New rules mean greater transparency on citizenship for investment

first_imgIn future the names of legal and auditing companies that arrange citizenship for foreign investors will be made known to the interior committee.However, MP Pavlos Mylonas has added a further request that the committee should make it clear if anyone involved in politics owns such companies.The subject of granting citizenships was brought up by Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis, who said that more than 1,600 people have been naturalised since 2011 under the plan to attract investors, but that there is a lack of transparency.“From January to date alone, there have been 36 naturalisations, from different countries”, Perdikis said, expressing concern that the plasns are not approved by parliament, information is not shared with MPs, some of the documents are not filed with the House, while at the same time the public is only informed about certain statistics.“The bill we have submitted aims to fully inform the House, but also to make public what is permitted. We believe that transparency is the best tool to credit the democratic legitimacy of an administrative practice,” he said.Perdikis added that information about people who have been granted citizenship will be discussed at the next meeting, which the commissioner for personal data will attend as some elements regarding the investors’ names may be confidential.“The intention of the committee is to discuss and conclude the debate, given that Cyprus has been accused of trading in naturalisation. We must, therefore, take effective steps to fortify and protect this instrument of attracting investment, shielding democracy with transparent procedures,” he said.Cyprus has in the past been accused of dodgy deals regarding citizenships. Last September an article in the Guardian newspaper slammed the Cypriot government for granting citizenship to billionaire Russian oligarchs and members of the Ukrainian elite. It referred to the scheme as ‘golden visas’.The finance ministry and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency have dismissed claims that Cypriot passports are for sale and said the programme is simply an investment scheme.Officials have also pointed out that the level of investment required to acquire citizenship is far higher than other European countries offering similar schemes. In Malta, €350,000 must be spent on a residence, and it need only be held for five years. In Cyprus, at least €500,000 of an applicant’s overall investment must be spent on a permanent residence.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Company registrations up 25 in February

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesThe number of company registrations, an indicator of the performance of the business services sector, rose in February 25 per cent to 1,207 compared to the respective month of 2017, the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver said.In the first two months of the year, the number of company registrations went up 19 per cent to 2,405 compared to the respective period last year, the department said.Applications for company names went up an annual 33 per cent last month to 2,720 and 26 per cent to 5,312 in January to February, it said. The submission of other documents rose 11 per cent to 11,273 and 23 per cent to 26,197 respectively.Lastly, the number of certified copies issued rose an annual 8.7 per cent to 26,834 last month and 8.1 per cent to 54,930 in the first two months of the year, the department said.You 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 AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Rep Canfield announces October office hours

first_img13Oct Rep. Canfield announces October office hours State Rep. Edward ‘Ned’ Canfield invites residents of the 84th House District to attend his October office hours.The office hours will be on Monday, Oct. 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Millington Township Hall, located at 8553 State Road in Millington.“These office hours are vital in ensuring that I am on the same page as my constituents,” said Rep. Canfield, R-Sebewaing. “Each and every comment, suggestion, and question that I receive helps me represent the 84th District to the best of my ability.”No appointment is necessary. Residents who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Canfield by phone at (517) 373-0476, or by email at EdwardCanfield@house.mi.gov. Categories: Canfield Newslast_img read more

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Rep Heise announces June office hour event in Plymouth

first_img Categories: News State Rep. Kurt Heise invites residents to meet with him during his June 17 in-district office hour event to share updates and views on state government.“I want to help the 20th District residents in any way I can,” said Rep. Heise, R-Plymouth Township. “So much has happened in Lansing during this legislative session and I hope I can share some details about what the state government has done for our district so far in 2016.”Rep. Heise’s in-district office hours will be 7:30-9 a.m. at Panera Bread, located at 400 S. Main St. in PlymouthRep. Heise is also available to meet with constituents by appointment either in the district or at his Lansing office. Residents are invited to call toll free 1-855-REPKURT or e-mail KurtHeise@house.mi.gov to schedule an appointment. 08Jun Rep. Heise announces June office hour event in Plymouthlast_img read more

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Chatfield to chair new top House committee

first_img Categories: Chatfield News 27Jan Chatfield to chair new top House committee State Rep. Lee Chatfield, of Levering, was appointed chair of the newly-created Michigan Competitiveness Committee by House Speaker Tom Leonard.“Making sure Michigan is well-positioned to compete and win is a top priority,” Chatfield said. “We will chart the best way forward that creates opportunities and attracts people back to our state to live and work, as well as bring in employers to provide better-paying jobs.”Speaker Leonard also named Chatfield chair of the Government Operations Committee which guides House discussions on a wide-range of policy proposals.Chatfield also leads House session as Speaker Pro Tempore, the second in command among 110 representatives.People can contact Rep. Chatfield’s office by calling (517) 373-2629; via email at leechatfield@house.mi.gov; or through his website at www.RepChatfield.com.###last_img read more

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Rep Allor stands up for Michigans natural resources

first_img14Dec Rep. Allor stands up for Michigan’s natural resources Categories: Allor News Allor: Line 5, ‘No Greater than Federal’ bills too risky for Northern MichiganState Rep. Sue Allor this week voted against two pieces of legislation she believes put the purity of Northern Michigan natural resources at risk.Allor, of Wolverine, said she voted against Senate Bill 1197, which allows for the creation of a new authority to oversee the proposed Line 5 tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac, and House Bill 4205, which prevents state agencies from adopting rules stricter than federal benchmarks.“I stand by the decision I made earlier this year to call for an immediate shutdown of Line 5,” Allor said. “Line 5 poses too great of a threat to our Great Lakes to allow its continued operation while Enbridge spends the next 10 years constructing a tunnel.”Allor, who oversees the House’s natural resources budget subcommittee, expressed concerns that House Bill 4205 would hinder efforts to protect Michigan families from chemical water contamination, specifically per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).“There are serious questions as to whether the federal government’s PFAS threshold of 70 parts per trillion is low enough. Some experts believe it should be much lower,” Allor said. “This legislation could seriously hinder our ability to establish safer drinking water standards in Michigan.”Residents may contact Allor’s Lansing office at (517) 373-0833 or SueAllor@house.mi.gov.###last_img read more

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Wendzel testifies in support of commercial fishing legislation

first_img11Jun Wendzel testifies in support of commercial fishing legislation Categories: Wendzel News State Rep. Pauline Wendzel testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Tuesday on her plan to reform commercial fishing regulations in Michigan.“Michigan has some of the most precious natural resources in the world, and it’s important that we have modern regulations in place to protect them,” Wendzel said. This legislation that protects our sport fish will ensure that people continue coming into our state to spend tourism dollars that support our local communities.”Wendzel’s legislation establishes a new statue that protects game fish, regulates gear used by commercial fishers and establishes penalties which will protect sport fisheries.  The statutes currently in place are antiquated and fail to establish best practices when it comes to harvesting fish in the Great Lakes.Representatives of the Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Salmon and Steelheaders Association joined Rep. Wendzel to testify in support of the bill.last_img read more

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UN Declares Detroit Water Shutoffs Violate Human Rights

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares June 24, 2014; Detroit Free PressAs the state government and its foundation partners attempt to pull Detroit out of its unprecedented municipal bankruptcy, problems continue to arise that bedevil the city and present difficult conundrums to everyone involved.In March, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced it would shut off water service to 150,000 delinquent customers. That’s not 150,000 people, but 150,000 customers. The plan was to aim at customers who were more than two months late on their bills with shutoffs for between 1,500 and 3,000 a week.That’s half of the city’s water customers, many very low income, who are delinquent with their water bills. The city’s response is to turn off the water. As context, these customers are facing water rates that have been jacked up 119 percent over the past decade. As the Department proceeded with the water shutoffs, it announced plans for another rate hike of 8.7 percent. Detroiters pay average water bills of $75 a month, compared to the national average of $40 a month.The water department said that the shutoffs aren’t as bad as they look and that it is helping customers develop plans to pay off their delinquent bills. Of the 46,000 shutoff notices sent in May, the Water Department said, only 4,531 customers actually lost water service for any period of time, and most customers who lost their water service had it restored between 24 and 48 hours later. The city also said that most of the shutoffs had been targeted at vacant buildings. Critics have charged—and the department has denied—that commercial customers are not facing shutoff demands like residential customers are.A major U.S. city that is cutting off water service to over one hundred thousand customers? U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-MI) declared the Water Department’s policy as “inhumane.” Earlier in the week, a number of nonprofit organizations appealed to the United Nations to intervene and have water service restored and the shutoffs prevented.The nonprofits involved in the complaint to the United Nations, including the Blue Planet Project, Food & Water Watch, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, and the Detroit People’s Water Board, issued a report. Contrary to the Water Department’s assertions, the Blue Planet report recounted stories of people who had been living without water for weeks or months and described what it saw as the imbalance in the city’s efforts against residential customers and its soft-pedaling actions against commercial and industrial customers.The UN has responded with criticism of Detroit’s actions. “Disconnection of services for lack of means to pay may constitute a violation of the right to water,” said Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. “Disconnection due to non-payment is only permissible if it can be shown that the householder is able to pay but is not paying—in other words, that the tariff is affordable.” It didn’t make Detroit look very good when the UK-based Independent’s coverage of the Detroit story was accompanied by comments from UK water providers who confirmed that they simply don’t do what Detroit Water is doing.“The affordability of water and sanitation services is an aspect of human rights, so there is a need to assess whether the reason for any non-payment is a genuine inability to pay or an unwillingness to pay; the impact of any disconnections for non-payment must be examined to make sure the action is necessary and proportionate,” the UN Rapporteur added. “If water service supplies are disconnected due to non-payment and this has been proven to be due to an inability to pay, there is an immediate obligation to ensure that the individual or household is immediately reconnected.”In the bankruptcy, the Department of Water and Sewerage accounts for $5 billion of the city’s $13 billion accumulated debts. That indebtedness doesn’t exempt a government agency from protecting human rights. The United Nations’ commenting on U.S. municipal government actions as potential violations of human rights ought to grab the attention of all players in the Detroit bankruptcy scenario. Representative Conyers plans to introduce legislation in Congress to restrict Detroit’s ability to shut off water service to delinquent customers, but the slow legislative process seems to be too much to wait for.Foundations have taken huge steps to respond to the needs of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the city’s issues with unfunded pension obligations. With the UN coming down on Detroit—and implicitly the U.S. overall—for its willingness to violate human rights when it comes to water shutoffs against poor people, the philanthropic community and the broader nonprofit community should be mobilizing their financial resources and their moral leverage to reverse Detroit Water’s policies and practices.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Freelancers Union Pulls Out of Health Insurance Markets

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesSeptember 30, 2014; New York TimesOne of the star programs of the Freelancers Union was its provision of affordable health insurance to its 25,000 members in New York State. The Obama administration gave the Freelancers Union a one-year exemption to adjust its insurance offerings to the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, but the Freelancers Union has decided it can’t be done without increasing premiums by about 14 percent. Adding that much cost to its insurance offerings violates why the Freelancers Union went into the insurance business in the first place. Consequently, the Union has decided to get out of the insurance business. Members who had Freelancers Union insurance coverage will be automatically shifted to policies offered by Empire BlueCross BlueShield.Although freelancers were told that the Empire policies basically mirror what the Union had offered, many believe that the truth is different. The new plans do not allow freelancers to go outside a fixed network of doctors, which wasn’t the case with the Union’s policies, and the new network will have one-fifth fewer doctors. The Empire network also apparently has higher co-pays. Because the Empire plans aren’t on the state exchange, it is logical to expect some members of the Freelancers Union toforego the Empire option and shop for policies on the state exchange, where the policies might be more to their liking and potentially eligible for premium subsidies.While the Freelancers Union failed to find an acceptable way of making its insurance offerings ACA-complaint, it hasn’t withdrawn from the healthcare field. Based on a primary care center model that it has already developed and operates in lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, the Union plans to open 15 more centers for independent workers in upper Manhattan, Jersey City, and eventually across the nation in locations such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland, Austin, and San Francisco. These primary care centers would be available to the Freelancers Union membership across the nation, which is reported at approximately 250,000.The Freelancers Union’s membership is only a small part of the freelancer economy. The Union’s own study this year indicated that 53 million people qualify as freelancers, roughly one out of every three people in the labor force, though 14.3 million of those freelancers are “moonlighters” who have primary jobs with traditional benefits and freelance for extra income. Although calling itself a union, the Freelancers Union doesn’t negotiate contract and workforce protections as traditional unions do for their members. How the Freelancers Union’s 25,000 New York members fare in the wake of the organization’s decision to get out of the insurance business will be telling about the future health insurance protection for an increasingly large segment of the American workforce that freelances.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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ProPeace J Street U Plans to Broaden Strategy to OffCampus Audiences

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 22, 2015; Haaretz“Too Zionist for leftist purists, too leftist for right-wing ideologues”…what is J Street U to do? The student organizing arm of J Street, self-described as the “political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” appears to have around 60 active J Street U chapters at American college campuses, but its impact in moving the opinions of the American Jewish community has been limited. This Haaretz article by Chemi Shalev suggests that J Street U is frustrated and making moves that it hopes will make it more effective.The concern is that the American Jewish community both on campus and beyond hasn’t done much to support efforts to reach a two-state peace between Israel and Palestine or to oppose Israeli policies that liberals think might be harming prospects for peace, particularly the West Bank settlements. The intended strategy is to reach beyond college campuses and connect with the Jewish community at large.“The Jewish community was really silent and failed to show support for John Kerry’s peace efforts,” Noa Fleischacker, a senior at Ohio’s Oberlin College and J Street U’s Midwest representative, told Haaretz. “We need to put more pressure so that a message is sent on our behalf that the status quo is not sustainable and that the Jewish community does not support occupation.”While not endorsing the Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) movement, J Street U is going to “speak out strongly and clearly about the danger that settlement expansion poses to Israel’s future and its place in the international community,” as stated in an October 2014 J Street policy document, and call on Jewish groups to take steps that include “providing transparent accounting of funds that pass through their accounts to the settlements, and adopting policies that prohibit funds from flowing to projects that create obstacles to achieving a two-state solution.”The new J Street U activism seems to be related to a delegation’s less-than-warm reception at the Jewish Federation of North America’s 2014 General Assembly meeting in Washington in November. “We tried to bring up the question of the occupation at various discussions and forums,” Fleischacker said, “but with very limited results.” Ben Poor from Occidental College in Los Angeles added, “The whole thing was completely hypocritical: first they say they want students and young people to talk, but when we come and talk to them, they don’t want to listen.”Assembly panelists opposed to J Street apparently told the delegation and others in November that there was rampant anti-Semitism on college campuses and that J Street U’s view on the settlements and the occupation of the West Bank represent the opinions of only two percent of American Jewish students.The hypocrisy of the American Jewish community when it comes to the Israeli peace process is sadly evident, according to J Street U president Benjy Cannon:“[American Jews] support negotiations as long as things are going well but once the talks break down they revert to blaming the Palestinians and absolving Israel of any responsibility. They show a total lack of understanding of what it means for the moral state of our community that we choose to support the status quo.”Another element is the hypocrisy around BDS. J Street U has generally been focused on establishing dialogue with places such as Hillel chapters on campus and organizations like the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations off campus, the latter rejecting J Street’s application to join last April. With J Street’s opposition to the BDS movement, “the right-wingers asked us to help,” says Katherine Muller of Cornell, but dialogue with them ended at the topic of BDS, with nothing further about issues of the settlements, the rights of Palestinians, and more.Having applauded Mahmoud Abbas’s speech in September at New York’s Cooper Union, in which the Palestinian Authority leader specifically acknowledged the contributions of J Street U toward efforts for peace, J Street doesn’t get a lot of support from those who view Palestinians as not worth the negotiating effort. J Street U, nonetheless, appears ready to press the issue of the settlements and their impact, according to Catie Stewart from Brandeis, on “the moral character of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”Given the all-too-obvious political motivations of House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of the U.S. Congress just two weeks before Israeli national elections, J Street U’s challenge to the American Jewish community is well timed. Given its criticism of the settlements and the occupation, J Street U shouldn’t expect a hasbara grant from the Netanyahu government any time soon.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Eastern European pay TV revenues will increase fro

first_imgEastern European pay TV revenues will increase from US$7.5 billion (€5.6 billion) in 2010 to US$9.8 billion in 2016, according to new research from Informa Telecoms & Media. The number of digital TV homes in the region will double in the same five-year period with digital homes more than doubling, taking the total to 148 million by 2016.
However, while there will be a greater number of pay TV subscribers, ARPUs will remain flat between now and 2016, according to Informa.“During the same period ARPU will fluctuate a little, but by 2016 will be essentially unchanged from the 2010 figure of US$10.24,” research manager Adam Thomas said: “Some increases will come as the number of services on offer – and the subsequent tiering of channels and introduction of PPV/VOD packages – rises. But TV ARPU will also be adversely affected, as the impact of dual- and triple-play bundles pushes down prices.”Russia and Poland are eastern Europe’s revenue powerhouses, together accounting for 41% of the region’s US$7.5 billion pay TV revenues in 2010, Informa notes. Their position is set to become stronger during the forecast period – and will account for a combined 44% of the US$9.8 billion pay TV revenues forecast for 2016.last_img read more

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NDS Stand B16 will support HbbTV services but ha

first_imgNDS (Stand B16) will support HbbTV services but has seen relatively little in the way of requests, according to Yves Padrines, vice-president and general manager, EMEA at the interactive TV and content security technology provider.Padrines told DTVE that NDS embraced open standards and would support HbbTV. However, he said that relatively few platform operator customers had made requests. “We will implement HbbTV only on the basis of customer requests and there really haven’t been many requests,” he said.NDS and Tele Columbus announced last year that they had teamed up with Alcatel Lucent to develop new HbbTV offering, with the latter responsible for developing and hosting the service.NDS did use ANGA Cable to showcase HbbTV-based interactive services from Red Bull Media House-owned ServusTV on Tele Columbus set-top boxes.NDS showcased two examples of the integration of new IP-delivered services. The ServusTV branded applications include a streaming channel offering dedicated video content from Terra Mater, a documentary series. The second service demonstrated how content from an event like Red Bull Stratos could be grouped and offered to the audience with the click of one button.Tele Columbus is currently testing an interactive TV portal to make supplementary content and services such as the ServusTV showcase available to subscribers. The service is delivered over broadband to Tele Columbus’ hybrid IP enabled HDTV set-top boxes.Padrines said that the future development of HTML5 could have an impact on the development of services. HbbTV is based on a subset of the CE-HTML standard. NDS also used ANGA Cable to showcase the delivery of content to multiple screens using HTML5 and a Broadcom-based gateway device.last_img read more

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Traditional TV and public screens will remain the

first_imgTraditional TV and public screens will remain the most popular ways for keeping up with sporting action over the summer, according to a YouGov survey conducted for data centre specialist Interxion.While traditional TV at home – 65% – and public screens – 10% – are the most popular medium for watching or listening to sport, 9% will be following the action on personal devices such as a home PC, while 7% will be watching on a laptop, and 3% on a tablet, according to the survey.The biggest priorities for those streaming online content are maintaining consistent connectivity, cited by 21%, quality of sound/picture, cited by 19% and speed of connection, cited by 15%.last_img

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US lawmakers have amended privacy laws clearing t

first_imgUS lawmakers have amended privacy laws, clearing the way for video services such as Netflix to more closely link subscriber’s accounts with Facebook and other social media.Netflix was among a powerful lobbying group calling for the amendment to the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act.That group also included media heavyweights Apple, Disney, Facebook, Google, News Corp., Sony and Time Warner.Under the new rules, signed off by President Obama yesterday, streaming services can share details of content viewed after consumers have given blanket permission. Previously, video providers had to seek permission on a video-by-video basis.The changes to the law mean that Netflix and others can implement new social media features including a Facebook app. It has already sought to link subscriber’s accounts with Facebook in Europe, where privacy rules are different to those in the US.last_img read more

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Attitudes of digital natives – 1524 yearolds –

first_imgAttitudes of ‘digital natives’ – 15-24 year-olds – towards the illicit consumption of online content differ significantly according to which age sub-group they belong to, according to a study of consumption habits by the Hadopi, the commission set up to combat online piracy in France.According to the study 15-18 year-olds are the most concerned about respecting the rights of authors and are likely to feel guilty about downloading content illicitly, while 19-21 year-olds are the least respecting of rights when consuming online content. Older digital natives – 22-24 year-olds – are split in their attitudes, according to the survey.Digital natives typically stream series, user generated content and music videos from a mix of legal and illicit sources, while being more likely to download films and music from illicit sites. They are likely to view streaming inherently as a ‘legitimate’ activity, while viewing the putting online of works to share with others as inherently more serious.last_img read more

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Hungarian broadcast infrastructure provider Antenn

first_imgHungarian broadcast infrastructure provider Antenna Hungária is to add four public TV and three public radio services as well as new service Euronews to its AH MinDig TV mobile application in the next few weeks. MinDig TV is Antenna Hungária’s digital-terrestrial pay TV service.The mobile TV application is a free download for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices.Antenna Hungária has also announced a series of intiatives to build its new media services business, AH ConnectMedia. The unit has already launched a 100Gbps CDN to serve the central and eastern European market.last_img

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Microsoft is set to close MSN TV – a subscription

first_imgMicrosoft is set to close MSN TV – a subscription set-top service dating back to the 1990s, designed to let people access the web from their TVs.In an announcement on the MSN TV site, Microsoft said it was closing the service effective of September 30, claiming that since its inception, “the web has continued to evolve at a breathtaking pace, and there are many new ways to access the internet.”MSN TV, originally known as WebTV, started life in 1996 with a goal to bring new customers online with an “easy, hassle-free means of accessing the internet.”Microsoft bought the WebTV business in 1997 for a reported US$425 million, later rebranding as MSN TV before the launch of a second generation of the service MSN TV 2.The news comes after Ericsson agreed to buy Microsoft’s IPTV platform business Mediaroom in April, with Microsoft claiming that it will commit 100% of its consumer TV strategy to its Xbox games console, which already acts as a gateway to web-powered video services.In its last quarterly earnings report, Microsoft said that its console-focused entertainment service Xbox Live now has more than 46 million members worldwide, an 18% year-on-year increase. Its Entertainment and Devices Division – which includes its Xbox assets, as well as Skype and Windows Phone – posted revenue of US$2.53 billion (€1.94 billion) in the three months ending March 31, up 56% on last year.last_img read more

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Interactive TV game publisher Visiware is partneri

first_imgInteractive TV game publisher Visiware is partnering with Samsung to launch a new adaptation of the game Who Wants to be a Millionaire for Samsung smart TVs. The free app is available to download from the Samsung TV app store and offers a multi-screen experience with up to four players able to connect their iOS and Android smartphones and tablets to the TV to play the game.The game can also be played using the television remote or with the voice and gesture recognition included in Samsung smart TVs.“While the casual game market is booming on cell phones and tablets, the technological breakthroughs of major equipment manufacturers such as Samsung are now enabling us to develop equivalent gaming experiences for the television, experiences that are sometimes even more innovative and convergent,” said Colas Overkott, CEO of Visiware.last_img read more

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BTs Gavin Patterson BT reported a 10 increase in

first_imgBT’s Gavin PattersonBT reported a 10% increase in profits at its consumer division during the fiscal first quarter, which it attributed to the “benefit of BT Sport and the take-up of fibre broadband.”Announcing its results for the three months ending June 30, BT said that within its BT Consumer unit it recorded 26% growth in broadband and TV revenue thanks to the impact of BT Sport.The operator said that BT Sport – which has the rights to show live Premier League football and Premiership rugby – had a strong quarter with “continued growth” in its residential subscriber base.More than 19,000 commercial premises, including pubs and hotels, have also now signed up for BT Sport.In terms of its overall TV customer base, BT said that it started the exchange of legacy set-top boxes in the quarter with new YouView boxes, which resulted in “some TV customer churn.”BT said it removed 35,000 inactive customers from its TV base in the quarter. Excluding these, it added 40,000 TV customers.“The second season of BT Sport is about to start with a great line-up of content and it will continue to be free with BT Broadband.  We are building on solid foundations and I am confident we will deliver on our strategy,” said BT CEO Gavin Patterson.“Our fibre broadband network now covers more than twenty million premises.  We are passing over 70,000 additional premises each week and demand is strong with more than three million already signed up.”BT said that, including businesses, it added 104,000 retail broadband customers in the quarter – 64% of the DSL and fibre broadband market net additions.Fibre also continued to grow strongly with 226,000 BT retail fibre broadband net additions, up 15%, taking the customer base to over 2.3m.Overall, revenues dropped by 2% to £4.35 billion. However, BT said underlying revenue excluding transit – the “key measure” of the group’s revenue trend – was up 0.5%. EBITDA was flat year-on-year at £1.44 billion, while pre-tax profit was up 22% to £546 million.Separately, BT announced yesterday that BT Sport has secured the rights to broadcast Germany’s home friendly football matches and the rights to the DFB Cup, Germany’s football equivalent of England’s FA Cup.last_img read more

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Comcast is due to begin trialling a new streaming

first_imgComcast is due to begin trialling a new streaming cable service in the US, called Stream, as part of its efforts to “provide TV choices for everyone.”Stream will be available to Comcast Xfinity Internet customers, who will be able to watch live TV channels on laptops, tablets and phones in their home.The service, which will be priced at US$15 per-month, will offer around 12 live networks – including all the major US broadcast networks and HBO.It will also offer thousands of on-demand movies and shows to watch inside or outside the home, as well as access to TV Everywhere and cloud DVR content.Comcast said that Stream is “unlike anything we’ve ever offered” and will go live first in Boston at the end of the summer. Comcast will then roll it out to Chicago and Seattle, with plans to make the service available everywhere in the firm’s footprint by early 2016.“It’s an exciting time to be a TV fan – there is more quality content than ever and seemingly limitless ways to keep up with all the shows and movies people are talking about,” said Matt Strauss, executive vice-president and general manager, video services, for Comcast Cable.“We’ll continue to experiment by creating offerings like Stream, so that users can choose the service that works best for them. So if you love TV and spend most of your time with the screen in your lap as opposed to the one on the wall, Stream may just be the thing for you.”The move comes after US pay TV rival Dish TV fully launched its similar Sling TV OTT TV service in the US in February. Sling TV offers live access to some 15 channels for US$20 (€18) per-month.last_img read more

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