Sandals promotes social groups with new booking option for agents perks for

first_imgSandals promotes social groups with new booking option for agents, perks for clients Share Posted by Thursday, January 17, 2019 Vawn Himmelsbach Tags: Montego Bay, Perks, Sandals Resorts MONTEGO BAY — Agents now have more options for booking groups — including social groups — with Sandals Resorts, thanks to a group code option, expanded meeting spaces and perks for clients.While couples-only Sandals is known for romance, the company is also promoting its properties for meetings and social groups, along with weddings.A ‘social group’ is any group that doesn’t qualify as a wedding or corporate incentive. This could range from sports (tennis, golf or scuba diving) and themed trips (culinary, wine or spa), to birthdays, reunions or groups of friends travelling together, according to Grant Lawlor, National Groups Manager with Unique Vacations (Canada), the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts.Grant Lawlor, National Groups, Sandals Resorts (Credit: Vawn Himmelsbach)And now there are two ways an agent can book a group: a contracted group, or a group code. “The traditional way in Canada is contracted groups through a tour operator,” said Lawlor. “We have a new way to book groups that’s really catching on, and it’s called a group code. Basically, it’s taking individual FIT bookings and we link them together to create a group, so there’s no commitment to a contract, no deposit down, no risk for an agent.”With group code, room blocks are not held; space and rates are not guaranteed until booked and deposited (and it’s not applicable to incentive groups). A contract guarantees the rooms are held out of inventory and the room rate is guaranteed once booked. However, if an agent wants a contract for five rooms, Sandals requires a 10% deposit (and a tour operator requires a non-refundable deposit for every room).“So there’s a risk involved,” said Lawlor. “With group code, you just book one couple today and if they think they can bring a bunch of friends we can issue a code — there’s no commitment, no money tied to it, and if they reach five rooms, the code goes into effect and it becomes a group.”While group code is a fairly new concept in Canada, it’s already popular in the U.S. “You get the same benefits without the risk, and you can book direct with us or through tour operators or a combination,” said Lawlor. “It applies to weddings too, but we see the most success with this in Canada on the social group side because our tour operators for weddings offer 90-day, no-deposit weddings, so that’s extremely popular.”With social groups, the magic numbers are five and three: a five room minimum and three-night minimum stay. The group must overlap for three nights, but some can come early or stay longer.This option can help an agent “look like a hero to their clients,” said Lawlor.Social groups receive a private complimentary group dinner, a private complimentary group cocktail reception with hor d’oeuvres, and a group portrait session (however, only meeting and incentive groups have access to private group check-in). Always included is access to a guest arrival lounge at select airports, unlimited spirits and wine, resort-wide Wi-Fi and golf at select resorts with complimentary green fees (ideal for golf groups).Social groups also qualify for Sandals’ free room offer — the sixth room is free from September to Dec. 24, and the 12th room is free from January to August.A social group can divide the savings amongst themselves, but Lawlor also suggests agents organize hosted trips. For example, an agent can approach their local golf course and team up with a golf pro to accompany participants on the trip (and the golf pro gets the complimentary room). Or, a yoga instructor or chef can promote the trip to their clientele, and once five rooms are booked, the organizer stays for free.At Sandals, up to 20% of a social group could be made up of singles (so if 10 rooms are booked, two could be singles). “There’s definitely a market out there and a lot of groups will have one or two singles, whether it’s wedding or social,” said Lawlor. For family reunions, multigenerational groups or social groups with a lot of singles (say, a girls’ getaway), a group code could be applied at Beaches Resorts.Sandals has plenty of options for booking groups, with 15 Luxury Included properties throughout the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Grenada and Barbados. Customizable meeting and function spaces range from 500 to 10,000 square feet, and assistance can be provided for on-site activities, special group functions and team-building activities.For weddings, clients receive a certain number of bells and whistles depending on how many rooms they book. But clients can now choose which concession they’d like, rather than being told which concession they qualify for, “so it’s more freedom for the bride and groom to customize their wedding,” said Lawlor.While Sandals has multiple properties in Jamaica, two have new offerings ideal for weddings and social groups.Sandals Montego Bay features a new weddings lounge with a bridal suite, newly renovated non-denominational chapel, and new beachfront swim-up honeymoon butler suites in the renovated Seagrapes building, as well as a new high-tech conference centre.Sandals Montego Bay’s Conference CentreAnd Sandals South Coast features over-the-water honeymoon butler suites on Jamaica’s lush South Coast within a 500-acre wilderness preserve. Each room and suite overlooks the two-mile beach, and the resort offers 14,000 square feet of meeting and convention space including a three-level theatre and new Latitudes over-the-water bar.Latitudes Overwater Bar, Sandals South CoastFor agents, group code can make it easier to start booking social groups and even weddings. “Some of Sandals most successful agents — our Chairman’s Royal Club members — do groups,” said Lawlor, “so it’s extremely lucrative.” << Previous PostNext Post >> About Latest Posts Vawn HimmelsbachContributor at TravelweekVawn Himmelsbach has been writing about travel for more than a decade for media outlets such as CBC.ca, Metro News, Flare, Sweet Travel, PlanetEye Traveler and Hotelier, among others. She is co-founder of Chic Savvy Travels, a travel website for women, has contributed to a guidebook on China, and has been published in a book of non-fiction, called Emails from India. She has spent more than three years working and traveling abroad in Asia and Latin America. Latest posts by Vawn Himmelsbach (see all) More storefronts, new zero interest payment option for The Travel Agent Next Door – May 7, 2019 Smooth sailing onboard Uniworld’s newest super ship in Bordeaux – April 24, 2019 Sandals promotes social groups with new booking option for agents, perks for clients – January 17, 2019last_img read more

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2019-08-19

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Greece joins war of words as Samaras calls on Turkey to stop

first_imgBy George PsyllidesGREECE urged NATO partner Turkey on Friday to stop harassing Cyprus while it looks to exploit offshore natural gas fields, wading into a dispute that has complicated peace efforts on the ethnically-split island.The row prompted Greek Cypriots to suspend peace talks with the Turkish Cypriots last month.Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he fully supported the decision, accusing Turkey of trying to provoke Cyprus.“Provocations cannot be ignored, nor can they be rewarded,” he said during a visit to Nicosia. “We hope Turkey will reconsider, to allow talks to resume.”The Turkish research vessel, the Barbaros, has been sailing in waters close to exploration sites that Cyprus has already licensed to Italy’s ENI, France’s Total and U.S. Noble Energy.The move prompted President Nicos Anastasiades to pull out of reunification talks.The island reported its first find in 2011, with a reservoir containing an estimated 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. It borders on waters Cyprus shares with Israel, which has recorded some of the world’s biggest finds in the past decade.Turkey disputes Nicosia’s rights to search for gas.Greek Cypriots say Turkish Cypriots can share potential benefits, but only when there is a peace deal.“Hydrocarbons in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone belong to the Republic of Cyprus, and, post-settlement, any revenue from exploitation will benefit all of Cyprus’s legal residents,” Anastasiades said.The two leaders talked about concerted action on all issues of mutual concern and highlighted the stabilising role both countries can play, in particular as EU member states.Anastasiades stressed that their common goal was to deescalate tension and not to provoke more.“We are not the ones who have caused” tension, he said.“We would like to believe that both Turkey and our Turkish Cypriot compatriots will realize that such unnecessary crises do not secure anyone’s rights,” he said.Addressing a special session of the House of Representatives later in the day, Samaras said Cyprus was becoming a valuable asset for the EU.“In 1974, Cyprus was an open wound in our national subconscious. Today, the problem is still unsolved but Cyprus remains a source of strength and pride for Hellenism,” the Greek PM said.He said the island was fast becoming a “valuable asset” for all European peoples who desired stability and security in the region.“Even if it did not exist – the now European Cyprus – they would have to invent it. And because it exists, they must support and defend it,” Samaras said.Samaras and Anastasiades were due to travel to Egypt late on Friday for a meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Saturday, with talks focusing on energy cooperation, Cypriot officials said.Asked earlier if Greece will delineate its EEZ with Egypt, Samaras said that all issues will be discussed during the tripartite summit in Cairo, noting that “we can establish a strategic cooperation link between our peoples and between Europe and the Arab world, aiming primarily at stability in the eastern Mediterranean and the whole region.”You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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2019-08-09

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Rep Cox invites students to participate in summer reading contest

first_img Categories: Cox News 08Jun Rep. Cox invites students to participate in summer reading contest State Rep. Laura Cox has announced that she will be holding a summer reading contest for local students in the Livonia area.“Teachers can’t stress enough how important it is to keep their students reading, even when they’re away from school for the summer,” said Rep. Cox, R-Livonia. “Participating in our contest is one of the easiest ways to give our kids a competitive edge while simultaneously keeping their minds sharp throughout their break.”Livonia Public Libraries’ summer reading program—which boasts an annual participation of about 1,800 students—began on May 30. Rep. Cox’s contest will run concurrently with the program. Students wishing to participate in the contest can pick up a bookmark which they can use to track their reading progress at any of the public libraries in Livonia. In order to qualify, students must turn their bookmarks in to a drop box in their library by Sept. 1.The winner of the contest will receive the opportunity to be a representative for day with Rep. Cox. This lucky student will be able to share lunch and experience part of a legislative session firsthand from the House floor.“I can’t wait to have one of our brightest young readers with me on the House floor,” Rep. Cox said. “I encourage any parents and teachers who wish to see their young ones reading over the summer to participate in this beneficial program.”For more information on the summer reading contest, residents are encouraged to contact Rep. Cox’s office by phone at 517-373-3920 or by email at LauraCox@house.mi.gov.###last_img read more

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2019-08-09

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Legislature approves Howrylaks criminal justice reform plan

first_img Categories: Howrylak News,News 01May Legislature approves Howrylak’s criminal justice reform plan Bill allows sheriff, doctor, judge to consider an inmate’s release for health reasonsThe state Senate and House have approved Rep. Martin Howrylak’s plan to allow a medical doctor, sheriff and the court to work together in determining if a medically frail individual housed in a jail is eligible for compassionate release or medical probation.Currently, inmates cannot retain public or private health insurance when they enter the county jail. Once an individual is incarcerated, the jail is required to pay for medical treatment while the individual is in custody. As a result, counties are forced to pay law enforcement officers for 24-hour hospital watches involving extremely ill prisoners receiving care from outside medical professionals.“Our counties are incurring significant costs to care for these individuals,” said Howrylak, of Troy. “Taxpayers and county budgets should not be impacted simply by continuing care of an inmate who has limited ability to being a public threat. This legislation doesn’t release prisoners onto our streets without regard to public safety, it simply allows the review on a case-by-case with medical and law enforcement officials.”If enacted, House Bill 5234 allows for compassionate release or medical probation for inmates who meet specific requirements, pending review by a medical doctor, the sheriff and the court to determine if the individual is eligible.In order to be eligible for medical probation or compassionate release:A prisoner must be physically or mentally incapacitated due to a medical condition that requires 24-hour care or have a life expectancy of not more than six months;A placement option must be secured for the prisoner that does not pose a threat to the safety of the public or the prisoner; andThe county sheriff must determine if the expenses related to the prisoner’s placement will be paid by Medicaid, private insurance or another form of payment before the prisoner is released.“I applaud Rep. Howrylak and the Michigan Legislature for making this legislation a priority,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard said. “Allowing these mechanisms to grant compassionate release and medical probation to inmates who are suffering from extreme medical conditions will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. This is a perfect example of smart criminal justice reform, which gives county jails the ability to release those who need extensive medical care and who do not pose a threat to the community. The public’s safety is still paramount with this new initiative.”Today’s House vote follows last week’s Senate approval, advancing HB 5234 to the governor for his consideration.#####last_img read more

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2019-08-09

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Rep Hank Vaupel Weekly Column December 10 2018

first_img This week, I welcomed our final two summer reading contest winners to Lansing. Ellie Rider, a homeschool student from Howell, and James Potter of Hutchings Elementary School in Howell were sworn in as honorary Representatives for a Day on Thursday. Thank you to all the students who participated in this year’s contest. I was impressed by the excitement for reading demonstrated by young people across our district.  It was a joy to host the contest, and I look forward to doing it again next year!***The House Health Policy Committee was very active this week as we work to finish important legislation before the end of the term. The following are just some of the bills recently reported out of committee:Senate Bill 1198: Permanently expands the ban on the practice of prescribing abortion pills through video appointments, also referred to as telemedicine;House Bill 6431: Updates Medigap plans to comply with federal requirements for the purpose of strengthening Medicare access by improving physician payments;HB 5776: Clarifies the scope of practice for mental health counselors; andHB 4134: Updates physician recertification practices to ensure more time spent with patients and potentially result in reduced healthcare costs.If you have questions or thoughts on any bills being considered by the Legislature, then please feel free to reach out to my office. We would be happy to talk with you.***Fowlerville’s Christmas in the Ville was another resounding success this year with a terrific display of community spirit. Thank you to all the volunteers and community members who helped or attended despite the weather to ensure a fun and beautiful event. Although I was unfortunately unable to attend the parade due to a prior commitment as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army in Howell, I was happy to see the great outpouring of support for this annual tradition.On that note, I would also like to thank those who volunteer for the Salvation Army as bell ringers. The Salvation Army is an important organization providing assistance and support to many residents throughout Livingston County, and they cannot supply these critical services without the help of volunteers. This is a busy time for all of us, but these selfless volunteers have sacrificed a little time to help those in need. There will be more opportunities as the season continues, and I encourage you to volunteer if you are able!***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. We are happy to hear from you! 10Dec Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: December 10, 2018 Categories: Vaupel Newscenter_img PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Hank Vaupel welcomes honorary Representatives for a Day Ellie Rider (center left) and James Potter (center right) to the House floor. The students were joined by their families.last_img read more

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2019-08-09

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Michigan House approves Rep Schroeders plan to boost government transparency

first_img Legislation extends open record requirements to governor, LegislatureState Rep. Andrea Schroeder speaks in support of her legislation today in the Michigan House.State Rep. Andrea Schroeder’s plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan was unanimously approved today by the Michigan House.Schroeder, of Independence Township, said Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor and state legislators from open records laws. Her legislation, House Bill 4014, is part of a bipartisan plan to end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.“Elected officials should have nothing to hide from the residents they serve. We owe it to the people of Michigan to be completely open and accountable,” Schroeder said. “It’s time to extend open record requirements to the governor and legislators.”The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other communications lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists would not be exempt.The plan now advances to the Senate for consideration.### 09Apr Michigan House approves Rep. Schroeder’s plan to boost government transparency Categories: Schroeder Newslast_img read more

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2019-08-09

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4 Years after Citizens United Democracys Battleground Is in the States

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 21, 2014; Washington PostThe Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza suggests that the Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court—four years old as of yesterday—has changed politics in six significant ways: a huge surge in “independent expenditures” in 2012, three times as much as the outside spending in the 2008 and 2010 electoral cycles; outside group spending in the 2014 electoral cycle three times higher than it was at this time in 2010; outside spending (other than party committees) more than twice as much for conservatives than liberals in the 2012 elections; Republican TV ads for senate candidates in 2010 much higher than the number of Democratic ads, a reversal of the Democratic TV ad advantage in 2006; outside spending in elections without donor disclosure topping $300 million in 2012, compared to what looks like around $130 million in 2010; and a rapid decline in full disclosure from over 95 percent in 2004 to somewhat over 60 percent in 2008 to only about 40 percent in 2012.The challenge for nonprofits is particularly acute because the favored instruments for these anonymous donations are 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, which then make donations to Super PACs. The limited mechanisms for disclosure of independent spending directly focused on the election or defeat of federal candidates are even weaker in some states’ regulations covering state and local elections, such as Minnesota’s.The Common Cause take on Citizens United may be the most mainstream criticism of this Supreme Court decision, but there are limits. “It is not a crime to be wealthy. It is not a crime to donate money to a candidate, political action committee or organization that works on issues that are important to you,” said Jeremy Schroeder, the executive director of Common Cause Minnesota. “However, we should not be willing to allow a handful of special interests to donate unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. Dark money should not control the power in our government.”But the parameters for reining in independent spending through 501(c)(4)s are sometimes difficult to define precisely. Given the endemic paralysis in Congress, groups like state chapters of Common Cause may have a huge role to play in reining in the excesses of dark money, because the action will be at the state level. A Vermont legislative conference committee is working through the differences in House and Senate bills that would increase the regulations covering campaign donations in the Green Mountain state. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s upcoming budget reportedly contains proposals for new ethics law and public financing for state elections. In contrast, North Carolina is weakening its standards for disclosure of political campaign contributions.If anything, the battleground for nonprofits fighting for small “d” democracy is going to be occurring at the state level. It is a battle that 501(c)(3) public charities should join, even though the instruments to be controlled and made more transparent are 501(c)(4)s and Super PACs.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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2019-08-09

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Putting Climate in Every Nonprofit Mission

first_imgShare33Tweet18ShareEmail51 SharesImage credit: NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).February 6, 2019; New York TimesRecords show that the earth in 2018 had its fourth-highest average surface temperature in almost 140 years, according to the announcement last week by NASA scientists. Tracking the data shows a clear and persistent upward trend over 14 decades. According to the history as documented, the five warmest years have been the last five years. Since 2001, the planet has undergone 18 of the 19 warmest.The long, 140-year journey up to our current temperatures has sped up in the last 20 years, confirming the scientific consensus that human activity is causing the uptick. It is this most recent period, and its record rise in levels of carbon dioxide and methane, which confirms that it is no longer “tomorrow” that is of concern.“We’re no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis. “It’s here. It’s now.”NASA’s temperature data and that of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, came out together. (This year’s global temperature reports were delayed, as scientists from NOAA and NASA were prevented from completing the analysis of the data by the government shutdown.) They use marginally different procedures to calculate the overall temperature changes and have disagreed once or twice on rankings by a year, but both agree that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year.Scientists caution that to avoid the worst consequences, the earth’s overall temperature cannot rise over 2 degrees Celsius from where it was in the beginning years of the Industrial Revolution. Measuring from that 19th century mark to 2018, the earth is now registering over 1°C higher.The report provides nonprofits with red flags and warning signs, relating to the work they are doing, and how they may have to change. Nonprofit Quarterly has written on how climate change will affect nonprofits—public health concerns; how the ability to get food globally will be affected by drought in some places and floods in others; and a possible increase in refugees escaping harsh conditions. Nonprofits are already including climate change in their missions as they deal with coastal flooding in the United States from destructive hurricanes like Florence and Michael and shrinking Arctic ice and mountain glaciers. The polar vortex pushed Midwest communities to close colleges and schools for days at a time. And, in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico after 2017’s hurricane, attention is being paid to resilience.Returning to the Times…In addition to the fourth warmest year on record, 2018 was also the fourth-costliest for weather disasters in the United States. Last year’s total was $91 billion, less than 2017, when disasters inflicted a record breaking $306 billion of damage. But it reflects a broader trend of more frequent and intense extreme weather events including hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires that scientists say are to be expected with a warming climate. According to NOAA, 2018 was the first time on record when wildfires have exceeded average hurricane costs in the United States.Dr. Schmidt speaks of a downhill slide that the earth is on, rather than a sudden crisis cliff. Scientists believe it can still be slowed with great effort, and perhaps reversed over time. From the data gathered, though, the 2-degree line will be crossed even with over 190 countries participating in lowering the greenhouse emissions through the Paris Climate Agreement. Even half a degree more will have calamitous consequences.The journal, Nature, published two new studies which propose that the melting polar ice caps could bring more punishing weather. Tamsin L. Edwards, a climate scientist at King’s College London and leader on the first study, which is focused on the impact of Antarctic ice-shelf collapse, estimates that the sea level rise would be near 10 inches, and predicts 5 to 6 feet in 80 years—just a lifetime.In the other study, Nicholas Golledge, associate professor at Victoria University of Wellington’s Antarctic Research Centre in New Zealand, demonstrates that fresh water sloughing off of Greenland’s melting will affect the Atlantic Ocean’s circulation, bringing warmer water to hurricane alley’s Gulf of Mexico.“People say, ‘How do we know the science is any good? How do we trust the models? They’re so complex!’” But, Dr. Golledge said, “That’s the essence of science. You think you understand how something works, you make models and you make predictions and see if they come true. Unfortunately, we’re in a situation where we see it’s come true.”—Marian ConwayShare33Tweet18ShareEmail51 Shareslast_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Russian pay TV operator ERTelecom has added Fox c

first_imgRussian pay TV operator ER-Telecom has added Fox channels National Geographic and Fox Life to its line-up.The deal between Fox Channels and ER-Telecom will see Nat Geo programmes including Air Crash Investigation and Alaska’s Toughest Pilots airing on ER-Telecom’s platform. Fox Life broadcasts US series including Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy. Both channels are available in the operator’s basic package.ER-Telecom ended 2011 with 1.73 million pay TV subscribers having added half a million new subs during the year.ER-Telecom is reportedly planning to launch digital TV services under the Dom.ru brand in 15 cities between now and 2013, including a basic package with about 100 channels. Services are currently available in Perm, Samara, Tyumen and Chelyabinsk.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Telekom Slovenijes multiscreen service is now ava

first_imgTelekom Slovenije’s multiscreen service is now available on Apple devices.The telco’s TViN service launched in February, offering over 50 channels on computer, tablets and smartphones. It now supports Apple’s iOS operating system and can be accessed via an app.Telekom Slovenije said it had recorded over 13,500 registered TViN users.last_img

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2019-08-07

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The Times has reported that the number of UK homes

first_imgThe Times has reported that the number of UK homes that have told public broadcaster the BBC they do not need a TV licence now exceeds 400,000 with the newspaper saying that consumers accessing iPlayer and other catch-up services is driving the number up.The newspaper received the figures following a Freedom of Information request, initially refused by the BBC, which relented after successful appeal by The Times.The data supplied by the BBC reveals that in 2012 428,359 UK homes told the pubcaster that they did not need to pay the £145.50 TV license. The 2011 figure was 425,590.The BBC told The Times that watching catch-up services was only one of several reasons people were legitimately not paying the license fee. It said that only 0.2% of all UK viewers watch TV exclusively on catch-up services.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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The UKs Office of Fair Trading OFT has referred

first_imgThe UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has referred Ericsson’s buyout of Red Bee Media to the Competition Commission over fears that the deal could drive up the cost of playout services in the UK. In a statement, the UK’s consumer and competition authority said that it was concerned that the deal “might lead to an increase in prices or a worsening of service levels in the supply of linear playout services in the UK.”The OFT, non-ministerial government department, said that a number of broadcasters and competitors have also complained about the merger and “the loss of choice it entails.”Though a minority of broadcasters provide playout services themselves, the OFT added that it did not consider the threat of taking these back in-house would stem price rises in the short and medium term.“Not only is there the possibility of price rises as a result of the merger, there is a risk the most complex channels will suffer a reduction in quality in their service levels. We are therefore referring the anticipated merger to the Competition Commission for an in-depth investigation,” said OFT chief executive Clive Maxwell.Ericsson agreed to buy UK-based TV technology and media services company Red Bee Media from Macquarie Advanced Investment Partners in July. The move will see it further strengthen its broadcast services business, which it started in 2007 and expanded in 2012 with the acquisition of Technicolor’s Broadcast Services Division.The deal, which is expected to close later this year if it meets regulatory approval, will give Ericsson an additional 1,500 employees, as well as media services and operations facilities in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Australia.Linear playout services ensure that television programmes, advertising, and other television content are lined up and ready for broadcast, according to the programme schedule. Playout service providers also manage the fluctuations around the schedule according to the broadcaster’s wishes, for example in reaction to live sports.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Askeys HD DVR ViaccessOrca has teamed up with se

first_imgAskey’s HD DVRViaccess-Orca has teamed up with set-top box providers Askey Computer Corporation and Aston, and conditional access modul manufacturer SMiT, to embed its cardless content security technology in their devices. According to Viaccess-Orca, Askey will embed its Dynamic Sentinel cardless CAS in its HD DVR devices. Dynamic Sentinel will also be integrated wiht Aston’s HbbTV set-top platform, available in satellite, terrestrial, and cable versions, while the partnership with SMiT will enable the deliver of premium content to TVs equipped withi SMiT CAMs. The advanced CAM is compliant with CI+1.3, and provides time-shifting and HbbTV functionalities, according to Viaccess-Orca.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Sherlock Netflix has acquired several of BBC World

first_imgSherlockNetflix has acquired several of BBC Worldwide’s top titles for its new international services, DTVE sister title TBI has learned.The US-listed streaming service recently launched new European services in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland, giving it access to over 60 million more international homes.BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK public broadcaster has sold series into France, Germany and Belgium.Netflix has picked up Doctor Who and Sherlock for France and Germany.Both series already air in the territories. Doctor Who is on pubcaster France Televisions’ France 4 and pay TV channel Fox in Germany. France 4 also has Sherlock. ARD channel Das Erste shows Sherlock in Germany.Outside of scripted, Netflix has also acquired motoring magazine show Top Gear for its new French and German services.All three of the above-mentioned series have also been bought by Netflix for Belgium.The streaming service has also picked up big-ticket dramas Musketeers and Atlantis for Belgium.All of the British drama series air on BBC One in the UK. Top Gear, which Worldwide has sold successfully as a finished show and a format, is a long-running show on BBC Two.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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ATX Networks will be exhibiting at ANGA COM in hal

first_imgATX Networks will be exhibiting at ANGA COM in hall 10, booth J18. ATX’s Maxnet IIATX Networks is featuring its newly expanded Maxnet II and SignalOn 1.2 GHz bandwidth RF management platforms at ANGA COM.Maxnet II and SignalOn are both CCAP-compliant, modular RF management platforms. ATX has expanded the active and passive options in both to1.218 GHz bandwidth to support DOSCIS 3.1.“Maxnet II is an ultra-dense, MCX/F connector-based RF solution with SNMP/web remote control/monitoring. SignalOn is a high density, F/BNC connector-based RF/L-Band solution,” said ATX.At the show, ATX will also showcase its new UCrypt IP to PAL gateway, which is designed to convert IP video streams to PAL in a space-efficient and cost-effective manner.According to ATX, this device can ingest up to 60 MPEG-2/H.264, HD/SD video streams and convert them to PAL. Future versions will also include support for decryption of Verimatrix and other DVB CSA-based streams.ATX Networks designs, manufactures, markets, and delivers a range of digital video, OTT, and IPTV solutions, targeted at the global cable television industry and Private Video Networks.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Better Call Saul Hungarian service provider Digi h

first_imgBetter Call SaulHungarian service provider Digi has added the AMC channel its programming line-up. The move takes AMC’s total reach in Hungary to 2.2 million homes.Digi has added to AMC to its basic satellite package as of today and will carry the service on its digital basic cable tier as of August 1, adding a total of 700,000 to AMC’s reach.AMC was launched in Hungary last November, taking content including Better Call Saul, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Fargo and Halt and Catch Fire to Hungarian viewers.AMC’s forthcoming Fear the Walking Dead, a companion series to The Walking Dead, will be broadcast internationally on the channel simultaneously with its US debut in August.“At the time of AMC’s launch we promised not only top quality content, but also premiere times very close to the U.S. premieres. I am proud we have fulfilled both these promises and I am extremely happy that thanks to Digi’s distribution of the channel, so many new viewers can enjoy these top-class hits,” said AMC Networks International Central Europe CEO, Levente Málnay.Annamária Kállai, head of marketing of Digi, said, “We are very excited about this landmark launch on the Digi platforms. Expanding the range of top quality content is a continuing priority for us and we believe that the AMC channel can add tremendous value to our offering.  We look forward to working with AMC on delivering great content to our viewers.”last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Video streaming solutions provider Streambox is

first_imgVideo streaming solutions provider, Streambox, is now offering customers live 360-degree video streaming to YouTube.Streambox said that content producers can become beta testers and start streaming live 360 video after it combined its Streambox Cloud Services offering with the beta release of the Cloud Encoder – 360.“Video streaming is a complicated process and 360 video adds another level of complexity with camera stitching, encoding, and streaming. What we are trying to do is make live 360 easy and affordable,” said Alex Telitsine, CTO of Streambox.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Endemol Shine Beyond ad agency Ogilvy and drinks

first_imgEndemol Shine Beyond, ad agency Ogilvy and drinks brand Coca Cola are working on a vlogger-hosted YouTube channel in the UK aimed at young adults.CokeTV is already available in Germany, where it has gained 268,000 subscribers and 29 million views in the two years since its launch.The UK and Ireland version will have British vloggers Manny and Dodie hosting. Each episode will see them focusing on themes such as gaming, sport and music, with guests such as bloggers Jakes Boys and Jack Howard, and they will undertake challenges such as abseiling and parkour.“The beauty of CokeTV is it puts the Coca-Cola brand directly into the world of the YouTube generation, reflecting their interests and speaking their language, week after week,” said Coca Cola GB marketing director Bobby Brittain.Endemol Shine Beyond, the digital content arm of Endemol Shine Group, operates premium online channels such as Legends of Gaming, Rule’m Sports and Icon. It also has a partnership with US MCN AwesomenessTV.last_img read more

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2019-08-07

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Facebook is to launch three international show for

first_imgFacebook is to launch three international show formats on its Watch platform, including The Real World via a partnership with MTV Studios.Matthew HenickSpeaking at MIPCOM, Facebook’s head of content planning and strategy, Matthew Henick, and head of video products, Paresh Rajwat, revealed a slate of new international titles coming to the platform.The Real World will be a re-imagined version of the MTV original and start with three seasons in the US, Mexico and Thailand.The show will be coproduced by MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions and look to a spring 2019 release.Facebook Watch will also create local adaptations of its interactive game-show format Confetti. Localised versions of the format will launch in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America.The World’s Most Amazing Dog will also arrive on the platform, in partnership with The Dodo. The title is a global interactive competition series that celebrates dogs and their owners around the world.Henick said: “The Real World made history as the world’s first original reality show and trailblazing social experiment — and we’re thrilled to reboot the show for today’s audiences — representing and amplifying the real life, real people, real places and real social tensions of each country.”Facebook’s mission is to put viewers at the centre of the action by creating opportunity for co-watching, interactivity and community-driven experiences.The platform will mainly do this through its Watch Party, Premieres and Groups tools, which allow users to bring friends along for viewing activities.Rajwat said: “With Watch, we have built an interactive experience that gives you a new level of access and influence. You don’t just watch videos on your own, you can have a two-way conversation about the content with friends, experience them alongside other fans, or even the creators themselves – you can be truly part of the action.”The news comes a day after research from Ampere Analysis suggested that the proportion of US internet users who have watched videos on Facebook in the past month is declining in the US and much of Europe.last_img read more

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2019-08-06

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English Club TV an educational network designed t

first_imgEnglish Club TV, an educational network designed to help people learn English, has launched on the Apple TV platform globally.The English Club TV Plus App features both live and on-demand content, is powered by OTT app provider Stormcast Cinema, and is the latest in a string of device launches for English Club TV.This week the network also launched the English Club TV Plus App on Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, offering a range of educational programmes for English learners of all levels.“Multi-screening is currently one of the main TV market trends and we are capitalising on it by developing and adapting our apps for different platforms and regions to satisfy the needs of today’s customers,” said English Club TV Group CEO, Andrew Semchenko.“The English Club TV Plus App on Apple TV is a new effective and enjoyable tool for learners to acquire English without too much effort – it all comes from their TV screens or mobile devices.”last_img read more

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2019-08-06

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