Western Australia’s RSLs and cultural clubs could start serving tourists, in a dramatic plan to change the state’s liquor licensing laws. WA Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said that clubs were a centre of communities and cultural events and should be allowed to advertise food and drink deals to tourists. Chief of WA pubs and clubs, Peter Seaman said that if members left a club at one time, tourists could technically be drinking or eating illegally there. Mr Seaman also argued that clubs should not be restricted from hosting tourists at community functions because this would create another revenue stream. The clubs, which are struggling financially because of demographic change, gentrification and lack of interest want to be able to serve tourists who come through their doors, the West Australian reported. Source = ETB News: T.N.
Categories: News 14Mar House bills increase curriculum flexibility State Rep. Ed McBroom and fellow Republican and Democrat lawmakers today unveiled legislation at the Jackson Academy for Manufacturing Careers/Jackson Area Career Center that will allow Michigan high school students the flexibility to explore career and vocational training education options. Education leaders, job providers, and labor and business groups joined the lawmakers for the announcement.A two-bill legislative package unveiled today would modify the Michigan Merit Curriculum so high school students have the flexibility to explore career and vocational training education options.Reps. Ed McBroom, Joel Johnson, Aric Nesbitt, Peter Pettalia and Dale Zorn today hosted a news conference at the Jackson Academy for Manufacturing Careers/Jackson Area Career Center to make the announcement with education leaders, job providers, labor and business groups, and Democrat lawmakers that support the plan.“To fill local manufacturers’ job demands, JAMA’s Academy for Manufacturing Careers partnered with The Enterprise Group of Jackson to administer a nationally recognized apprenticeship program,” said Annette Norris, AMC’s director. “Career and technical education programs best prepare students to fill the entry-level skilled positions.”The academy was started in 2005 to provide skilled trades-related technical instruction and apprenticeship training programs to meet the workforce needs of manufacturers across south-central Michigan.McBroom said the academy was an excellent example for the necessity of Michigan’s education system to help prepare students for the workforce with a head start on training.“High school students will be more successful in school and in life if they have classes and experiences that interest them,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “The effort to improve education in Michigan through a state curriculum that forces all students on the same learning path is a disservice to our children’s future and the diverse needs of society and our workforce.”McBroom’s legislation allows high school graduation requirements to include two additional math credits as an alternative to Algebra II; agri-science and anatomy as additional science options, and U.S. History is added; a half credit each of health education and physical education is required, although the PE credit can be earned through participation in school-approved extra-curricular physical activity, such as athletics.His bill also promotes increased availability of the arts and emphasizes foreign language courses prior to high school grades, when students may be more adept at learning them.Johnson’s measure will allow for a higher degree of local control by opening the opportunity for a personalized curriculum developed by the student, parents, teacher and school district that meets the student’s individual goals and specific needs.“Our education system must include a variety of learning opportunities, but it should be parents and the students in cooperation with our local educators who determine which option will meet their aptitudes and aspirations,” said Johnson, R-Clare. “There’s no way the state can be the best judge for individuals, nor should it be trying.”Personalized curriculums are currently allowed on a very limited basis and this bill eliminates existing caps and provides additional areas for credit approval to meet state high school diploma requirements, such as vocational technical or career education courses.“I believe these bills contain much needed reform to move us away from a one-size-fits-all education system,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “By offering our students the opportunity to develop vital vocational skills, we are making an investment that will strengthen Michigan’s workforce, ensure that parents and students are provided options to maximize educational opportunities, and create an environment where our talented youth choose to stay here and raise a family.”The lawmakers were joined by Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Home Builders Association, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Michigan Restaurant Association, Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, Michigan State Employees Association and Operating Engineers Local 324.Pettalia was encouraged by the range of support the legislation has garnered.“The showing today of people who have stepped forward to support flexibility in our high school curriculum is proof this issue is universally important across the board,” said Pettalia, R-Presque Isle. “These are all stakeholders who have an interest in a successful Michigan future, but there is no larger stakeholder we must be concerned about serving than those not necessarily before us today – our children and students.”The measures are now before the House Education Committee for consideration.
Categories: Hughes News 16Jan Hughes appointed vice chair of Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Legislator to serve on Energy Policy, Health Policy, Commerce and Trade committeesState Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, this week was appointed to serve as vice chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in the 98th Legislature. The second-term lawmaker previously served as a member of the committee during the 2011-2012 session.“Taking care of those who have served our nation is a responsibility I take very seriously,” Hughes said. “It will be an honor to help deliberate important policy decisions that will affect our military, veterans and their families as I represent our hometown to the best of my ability.”The West Michigan lawmaker will also serve as a member of the House committees on Energy Policy, Health Policy, and Commerce and Trade.“Serving on each of these committees will be challenging, but I look forward to working with my colleagues as we continue to help improve the quality life in our Great Lakes State,” Hughes said. “Each decision we make can create positive changes in the lives of Michiganders, and I’m honored to be a part of that continued effort.”Rep. Hughes invites local residents to contact the office with suggestions, concerns and questions any time toll-free at (877) 633-0331, by email at HollyHughes@house.mi.gov or online at RepHollyHughes.com.###
Tags: #SB Categories: Featured news,News,Runestad News Op-ed by State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White LakeThe 396 Michigan public libraries serve five million children, teens and adults. Today, more than ever, libraries serve a critical need in our society. Our libraries provide computer access for state business, Secretary of State’s driver license and registration renewals, Michigan Works, Federal tax filing, job hunting and career building along with providing small business resources. For many Michigan residents, a public library is their only means of Internet access. In 2015 children, teens and adults made 53 million visits to the library.Communities support their libraries and 98% of library funding is local. Voters go to the polls and choose to support their libraries by approving a dedicated library millage. Many times tax capture authorities such as DDAs or TIFAs take a portion of this millage to use on their own projects. These locally dedicated taxes — approved by voters for library funding — maybe captured without the knowledge or approval of the voting taxpayers.When proposed special library mileages disclose the required tax capture allocation, the mileages are more easily defeated. Moreover, when the tax capture is not transparent and the voters do not understand where these funds are being diverted, the voters will be less likely to support the library in the future.When voters approve a millage they expect that money will go to that purpose, in this case, the library. Astoundingly, one library in our state is subject to thirteen separate tax captures siphoning from their millage. More dollars are being captured from this library than the library spends on all collections material for the year; books, eBooks, videos, DVDs and audio. Another library has the equivalent of 47% of their budget captured. Libraries are faced with eliminating resources, services and programming for their public; cutting staff and reducing the hours they remain open.Libraries want to be partners and have a seat at the table to work in collaboration with these entities investing in our communities. Once signed by our governor, legislation passed this year will ensure more transparency and respect for the voters’ choice at the ballot box and give libraries a voice. This new legislation would allow libraries to opt-in for tax capture if they determine the project would be right for their patrons. For example, if the tax capture would enable the development of a new downtown parking lot creating more accessibility, the library could allow the tax capture. Giving libraries the option to opt-in or out of tax captures will require more discussion of the value of the capture with the library board and the community.Most tax captures work harmoniously with their community partners. When the DDA in Milford was formed they worked with the library, and other special mileages to be sure they were mutually supportive. Libraries would continue to support community projects under this legislation. In addition, with the implementation of these new laws, libraries would not be able to pull out of any tax capture with a bond or long-term debt that has already been guaranteed. Tax capture entities can make essential projects for our communities come to life. Bringing libraries to the table will expand the dialogue and broaden the base of voter support for future projects.##### 29Dec Libraries provide essential community resources
State Rep. Aaron Miller today voted in favor of a budget that provides additional funding for veterans courts.The House judiciary budget bill includes an additional $436,000 for specialty courts aimed at treating military veterans and active-duty personnel, bringing total funding to $936,000.“The men and women who serve in our military make enormous sacrifices, and often struggle when it comes time to adjust back into life as a civilian,” said Miller, of Sturgis. “These specialty courts give veterans who commit minor offences an opportunity to receive treatment for mental health issues and addiction problems, helping them heal and reducing the probability that they will end up in trouble with the law again.”The budget also preserves funding for other problem-solving courts, providing mental health courts with $5.5 million and drug treatment courts with $11.8 million.According to the State Court Administrative Office, graduates of the state’s 185 drug, sobriety, mental health and veterans courts are two- to three-times less likely to reoffend, and such programs have reduced participant unemployment by 74 percent.The judiciary budget moves to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.### 29Mar Rep. Miller votes to boost funding for veterans courts Categories: Miller News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Image Source: Orange County ArchivesJune 11, 2014;San Diego LGBT WeeklyCalling it a “relic of an age of prejudice,” Attorney General Eric Holder has come out against the Boy Scouts’ policy disallowing gays and lesbians from serving as Scout Leaders. Holder said that the BSA, as “an iconic American institution,” in discriminating “only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes.”Holder made his remarks on the matter at an event run by Lambda Legal, a gay civil rights group. As readers may remember, last month, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, known for dismantling the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the U.S. military, was confirmed as president of the BSA, but at that time he revealed that he had no intention of re-raising the decision made a little more than a year ago to allow openly gay scouts but continue to exclude gay Scout Leaders.It will be interesting to see if Holder has other plans for challenging the Boy Scouts. As I said then, whether or not to engage this issue may not be up to Gates, but maybe he needs the pressure to come from without.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
SES has signed a capacity and uplink deal with Netherlands-based Scope Media TV for the free-to-air distribution of African Television (AFTV) via Astra’s 23.5° East orbital position.Supported by various African broadcasters and embassies, AFTV aims to promote African culture, lifestyle, business and current affairs. AFTV will use the Astra distribution for DTH broadcasting and delivery to cable and IPTV operators in Europe. AFTV will commence its transmissions on 1 April 2012.Larry Omodia, director of operations at AFTV said, “Africa is in many respects a beautiful continent, undergoing a very rapid economic development. Our aim is to show and demonstrate this to as many people outside Africa as possible. The launch of a dedicated television channel is therefore a logical step. We have selected SES as our satellite distribution partner in Europe because of its high quality distribution and wide European household reach. Moreover, SES demonstrated a strong belief and support towards our mission and vision.”
French media regulator the CSA could recommend the effective separation of Canal Plus’s free and pay TV activities as a possible condition for approval by the French competition authority of its acquisition of Bolloré-owned channels Direct 8 and Direct Star, according to a report in news magazine Le Point.According to the magazine, the CSA – which was asked by the competition regulator to provide an opinion on the merger – is not opposed to the acquisition of the free-to-air channels, which it believes will provide competition to existing free broadcasters TF1 and M6.However, in order to limit Canal Plus’s ability to carry its existing buying power for movies, sports and rights to TV series into the free TV world, it is raising the idea that purchasing of free and pay TV rights should be separated into distinct operational units for free and pay. It has also raised the possibility that Canal Plus could be limited in the number of series it can buy from Hollywood studios, according to the magazine.In order to create a stronger separation between free and pay, the CSA is also proposing a number of possible scenarios, such as ownership of Direct 8 and Direct Star by Vivendi rather than Canal Plus, or the separation of advertising sales arms, according to Le Point. Finally, the CSA is arguing that Bolloré-backed media buying agency Havas will have to be made to act in a non-discriminatory way when Bolloré becomes a shareholder in Vivendi as a result of the channels deal.Earlier this month, Le Point also reported exclusively that the CSA would recommend that a highly restrictive set of conditions be placed on Canal Plus to greenlight for a second time its 2006 merger with TPS, currently under review by the competition authority.
Winning only 400,000 subscribers after one year of operation would be an “enormous failure” for Al Jazeera’s French sports channel venture, according to chief executive Charles Biétry.Biétry told journalists that he couldn’t yet reveal subscriber numbers for the beIN Sport 1 channel, which launched at the beginning of June. Its sister channel beIN Sport 2 is set to launch on July 27.Biétry said actual figures would only be available in a few weeks. However, he said the service was attracting new subscribers daily. He refused to confirm that 400,000 subscribers was the target the group had set and declined to say what the group would need to break even, but said that this number would not be sufficient to meet beIN Sport’s ambitions.
Polish pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat has launched its own mobile messaging service, Halo. The application is available to all Cyfrowy Polsat subscribers.Cyfrowy Polsat HSPA+ and LTE mobile internet users can use the app to deliver free voice and text without affecting their data allocation.Users can download the app and install it on three selected devices. The service provides an integrated address book and call history.
Universal Networks International’s 13th Street Universal is to launch on the Cyfrowy Polsat pay TV platform in Poland at the beginning of April.According to UNI, the launch of 13th Street will complement its existing portfolio of channels on Cyfrowy Polsat, including Universal Channel, Universal HD, Scifi Universal and E! Entertainment Television.13th Street Universal’s launch will be supported by the Polish premiere of Psycho prequel show Bates Motel, acquired from NBC Universal International Television Distribution.“The launch of 13th Street Universal on Cyfrowy Polsat underscores UNI’s commitment to the channel in Poland,” said Tariq Syed, managing director, central Europe, Universal Networks International. “We are delighted to deliver Polish viewers thrilling crime and suspense content including the premiere of Bates Motel – only a few weeks after its US debut.”
Hybrid TV technology and aggregation specialist Vision247 has added to the raft of channels it is streaming to connected Freeview devices.New channels on the platform include France24, TVC, Best Direct ShowcaseTV, BelieveTV, GodTV and ACBN. The services will join over 20 existing news, sport and lifestyle channels delivered by Vision247 via channel 244 on the Freeview EPG.Vision247’s addition of France24 is designed to target the 300,000 French nationals that live in the UK, while TVC News offers 24-hour news with an African perspective.Best Direct is a shopping channel that offers a variety of home, kitchen, fitness, health and beauty, and DIY products, while ShowcaseTV offers a mix of entertainment and home shopping 24 hours a day.The list of new services is completed by religious channels BelieveTV, God TV and the Africa Christian Broadcasting Network’s international service.“The way people are consuming TV is changing. People want more choice to watch what they want whenever they want it. VisionTV™ is making this possible through the unique capability of FreeviewHD to provide connected services to the home.” She added “We are already working on our new portal which will launch in the New Year, allowing VisionTV to host unlimited number of free to air and unlimited number of subscribed channels. We are heading towards some very exciting times,” said Petra Oblak, CEO of Vision247.
French operator Numericable-SFR has launched its download-to-own store, VideoStore by Numericable, giving users access to a library of about 120 films at launch.Numericable-SFR has signed deals with five Hollywood studios to secure content for the service.Prices for movies begin at €5.99. Highlights include Luc Besson’s new science-fiction movie Lucy, which is available for €13.99.Unlike the rival service from Orange, which allows users to purchase and stream films via their Livebox devices to the TV, the Numericable-SFR service allows viewers to download movies direct to their box as well as via PC, smartphone or tablet.The operator has signed deals with 20th Century Fox, FranceTV Distribution, Gaumont, DreamWorks Animation, Disney and Disney Pixar for the service.The download-to-own service is currently available via Numericable’s La Box Fibre device to about 400,000 subscribers, but the operator plans to make it available to SFR subscribers soon.Once purchased, movies are stored in the cloud for viewing across multiple devices. Titles can be purchased on tablets or smartphones via Numericable’s own website.Titles available at launch include Planet of the Apes, Rio, Ice Age X-Men, 12 Years a Slave, Jimmy’s Hall, Belle et Sébastien, Avis de Mistral, The Snow Queen and Iron Man 3.
Cinegy, which develops and produces software technology for digital video processing, asset management, video compression, automation and playout, will use IBC to launch what it has dubbed the Cinegy JET Pack, an all-in-one media management annual subscription product for playout, graphics and branding, ingest and encoding, monitoring, live production and mixing, and transcoding.JET Pack is available as an annual subscription for €1,995, including updates.The Cinegy JET Pack includes Cinegy Air PRO real-time playout server and multi-channel broadcast automation software, Cinegy Capture PRO software for real-time ingest, Cinegy Multiviewer – four channels of multi-channel video monitoring software, Cinegy Live mixing and cutting software;,and Cinegy Convert transcoding and batch processing software.All are available on a single annual subscription basis, or for purchase if desired.Cinegy’s Head of Product Management, Lewis Kirkaldie, will present “Cloudy with a Chance of Media” in IBC’s Content Everywhere Technology in Action Theatre, located in Hall 3, on Friday September 11 at 14:00.The presentation will be introduced by BBC Northern Ireland and will highlight how IP and cloud-based facilities can be safe, effective, and beneficial in a traditionally conservative world of broadcast-engineering software.Kirkaldie will then highlight what has emerged from Cinegy’s R&D labs and how those developments have manifested themselves in the launch of JET Pack.“JET Pack represents a major step-change in how to economically get a channel on air. Over the last 10 years our Cinegy product set has been technically proven to deliver business efficiencies during operations. With the introduction of JET Pack, the practice of spending hard-earned capital to buy multiple software products for installation on multiple big iron machines can join corded telephones in the museum,” said Cinegy CEO Jan Weigner.“Now all you need is one Cinegy dongle and an annual subscription to provide a vast range of media management functions, all at a fraction of the cost to which most are accustomed. JET Pack can also be purchased for €4,995 including the first year of updates. That’s more than €20,000-worth of software for under 5K. Why not fly First Class and pay for Economy? Our software solutions are already the industry’s most solid and reliable foundation for every stage of the digital production process. We’ve just made its implementation, and the ability to get multiple channels on air quickly and painlessly, infinitely easier and so cost-effective that we know it’s going to take off in a big way. That’s why we’ve called it JET Pack.”Cinegy will exhibit at IBC on stand 7.A30
Ukrainian OTT TV service Divan.tv has teamed up with device manufacturer Dune HD to make its service available form the Dune Store.Dune HD users will gain access to freemium content offered by Divan.tv, including 30 TV channels, 100 radio stations and on-demand movies and cartoons.In addition to its freemium offering, Divan’tv offers a premium subscription tier including includes Russian, Armenian, Georgian, Belorussian, Ukrainian and other European TV channels.“Divan.tv offers not only a unique service to customers, but also cares about content that is able to best suit their unique requirements,” said marketing director Yuriy Alexeyev. “That’s why we have freemium and premium offering.”
The European Parliament, the European Commission and member states have reached an agreement on implementing new rules to enable content portability, allowing EU citizens to view services they subscribe to no matter where they are in the Union.The deal is the first covering the modernisation of EU copyright rules proposed in the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy.Under the new rules, online content service providers will verify their subscribers’ country of residence by using means such as payment details, the existence of an internet contract or by checking the IP address.All providers that offer paid online content services will have to follow the new rules. However, providers of free services, including the online services of public TV or radio broadcasters, will have discretion in deciding whether to enable portability or not.The agreed text must now be formally confirmed by the EU Council and the Parliament. Once adopted, the rules will be applicable in all EU Member States by the beginning of 2018 as the Regulation grants providers and right holders a nine-month period to prepare for the application of the new rules.The agreement on content portability comes at the same time as the end of mobile roaming charges within the EU. Mobile operators will no longer be able to levy roaming charges from June 15 this year, meaning that mobile users will be able to access content using their existing mobile data allowances no matter where they are in the EU.The EU authorities have been at pains to emphasise the limited impact of the regulation on “the business models of rights holders and service providers”.The rules will make any provision in existing contracts that limits cross-border portability unenforceable, reducing the scope for legal conflict. The EU is not obliging service providers to ensure quality of delivery across borders, which would incur additional costs.Service providers will however be obliged to make content available across the same range of devices and under the same rules as it is available in the their home countries.Commenting on the latest move, EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, in charge of education, culture, youth and sport, said: “Digital technologies provide new opportunities to enjoy cultural content on the go, and people are eager to use them. Today’s agreement opens new doors to citizens while at the same time protecting creators and those investing in the production of cultural or sport content. This balanced solution is an encouraging sign for our efforts to build a Digital Single Market that offers new opportunities for both creators and consumers.”Vice-president in charge of the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip meanwhile said that the agreement should be followed by others related to proposals to modernise EU copyright rules to ensure wider access to content across borders.The likely impact of the copyright changes on pay TV and OTT TV service providers, broadcasters and producers is subject to debate, with the Association of Commercial Television in Europe warning that portability rules could undermine the financing of content by limiting right-holders’ ability to sell on a territory-specific basis.Public broadcasters’ organisation the EBU has been more circumspect, arguing that current legal uncertainty and the variation in copyright rules between member states meant that broadcasters were prevented from making their programmes available online. The EBU has also said it does not believe that all geo-blocking of content will be prevented.Other groups such as the Independent Film & Television Alliance and producers group PACT have warned that planned copyright changes could have a deleterious impact on investment in TV and film content.Large pay TV and OTT TV providers are expected to benefit from the changes. However, Tony Gunnarsson, senior analyst at Ovum, told DTVE he did not believe the changes would have a huge impact on OTT service providers.“For the big guys like Netflix and Amazon, which dominate SVOD in Europe, with market shares of 55% and 15% respectably in 2016 – this is unlikely to have any impact as the two services are already available across the region,” he said.“In the past, some content available on for example Netflix might be restricted to certain markets depending on the content distribution rights for particular third-party titles. Therefore, when Netflix subscribers travelled abroad the SVOD catalogue they would see would be the one that is available in that particular country where they are – but access would be allowed through normal logins.”Gunnarsson said that Netflix has shown signs of moving towards a uniform European regional version rather than multiple national versions, with the aim of achieving a 50/50 split between originals and third-party content, and commented that “this new rule may speed up that transition”.While other regional SVOD platforms such as Sky’s Now TV, HBO Nordic or ViaPlay will have to make their services available across the EU to existing subscribers, Gunnarsson said the impact on the rights market would be limited.“The implication of this for third party digital content distribution rights is likely to be negligible, as the providers are likely to make the case that there are no new revenues or new subscribers arising as a result. In short, I don’t think the new EU rules will necessarily impact on OTT video business,” he said.
TheWaveVR, a social virtual reality (VR) platform for music fans, has raised US$6 million in Series A funding.The round was led by RRE Ventures, with participation also coming from Upfront Ventures, KPCB, Greycroft VR Gaming Tracker Fund and The VR Fund.Strategic investors in the round included: Giphy CEO Alex Chung; the co-founder of education organisation General Assembly, Matt Brimer; and Andy Ross from the band OK Go. RRE investor, Alice Lloyd George, joins the company’s board.The new funding takes the total amount raised by TheWaveVR to US$10 million and will allow the company to expand the app’s community tools and port to additional VR platforms. It also coincides with the opening of a new TheWaveVR office in Los Angeles.TheWaveVR lets users interact at virtual music shows and nightclubs and has the potential to move into new areas. Alice Lloyd George commented: “We’re already seeing users explore it for other experiences, from digital art to narrative storytelling to business meetings.”Adam Arrigo, TheWaveVR CEO and co-founder said: “We spent last year nailing down the format for these fully interactive concerts and proved people love our experience; this year we’re focused on how that content gets created and shared.”
Norigin Media has announced the line-up for its new one-day conference, Northern Waves, which is due to take place for the first time in Oslo on May 31.Speakers include TV2 Denmark’s head of development, Magnus Rask Detlif; Canal Digital’s director of TV everywhere and behavioural data, Jon Espen Nergård; and NRK’s head of distribution, Bjarne Andre Myklebust.The keynotes, presentations and case studies at the conference will cover topics including addressable TV ads, data-driven TV, operator analytics, Android TV and the future of public broadcasting.Oslo-headquartered Norigin – a technology company that provides over-the-top TV and video products – said the event is designed to bring together an ‘inner circle’ of professionals in the TV technology and business industry.For more details about Northern Waves, click here.
Vivendi plans to stick with its existing strategy to secure the future of Canal+, despite the loss of key football rights to Mediapro, and to focus on MyCanal as its flagship non-linear platform in the wake of the collapse in subscriptions to SVOD service CanalPlay, according to CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine.Arnaud de PuyfontaineSpeaking to analysts following Vivendi’s solid first-half results, De Puyfontaine said that the pay TV outfit had demonstrated a “very strong performance” in the first half and pointed out that the group would retain Ligue 1 football rights for the next two years before Spanish broadcaster and producer Mediapro’s deal kicks in.De Puyfontaine said that Canal+ had a “very compelling proposition” even without football. He said that, given the strong momentum of the group both in France and internationally, “there is no willingness to change the business model for two years [and] we will focus on what we are currently doing”.Regarding football rights and the entry of Mediapro in the French market, De Puyfontaine told analysts that “the worst decision” would have been to overpay for Ligue 1 rights to the extent that he believes Mediapro has.“We’re not going to jeopardise our momentum by paying a price that…is totally disconnected from the capacity of the customer base to pay for that product,” he said.Referring to the collapse in the CanalPlay’s subscriber base, De Puyfontaine said that Canal+ CEO Maxime saada had indicated that he wanted to focus on developing MyCanal, describing it as “the best consumer experience to consume the fantastic portfolio of films, TV series and programmes on Canal+”.He confirmed that Vivendi’s short-forum mobile-focused app, Studio+, would be closed down, but said that this would enable the group to allocate more resources to develop Canal+.Separately, Vivendi has written its stake in Telecom Italia down by €512 million in its first-half results, which De Puyfontaine said was to account for “risks associated with the execution of [the group’s] plan”, given Vivendi’s reduced power to participate in its policy decision-making following activist investor Elliott’s boardroom coup earlier this year.
Digital accounted for 72.3% of video revenues in the UK in 2018, but DVD and Blu-ray are still important for delivering the top-selling titles, according to trade body the ERA.The Entertainment Retailer’s Association year-end figures show that last year UK digital video revenues were up 26% year-on-year to £1.689 billion, driven by streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky’s Now TV, as well downloads from Amazon, Apple and the Sky Store.By contrast, physical retail sales were down 16.9% at £616.9 million, while physical video rentals were down 27.7% at £31.7 million.Despite this, the best-selling film-to-own in 2018 was Hollywood musical The Greatest Showman, which sold 2.69m units – 71.3% of them on DVD or Blu-ray disc. The ERA found that of the top 20 films-to-own last year, an average of 74.1% of sales were from physical formats.“Video was arguably entertainment’s most dynamic sector in 2018,” said ERA CEO, Kim Bayley. “Streaming services have transformed the viewing choices of the British public by offering 24/7 access and convenience.“Meanwhile sales figures show the continuing loyalty of video consumers to DVD and Blu-ray, still the default choices for gift-buying and building a video collection.”Overall, physical and digital video revenues reached £2.338 billion in 2018, putting the market 7.4% ahead of its 2012 low-point but still “well below” its historic 2004 high of £2.953 billion.Across all entertainment categories – video, music and games – total physical and digital revenues were up 9.4% year-on-year at £7.537 billion, with the games sector heralded by the ERA as the “biggest winner in digital entertainment’s digital transformation”.For the first time in 2018, games were found to account for more than half of the entire UK entertainment market at 51.3% – some £3.864 billion across physical and digital. This was thanks to growth areas like direct-to-console downloads and mobile and social gaming.“The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment,” said Bayley. “Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest.”