Tamil Nadu has emerged as a critical market accounting for about 10% of the overall leisure business with a year-on-year growth of 23%. With leisure business expected to see a growth of 20-25% this year as a result of increasing outbound from tier II, III and IV Indian cities, Thomas Cook (India) suggested the growth is due to policy reforms over the years.Romil Pant, Senior Vice President – Leisure Travel, Thomas Cook (India) said, “This year, we’ll be focusing on strengthening our presences in tier II, III and IV cities by launching regional tours, which includes regional language speaking operator, co-travellers and regional cuisine. Since its launch in Tamil Nadu, we’ve received an encouraging success.”Highlighting the emerging trends that as visa procedures become easier, people are excited to explore the newer market. On the domestic front, he said the emerging trend was to combine religious travel with a domestic trip.
13May Rep. Iden, House Republicans roll out road-funding plan Categories: Iden News Michigan House Republicans today introduced their proposal to add more than $1 billion to fund much-needed road and bridge repairs.State Rep. Brandt Iden participated in the press conference earlier today announcing the plan, and expressed support for finding a solution to the state’s road-funding crisis.“Discussions regarding details of this plan are ongoing,” said Rep. Iden (R-Oshtemo). “I believe the hard work and negotiations these discussions necessitate are vital for designing good public policy that will build a foundation upon which Michigan’s continued economic success can firmly rely.”The plan introduced today includes dedicating projected growth in General Fund revenue to Michigan roads. Revenue from the tobacco settlement and tribal gaming would be redirected to roads, as would the money saved by eliminating several tax credits, including the film incentives. Additionally, hybrid and electric vehicle owners would face higher registration fees under the plan.Also included in the plan are several measures related to road warranties and competitive bidding for road projects. These measures were approved by the Legislature last term but were not signed into law.“Michigan’s citizens work hard for their paychecks and ensuring that the dollars we are entrusted with are used in an efficient and effective manner is one of my top priorities. These measures accomplish that,” Rep. Iden said. “This is a decades-old crisis that needs to be solved so we can spur further economic growth in our state. I stand ready to work with Speaker Cotter and my colleagues in the Legislature to deliver a responsible, sustainable solution to this problem.”###
08Sep Rep. Barrett welcomes commanding officer to Capitol for 9/11 ceremony Categories: Barrett News Maj. Randall Knowles (right) joins state Rep. Tom Barrett (left) in the Capitol rotunda as his guest during the annual House of Representatives 9-11 Memorial Ceremony.State Rep. Tom Barrett today welcomed Maj. Randall Knowles of the Michigan Army National Guard to the House floor for the annual House of Representatives 9/11 Memorial Ceremony on Thursday.House members invited first responders and members of the military from their communities to be their guests for the service that also honors first responders and military members who lost their lives in the line of duty in Michigan during the past year. The ceremony included the ringing of a fire bell for those who have died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2015.“Maj. Knowles has been my commander for several years,” said Rep. Barrett, R-Potterville. “I’m proud to bring one of my colleagues here and have the opportunity to highlight the work of our military and the important role they play in our security. Maj. Knowles knows the stakes that our nation faces in the continued War on Terror and the responsibility of leading troops in a combat environment. I’m pleased to have him with me here today and for the opportunity to show our respect and appreciation for our fallen heroes.”After graduating Army flight school in 2007, Maj. Knowles was assigned to the Security and Support Unit flying the OH-58 Kiowa. In 2009 he was deployed to Iraq as a MEDEVAC platoon leader flying the UH-60 Blackhawk. After later serving in Afghanistan in 2013, he returned home to serve as the flight operations officer of the Army Aviation Support Facility in Grand Ledge.Rep. Barrett is a U.S. Army veteran, previously serving in Iraq. Today he serves as a helicopter pilot in the Michigan National Guard in addition to his role of state representative. He also holds the position of chairman of the House Committee on Military and Veteran Affairs.
Friday, Oct. 59 to 10 a.m. at Iron’s Café, 5408 W. 10 ½ Mile Road in Irons;10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Luther Area Public Library, 115 State St. in Luther; andNoon to 1 p.m. at the Lake County Court House in the Board of Commissioners Room, 800 10th in Baldwin. No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. VanSingel’s office at (517) 373-7317 or by email at ScottVanSingel@house.mi.gov.### Categories: VanSingel News Monday, Oct. 89 to 10 a.m. at Moon Dance Café, 7143 W 48th St. in Fremont;10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Cronk’s Oakridge Restaurant, 9103 Mason Drive in Newaygo; andNoon to 1 p.m. at The Depot Restaurant, 22 W. Main St. in Grant. State Rep. Scott VanSingel of Grant announces his office hours for the month of October.“I look forward to speaking with the residents of Newaygo, Oceana, and Lake counties about their state government,” VanSingel said. “Holding office hours throughout the district allows me to keep the community informed on what is happening in Lansing.”Rep. VanSingel will be available at the following times and locations:Monday, Oct. 18:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Pink Elephant, 207 S. State St. in Hart;10 to 11 a.m. at Good Stuffs, 111 S. Hancock St. in Pentwater; and11:30 a.m. to noon at Brown Bear, 147 N. Michigan Ave. in Shelby. 12Sep Rep. VanSingel invites residents to October office hours
State Rep. Andrea Schroeder today joined House colleagues in approving a bipartisan plan to deliver significant car insurance savings for drivers across Michigan.The House voted to approve legislation guaranteeing lower rates by giving drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, reining in medical services costs for car accident victims, and combating fraudulent claims. The plan should soon be headed to the governor for her expected 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.“This solution has been in the making for decades – and it’s long overdue,” said Schroeder, of Independence Township. “I’m honored to play a part in finally delivering these reforms to drivers in Oakland County and all across Michigan. These changes will crack down on fraud, provide more coverage choice, and take other steps necessary to ensure families save money on their car insurance bills.”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.The plan also requires the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services to combat fraud and abuse in the system.The legislation is Senate Bill 1.##### Categories: News,Schroeder News 24May Rep. Schroeder votes to reform car insurance and deliver guaranteed savings to Michigan drivers
Share1TweetShareEmail1 Shares August 18, 2014; KSTP-TVDespite a recent labor dispute that resulted in the Minnesota Orchestra being locked out for 16 months, the orchestra went on performing in various venues. But according to this video recently uploaded by the Mayo Clinic in honor of its 150th anniversary, one of its violinists, Roger Frisch, topped all of that in 2009 by playing his instrument during his own brain surgery at the Mayo Clinic. The surgery was meant to locate and control the source of a palsy that was interfering with his playing.The operation was done using deep brain stimulation, and the doctors needed Frisch awake and performing so they could sense when they had accurately located the source of the problem. The surgeons had mounted sensors on a special violin and bow so that the faintest quiver of his hand could be sensed, and they were thus able to completely neutralize any neuromuscular misfiring. We love the collaboration between patient and physicians here. The operation was a success, but there is no review published here on the performance.—Ruth McCambridgeShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares
Share64Tweet2Share86Email152 SharesJune 9, 2015; AllVoices.comA mobile fundraising study conducted by npENGAGE reviewed the webpages of 343 small to medium-size nonprofits at the end of the 2014 giving season. The study analyzed 22,648 donations, 3,091 event registrations, and 1,476 membership transactions between November 1st and December 31st, 2014.Here were the highlights from studying the 343 nonprofits:9.5% of donations came via mobile devices.19.6% of event registrations came from mobile devices. According to npENGAGE, “Across the board, supporters are almost twice as likely to register for an event than make a donation on a mobile device.”49% of emails were read on mobile devices.16.6% of donors who made a donation after receiving an email used mobile devices.For nonprofit sites with responsive design, the email donation rate via mobile rose to 18.6%. According to npENGAGE, “If your website is responsive (optimized for viewing on smartphones and tablets in addition to desktops), you’re winning. But also make certain your emails and forms are elegant on mobile.”However, keep in mind that, according to the Pew Research Center, the most common uses for mobile devices include sending or receiving text messages, sending or receiving email messages, accessing the Internet, downloading applications, getting directions or recommendations, listening to music, participating in a video call or chat, or checking in or sharing a location. Making donations, signing up for nonprofit events, and paying nonprofit membership dues (for example, museum dues) are clearly missing from that list.Therefore, what should your nonprofit consider when adding a mobile strategy to your marketing and fundraising? Here are five questions to consider. Your answers will determine how your nonprofit integrates mobile into your outreach:Does your website have an easy-to-find page that explains how donations are used?Does your nonprofit have an easy-to-find page that lists your events and descriptions and dates?Do your emails link back to landing pages on your website designed especially for specific fundraising campaigns and/or events?Do you segment your outreach? For example, if you are an animal nonprofit, some supporters may react more positively if an email features a dog, and some may react more positively if an email features a cat. With knowledge gleaned over time and from interactions with donors, you will learn important donor facts, and this information should be added to your mobile outreach.Does your nonprofit have an email marketing plan (similar to your annual marketing plan) that includes topics, distribution/communication schedule, and evaluation metrics, and also features a design that is consistent with your brand, logo, and palette?If you integrate all of these elements into your mobile strategy, you will definitely see an increase in your mobile engagement—and probably in your mobile donations, mobile event registrations, and mobile membership transactions, too.—Debbie LaskeyShare64Tweet2Share86Email152 Shares
Share807Tweet2Share11Email820 SharesMap of the United States Electoral College / US Embassy CanadaNovember 17, 2017; Washington PostThe presidential election is not yet over. How the Trump transition team behaves between now and December 19th matters. On that day, electors of the Electoral College cast their ballots. Only then does America have a properly elected president who will take the oath of office on January 20th.Clinton’s lead in the popular vote now exceeds 1.3 million. Factor in votes for third party candidates and 53.1 percent of voters cast their ballots for candidates other than Trump. Trump is the fifth “president-elect” in US history to lose the nation’s total popular vote while winning the Electoral College vote. George W. Bush was the fourth in 2000. JFK’s election in 1960 was “disputed.” Presently, 4.4 million people have signed a Change.org petition asking Electoral College electors to vote for Clinton. Electors are being individually lobbied and sometimes harassed.Political parties select their electors, and it is fully expected that the electors will gather at their respective state capitals to cast their votes as pledged on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Electors choosing not to vote according to their pledges will still have their votes counted. These so-called “faithless electors” would break their pledge by voting for someone else or choosing not to vote. There have been 157 faithless electors since the advent of the Electoral College. Unpledged electors have no pledge to break.It speaks to Clinton’s dignity and her commitment to the peaceful constitutional transfer of power that she is not publicly promoting this or any other petition to contest the election.This Washington Post article looks at the internal workings of the Electoral College in ways that will escape most civics classes. The Office of the Federal Register administers the Electoral College. The Post reports that OFR staff are being bombarded with questions, rants, and much worse. The Electors sign their respective state’s electoral certificates and send them to Congress and to a particular division within OFR.There are usually a handful of states that screw something up. Either the governor didn’t sign the certificate, or they didn’t put the state seal on it, or they got the election date wrong—in which case [the Legal Affairs and Policy] division says “try again.” Then, [staff attorney Miriam Vincent] and her colleagues compare its 51 certificates to the ones received by Congress, to make sure everything checks out. And then we have a president.Here is an entertaining 2:30-minute video produced by the New York Times explaining the Electoral College.There are initiatives to amend or eliminate the Electoral College, such as The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. “A lot of people have been asking or advocating or yelling that we need to go back to the popular vote, but there is no ‘back,’” Vincent says. “Because this is how it’s been since 1789.”In the Electoral College, each state is represented by appointed electors equal in number to the state’s members in Congress. These electors are expected to cast their votes for the candidates selected by the popular vote in their state. The political parties in each state appoint the electors. If a state has a tie between elector votes, the tie breaking process is different for each state. The Electoral College is one of the most controversial, ridiculed and misunderstood parts of the US Constitution. Some myths persist about the Electoral College. In explaining one, the Washington Post reminds us of our history.The important division was between states that relied on slavery and those that didn’t, not between large and small states. A direct election for president did not sit well with most delegates from the slave states, which had large populations but far fewer eligible voters. They gravitated toward the Electoral College as a compromise because it was based on population. The convention had agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of calculating each state’s allotment of seats in Congress.The U.S. is one of the few countries that elect their heads of state indirectly. Pakistan is another. Many countries have direct elections, while others such as the UK have monarchs as heads of state, directly electing their legislature or parliament. All in all, as contentious as our elections can be, America can be proud of its traditions and commitment to the rule of law.—James SchafferShare807Tweet2Share11Email820 Shares
Share16Tweet8ShareEmail24 Shares“Mick Mulvaney,” Gage SkidmoreJune 21, 2018; Washington Post, New York Times, and The HillLast week, the White House released a document entitled Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations. Officials said this plan for reorganizing the federal government was spearheaded by Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and based on a blueprint from a 2017 list of recommendations produced by the conservative Heritage Foundation. The 132-page document depicts a federal government that reflects the conservative values of its developers, reducing the size of the government’s footprint and eliminating and consolidating functions. The release was met with applause from some and great skepticism and opposition from others. Since many of these changes will need Congressional action and approval, and even some Republicans are not on board with many of these changes, this could be a long and drawn out process.Some of the key proposed changes involved merging entire agencies. The Department of Education and the Department of Labor, under this proposal, would become the Department of Education and the Workforce. This is, noted the New York Times, a “back to the future” move, as President Jimmy Carter split the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into two departments—Education and Health and Human Services—because no single department could handle all of these functions. Merging Labor and Education might cause similar issues. Further, this document suggests the Trump administration sees the function of education as almost solely related to workforce development, which extremely narrows the scope of education. In a capitalist economy that is increasingly extractive, this is a cause for concern.Response to the Trump proposal on the part of legislators has been swift and strident.The reorganization plan faces tough odds in Congress, where even aside from the dispute over work requirements, any reorganization faces opposition from congressional committees that could lose power if their jurisdictions change.Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, dismissed the plan as dead on arrival even before it was official unveiled, calling it a move to propose “futile reorganizations of the federal government just to have a new talking point.”“Democrats and Republicans in Congress have rejected President Trump’s proposals to drastically gut investments in education, health care, and workers—and he should expect the same result for this latest attempt to make government work worse for the people it serves,” she added.Others see this reorganization as an attack on government workers and unions, since no numbers were given as to how many jobs will be lost or gained in its implementation.The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union representing federal workers, promptly assailed the plan as a “scheme to gut federal services,” in part by targeting domestic programs that have long been unpopular with conservatives.“There’s little reason to believe this reorganization plan is anything more than a scheme to eliminate essential programs and public-service jobs, reward or punish political appointees depending on their allegiance to the White House, and privatize government programs to reward political donors,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement.Via this process, Mulvaney is looking to eliminate a range of public agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Import-Export Bank. He also hopes to privatize the US Postal Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and other parts of the federal government via this plan. Some of the changes can be done by presidential orders or initiated through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Most, however, require Congressional action. The report does little to specify which are which, and this means that all of us are left to be on constant watch as this develops—at whatever pace it moves forward. So, be vigilant, but do not expect it to happen quickly…or easily…or as laid out in this proposal…or, with some components, perhaps at all.—Carole LevineShare16Tweet8ShareEmail24 Shares
Service monitoring company Mariner has announced that its IPTV monitoring platform Mariner xVu has been extended to use new functionality in Microsoft Mediaroom Client 2.2.According to Mariner this means customers can now identify transient video impairments with more granular subscriber-centric video performance data, identify set-top box to HDTV connection issues with advanced HDMI connection details, assist subscribers with menu navigation issues by using remote captures and control of the customer’s TV experience and verify in-home connection with active set-top box connection test.“The combination of Microsoft Mediaroom and Mariner xVu monitoring enables IPTV operators to provide the highest quality video experience to end subscribers,” said Jerry Beresh, senior business development manager, Microsoft. “With a comprehensive view of service performance across the network, telecommunications operators can dramatically reduce capital and operating expenses while rapidly expanding IPTV services.”Mariner will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 14.521
The Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG) and Global VSAT Forum (GVF) are teaming up to hold a number of meetings and initiatives relating to satellite interference at IBC.On September 6, the IRG and GVF are organising a Eutelsat-sponsored meeting to discuss value-added services, that may be enabled by the Space Data Assocation. The meeting will be hosted in the Holiday Inn, Amsterdam from 13:00-17:00.IRG and GVF will also be talking on a satellite interference panel, hosted by Newtec on September 8 at 15:00 in room D203, Elicium building, no the second floor. More information and registration is available at http://www.newtec.eu/sessionibc2012.On September 11, the pair are organising an SES-sponsored Interference Prevention Summit in Hall 1 Balcony Suite: BM10/BM11.IRG will also be hosting a series of workshops to discuss interference. “We have made a number of great advancements in the fight against interference, however more work still needs to be done and we need to involve the entire industry,” said David Hartshorn, secretary general, GVF. “These meetings will help us determine the next steps and communicate those to the industry.”“We are keen to work together with GVF to further the fight against the costly problem of satellite interference,” said Martin Coleman, executive director, the Satellite Interference Reduction Group. “We believe the workshops will give people an additional channel to come and talk to us and find out more about how they can prevent interference.”The IRG will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 4.A61. The GVF will be exhibiting on Stand 6.B05
3net, the joint venture 3D channel run by Discovery, IMAX and Sony, has unveiled its first slate of original productions after it launched a production and distribution division last month.The company has unveiled five new series including Space, which is the first television series to be produced in 4K.Space is a three part series and tells the story of the universe from the big bang. It has been produced in association with Percolate Digital.3D series commissioned by 3net include Marksmen, Frozen In Time: Our History in 3D, Wingsuit Warriors: Jeb Corliss Vs. The World and Daydream.“Today’s announcement marks an important first step in our ongoing mission to meet the increasing global demand for high-quality, original 3D and 4K television content head on,” said Tom Cosgrove, 3net president and CEO. “We’re proud of the diverse initial slate of live-action and animated series we have created and look forward to expanding it as 3net Studios finalises its full 2013 development schedule.”
Netflix’s efforts to secure first-run content have resulted in an exclusive US pay TV deal for The Weinstein Company’s movies – a partnership the pair claims will “reinvent” windowing.Streaming service Netflix has scored a multi-year licensing deal that gives it first-window subscription rights to theatrically released feature films from TWC and Dimension Films, starting in 2016 and across all connected platforms.Netflix is already the exclusive home of TWC documentaries and foreign-language films.Both companies claim the deal could revolutionise the way first-window rights deals for major feature films are approached.“Harvey and Bob Weinstein are in a class of their own when it comes to choosing and producing the best films in the world,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. “They are as innovative in business as they are creative in their storytelling. We look forward to reinventing the pay TV window with the Weinsteins.”“The deal that we’ve just completed with Netflix is probably the biggest deal in the history of The Weinstein Company and together, we are discussing ways to reinvent the pay TV experience so that the audience can get even more for their money,” said Harvey Weinstein.“Their enthusiasm for movies of all kinds was the big factor in our choosing Netflix. Moving forward when people see The Weinstein Company name on a movie they know that our pay TV partner is the most significant new force in the entertainment industry – Netflix.”
Multiscreen video logistics specialist Clearleap has appointed Jobst Muehlbach as director, customer solutions architect, EMEA, and Marco Slik as customer solutions architect, EMEA.Muelbach, who will take responsibility for European technical sales processes and will join Clearleap with immediate effect, has held senior positions at Arris, Motorola, Kabel Deutschland, Thomson and OpenTV. He will report to vice-president, sales EMEA, Preben Schack.“It’s exciting to come on board at a time when the industry is experiencing so much change,” said Jobst Muehlbach. “With a sophisticated, unique approach and its advanced platform, Clearleap offers content owners and Pay-TV operators a truly complete infrastructure for delivering profitable multiscreen services. There is real momentum in the region, and I’m looking forward to engaging with the EMEA team to continue this success through driving effective and innovative sales.”Silk will join the company on November 12. He was previously employed by Dutch public broadcaster NPO.
London-based TV ratings startup Iptvbeat has raised US$2 million (€1.45 million) in funding and changed its name to TVbeat. UK-based, early-stage venture capital investor, Episode 1, and Czech Republic-based investor Credo Ventures backed the firm.TVbeat founder Robert Farazin said “these funds will allow the company to expand its presence in new markets and further develop its state-of-the-art platform.“He added that the name change reflected TVbeat’s analytical capability across any pay TV platform, including cable, satellite, VOD, OTT and IPTV.TVbeat uses live data from connected set top boxes and other connected devices and has piloted its services to broadcasters, advertisers and pay TV platforms in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia – with plans to expand further in Europe this year.“We are already measuring over 15 million customer interactions per day, on all digital platforms, regardless of how and where video is consumed. This volume of data can give TV editors, programme directors and marketing teams the kind of precise audience insight they could only have dreamt about in the past,” said Farazin.
On-demand games specialist TransGaming has struck a partnership with Liberty Global to bring TV games to the cable operator’s Horizon advanced TV platform. TransGaming’s GameTree TV games will now be available throughout most of Europe, including: The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland and Hungary, with further expansion planned as Horizon continues to be deployed across Liberty Global’s network.“The addition of Liberty Global is a pivotal next step towards expanding GameTree TV’s services to a larger international audience. The extension of GameTree TV from Smart TVs to Liberty Global’s Horizon set-top boxes clearly demonstrates the industry momentum we are gaining,” said Dennis Ensing, COO and interim CEO at TransGaming.
European cable operator Liberty Global has established a new business unit to pursue big data opportunities and new advertising models following a review conducted by the company over the last five months. This new unit will explore and define ways in which Liberty Global can leverage its investment in advanced networks to generate ad and data related value.John Paul has been named as managing director of the business unit from today. Paul has held a number of emerging product roles in both broadcast and cable. He worked in Australia on the launch of Austar and its triple-play products, and helped the company explore investment opportunities in Asia, and also served as CTO of broadcaster SBS Australia, COO of Australia Network, Founder and Managing Partner of Trident Media Partners and served on the boards of SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) and Freeview Australia.In his new role, Paul will be charged with developing new revenue models and value associated with advanced advertising and data. He will report to Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries and CTO Balan Nair.
Sky will launch a new Roku-powered Now TV box later this year, giving users access live linear TV channels for the first time, alongside on-demand content.The revamped, hybrid set-top box will let Now TV customers access more than 60 live, free-to-air TV channels – as well Now TV’s on-demand packages of content and other web-powered services like the BBC iPlayer, All 4, YouTube, Facebook and Spotify.Sky will be the first company to deploy the Roku-produced box, which will also be available to other operators as part of the ‘Roku Powered’ partnership programme.Roku’s vice president of pay TV, Andrew Ferrone, said that the new set-top will allow operators to “bridge the gap between linear broadcast and streaming TV services”. Gidon Katz, director of Now TV, added the device will be a “one-stop box to get a contract-free, flexible way of watching the best of pay TV and free-to-air content all in one place.”Customers using the current generation of Now TV box will get a new user interface from February, which will include a new homepage and editorial recommendations of what to watch on Now TV.Separately, Sky announced today in its fiscal second quarter results that it will launch a new Sky+HD box in Germany and Italy later this year, featuring updated features and technology.“The box will be compatible with Sky Q functionality, giving our customers the ability to access Sky Q features,” said Sky.In the UK and Ireland the new, advanced Sky Q TV service will launch in February and will sit alongside Sky+HD and Now TV as one of three products available to customers.Announcing pricing details today, Sky said that set-up costs for Sky Q will start at £99 and the typical monthly cost for Sky+ customers will be “around £12 [€16] extra compared with their current Sky+ package.”For new customers joining Sky, the ongoing monthly cost for the Sky Q bundle will be £42. A Sky Q Silver bundle – which lets users watch Sky TV in more rooms, stream to more tablets and record and store more content – will cost £54 per month. Adding Sky Movies will cost £17 extra per month, Sky Sports will cost £25.50 extra and both together will cost an added £34.50.“The launch of Sky Q will redefine our top-end TV experience and extend our market-leading portfolio of products to serve the needs of every customer,” according to Sky group CEO, Jeremy Darroch.Sky first unveiled its Sky Q home entertainment system at a launch event in London in November. Sky Q lets viewers pause content on one TV screen and pick up in another room, save recordings onto a tablet to watch anywhere, and watch different programmes on up to five screens simultaneously whilst also recording four other channels.Sky Q is also Ultra HD-compatible, with Sky planning to launch “the UK’s most comprehensive Ultra HD service” later this year.
Beximco and GS Group sign their agreementRussia’s GS Group has launched Bangladesh’s first DTH service in partnership with local industrial conglomerate Beximco.The new service, RealVU, offers over 100 standard and HD channels. Packages available to viewers include well-known international channels in English, popular Indian channels and channels with local Bangladeshi content.GS Group is providing hardware and software solutions for the service, and acting as system integrator. The company’s digital set-tops include DVR and timeshift functionality and an EPG.GS Group, which has previously been involved in the launch of DTT-based pay TV service One TV in Cambodia, said it planned to focus on launching digital broadcast services in other promising markets.“The GS Group’s international broadcast projects are a bright example of Russian high technologies successfully entering the global market. RealVU, the first DTH operator in Bangladesh will bring mass accessibility to high-quality digital television service in a country that has 165 million plus population currently being forced to watch low-rated terrestrial and cable TV or to illegally connect to foreign operators. We expect to engage significant audience in the first year of operating due to GS Group’s vast expertise in managing national broadcast projects, solid cooperation with a local partner, diversified content that meets viewers demands, and a high level of service,” said Sergey Dolgopolsky, PR, GR and IR director, foreign broadcasting projects department, GS Group.
Liberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet reported strong revenue-generating unit growth and said it was on track to deliver 5-7% EBITDA growth on the back of cost savings from the acquisition of mobile operator BASE Company.Telenet said that its RGU count increased by 31,000 in Q2, driven by marketing and promotions. The period saw the launch of all-in-one converged product WIGO, which signed up 13,000 subscribers between its late June launch and the end of the quarter, boosting quad-play numbers.Telenet sold 27,700 post-paid mobile subscriptions in the quarter. The company extended its full MVNO deal with Orange Belgium ahead of its planned transition of mobile services to BASE’s network.Telenet posted revenues of €626.1 million in Q2, up 3% on a like-for-like basis. Adjusted EBITDA was €290.4 million, up 1% on a like-for-like basis.