You might never see anything like this again. Stick around and watch the whole thing.Oh man, those guys will never, ever forget that play. Sac State went on to beat Northern Colorado 43-38; but this action took place in the second quarter.If you have anything that can top that, please send it our way @FootballScoop.
Categories: Sheppard News Focused on people, blueprint will ensure bright futureCrucial policy priorities for Michigan’s continued recovery were unveiled today at a Capitol press conference, and state Rep. Jason Sheppard, said he is ready to build on last session’s success, when 80 percent of the goals were approved by the House.“I may be a freshmen on the House floor, but I’m just as eager to exceed last year’s accomplishments as my seasoned colleagues,” said Sheppard, R-Temperance. “There is no such thing as good enough when we have the honor and responsibility of serving the people of Michigan.”The Action Plan outlines priorities for the 98th Legislature that will foster job growth and strengthen the state’s economy, as well as take care of the people who make Michigan great.“As a small business owner, I know it takes a lot of strategic planning to be efficient and productive,” Sheppard said. “The same applies to state government, so we’ve charted our path for the next two years and want to be held accountable for our actions. The people of Michigan deserve this focused, measured approach to improving our state.”Commitment to reform and smart, sound budgeting are also key pillars of the House Action Plan, which—when paired with a focus on Michigan’s people—will forge a path to economic success and a brighter future for all.Learn more at gophouse.org/FocusonMICH. 05Feb Sheppard eager to address ‘Action Plan’ objectives for Michiganders
Categories: Kahle News,Kahle Photos 13Nov Rep. Kahle attends unveiling of Adrian native and Governor Charles Croswell portrait Croswell was the first governor to serve in the present CapitolState Rep. Bronna Kahle of Adrian attended the unveiling of a portrait of Governor Charles M. Croswell today in the Capitol Rotunda.Gov. Croswell was born in New York and orphaned at a young age. He moved to Adrian with his uncle and grew up to be a successful lawyer and public servant. Prior to being elected governor in 1876, Croswell served in the Michigan Senate, where he was president pro tempore, and elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Gov. Croswell was the first governor to serve in the current Michigan State Capitol. The building was dedicated in 1879 as Gov. Croswell was sworn into office for a second term.The new portrait of Gov. Croswell was painted by Capitol artist Joshua Risner.
11Jan Local residents can meet with Rep. Schroeder on Jan. 28 State Rep. Andrea Schroeder invites residents to join her for a local coffee hour on Monday, Jan. 28 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Leo’s Coney Island, 6325 Sashabaw Road in Clarkston.“I deeply value the opportunity to meet with residents and discuss matters important to them,” Rep. Schroeder said. “As a legislator, I will always be accessible and accountable to the people in my district.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Schroeder at 517-373-0615 or via email at AndreaSchroeder@house.mi.gov. Categories: Schroeder News
State Rep. Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township celebrated March is Reading Month by reading to 247 students at six local schools.“Reading is critical to a child’s growth and development,” Rep. Wakeman said. “When we encourage children to read, we give them a solid foundation for all their future pursuits. I hope you will invest in the children in your life by sharing with them the joy of reading.”March is Reading Month is an annual educational program designed to recognize the importance of reading inside and outside of the classroom.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Rodney Wakeman reads to a group of students at a local elementary school for March is Reading Month. Categories: Wakeman News 19Mar Rep. Wakeman reads to local students
Categories: Markkanen News 21Mar Rep. Markkanen’s resolution honors Michigan snowplow drivers State Rep. Greg Markkanen this week introduced a resolution declaring March 20, 2019 as Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day in Michigan.Markkanen said this resolution is to show appreciation for the hard work, time, and service performed by snowplow drivers.“In the U.P and across the state, we depend on snowplow drivers to make our roadways safer,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “Snowplow drivers work long hours for us to travel, and their dedication and diligence will be recognized with this resolution.”House Resolution 48 passed the Michigan House of Representatives overwhelmingly.####
State Rep. Rodney Wakeman today joined his House colleagues in approving a bipartisan plan to deliver significant rate relief for drivers across the state.The House overwhelmingly voted to approve legislation guaranteeing lower rates by giving drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, stopping price disparity among medical services for car accident victims, and combating fraudulent claims. The plan, Senate Bill 1, will soon be headed to the governor’s desk and is expected to receive her signature.The bipartisan solution is designed to end Michigan’s long tenure as the state with the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation.“After a careful, deliberative process to resolve a decades-long problem, the historic 100th Legislature has finally delivered historic car insurance relief to Michigan families,” said Wakeman. “This was a top concern for the people of the 94th District and for Michiganders. I personally heard from countless families. Michigan drivers made it absolutely clear this was a problem, and reform could not wait any longer. My colleagues and I listened, which is why this was our top priority.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The bipartisan reform plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options. Categories: Wakeman News 24May State Rep. Wakeman: House sends solution to ‘decades long’ auto insurance problem to the governor
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares September 1, 2014;Wired UKThe Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALSA) quite serendipitously made nearly $100 million in donations associated with the freakishly popular “ice bucket challenge,” and in a move that tempted the fates, it immediately filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeking to trademark the term—an ugly, ungrateful move, particularly since the group did not invent the term or fundraising form.Late yesterday, ALSA said that the idea to trademark was intended to stop any misuse of the term by “unscrupulous profiteers,” not to restrain other charities from using the term:“The ALS Association took steps to trademark the Ice Bucket Challenge after seeing many examples of unscrupulous profiteers trying to drive revenue to themselves, instead of the fight against ALS. We secured the blessing of the families who initiated the challenge, which they provided without hesitation. The Association did this as a good faith effort to protect the integrity of the Ice Bucket Challenge. We are intent on preventing for-profit companies from capitalizing on this amazing, almost wholly grass-roots, and charitable campaign to raise money and awareness for the fight against ALS.” FREE DOWNLOAD: Insights from a Master of Fundraising But apparently, the public’s reception of the move was not supportive in the least, with the move being called “disgusting,” “shameful,” and “in poor taste,” leading the group to withdraw its application, writing on Facebook:“We’ve received several messages regarding the trademark applications we filed. We filed for these trademarks in good faith as a measure to protect the Ice Bucket Challenge from misuse after consulting with the families who initiated the challenge this summer. However, we understand the public’s concern and are withdrawing the trademark applications.”This is an interesting example of an organization placing itself unnecessarily in the eye of a cultural storm. Ideas around property rights are very charged due to the digital environment, and commentators and the public are sensitive to ideas about who “owns” things. In this case, the public created a campaign at a scale much larger than could have been pulled off by this organization. The public knows that, and for the group then to try to imprison the concept—which was pretty much in the public domain, anyway—through trademarking looks ungracious. On the other hand, unlike other such situations we have noted, ALSA was smart enough to withdraw its filing, and this “Oops. Sorry!” moment is a teachable moment for all boards.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares September 9, 2014;Housing Horizon (Enterprise Community Partners)It is more than a little surprising to us at the Nonprofit Quarterly that the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Social Impact Bond Act introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) and Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) received just about no mainstream press coverage. One possible explanation might have been that last week was devoted largely to the nation’s international crises, particularly the decision to expand bombing of ISIS from Iraq into Syria. That’s tough competition for a hearing on SIBs.Little could be found aside from statements from the hearing posted on the Ways and Means website and some brief coverage on the hearing, either in the lead-up to it, such as this piece from an Enterprise Community Partners blog*, or in its aftermath, such as this brief post from the Social Innovation Research Center, the latter described as an apparently-nonprofit “consulting and evaluation firm specializing in social innovation and performance management for nonprofits and public agencies,” led by Patrick Lester, a former VP for the Alliance for Children and Families.Lester reported that amidst the line-up of witnesses in support of SIBs, including social impact bond intermediaries such as Third Sector Capital Partners’ George Overholser and SIB implementers like Sam Schaeffer of the Center for Employment Opportunities, there was one invited witness raising concerns about SIBs: Dr. David Juppe from the Maryland Department of Legislative Affairs. Juppe and a colleague, Kyle McKay, had done an analysis in 2012 raising technical concerns about the practicality of SIBs, including, as recounted in Juppe’s testimony, SIBs’ potentially higher costs to government, the propensity of SIB advocates to overstate potential cost savings and likelihood of success, potential long-term risks associated with SIBs, and issues about the return on investment for private investors. While there isn’t a transcript yet available for the hearing, the only critical commentary from the subcommittee members cited by Lester came from Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), who raised concerns about SIBs as another form of privatization of government programs, which Doggett intimated had not had much success in Texas, either in terms of impact or cost savings. Linda Gibbs, a former New York City official who testified on behalf of Bloomberg Associates, which has had a major role to play in the Rikers Island SIB involving Goldman Sachs, countered that SIBs were not a form of privatization. Despite the bipartisan sponsorship of the Social Impact Bond legislation, Lester characterized House Democrats as somewhat skeptical about the legislation and the concept while House Republicans were enthusiastic and more. In fact, the Young legislation has 10 Republican co-sponsors but only two Democratic co-sponsors in the House. Some might attribute that to the limited appetite in Congress for cooperation across the aisle, but there may be more at issue than just the mutual hostility of House Republican and Democratic leaders.The Democrat behind the bill, John Delaney, evinced no partisan qualms in his statement leading up to the hearing. “Social Impact Bonds can improve outcomes, reduce costs to the taxpayer, and bring a data-driven results-oriented focus to public policy,” said Congressman Delaney. “Social Impact Bonds are truly bipartisan because both sides of the aisle want government to work. With my Republican colleague, Congressman Todd Young, I’ve introduced legislation that would encourage expanded use of Social Impact Bonds at the state and local level.”Information presented by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), the chair of the Subcommittee on Human Resources articulated a longstanding Republican perspective on government programs, suggesting that much of the federal government program structure is a demonstrably ineffective and inflexible imposition on state and local governments:“While a number of specific interventions have demonstrated results, programs that haven’t demonstrated their effectiveness not only fail to help individuals in need, but also waste taxpayer funds that could be devoted to more successful programs. In addition to a lack of evidence regarding what works, many federally funded social programs are inflexible, centrally designed programs that don’t take into account key differences between states or local communities. These programs often provide little room for State and local officials to innovate, with key policy decisions frequently made by lawmakers and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. As such, some federal social programs may operate for decades with few changes, failing to take into account new research that could improve the program’s effectiveness and without acknowledging major societal changes that may affect the program and its intended beneficiaries.”Two issues may be stimulating discomfort among some Democrats. One is reflected in Reichert’s statement, an unfortunately typical, politically conservative contention that government programs are by definition generally inefficient and ineffective. In a world of sound bites and quick impressions, it is easier to slam government programs and hope to find some resonance with elements of the public than to present a more nuanced but more accurate description of government-funded social programs as often starved for resources but nonetheless making important headway to improve conditions for poor families and communities. It is a myth often promulgated by Republicans that Democrats counter weakly, if at all. Lester noted that Overholser, a former Capital One banker, said in the hearing that over half of government programs “currently bring no measurable benefits,” a broad brush statement that moves the advocates of SIBs from being financial innovators to ideological partisans.An equal concern, perhaps, is the fact that Republicans like Young and Reichert are enthusiastic about SIBs while they are cutting the resources available to many social programs. Young’s SIB bill would make $300 million available to support state and local social impact bond projects. Reichert himself is a particularly interesting example of a supporter of SIBs and an opponent of spending for social programs. Reichert has consistently called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the programs that receive funding through the ACA. He also supported the House FY2014 budget resolution, which, in addition to zeroing out the ACA, slashed domestic discretionary spending. Rep. Young is right there with Reichert, and may be even more adamant in taking aim at discretionary domestic spending.It isn’t that Reichert and others support federal program cuts in the anticipation that SIBs would generate innovations and savings that make up the difference. They, like Overholser, have been going after government programs because they see them as largely ineffectual. Their critics might, therefore, be understandably concerned that the Young/Reichert support of SIBs is but another tool to shrink the overall federal commitment to social program funding, but under the political camouflage of claiming to support governmental (and nonprofit) anti-poverty initiatives.Based on a review of two SIBs that are only in the developmental phase—not yet implemented, tested, or demonstrating measurable results—the Enterprise Community Partners coverage of the hearing concluded, “Enterprise sees SIBs as a promising tool for creating new public-private partnerships to tackle some of the most pressing social and economic problems facing low-income communities, all while ensuring that any taxpayer investment yields measurable results.” Both of the profiled development-stage SIBs involve Enterprise: In Cleveland, Enterprise is acting as the “intermediary, providing day-to-day oversight of the program and ongoing financial management services,” and in Denver, it is taking “a leading role in conducting feasibility, structuring and transaction services and…working closely…[with] the city and local investors”That may be the third problem in the SIB advocacy work: Nearly all of the promising examples have yet to be implemented. Confidence in their success, as in the two pre-implementation examples touted by Enterprise, emanates from consultants and intermediaries who have a more or less vested financial interest in their going forward. More credibility would ensue if the advocates for SIBs weren’t so often over-the-top ideological critics of government funding in general and weren’t pitching projects in which they often have financial stakes. When nonpartisan critics such as Juppe and McKay find their technical concerns answered, that might boost the credibility of the unfortunately overhyped tool of Social Impact Bonds. Until then, the arguments for SIBs look and feel unpersuasive.—Rick Cohen[*Full disclosure: This author was a vice president of the Enterprise Foundation, which was subsequently renamed and rebranded ECP.]ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Image Credit: Shafaq HasanJanuary 5, 2015;Dig BostonYoung artists from Boston gathered Monday afternoon on busy Newbury Street in a continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement taking place in cities across the country. However, unlike previous demonstrations, Monday’s protest introduced artistic performances as a novel way of engaging a dialogue on police brutality and a broken justice system.In the bitter cold, about 50 people—students, adults, and stragglers alike—created a circle around performers on Newbury Street and stalled traffic for about 20 minutes. Performances included a somber rendition of “We Ain’t Gonna Stop Till People are Free,” a song that was sung throughout New York last year following the recent shootings of young black men by police officers. Interpretative dancers and even a costumed protestor on stilts set a distinguished tone to the protest.The protest, complete with a pedestrian-stopping “die-in,” had a strong focus on engaging and informing Boston youth. “I’m here as a young person, a person who is very aware of this epidemic of racism, and an artist in many art forms,” said 18-year-old Nadia Issa, a student activist at Boston Arts Academy and one of the organizers of the demonstration. “I hope this protest engages our young folks to wake up from their material and blinded world.”Along with Boston’s Youth Against Mass Incarceration, Issa was among the high school students who organized the protest, including fellow Boston Arts Academy student Jeyrie Rodriguez. Students from other local schools, like Boston Green Academy, Codman Academy, Cambridge Rindge, and Boston Latin School, were invited to attend.A steady drumming, signifying heartbeats, accompanied Rodriguez, 19, as she recited the names of over 100 black men shot and killed by police in the past few years like poetry. With occasional car horns breaking up the rhythm, the protestors concentrated on bringing the group together with song and commentary.Performance as protest is not unique to the Black Lives Matter movement, at least on the surface. The chanting, marching, and communal movement exhibited during protests is a dance of its own. The songs that have emerged, such as the “I Can’t Breathe Anthem,” as well as those brought back from the past (like “Which Side Are You On?”) will be remembered along with the images. Free Download: Top Ten Nonprofit Headlines from 2014 Nor is performance art an unlikely form of protest, either. Last year, NPQ writer Michele Bittner highlighted the thought-provoking performance by artist Tim Youd, who typed Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 on a typewriter twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, during Banned Books week. He then burned the completed book as a physical illustration of censorship. Or take the recent example of Emma Sulkowicz, a Columbia University student carrying her 20-pound mattress around during this school year until her rapist is expelled. Similar to the Black Lives Matter movement, Sulkowicz’s art piece attracted several supporters, many of which volunteered to help her carry her burden, the physical mattress, and maybe even lighten the weight of her assault as well.Toward the end of her speech, Rodriguez included a quote from civil rights activist Malcolm X that seemed to encompass much of the sentiment surrounding Monday’s protest:“Look at yourselves. Some of you teenagers, students. How do you think I feel, and I belong to a generation ahead of you—how do you think I feel to have to tell you, ‘We, my generation, sat around like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its human rights—and you’ve got to be born into a society where you still have that same fight.’ What did we do, who preceded you? I’ll tell you what we did. Nothing. And don’t you make the same mistake we made…”The raw emotions that often emerge during these types of protests driven by deep, personal stories can be uniquely captured through art. Much like the universal sentiments in this movement, art transcends our boundaries. Perhaps the most striking element of these protests has been the community that has emerged, with people of all walks of life showing their support for the difficult and often personal issue of racism. Art can and should be the shared language for that conversation.—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
German pay TV operator Sky Deutschland has signed a deal with Microsoft to bring its OTT Sky Go service to the Xbox 360.Sky Go offers various content including live football matches and premium movies via mobile devices including iPads and iPhones. The service will be available to Xbox Live Gold members with a Sky Go subscription this winter.Separately, Sky has announced that it will begin offering the Sky Go service free of charge to Sky Premium HD and multiroom customers.
The number of Hungarian TV subscribers taking digital services increased by 11,000 in February, according to the country’s regulator NMHH.The total number of digital TV subscribers stood at 1.688 million at the end of the month, of which 712,000 took services from a cable or IPTV operator. The total number of analogue and digital cable and IPTV subs remained unchanged from January at 1.860 million. DTH customers numbered 921,078, down from 923,284 the previous month.UPC was the market leading operator, with a 25.9% share, followed by Digi with 23% and Magyar Telekom with 22.7%.
Jana Bennett is to leave BBC Worldwide later this year following a corporate restructure of the commercial arm of the British public broadcaster. Bennett, who is president, worldwide networks and the global BBC iPlayer, will leave the company in the “late autumn” in order to complete a number of commercial deals.This comes as BBC Worldwide has announced a major reorganisation and has reconfigured the business from divisional to geographic lines. The move, which will take effect on October 1, will see the company’s existing structure, based around five global divisions, move to seven geographic regions: North America; UK; Australia/New Zealand; Western Europe; Asia; Latin America; CEEMEA (central and eastern Europe; Middle East and Africa).Subsequently, BBC Worldwide will hire a chief sales officer, chief brands officer and chief digital officer as well as an executive that will be in charge of content. The seven regions will report into four presidents that will report to BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith.Smith said, “Jana has made a hugely positive contribution to BBC Worldwide in her time here. She deserves our gratitude, and leaves us a great legacy to build on. She has extended our channels internationally, driven schedule changes which have translated into ratings and advertising uplifts, and moved forward our digital offer across several platforms. She has also secured some important market entries in Latin America, Asia and EMEA, which will form the cornerstone of our future business there.”Bennett has not announced where she will move to following her departure.
BT’s ad campaign for BT SportBT’s new sports channels will be made available free of charge to BT broadband customers.BT said its move marked the first time in the last two decades that English Premier League games will be free to watch.BT is to air three sports channels – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and the recently acquired ESPN. In addition to its 38 live and exclusive Premier League football matches, BT has added Moto GP, Women’s Super League football, Australian ‘A’ league soccer and action sport and lifestyle programming from Red Bull Media House to its roster or sports rights.BT will also air FA Cup ties, the UEFA Europa League, Scottish Premier League plus WTA women’s tennis and action from the UFC.In addition to BT’s own five million broadband customers, the telco is hoping to appeal to broadband subscribers with other ISPs to encourage them to switch. BT is offering new customers BT Infinity, its flagship fibre product, from just £15 (€18) per month or copper broadband from just £10.BT Sport will be available via BT’s own TV service, Sky’s digital satellite platform and also online or via a new app enabling customers to enjoy the channels on the move or at home on their PCs, smartphones and tablets.BT customers will be able to view the service via both YouView and Vision+ boxes. The service will be available over its fibre network to YouView subscribers, with the ability to view the channels in HD for an additional £3 a month, waived to subs who sign up before the start of August.The service will be available to Vision+ customers across the UK via their aerials.Satellite customers who take BT broadband will get BT Sport for free. Others will be able get the service from BT in high definition for £15 per month or in standard definition for £12. BT is aggressively targeting Sky’s base by encouraging customers to switch back to BT Broadband and save money.“UK Sports fans have had a rough deal for too long. Many have been priced out of the market but we will change this by giving away BT Sport for free with our broadband. Sports fans are the winners today,” said Ian Livingston, BT chief executive. “BT is the home of broadband so the fight for customers will now take place on our own turf. BT Sport will complement our world class fibre network. Customers don’t have to take BT Infinity to get BT Sport but we are encouraging them to move onto fibre broadband so they can enjoy the best of both worlds.”BT is launching an advertising campaign for the service today, featuring BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey and sports stars including Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie, Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, British tennis star Heather Watson and England rugby stars Owen Farrell, Joe Launchbury and Manu Tuilagi, among others.BT’s launch is the centre-piece of the telco’s pay TV strategy, which is designed to protect its broadband base and drive further broadband uptake via a mix of sports, free and pay channels.
On-demand content services specialist Vubiquity and Deutsche Telekom’s Business Development and Innovation unit (BDI) have teamed up to deliver a joint offering for operators and service providers looking to launch multiscreen services. Vubiquity will provide all content-related services for the Deutsche Telekom VideoRise platform for OTT services.The combination of VideoRise with Vubiquity’s content services is designed to enable service providers to launch OTT offerings more quickly and at lower cost, according to the pair.“Our partnership with Vubiquity will provide operators with outstanding content and further enhances our service offering. Thanks to our extensive experience in serving telco operators and service providers, we at Deutsche Telekom know that an end-to-end consultative approach, modularity, speed of delivery and premium content are the keys to success. One of BDI’s competencies is to bring together all required partners to get the best offering for our customers,” said Karim El-Khazen, VP in charge of BDI at Deutsche Telekom.“We are delighted to be working with Deutsche Telekom and the potential for future growth this brings to both our companies. There is a growing demand for multiscreen video solutions that can be tailored for individual service providers. This partnership means that, together, Deutsche Telekom Business Development and Innovation and Vubiquity can offer a complete service to operators and service providers, including content and all required technology,” said Adam Poulter, EVP and MD for EMEA and Latin America at Vubiquity.
Charlie PalmerUK broadcaster Channel 4 has named Charlie Palmer as managing editor of All 4, the new brand for its on-demand offering.In this newly created role, Palmer will be charged with delivering the editorial proposition for the platform and curating the user experience. He will be responsible for adapting All 4’s editorial proposition across different platforms such as PC, iOS and Android to reflect the different viewing behaviour patterns of audiences on these devices, and will be charged with creating cross-platform promotion and joined up commissioning opportunities.Palmer was previously head of viewer relationship management within Channel 4’s audience technologies and insight division, where he oversaw the consumer-facing element of a data strategy that has seen the broadcaster successfully register over 13 million viewers, including half of all 16-34 year-olds in the UK.In his new position, Palmer will bring the viewer relationship management unit into his team and Gill Whitehead, director of audience technologies and insight will continue to direct the strategy of all the channel’s activities in this area.Palmer, who also previously worked as head of marketing for E4, will report to Richard Davidson-Houston, head of All 4 and digital content. He will take up his new role on January 1.His appointment completes the senior All 4 product and editorial team headed up by Davidson-Houston and overseen by Jay Hunt, chief creative officer.“Charlie brings extensive, high-profile creative experience, an instinct for brand building and a passionately-held vision for where we need to take All 4 editorially. This is an exciting moment,” said Davidson-Houston.“Imagine standing in a room with the most powerful light in the world pointing at the biggest disco ball you’ve ever seen. I feel like that, times 100,” said Palmer.
Aleks HabdankFormer Modern Times Group (MTG) and Virgin Media executive Aleks Habdank has joined TalkTalk as the UK service provider’s chief operating officer for TV.Habdank will be tasked with growing TalkTalk’s TV business and will be responsible for strategic relationships and “providing the best possible offering to current TalkTalk TV customers”.At the same time TalkTalk has also appointed former Amazon Instant Video director, Joe Eldridge, as TV engineering director.Eldridge will be responsible for leading innovation and delivering “a first class customer experience across multiple platforms”.“The new appointments signal TalkTalk’s continued investment in TV and follows a number of significant developments over the last 12 months,” said TalkTalk in a statement.Earlier this year TalkTalk bought digital movie and TV store Blinbox from supermarket chain Tesco, and now has deals in place with all the major studios and on-demand partners like Netflix.TalkTalk claims 1.4 million TV customers and said that its range of free and paid-for content has been “a driving force for TalkTalk’s growth”.Habdank joins from MTG where he was chief operating officer of Viasat Broadcasting’s pay TV and emerging markets operations. Before that he was director of digital entertainment products at Virgin Media.The hire comes after MTG completed the sale of its Russian and international pay TV channel businesses for a total of US$45.5 million in October. The international channels sale comprised pan-regional factual channels and the TV1000 movie channels – though not MTG’s other entertainment channels or platforms, or the global Trace pay TV business.
WiFi chipset provider Celeno Communications has unveiled a cable gateway reference design developed with STMicroelectronics that integrates Celeno’s CL2440 standards-based 4×4 802.11ac Wave 2 is fully integrated with ST’s STiD325 (Barcelona) DOCSIS 3.1 chip.According to Celeno, the product is designed to help cable operators deliver multi-Gbps services at home with super-fast WiFi and Quality of Service capabilities.According to the company the technology offers four times higher speeds than the previous generation by supporting four simultaneous streams, three concurrent Multi-User devices, and 80MHz and 160MHz WiFi channels.The platform includes Celeno’s new ControlAIR multi-AP management software, which it says orchestrates multiple APs to increase throughput by adding smart cluster connectivity and dynamic Radio Resource Management, addressing a general move towards a ‘small cell’ Wi-Fi network or ‘Sprinklers’ architecture.“The ST DOCSIS 3.1 Platform together with the Celeno 4×4 802.11ac Wave 2 radio creates a high-performance Cable Gateway solution that provides fast and robust Wi-Fi services in the home, Integrating Celeno’s ControlAIR multi-AP cluster management software will allow cable operators to successfully add Wi-Fi companion devices in the home and offer optimized speeds and coverage to their subscribers,” said Lior Weiss, VP, marketing at Celeno.“Integrating the Celeno solution with ST’s Barcelona DOCSIS 3.1 chip allows MSOs to benefit from the multi-gigabit wireless bandwidth for a greater comfort of usage at home,” said Thomas Meyer, manager of the headless product line, consumer product division at STMicroelectronics. “We believe this reference platform will provide a great advantage to our customers in their ongoing cable-gateway designs.”
BT, Liberty Global, Orange and Sky Italia were among the winners at Digital TV Europe’s Content Innovation Awards last night, with Fox UK, Endemol Shine Beyond and others also taking home key awards.BT Sports took two awards at the event, organised by Digital TV Europe in association with TBI and presented during a Gala Dinner at the Carlton Hotel’s Grand Salon in Cannes, France. The UK telco’s TV unit took home the UHD Initiative of the Year award and the Second Screen Experience Technology Award for the BT app.Liberty Global’s Dutch unit Ziggo took home the Pay TV Initiative of the Year Award for its Replay TV offering. Orange won in the Social TV Innovation of the Year category for TV Clipping.Sky Italia meanwhile took the Multiscreen TV Award for D-Zero.Fox UK beat off strong competition to emerge as Channel of the Year, while Africanews won Best New Channel and Endemol Shine Beyond’s Awesomeness TV secured the Millennials Award.YoSpace and Channel 4 won in the Advanced TV Innovation category for Dynamic Ad Insertion for Live Simulcast in All4.Ostmodern won the Content Discovery Technology Award for its work with Maxdome.Keshet International took home the award for Industry Innovator of the Year, while Kindle Entertainment won the Most Innovative Digital Project Award for Dixi 3: Game of Dixi.Curzon Home Cinema was hailed as the OTT Initiative of the Year while Reuters TV won the Power Behind the Screen technology award.Red Bull Media won the Virtual Reality Initiative of the Year award for Helicopter Aerobatics.Content Media won the Best Content Distributor award, while Zodiak Rights won Best Series Launch of the Year for Versailles.Gaumont Television won the Breakout International Drama award for Narcos.
Altice, the owner of French service provider SFR, has struck an agreement with the English Rugby Football Union to secure exclusive rights to matches for the 2016-20 period.The deal will cover the airing of four or five of the English national team’s home matches across Altice’s platforms in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Altice already holds the relevant territory rights to the English Aviva Premiership rugby championship.SFR will air the matches on SFR Sport 2 each Saturday from November 12 to December 3, featuring English national team fixtures against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia.The rugby agreement is the latest in a series of deals struck by Altice to secure additional sports content for its platforms. In October it struck a deal with the French athletics federation, the FFA, to commercialise the rights to the latter’s events and competitions involving the national team. At the time, Altice hailed that deal as a historic first, creating a global exclusive agreement between the FFA and a major telecom and media group for the first time.Altice secured rights to English Premier League football for the next three seasons last year and also recently secured rights to Portuguese top-tier football. In August, SFR teamed up with rival sports subscription service BeIN Sports to provide bundled offerings that included not only its own sports channels but those of BeIN Sports – including French football – in competition with Canal+.Also in October, Altice struck a deal with French eSports event the ESWC to provide bandwidth for the latter’s competitions during Paris Games Week and to deliver a livestream of the contest on Twitch TV.Altice CEO Michel Combes said that the latest deal was “a new illustration of the convergence of media and telecoms at the heart of the Altice Group’s industrial strategy and of its French subsidiary SFR”.