<< Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, February 23, 2018 Michael Smith Tags: Hong Kong, Trend Watch TORONTO — The Hong Kong Tourism Board celebrated the Year of the Dog at Susur Lee’s Luckee last night with plenty of good news, like the 58.4 million visitor arrivals in 2017. That includes 370,000 arrivals from Canada.The HKTB is looking to keep up the forward momentum with its ‘Best of All, It’s in Hong Kong’ campaign which encourages visitors to discover Hong Kong like a local.“We have identified various experiences to feature under the best campaign,” says Michael Lim, Director-Canada, Central & South America, Hong Kong Tourism Board.Susur Lee shows how to make his famous slawFor Canadians visiting Hong Kong, those experiences are culture, dining, attractions, Chinese festivals and the great outdoors, he adds.The city is also seeing new hotels with an additional 34 hotels being developed by the end of the year, taking the capacity to over 85,000 rooms.There’s also a new initiative to promote Hong Kong neighbourhoods with the launch of Old Town Central, positioned as a melting pot of arts, culture and entertainment.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaPart of the Old Town Central messaging includes five themed walking routes for clients looking to explore the neighbourhoods at their own pace. The next neighbourhood is Sham Shui Po and will be launched in late March. Sham Shui Po is home to multiple historic sites, characteristic architecture, religious buildings, local diners, hawker stalls, shopping malls and bazaars.In other news, the famous ‘A Symphony of Lights’ light and sound show, performed daily at Victoria Harbour, has gotten a refresh, with a new edition making its debut in December 2017 with even more dazzling elements and a new soundtrack performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.The most revealing statistic from last night’s reception was the destination’s popularity as part of a multi-destination trip for clients.“Over 90% of Canadian visitors [to Hong Kong] are on a multi-destination itinerary,” said Lim. “We’ll be leveraging on this to accelerate our co-ops with China, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam. New multi-destination itineraries will be developed with our airlines and tour operator partners.”With 14 direct flights daily from Canada to Hong Kong, the destination is definitely a hub to Asia for Canadians. This is how the tourism board is looking to leverage itself with other destinations:More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaChinaWorking with the China National Tourist Office, they are focused on ensuring Hong Kong is included on the itinerary when consumers are thinking of visiting the rest of China. They will be continuing a digital campaign with the micro-site china-hongkong.ca.ThailandAnother partner is the Tourism Authority of Thailand, with two campaigns. The first is a 20-page feature in Fashion Magazine’s summer issue and a hub on fashionmagazine.com. They will also be working with OTA Travelzoo on an eight-week campaign.TaiwanHaving seen success working with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau on B2B initiatives, they will continue to work with the destination through the website 2storiesonetrip.com, offering various packages from tour operators.VietnamThey feel the destination is gaining interest this year and will be working on new initiatives this year and exploring various tactical opportunities with trade partners.For more information, go to partnernet.hktb.com. Posted by Share Hong Kong is part of a multi-destination itinerary and they know it
“We had a good meeting; he was a good dude,” Washington said. “Got a lot to understand about what’s going on.”Washington, 26, made the Pro Bowl last season after racking up 134 total tackles to go along with nine sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. One of the best young linebackers in the NFL, his offseason was marred by the suspension as well as an arrest on domestic violence charges.His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 9, and whether or not that will lead to him missing more games remains to be seen. In the meantime, Washington, who missed practice Tuesday to go to the Big Apple, will just keep working to get his career back on track.Saying the meeting was worthwhile if only to allow the league executive see what kind of person he was off the field, all the linebacker can do is move forward. “I’m going to keep my head up, put a smile on my face and be ready to play.” – / 31 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Daryl Washington was hoping for a better result of a trip to New York to meet with NFL executives about his four-game suspension.“I thought it was a good interview in New York but I didn’t get the news I wanted to here,” the linebacker said Thursday. “I think that’s just motivation for me to come back stronger (after) these four games.”Washington, who was suspended for a quarter of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy back in April, wanted to talk with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the matter, but instead met with the league’s Vice President for Law and Labor Policy, Dr. Adolpho Birch. Top Stories 0 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Michael Wilhoite during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Really dirty play here by Michael Wilhoite, throwing down @LarryFitzgerald after the whistle. pic.twitter.com/sLfOtnpnmp— Corey Cohen (@CoreyECohen) October 7, 2016Wilhoite must have not gotten the message … don’t disrespect Fitz. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Comments Share There’s a lot for Arizona Cardinals fans to be angry about this season. One San Francisco 49ers defender only added fuel to the fire.Five minutes into the first quarter in a scoreless game, the Cardinals had the ball and were flagged for a false start.It was a tad late of a call, so Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton threw the ball anyways. Many whistles ensued before Larry Fitzgerald caught the ball and continued right when it hit his hands. Apparently the whistles didn’t mean anything to linebacker Michael Wilhoite. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Investigations at the red lake in Mitsero finished on Wednesday after failing to show any indication of the third body that suspected serial killer Nikos Metaxas told authorities he dumped there.After a break at midday, more examinations were conducted by authorities and squads at the scene, using sonar. The northern and western parts of the lake were examined for the third suitcase which is believed to contain the body.Earlier in the day, a heavy object had been removed from the red lake in Mitsero, but was determined to be merely three large pieces of sponge tied around a piece of wood and wrapped in doormats. Two state pathologists and the bomb squad were called to the scene to examine the object found near the bank of the lake, but left shortly after.Of the seven murders of female foreign nationals – five women and two children aged 6 and 8 – that the 35-year-old confessed to the police to have murdered, five bodies have so far been found, with police still searching for six-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc and one more body, probably that of Marricar Valdez Arguiola, 30.Arguiola is believed to be located in a third suitcase dumped in the red lake in Mitsero, for which search crews continued efforts on Wednesday.Two of the suitcases containing victims Metaxas had dumped in the red lake were retrieved by the authorities, the first on April 28 and the second on May 5.The first contained the body of an adult woman, possibly Livia Florentina Bunea, 36, from Romania. Reports claim that the second contained the body of a child, which if true would be Bunea’s eight-year-old daughter, Elena Natalia.On Tuesday, reports said that the diver pulled two objects which are not related to the case out of the red lake, as the lake seems to have been used as a dumping ground by many.Police are reportedly in contact with the British experts that assisted local authorities with the ongoing investigations last week, and might use a ground penetrating radar to check areas in the lake covered with mud.Meanwhile, the sonar technology was put to use on Wednesday at Memi lake in the Xyliatos area, where six-year-old Seucalliuc is believed to have been dumped.She went missing last May along with her mother, Mary Rose Tiburcio, 39, from the Philippines, whose body was the first that was retrieved by authorities from a shaft at the Mitsero mine on April 14. 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 AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Tags: Glardon, Sept. 11 10Sep Rep. Glardon honors local heroes in 9/11 memorial Categories: Featured news,News State Rep. Ben Glardon, R-Owosso, with special guest Owosso Public Safety Chief Kevin Lenkart, took part in the annual Michigan House of Representatives 9/11 memorial service today.The ceremony marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and honored military members and service members. House representatives invited guests to join them in honoring the victims and heroes of 9/11, and men and woman serving today.The names of 14 first responders and service members from Michigan who died in the line of duty during the past year were read during the ceremony.Among those honored on the day was Lansing firefighter Dennis Rodeman, who was killed this week. Rodeman had recently moved to Owosso.
State Rep. Lana Theis invites residents to join her for her monthly coffee hours.“As your state representative, I want to continue to be as receptive and available as possible,” said Rep. Theis, R-Brighton. “Accessibility and responsiveness are extremely important and I am eager to meet with citizens in the community to answer any questions or concerns they may have.”All coffee hours will be held at Two Brothers Coffee, 423 West Main St. in Brighton at the following times:Thursday, Jan. 285:30-7:30 p.m.Monday, Feb. 227-9 a.m.Friday, March 255:30-7:30 p.m.Monday, April 257-9 a.m.Tuesday, May 175:30-7:30 p.m.Friday, June 247-9 a.m.Thursday, July 215:30-7:30 p.m.Friday, Aug. 267-9 a.m.Tuesday, Sept. 205:30-7:30 p.m.Monday, Oct. 177-9 a.m.Tuesday, Nov. 295:30-7:30 p.m.Monday, Dec. 197-9 a.m. 12Jan Rep. Theis announces 2016 coffee hours Categories: Theis News Coffee hours as well as other information can always be found at www.RepLanaTheis.com. Those unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Theis by email at LanaTheis@house.mi.gov or by phone at (517) 373-1784.###
Categories: Bipartisanship,Maturen News,News 02Feb Rep. Maturen introduces bipartisan legislation for military spouses State Rep. Dave Maturen has introduced legislation with state Rep. Robert Wittenberg to ease professional restrictions for spouses of active military members stationed in Michigan.Because of the unique household situation faced by military members, families often move between states frequently. As a result, licensed professionals married to active-duty servicemen or servicewomen sometimes find themselves in states where their professional license is not recognized.House Bills 5288 and 5289 would allow spouses of active-military members to be admitted to the Michigan Bar, given that they fit Michigan’s Bar requirements, and are licensed in another state.“The Michigan Bar is only offered twice each year. Without license reciprocity in Michigan, we could potentially be keeping military spouses out of work for more than six months,” said Rep. Maturen, R-Vicksburg. “Members of the military protect our freedom every day, and we can continue to do our part by opening doors like this for their families and loved ones.”Rep. Wittenberg – who hails from the east side of the state – authored the legislation with Rep. Maturen.“Military families make enormous sacrifices to serve our country, and one of those sacrifices is moving frequently, often to other states or territories,” said Rep. Wittenberg, D-Oak Park. “Military spouses shouldn’t be penalized for this sacrifice. That’s why I’m proud to sponsor legislation that would allow military spouses who are attorneys resume their careers here in Michigan without taking the state bar examination.”The bills have been referred to the House Committee on Tax Policy for further consideration.###
State Rep. Curt VanderWall of Ludington today introduced legislation to help drivers when they renew their vehicle registration tabs.House Bill 4535 will provide a 30-day grace period for Michigan drivers who have not received their license plate tabs in the mail from the Secretary of State to place them on their vehicle.“Currently, a vehicle’s registration expires on the driver’s birthday, so the new tabs need to be on the vehicle by that time,’ said VanderWall. “However, a person could renew their tabs online before their birthday, but they may not arrive in the mail in time. In this situation, a driver would actually be in violation of the law and could get a ticket. This legislation would fix that.”Registration tabs may be obtained immediately at a local Secretary of State branch or a self-service kiosk as well as through the mail and online.“This bill will protect drivers who are waiting for their tabs to arrive and will give them reassurance that they will not have to worry about receiving a ticket because of their expired tabs,” the first-term legislator said.House Bill 4535 has been referred to the House of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for consideration.### 01May Rep. VanderWall bill extends license plate tab renewals Categories: VanderWall News
Road repairs. The new plan accelerates the timeline for desperately needed improvements, spending $4 billion overall on road repairs next budget year. Projects must be done on time and on budget, with strengthened warranties to ensure quality. Workforce development. Michigan students will have more opportunities to train for high-demand jobs and higher wages through a $100 million program Gov. Rick Snyder has named the Marshall Plan for Talent. It’s part of the strategy to continue Michigan’s economic comeback, which has seen unemployment drop from 14.6 percent in June 2009 to under 5 percent this spring. The legislation advances to the governor for his consideration. Categories: Daire Rendon News,News Support for families. More money will be invested to support access to health care, including mental health services. Investments also will be increased in programs for children and seniors. ### 12Jun Rep. Rendon: State budget supports Camp Grayling, other northern Michigan needs Savings for taxpayers. While investing more in top priorities, overall the state is spending less in the next budget year than during the current year. Budgets for several state departments will decline as state government becomes more efficient and eliminates waste. State Rep. Daire Rendon was successful in her efforts to include financial help for Camp Grayling and its law enforcement training site in a state budget given final legislative approval today.Rendon helped secure $75,000 to improve a facility used to train law enforcement officers from across northern Michigan at Camp Grayling. She also helped secure $125,000 to remove trees as a safety precaution near the Grayling Army Airfield, an important general aviation center used by both civilian and military aircraft.“Supporting Camp Grayling is vital to our military, which is important in itself,” said Rendon, of Lake City. “But the impact of these investments goes well beyond Camp Grayling. They are important to the economy and the safety of our entire community.”Rendon said the new state budget will save taxpayers money overall while improving Michigan’s economic future, schools and roads. Some of the other highlights for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 include:New resources will help struggling schools get better and allow good schools to flourish. More than a quarter of the overall budget proposal goes to K-12 schools, with $14.8 billion — including the largest annual per-student increase in 15 years, ranging from $120 to $240 per student. Early literacy and support for academically at-risk students are priorities.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 28, 2014; Cleveland Plain DealerThe Ohio Department of Taxation has reversed its position and will support the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s tax exemptions on property it owns in Cleveland and one of its suburbs, Beachwood, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.This reversal did not please the Beachwood and Cleveland school districts challenging the tax exemption in a decade-long battle. In briefs filed by the Ohio tax commissioner, the Taussig Cancer Center in Cleveland and Beachwood Family Health Center were recommended for a tax exemption because “they are an integral part of the nonprofit hospital system.” The case is still pending.Beachwood’s school district has been fighting the tax exemption since 2002; the bulk of property tax revenues go to school districts in Ohio. “One can only speculate as to the political reasons for this reversal, but no one can deny the frustration for our district given the valuable time and resources expended defending this matter,” a spokesman told the paper.An attorney for the school boards told the Plain Dealer that tax officials under former governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat, aggressively defended the 2002 denial of the Clinic’s application, but appointees of Republican Gov. John Kasich have not.He added that “[state officials] don’t really have a dog in the fight because they don’t get the local property tax…it’s a local issue between the applicant and the school district.”When the Clinic Foundation applied for tax-exempt status in 2002 and Beachwood schools challenged it, the tax commissioner at the time sided with the district and denied the application because the facility provided little charity care and served as an office building for physicians, according to the article. The Clinic appealed the decision and the case has lingered. Then the Cleveland school district objected to an exemption granted to the Cleveland Clinic for its Taussig center, and that case was combined with Beachwood’s, which would collect more than $8 million if it wins. The Cleveland Teachers Union and others told the Plain Dealer that if Cleveland’s nonprofit hospitals paid property taxes, it would generate an estimated $43 million in local revenue each year.The Ohio attorney general argues that the facilities in question should be tax-exempt because they are essential and integral parts of the Clinic, whose core mission is to provide charity care to indigent patients. A 2010 Ohio Supreme Court decision says that tax-exempt hospitals and satellite facilities must have a nondiscriminatory charity care policy and accept all patients regardless of ability to pay. The Cleveland Clinic says it meets those standards.The case illustrates the ongoing controversy over the tax-exempt status of nonprofits, primarily larger institutions such as medical centers and universities, in many Eastern and Midwestern states where local governments rely heavily on property taxes. In Pittsburgh, the dispute over the levying of PILOTS—payments in lieu of taxes—has been a political hot potato for years, figuring heavily in last year’s mayoral election.Advocates for the nonprofits say they contribute significantly to their communities’ civic and cultural environments, and that their employees—often in the hundreds, if not thousands—pay taxes and stimulate the local economies. Local government officials say these large nonprofits place the same demands on basic city services like police and fire protection, street maintenance and sanitation services as the private for-profit property-owners who are paying taxes.The irony of it all is that there are two important sectors of a local community, both pledged to help communities and individuals in need, arguing over a diminished pot of resources.—Larry KaplanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share14Tweet2Share1Email17 SharesSeptember 15, 2016; McClatchyDCJust last month, the New York Times proclaimed a “remarkable reduction in violence” in Honduras, thanks to increased U.S. funding and involvement in what had been the most dangerous place on Earth. But, newly released U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics show that while overall apprehension numbers of Central American migrants are down from two years ago, the number of family members being apprehended will almost certainly surpass the total of two years ago, according to McClatchyDC.“Both family apprehensions and detentions of unaccompanied children have shown dramatic increases over last year’s totals—with family detentions nearly doubling and the number children traveling without parents increasing 52 percent,” Franco Ordonez wrote.The new report highlights the Obama administration’s continued challenges in responding to the ongoing violence in Central America and the resulting influx of refugees to the U.S.-Mexico border, two years after the humanitarian crisis first made headlines and two months after President Barack Obama announced plans to ease the way for some Central American asylum seekers.The surge has exacerbated an already long backlog of hundreds of thousands who are awaiting cases in immigration court and put a spotlight on the private, for-profit detention centers that house those seeking asylum.Although the Department of Homeland Security is working to ensure “that those with legitimate humanitarian claims are afforded the opportunity to seek protection,” many nonprofits, like Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), have questioned the number of women and children who have been detained in three U.S. family detention centers for extended periods of time while their cases are waiting to be heard.The controversial centers have been the source of multiple allegations of abuse and poor conditions, and RAICES, based in Texas, is fighting to make detention a tool of last resort, according to a statement from Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director.Detention is inappropriate for children. Detention is inappropriate for LGBTQ-identifying individuals. Detention is inappropriate for asylum seekers. Detention is inappropriate as a mechanism to enforce civil immigration violations. DHS should realign its enforcement policies with our nation’s highest values and make the detention of refugees and immigrants a tool of last resort.The statement came after two dozen women held at a facility in Pennsylvania won national attention in August for launching a hunger strike to protest their families’ long detentions.The movement to close the detention centers also saw momentum when the editorial board of the New York Times argued that “Prisons Aren’t the Answer on Immigration.”“The Administration…should be asking itself why it locks up so many immigrants who are not safety threats, who are not there to be punished, who in many cases are refugees and who are the mothers of young children or who are young children,” the editorial said. “There are ways to enforce the law without mistreating a population that fits no definition of a criminal threat.”However, as the editorial pointed out, there is little time left for President Obama to make the kind of sweeping changes to the American criminal justice system that immigration advocates have called for, and Department of Homeland Security officials have been hitting back on calls to end for-profit detention centers for refugees, according to Reuters: “One DHS official who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity because of the divisive nature of the topic, said ending private detention for migrants would require Congress to spend millions more dollars because government-run operations are more costly.”With the presidential candidates divided in their views on immigration policy, it’s likely that changes to U.S. strategy will be on the back burner until a new administration takes over next year, leaving thousands of migrant families continuing to wait.—Anna BerryShare14Tweet2Share1Email17 Shares
Russian pay TV service Stream has inked a subscription video-on-demand service with US distributor Miramax.The deal means Stream, the content arm of MTS and formerly known as Omlet.ru, will be the first pay TV service to launch Miramax movies via SVOD in Russia. Titles included in the multiyear deal include Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and The English Patient.Danny Goldman, Miramax senior vice-president and head of sales, EMEA said: “Stream has developed into a leader in the Russian media content market, and we are very pleased that they are our first partner in Russia as we continue to extend Miramax’s global relationships.”Stream’s content is available on Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, set top boxes, and PCs. It has programming deals with NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros and Disney among others.
Roku, the over-the-top TV streaming device provider, has received US$45 million (€37 million) of investment from companies including UK pay TV operator BSkyB and News Corp. Other investors include Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners.Sky has invested US$10 million in the company. Its new OTT platform Now TV will soon be available on Roku devices in the UK. Under the terms of the deal, Sky has the option to rebrand and distribute versions of Roku’s devices in the future.Roku said it would use the new capital to build further brand awareness through advertising, develop new international markets and increase engineering and production to support sales growth of both hardware and digital media services on the platform including advertising, games, transactional and pay-per-view video as well as content packages.Roku launched in the UK in February and currently offers over 150 channels, including Netflix, iPlayer and Crackle.
Amazon-owned UK OTT subscription video-on-demand service Lovefilm has launched a new streaming app for internet connected devices. The app will initially be launched on the Sony PlayStation 3 games console in the UK and Germany, and will then be rolled out to all Lovefilm Instant-enabled platforms.According to Lovefilm new features include an improved search functionality and recommendation engine, and a new user interface.Lovefilm has also added a Watchlist feature, allowing members to create an unlimited streaming playlist that can be accessed at any time. A new display on users’ home pages keeps track of what content they are currently viewing and the last location reached in that video to make it easier to resume viewing from the same place via any Lovefilm-enabled device.The PlayStation 3 update also enables Lovefilm subscribers to watch HD content via the games console for the first time.“Lovefilm has been a fantastic part of the services offering on PlayStation 3 since 2010. Now with a brand new improved app coming first to PlayStation 3 plus the addition of HD content, this is a huge enhancement to the PlayStation entertainment portfolio and even more relevant for our millions of UK customers,” said Fergal Gara, vice-president and managing director for Sony Computer Entertainment UK and Ireland.
Israel-based international news channel i24news launches today in Italy, joining the Sky Italia pay TV platform. The channel will take slot number 537 on the EPG and be available in English.The deal marks the latest launch by i24news, which in recent weeks has gone live on Polish DTH platform Polsat and started airing in Spain for the first time on DTH operator Canal+.i24news launched in July and covers international news “through the eyes of Israeli society.” The network broadcasts from the port of Jaffa in Israel, is available on cable and satellite pay-packages in three languages. It is also available for free on satellite in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East via 13 Hotbird, Astra 19.2, ITS 4, AsiaSat 5 and can be streamed over the web.
iSAT Africa, a UAE-based company and subsidiary of Wananchi Group, has signed a deal with Measat Satellite Systems, giving it capacity on Measat’s Africasat-1a satellite.Under the terms of the deal, iSAT will expand its VSAT and broadcast solutions across Africa using Africasat-1a’s pan-African C-band coverage.“We selected Africasat-1a due to the growing demand of our customers for data trunking, broadcasting, and GSM backhaul solutions. Africasat-1a is the best choice to meet these requirements, due to its high power and its African and European coverage via a single beam,” said Santosh Sakpal, technical manager, iSAT.Measat’s Africasat-1a satellite was launched in February 2013 and provides high-powered C-band satellite services and content across Africa with connectivity into Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
Simon’s CatEndemol Shine UK has taken a controlling stake in the animation company behind digital comedy series Simon’s Cat.The company, also called Simon’s Cat, will sit within the Endemol Beyond UK premium online channels and distribution group.Simon Torfield launched Simon’s Cat in 2008 as a platform for the Simon’s Cat brand, and the comedy now has had more than 650 million views and counts 3.5 million YouTube channel subscribers to its name.Endemol Beyond and Torfield will look at expanding the firm’s efforts in television, publishing, and licensing and merchandising, while exploring new platforms.Simon’s Cat follows the tribulations of a fat white cat and his long suffering owner, Simon. Illustrator Torfield created the brand, which was an immediate social media hit when launched on YouTube. The firm recently made its first colour film, Off to the Vet, after a successful crowd-funding initiative.Entertainment One has to this point had distribution rights to Simon’s Cat following an agreement struck in May 2013.Endemol Beyond UK, which is part of the wider Endemol Beyond group, comprises channels such as Michelle Phan’s UK- and US-co-launched ICON, sports-focusedRule’M Sports, and Legends of Gaming, which was born in the UK, but now has both US and German iterations.In May, it was revealed MCN businesses Endemol Beyond UK and ChannelFlip would remain operating separately within Endemol Shine UK.“Simon Tofield is a creative entrepreneur and has built his business into an international online success. Simon’s Cat is a brilliant example of how an original brand created on YouTube can reach and delight huge audiences,” said Laurence Jones, commercial director at Endemol Shine UK.“Millions of fans around the world love the mischievous and funny Simon’s Cat and there is enormous potential for growth, whilst staying true to the brand.”“Endemol Shine Group has a fantastic reputation and a world-class premium channel network in Endemol Beyond,” said Tofield. “We’re looking forward to the next step of our relationship with the company and collaborating with the creative and commercial teams.”United Agents advised both Endemol Shine UK and Simon’s Cat on the deal.
Vodafone Spain has signed up to provide Netflix on its platform, the first such deal struck by the streaming video provider in the country.Using the Netflix app, Vodafone TV homes will be able to watch Netflix content through their set–top box. Netflix will be available through Vodafone TV when Netflix launches in Spain in October.The Netflix offering will include exclusive original series such as Narcos, Marvel’s Daredevil, Sense8, Bloodline, Grace and Frankie, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Marco Polo and critically acclaimed documentaries Virunga, Mission Blue and docuseries Chef’s Table as well as various stand–up comedy specials.Additionally, younger viewers will find a selection of programming for kids.Viewers will also be able to watch Netflix’s new Original feature films, with announced titles including Beasts of No Nation, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon The Green Legend, Jadotville and The Ridiculous 6.Netflix in Spain is fully localised, offering a choice of subtitles and dubbing.Netflix will be available on Vodafone TV through an app on the decoder. Viewers will also be able to find titles using the search engine or recommendations section of the Vodafone service. According to Netflix, Vodafone customers will be able to enjoy Netflix in high quality thanks to a collaboration between the companies on Vodafone’s ultra high–speed fixed and mobile broadband networks.Vodafone TV customers will be able to enjoy the Netflix service without having to update their set–top–boxes. Netflix will also be available on smartphones and tablets. The Netflix app for those devices will be available in the app stores.
Rodolphe BelmerEutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen will step down in March 2016 and be succeeded by former Canal+ chief executive Rodolphe Belmer, the satellite operator has confirmed.De Rosen, who turns 65 next year, will remain non-executive chairman of the board of directors of Eutelsat until the end of his current mandate in November 2016.Belmer, who was dismissed as chief executive of Canal+ in July as part of a management board shakeup, will join Eutelsat on December 1 as deputy CEO, alongside existing deputy CEO and chief commercial and development officer Michel Azibert.Following a hand-over process he will take up the Eutelsat top-job on March 1, 2016. He will then be proposed as a member of Eutelsat’s Board at the annual shareholders’ meeting in November 2016.“It has been my great privilege since 2009 to serve as Eutelsat’s CEO and latterly as chairman and CEO. During this period, we have consistently put innovation at the heart of our service to customers, significantly expanding our geographic reach, and cementing our reputation as leaders in technical excellence,” said de Rosen.“I feel this is the right time to hand over the reins and am delighted to welcome Rodolphe Belmer in whom I have full confidence to build on these achievements and to take the company forward.”Lord Birt, vice-chairman of the board of Eutelsat Communications, praised de Rosen’s six-year leadership of the company and said he had “transformed Eutelsat into a truly global player”.“The Board of Directors is very pleased that Rodolphe Belmer will lead Eutelsat. With his extensive experience in broadcasting, his understanding of the trends shaping digital markets and his leadership, we are confident he has the skills to take Eutelsat forward in the evolving satellite communications landscape,” Birt added.Belmer left Canal+ over the summer and in August was reportedly hired by the new director-general of public broadcaster France Televisions, Delphine Ernotte, to lead a 12-strong strategic orientation committee.
Liberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Austria has added content from A+E Networks’ History channel and A&E to its seven-day catch-up service.The channels join 13th Street, Syfy, Cartoon Network, TNT Serie, Universal Channel, CBS Reality, Extreme Sports Channel, Nickelodeon and JimJam on the catch-up service.Gerald Schwanzer, vice-president of products at the cable operator, said he hoped to be able to offer a wider range of replay TV content when the legal situation in Austria is clarified.In addition to catch-up TV, UPC Austria offers a video-on-demand library of about 10,000 title, of which about half are free content, including the ORF-TVthek from public broadcaster ORF.