Diversity & Inclusion Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Home HOUSING OMWI Plan Strategy 2018-10-23 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Sustainability is the focus of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) Strategic Plan, which outlines OMWI’s plan for leading diversity and inclusion and equal employment opportunity efforts at the FHFA and diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which includes 11 banks and the Office of Finance.Over the past three years, the FHFA said, it has worked to develop the foundations on which it has built its present strategic plan for the period 2019-2021. During that time, Sharron P.A. Levine, Director OMWI said that FHFA had implemented a “comprehensive OMWI operational structure, launched government leading D&I examination program and developed clear diversity, inclusion, and equality standards.””With these core building blocks in place we are focused on the next stage of FHFA’s D&I evolution: ensuring that diversity, inclusion, and equality are integral parts of the cultural consciousness and the daily business, human capital, and cultural activities of FHFA and its regulated entities,” Levine wrote in a message outlining the agency’s strategic plan.To ensure the sustainability of the plan, the FHFA said that it plans to focus on three goals over this three-year period:Strengthening the understanding of diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity to drive cultural awarenessDelivering meaningful diversity and inclusion communicationEnsuring OMWI organizational sustainabilityWhile the first goal is aimed at empowering a culture of diversity and inclusion at the FHFA and the entities under its conservatorship, the agency plans to engage stakeholders in its D&I mission and communicate the inherent benefits and opportunities in achieving the D&I objectives.FHFA plans to develop strategic tools, policies, and services that support the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of its D&I mission to achieve its third goal.The plan also revealed that the agency’s annual operational plans would identify specific strategies and define both organizational and individual performance goals to accomplish the OMWI Strategic Plan, in alignment with thestrategic goals identified in FHFA’s Strategic Plan for FY 2015 – 2019.The three goals are tied in to help the agency advance and achieve its strategy for 2018-2022, especially its strategy of ensuring Liquidity, Stability, and Access in Housing Finance. October 23, 2018 534 Views FHFA’s Strategy for 2021 Share
Comments Share What’s been different? First, rookie Nate Potter was inserted at left tackle, and has been a major improvement over journeyman D’Anthony Batiste, who started the first nine games of the season. Potter will make his fourth straight start against the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field Sunday.“For a rookie player, he’s done a nice job. He’s gotten better and better,” Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “This will be a real test, in that noise, and they’ve got really good rushers in (Chris) Clemons and (Bruce Irvin) and they do a number of different things to take advantage of that, so this will be a real test for him.”According to ProFootballFocus.com, Potter is coming off his best performance of the season in last Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets. The former Boise State All-American allowed just one quarterback hit against the Jets. Potter got his feet wet in Week 9 when he replaced Batiste in the middle of the Cardinals loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, and has built on that strong first showing.“To go in against Clay Matthews in the first game he had to play, which is a similar-type situation, from there, he’s gotten better and better,” said his head coach. “I think that he’s still a rookie and this will be a new situation for him, but he’s going to be a good football player.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Whisenhunt is also pleased with how Potter has played in other areas.“He’s actually done a good job with the run blocking,” he said. “I think what you see from him is that he understands the game and his technique is good. He may not have the bulk or the strength yet to move it like you think he will be able to one day.“He’s conscious of trying to work his feet and work his hands and you see him come off the ball — he does a lot of things very athletically, which for a guy his size, when his strength catches up to it, you like that combination.”Potter hasn’t been the only rookie tackle to show major improvement in the last few weeks. Right tackle Bobby Massie, after giving up 13 sacks in a six-game span, has shored up the right side. Massie hasn’t given up a sack since a Week 8 loss to San Francisco on Monday Night Football. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Over the last three weeks, ten NFL teams have allowed more quarterback sacks than the Arizona Cardinals.Let that sink in.The San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans have all allowed more quarterback sacks than the Cardinals’ seven in that time span.Considering that the Cardinals allowed opponents to perform 29 sack dances in a four-week span, there’s significant process being made. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
An exercise simulating a crash of an aircraft during landing will take place at Larnaca airport on Tuesday morning between 8am and 10am.The exercise, which takes place every two years, is organised by airport operator Hermes together with the civil aviation department.Police, the fire services, the control tower, medical services, the immigration department, civil defence and others will participate.No actual landing will take place, police announced, therefore there is no need for the public to be concerned by the presence of the many different services.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoJob Posting Sites I Search AdsThese Job Opportunities Might Surprise You. Research The Best Job Posting SitesJob Posting Sites I Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: Albert News,News The House today overwhelmingly approved legislation by state Rep. Thomas Albert requiring all medical marijuana products to include a health warning label, similar to what’s found on alcohol or tobacco products.Rep. Albert said the label is necessary because women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may use marijuana to treat conditions such as morning sickness.“We’re seeing more and more marijuana use by pregnant women, despite multiple studies finding its use is harmful for children,” said Albert, of Lowell. “Marijuana, alcohol and tobacco use can lead to low birth weight and certain developmental disabilities in newborns. We should label marijuana to remind pregnant mothers of the risks.”Albert emphasized that the Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics have both recommended that women who are breastfeeding should reduce or avoid marijuana use, while the American Medical Association has also issued warnings for pregnant and breastfeeding women.Albert’s legislation would update the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs labeling and packaging standards as part of the Medical Marihuana Facility Licensing Act.“Marijuana is marketed as a safe treatment for many illnesses and conditions, including morning sickness, but it also has its obvious negative effects,” Albert said. “There is no greater responsibility than to protect the future for Michigan’s children. We can help preserve that with a simple label.”House Bill 5222, approved by a 104-6 vote in the House, advances to the Senate for its consideration. 13Dec House approves bill to add warning labels on marijuana products
The Michigan House today approved state Rep. Jim Tedder’s bill to remove an unnecessary requirement as part of a professional teaching certificate to new teachers.Tedder stated the added reading disabilities requirement is not needed for new teachers as part of professional development and should instead be part of college curriculum.“We should make certain these new educators have completed this coursework prior to their degree, and are better prepared to work with students who need added reading instruction,” said Tedder, a former teacher and administrator in Clarkston. “That makes more sense than having a student complete their degree, do their 100-plus hours of student teaching, start their classroom career and then got back to school for specialized reading instruction.”House Bill 4084 advances to the Senate for its consideration.##### Categories: News,Tedder News 13Mar House approves Rep. Tedder’s bill to update certification for new teachers
20Jun Rep. Bellino highlights state funding for Stoney Creek Road improvements Categories: Bellino News,News State Rep. Joe Bellino today hosted a press conference announcing more details of state funding coming to support improvements on South Stoney Creek Road in Monroe County.Bellino helped secure $3.35 million in state support for the project. The money is included in a state budget approved by the Michigan Legislature and awaiting Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature.“Stoney Creek Road is extremely important to our county, with thousands of people traveling it every day,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “Taxpayers and drivers deserve for this road to be in far better condition than it is now. We are going to help get it there with this assistance.”The state money will help improve the road in Frenchtown, Ash and Exeter townships.Bellino attended Wednesday’s press conference with state Sen. Dale Zorn, local government officials, Monroe County Road Commission representatives and others. The press conference was held near the intersection of South Stoney Creek Road and Sumpter Road.###
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMay 6, 2014; CBS-DCBlue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBS-ND) fired its CEO, Paul von Ebers, after the nonprofit insurance company announced losses of $80 million in 2013. Approximately $50 million in losses are a result of the failure of BCBS-ND’s for-profit subsidiary, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, to provide a working online healthcare exchange for the state of Maryland. Maryland is now contracting with Deloitte Consulting for exchange technology.Von Ebers had been CEO of BCBS-ND since 2009, overseeing a company that provides health insurance to over 500,000 people, including more than six out of ten North Dakota residents. He is the second BCBS-ND CEO to be fired by his board. The previous CEO, Mike Unhjem, was dismissed for flawed judgment in use of resources. Unhjem had authorized a sales managers’ conference at a luxury resort in the Caribbean, which cost the insurer over $230,000. From the CBS-DC story: “[Unhjem] died the next year of carbon monoxide poisoning at his Fargo home. Police said no foul play was suspected.”North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm has assured North Dakota’s residents that the insurer will not be allowed to raise rates to cover the Maryland losses. BCBS-ND has named its chief operating officer as the interim CEO. There are no plans to begin a search for a new CEO.Many nonprofits are establishing for-profit companies to pursue revenue to support mission. Commercial activities, supported by investment capital and able to generate profits to shareholders, can leverage a nonprofit’s capacity and add net revenue to support operations. BCBS-ND’s story illustrates some of the risks associated with such activities. One risk, of course, is the risk of financial losses. Another risk is the notoriety associated with losses may attract the attention of state regulators who might question a nonprofit’s decision to risk its mission in a profit-making enterprise. A third risk is that existing funders—most likely governmental entities—will object to a nonprofit offsetting losses in a for-profit enterprise by increased costs in its nonprofit services.Are these risks worth the potential rewards available to nonprofit organizations choosing to be entrepreneurial? Will the BCBS-ND example have a chilling effect on other nonprofits dependent on governmental regulation and/or payment support to experiment with supplemental revenue activities?—Michael WylandShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share21Tweet3Share9Email33 Shares“Displacing Teen.” Credit: Alessandro GalantucciJune 2, 2017; Al JazeeraThe number of internally displaced people (IDP) has doubled since 2000 and now surpasses the number of refugees two to one. Their numbers are expected to continue to increase unless the conditions that cause displacement—namely, conflict and environmental disasters—change. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that more international aid is spent on resettling refugees, who are more visible.As of December 2016, there are 40.3 million internally displaced people globally. More than 31 million of these were displaced in 2016. That year, on average, “one person was forced to flee every second,” a trend the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council called “horrific.”Of the 31 million people displaced in 2016, 24.2 million of them, 78 percent, were displaced by environmental disasters. Environmental conditions include floods, landslides, typhoons, storms, wildfires, and severe winter.Though the 31 million new IDP cases last year were reported in 125 countries, more than 75 percent live in just 10 countries. Those displaced by conflict are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (at the top of the list with 922,000), Syria (824,000), Iraq (659,000), Afghanistan (653,000), and Nigeria (501,000). China topped the list of the countries affected by environmental disasters, with 7,434,000 displaced internally. Also listed were the Philippines (5,930,000), India (2,400,000), Indonesia (1,246,000), and the U.S. (1,107,000).The last numbers available for both IDPs and refugees, tracked by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), are for 2015. By that year, there were 40.8 million IDPs and 21.3 refugees. More than half of the refugees, 53 percent, are from Somalia, Afghanistan, and Syria.Despite this two-to-one ratio, IDPs can be largely invisible and a politically sensitive issue. Alexandra Bilak, IDMC director, told Al Jazeera, “The IDPs are behind the sovereignty of a country’s border…People tend not to think about them as readily as refugees and migrants…People say displacement is a domestic issue and should be resolved at a domestic level.”However, the boundary between refugee and IDP isn’t always distinct. Al Jazeera reports that many refugees who return to their home country are afraid of being internally displaced. In fact, according to the World Bank, large-scale returns between 2000 and 2016 were reflected in the significant IDP increase. Conversely, IDPs seeking better living conditions often cross country lines, becoming refugees.Bilak said, “Looking at the conflicts around the world as well as climate change issues, we don’t expect the numbers to go down anytime soon…The only way the numbers can decrease is if there is more investment on working on the underling drivers that force people to flee—poverty reduction, peace building, and climate change.”If the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is an indicator of where we are on addressing this challenge, the news is not good. Bilak notes that even though five million people were killed in DRC between 1994 and 2003 due to ethnic violence, instability remains, and attacks have increased, the U.S. is urging the UN to reduce the number of UN troops in the country, currently at 19,000. She also said, “It’s unrealistic to expect the international community to solve a problem as huge as the DRC alone.”UNHCR reported that “[w]e are now witnessing the highest level of displacement on record.” And Bilak noted, “There is very little humanitarian assistance on the ground in some parts.”To paraphrase Albert Einstein, we cannot solve problems at the level at which they are created. It’s time to reconsider ideas about human rights and the environment being tied to national sovereignty because, clearly, the effects of catastrophic conditions ripple out beyond national borders. Nonprofits and NGOs are already working hard to address the underlying drivers. We now have a role to play in enlarging the frame.—Cyndi SuarezShare21Tweet3Share9Email33 Shares
Share80Tweet44Share9Email133 SharesBy NPS Graphics, put together by User:Wcommons [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsOctober 10, 2017; Los Angeles TimesA Kessler Foundation survey unveiled yesterday at a Capitol Hill press conference in Washington, D.C. reveals a major gulf between supervisor impressions of how well they serve the disabled community and the practices actually needed to do so.Kessler has long been a leading funder and advocate for policies that support the integration of U.S. residents with disabilities into mainstream society. The survey, conducted in partnership with the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, asked 3,085 supervisors in organizations with 25 or more employees “about hiring, training and retention practices, and whether or not those practices were effective both for employees in general and those with disabilities.”Holly Ramer of the Associated Press reports on the findings of the Kessler survey: “People with disabilities make up 3.2 percent of U.S. workers ages 16-64…Those 4.6 million workers amount to about 30 percent of the total working age population of people with disabilities, meaning the vast majority of people with disabilities aren’t employed.” Sadly, this 70 percent unemployed figure is unchanged from when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress into law in 1990.Ramer’s article highlights the gap between positive business intent and, alas, all-too-frequent failure to follow through in action. For example, Ramer writes that, “Most employers have effective programs for accommodating workers with disabilities, but they often overlook recruiting and training practices that could expand employment opportunities.” Ramer also reports that two-thirds of respondents “said their organizations have policies and procedures to provide requested accommodations to workers with disabilities, and nearly all of them rated those processes as effective,” yet only 13 percent of supervisors said their organizations offer job sharing, even though “90 percent of those who allow it said such policies were effective for both people with disabilities and workers overall.”Another example of the same gap between stated ends and actual means is that, “While two-thirds of those surveyed said it is very important to provide requested accommodations to workers with disabilities, only 28 percent of organizations have disability hiring goals, compared to nearly 60 percent that have goals for other types of diversity.”Nonprofit Quarterly has covered the work of the Kessler Foundation before, as well as engaging in broader analysis of the role foundations play in supporting more empowering employment for U.S. residents with disabilities. We have also highlighted the challenges this group faces in obtaining quality jobs, as well as federal grant funding that is available for those investing in improvements. We have also called out programs that continue to use the “sheltered workshop” provision in federal labor law that still allows employers to hire disabled Americans—but at a fraction of the minimum wage.A little less than three years ago, in one of our newswires, Rick Cohen pointed out that former Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), an author of the ADA, raised the issue of unemployment among the disabled in his final speech from the Senate floor. Harkin said:How many of us know that the unemployment rate among adult Americans with disabilities who want to work and can work is over 60 percent?! Yes, you heard me right: almost two out of three people with disabilities cannot find a job. That is a blot on our national character.John O’Neill, director of Disability and Employment Research at the Kessler Foundation and the study’s co-investigator, emphasized that by partnering with groups that work with the disabled community businesses can change these numbers: “Many times, employers don’t know where to go to find qualified candidates. That’s a practice that’s really underutilized, but when it is utilized it’s considered to be very effective.”Economist Andrew Houtenville, who is research director for the New Hampshire center, says that positive change is possible. As Houtenville explains,For example, while most organizations have effective processes for recruiting and supporting new hires, these processes are not as effective for candidates with disabilities. We need to look into how these processes can be improved … certain practices are seen as highly effective for employees with disabilities, but are underutilized by employers. The most striking example is a centralized accommodation fund, found to be 97 percent effective, but maintained by only 16 percent of employers.[Editor’s Note: An example of such a fund in the state of Minnesota can be seen here.]Kessler Foundation president Rodger DeRose says that disability remains “the silent minority.” He adds, “This whole area of employing people with disabilities has been real struggle before signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, and here we are 27 years later, and it’s still a challenge.”—Steve DubbShare80Tweet44Share9Email133 Shares
Share36Tweet7ShareEmail43 Shares“If Pioneers Only Had Duct Tape,” Alan LevineJanuary 15, 2019; Denver Channel, Washington Post, and Detroit Free PressThe partial shutdown of the federal government is now officially the longest one in history, at 26 days and counting. Communities and nonprofits are trying to step into the gap, but as “temporary” moves into “for the foreseeable future,” resources are increasingly stretched and reserve funds are dwindling.National parks have been prominent in the news, especially after vandals foolishly destroyed some of the precious and unique trees in Joshua Tree National Park. (The park is now closed, though it is a major source of revenue for the small towns near its borders.) Many parks have closed their gates, but others, feeling an obligation to visitors and fortunate enough to have a dedicated community, have remained open with the bare minimum of services.“It’s a community thing,” said Sarah Koenig, referring to the City of Boston’s efforts to clean up trash around monuments like Bunker Hill.“We are seeing trash overflow, but we have amazing volunteers who are helping us to clean it,” said Toni Cooper, executive director of River Raisin National Battlefield Park Foundation in Michigan. “We have amazing backing from the city and county government. They help us out a lot.” Cooper says the park’s annual restaging of a battle from the War of 1812 will go on, thanks to volunteers and donations, but they have only enough to deal with the slower flow of visitors the park gets in the winter.In Mississippi, the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign has been spending $2,000 a day to keep the park open; individuals in the community, whose economy relies heavily on the tourism brought in by the park, have donated about $18,000 to keep the doors open. The balance came from the nonprofit’s own funds, and Bess Averett, the Friends’ executive director, said she doesn’t anticipate getting it back.“It would literally take an act of Congress to repay us. We do not anticipate that happening,” she said. The $6,000 the Friends had spent as of January 3rd represents nearly ten percent of the group’s reported net assets from 2017.In Indian Country, which is one of the places hardest hit by the shutdown because the Bureau of Indian Affairs provides so many basic services, tribes have been making up some of the most crucial deficits with their own reserve funds. The Oneida tribe in Wisconsin is paying to keep their clinic going and keep their Head Start program running. Vice Chairman Brandon Yellowbird Stevens points out, “We’re fortunate we have the infrastructure and manpower here. A lot of tribes don’t have that.”Other efforts have focused on supporting federal workers who are either furloughed or working without pay, who include the Coast Guard, federal aviation controllers and inspectors, airport security officers, and more.Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering using state funds to pay the Coast Guard. Food pantries are stocking extra and planning extended distribution especially for federal employees. Of course, some food banks, like the Central Texas Food Bank, rely on US Department of Agriculture support to run, so they are forced to balance the extra need against the uncertain duration of their limited supplies.One food nonprofit employee said,Farm Share views the effects of the prolonged partial government shutdown on the livelihood and wellbeing of federal employees in the same manner we do a natural disaster. Therefore, given the unknown duration of this event, we’re working diligently to plan and implement relief efforts aimed at helping those affected families and individuals throughout Florida.In Washington DC, celebrity chef José Andrés has launched a relief kitchen for furloughed federal workers. He had already been providing hundreds of free sandwiches to federal workers from his restaurants, and estimates that he has spent more than $50,000 feeding furloughed employees. By launching the relief kitchen, he says he hopes to provide more assistance and send a message to the president.“I’ve been in business 25 years because of federal workers,” he said. “The least I can do is be there for them when they need us.”The relief kitchen is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from the White House, and Andrés says he welcomes politicos who would like to volunteer—but only if they bring a buddy who has opposing political views.NPQ has written often about how even a robust and well-funded civic sector is not a substitute for government-level aid and supportive community structure. We applaud those who are stepping up to help others in their communities as we wait for this absurd shutdown over border fencing to end.—Erin RubinShare36Tweet7ShareEmail43 Shares
Russia is scaling back its targets for digital-terrestrial TV coverage, according to local press.The Russian government has pulled back from a commitment to make 20 digital channels free to 98.8% of the population by 2015 and has now set a target of 97.6% of the population. The plan is now for two multiplexes to be made available across the country, with the first, including eight free-to-air channels, now to be completed by 2015. Previously the rollout of this multiplex was scheduled to be completed in three stages, beginning at the end of last year.The Federal Target Programme for DTT has not included targets for a third multiplex that would include regional digital channels, or plans for HD channels.The budget for implementing the digitisation programme has also been cut by RUB1.74 billion (€42.5 million) to just over RUB121.8 billion, according to the reports.
BT Group has agreed to buy ESPN’s UK and Ireland channels business, in a move that will boost its sports output after picking up Premier League Football rights last year.The deal, which is expected to close on July 31, will give BT the ESPN and ESPN America channels and their live sports rights portfolio, which includes the FA Cup, Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League, UEFA Europa League, and the German Bundesliga.BT said it will continue to run at least one ESPN-branded channel and is expected to be included as part of the BT Sport TV package of channels, which is due to launch this summer.Last June BT agreed to pay a total of £738 million (€845 million) to air 38 premier league games per season, over three terms from 2013/14 to 2014/16, outbidding ESPN for the rights. Sky snapped up the remaining 116 live matches per season.Later the same year BT also picked up the rights for up to 69 live rugby union matches from the Aviva Premiership and the JP Morgan Asset Management Sevens for four years starting with the 2013/14 campaigns.Through the new deal, BT has secured ESPN’s FA Cup games for the 2013/14 season, the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League until the end of the 2016/17 season and the UEFA Europa League and German Bundesliga through to the end of the 2014/15 season. It will also allow BT to continue to show sports currently shown on ESPN America, including NCAA College Basketball, NCAA College Football and NASCAR racing.However, separate to the BT deal, ESPN said it plans to wind down its historical sports channel ESPN Classic throughout the EMEA region, as well as the non-UK ESPN America TV businesses.“We could not be more proud of the TV channels built and nurtured by our talented team over the past four years. The value of that hard work is reflected in this deal with BT and the continuation of ESPN on television screens across the UK and Ireland,” said Ross Hair, MD of ESPN in EMEA.
Alex GreenBT’s recently launched raft of linear HD pay TV channels has a small but growing customer base and will be fully integrated with its YouView offering by the summer, according to Alex Green, director of TV, BT Vision.Green, speaking at the DTG Summit in London yesterday, said that the extra channels, which are available only to fibre customers, had been taken up by a base of about 10,000 customers, “but growing quickly”.Green said that these channels were now being run over YouView in some trial homes and would be fully integrated in time for sports events over the summer.Green said BT’s fibre network now covered over half the country and would soon reach two thirds of the country.Green said BT was now able to target two of its three target groups of TV customers: Freeview upgraders and basic pay TV switchers.He said the imminent addition of its own sport channels will enable it to target high-spending pay TV customers for the first time. “Football has phenomenal power, and within football it’s the Premier League, and that’s what’s led to BT’s investment in the Premier League,” he said.Green said BT had built on its Premier League rights by adding FA Cup, Europa League and other international football rights as well as Rugby Union rights and WTA tennis.Green said a lot of Sky customers took broadband from BT, giving the telco a way to target those homes with an attractive bundle of content and broadband access.
Moody’s says Netflix is successfully managing the risk of increased programming costs with a more selective approach to acquiring content.The influential credit ratings agency issued a report on Netflix in the wake of the US-listed streaming service announced its largest ever original content deal, with DreamWorks, which spans 300 hours of new kids and family programming.Moody’s said that it still has concerns about large fixed content agreements and the huge number of subscribers Netflix requires to hit breakeven in its streaming business, but that the company is successfully limiting risk with a new focus on a number of big-ticket programming deals and agreements for targeted niche content.“We believe that the company is increasingly becoming more selective about the content it acquires, such as more original, exclusive, and/or niche content, instead of focusing on growing as it has in the past, by acquiring deep library and volume content,” Moody’s noted.Moody’s said that focusing on exclusive and original content means that programming costs are more front-loaded than library-based acquisitions, but it expects the company to stick to previously stated content spending plans.Examining Netflix’s international expansion, Moody’s said that it does not expect the company will need to increase its borrowing to continue to expand and that the “speed of expansion [will be] based on the success and profitability of its existing markets”. It added: “We view the company’s international investments as a favorable use of cash flow generated from its domestic and other more mature markets.”
A programming block from Discovery’s OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is to launch on the TLC channel in central and eastern Europe and Russia.The block, which will feature a selection of programming from the US channel, will launch on TLC Poland on Sunday, followed by TLC Russia and Ukraine on September 1 and on TLC Bulgaria, Romania and Balkans on October 28.The block, which will air shows including Oprah’s Next Chapter and Super Soul Sunday, will repeat during daytime hours on TLC.“The launch of an OWN programming block is hugely exciting for us and marks a key moment in our continuing investment in TLC,” said Paul Welling, senior vice-president, channel, Discovery Networks CEEMEA. “We hope to build on the success of the Next Chapter specials with Justin Bieber and Lance Armstrong by showcasing even more of the diverse, entertaining and inspirational content that only Oprah can deliver. We are delighted to premier this block for our viewers on TLC.”
Italian publisher, content creation company and channel provider De Agostini has launched a second-screen app targeted at the country’s youth market.The app, which was developed by Vetrya and taps Civolution’s second-screen synchronisation technology, is being deployed by De Agostini’s Super! digital-terrestrial channel and enables teenagers to use an avatar to interact with their favourite programmes.To incentivise its audience to participate, Super! will reward the top five weekly users with prizes and gifts.The Super! app uses Civolution’s SyncNow content recognition technology to synchronise the second screen experience with the TV.Upon registration, the viewer is requested to create an avatar that will be used to interact with the programmes including access to original content, taking part in quizzes and collecting stars to receive gifts.“The second screen model is the new paradigm in interactive TV. We are investing heavily on these new innovative digital services as we truly believe that these will transform the world of television as we know it today,’’ said Luca Tomassini, founder and CEO of Vetrya. “Through our partnership with Civolution, using our platform tivin, we offer a series of second screen interactive TV services – couch commerce, voting, social TV – that can be monetized by publishers and broadcasters exploiting the natural channel of return internet through specific applications. We are proud to enable the innovative television channel Super! towards full convergence between the world of traditional TV and broadband.”
Video and broadband technology company Arris reported a rise in revenue and profits after reporting “remarkable progress in 2013” since its takeover of Motorola Home.“As a result of our successful acquisition and integration of Motorola Home, we are a larger, stronger and much more relevant supplier to a growing worldwide customer community. Moreover, 2014 is looking to be our best year ever,” said Arris chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione.Fourth quarter revenues were US$1.199 billion (€875 million), up 12% sequentially and more than triple the US$334 million it reported in the same quarter last year.Adjusted Q4 net income was US$77.6 million, compared to US$32.2 million a year earlier. However, Arris’ net loss was US$2.8 million in the quarter, compared to net income of US$14.8 million in Q4 2012.
Weather forecasting tools specialist MetraWeather has launched a new weather graphics content portal for broadcasters to tie in with the beginning of the World Cup in Brazil.MetraWeather has teamed up with Red Touch Media to launch an e-store of ready-to-play weather clips. The ClipStore will launch with forecasts and wather news clips for major Eurpean cities, with clips linked to special events and sports to follow. The ClipStore will also offer match-by-march forecasts for the World Cup fixtures in Brazil.
SES-12: one of a new generation of DTH/HTS satellitesThe global fixed satellite services industry generated revenues of US$12.2 billion (€9.13 billion) last year, representing modest growth of 2%, with the majority of operators experiencing a slowdown, according to research by Euroconsult.According to the research group, 60% of revenue-generating FSS operators experienced a slowdown in 2013 compared with the prior year. Ten operators posted a revenue decrease, compared with only six in 2012.Lack of opportunities for growth by mergers and acquisitions is leading operators to forge alliances and sharing of orbital resources to further organic growth, according to Euroconsult. While there is a high degree of concentration at the top, with the market dominated by a few major players, the satellite business is seeing increasing fragmentation at the bottom, with a number of national governments sponoring projects to launc satellites. Three operators – Mexsat, Boliviasat and O3b – are expected to report their first FSS revenues this year, while 12 operators are expected to launch their first satellites within the next four years. Operators are also investing in high-throughput satellite payloads, enabling them to offer high-speed data services.According to Euroconsult, 32,500 TV channels and 146 DTH pay TV platforms were broadcast by satellite operators in 2013.“In order to re-energize revenue growth, satellite operators are increasingly exploring new revenue streams; in recent years the focus has primarily been on launching new satellites over emerging markets and investments in HTS systems or payloads,” said Nathan de Ruiter, senior consultant at Euroconsult and editor of the report.“Eleven FSS operators offered HTS capacity to the market in 2013, while nine operators will launch their first HTS satellite or payload within the next four years. Further, we have seen a growing number of regional operators such as ABS, APT Satellite, Arabsat, RSCC and Gazprom Satellite Systems with international expansion plans by launching new satellites outside of their region of origin.”
Youth content brand Vice is launching a daily news service on HBO in the US and a branded channel on the premium cabler’s upcoming OTT service HBO Now.The half-hour Vice daily newscast will be stripped through the week on HBO as part of a renewed, wider programming deal between and Time Warner’s HBO and Vice, which counts 21st Century Fox and A+E among its backers.Under the terms of the deal there will also be more regular instalments of Vice’s weekly magazine show, which sets out to delve into stories traditional media outlets overlook.The episode order increasing from 14 to 35 shows a year under the terms of the new HBO-Vice deal. There will also be 32 Vice specials on HBO.The pair said that Vice will also have a branded ‘channel’ with the HBO Now OTT service. It will launch on Apple’s iOS devices and PCs next month and include all of Vice’s output for HBO.“Shane and the VICE team have produced some of the most groundbreaking and dynamicjournalism anywhere,” said Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming in a joint statement.They added: “This extension of the HBO/VICE relationship, which will include more shows, more documentaries and even a VICE daily newscast is a natural evolution of our partnership.”Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith added: “Maintaining any type of independence, any type of freedom, is difficult as you scale up. This deal, simply put, allows Vice the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it – and to do so with complete independence. This deal is a tremendous gift and a tremendous opportunity, and we at Vice realise this.“This groundbreaking deal will create a new voice in news.”