The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share Two years into his NFL career, Patrick Peterson has more than lived up to the hype he generated after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 draft.During his rookie season, the former LSU standout took the league by a storm with a record-tying four punt returns for touchdowns, all of which went for 80 or more yards.But after making an initial trip to the Pro Bowl for his talents in the return game, Peterson came back in 2012 with an eye towards refining his skills as a cover corner. Going up against the likes of Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Percy Harvin and Roddy White during the Cardinals’ 5-11 campaign, he did just that, finishing with 55 tackles and a team-high seven interceptions.For his efforts, Peterson was voted back to Honolulu as a cornerback for the NFC, but the recognition apparently didn’t stop there.This week, CBSSports.com columnist Pete Prisco ranked the top 10 players in the NFL under the age of 23, and the Cardinals’ multidimensional talent came in at No. 1.1. Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals — He is a special player and one of the best cover players in the league already. He can return kicks among the best in the NFL, but it’s his cover skills on the corner that make him truly special. He will be a perennial Pro Bowl player in the coming years.Joining Peterson on Prisco’s list were Luke Kuechly (Panthers),Tyron Smith (Cowboys), Bobby Wagner (Seahawks), Michael Brockers (Rams), Fletcher Cox (Eagles), Stephen Gilmore (Bills), Trent Richardson (Browns), Josh Gordon (Browns) and Vick Ballard (Colts). Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
This undated image released by WarnerMedia shows BBC executive Ann Sarnoff who was named CEO of of WarnerMedia. Sarnoff replaces former studio chief Kevin Tsujihara, who departed in March over misconduct allegations. She is the first woman to lead the 96-year-old Warner Bros. company. (WarnerMedia via AP) by Jake Coyle, The Associated Press Posted Jun 24, 2019 10:17 am PDT NEW YORK — WarnerMedia has named BBC executive Ann Sarnoff head of Warner Bros. where she replaces former studio chief Kevin Tsujihara, who departed in March over misconduct allegations.WarnerMedia chief executive John Stankey announced Sarnoff’s hiring Monday. She is the first woman to lead the 96-year-old Warner Bros. Sarnoff is currently president of BBC Studios Americas and has previously been a top executive with the WNBA and at Viacom.In March, Tsujihara stepped down following claims that he promised roles to an actress with whom he was having an affair. Tsujihara said he was departing to avoid being a distraction.AT&T last year acquired Time Warner Inc., which was renamed WarnerMedia. The company is planning to a launch a streaming service later this year.Jake Coyle, The Associated Press Warner Bros. names BBC’s Ann Sarnoff as its new CEO AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
By Stelios OrphanidesThe finance ministry said it has prepared and is already implementing a strategy that aims to ‘effectively and swiftly’ reduce the banks’ non-performing facilities (NPFs) by 40 per cent from the €20.6 billion they stood at in December 2017.“A comprehensive strategy has been designed in order to successfully resolve, during the course of 2018, the final hurdle to full normalization of the economy, that of NPFs burdening the banking sector,” the ministry of finance said in its stability programme for 2018-2021 published on its website on Thursday.The strategy provides for a stronger and more effective legal framework aiming at addressing strategic default, i.e. borrowers able to pay but choosing not to, the ministry said. The plan also provides for the establishment of a body that will take over ‘the most challenging portfolio’ of non-performing loans (NPLs), either mortgages or credit extended to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) which have the borrower’s primary residence as collateral.The announcement in March of the sale of the state-owned Cyprus Cooperative Bank, the lender into which the government pumped more than €1.7bn in the form of capital and to which the government issued €2.35bn in bonds a month ago and deposited €2.5bn, marked the beginning of the implementation of the strategy, which provides for the co-op changing to private ownership.“The legal framework was recently introduced in 2015 following the advice received by international experts in the area,” the finance ministry said.“Despite the limited period available for evaluation the legal framework, it is acknowledged that there are certain shortcomings in the process that hamper the effectiveness of the system and prohibit the normalization of the sector. To this end, consultations have taken place among stakeholders as well as the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission to identify the specific provisions as well as processes of the framework that undermine its effectiveness”.In order to make it easier for banks to reduce delinquent loans the government is already preparing changes to legislation “which along with other things would facilitate the development of a functioning secondary market for NPFs in Cyprus, further strengthening the law on foreclosures, through enhancing the sale-of-loans law and introducing a bill on loan securitization with a view to tackle the problem of strategic defaulters,” the ministry said. “Tangible progress in all these areas is key for the banking sector to address effectively and swiftly legacy issues and adequately support the real economy”.The objectives of the proposed changes include encouraging more restructurings of both viable and non-viable loans, it said. In the first case, the Central Bank of Cyprus’s directive on the management of arrears will serve as the basis, while in the case of non-viable loans, the parties will agree on repayment plans on the basis of the insolvency legislation.It also provides for the creation of an ‘efficient secondary loan market’, a more transparent, efficient and effective foreclosure framework, and enhancing of the capabilities of the government’s insolvency service, the ministry continued. Further, the government’s plan provides for the introduction of electronic auctions, likely in reaction to failed physical auctions last year, which attracted protestors including politicians and neo-Nazis.Finally, the government’s plan provides for a more efficient and less time-consuming transfer of title deeds and reduction of costs, and the reform of the judicial system.The establishment of Estia, named after Hestia, the Greek goddess of domesticity and tasked with taking over ‘the most challenging’ retail loans, may be accompanied by a scheme to incentivise affected households and SMEs to participate, the ministry said.“Through burden sharing, the incentive scheme aims at supporting vulnerable households, enabling them to meet their obligations to the extent possible, thus contributing to the stabilisation of the banking sector and the creation of conditions for sustainable growth,” it said.“Even though the detailed provisions of this scheme have not been finalised yet, it is envisaged that for the participation in the scheme, eligible portfolio will be NPFs that have been classified as such in 2017 while borrowers should meet specific pre-defined income and asset criteria in order to exclude free riders or strategic defaulters exploiting the government’s support, thus ensuring fairness and limiting moral hazard.”The annual cost to the taxpayer of the implementation of the strategy is estimated at up to 0.4 per cent of economic output, the ministry said. A further one-off increase in government debt by 11.7 percentage points of the economy has been already included in the baseline budgetary forecastYou May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoLonnyThis Is What A Lake House Looks Like When You’re A BillionaireLonnyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoVarosha move merely a ‘PR stunt’ by Ozersay, expert saysUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
28Feb House approves Jenkins bill eliminating hassles for Michigan veterans Categories: News State Rep. Nancy Jenkins speaks on the House floor in support of her legislation which would place a veterans designation on Michigan’s driver’s licenses.The Michigan House today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Nancy Jenkins that will eliminate hassles for Michigan veterans when trying to show proof of military service.House Bill 4037 makes the lives of veterans easier by creating a special designation on Michigan driver’s licenses for Michigan veterans.“Michigan veterans have already sacrificed enough for our state and country and struggling to prove military service shouldn’t be an issue they have to deal with,” said Jenkins, R-Clayton. “By placing a veterans designation on our driver’s licenses, veterans will no long have to deal with the hassle of trying to prove their service to receive benefits and discounts.”As an extra safeguard to ensure veterans are receiving their benefits, the Secretary of State’s office also will provide the application information to Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.Twenty-seven other states already have a veterans designation on their driver’s licenses.“This common-sense legislation will make the lives of our veterans easier while ensuring they receive the benefits they have earned,” Jenkins said.The House also approved similar legislation placing the designation on Michigan identification cards.HB 4037 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Categories: Calley News 28Dec Rep. Calley posts perfect voting record in 2017 State Rep. Julie Calley did not miss any votes during the 2017 legislative session.According to MichiganVotes.org, Calley cast all 511 record roll-call votes, joining 84 of her colleagues with perfect attendance this year.“The people I serve are hardworking and dedicated and my record should reflect that,” said Calley, of Portland. “I am pleased to report that I cast every committee vote as well. It has been a sincere privilege to serve our local communities over the past year.”
The state House this week approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Jason Sheppard to create the Innovative Transportation Fund to help fix Michigan roads.The Innovative Transportation Fund within the State Trunkline Fund specifies the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to administer funds and allows individuals to submit ideas for improving construction methods or improved materials for road construction.“This plan promotes innovation and helps local road agencies,” said Sheppard, of Temperance. “Local road agencies will have the opportunity to be able to test and utilize alternative materials.”MDOT will be required to review each tested project for effectiveness and provide a report that will be posted to MDOT’s website.House Bill 6014 advances to the Senate for consideration.##### 14Jun House approves Rep. Sheppard’s plan to create the Innovative Transportation Fund Categories: News,Sheppard News
Share8TweetShareEmail8 SharesJanuary 5, 2016; New York MagazineReaders may remember the “sting” video produced by David Daleiden in an attempt to expose Planned Parenthood for “selling baby parts” and the hearings set up immediately following to further investigate the situation. More than a year later, and coincidentally timed to coincide with a possible consolidation of political power on the issue, the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives convened by the House of Representatives to investigate any links between Planned Parenthood and any inappropriate sale of fetal tissue issued a 413-page final report this week. As it ended its work, the panel recommended that the National Institutes of Health stop funding fetal tissue research, and that Planned Parenthood be stripped of its federal funding, which is mostly made up of Medicaid dollars and constitutes 40 percent of the group’s funding on a national basis.House Speaker Paul Ryan (R–WI) followed that up quickly with a vow to include the defunding of Planned Parenthood in a fast-tracked budget reconciliation bill aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act. Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million annually in federal funding, and New York Magazine lays out a scenario where a bill may be signed into law as early as next month.A report in Science Magazine points out that the report is also critical of research institutions, other abortion providers, and the companies that process and prepare fetal tissue for researchers, accusing some of them of making profits through selling fetal tissue, which is illegal.Beyond that, the report asserts that “human fetal tissue research makes a vanishingly small contribution to clinical and research efforts.” (Science Magazine has fact-checked that, as well as other assertions in the report, and found them wanting in terms of adherence to the facts.)Meanwhile, back to Planned Parenthood and its executive director, Cecile Richards. In Rolling Stone, Richards revealed some of what she thinks about how PPFA will handle the political struggles immediately ahead (and that whole interview is well worth reading). She spoke about the stances of the key incoming administration players in relation to abortion rights, but in the end, she acknowledged that the capacity of Planned Parenthood to hold off defunding depends not only on individual supporters (some of whom were also Trump supporters and who came out in droves to contribute to the organization as the election results came in) but also on support for the organization among other human rights and social justice groups.In terms of the organization’s appeal to individuals, you can see the kind of effort being made in this recorded Facebook Live Event by Planned Parenthood Action. Richards also spoke movingly on the natural coalition that must be strengthened to address any potential policy or lawmaking at the federal level harmful to Planned Parenthood and its mission over these next four years.I will say, I’ve been doing this work a long time, not always at Planned Parenthood but in various progressive organizations. If there is one thing that his election did for the progressive community, it served as an enormous bonding experience. Over the last month, we’ve had meetings of some of the major progressive organizations. Folks recognize that our issues, our organizations and frankly our activists are all connected. Planned Parenthood patients are immigrants, they’re Muslims, they’re LGBT folks, they’re single parents, they’re students. And all of the attacks that folks are anticipating going forward are ones that are already engaging our activists as well. We feel a particular responsibility to stand with those who’ve stood with us as we’ve been under attack these many years.She added:I do believe that the world only rolls forward. That’s the way we have to look at this particular moment in time: as an opportunity to grow our movement like never before. If there’s one challenge that progressive organizations jointly share right now, it’s [how to harness the energy from] the outpouring of people who want to stand up and lead and be counted, and really put forth a different vision of the way this country should be going.—Ruth McCambridgeShare8TweetShareEmail8 Shares
Share19TweetShare4Email23 SharesBy Elvert Barnes from Baltimore, Maryland, USA (101a.StopGorsuch.USSC.WDC.31January2017) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsApril 7, 2017; Reading EagleWith an empty seat on the bench, there has been a burst of Supreme Court talk in recent days. But, in the flurry of discussions, one story largely gone from the headlines is the unanimous Supreme Court ruling that has the potential to drastically improve educational outcomes for children with disabilities. Interestingly, and particularly relevant, the high court’s decision overturns Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s ruling in a 2008 case.Earlier this year, NPQ reported on a case out of Denver that challenged the Supreme Court to revisit what is meant by federal legislation guaranteeing children with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The term “appropriate” education can and has been interpreted differently in the 40 years since the first iteration of IDEA, then called the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. Is it considered appropriate so long as a child receives enough accommodations to learn something—anything—even if it has no applicable value outside of the classroom? Or, is it up to the school district to take all measures necessary to ensure that a student with a disability is able to thrive and meet ambitious goals that prepare the student for independence and a life after school?Based on Gorsuch’s judicial history, he leans towards the former. As a judge with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado, he noted in the case of Thompson R2-J School District v. Luke P. that as long as a student makes “some” progress, the school district met the free and appropriate public education standard, even if that progress could not be generalized to the home and community. In fact, during the confirmation hearings for Gorsuch, his rulings with the 10th Circuit were scrutinized, since in eight out of ten cases involving IDEA, he sided with the school districts rather than the students with disabilities.Gorsuch received support for his perspective from a former 10th Circuit federal appeals court judge with whom he served. Deanell Reece Tacha noted that Gorsuch’s decision followed precedent set in Urban v. Jefferson School District, a decision she wrote that was issued by the 10th Circuit in 1996.Fortunately, the high court sided with the family in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. The opinion on this case, submitted by Chief Justice Roberts, clarifies what is meant by the free and appropriate public education standard:It cannot be the case that the Act typically aims for grade-level advancement for children with disabilities who can be educated in the regular classroom, but is satisfied with barely more than de minimis progress for those who cannot. When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing “merely more than de minimis” progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all.In her testimony supporting Gorsuch, Tacha said, “What happened in the case that was issued yesterday is two circuits had chosen one standard, and the rest had chosen another standard…on the interpretation of the IDEA. So, yesterday the Supreme Court carried out its very important function of clearing up what the standard would be.”The ruling comes as a huge victory for disability advocates, who now have a legal precedent in their favor when faced with IDEA issues. It sets the tone for a high standard of education for all children with disabilities. Yet, the work is not done. Assuming Gorsuch’s now filibuster-proof nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate tonight, there could be a judge in the high court who may not share the same opinion with regard to the educational standards of students with disabilities and disability rights overall.—Sheela NimishakaviShare19TweetShare4Email23 Shares
Share16Tweet9ShareEmail25 Shares“‘Survival Day,’ Melbourne street art, Thornbury, St Georges Rd.” Melbourne Streets Avant-gardeMarch 15, 2019; Al JazeeraA major victory in Australia’s High Court has awarded reparations to the Ngaliwurru and Nungali groups of Aboriginal people from the Northern Territory of Australia. The judgment is especially significant because, in addition to compensating the Ngaliwurru and Nungali for the economic losses they sustained by losing use of their land, the High Court awarded what amounts to damages for the cultural and spiritual losses endured.Under Australia’s Native Title Act, claimants were awarded $2.3 million AUD ($1.64 million USD). Of that, $1.3 million ($920,000 USD) is meant to compensate for the cultural loss. The ruling of the High Court (an equivalent to the Supreme Court of the United States) was unanimous, and confirmed that the spiritual award, which was determined by a lower court in 2016, was “not manifestly excessive and not inconsistent with acceptable community standards.”As in the United States, the land rights of indigenous peoples in Australia were disregarded when the British arrived in 1788. The colonizers declared Australia terra nullius (empty land) and freely built upon it. Two hundred years later, in 1975, Australia passed the Racial Discrimination act; “only then did governments have to treat the property rights of Aboriginal Australians the same as other Australians,” said James Walkley, a native title lawyer with Chalk and Behrendt.It wasn’t until nearly 20 years after that, in 1992, that the original declaration of terra nullius was reversed. In what’s known as the “Mabo decision” (short for Mabo and others v. Queensland [No 2]), the High Court finally recognized that Australia had not, in fact, been terra nullius and that Aboriginal peoples had rights to the land that continue to exist today.In the Northern Territory, construction of roads and water tanks destroyed “dreaming sites,” paths that are spiritually significant to the Ngaliwurru and Nungali peoples and also paths of trade. Elder Jerry Jones said, “I’m really feeling hard for it because this site is very important to us, and all these sites got rid of it.” The High Court recognized 53 separate acts of harm that infringed upon the rights of the Aboriginal people.Jacob Saulwick of the Sydney Morning Herald opined, “If $1.3 million could be awarded for pain and suffering at Timber Creek, which was a small claim area, much larger figures are now likely to be awarded elsewhere.” According to Bill Code at Al Jazeera, lawyers from both sides said this decision paved the way for billions of dollars in compensation.Reparations and land reclamation are part of a longstanding struggle for indigenous rights in Australia, as they are in the United States; just last year, an attempt to establish a trust for Native American farmers from a discrimination settlement was mired in controversy. However, land reclamation has happened through private efforts.A group called Reconciliation Australia, which “promotes and facilitates respect, trust and positive relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” released their biennial Reconciliation Barometer this month, which showed that 90 percent of Australians value the relationship between the settler community and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and 66 percent believe the government should do more to close economic and other gaps between First Peoples and white Australians.Unfortunately, as in the Mabo case, one of the plaintiffs in this case (Northern Territory of Australia v. Mr. A Griffiths [deceased] and Lorraine Jones on behalf of the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Peoples & Anor) passed away before the decision could be finalized. Chris Griffiths stood in for his father, the lead claimant, who died last year. Jacob Saulwick of the Sydney Morning Herald reported that indigenous groups are calling for a voice in Parliament, so they may have a more immediate avenue to make their voices heard.Many lawyers, activists, and other commentators said they expected this decision to be the first of many to award reparations to Aboriginal peoples. Megan Brayne, a native title lawyer, said, “This is a very important case because it is the first time the High Court has set out the principles for compensation.”—Erin RubinShare16Tweet9ShareEmail25 Shares
A number of senior appointments have been made across the television industry in Turkmenistan.President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov has appointed the heads of the country’s national TV channels, which are state owned.Maksat Altayev has been appointed director of Altyn Asyr, Begench Abayev has been appointed director of Yashlyk, Byashim Atayev has been appointed director of Miras and Yusup Bayramov has been appointed director of Turkmen Ovazy.
3D channel High TV has launched on TeliaSonera’s platform in Sweden and Finland.From today, TeliaSonera subscribers in both countries with 3D equipment can view High TV’s mix of entertainment news, lifestyle and travel programming, drama shows and movies.“It is indeed a major milestone for us, as an international 3D channel, to be present in Finland and Sweden on the leading platform with the highest reach,” said Eric Klein, CEO of high TV 3D. “We are excited to be bringing the very best in lifestyle and entertainment programming to an audience that embraces entertainment as the very essence of their culture.”
Canal Plus Polska has secured rights to top-tier French football for the next three seasons.The Polish pay TV service has acquired the rights to air both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches as well as the French League Cup. The broadcaster also holds the rights to Polish league football as well as English and Spanish football.
The global IPTV subscriber base increased by 15.6 million over the last 12 months, according to research from Point Topic for the Broadband Forum.At the end of September, China remained the ledsing IPTV country with 16.3 million subscribers, an increase of 7% quarter-on-quarter. France had the second-highest subscriber base with 12.8 million subs, followed by the US with 9.7 million. Russia saw the highest growth during the third quarter, with its base increasing 17% to 1.9 million.North America was the region with the highest broadband penetration at 79%, followed by western Europe at 77%.
Video sharing site Dailymotion plans to expand its premium offerings to other territories following its recent announcement that it would launch of a subscription video-on-demand service, Dailymotion+, in Turkey, according to head of international content Marc Eychenne.Eychenne told DTVE that Dailymotion would look at the possibility of launching an SVOD service in other territories where it already has a large user base. “We are thinking about doing it in other countries outside of France. We have four million uniques in the UK, seven million in Germany and we have a huge audience base in Japan,” he said. “It will not be easy but there are other territories [where we could launch].” He also highlighted Dailymotion’s presence in India, and said one possibility could be to offer a service making Bollywood content available to viewers in Europe and elsewhere.“We have a joint venture with MDC Digital [in Turkey] so it was easier to test SVOD in the Turkish market to see if it works or not,” said Eychenne. The service in Turkey, which is home to Dailymotion’s third largest unique user base after France and the US, will offer a range of advertising-free and premium content.Dailymotion also offers a kids SVOD service in France in partnership with Cookie Jar, giving access to about 2,000 pieces of content for €4 a month. It is also working with France Télévisions and Arte on new services. Eychenne said France Télévisions was thinking about launching a dedicated VOD service on Dailymotion. The video site recently launched OpenVOD, allowing third-party content providers to create pay-per-view services on the site. “This will not change our current revenue-sharing model, but it will make new content available that would not have been available on the advertising revenue-sharing model,” said Eychenne.Dailymotion is unlikely to launch a full-blown SVOD service in France on the Turkish model because of content is not available in the SVOD window until 36 months after its theatrical release – a situation that shows little sign of changing in the immediate future. “In France if you want to launch you have to wait for 36 months to get long-form content for SVOD so it’s hard to make an offer around that,” said Eychenne.
Cyfrowy Polsat reported 4.26 million pay TV customers – up 3.1% year-on-year – in the second quarter, which it attributed to a “significant increase in the number of multiroom services provided.”For the three months ended June 30, The firm claimed a 23.6% TV audience share, up from 19.7% a year earlier, with its main Polsat channel, which is available in both SD and HD, leading the way with an individual market share of 13.5%.The rest of Polsat’s 23 thematic channels – which include five in HD – had a combined audience share of 10.1%.In the first half of the year, Polsat expanded its programming offer by five new channels: FilmBox Arthouse, Polsat News HD, TVP Sport HD, Stopklatka TV and ID HD.Polsat also said that its share of the TV advertising market in the quarter was 24.8%, an improvement on 21.9% a year earlier.Polsat claims to be the largest pay TV provider in Poland and offers access to a total of 140 Polish language TV channels, including 40 channels in high definition.It said that its online video service Ipla now claims roughly 4.6 million unique users per-month.Ipla gives access to more than 1,500 films, 100 TV series, 36 live TV channels, around 200 hours of HD live sports coverage per month.
Sports channel operator beIN Media has taken full control of its channels in Asia.The channels group has bought out its former joint venture partner, giving it full ownership of the beIN Sports services in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.The nets launched in the region in 2013 and were previously run as a 50-50 partnership with sports rights business MP & Silva, which has now exited.The Asian channels have rights to premium sports including La Liga after beIN recently struck a deal for rights to games from Spanish football league.With full control of the channels, beIN said it can implement its wider strategy of ramping up and expanding production and programming at the services.Nasser Al Khelaifi, chairman and CEO of beIN Media Group, said: “Our priority is to continue expanding our reach in Asia. Our intention is to continue in building a solid network of countries in the Asia-Pacific region and deliver world-class content and stellar sports programming in markets with high growth potential.”Marco Auletta, CEO of MP & Silva added: “We are very proud of what we have achieved. It has successfully created more competition in the region for the benefit of both rights holders and fans.”Before being spun off from Al Jazeera and rebranded in late 2013, the beIN Sports channel was known as Al Jazeera Sports.
Full CircleUK pay TV operator Virgin Media has acquired three seasons of US drama Full Circle.The exclusive agreement means Virgin has taken rights to DirecTV-commissioned Full Circle: Los Angeles (season one of the trilogy), Full Circle: Chicago (S2) and Full Circle: Miami (S3).Virgin has been pushing into exclusive content in order to differentiate against pay TV rivals Sky and BT, previously taking exclusive rights to series including Kingdom and Magic City, as TBI first reported.Season one of Full Circle, from Neil LaBute, follows a cast of characters such as Tom Felton and Minka Kelly as their lives intertwine before culminating in a devastating conclusion. Season two follows a whistle-blowing cop in Chicago, while season three is set in the midst of a US presidential election campaign, during which a charismatic senator wakes up next to a drugged and beaten prostitute but has no recollection of events.Season one has been made immediately available through Virgin Media’s on-demand box-sets collection hub, with season two and three launching in April and July respectively.FremantleMedia International sells the show globally, having acquired rights upon the show’s announcement in April 2013.Virgin content line-up has been expanding rapidly since former Sky programming boss David Bouchier was named chief digital entertainment officer in June 2015.Bouchier has scored deals with wide-ranging content deals with Turner and UKTV, and is co-leading a four-title drama-development pact for Virgin parent Liberty Global.Virgin’s cousin in the LIberty portfolio, All3Media, will produce the selected shows, which will play on Liberty cable platforms around the world.
James StaffordMultichannel operator Studio71 has expanded its UK business by hiring a local managing director and had added a US-based scripted chief.Former StyleHaul executive James Stafford will lead a new UK-based studio as MD, while Broken Road Productions’ Jeremy Stein is joining as senior VP of scripted content.Part of Stafford’s duties will be working up content for UK broadcasters and YouTube Red, the Google-owned SVOD service.He will also work on branded content, and oversee all operations in the millennial, lifestyle, parenting and kids spaces.Stafford was previously SVP of Europe for RTL-owned MCN StyleHaul, which focuses on fashion and beauty.“As we continue to explore the full potential of social content and distribution, we’re focusing on key areas in the UK that will allow us to solve complex problems for both creators and brands, beyond just advertising and product placement,” said Studio71 global CEO Reza Izad (pictured).“The addition of James, combined with the added capabilities of our new studio, allows Studio71 to accomplish these global growth goals.”Stein, meanwhile, is tasked with sourcing and producing scripted content for digital, film and television platforms.He’s best known in TV circles for overseeing the television arm of US-based Broken Road, which is the upcoming MTV series Snack-Off.The news comes after Izad replaced Sebastian Weil and Ronald Horstman as global CEO of the business, which was formed when Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 bought into Collective Digital Studio in 2013.France’s TF1 and Italy’s Mediaset both took stakes in the business earlier this year as they seek to expand their online channels operations.ProSieben remains the largest shareholder, with a stake of 70%.Studio71 claims around six billion views a month worldwide and is launching in new European territories.
Chinese energy and finance firm CEFC and Eastern European investment group Penta have reportedly submitted a joint bid for Central European Media Enterprises (CME).According to a Reuters report, pricing for the bid has not yet been finalised but could be worth around US$2 billion.CME is part owned by Time Warner and operates 27 television channels across Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and the Slovak Republic, which it claims reach more than 40 million people.In July CME agreed to sell its top broadcast operations in Croatia and Slovenia for €230 million, in what it described as a “transformational moment” for the company.It sold commercial networks Nova TV in Croatia and Pop TV in Slovenia to United Group subsidiary Slovenia Broadband and said it would use the cash purchase price to repay a €250.8 term loan that is due in 2018, thereby reducing its debt and cutting its average borrowing rate by more than a third.Reuters reported that Time Warner has a 42.4% stake in CME but on a fully diluted basis has a 75% interest, based on warrants exercisable until May 2018 and preferred share holdings.
Sports broadcaster Eleven Sports has named Vodafone’s former head of TV Jorge Pavão de Sousa as managing director for Portugal.Jorge Pavão de SousaPavão de Sousa will be responsible for further expanding Eleven’s growth in Portugal, where it recently launched in partnership with cable operator Nowo, including increasing revenues, developing strategic partnerships, and overseeing the platforms day to day operations.He will also be involved in strategic projects at Group level from Eleven’s headquarters in London.Pavão de Sousa was previously Vodafone’s Head of TV, where he led the development of the UK TV strategy and the TV product proposition deployed across the group TV platform at several International marketsHe has also previously worked for Portugal Telecom/Altice.Pavão de Sousa will report directly to group managing director Danny Menken and begins his role on September 17.“I am really excited to join Eleven Sports in Portugal and to lead the Portuguese operation to become the go-to destination for sports fans across the market. We will seek to establish strong local partnerships and relevant fan-centric content offering by leveraging all global relationships already established by Eleven Sports, working closely with the Eleven team in London to continuously look for new ways to cover Sports entertainment. We want to become the leading Sports media company in Portugal by producing innovative approaches and solutions, partnering with the best players to and leveraging Eleven’s digital and social media platforms to provide a full and deep coverage for the fans,” said Pavão de Sousa.“Jorge brings with him a vast amount of experience and a large network in the industry, not only in Portugal but also internationally. His way of thinking and acting is exactly in line with Eleven’s philosophy; I am sure that he will add a lot of value to not only our Portuguese, but also our international business, and I cannot wait to start working together with him significantly growing our business,” said Menken.