Categories: Garcia News,News State Representative Daniela R. García, of Holland, recognized Black River Public School’s 20 years as an outstanding public charter school in Holland with a state of Michigan Tribute on Monday.“Black River Public School combines a Montessori elementary school with a college-prep middle school and high school to provide an education that is second to none,” said Garcia in the tribute. “The school features some of the highest test scores in the state and annually ranks among the best high schools in the country. In 2011, Black River Public School was named the No. 1 high school in the state by The Washington Post.”Representative García presented the tribute to Shannon Brunink, the head of school at Black River, Monday. 24Feb Representative Garcia honors Black River Public School’s commitment with state tribute Black River Public School is a publically-funded school chartered by Grand Valley State University and works with students in kindergarten to 12th grade.The tribute was also signed by State Senator Arlan B. Meekof, of West Olive, and Gov. Rick Snyder.
09Jun Rep. Howell bill prohibiting gun ordinances in violation of state law passes House committee Categories: Howell News,News A House bill introduced by state Rep. Gary Howell of North Branch that would penalize local officials who knowingly enact or enforce gun ordinances which violate state law passed on Wednesday in the House Committee on Local Government.No one testified against the bill when it came before the committee for a vote.“This legislation simply enforces a state firearms preemption law that has been on the books since 1990. I would note that this is not a partisan issue. The 1990 firearms preemption law was passed by a Democrat House and signed into law by Democrat Governor James Blanchard. Twenty-seven years is far more than enough time for municipalities to come into compliance with the law,” Howell said. “This bill will protect the pivotal right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms as spelled out in the Constitution of the United States, and will help them defend themselves and their families.”Added Howell: “Without the penalty provisions contained in this bill, local officials could continue to enact ordinances in violation of state law and the Michigan Constitution. I am pleased to report that I am not aware of any Lapeer County municipalities that have adopted such illegal ordinances.”Howell explained support for the bill has flowed in from residents.“I have received a significant number of phone calls and emails from residents of my district in support of this legislation. I am very proud that it has the full support of both the Michigan State Police and the National Rifle Association,” Howell said. “I am also pleased to report that I have received a high volume of positive comments and feedback as I have conducted my office hours in the district.”House Bill 4616 would protect law-abiding gun owners who comply with state law from being forced to defend themselves in court at their own expense in order to prove that ordinance citations issued against them are invalid.The measure provides that municipalities will have 60 days after the effective date of the bill to repeal all remaining invalid ordinances. Any local unit of government refusing or neglecting to repeal such ordinances could then be sued by the Attorney General or any citizen in circuit court.Under Rep. Howell’s bill, anyone proposing to sue a municipality would have to give 90 days written notice to the municipality in order to provide the local unit of government a final chance to repeal an invalid ordinance.The bill stipulates that a court would be obligated to issue an injunction against further enforcement, order that such ordinances be repealed, and assess costs and attorney fees against the offending municipality. In addition, any local elected official who knowingly and willfully enacts or enforces such ordinances would be subject to fines between $500 and $2,500.“The Michigan Constitution in Article I, Section 6 clearly states that ‘every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state’,” Howell said. “To force law-abiding citizens to defend themselves in court and also pay the costs, especially when one considers they are simply defending themselves in court to exercise their basic American rights, is a slap in the face.”Howell added: “I will not allow our citizens’ Constitutional rights to be infringed upon by illegal local ordinances.”HB 4616 now moves to the House floor for further consideration, where it could come up for a vote as soon as next week.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Gary Howell, member of the House Local Government Committee, provides testimony in favor of House Bill 4616, which was recommended to the House floor on Wednesday for further consideration.
23Aug Rep. Webber tours autonomous vehicle lab to focus on new transportation Categories: Webber News State Rep. Michael Webber, of Rochester Hills, this week toured the autonomous vehicle facility at Mcity in Ann Arbor. The Michigan House and Senate Transportation and Infrastructure had a joint committee meeting Tuesday to discuss the importance of new transportation technology.State Rep. Jeff Noble (left), State Rep. Michael Webber, State Rep. Julie Alexander and Senator Phil Pavlov with an autonomous vehicleHuei Peng and Carrie Morton of Mcity discussed research and outlined the vision of how autonomous vehicles will revolutionize transportation.Laurel Champion, COO of the American Center for Mobility (ACM), discussed the focus on testing and connectivity of autonomous vehicles.“Autonomous vehicles will reduce vehicle fatalities and injuries by as much as 90 percent,” said Rep. Webber, who is vice chair of the House committee. “Drivers will be warned of emerging dangerous situations and prevent accidents from occurring. New technological advancements will help keep Michigan drivers safe.”Mcity has created a public-private partnership to work on connected and automated mobility systems. There are more than 65 industry partners with $16 million invested in research and over 100 students involved in Mcity activities on the University of Michigan campus.The American Center for Mobility is a non-profit testing and product development facility for future transportation development. The facility is located at the historic 335-acre Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township in southeast Michigan.An automated vehicle uses a variety of sensors to collect data about the surrounding environment. Maps and GPS help guide the vehicle. Onboard computers analyze the data collected by the sensors, as well as the mapping data, to determine the best course.###
State Rep. Chris Afendoulis welcomes residents to join him for upcoming office hours during the month of December.“I invite all residents to attend my office hours,” Afendoulis said. “Meeting with my constituents and learning from their feedback is one of the most important parts of my job. I look forward to another opportunity to connect with our neighbors.”Rep. Afendoulis will be available at the following time and location:Monday, Dec. 117:30 to 9 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids. Categories: Afendoulis News 28Nov Rep. Afendoulis announces December office hours No appointments are necessary. In an effort to serve all who come to office hours, Rep. Afendoulis asks residents to be prepared and keep their meeting to 10 minutes in length. If residents are unable to attend, or may have an issue that could take longer to discuss, they may contact Rep. Afendoulis’ office to schedule a separate meeting. Rep. Afendoulis may be reached at (517) 373-0218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Nisakorn Neera / Shutterstock.comFebruary 22, 2014; Darien NewsA vital role for nonprofits is in the area of consumer advocacy. In Connecticut, for example, a nonprofit called the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute just released a comparison of states on the transparency of physician quality.Forty-one states received a failing grade for providing insufficient information about the quality of medical care by doctors. Connecticut, where the Institute is based, earned itself a grade of F.It isn’t like the states were being graded on arcane minutia, either. The scoring criteria in the study were as follows:Scope of transparent quality information: Percentage of physicians and supporting healthcare professionals in each state with publicly available quality informationScope of measures: Outcome, process, and patient experienceAccessibility of information: Can a consumer find the information, understand the information, and use the information?While Nutmeg State residents may be shocked by their F grade, the truly shocking thing is how very few states got a D or above. Minnesota and Washington earned A grades, California got a C, and Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin garnered D’s.As might be expected, a couple of medical professionals quoted in the Darien News report expressed misgivings about the ratings. Dr. Robin Oshman, president of the Fairfield County Medical Association, asked, “How do you define quality? It’s very hard to do.”“What constitutes as quality for one insurer, provider, or consumer may be completely different for another,” added Matthew Katz, the executive vice president and CEO of the Connecticut State Medical Society. He went on to suggest that current sources of performance or quality data on doctors compiled by government, insurers, and nonprofits are frequently “inconsistent, incomplete, invalid and inaccurate.” It’s not hard to imagine that other sectors might feel the same way about qualify reviews by their consumers.Why, in a period of new attention to healthcare costs, coverage, and outcomes, would states be so lackluster on making information available about the quality of medical treatment? Perhaps it is an issue of empowerment. In dealing with the men and women who don white coats, patients are often passive about challenging diagnoses and treatments, too timid to question what they are being told and too frightened to wonder if they are getting the quality treatment they need.One would hope that a new national law called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would help change the cultural dynamic of patients in terms of their right to be knowledgeable consumers. Until government gets fully into that arena, it will be up to groups like HCI3 to advocate for protecting patients as consumers of what the U.S. considers medical care.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share5TweetShareEmail5 SharesNovember 8, 2016; Boston GlobeOn Tuesday, Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly not to lift the cap on charter schools, preventing the growth or expansion of current charter school networks across the state. The expectation pre-election was that the final numbers would be closer but perhaps that was informed by the overwhelming amount of money that had been poured into the “yes” side.The issue has been a very divisive one in this election season. Spending on the campaigns for and against the cap broke spending records across the state.The charter school issue is a complicated one. It touches on issues of race, class, taxes, redlining, government size, testing standards, and union strength, among others. There are currently over 30,000 students on the waitlists for 70-odd charter schools in the Massachusetts, out of nearly a million students enrolled in the district for the 2015–2016 school year.The students on wait lists are overwhelmingly in poor minority areas of Boston, where charters tend to outperform traditional public schools. In the suburbs, where the cap has not yet been hit, charters do not have this same performance advantage. (Results vary across the country.) Studies have shown that charters serve a particularly disadvantaged population. Many of them have explicit social justice agendas. John King, U.S. Secretary of Education, founded a Massachusetts charter network called Roxbury Prep that works to empower racial minorities to improve their communities.This overt commitment to social justice is one thing that makes charters stand out from public schools; many charters view themselves as instruments of change as well as centers of learning. Interestingly, the NAACP opposes privately funded charter schools, believing that equitable public education is a better solution.The way that charters are funded in Massachusetts is another part of what makes them unique. In Massachusetts, all charters are nonprofit organizations and they receive funding from foundations or individuals the same way most nonprofits do. In addition, they receive a fixed sum of money from municipalities based on the number of students they have; the money follows the child, wherever they go. (This varies by district, but in Boston, it averages about $15,000.)George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and other conservative politicians have supported this “money follows the child” policy, saying it gives parents a choice. Opponents to this funding system say that school costs do not follow a per-student formula: Whether a school has 40 students or 400, it still needs a principal and a cafeteria; whether a math class has 15 kids or 35, it still needs a teacher. In an effort to keep traditional public schools from suffering sudden funding drops as money follows students to charter schools, the state runs a scaled aid program, whereby it reimburses schools for the money they lose for a few years. Unfortunately, state budget shortfalls have meant that in recent years, the money did not come through, and Boston was forced to move money from other parts of its municipal budget to make up the difference.The other thing that makes charters unique is the greater degree of autonomy they exercise with respect to things like curriculum, teacher salaries, and disciplinary policy. Charter school teachers do not belong to unions, and schools are not obligated to follow the Common Core or any other district curriculum. Charter students still have to take all the same state tests as traditional public school students, but what other exams or standards they follow is up to each individual school, the same way it would be in a private school.The lack of union membership for charter teachers is one of the things that magnified this fight during the election. The Massachusetts Federation of Teachers has vocally opposed lifting the charter cap. Charters argue that policies like teacher tenure are detrimental to student welfare and inefficient when it comes to cost. Opponents argue that non-union teachers are overworked and that the lack of certified teachers is detrimental to students. (Charter teachers, like private school teachers, are not required to have teaching degrees or certifications.) Charter teachers are paid, on average, about $20,000 less than public school teachers. They do tend to be younger, but they also tend to teach more classes and work longer hours and longer school years. Charters suffer a high teacher turnover rate, which is partly attributed to “burnout.”Many have said that the state’s focus should be on strengthening traditional public schools. We hope that is where the focus will be now that the charter cap has been maintained.—Erin RubinShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
Share31Tweet27ShareEmail58 Shares“HIRE OURSELVES: worker-owned cooperatives,” Alyce SantoroMay 21, 2018; Fast CompanyAt NPQ, we have broadly covered the growing pace of conversions to employee ownership, prodded in part by the retirement of Baby Boom–generation business owners. Now, the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), a nonprofit created by the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, is seeking to step up its efforts to reach small businesses who might benefit from selling their businesses to their employees.On a website called Becoming Employee Owned, DAWI profiles a number of businesses that have successfully become worker cooperatives, including 10 short video stories and more than 40 written case study profiles.Among the video profiles are stories on A Child’s Place, a New York City childcare provider; a landscaping company in Massachusetts called A Yard & A Half; and a company called Metis Construction in Seattle. Each video highlights the role of workers—and how becoming owners increased their sense of responsibility and enthusiasm for their work.Eillie Anzilotti in Fast Company writes that in addition to the demographic challenge of the Baby Boom generation hitting retirement age and looking to exit their businesses, another driver is simply the challenging atmosphere facing small business in the US. “As banks have consolidated, capital for small businesses has grown scarce,” Anzilotti notes. In making this statement, Anzilotti was referred to a report released last year by the Washington, DC-based Economic Innovation Group, which found that more small businesses were closing than opening, “revealing a stark reversal from decades of growth,” according to Mike Maciag in Governing.Melissa Hoover, executive director of DAWI, says the videos were created with the goal that “local outlets and local service providers use these resources to demonstrate that this can be done.” According to Hoover, DAWI is already seeing an uptick in queries as a result. “This is not a hard sell,” Hoover says. “What we’ve found is it makes intuitive sense to people.”Hoover also outlines the steps involved in the conversion process, which share some elements with a model in Maine covered by NPQ earlier this month. The first step is simply to educate business owners about the idea, which is where the videos come in. A second step is to determine economic suitability for the conversion. Anzilotti writes that, “Generally, co-ops tend to form from businesses with a minimum of 20 employees, and no more than a few hundred (though there are exceptions—Cooperative Home Care Associates in New York is the country’s largest worker-owned cooperative and employs nearly 2,000 workers). The relatively manageable size ensures that each employee can purchase a share of the company that’s large enough to be meaningful, but not so expensive as to be prohibitive. Longevity in the community is also a benefit.”The third step is to identify a source or sources of capital. Hoover concedes that, “We don’t have the kind of values-aligned capital that understands how to finance conversions, understands the risks, or understands the upsides of cooperatives.” That said, financing options do exist and are growing. Anzilotti notes that Child’s Place took out a loan from The Working World, a New York City-based community development financial institution (CDFI) that manages a $5 million loan fund specifically for worker-owned businesses.The last critical step is, as Anzilotti puts it, “learning how to effectively structure and govern a collectively owned business.” To this end, DAWI has developed the School for Democratic Management, which provides both in-person and online education for new co-op managers and worker-owners.Having an extended transition period can help. For example, A Yard & A Half Landscaping started convening a group of employees to prepare for the transition a full five years before the conversion; since it became a co-op in 2014, revenues have climbed from $2 million to $3.2 million, while wages increased from $17.02 an hour to $19.29 an hour.Supportive policy for worker co-ops is also becoming more common and makes conversions easier. For example, in August 2016, the US Department of Agriculture’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program added new financing vehicles that “specifically support the transition to worker-owned businesses, like financing models staged over five years to support a more distributed sale,” notes Anzilotti. As NPQ has covered, there is also legislation that has passed committee votes in both the Senate and the House that if enacted into law could make it far easier for worker co-ops to access US Small Business Administration guaranteed loans and other resources.Hoover says that even though “Co-ops are not whiz-bang businesses that are going to get anybody rich,” DAWI has seen “growing interest” in worker cooperatives in both rural and urban communities. “Business retention makes more sense than trying to attract Amazon’s HQ2,” she adds. “Why don’t we invest in our local ecosystem and retain what’s already here?”—Steve DubbShare31Tweet27ShareEmail58 Shares
The channels run by France’s external media organisation, Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF), have doubled their audience worldwide in the last three years, the AEF has said.News channel France 24, and radio services RFI and Monte Carlo Doualiya reached a combined weekly audience of over 90 million viewers and listeners last year, compared to 45 million in 2008.In three years, France 24’s weekly audience has quadrupled, rising to 43.5 million viewers, RFI has recorded a 30% increase to over 39 million listeners, while Monte Carlo Doualiya recorded 50% growth with 7.6 million listeners.According to the AEF, France 24’s success was largely due to the launch of its Arabic service, which has tripled its audience in the Maghreb region since its launch in October 2010.
Headend equipment provider Appear TV (Stand T10) has helped Danish cable operator Stofa to expand its service offering through the provision of transcoding solutions.The project, which is now live, has MPEG-2 services received at Stofa’s media centre by satellite. The 180 channels are transcoded to MPEG-4 and groomed by Appear TV’s transcoding headends and then distributed to Stofa’s cable customers over its existing network.“The implementation of Appear TV’s transcoding headend solution allows us to simply and efficiently increase our cable content portfolio by taking 180 satellite channels, transcode and then use our existing network to distribute to our cable customers,” said Thomas Helbo, chief technology officer, Stofa.
Following its US$2.2 billion (€1.7 billion) acquisition of Motorola Home earlier this year, Arris is looking to Turkey and Russia as key growth markets. Speaking at Arris-Motorola’s Video Leadership Forum event in Berlin, Steve McCaffrey, Arris’ senior vice-president of EMEA and former Motorola vice-president, said that the combined business was also looking to end-to-end multiscreen, broadband evolution and headend evolution to grow its business.“The key growth markets for us that we’re putting a lot of time and resource into are Turkey and Russia, because there’s a dynamic about those market places – there’s a huge amount of growth,” said McCaffrey.He said that Turkey’s broadband penetration currently stands at around 24%, but that the government is planning to boost that to 46% by 2016.“That’s a phenomenal amount of growth – and of course they’re going to have to look for services that is going to pull through that broadband investment and video is a key component of that,” said McCaffrey.He also pointed to countries like South Africa and the Ukraine as providing DVB-T opportunities as they switch from analogue to digital in the coming years. Earlier this month Arris did a deal with Polish operator Vectra to supply it with a hybrid HD set-tops to transition its analogue subscribers to digital.Outside of individual products and regions, McCaffrey said that focusing on the trio of end-to-end multiscreen, broadband and headend evolution, would allow Arris “to make a step-change to our business.”In terms of the latter he said: “You’re seeing headends change drastically – there’s an inflection point in technology going from encoding to transcoding, going from 40 channel systems, to 100 channel systems to full OTT type services.” McCaffrey added that end-to-end multiscreen is an issue that “every operator – cable and telco – is talking about.”
Danish cable operator Stofa has deployed provider Cisco’s modular CCAP technology platform, making it the first European operator to move towards the convergence of digital video and data on a common access infrastructure.The deployment of Cisco’s CCAP platform will, according to Cisco, enable Stofa to handle broadband traffic and video-on-demand within the same access platform and to develop 4K TV services.Stofa has installed Cisco’s uBR10012 CMTS with 3G60, PRE5, 3G-SPA and the RFGW10 Universal Edge QAM. According to Cisco, with the high density DS384 line card, Stofa can now utilise its existing infrastructure and run both VoD and DOCSIS services through common ports of the DS384 with no RF combining, as defined by CCAP for convergence.According to the technology giant, the cable operator plans to test and develop new services including 4K TV, and will evaluate whether to migrate all its TV services to digital in place of the parallel ‘flow’ TV distribution platform it operates today.“This is a milestone for European cable. With the first European deployment of video and data convergence based on Cisco’s CCAP platform, we are proud to be working with Stofa to enable them to innovate and be more competitive. Building on our long-standing relationship with Stofa, this initiative will enable them to take their infrastructure to the next level and better prepare for future consumer demands,” said Yves Padrines, vice president, Service Provider Video, EMEAR, Cisco.Syd Energi-owned Stofa has approximately 600,000 customers across Denmark, including 350,000 with access to broadband, advanced TV and telephony services.
RR Media will exhibit at IBC on stand 1.B24 Digital media services provider RRsat has rebranded to RR Media, reflecting what it described as a “significant expansion” in its global service offering.This offering includes a scalable media services platform and an extended distribution network covering 95% of the world’s population across multiple screens and devices.RR Media also announced enhanced media centres including hubs in New York, London and the Middle East for local service and support.“We have been making great progress over the past few years, with acquisitions and state-of-the-art service enhancements, giving us a true global ecosystem of digital media services. This has enabled us to grow our customer portfolio by offering a full solution in many different regions and vertical sectors,” said RR Media’s CEO, Avi Cohen.“Our teams can manage and implement all technical, operational and workflow aspects of content preparation, management and increased distribution capabilities, leaving customers free to focus on the creation of exciting new content and viewer offerings,” he added.RR Media will demo its media services platform for the first time at IBC, offering solutions for content preparation, management and distribution – converging broadcast and online video into one workflow.
Sheryl SandbergVideo will play a key role in Facebook’s drive to commercialise its presence on mobile devices, according to chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, speaking after the company released its first quarter financials. Sandberg said that “video will play a significant role in bringing more marketers to mobile” and noted that over 75% of global video views on Facebook now occur on mobile platforms. She cited the example of Lionsgate targeting young women on Instagram and then on Facebook with multiple videos as part of its promotional campaign for the movie Age of Adaline.Sandberg said that “video is exploding on Facebook”. Answering analysts’ questions, she said that Facebook would look to target the small and medium business segment for whom buying TV ad slots is out of reach. “I think all marketers have the opportunity to do video…including small and medium businesses who would never be able to hire a film crew and buy a TV ad,” she said. Sandberg said that over one million small and medium businesses had posted videos on the platform so far, with small advertising purchases around that.Facebook passed a milestone of four billion daily video views on its network in the first quarter, according to CEO Mark Zuckerburg. Speaking on the results call, Zuckerburg said that over 80,000 videos had now been embedded on third party websites following its launch of an embedded video player that allows people to watch Facebook videos across the web.Zuckerburg said that “spherical videos” would be supported in the Facebook news feed later this year, allowing users to change their viewing angle “for a more immersive experience”.“Supporting new types of content like this is an important part of preparing for the future of how people want to share,” said Zuckerburg.Facebook posted revenues of US3.54 billion for the quarter, up from US2.5 billion last year, and no-GAAP net income of US$1.189 billion, up from US$926 billion. Daily active users numbered 936 million for March, up 17% year-on-year.
Rodolphe BelmerRodolphe Belmer, dismissed as Canal+ chief executive, has been hired by the new director-general of public broadcaster France Televisions Delphine Ernotte to lead a strategic orientation committee, according to Le Figaro, which broke the story.According to Le Figaro, Belmer will head a 12-strong committee that will assist Ernotte in developing possible strategies for the broadcaster.Belmer, frequently named in the past as a possible successor to Remy Pflimlin at the public broadcaster, did not submit his candidacy in the contest that led to Ernott’e appointment. At Canal+ he was instrumental in developing the group’s digital and international strategies.Belmer was dismissed by Canal+ in July and replaced by former EVP and head of pay TV Maxime Saada, after previously being groomed as a likely successor to Canal+ president Bertrand Meheut.However, French press reports suggested that a perception among parent group Vivendi’s leadership, notably chairman Vincent Bollore, that the pay TV outfit was underperforming led to the decision to oust Belmer.
Hisense LTDN40K321UWTSEUChinese consumer electronics manufacturer Hisense is to launch an ultra-low cost UHD Direct-lit LED (DLED) TV in the UK market.The 40-inch version, the LTDN40K321UWTSEU, will sell for as little as £449, with 50-inch and 55-inch models available for £599 and £699 respectively.Hisense products have previously only been available in the UK through a limited number of specialist importers.The UHD devices will have smart TV functioanlity, allowing users to access apps including Netflix and YouTube. BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Instant Video apps will be available via a software update between September and November, according to the company.All devices have HDMI 2.0 ports to enable them to play back content form UHD Blu-ray palyers and other external devices and are capable of playing back HEVC-encoded video. They also include USB3.0 ports for home media and to enable viewers to record programming via an external memory stickThe Hisense models, which will provide access to Freeview HD in the UK, will be available from retailers including Argos, Euronics, Ao.com, Hughes, ebuyer.com and Crampton & Moore.
WPP-owned advertising firm, GroupM, has predicted that UK advertising will see its eighth successive year of growth, despite the short-term effects of the EU referendum.GroupM predicted growth up from 6.3% to 7.2% for 2016, and from 5.8% to 7.2% for 2017 – an increase in spending that takes the industry to an investment of £18.8 billion in 2017.However, the ad firm’s outlook for traditional media advertising went down slightly from -1.1% to -2.6% for 2016 and from +0.5% to -1.4% in 2017.GroupM said it now invests approximately the same amount in digital advertising as in TV – both linear and VOD – and noted that half of its digital investment is automated, up from 40% in a year.The company said that the UK remains “among the most digital-centric advertising markets in the world”.
Stéphane RichardOrange is not currently in talks with Vivendi about an acquisition of Canal+ by the telco or about an entry by Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré into Orange’s capital, according to the telecom operator’s CEO Stéphane Richard.Speaking to France’s Radio Classique this morning, Richard said that Orange has multiple interests in content and that this was the case now more than ever, but that this did not mean that it was in talks to take over the Vivendi-owned pay TV outfit.“Canal+ is a natural partner for Orange,” he said, in relation to its role in France and its distribution partnership with Orange, as well as its growing position in Africa, where Orange has also been expanding.“There are lots of complementarities and lots of areas of cooperation,” he said. “We are not speaking for the moment about acquisition or the entry of Orange into the capital of Canal, or about the entry of Bolloré into the capital of Orange.”He said this was not part of current discussions, although he said they two companies was in talks about cooperation across a range of topics where the pair had common interests.Richard has repeatedly denied that Orange had an interest in acquiring the pay TV group amid constant press speculation about a possible deal, recently telling BFM TV that, to his knowledge, Canal+ was not for sale.Richard also told Radio Classique that Orange – like other companies – was currently feeling the impact of political uncertainty in France over the result of the forthcoming general election. This, he said, related to the overall impact of uncertainty on stock valuations as well as a broader anxiety about France’s debt.
SES-15 arrives in KourouSatellite operator SES is due to launch its first SES hybrid satellite, SES-15, in April.SES-15 has arrived at the European Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, ahead of its planned launch next month by a Soyuz vehicle.The satellite is equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders as well as a 10 GHz high throughput payload.The all-electric satellite will operate at the new orbital position of 129 degrees West – serving North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.It will deliver global coverage for major global IFC/IFE providers and will also enable other data applications such as government, VSAT networks and maritime.“Designed and manufactured by Boeing, SES-15 will carry a hybrid payload, with additional Ku-band wide beams and Ku- as well as Ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capability,” said SES in a statement.The satellite is the first of three planned SES hybrid wide beam and HTS satellites.
France’s audience measurement organisation, Médiamétrie, has included digital service Molotov into its ‘four screen TV’ ratings.From this month Médiamétrie will measure the 14 channels that Molotov delivers over-the-top across all screens. This will include networks from TF1 Group, France Télévisions and M6Group.They will be included in the ‘Focus Emission’ four-screen service that measures daily TV content broadcast live and via catch-up across TV, computer, mobile phone and tablet.Programmes watched on TV screens via Molotov were already taken into account in Médiamétrie’s TV ratings measurement tool, Médiamat.“The inclusion of programmes viewed on Molotov in four-screen TV audience measurement is a first step towards comprehensive measurement of TV content broadcast via online platforms,” said Julien Rosanvallon, head of Médiamétrie’s TV and internet departments.Jean-Marc Denoual, co-founder of Molotov, said: “Molotov offers a brand new TV distribution experience and it seemed obvious to us that we should integrate the latest audience measurement tools relating to new television usage. We are delighted to be the first and, to date, the only platform to have partnered with Médiamétrie in the implementation of these measurement tools across all screens for the benefit of channels and their advertisers.”
Japanese broadcaster NHK has partnered with satellite operator Eutelsat Communications to launch what the pair claim to be the world’s first 8K network; BS8K.The initial live broadcast of the channel took place on December 2 from the Vatican with images transmitted to Tokyo via the Eutelsat 12 West B satellite via a mobile uplink provided by M-three Satcom.NHK relied on DVB-S2X modulation, in 16APSK, and HEVC encoding for the transmission. The images, comprising 7680 pixels over 4320 lines, were shot at 60 frames per second in BT2020 colour space, with 10 bits of colour depth in HLG-based HDR, combined with 22.2 channel audio.Airing in Japan, BS8K features 8K Ultra HD footage of major cultural and sporting events, museums and natural landscapes. The channel will broadcast 12 hours a day. The service will allow for further experimentation with 8K prior to the large-scale deployment of the format for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics games in 2020.Gerry O’Sullivan, EVP, global TV and video of Eutelsat said: “Eutelsat has been a pioneer in delivering HD and Ultra HD formats since their inception, and this broadcast confirms satellite’s unique position as one of the vital technologies capable of broadcasting 8K signals. We look forward to working hand in hand with customers such as NHK as they continue to raise the bar higher for the broadcasting industry, to deliver the best possible video experience to viewers.”