MSC Seaside, the ship that follows the sunMSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line and market leader in the Mediterranean, along with industry-leading shipyard Fincantieri, today cut the first steel for its new generation of ships: MSC Seaside.In a ceremony held at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, and Chief Executive Officer, Gianni Onorato, along with Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer, Giuseppe Bono, launched the cutting of the first steel of MSC Seaside.“Today, we have witnessed the beginning of the work on an extraordinary new ship: MSC Seaside. It is a ship that revolutionises industry standards with an audacious and innovative design that brings guests and the sea closer. It is also testament to MSC Cruises’ constant focus on innovation as it is the fifth prototype ship we have designed,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman.“Moreover, MSC Seaside represents a key pillar in a €5.1 billion euro, seven-ship investment plan that will double our capacity by 2022. It also steps up our investment in the industry and marks our return to partnership with Fincantieri, which is something that makes me particularly proud. In fact, the building of the new Seaside ships as well as our other current project with Fincantieri – the €200 million Renaissance Programme – is just one example of how a global organisation like MSC plays a key role in the cruise industry”.Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “This ceremony is unique for our Group and the Monfalcone shipyard. MSC Seaside will be the biggest ship ever built in our shipyards. In MSC Seaside, we have developed a brand new and highly ambitious project that we look forward to building. In two years’ time we will celebrate, with MSC Cruises, a magnificent ship of which we will all be deeply proud.”MSC Seaside will be based year-round in Miami to sail a wide range of Caribbean itineraries. In addition, MSC Cruises’ Miami-based cruise operations will benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami, signifying the Company’s strong ambitions in the North American market and to providing guests with a best-in-class quality of services. Book MSC Cruises Source = MSC Cruises
United Airlines Names Pam Hendry TreasurerUnited Airlines Names Pam Hendry TreasurerUnited Airlines (UAL) today announced Pam Hendry has been named vice president and treasurer. Hendry will be responsible for Corporate Finance, Treasury Operations and Risk Management.Hendry is a senior aviation finance executive who has an extensive background in cost-effectively financing aircraft. She spent the majority of her career at International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) where, among other roles, she served as senior vice president and treasurer.“Pam is well known and respected throughout the aircraft finance community. With her reputation as a strong leader and her deep industry knowledge she will be a great addition to the United team,” said Executive Vice President and CFO Gerry Laderman. “I look forward to welcoming Pam to United and partnering with her and our entire team as we continue to deliver on the growth strategy we laid out in January of this year.”Prior to joining United, Hendry was a managing director at Plane View Partners, an aviation consulting firm. She has also held a number of leadership and consulting roles in aircraft finance and leasing, where she built a proven track record in financial and capital markets.Hendry holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.Hendry will report to Laderman and will start on January 7.About UnitedUnited Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,700 flights a day to 356 airports across five continents. In 2017, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 148 million customers. United is proud to have the world’s most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 760 mainline aircraft and the airline’s United Express carriers operate 546 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbolSource = United
U.K.: M&S and Ocado’s £750M JV to “transform … From the pages of Produce Business UKSH Pratt Group, who have specialized in fruit ripening and distribution since 1960, just announced their new bespoke-controlled distribution facility at DP World London Gateway called Halo, which is slated to open next month. The Luton-based firm seeks to reduce food miles and increase freshness in perishable and chilled supply chains by adding value to products coming across the quay at DP World London Gateway Port.According to official reports, the 108,555-sq. ft, state-of-the-art, multi-chambered warehouse will handle temperature products, before distributing them to the UK consumer market. The company says the facility will ensure a more sustainable supply chain, cutting waste, cost and time to market. As part of the construction process, SH Pratt Group has installed high-tech temperature controlling equipment across nine chambers, including three frozen chambers.“We’re really pleased with how the building has progressed,” says Robert Wells, Chairman, SH Pratt Group. “Halo will see us drawing on our expertise in delivering a quality service when it comes to handling a wide range of products.”Claiming to be “the fastest, the freshest and the leanest,” Halo boasts food safety accreditation and investments in technology, delivering fresh and safe produce that is transparent across the supply chain.The fully integrated logistics facility has been qualified as a Grade A building, rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’, EPC ‘A’ rated and with The Planet Mark™ accreditation, ensuring that construction was undertaken in the most environmentally friendly way possible. DP World London Gateway’s market-centric location, 25 miles from Central London, means more than 18 million consumers are located within a 90-minute drive. It presents an opportunity for retailers and importers to reduce lead times, increase the freshness and shelf life of products by getting them to stores faster; all with a reduced carbon footprint.Also being located within the DP World London Gateway Logistics Park’s West Zone, the facility will feature multiple temperature regimes, from frozen to ambient, enabling flexible as well as multi-usage. It also will employ advanced IT systems to aid the monitoring of products and ensure quality. In terms of construction, it is planned for warehouse facilities up to 1.5 million-sq. ft in size and 42m in height.Internationally speaking, the Halo centre will handle goods arriving at DP World London Gateway Port from a number of countries around the world. There will also be grounds for more than 400 vehicles nationwide, supporting UK and wider European accessibility to and from the facility. For the actual tracking of goods, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) will make it possible for customers to see where their goods are through a portal.Park Development Director DP World London Gateway Oliver Treneman says, “Halo is going to add value to temperature-controlled supply chains through its mix of expertise and know-how and through operating a high-spec, focused facility on the same site as one of the world’s fastest growing container ports.”Produce Business UK talked with Gavin Knight, managing director of Halo, to understand the impact of this new facility and the specifics of its technology. Knight has been in the sector of Fresh Produce for the past 20 years, and prior to that, his father ran a vegetable cooperative in Lincolnshire, so his knowledge and expertise in this sector is pronounced and invaluable. How did the whole idea for Halo come about?Halo was the vision of SH Pratt, to expand their portfolio and turnover. It complements the group extremely well, especially Kinship, our logistics business which gives us the full supply-chain solution. SH Pratt, which is a family-owned-and-managed business, has financed the five-year expansion plan, of Halo is one part.What are the business partnerships associated with this? For example, who specifically will manage it?Halo is solely owned by the SH Pratt Group, which is managed by David Bateman, group managing director; and as managing director of Halo, I am responsible for the day-to-day and the driving force behind Halo.In terms of the industry at large, is this the first initiative of its kind?There have been similar initiatives but none that are as highly invested, highly automated and future-proofed in a vast expanding port than Halo. The location of Halo is perfect not only to eradicate cost and time for Southern Hemisphere product (80 per cent arrives at London Gateway) but also for Northern Hemisphere, where it will add significant value to our customers’ supply chain. With regards to your clients, who do you foresee as the main ones most benefiting from this service? We will have a mixed portfolio, including retailers, importers and exporters across the full supply chain. DP World London Gateway’s market-centric location, 25 miles from Central London, means more than 18 million consumers are located within a 90-minute drive. It presents an opportunity for retailers and importers to reduce lead times, increase the freshness and shelf life of products by getting them to stores faster – and with a reduced carbon footprint. What makes this different in terms of other facilities that offer a similar profile? What is the unique selling point?65 per cent of the population live in the South of England, and there is no other facility like Halo based at this location, which also happens to have 80 per cent of Southern Hemisphere arrivals.It is called a bespoke temperature-controlled added-value facility. What exactly does this mean? We handle everything from field to fork, as well as frozen product. As fresh produce arrives in the UK, we can provide one of or all of the following: storage, ripening, picking and packing and then distribution of the produce to the regional distribution centres, which saves the retailer money, means the consumer gets a fresher piece of produce. And the environment loves it because it saves thousands of miles.What was the need behind creating such a system?The need is for a greater focus on the fresh produce supply chain, delivering a more cost-effective, fresher and more environmentally friendly product to the end consumer. Why is this specifically named a “state-of-the-art, fully accredited, fully focused facility”?We have the most up-to-date ERP System (Enterprise Resource Planner) — Prophet 3 (PR3). The systems and processes that have been implemented have been led by a management team that combined has over 50 years experience in the service provision industry. We also have invested in our food safety, quality and compliance management system, and we use Food 360, which allows our systems and procedures to be at the forefront of food safety.How will you ensure the management of this process?We have carefully selected quality supervisors who are highly trained to manage the process, ensuring attention to detail and efficient and effective production at all times. Our quality supervisors also manage the shelf life of the products to ensure consumers have the maximum edible life.HALO are dedicated to food safety and aspire an industry-leading service, with accreditations, TPPS, The Organic Soil Association, BRC, SEDEX, The Ethical Trading Association, giving you the reassurance you need of the high standards we achieve.What about globally? Are there any other competitors to this in the international marketplace?At this precise moment in time, no, but we expect competitors to launch over the next 18 months.About Halo: Halo is part of SH Pratt Group’s programme of investment over the last few years and is supported by Kinship Logistics, its wholly-owned logistics subsidiary, along with FreshLinc, the venture’s strategic logistics partner. Halo was created to specialize in eradicating costs, delivering freshness, consolidating the supply base and reducing the carbon footprint. Focused on industry-leading environmental solutions, Halo is strategically situated at the Port of London Gateway affording them positioning to eradicate container inbound costs and its nationwide road network links. Their premises include the positive releasing of finished product, not just the fruit but packaging and packaging information. The company’s motto: “We remove cost, we remove food miles, we remove time enabling us to ensure our customers will never miss a sale, deliver freshness or deliver value for the future.”About SH Pratt: Established in 1947 as an independent family-run business, SH Pratt specializes in the import, ripening and distribution of fruit. Previously known as SH Pratt & Co Bananas, they diversified into separate divisions under the SH Pratt Group umbrella, enabling service of a range of sectors within the food produce and distribution industry. About Kinship Logistics: Kinship Logistics, part of the SH Pratt Group, provides specialist supply chain solutions throughout the UK, focusing mainly on the retail and foodservice markets. They distribute more than 2,000 pallets per day and move more than 200 containers per week throughout their supply network.All stories Ethical Trading Initiative terminates Fyffes’ memb … One Banana targets U.K. retail expansion with ethi … October 29 , 2018 LPS ’19: Brazil aspires to become one of the most … You might also be interested in
February 18 , 2019 Golden Bay Fruit creates “One of a Kind” show … NZ: T&G Global’s profits drop despite revenue … The Chinese New Year period has seen a reversal in the sluggish domestic apple market experienced this season on the back of a small crop, which sent prices soaring and put customers off purchasing.The world’s leading apple grower experienced severe frosts during the spring last year, which led to a 30% year-on-year drop in volumes and a big drop in sales as a result.However, Yang Jie, director of the national apple engineering technology research center, told FreshFruitPortal that the sales during the Spring Festival this year were better than expected.“Due to the high price, the overall sales of apple market in the past few months were slow. However, since the Spring Festival, the situation has been unexpectedly reversed, which has gone even better than in previous years,,” he said. “The apple gift box, in particular, is very popular among consumers.” U.S.: Apple sales ‘perked up’ in January after slo … U.S.: Late season Ruby Frost apple variety gives r … According to Jie, sales of Beijing’s ‘Qiu Xiang, a well-known domestic apple brand, were up about 10% from the same period last year. About 200,000 gift boxes of ‘Cidoko’, another Chinese brand, were sold in the run-up the Spring Festival, up 25% year-on-year.“Gift box sales were generally not good in the previous Spring Festivals and vendors had to sell at lower prices in the end. This year, however, the situation is totally different,” he said.One reason for the rising interest in gift boxes could be Chinese consumers’ trend toward varietal diversification, he said, explaining that combinations of different varieties and prices supplied by apple gift boxes can meet the varying demands of consumers at different levels. In addition, in Chinese, the pronunciation of “apple” means “safe”, which is very suitable for gifts.Jie predicted that due to insufficient market supply, apple prices were unlikely to fall for some time after the Spring Festival. You might also be interested in
The association of private hospitals, the oral and maxillofacial society and the association of private doctors are the three latest groups to join the ever-growing number of medical specialties who have advised their members not to back the National Health Scheme (Gesy).The association of private hospitals said they lack sufficient data about the plan and are seriously concerned over the details that they have been given. The doctors claim they need to continue operating to same high standards they always have and are uncertain being part of Gesy would allow that.The vascular and endovascular surgery association announced their non-participation earlier in the day.Their decision was publicised just hours after the radiological association announced they too are not joining the scheme.Both associations said in statements that “the project is doomed to failure from the start”.They both also called on all stakeholders to listen to the concerns of the medial world and make the necessary changes for Gesy to become sustainable and functional.The vascular and endovascular association said they supported the creation of a modern and viable Gesy for the benefit of patients but expressed deep concern over “the gaps, ambiguities and, above all, the viability” of the proposed plan and the serious impact that its failure would have on the health of patients.The private radiologists urged Gesy chiefs to pay more attention to the requirements of their medical area.The price which has been set per medical treatment does not even cover the cost of the material and technological equipment, and thus the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) in charge of private doctors’ applications to Gesy, needs to think again, the radiologists said.By Thursday, eight other private specialist groups had announced they would not back Gesy, rheumatologists, intensivists, urologists, nuclear medicine physicians, ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, endocrinologists, paediatricians and gastroenterologists. Cardiologists said its members would each decide individually.President Nicos Anastasiades is to meet with the medical association (CyMA) next week to discuss the situation. The vascular and endovascular surgery association is the latest private medical group to join the ever-growing number of private medical specialties who have advised their members not to back the National Health Scheme (Gesy).Their decision was publicised just hours after the radiological association announced they too are not joining the scheme.Both associations said in statements that “the project is doomed to failure from the start”.They both also called on all stakeholders to listen to the concerns of the medial world and make the necessary changes for Gesy to become sustainable and functional.The vascular and endovascular association said they supported the creation of a modern and viable Gesy for the benefit of patients but expressed deep concern over “the gaps, ambiguities and, above all, the viability” of the proposed plan and the serious impact that its failure would have on the health of patients.The private radiologists urged Gesy chiefs to pay more attention to the requirements of their medical area.The price which has been set per medical treatment does not even cover the cost of the material and technological equipment, and thus the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) in charge of private doctors’ applications to Gesy, needs to think again, the radiologists said.By Thursday, eight other private specialist groups had announced they would not back Gesy, rheumatologists, intensivists, urologists, nuclear medicine physicians, ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, endocrinologists, paediatricians and gastroenterologists. Cardiologists said its members would each decide individually.President Nicos Anastasiades is to meet with the medical association (CyMA) next week to discuss the situation.You May LikeSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoMBA Degrees | Search AdsMBA Programs Online – See For YourselfMBA Degrees | Search AdsUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: McCready News Four-bill package bans unregulated child custody transfersState Rep. Mike McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills, spoke before the House Committee on Judiciary Tuesday in support of legislation he introduced to prohibit and punish the practice of informal child custody transfers.“Unregulated child custody transfers are a practice where parents seek a new home for their child without the safeguards and oversight of the courts or the child welfare system,” Rep. McCready said. “This process, often referred to as ‘rehoming,’ is most common in situations where a child displays some behavioral issues after he or she has been adopted. This, however, does not make it acceptable to give a child away to strangers on the Internet. It’s no surprise that ‘rehoming’ often results in vulnerable children being placed in abusive or unsafe environments.“The best way to protect these vulnerable children is to explicitly prohibit unregulated custody transfers and ensure that anyone engaging in the activity is held accountable.”House Bill 5629, sponsored by Rep. McCready, prohibits someone from using parental power of attorney to transfer custody of a child for more than 180 days.HB 5628, sponsored by Rep. Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, criminalizes the transfer of custody with the intent to permanently divest oneself of parental responsibility, and also prohibits assisting or arranging an unregulated custody transfer.HBs 5626-27, sponsored by Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, classify soliciting a child for adoption as a Class F felony and prohibit a person from advertising for potential adoptive parents without court involvement.The bills remain under consideration by the House Committee on Judiciary.##### 21Sep Rep. McCready testifies in support of plan to protect children from ‘rehoming’
Plan extends open record requirements to governor, LegislatureState Rep. Sarah Lightner today voted to approve a bipartisan plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan.Lightner, of Springport, said the House unanimously approved the multi-bill proposal.“This solution will help shed light on all of the business conducted in our state Capitol,” Lightner said. “Michiganders deserve full access to information about how their government operates and the way their tax dollars are spent.”Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor and the Legislature from open records laws. The bipartisan solution approved today would end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that constituents’ personal information is protected and kept private. Other types of communications – including those lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists – would not be exempt.House Bills 4007-13 and 4015-16 now advance to the Senate for consideration. 19Mar Rep. Lightner: People deserve complete transparency from state government Categories: Lightner News,News
Categories: Markkanen News State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, and State Rep. Greg Markkanen, of Hancock, today announced that a plan to support the mining industry has cleared a major hurdle.The plan, House Bill 4227, establishes a commission to help increase mining opportunities in Michigan. The legislation is a product of the Upper Peninsula’s state representatives working together to bring policies that work for the region’s economy and residents.“Our core mining industry has been hampered by a lack of coordination among stakeholders, regulators and communities, and I look forward to the implementation of a committee to put an end to those roadblocks,” Markkanen said. “This advisory committee would help us bridge the gap and bring more quality jobs to our communities.”LaFave noted that this plan next goes to the Senate for approval before it reaches the governor’s desk.“Through bipartisan cooperation, we have an opportunity to grow this important industry right here in Michigan. Mining is both part of our Upper Peninsula history and crucial for making our modern lifestyle possible,” LaFave said. “From the raw materials for infrastructure projects to the minerals needed to build computers and cell phones, we count on mines for these resources. This advisory committee is intended to bolster this important industry, protect our natural resources and keep our workers and communities safe.”The proposal would create a two-year, fifteen-member advisory committee charged with developing recommendations to:Evaluate government policies that affect the mining and minerals industries.Develop public policy strategies to enhance the growth of the mining industry.Advise and bolster partnerships between industry, institutions, funding groups, environmental groups and state and federal agencies.The plan was approved overwhelmingly by the House, 107-1, and next moves to the Senate for consideration. 21May Plan to support Michigan’s mining industry clears House
Ono’s ability to maintain profit margins through the economic crisis and several quarters of revenue growth leave the Spanish cabler in a strong position despite the ongoing financial crisis in Spain. “ONO’s business model has shown resiliency to the economic crisis, and the company has been able to maintain EBITDA margins above 50%, increasing EBITDA through cost cuts despite pressures on the top line. In addition, pressures on revenues have been mitigated by the company’s focus on high value customers, with high ARPUs and lower churn,” noted credit ratings agency Moody’s.Moody’s added that the company is now recording quarterly revenue growth and in the first quarter of this year increased sales by 5% while its larger rival, Telefonica, recorded an 11% revenue decline. It noted: “We believe that ONO will be able to maintain this positive momentum by further improving its triple-play penetration, helped by its technologically advanced networks and new product offerings such as TiVo.”
The UK’s Competition Commission has confirmed that Sky’s hold on the acquisition and distribution of first pay window movie rights in the UK does not adversely affect competition.In its final report, the Commission said that Sky Movies’ grip on first window pay rights from all the major Hollywood studios was “not a sufficient driver of subscribers’ choice of pay TV provider to give Sky such an advantage over its rivals when competing for pay TV subscribers as to harm competition”.The regulator found that consumer attached more importance to having a broad range of content and to price than to seeing recent movies. It also found that the launch of services by Netflix and Lovefilm, as well as the launch of Sky’s own online service Sky Now, had improved choice.BSkyB said in a statement: “Following a lengthy investigation, we welcome the Competition Commission’s confirmation that there is no adverse effect on competition in relation to movies on pay TV.”
Remote control specialist Ruwido will use IBC to demonstrate how to integrate intuitive interaction mechanisms to navigate through large content libraries.The company will highlight how design, in combination with new interaction techniques, can create unique user interaction experiences. Demonstrations at Ruwido’s stand will include its ‘aura’ concept, which allows more intuitive navigation and direct communication of user’s intentions to the interface.“Interactive services will only benefit the consumer if they can use them. The systems currently available on the market are often too complex, so one of our key issues at the moment is how to make content more accessible. Either by providing intuitive concepts of navigation like the ‘consistent design aura’ or by using different kinds of navigation within one device,” said Ferdinand Maier, CEO, Ruwido.Ruwido will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 1.F68
White-label video publishing firm thePlatform has appointed former CEO and founder of Vortex Consulting Partners, John Frankovich, as Vice President of consulting services.At the same time, the company said it has promoted Chris Drake to vice president of business development. Previously, Drake was executive director, responsible for global business development and pay TV business strategy and sales.Frankovich joins after more than six years at Vortex Consulting Partners, a firm that merges user experience, business analysis and software development to create custom software solutions.Prior to that, he was CEO and co-owner of the Ramp Technology Group and senior vice president of Capgemini – a management consulting, technology outsourcing, and professional services firm.Frankovich will report to Jamie Miller, COO and CFO at thePlatform, while Drake will continue to report to Marty Roberts, senior vice president of sales and marketing at thePlatform.
David WellsNetflix is gearing up to make a “sizeable expansion” next year, that could surpass the number of rollouts it has made this year, according to chief financial officer David Wells.Speaking at RBC Capital Markets’ 2014 Technology, Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference in New York, Wells that though Netflix was still “teasing through its plans” it intends to expand further globally in 2015 and also appreciates the opportunity that lies in Asia.“We think that you should expect that the next year markets are a sizeable expansion. So something in the order of this year or even potentially a little bit more,” said Wells.Asked specifically about Asia, Wells said: “We have the appropriate appreciation for both the opportunity and the challenges in those markets.“A lot of those markets have the potential to have much more local content focus in terms of programming, but that’s to be seen. There’s still plenty of demand if you look at what folks are watching in Asia – it’s still House of Cards, it’s still a lot of western content.”In September, Netflix launched in six countries in Europe – France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Wells commented that in these markets, viewer engagement, in terms of hours viewed is “as strong or stronger than in any other country we’ve launched.”The comments come a month after Netflix added fewer new customers than it had previously predicted in its third quarter.Netflix said that domestically it added 0.98 million streaming customers in the quarter, and 2.04 million streaming customers. In its last earnings announcement it had anticipated net additions in these markets of 1.33 million and 2.36 million respectively.Separately, year-on-year customer additions were also down from 1.3 million in Q3 2013 to 1 million in Q4 2014.“As best we can tell, the primary cause is the slightly higher prices we now have compared to a year ago. Slightly higher prices result in slightly less growth, other things being equal, and this is manifested more clearly in higher adoption markets such as the US,” said Netflix in a letter to its shareholders at the time.Netflix yesterday announced that it has updated its Apple mobile app, bringing optimised experience for new models of iPhones including 1080p resolution on the iPhone 6 Plus.“When Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September, we were excited about the opportunity to extend the Netflix application to different screen sizes. We immediately began work on optimizing our user interface for the larger and higher resolution screens, and we’re happy to announce these changes are included in today’s update to our app,” said Netflix.
Stephen SpenglerIntelsat has named current president and chief commercial officer, Stephen Spengler, as the successor to CEO David McGlade when he steps down next year.Spengler becomes deputy CEO with immediate effect and will take over as CEO on April 1, 2015 when McGlade will step down and become executive chairman after 10 years in charge of the satellite services provider.Spengler joined Intelsat in 2003, and has held various executive positions at the firm since then, including executive vice president, sales, marketing and strategy.He has 30 years experience in the satellite and telecoms industry, and at Intelsat has led the development of the firm’s global mobility network and overseen the development of the company’s next generation satellite platform, Intelsat Epic, the first satellite of which is due to launch in late 2015.Announcing details of his succession plan, McGlade said Spengler’s vision has been “instrumental in driving our next generation strategy, and in building new innovative services with the commercial satellite services we provide.”Spengler said: “Our entire company is focused on delivering services that support the future growth of our customers. I am honoured to lead our team during a period when our technology and services are poised to accelerate the spread of broadband connectivity globally.”
Digital TV technology provider NeuLion is due to showcase its HEVC and 4K/Ultra HD-ready product portfolio at TV Connect next week. NeuLion will demonstrate how its next-generation NeuLion Digital Platform will allow European content right holders to securely stream live and on-demand video content of up to 4K resolution with HEVC and MPEG-DASH to devices including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and games consoles.“We believe that sports and live entertainment will be a key driver for consumer adoption of 4K digital content. As operators continue to embrace TV Everywhere on multiple screens, NeuLion will provide sports and entertainment content rights holders with live and on-demand video delivery up to 4K on any consumer device,” said NeuLion co-founder executive vice-president Chris Wagner.“In 2014 alone, NeuLion streamed more than 50,000 live events, reinforcing our view that access to live sports and entertainment on-the-go is a must for fans today.”NeuLion’s partners include sports leagues and content providers including the NBA, NFL, NHL, the World Surf League, Sky and Univision. The firm’s end-to-end technology platform enables digital content management, distribution and monetisation for content owners around the world.Earlier this year, NeuLion bought video technology specialist DivX in a US$62.5 million (€52.1 million) deal that it said will place it at the forefront of the 4K OTT video market and give it broader global reach.
Sony, Warner Bros. and Singtel-backed SVoD service Hooq is about to launch in India one of the international markets where Netflix has yet to roll out.Hooq was announced in January, at which point the three partners outlined plans to launch in Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Thailand. It has already launched in the Philippines and Thailand.The Indian launch has now been confirmed and a beta version launches today ahead of a full roll out next month. Priced at RS199 per month, Hooq will have a line-up of Hollywood movies from partner studios and third parties.It will also have US TV series. Across features and TV, it claims a 10,000-15,000 strong line-up and titles include Harry Potter, Friends and Gossip Girl.The monthly sub allows customers to watch Hooq’s shows on up to five connected devices. The service is run by former Globe Telecom and Virgin Mobile Australia boss Peter Bithos.At Hooq’s launch he said: “We are starting this venture to change the way people across Asia view entertainment. Today, across developing markets, there is limited access to quality entertainment, streamed directly to the screen of one’s choice. It’s either illegal, high cost or difficult to get. We aim to fix that.”SVOD leader Netflix has been expanding rapidly outside of its domestic US market. It has never specifically talked about an Indian launch, but has committed to rolling out in almost all major international territories within two years, suggesting it is inevitable.
Jonathan JamesSwedish cable operator Com Hem’s chief operating officer, Jonathan James, has resigned from the company and will leave at the end of June.James, who has served as COO at Com Hem for two and a half years, helped oversee the rollout of the TiVo advanced TV service and his period at the operator saw the group upgrade its broadband service and reduce churn as it refocused on customer service. Com Hem also entered the B2B market by acquiring Phonera.Com Hem staff reporting to James will now report direct to the CEO as part of the planned transition, according to Com Hem.“I would like to thank Jon for playing an instrumental role in the rapid development of Com Hem, in particular the transformation of our customer satisfaction. His drive and extensive experience from the UK have been very beneficial, as intended when he joined the Com Hem team for this phase of development of the Company,” said Anders Nilsson, CEO of Com Hem. “I feel proud of what we have achieved at Com Hem. With our new brand successfully launched, the time felt right to leave for the next challenge. The company is in excellent shape, with a strong plan and an outstanding depth of talent and I am entirely confident that Com Hem’s success will continue,” said James.
Christian DanklProSiebenSat.1 has poached a digital exec from Disney’s Maker Studios to run its ad-supported VOD services. Christian Dankl will be the German broadcaster’s CEO of AVOD.The role is a new one at ProSieben, which recently reorganised its digital business.That internal restructure saw ProSieben COO Christopher Wahl take the chairman role at the digital unit, which in turn was split into Digital Ventures & Commerce and Digital Entertainment divisions.Dankl will oversee the AVOD products in the Digital Entertainment unit including the websites associated with ProSieben’s family of channels, the Studio71 MCN business, and multiplatform marketing business SevenOne Media.He will report to Christof Wahl. At Maker, the Disney-owned MCN, he was a vice president, based in its London offices. Prior to that he was at AdKnowledge and Sony.ProSieben is on a diversification drive and has told investors digital is a key part of that, setting itself a goal of generating US$1.7 billion from digital products and services by 2018.
Japan is on track to meet its target of take-up of UHD TV by 50% of the country’s viewers by 2020, according to Suga Masayuki.The deputy director of Japan’s ministry of internal affairs and communications said that 4K and 8K full satellite licences were issued to 19 channels operated by 11 organisations in January this year.Full broadcasting via satellite is now scheduled to start in December 2018, Masayuki told attendees at MIPTV in Cannes this morning. “We expect the launch of full broadcast next year will be a big step towards our 2020 target.”Masayuki said government needed to collaborate with retailers and manufacturers to get the message about 4K and 8K migration across to consumers.Japan has set a target of 2020 to complete the necessary steps to deliver UHD TV broadcasting for the Olympic Games, with a target of 50% of homes in Japan being able to watch 4K broadcasts by that year. The government expects penetration of 4K TVs to hit 50% by 2020 and 100% by 2025. “We are focusing on raising awareness,” said Masayuki. “We need to provide consumers with comprehensive information to avoid confusion.”Masayuki said that private and public organisations were working together to further 4K and 8K. The ministry is to set up a forum to discuss how to take UHD TV forward and develop strategy.