Share32TweetShareEmail32 SharesBy rayon Richards [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia CommonsSeptember 27, 2018; New York TimesThere is a trend in this country of black women’s leadership that’s becoming a rising moment of women of color standing for elected office—successfully and with good ground game. This is the result of years of movement building. We are reminded of this by the full-page ad run on Wednesday in the New York Times that declares support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Its form closely replicates an ad run in that same paper in 1991 in defense of Anita Hill. That ad contained the names of 1600 women signatories, including such luminaries as Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison. Its central statement was, “No one will speak for us but ourselves.”In this version, the names of 1600 men in tiny type surround the statement, “We believe Anita Hill. We also believe Christine Blasey Ford.” The elaboration that follows reads, in part, “For decades, a culture of misogyny has allowed men to act with impunity and without consequence. We demand an end to that culture and we pledge to do our part in dismantling it.”The 1991 ad, organized by black feminist scholars Barbara Ransby, Deborah King, and Elsa Barkley Brown, was smaller, and the $50,000 to pay for it was mostly raised in small amounts of $10 to $25 using a phone number and a post-office box.“We wanted black women’s voices to be heard, and we found her story to be believable,” said Dr. Ransby, a history professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago.Indeed, it was tweets from Tayari Jones, which have since been retweeted more than 19,000 times, recalling her participation in the ad as a 20-year-old student, that brought the 1991 ad to the attention of a new generation of activists, including Meena Harris of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign. Harris had already started to work with a nonprofit, Futures Without Violence, where male allies are speaking out. Enter Alicia Garza, cofounder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and a social media and crowdfunding campaign was soon launched that sought the $100,000 required to run a full-page New York Times ad.The connective tissue between the two ads, run more than a generation apart, says much about the staying power of a movement that has often been given less than a second thought by white progressives. It’s more than impressive to see it now centering itself in the forefront of an effort to reclaim the country for all of its residents.For more thoughts on the aftermath of yesterday’s Kavanaugh hearing, you can read today’s feature.—Ruth McCambridgeShare32TweetShareEmail32 Shares
UAE service provider Etisalat has launched 3D channel High TV on its eLive TV service.The launch is the first 3D service to be made available in the UAE, according to Etisalat. US-based High TV offers a range of entertainment programming, promising over 100 new shows and 400 new hours of 3D content each year.Rashed Alabbar, vice-president, home product marketing of Etisalat said: “We are very pleased to add High TV 3D channel to the rich bouquet of content for our eLife TV viewers. As leaders in home entertainment, Etisalat was the first in the UAE and the region to bring 3D to our customers with the broadcast of 2010 FIFA World Cup. Today, we once again become the first to launch a 24/7, dedicated 3D entertainment and lifestyle channel. Our customers will love the experience of viewing 3D TV from the comforts of their living rooms. The addition of the 3D channel strengthens our repertoire of entertainment options provided to our customers. It also substantiates our commitment to offer the best-in-class TV entertainment to our viewers.”
Online newspaper the Huffington Post has launched a new live-streaming channel, HuffPost Live.The Huffington Post has reportedly hired about 100 staff to work on the channel, which will air live for 12 hours a day, with content repeated overnight and at weekends. Content from the channel will also be made available on-demand. The venture is to be headed by Roy Sekoff, who presented the first live segment alongside Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington.HuffPost Live operates from studios in New York and Los Angeles, with a satellite studio based at its Washington DC facility.
Distributed video delivery specialist Edgeware and online video analytics company Skytide have launched a solution that enables real time Quality of Experience analytics for multiscreen services.The companies said the solution would help to ensure content monetisation, especially for wholesale CDN services where operators needs to report specific metrics to the wholesale customer. The Edgeware video servers create a virtual session that enables operators to report usage data tied to sessions and content. This, says Edgeware, reduces the complexity, cost and processing needed to provide accurate, real time QoE reporting to the integration layer.Skytide says its Insight for CDNs solution can handle the volume that ABR streaming demands and transform it into meaningful reports in real time. “This is a perfect combination of state-of-the-art systems for analytics and video delivery,” said Jon Haley, vice-president, business development at Edgeware. “Together with Skytide, we offer the most scalable operator CDN solution in the industry.” “Our joint solution enables operators to dramatically reduce the complexity, cost and turnaround times associated with QoE reporting and analytics in an adaptive streaming environment,” said Michael O’Donnell, CEO of Skytide.
Interactive TV games specialist Playjam has launched a new platform to provide Adobe’s developer network with access to PlayJam’s platform APIs and enable developers to provide games to Adobe-AIR-enabled TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes.Using PlayJam’s SDK, developers will be able to integrate global billing, CRM and game servers to add features such as cross-network tournaments, leaderboards and real-time mass participation events, according to Playjam. Adobe AIR for TV enables developers to build 2D and 3D games using GPU acceleration available on LG’s range of Smart TVs.The SDK will initially be made be made available to members of PlayJam’s closed beta developer partner programme ahead of general release in December.
Russia is on course to complete digital switchover by 2017, according to broadcast infrastructure provider RTRS’s chief Viktor Pinchuk.Local press reported Pinchuk as saying that the country’s first digital multiplex would include the new public TV channel set to launch next year as well as a channel for regional services, while a competition for participation in a second multiplex would be held in the middle of December. The second mux will comprise 10 channels initially.Pinchuk said that a decision of switching off DVB-T transmssions during the first quarter of 2013 would be taken after the situation was analysed. However, it was likely the switch would be delayed slightly, he said.Pinchuk said there were currently 96 models of DVB-T2 set-top available on the Russian market.
UK pay TV operator Sky is due to offer a dedicated channel for the Ryder Cup golf tournament this autumn.For the first time, Sky Sports 4 will become Sky Sports Ryder Cup and will show more than 330 hours of golf over 14 days, including 36 hours of live coverage from the tournament.The Ryder Cup channel will follow the launch of Sky’s new European football channel, Sky Sports 5, which goes live on August 12. It also comes after Sky launched a similar Sky Sports Ashes channel for England’s home cricket series against Australia last year.“We’re dedicating a whole channel to the biggest event in golf, providing viewers with the complete Ryder Cup experience all in one place. There will be nowhere better for sports fans to enjoy the passion, drama and excitement of this incredible event,” said Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports.Sky Sports Ryder Cup goes live on Thursday September 18 and continues until Thursday October 2. The tournament itself runs from Friday September 26 until Sunday September 28 and will be held at the Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland.
Phlipp HummWhile fixed-mobile convergence in the form of bundling is a reality in most European countries, “true convergence” has yet to emerge will only happen if enabled by a favourable regulatory regime, according to Philipp Humm, Vodafone’s CEO for Europe.“So far convergence has been driven by discounts and the herd effect,” said Humm, delivering a keynote at Cable Congress in Brussels this morning. “The higher the discounts the more customers will choose a converged product.”While take-up had accelerated in countries like Spain and Portugal, where incumbents and alternative providers had engaged in intense price competition, in countries where discounts were low only a small proportion of customers were converged, said Humm.Humm said that mobile players like Vodafone had bought fixed assets to avoid being squeezed out by incumbents. However, while convergence had been a defensive move initally, but it was now a strategic priority and “the right choice for our customers”. He said that “convergence is our future and one that we are committed to”.Humm said that consumers will come to understand that they can consume content everywhere as content and software move to the cloud and TVs become computers, while 4G becomes ubiquitous. In the UK, he pointed out that 4G customers currently use 2GB of data but Netflix 4G customers use four to five GB.“Once you are in the cloud you will never return to device storage,” said Humm. Operators will migrate to all-IP networks and Vodafone is already doing this, he said, while virtualisation of mobile networks is already happening.True convergence will happen when content and software is in the cloud, said Humm.“The beauty of true convergence is that it is super-sticky,” said Humm. “Let’s hope that on the way we don’t destroy value as the incumbents in Spain and Portugal have done already.”Humm said that “intelligent regulation” was nevertheless required, enabling in-market consolidation and facilitating cross-market consolidation. There should be non-discriminatory access to NGNA broadband outside existing operators’ footprints, he said.Humm said that the EC seems to be more supportive towards consolidation now, but operators like Vodafone hope to see action to match the talk.He also said that public subsidies had to take into account of the nature of infrastructure investment.“We see ourselves as an infrastructure based player. You need to create a level playing field. The way subsidies work is you are kind of subsidising the incumbent. Operators can upgrade their existing infrastructure to VDSL, which is cheaper than investing in the ground. If we invest we need to invest from scratch,” said Humm.Humm said operators need access to premium content. He said operators had to convince content rights owners to give up monetising every distribution channel individual and “monetise customers instead”. He said they should “never stand in the way of what customers want”. He said he also looked to regulation to prevent exclusive content tie-ups that would not benefit consumers.“We don’t want to buy rights; we want to distribute content. But if others buy exclusive rights, we will need to buy exclusive rights,” he said.Humm said Vodafone had 10 million TV customers currently. Fixed networks account for 15% of revenues. He said Vodafone wanted to “get Europe back to growth” and fixed would be “a major factor in turning our European business around”. Humm said Vodafone could not have “one solution for all markets” but would move in this direction over time. At the same time it is investing in Project Spring for the upgrade of its mobile networks.Taking questions after his presentation, Humm said mobile operators had to learn how to market fixed networks. “We see huge benefits of getting cable know-how to kick-start our DSL business again,” he said. “The biggest synergies in acquisitions are always in-market. The biggest is if you can merge mobile to mobile but mobile to cable enables you to create synergies from the backhaul network and so on.”Addressing future trends, he said that Vodafone is investing in machine-to-machine applications, particularly in automotive, as well as energy monitoring and smart home applications. Humm said as Vodafone penetrates more a more consumer areas, it will see a big uptake of 5G, where low latency enables the distribution of HD video on the move. “That will be the next wave,” he said.
Sébastien JaninOTT video-on-demand provider Wuaki.tv has hired former Apple iTunes executive Sébastien Janin to head international business development. Janin has worked for iTunes , where he was responsible for launching and managing the roll out of the iTunes film service in Europe and Latin America, for the last eight years. For the last two years he has headed up iTunes’ international independent film business, securing day and date releases for movies across European countries. Before the joined Apple, Janin spent 12 years as vice-president of home entertainment at Studiocanal.Wuaki.tv has set a target of being available in 10 European contreis by the end of this year. The service launched in Italy in February and plans to roll out in Ireland and Austria in the second quarter.“Our European rollout is the key factor in this year’s plans for Wuaki.tv. We’re determined to bring our consumer friendly, video-on-demand service to everyone. However, we recognise that in order to do this we need to bring experienced people into the Wuaki.tv family. The hire of Sébastien reinforces Wuaki.tv’s commitment to enhancing our team with passionate executives who share our vision of delivering on demand, quality home entertainment to homes and mobile devices across Europe. We’re delighted to have him on-board and look forward to celebrating his successes internationally,” said Jacinto Roca, CEO of Wuaki.tv.
BBC Worldwide has signed deals to broadcast a branded block of BBC Earth content via public broadcaster VRT in Flanders, Belgium, and on Canal+ 1 in Spain.The factual content block will be available in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium on the public channel Eén from this autumn. The block on Canal+ 1 in Spain is live now.“I am incredibly proud that audiences in Spain, through Canal+ and Flanders, through VRT, will now have a dedicated place for our BBC Earth content, featuring territory premieres of some of the best natural history and premium factual content anywhere in the world,” said Tobi de Graaff, executive vice-president, Western Europe, BBC Worldwide.“It is a key part of our strategy to bring the highest-quality content and the BBC Earth brand to wider audiences across Western Europe and securing these BBC Earth blocks highlights our long-standing partners’ commitment to our programming.”BBC Worldwide launched BBC Earth as a linear TV channel in a number of European countries this year, starting with Poland in February. It has since launched in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, as well as Romania and Turkey.
Sascha PruterPay TV operators will be best placed to manage the smart home on behalf of consumers, according to Sascha Pruter, head of Android TV programme management at Google.Speaking at the Multi-Network Solutions in the Real World Forum organised by content security provider Verimatrix at IBC, Pruter said the pay TV operators were best placed to expand their services beyond TV to “taking control of the house” because they have the customer relationship and can provide customers with a single number to call. “I think branding of pay TV operators will go towards a household brand rather than just a video brand,” he said.Addressing Google’s relationship with pay TV operators, Pruter said the first pay operators using Google TV as their platform of choice had launched Google Play stores on their TV services. “If we can come up with the right revenue model, [operators] can give consumers what they want while maintaining [their] own brand. For Google this is a partnership opportunity. Operators approach us and want to talk about these partnership opportunities,” he said.Pruter said that the user expectation had changed and consumers were used to going to app stores and getting things quickly. He said that one of the key requirements for operators is to be able to react quickly to trends. “The industry now seems to realise that reacting to changes has to happen fast to compete with the web and mobile,” he said.However, TV is still distinct from mobile, he added: “I don’t think all the principles from mobile apply to TV. Expectations of quality are very different. I’m much less tolerant of jitter on TV than when watching a YouTube clip while waiting for a bus.”Pruter said content regulations as well as rights issues needed to be challenged in many cases. “On the content side, yes, it take time to get rights but content owners are getting more used to things. They are realising that things in the way of consumers getting the content are harming them,” he said.Also participating in the session, Verimatrix CEO Tom Munro said that “one thing the operators can sell is trust” and that this would give them a role even in an app-centric world.Munro said that “the cord would become more difficult to cut” as operators move beyond video to applications such as home security.Speaking on the same panel, Francisco Saez Arance, service development director, global video unit Telefonica, agreed that OTT technology is enabling operators to innovate faster while maintaining the value of pay TV through legacy technologies. “We have to deal with complexity in the most open way that’s available,” he said. “As a pay TV operator with different operations, we are trying to leverage the existing assets and provide some unified layers that we brought from the OTT arena to provide unified experiences.” Saez said that the operator had “enough magical glue” coming from the OTT world to enable it to deliver consistent experiences.Saez said that Telefonica was leveraging cloud technologies to enable viewers to consume linear content in a non-linear way through features enabled by the cloud such as DVR and pause, leading him to use the phrase “flexilinear” to describe what is happening. He said that commercial agreements and contract rights are more challenging than technology restrictions in enabling all this to take place.Saez said that there is an issue about who controls user data and provides the user experience, including content search and discovery.“Some content providers are only providing access to services in a not very integrated way, but we are always looking to provide more value and looking at how to gather knowledge of their content assets and how to provide better recommendations. We integrate third party portals and their catalogues to provide value to their customers and it’s a question of the willingness of the content owners,” he said.