagel, R-Oronoko Township (right), was joined by special guest Larry Martin, Baroda Area Business Association president, for the 2015 State of the State address at the Capitol.### Categories: Pagel News,Pagel Photos 20Jan Pagel, local leader attend Gov. Snyder’s State of the State address
Categories: Hughes News Increasing minimum wage prompts communitycollege New Jobs Training Program clarificationIn light of last year’s bipartisan minimum-wage reform, state Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, this week signed a letter along with other legislators requesting the formal opinion of Attorney General Bill Schuette regarding the new job wage requirement for a community college’s New Jobs Training Program“Laws passed in 2008 created fantastic incentives for local community colleges and job creators to provide training for newly hired employees,” Hughes said. “Due to more recent changes to minimum-wage requirements, there’s now a grey area in the program’s requirements that requires clarification to ensure these programs can continue in the future.”The four-page letter signed by 11 legislators illuminates a discrepancy regarding the requirement that the new, full-time jobs pay at least 175 percent of the state minimum wage. Because Michigan’s minimum wage is set to increase gradually over the next few years, community colleges need to know if the minimum-wage requirement must be met at the time of entrance into the program, not retroactively.“This partnership between community colleges and employers has had incredibly positive impact in our communities, so it’s only fair to give them the guidance and certainty needed to continue the New Jobs Training Program,” Hughes said. “We look forward to hearing the opinion of Attorney General Schuette.”The legislators believe the law as written only imparts today’s minimum wage on new job and program applicants, not pre-existing employees and applications already in the program. If the law is determined to be retroactive—applying today’s minimum wage to all previous entrants—these community college programs are going to face financial burdens, putting the programs in jeopardy. 28Jan Hughes, lawmakers request Schuette opinion on college job program wage requirement
Categories: Maturen News,News Southwest Michigan-area students in elementary through high school are able to submit original cover art designs for this year’s State of the State program, as part of a contest announced by the governor.“There are plenty of talented young artists in our community,” said Rep. Dave Maturen, R-Vicksburg. “I’m confident that these creative boys and girls will be strong contenders for the contest.”Submissions must fit on a 5.5 inch x 8.5 inch cover, and be submitted by Sunday, Jan. 3. The top five submissions will be featured on the governor’s Facebook page on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and the design with the most likes will win.“This is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to get their kids and students involved with state government at a young age,” Rep. Maturen said. “I sincerely encourage students from our community to submit their artwork for the contest.”Submissions may be e-mailed to SOTS@michigan.gov, or sent via U.S. mail to 111 South Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, MI 48909.### 09Dec Rep. Maturen encourages local students to participate in State of the State contest
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMay 2, 2014; StatelineThe payday lending industry is one tough player when it comes to lobbying against state regulations. In Louisiana recently, the legislature failed to move on a bill that would have regulated the industry there. Although payday lending advocates have all kinds of reasons for justifying their service to the poor as being fundamentally about providing lower-income people with a little money between paychecks, their critics take aim at payday lenders’ annualized interest rates, which can come close to 600 percent, and the trap of payday loans for people who end up stuck in repeated loan cycles. The payday lending industry complains that annualized interest rates don’t accurately reflect what borrowers typically do with their short-term loans.Elaine Povich of Stateline writes that 12 million people turn to payday loans every year. For a more realistic picture of payday lending, Povich turned to research from the Pew Charitable Trusts (which funds Stateline), revealing that the average payday loan is about $375, the term is about two weeks, and the average fee per pay period is $55. Pew says that the average borrower keeps that $375 loan out for five months, which results in $520 in finance charges. For the working poor, paying as much as 40 percent more in fees than a short-term loan is worth is burdensome. It isn’t hard to imagine that payday loans that are neither average nor typical might be quite onerous for a lower-income borrower.Facing off against the payday lending industry isn’t easy. It has been an active participant in campaign finance contributions to both political parties, especially in recent election cycles, as shown in this chart prepared by the Center for Responsive Politics:Election CycleTotal ContributionsContributions from IndividualsContributions from PACsSoft/Outside MoneyDonations to DemocratsDonations to Republicans% to Dems% to Repubs2014$589,405$274,805$314,600$0$100,950$488,45517%83%2012$3,282,300$840,824$1,201,476$1,240,000$490,440$1,554,36024%76%2010$1,986,330$917,605$1,062,725$6,000$1,218,275$761,25561%38%2008$1,418,501$779,701$638,800$0$901,180$517,32164%36%2006$806,000$655,000$151,000$0$320,800$484,95040%60%2004$888,745$797,241$91,504$0$328,732$560,01337%63%2002$308,818$152,690$62,875$93,253$108,750$200,06835%65%2000$225,685$139,184$59,000$27,501$66,984$158,70130%70%1998$62,041$11,300$50,741$0$22,000$40,04135%65%1996$50,425$18,250$30,350$1,825$19,350$31,07538%62%1994$60,225$12,000$48,000$225$37,750$22,47563%37%1992$17,750$5,750$12,000$0$7,250$10,50041%59%1990$5,000$1,200$3,800$0$1,700$3,30034%66%Total$9,701,225$4,605,550$3,726,871$1,368,804$3,624,161$4,832,51443%57%The industry also spends on lobbying, leading to results like Louisiana’s. This picture of the payday lending industry’s lobbying at the federal level sparks one’s imagination of how the industry might be spending on lobbying with state legislatures: According to one source, the Community Financial Services Association—the payday lending industry’s trade association—spent more than $20 million in state-level campaign contributions over the last decade. That is a lot of financial prowess for nonprofit advocates to compete with and overcome, especially since 38 states have laws that specifically authorize payday lending and only four plus the District of Columbia prohibit payday lending. Regulations in the most states are weak, if they exist at all.The story in Louisiana is telling. Nearly one out of every four households in Louisiana takes out a payday loan in a year. A coalition of church groups and consumer groups collaborated to promote a law, introduced by state senator Ben Nevers, to cap payday loan annual interest rates at 36 percent, far below the state average of 435 percent. As that idea failed to get sufficient support in the legislature, Nevers and his nonprofit allies came up with a different idea: to limit borrowers to no more than 10 payday loans a year. That idea also failed, against charges that Nevers and the advocates wanted to put the payday lending industry out of business in Louisiana.The position of industry spokesperson Troy McCullen, speaking on behalf of the Louisiana Cash Advance Association, said that if payday lenders were to go out of business, borrowers would turn to the Internet for offshore sources or even go to loan sharks. In other words, if you think we’re thieves, just look at the criminals waiting for you at the end of the alley. The legislation proposed by Nevers never made it out of the legislature. Nevers contended that the payday lending industry, which he calls “nothing more than loan sharking,” spent “thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars against this push to regulate this industry.”The problem that makes reining in payday lending such a huge challenge for community coalitions like the one that came together in Louisiana behind the Nevers bill is that different states have levels of regulation that range from inadequate to nonexistent. This cacophony of state laws, combined with the campaign contributions of payday lenders, makes regulatory headway difficult. The solution may be in federal regulations that supersede state laws, particularly through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a creation of the Dodd-Frank Act. That’s the position held by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, which supports the CFPB rules controlling payday lending. The Federation even maintains an online PayDay Loan Consumer Information resource with explanations of how payday loans work and what the states are or are not doing to put some clamps on the industry.This is why nonprofit advocacy is so crucial. If the Consumer Federation of America and its state-level allies were not in this game, the payday lending industry would have even freer rein than it does now. –Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share11Tweet42ShareEmail53 SharesJune 14, 2018; Courthouse News ServiceNonprofits and local governments partner in the delivery of numerous services that benefit communities. Common areas of partnership include parks-and-recreation activities, arts-and-cultural activities, and extracurricular educational offerings. At the same time, tension in nonprofit-government relationships can arise from the fact that while nonprofits partner with government, nonprofits also often serve as a voice that aims to hold governments accountable.For example, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, Project South—working in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas—alleges that at least 16 cities in those states may be in violation of federal law by requiring state-issued identification prior to the delivery of utility services to residents.“These localities, by basically denying these people access to utilities if they don’t have a Social Security number, are engaging in illegal behavior under federal law and violating people’s core human rights,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, legal and advocacy director at Project South.Project South warned that the denial of utility services to people who can’t provide a Social Security number and a U.S. photo ID “overwhelmingly impacts Latino immigrants,” and could amount to violations of the Privacy Act as well as the Federal Housing Act.Cities receiving these notices included: Florence, Alabama; Fort Worth, Texas; Phenix City, Alabama; Clermont, Florida; Green Cove Springs, Florida; Groveland, Florida; Augusta, Georgia; Calhoun, Georgia; Loganville, Georgia; Anderson, South Carolina; Camden, South Carolina; Rock Hill, South Carolina; Dunlap, Tennessee; and Temple, Texas. According to Project South, letters were also sent to Auburn, Alabama and Cocoa, Florida, although officials in those cities deny receiving the letters.Some cities, such as Fort Worth, that received notices denied this was a current practice. Others, such as Augusta, Georgia, reported ending the practice years ago (but not having changed their websites or other materials to indicate this). Other cities have not responded at all.Project South—which has a four-pronged advocacy approach, including education, organizing, legal advocacy and movement support—has a history of such monitoring of local municipalities. You can read an example of one of the recent missives delivered to city mayors here.Nonprofit scholar Elizabeth Boris describes the tension between nonprofits and government in the preface of her second edition of Nonprofits and Governments: Collaboration and Conflict, a popular text in many graduate level nonprofit and public administration degree programs. She states that “their relationship has long been both symbiotic and adversarial, with events and opportunities coloring or governing their interactions. The sector can cooperate on one issue while butting heads on another, continuously prodding the other to do more and do it better.”It is in this spirit that Project South, and many other nonprofits around the country and the world, will continue to raise difficult questions—and yes, even allegations—where they see possible injustice, particularly for those in society whose voices cannot be raised without serious personal or legal consequences.You can examine other examples of nonprofit legal advocacy in NPQ’s archives, such as raising an alarm on public school funding, eviction rates, and even a spotlight aimed at the highest political office in the United States.—Jeannie FoxShare11Tweet42ShareEmail53 Shares
Service providers Telstra, BT Vision and DirecTV were amongst the winners of the IP&TV World Forum 2012 Awards, which were handed out during a gala ceremony held at the London Film Museum.Telstra took the Best TV Service Innovation Award for its Telstra T-Box service, while BT Vision, which is part of the UK’s BT Group, picked up the award for Best Service Growth Achievement. Best Multiscreen TV Service went to DirecTV and Samsung for the Home Media Center Solution comprising DirecTV RVU HR34 Server and Samsung RVU Client. New for 2012, the Best TV App award went to AT&T for AT&T U-verse for Tablet. The US operator, in partnership with Cisco, also picked up the Best TV Consumer Device Award for the AT&T U-verse Wireless Receiver.Amongst the product winners, Huawei Technologies walked away with the Best Multiscreen TV Solution Award for its MediaCloud solution. Alcatel Lucent won the Best Network Technology for IPTV Award with its Velocix Content Delivery Network for service providers. The Best Quality Improvement Solution Award went to Mariner Partners for its xVu module – Greenlighting the Install, while Motorola Mobility took the Best Rights and Asset Management for TV Award for its Motorola SecureMedia HLS+ solution.Best Component or Enabler was won by Ericsson for the Ericsson SPR1200 multiscreen stream processor and Ericsson NPR1200 multiscreen network processor. Last but certainly not least, Viaccess subsidiary Orca Interactive won the Best Service Delivery Platform for IPTV with its Orca and Viaccess Unified Service Platform.
Cinema chain UGC has contracted Canal Plus Régie, the advertising sales arm of the pay TV operator, to commercialise advertising space on its screens from the beginning of next year.UGC has 364 cinema screens in France, including 198 in Paris and the Ile de France region. According to Canal Plus, this is the first time that a cinema group has looked to a TV group to manage the commercialisation of its screens.
Eurosport has struck an agreement with its new shareholder Discovery Communications, that will bring the flagship Eurosport TV channel to US viewers for the first time in its 24-year history.From September 28, a new Saturday afternoon programming block “Eurosport on Velocity” featuring motorsports highlights will air from 1-3pm ET/PT, with repeat presentations airing every Sunday morning on Discovery’s Velocity channel.Eurosport Group CEO, Jean-Thierry Augustin, said, “This is the first programming agreement with Discovery since our partnership was forged at the end of 2012. It’s a great example of the powerful synergies and opportunities we can create together. For the first time in Eurosport’s history, American viewers will have a sight of our channel’s expert sports TV production and best-in-class commentary. We’re delighted our TV channel’s initial programming steps into the U.S. will be on our stakeholder’s channel, Velocity.”
Russian service provider VimpelCom has launched a promotional offer for three new bundled pacakges free of charge until the end of April.VimpelCom, which operates as Beeline, has launched TV Mania 1, 2 and 3, each comprising internet, set-top rental and a choice of one, two and three thematic TV packages respectively. TV Mania 1 and 2 are free of charge until the end of April, while TV Mania 3 is available for the token charge of RUB1 (EUR0.02).The normal charges for the packages range from RUB570-950. The latest moves follows the introduction of a la carte packaging at the end of last year, allowing users to tailor their own packages from a choice of channels.
TV technology firm Motive Television has signed a deal with Chinese set-top box maker Skyworth to integrate its software into STBs that will be used by South African free-to-air DTH service Siyana. Motive Television subsidiary Motive Television Services today signed the software development license agreement with Shenzhen Skyworth Digital Technology, having last month announced its involvement in the Siyaya Free To Air TV project.As part of the deal, Motive said it will receive an SDK licensee fee and a certification fee for each model of set-top, as well as royalty fees based on the number of units manufactured.
The EC General Court has ruled that Spanish government subsidies for the country’s digital-terrestrial platform are illegal.The court ruled that subsidies granted to operators of DTT services between 2005 and 2009 break EC rules, confiring a decision by the Commission in 2013.The court ruling requires Spain to recover €260 million in subsidies.The court said that the measures adopted by Spain breached EC rules on technology neutrality. In the absence of a clear definition of what constituted a public service in relation to DTT operators, the measures constituted illegal state aid, it said.The court decision upholds a ruling by the EC in June that the subsidy scheme favoured DTT at the expense of other technologies, following a complaint by satellite operator SES Astra.The EC in October separately ruled that subsidiaries totaling €46 million granted in Castilla-LaMancha, where the recipients were preselected, were illegal.
Samsung’s entire 2016 smart TV line-up will be Internet of Things (IoT) ready and connected with the SmartThings platform, the firm has announced.New IoT hub technology will allow viewers to use the smart TVs to control the entire smart home, with SmartThings acting as an open platform that lets users to connect, manage and control smart devices and IoT services.Samsung said that the TVs will be able to connect with and control more than 200 SmartThings-compatible devices, including connected lights, locks, thermostats and cameras from a range of third party manufacturers.“The 2016 line-up of smart TVs will offer consumers new possibilities and cement Samsung’s market leading position, as the first company to launch IoT ready TVs,” said Hyun Suk Kim, president of Samsung Electronics’ visual display business.Alex Hawkinson, CEO and co-founder of SmartThings, added: “With Samsung Smart TVs working with the SmartThings technology, we have an opportunity to reach millions of households. Applying this technology into current household devices is a major step forwards that will make it much easier for everyone to experience the benefits of a smart home.”Samsung will showcase the new IoT-compatible TVs at the Consumer Electonics show in Los Vegas this week.
Solid IPTV growth helped boost Russia’s pay TV market last year, with an increase of IPTV customers in the order of over 20% lifed the total number of IPTV customers to over 5.52 million, according to research by TMT-Consulting.While IPTV growth accelerated, growth in satellite TV customers was half that of 2014, according to the group. Overall ,the Russian pay TV base grew by 3.7% to 39.4 million, according to the report.Rostelecom accounted for most of the growth in IPTV subscribers, thanks in part to its extension of the availability of high-speed internet services to communities in rural areas. Cable subscribers declined by 1.5%, according to TMT-Consulting.Overall, cable accounted for 46% of Russia’ spay TV homes at the end of last year, compared with 40% for satellite and 14% for IPTV.
Joakim ReiterVodafone has named Joakim Reiter as group external affairs director, reporting to CEO Vittorio Colao.Reiter will take up his role and join the group executive committee on August 1 after serving from next month for a transitional period as director-designate. He will succeed Matthew Kirk, who is to retire in July and has agreed to continue to work with Vodafone in an advisory capacity.Reiter was until recently an assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Previous roles include deputy director-general of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization, head of the trade section within the Swedish Representative Office to the European Union and an EU negotiator with DG Trade at the European Commission.Colao said: “Joakim has extensive experience of multilateral trade negotiation and diplomatic and political engagement at the highest levels. We are delighted to welcome him to Vodafone. Matthew is a greatly valued and trusted colleague who has made an enormous contribution to the Group. He will stand down from the group executive committee with our professional gratitude and personal friendship.”
The European Union General Court has annulled the European Commission’s approval of the merger of Vodafone and Ziggo in the Netherlands following an appeal by KPN.The European Commission approved the creation of the VodafoneZiggo joint venture between Vodafone and Liberty Global’s Dutch unit in 2014 after Liberty Global agreed to divest premium film channel Film1 and agreed to terminate any agreement with broadcasters that restricted their ability to offer channels and content via OTT TV services, and not to conclude any such exclusive agreements in the future.The divestment of Film1 was seen to eliminate the horizontal overlap between the parties’ activities in premium pay TV film channels and the concern that rivals might be prevented from having access to the leading premium film channel, while the EC accepted that the commitment regarding broadcast contracts would eliminate competition concerns related to OTT TV.KPN contested the decision on the three grounds: first, that the EC had made an error regarding the possible vertical effects of the combination on the market for premium sports – as opposed to film – channels; second, that the EC had failed in its duty to state reasons for the lack of any analysis of this; and third, that it had made a “manifest error of assessment” of John Malone’s influence over Liberty Global and Discovery, which is not part of Liberty Global but which is active in the wholesale supply of channels in the Netherlands, including Eurosport.The court accepted the second of the three grounds, namely that the EC had failed to provide an analysis to back up its assertion that the merger did not raise competition concerns in the market for premium sports channels. Among other things, it said that the EC’s defence that Liberty did not have market power in premium sports because Sport1 had an effective competitor in the shape of Fox Sports was not backed up by a market analysis.“Even though the Commission puts forward numerous arguments in the context of the first plea in the present action in order to show that Liberty Global did not, owing to the presence of Fox Sports, have the ability to engage in a foreclosure strategy and would not have the incentive to do so, the fact remains that those arguments are not set out in the contested decision,” the court noted.The court did not consider the other points raised by KPN. “Since the contested decision is vitiated by a failure to state reasons, there is no need to examine the first and third pleas in law, both of which relate to alleged manifest errors of assessment,” it said.Liberty Global said it was confident that it would be able to obtain clearance of the merger, despite the setback.“We note the EU General Court’s decision, which has no impact on the day-to-day operations of Vodafone Ziggo. The Court’s ruling does not question the substance of the Commission’s decision to approve the UPC and Ziggo merger, but rather annuls it on procedural grounds. We will discuss practical steps with the European Commission over the coming weeks and we are confident of obtaining clearance in due course,” the company said.“The Court’s decision has no bearing on the Commission’s subsequent clearance of the merger of Vodafone and Ziggo.”
Altice France/SFR’s secretary-general, Régis Turrinni, has left the company, to be replaced to Altice’s communications director Arthur Dreyfuss.Régis TurriniTurrini was hired two years ago as a well-connected specialist in competition law and telecoms. A former Vivendi executive, he had been involved in the sale of cable operator Numericable and telecom operator SFR to Altice, the combination of which became the bedrock of what is now Altice France.Turrini’s is the latest high-profile departure from the French telecom and TV operator, following the departures of CEO Michel Paulin and Altice CEO Michel Combes last year and the crisis of confidence that engulfed the operator following poor Q3 results. The changes have seen Altice founder Patrick Drahi take a more hands-on role alongside an SFR management team led by CEO Alain Weill and operations chief Armando Pereira.Dreyfuss, who will retain his existing responsibilities as communications director for Altice, held a number of senior government roles as well as working for advertising giant Havas before joining Altice in 2014.Altice France has also named Michel Matas as legal director, replacing Emmanuel Lévine. Matas, an associate at law firm Bird & Bird, had previously served as legal director at Numericable- Completel.
The French subscription video-on-demand market remains underdeveloped compared with other European countries, both in its economic value and in its level of penetration, according to a study compiled by French media regulator the CSA and the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC).The study found that there were 65 SVOD services active in France in 2017, three times as many as existed in 2010. The market for SVOD services was worth €249 million in 2017, up 91% year-on-year and up nine-fold on the figure for 2012.SVOD services represent 51% of the total value of the video-on-demand market. Growth in the transactional VOD business amounted to less than 5% in value between 2012-17, and has stagnated since 2014.However, despite the strong growth in SVOD, said the report, the value of the overall market is very limited compared with the size of the linear TV business, which generated turnover of €3.3 billion in 2017.The overall value of the French SVOD market in 2016 – €158 million citing Ampere Analysis and OEA data – put it in seventh place in Europe by value, behind market leader the UK on €804 million, Finland on €614 million and Germany on €540.5 million, as well as Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Among major advanced European markets, Spain and Italy were lower placed with €134.6 million and €99 million respectively. In terms of subscribers, France came third with 3.1 million, far behind the UK with 11.3 million and Germany with 10.2 million. The situation was even worse in terms of SVOD penetration, with France placed 15th among European countries with a penetration rate of only 10% in 2016.According to the study, the main factors behind the slow growth of SVOD in France are the strength of free-to-air TV offerings and the success of tirple-play offerings provided by ISPs, which include television in the mix.Of the SVOD services active in France, one in five were not based in France, including three of the biggest players – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and SFR Play, which is domiciled in Luxembourg. Netflix is the biggest player, despite the growth of Amazon Prime Video and SFR Play. CanalPlay is currently the number two player in the French market.The report found that movies represented over half of the catalogue of the four main SVOD operators, with drama series and kids programming dominating episodic content. The study also found that growth in the number of films that are not distributed theatrically benefited Netflix, 45% of whose film catalogue comprises movies that are less than five years old.Four out of five French SVOD services cater to niche audiences, focusing on specific genres such as manga, kids or music, and over half of SVOD services belong to a group active in TV production or distribution.The report found that while growth in SVOD could have an impact on pay TV in France, there was little evidence of cord cutting to date, with most services viewed as complementary.In terms of the impact on content creation, the study noted that the reform of the European Audiovisual Services Directive, with its quota for local content and facilitation of a requirement that SVOD players support local content creation, could ameliorate the uncertain impact of the dominance of US groups on production.However, it said that taking on the might of US giants depended in part of the strategies of individual ators and pointed to the need for partnerships and further investment, and noted the failure to date of putative plans to create a European rival to Netflix.
Eutelsat has tapped technology outfit Nagra to provide its OpenTV Signature Edition platform to power its new satellite and OTT combined platform Cirrus, which was unveiled yesterday.Eutelsat said Cirrus will provide a content delivery solution via satellite and OTT to operators seeking to launch or upgrade their service – offering the benefits of quickly deployed video services, low operational costs, high image quality and consistent end-user experience.Cirrus’ DTH service will provide satellite TV broadcasters with end-to-end video distribution combined with cloud-based service management, in what the company described as a further step in its integration of satellite into the IP ecosystem.Nagra said that its platform was customised for Eutelsat to meet the needs of the hybrid satellite/OTT Eutelsat Cirrus offering. Cirrus is available as a service to Eutelsat TV broadband customers. The announcement also marks the first deployment of an integrated OpenTV Signature Edition.“Eutelsat selected Nagra as it was clear that their OpenTV Signature Edition solution would meet the Eutelsat customers’ requirements – a sophisticated service with advanced features that can continuously evolve to meet the needs of their viewers. We look forward to rolling out the service and working with Nagra in the months ahead to develop new features and enrich our product portfolio,” said Bruno Cattan, director for terminals and solutions at Eutelsat.“We’re delighted to be selected by Eutelsat to power the new Eutelsat Cirrus platform through our OpenTV Signature Edition product. In selecting Nagra, Eutelsat has a strong and committed long-term technology partner for a solution that was designed to scale across multiple tenants in different geographies. We applaud Eutelsat on this exciting launch and are committed to supporting them as they extend the Eutelsat Cirrus service to their customers during this next development phase of their business,” said Holger Ippach, SVP, UEX product unit, Nagra.