in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing August 16, 2013 439 Views Connecticut Home Sales Inch Up in Q2 Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers The Warren Group 2013-08-16 Tory Barringer Share The second quarter saw modest gains in home sales in Connecticut, according to the “”Warren Group””:http://www.thewarrengroup.com/.[IMAGE]Second-quarter sales of single-family homes totaled 6,898, a nearly 1 percent increase over Q2 2012. In June alone, home sales were up 0.4 percent (the second straight month of increases) to a total of 2,602. According to the group, it was the best month for sales since last August, which saw 2,639 transactions.Year-to-date, home sales statewide were 10,947, down about 1 percent.””The housing market in Connecticut continues to show slow growth,”” said Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. “”As long as mortgage rates and home prices don’t spike too high, we’ll see a very steady recovery year for the market in 2013.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Year-over-year, home prices were up 5.6 percent in June to a statewide median of $283,000–the highest median price for any month since August 2008. The year-to-date median sale price was $255,000, up more than 8.5 percent from the first six months of last year. Compared to the second quarter of 2012, Q2 2013 prices rose more than 8 percent to $269,000.””Buyers have become more active in the spring selling season, which is creating modest upward pressure on prices. While not a problem at this juncture, I hope for more modest increases in the future,”” Warren said. “”Unlike other parts of the country, Connecticut has not seen double digit increases in median prices. This is healthy. Keeping housing affordable while prices rise gradually will avoid the kind of housing bubble we saw seven or eight years ago.””On the condo side, sales increased 2 percent year-over-year in June, with second-quarter sales rising 2.5 percent compared to the same three months in 2012. Year-to-date, condo sales increased almost 1 percent compared to last year.The median sale price of condos also rose in June. According to the Warren Group, the median selling price was $176,000, up more than 7.6 percent year-over-year. The second-quarter median price was $175,000 (up more than 8 percent), while the year-to-date price was $168,000 (up more than 5 percent).
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A museum in Las Vegas lets visitors pretend to be police officers to show the complexity of the decisions that law enforcement officers face when they encounter situations that may require use of deadly force.The new hands-on, use-of-force exhibit at the Mob Museum gives visitors a pistol that shoots plastic pellets and walks them through digital and live role-playing scenarios, including a home invasion.Participants first receive a video introduction from a Las Vegas police captain and go through a quick target-shooting practice.All along, museum facilitators teach visitors gun safety practices, use-of-force guidelines and other police procedures.The most recent renovation of the courthouse-turned-museum also added an interactive crime lab and a working speakeasy, complete with on-site distilled moonshine. by Regina Garcia Cano, The Associated Press Posted Apr 21, 2018 8:50 am PDT Last Updated Apr 21, 2018 at 9:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Mob Museum in Vegas lets visitors play police officer In this April 12, 2018, photo, people look at an interactive exhibit at the Crime Lab Experience in the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. For years the museum has showcased the area’s storied past in organized crime, but visitors can now also enjoy a speakeasy, a use of deadly force training experience, and an interactive crime lab exhibit. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Categories: Steven Johnson News Each Fourth of July, we celebrate America’s Declaration of Independence as we commemorate the anniversary of our country’s founding. This spirit of independence is something we should cherish and must preserve for our children.Just as our government is not beholden or dependent on another government for its sovereignty, we as individuals should not rely on federal, state and local governance. Our founding fathers envisioned a nation where citizens could pursue their dreams, seek their own happiness and accomplish their own goals, objectives and aspirations aside from government intrusion in their lives and interference in the marketplace.What they did not envision was a country of individuals dependent on government for their well-being. They did not envision a country of businesses lobbying state and federal governments for special privileges and immunities.Our founding fathers believed in the principles of freedom, entrepreneurship, individualism and independence. They believed the role of government in our lives should be very limited. The Constitution mandates that Congress shall meet “at least once in every year.” Our founding fathers would be astounded if they saw the extent government plays in our lives today.In honor of everything our founding fathers accomplished and stood for, I believe we should take a step back and look at where our country is today. What do we do right? What do we do wrong? What could we do better?How can we as a society ensure that our children grow up and live in a country more free, more prosperous and more independent than the one we live in today? We have been afforded great opportunities, with many things that are good and right in our nation but it seems that there are some areas of improvement that can be made. One of the biggest changes is demanding government take a step back, not be so involved in our lives and simply let us interact with our neighbors as we see fit. Government does not give us our freedom and independence, it is there to preserve and protect them.Unfortunately, we have a mindset of ‘ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.’ Let’s change that mindset to what President John F. Kennedy envisioned, let’s be that free and independent country, let’s be a sovereign country, let’s demand freedom and equality in opportunity, let’s oppose corporate welfare and special handouts, and most importantly, let’s fight for independence! 29Jun Declaration of Independence op-ed
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, was joined by Sergio Delgado of the Wexford County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday for a Michigan House session commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The ceremony honors first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year. Categories: Hoitenga News,News 06Sep Rep. Hoitenga joined by member of Wexford County law enforcement for ceremonial House session
Share16Tweet2Share10Email28 Shares“Troll Mural in Bodo” by Scott1346July 19, 2017; Reveal (Center for Investigative Reporting)In Moby Dick, the search for the white whale consumed the life of Captain Ahab. Catherine Engelbrecht and the nonprofit organization she founded, True the Vote, search with the same passion for millions of illegal voters she believes lie hidden below the surface of the voter counts that determine American election outcomes. While finding that great quarry is proving very difficult, the political impact of these unfounded charges was in full view when the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity held its first meeting last week.True the Vote, formed in 2009, describes itself as “the nation’s largest nonpartisan, voters’ rights and election integrity organization. True the Vote exists to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of America’s electoral process.” When Donald Trump, shortly after the votes were counted, took up the banner of this quest when he tweeted, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” True The Vote leapt forward to lead the effort to find the “smoking guns” that would prove him correct.True the Vote absolutely supports…Trump’s recent comment about the impact of illegal voting, as reflected in the national popular vote. We are still collecting data and will be for several months, but our intent is to publish a comprehensive study on the significant impact of illegal voting in all of its many forms and begin a national discussion on how voters, states, and the Trump Administration can best address this growing problem.For other researchers, proof of voter fraud has been very difficult to find. Prior to President Trump making it more than a fringe issue, numerous peer-reviewed studies had been unable to find any evidence of widespread problems. As the Brennan Center for Justice reported back in January, “most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent.” Given this tiny incident rate, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”But that was no reason for True the Vote to end its quest. Following Trump’s victory, True the Vote board member Gregg Phillips claimed to have the proof that had escaped other researchers in November 2017, stating he had “completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registrations [and] found that the number of non-citizen voters exceeds 3 million.” But he neglected to share the data in his database for others to study. True The Vote later committed, in a fundraising appeal, to hiring a team of “world-class technologists, researchers, data miners, statisticians, scholars, analysts, and subject matter experts. This isn’t B-team stuff. The integrity of our election is too important.” Six months later, they are still claiming that their assertions are true and that the facts will shortly be available.And despite no smoking gun, the strength of their belief has only grown stronger. Phillips recently told Reveal that “for the first time in my life, and I’ve been involved in election integrity for decades, the question is no longer if there was fraud. The question is: How many people were disenfranchised by illegal votes?”For the organization, a presidential nod has not translated into more support. In a video released to their members, Engelbrecht explained why results have not matched their beliefs: “As it stands, we do not have the funding to do what we want to do. We’ve gathered 2016 voter rolls, we’ve gathered information from thousands of [Freedom of Information Act requests], but we’re limited by the lack of resources. Next steps up are for us to sort of pull back on the national audit, and focus on targeted investigations.”Despite the growing erosion of their organizational strength and the lack of evidence they have been able to produce, concern about voter fraud has not ceased to be a political issue. The lack of data did not stop President Trump from telling the first public meeting of his election commission that there were problems “having to do with very large numbers of people in certain states.” Nor has it stopped efforts to make it harder to register and vote in state houses across the nation. And, given its membership, it may not be enough to stop the president’s Commission from continuing to stoke the myth of stolen elections. When facts fail to change minds, we have much to fear.—Martin LevineShare16Tweet2Share10Email28 Shares
MTV will relaunch on the Digiturk pay TV service in Turkey in a six-year carriage deal that covers six Viacom channels in all. Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) extricated itself from a joint venture with Multichannel Developers that ended in dispute and with MTV being pulled from the Digiturk platform.The new agreement clears the way for localised versions of the European feeds of six VIMN channels on Digiturk. MTV and MTV Live will roll out on March 1.Kids channels Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon HD and Nick Jr. will also launch exclusively on Digiturk. Nick will launch on March 1 and the other two soon after.The carriage deal between VIMN and Digiturk also covers VH1, which was already on the platform. As part of the deal, Digiturk will sell take on ad sales for MTV and Nick in Turkey.“We’re pleased to announce our new partnership with Digiturk for the distribution of our channels across Turkey,” said Antonio Campo Dall’Orto, executive vice-president, VIMN South Europe, Middle East & Africa. “We’re excited to be expanding our presence in the Turkey, where we see vast opportunities to grow and strengthen our youth and kids’ properties.”MTV originally launched in Turkey in 2006 before being pulled from Digiturk in 2010.
Turner Broadcasting Systems’ EMEA chief Jeff Kupsky is leaving the company.Kupsky, who re-located to London to set up a regional development office for Turner in 1997 and became EMEA president since 2007, will leave within the next few weeks. His decision to quit is believed to have been taken before the appointment last month of former RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler as president of Turner Broadcast System International.Turner Broadcast Systems chairman Phil Kent said there had been no channel, acquisition or progression of Turner’s business in the EMEA region that Kupsky had not been directly involved with and he was leaving “with our gratitude and respect”.
Ukrainian telco and IPTV provider Ukrtelecom has been bought out by SCM Group, which is owned by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov. “The SCM Group will become the owner of UA Telecominvest Limited and will receive control over a 92.79% stake in public joint-stock company Ukrtelecom, after obtaining all the required permits, including ones from the antimonopoly agencies,” the firm said in a statement, published by national news agency Interfax Ukraine.The stake was bought from Austrian investment group EPIC, which acquired it from the Ukranian government in 2011 when Ukrtelecom was privatised. The new deal was done for undisclosed terms.
3D channel 3net will develop a library of content it can distribute in multiple formats including 4K 3D and HD 3D, but does not currently have plans to launch a dedicated 4K channel, according to CEO Tom Cosgrove.Speaking to DTVE at IBC, Cosgrove said that the amount of content being shot in 4K is growing, even if the version that is finally distributed is not in 4K. Cosgrove said he expected “services to roll out by this time next year and TVs priced at under $2,000 [to be available]”. He said he expected 4K to ultimately achieve widespread take up by consumers, unlike 3D which has remained a minority taste. “3D was a choice – some people love and some do not love it. No-one is not going to love 4K,” he said.Cosgrove said that 3net would look to develop HD 3D programmes as well as 4K content. He said 3net Studios had already produced 4K series Space: Unravelling the Universe and Flight and would seek to build a library fo content that could be distributed as HD 3D shows. However, he said there are no current plans to launch a dedicated 4K channel. “It’s a little too soon for a 4K channel,” he said. “We are looking into things, but one issue you will have is there are limits on rights. We are coming in with content where rights are available globally.”Cosgrove said that “over time we will build up a healthy library in 4K” and that it is possible that the channel would “create a branded destination – whether linear or non-linear” for 4K in the future.
Lithuanian service provider TEO announced a 5.6% year-on-year increase in TV customers in the third quarter, driven by IPTV sign-ups.TEO said that at the end of September it had a total of 171,041 TV service users, up from 161,921 for the same period last year.IPTV users increased 15.2% over the period to 102,658, though DVB-T customers dropped 6.1% to 68,383 customers.Overall in Q3 TEO said that revenue was LTL181 million (€52.4 million), down 4.5% year-on-year. Net profit came in at LTL42.6 million, down 5.9% year-on-year.
Russian technology investment firm GS Group is due to launch a new set-top-box that it claims will help facilitate the Russian viewers’ switchover from analogue to digital television.Speaking at the Digital & Connected TV Russia conference last week, Andrey Bezrukov, strategic marketing director of GS Group, announced a GS box that will combine satellite and terrestrial TV.The new E503 model of digital set-top-box will appear under the brand of General Satellite and is due is to enter the market this summer, he said.The device will “combine the functions of receiving both satellite and terrestrial digital signals,” enabling customers using satellite pay TV to also receive terrestrial signals, according to GS Group.
Online video distribution specialist Rightster has launched Engage, a premium offering to manage video across its clients’ owned and operated sites as well as YouTube and other distribution channels.The launch follows a trial in April at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Australia, when Engage aggregated over a million online viewers, with 450,000 watching a live stream of the event across 140 countries.Rightster said it is now extending the service to content owners and brands, enabling them to forecast audience size and engagement and therefore optimise campaign efficiency and effectiveness.“We are delighted to launch Engage and provide clients with the peace of mind and reassurance that their content will deliver the right audience to the right demographics, at a fixed cost. We are looking forward to providing our clients with a strong competitive advantage globally, across all offices,” said Charlie Muirhead, founder and CEO of Rightster.
Germany’s Constantin Medien, which operates the Sport1 free TV channel, has boosted its second quarter sales by 14.9% year-on-year.The firm’s revenue for Q2 2014 were €110.3 million. compared to the €96 million posted in the same period the year before.Furthermore, the company swung into profit before tax, posting earnings of €7.1 million. This compares with the €300,000 loss in 2013, and was attributed to growth in part to its sports unit, which includes the FTA net SPORT1, pay TV channel Sport1+, stateside channel Sport1 US and prodco Plazamedia.Constantin’s film unit, which includes its drama and non-fiction TV production assets, posted revenues of €63.4 million, 25.5% higher than in 2013.“Pleasing progress was made in the sports segment: The Sport1 platforms – whether free-TV, pay-TV, online, mobile, digital radio or social media – are successful in their markets and continue to grow,” said Constantin CEO Bernhard Burgener. “The strategic course that we have been following for almost two years in the sports business is the right one.”
French broadcaster TF1 has tapped broadcast technology specialist Ionoco to provide Twitter integration for the NRJ Music Awards in France, generating 1.8 million Tweets around the show, which took place on Saturday evening.The Cannes event was by a giant screen that featured ive infographics on the digital activity created around the event such as trending hashtags, number of tweets and related images.Throughout the awards ceremony, presenter Nikos Aliagas read out a selection of the best tweets of the night. The most popular stars and performances in terms of number and quality of tweets also appeared on a giant leader board screen on stage.Ionoco’s system provides a web-based aggregation and moderation function that enables it to pull down Tweets related either to the awards show or the featured bands. These are then made available to be used in a range of feeds, which are pushed through to producer consoles for publishing to air.The Tweets are used live on set throughout the performances, fed through to LED screens featuring Tweet walls, live Tweets and leader boards. The latter automatically calculates the total number of Tweets posted for each band, along with the rate at which they are generated during the performances.“Our social-media tool has been used with great success on a number of primetime shows in the US, the Middle East and, now, Europe. It’s a massive honour to be asked to work with TF1 on a show as popular and prestigious as the NRJ Music Awards,” said Simon Ingram, CEO of Ionoco.“We believe this will be the first of many great television projects with Twitter at their heart.”
Deutsche Telekom Croatian telecom operator T-Hrvatski Telekom is to offer its MAXtv to new subscribers for the token price of HRK1 (€0.13) for the first six months to drive take-up.The offer gives new customers access to the Pickbox package, offering on-demand access to 250 seasons and over 2,600 episodes of TV series and films.
The EU Court of Justice has ruled that making copies of TV programmes available via the cloud is a “communication to the public” and must be authorised by the copyright holder.In a case that pitted Italian broadcaster Mediaset against UK-based online TV provider VCAST, the court ruled that the 2001 EU copyright directive overrode national rules that allow companies to provide cloud-based recording services in this case.VCAST offers a service that enables consumers to choose a TV show and, which VCAST then records for playback from the cloud. The company had attempted to seek a ruling from a Turin court that its business was legal because it fell under the ‘private copy exception’ of the directive, which enables individuals to record shows for their own consumption at a later time.The Italian court found against VCAST but referred the question of whether the ‘private copy exception’ covered commercial enterprises providing a remote recording service in the cloud to the EU Court of Justice.The Court of Justice has now ruled that “the concept of an ‘act of communication’ refers to any transmission of the protected works, irrespective of the technical means or process used”.It said that “In the present case, the service provider at issue in the main proceedings records programmes broadcast and makes them available to its customers via the Internet” with the persons targeted constituting “a public”.It drew the distinction that “the original transmission made by the broadcasting organisation, on the one hand, and that made by the service provider at issue in the main proceedings, on the other, are made under specific technical conditions, using a different means of transmission for the protected works, and each is intended for its public”.As a result, the court said, “it follows that, without the rightholder’s consent, the making of copies of works by means of a service such as that at issue in the main proceedings could undermine the rights of that rightholder.”Earlier, presenting the case to the court, advocate-general Maciej Szpunar had opined that the private copy exception “must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which permits the activity of providing, without the copyright holders’ consent, an online recording service for terrestrial television programmes which are freely accessible in the territory of that Member State, where it is the provider of the service, and not its user, that receives the terrestrial broadcasting signal from which the recording is made.”Szupmar was careful to make clear, however, that “an excessively strict interpretation of [the private copy exception] would not be justified” in that cloud DVR services require the “intervention of a third party, whether the provider of that storage space or another person”.He said that in the case of VCAST, it was doubtful that the user had “prior lawful access” to the work because the service could be used outside Italy or the catchment area of Italian digital-terrestrial TV, because its users formed ‘a new public’ other than the one targeted by Mediaset and because VCAST provided the service for profit.“It follows that where VCAST makes available television programmes as part of its recording service, this constitutes an infringement of the copyright of television organisations, and possibly of other rightholders, if it is done without their consent,” he said.Mediaset immediately hailed the ruling as “a real turning point” and “a milestone in case law”. It said that it was now clear that any company wanting to retransmit TV signals of a competing broadcaster for its own commercial purposes must obtain the prior authorisation of the rightsholder.Mediaset claims that the ruling will apply to other disputes such as where satellite operators retransmit channels without prior authorisation.
Channel providers’ strategies vary according to their time to market and available resources. All however, state the importance of meeting the needs of local distribution partners while moving as far as possible to develop additional revenue streams.The priorities of international channel providers are built on growing distribution and increasing viewership where they already have distribution. To make money they seek to develop, as far as possible, the classic ‘dual revenue stream’, complementing pay TV subscription fees from distribution affiliates by building an advertising sales story. And further down the line, they may seek to build additional revenue streams by offering value-added services such as transactional or subscription video-on-demand or, in the case of channels with their own intellectual property, by developing licensing and merchandising revenues.Strategic priorities vary according to which stage channels have reached in their development. In the early days of a channel’s life, the crucial thing is to secure as much distribution as possible. For Bruce Tuchman, president of AMC/Sundance Channel Global, a relatively recent entrant in the international channel business, the key priority remains the expansion of the Sundance Channel globally.“It’s about selling independent content movies and series coming out of the non-studio framework and appealing to a new, sophisticated audience that wants to watch compelling content not only on TV but also on the internet and mobile devices,” says Tuchman. The company’s priority is to deepen its availability in those markets in which it is already present and to source and acquire the right content for those markets, he adds. The programming mix will vary between territories and Tuchman says that AMC/Sundance Channel Global is continuing to pick up movies and series targeted at particular groups of territories. In addition to AMC original series, Sundance Channel is airing Weeds in Belgium and France. Next month the network is premiering Damages starring Glenn Close in Spain and Portugal, while season two of the Australian series Rake starring Richard Roxburgh will premiere this autumn in eastern Europe. Another Australian drama, The Straits, premiered in eastern Europe this month and will premiere in Flemish-speaking Belgium next month and Asia in January. Tuchman adds that Sundance Channel is also designed to cater to what he sees as a growing market in international territories for independently produced movies that transcend national boundaries, “bringing content to people that they’ve not been exposed to”, particularly in markets that lack a robust independent film production sector of their own.Allied to unique content is robust marketing activity in partnership with distributors. “Trade marketing is quite important because we’ve come to the market later than some other channels,” says Tuchman. He highlights a series of recent street performance initiatives in France around The Walking Dead.“We also sponsor film festivals all over the world,” says Tuchman, highlighting the channel’s involvement in the recent launch of the Sundance Festival in London. Inviting distributors to attend the festivals and inviting stars of the channel’s shows to meet affiliates – and Sundance founder Robert Redford has been present at key meetings – are alike part of the company’s relationship-building activity.In addition to building relationships with affiliates, AMC/Sundance Channel has also engaged in consumer marketing initiatives. For Breaking Bad Sundance highlighted its first pay TV window showing of the series in Asia, generating “a lot of coverage”, according to Tuchman. Singapore’s The Straits Times ran a feature of the show featuring stars Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston. Glenn Close recently did several interviews with Spanish media for the launch of Damages. The Sundance Channel has also run sweepstakes where winning audience members are invited to the Sundance Festival in Utah.Next month Sundance Channel will be celebrating the Busan International Film Festival for the first time with daily coverage produced at the event. There will also be a showcase of films seen at Busan, including the Asian premiere on Sundance Channel of the 2011 film I Carried You Home and the European premiere of the 2011 festival winner Bleak Night.Much of AMC/Sundance Channel’s activity on the marketing front is designed to compensate the disadvantage the channel suffered by being later to market than many of its rivals. “We were late to the game and there are a lot of channels taking a good share of available revenue. In DTH, capacity is limited and the capacity to add channels costs money. That’s the challenge,” he says. However, says Tuchman, Sundance Channel benefits by filling a gap in the market, with content that can also showcase the merits of HD.Another issue related to late entry to the channels market is that, while AMC content is well-known internationally, this in many cases is due to the fact that it has already been sold and seen on third-party channels. Tuchman says that the windowing strategy adopted by the channel varies according to the market and a variety of other factors.Sometimes it is an advantage if a series has already been seen in a particular market, while at other times holding the first-run pay TV rights offers a clear advantage. Sometimes knowing which strategy to adopt is a case of trial and error.“There are different lessons from different markets. Breaking Bad was a first run in Asia and we weren’t sure the market was ready. In others we air a mix of first-window and franchised series. If your first run is on a limited-reach pay TV service that can still generate buzz,” he says. It is rarely a disadvantage to already have sold content to third party channels however, he says. “Something like Mad Men came out before we had an international channel, and that was exploited through traditional routes, but we have had no problem re-securing rights,” says. “Nowadays we work closely with production partners and colleagues in the US to work out the right windows for us at the right values.”New brandsRelatively recent broadcasters, or those launching new channel brands, must of course fight to find their own place in what are often crowded markets. French broadcaster Trace started life as an urban lifestyle magazine, before launching its first music channel, Trace Urban, in 2003. It has since expanded its portfolio, adding Latin American music channel Trace Tropical and African music channel Trace Africa to its line-up. More recently, the company made a bold move into sports, with the launch of Trace Sports, a channel dedicated to the lifestyles of sports stars. According to Trace’s CEO Olivier Laouchez, far from stretching Trace’s core values, Trace Sport is a perfect fit. “It conveys the same core values of our music channels by talking to the youth about their passions,” he says.Rather than entering the crowded world of pure sports channels, which are usually controlled by well-established incumbent channel operators, Trace took a different approach by concentrating on the stars that ply their trade on those sports channels. It seems to have paid off; since launching in 2011, the channel has secured distribution agreements in over 70 countries and the broadcaster plans to reach over 30 million subscribers from all continents by the end of 2012.For Laouchez, one of the key focuses for Trace is to make sure operators and consumers understand its brand values. “We ensure Trace’s channel values are understood by operator parents and consumers by using them a filter to drive our decisions, and especially our content strategy.”Laouchez says there can be a lot of value in formulating marketing partnerships with operators in specific regions to help promote Trace’s channels and values. One such endeavour involved the launch of a temporary ‘pop-up’ channel in partnership with French DTH operator CanalSat to tie in with the Olympic games. La Chaine des Champions, Spécial Londres offered exclusive access to French athletes taking part in the Olympics. The channel was made available exclusively to CanalSat customers. “Our marketing efforst are fully focused on partnerships with operators,” says Laouchez. “We have used our unique access to sport and music celebrities to organise many promotions around the world.”Free-to-air channels face somewhat different challenges. Another French channel that launched (relatively) recently is news broadcaster France 24. Despite launching less than six years ago it has already expanded its reach to 255 million households worldwide, with an audience reach of 45 million viewers per week. The broadcaster, which offers three language channels, in French, English and Arabic, recorded a 52% year-on-year audience growth last year, and according to Eric Cremer, vice-president of distribution at France 24, it is aiming to maintain this momentum. “I could mention specific countries where France 24’s penetration rate remains average, or specific objectives like developing pay TV revenues in some territories but as a global news platform broadcasting in three languages, France 24 must perform everywhere in the world on every network and on every device.”The decision to extend the France 24 service to two additional languages alongside its native French channel means the channel can remain relevant to a wide number of people globally. While the three language feeds are actually three distinct news channels made by native-speaking journalists, Cremer points out they share many common elements including reports and editorial policy, which to keeps them within the France 24 brand. The channels focus on international news rather than domestic stories, with journalists coming from over 40 countries. “This contributes to the creation of a very open state of mind within the channel’s team,” Cremer adds.The number of international news providers is growing, and Cremer says it can be difficult to stand out. “It’s not easy to convince people how France 24 is unique and different from other news channels with words. We can only encourage operators and consumers to watch it, test it and compare it. It also means that a big part of our distribution department’s role is to meet operators and continue to contact them in order to explain what France 24 can bring to their clients.”Once it has a distribution deal in place, Cremer says France 24 works closely with operators to leverage brand awareness, using tools including co-brand, social networks and creating special events: “It’s a win-win deal. These partnerships allow both operator and content providers to gain more visibility across a wide range of audiences.” Marketing deals often form part of contracts with operators, he adds.Cost of localisingOne of the key issues that faces channel providers as they expand their global distribution is when and how to localise their feeds so as to better serve the needs of a particular market. Localisation can mean many things – from creating a language version of the channel for a particular market or set of markets to a fully locally programmed version of an international brand. But all steps along the way involve costs that must be measured against the commercial opportunity.Given the cost of localising channel feeds, global kids channel KidsCo will weigh international expansion opportunities on a case-by-case basis, according to managing director Hendrik McDermott. KidsCo will also look at opportunities to diversify its revenue streams.“Globally we’re looking at increasing subscribers in a calculated fashion, targeting key territories where we’re already on the air. We have pan-regional feeds and it costs a lot to localise feeds. We have to take a dubbing risk to go into new territories,” says McDermott, who took charge at KidsCo at the end of 2011.McDermott said that KidsCo still had “a long way to go in Russia” and had done well in Turkey, another significantly large market. Recovering its position in key central European market is a priority as is building its presence in Romania. “Turkey gives us almost perfect distribution. We are trying to emulate that success in central and eastern Europe,” says McDermott. Western Europe remains challenging, given its domination by large pay TV operators.The high cost of localisation – essential for kids channels – means that the case for launching in a new territory has to be weighed carefully. While it is possible to introduce kids programmes in certain Asian markets in English, Europe requires 100% localisation, he says. “It’s difficult and expensive,” says McDermott, adding that for kids channels localisation generally means expensive dubbing. “We don’t subtitle at the moment – affiliates prefer dubbing. From a viewer perspective dubbing is better.” In a few territories such as Poland, lectoring is the preferred option.The cost of localisation means that small countries can be challenging from a business perspective. However, in some cases an English-language version of the channel is acceptable and some countries will accept the language feed of a neighbouring territory if its inhabitants are familiar with that language. “In general the affiliates expect the channel to be 100% dubbed on day one. Often the upfront revenue up front doesn’t make smaller territories valid. We are in 18 different languages. Small countries might have expatriate audiences or multi-language feeds and some will tolerate English,” he says.Taking localisation further, KidsCo does acquire some region-specific programming, says McDermott. However this generally has to work across multiple territories. “We do acquire region specific programming, but it’s not worth having local insertion for one particular programme,” he says.In general, says McDermott, KidsCo will continue to focus on its core message of delivering safe content for kids. The channel recently consolidated its branding and logos and has communicated its brand guidelines to affiliates: “The thing we can offer is safe and non-violent content. We are trying to provide high-quality programming for children.”Brand valuesFor established pay TV channel providers, one of the key challenges is expanding channel portfolios and distribution without diluting core brand values.One way to do this is to invest in local production. At the recent CTAM Europe EuroSummit in Vienna, Levente Malnay, CEO of Chellomedia Central Europe, told attendees that Chellomedia had made significant content investments to make its central European brands as premium as possible. He said that the company had invested in local formats – notably for its cooking channel – and had simplified and conflated its lifestyle and factual brands into a single Spektrum Home channel. Investing in local production had to be done in a responsible way and Chellomedia had not, for example, invested in local programmes for its kids channels, choosing instead to create characters that could be used in interstitials give the channels a distinct brand identity, he said.Malnay also said that Chellomedia Central Europe planned to develop HD versions of its channels to exploit what it views as an opportunity to take advantage of relatively high penetration of HD TV sets combined with under-consumption of HD content. He said that HD set penetration in the region varied between 20-40% but actual consumption of HD services was currently minimal.This kind of focus on the needs of a particular market generally requires the resources of a large multichannel organisation.According to Jesús Perezagua, Fox International Channels president, Europe and Africa, the broadcaster’s programming and channel distribution strategy is defined by the strength of iconic brands Fox and National Geographic. Despite having two brand ‘pillars’, in total FIC operates 38 channel brands spanning entertainment, factual, lifestyle, and sports genres. “Over the last decade we have developed different TV brands that have evolved from Fox and National Geographic,” explains Perezagua. “The ones dedicated to fiction have kept the Fox affiliation, such as Fox Crime, Fox Movies, FX or FoxLife, and the same goes for the National Geographic channels developed from NGC, including Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Adventure or Nat Geo Music. Fox and NGC are our flagship brands for fiction and factual, so all new products are immediately recognised by the viewers as part of our legacy for high-quality programming.”FIC’c channel brands, particularly Fox and Nat Geo, are known globally and, according to Perezagua, the company treads a fine line between ensuring that branding emphasises the international perception of the brands whilst also ensuring the channels are relevant to local viewers. “Our content and premium global brands are localised in each market to ensure the satisfaction of everyone in every location. As such, FIC’s goal is to provide top-quality programming and build emotional connections with audiences around the world. We like to tailor the look and feel of our channels to the different local tastes, but without losing our international brand style,” he says. The broadcaster has a common graphic image that makes its channels immediately recognizable. Recently the Fox graphic identity has been overhauled across all channels to give it a more contemporary style that is linked to its commercial targets.Depsite the large presence of Fox’s channels around the world, Perezagua stresses the importance of the relationship it forges with service providers “Our distribution partners are key for us. They are our clients and the way we reach our viewers. We collaborate on marketing initiatives and always aim to offer innovative proposals that engage their subscribers. This is a key part of our business. Thanks to a strategy that combines the best content with the most innovate and smart promotion, we support their goals of adding new subscribers and satisfying existing ones. We see this as key added value with FIC brands.”DiversificationDeveloping a suite of channels allows providers to broaden their demographic base and facilitates the diversification of the revenue model. Discovery Networks International has moved in recent years to balance its portfolio, appealing to female viewers as well as males and distributing channels that can attract advertisers as well as subscription revenues. In Discovery’s case, the international launch of the female-skewed TLC has been a major area of focus over the past couple of years. Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, says that Discovery is now concentrating to some extent on building the viewership of TLC for which it already has distribution in a significant number of markets. “There is still a bit of growth to be had but we are also focused on solidifying the viewership for the channel. It’s seen some audience growth. It is the primary female flagship,” he says.Discovery has launched a number of new channels over the last year, including Discovery Kids in Asia. “It’s picked up a lot of buzz in a market that’s tuned in to education as a priority,” says Hollinger. Crime and investigation channel ID, which has been successful for Discovery in the US, has also been rolled out in a more significant way internationally over the last year. “We’ve really prioritised it, with a full launch in Latin America in August, and we are starting in central and eastern Europe with Poland,” says Hollinger. “We’ve done a big distribution push and we are rolling out a lot of content from the US.”Discovery has also started to build a new content production source for the business after hiring former Channel 4 and BBC executive Julian Bellamy as production and development chief last year, tasked with pushing the development of content for multiple regions around the world. Hollinger says that Discovery is also continuing to look for ways to grow its production business through acquisitions or partnerships.While growth in distribution is beginning to flatten out after years of development, Hollinger believes “there is some still to get”. He says Discovery has set a goal is to have TLC or Real Time (its alternative in some markets) distributed on a global basis. But on top of extending distribution, Discovery primarily wants to extend viewership through getting the programming mix right. While TLC has done well in Nordic countries and central and eastern Europe, and Discovery Real Time is highly rated in Italy, Hollinger says that the broadcaster is keen not to lose momentum on the content side.“For central and eastern Europe a lot of US content works very well,” he says. “We’ve also produced a number of shows based on formats we have done or licensed.” Recent commissions include a version of The Great British Bake-off in Polish.Discovery is also pushing forward with extending the reach of ID, which also has a female-skewing audience. “The goal for ID is to replicate some of the success the channel has seen in the US. Over the last two years it’s been the fastest growing channel in US pay TV,” says Hollinger. “It’s also got the highest average time spent viewing across the female audience in the US. If we could replicate that in international markets it could be a flagship channel.”Turning to the other major pillar of Discovery’s strategy to woo female viewers, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Hollinger says: “We talk to management about international opportunities about possible international expansion but the great thing is it’s gaining traction in the US, and our goal was to get it on a solid footing in the US.”When it comes to marketing its channels, Discovery has focused on doing things in partnership with its distribution partners. “We feel we get a lot of bang for our buck by marketing with our affiliates,” says Hollinger. Social media plays an increasingly important role in extending marketing beyond traditional media, and Hollinger sees use of social media as part of Discovery’s localisation strategy. “We know Discovery is a global brand and there is a global audience. You use that to build brand loyalty. But when you are building loyalty around a specific programme its usually about a local initiative,” he says.Localisation more generally for Discovery, as for other channel providers, encompasses scheduling and interstitial material as well as local acquisitions. “There are lots of things that make the channel look local before you get to programming. Content in the factual space travels well across borders and we share a lot of content across territories. That is always going to be the biggest component of the programming strategy,” he says. “For the local element the question is the market big enough to justify local investment, and then what kind of content for what channels?” For the Discovery show How we Invented the World, which is about technology in the modern era, Discovery took a fresh approach by creating 12 or 13 different ‘modular’ versions of the show. Local presenters or interviews can be inserted within a broadly international programming stream as required. “There will be a lot that’s shared but parts that are really local, with a common skeleton. We think it will work well from a ratings point of view. It’s a step beyond a format. It could become a standard production model for us,” he says.If there is a common thread running through the thinking of diverse channel providers in the international marketplace, it is the idea of tailoring the channel’s activities – ranging from marketing initiatives up to and including the acquisition and commissioning of programmes – to meet local requirements in a way that makes commercial sense.
ShareTweet Santa switches on Derry’s Christmas lights with the help of Mayor Cllr Brenda Stevenson and MC, Mark Patterson, BBC Radio Foyle.Over 10,000 people packed to Derry city centre last night to welcome Santa for the Christmas lights switch on, marking the beginning of the city’s Festive Time programme.Mayor of Derry Brenda Stevenson joined Santa on stage in the Guildhall Square after he swooped in specially from the North Pole, landing on the city’s historic walls.After a bit of “hide and seek” fun and switching on the illuminations, he delighted the thousands of children by distributing sweets. SANTA LIGHTS UP DERRY FOR CHRISTMAS was last modified: November 21st, 2014 by stephenstephen Tags: Speaking after the event. Derry Mayor Cllr Brenda Stevenson said: “I was absolutely thrilled to see so many young families out this evening to see the switch on – and meeting Santa was just the icing on the cake.“Looking out at the sea of smiling faces, all there to welcome Santa, was just fantastic and it’s really put me in the festive spirit. And this is just the beginning of the Christmas fun!”Meanwhile, the Christmas Village will open at Ebrington Square on 28 November featuring the LegenDerry Ice Rink, Festive Funfair and pop up cinema. christmasDerrylightsSanta
A 19-year-old man it to face Derry Magistrates’ Court this morning charged over a, attempted armed robbery at a shop at the weekend in the city.Police say the incident happened at the premises at Strand Road around 7.30 am on Saturday morning.The teenager has been charged with a number of offences including attempted robbery. DC REBECCA NEILDERRY MAGISTRATES’ COURTPSNISTRAND ROAD STATIONTEEN TO FACE COURT OVER WEEKEND ROBBERY BID ON DERRY SHOP Detective Constable Rebecca Neill has appealed to anyone who has any information about the robbery bid to contact detectives at Strand Road station on the 101 non-emergency number, quoting reference number 346 24/09/16.Or, they can pass the information anonymously to Crimestoppers on freephone on 0800 555 111.TEEN TO FACE COURT OVER WEEKEND ROBBERY BID ON DERRY SHOP was last modified: September 26th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet
TOWER MUSEUM TO HOST FESTIVE WORKSHOPS ShareTweet “We will work on lots of different decorations at each workshop, and visitors can take them home with them – but hopefully also leave one to decorate our community tree in the lobby of the Tower Museum.“We will also have our old toy collection on display, and if anyone would like to bring any of their old toys to tell us about them during the workshops, they would be most welcome.”The workshops will run on the following dates: Friday 2 December, Friday 9 December and Friday 16 December from 10am – 11.30, and the cost for each workshop is £2, or £5 for visitors who would like to attend all three. For information contact 028 7137 2411.History lovers should also note that the next in the Tower Talks series will take place on Thursday 1st of December from 12.30pm. Historical Aviation expert, Guy Warner, will discuss the war against the U-Boats in the North West from 1914-1918.He will focus on the role of local bases, including the United States Navy flying boat based at Ture, Inishowen. There is free admission for the talk and refreshments will be provided.TOWER MUSEUM TO HOST FESTIVE WORKSHOPS was last modified: November 29th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: THE Tower Museum will be offering visitors the chance to revisit the ghosts of Christmas past throughout December by hosting three special workshops focusing on Christmas crafts down through the decades.At each of the workshops participants will have the opportunity to create Victorian style decorations and cards which they can take home to give to friends and loved ones.Assistant Education and Access Officer with the Museum, Betty Doherty, said the workshops offered the perfect opportunity for people to get into the Christmas spirit.“Making your own decorations is a very cost effective and rewarding hobby and a great way to get into the festive spirit. It’s also a tribute to a bygone era when families spent quality time at Christmas making their own decorations.