The federal government have released the long awaited aviation white paper today in Canberra outlining the needs of Australia’s aviation industry for the next decade.Speaking at the National Press Club today, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said there needed to be investment in state-of-the-art air space management technology, including satellite technologies, to cope with ever growing air traffic. Such ever-growing traffic has been recognised at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport, prompting the government to look for a second airport site.However, the white paper did not recommend a second airport site and instead ruled out the anticipated site of Badgerys Creek. “[Badgerys Creek] has been overtaken by years of urban growth in the area and is inconsistent with future NSW spatial planning and land use development for the south-west region of Sydney” the paper said.In regards to security, the government will implement less stringent rules, allowing passengers to take “low-risk” items on to planes such as knitting needles, crochet hooks and nail filesIt will also allow the use of metal cutlery knives on aircraft and at airport facilities.The new rules will allow security screeners to focus on items of real risk, it said. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2accb/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L
Right to left: Ana Paula Martins, Cabin Crew; Ramiro Alfonsín, CFO; Oscar Aguayo, Fleet Director; and Margarita Medina Riveros, Onboard Service Manager, receive the award in ParisLATAM is named the ‘Best Airline in South America’LATAM Airlines Group was named as the ‘Best Airline in South America’ in the Skytrax World Airline Awards, at a ceremony held during the Paris Air Show yesterday 18 June.The awards are organised annually by aviation research organisation Skytrax and are based on a passenger satisfaction survey of the world’s airlines. This year’s survey included over 21 million eligible entries from passengers representing more than 100 nationalities.LATAM was also awarded for the ‘Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Economy Class’ in South America.“This is one of the airline industry’s most prestigious accolades because it reflects the opinions of millions of passengers worldwide. In recent years, we have focused on strengthening the company and maintaining our position as industry leaders in Latin America in a new competitive environment. We have worked to offer an unparalleled travel experience for the 70 million passengers we transport each year, significantly improving our punctuality, investing in the transformation of the cabins of over half our fleet, as well as incorporating technology and digital tools to provide greater autonomy. Without doubt, this award encourages us to maintain this course and continue listening to our passengers to be their preferred choice,” said Ramiro Alfonsín, Chief Financial Officer, LATAM Airlines Group, who received the award in Paris. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, added: “We are delighted to see LATAM being so well recognised in the World Airline Awards. The airline was well supported by customers in this year’s survey and has shown good progress in the global ranking. In what has been a challenging market, LATAM management and staff should be very proud of this great achievement.”LATAM’s awards in 2019This year, LATAM has received other important accolades for its travel experience and operational performance, including: ‘Best Global Airline in South America’, ‘Best Seat Comfort’, ‘Best Cabin Service’, ‘Best Entertainment’ and ‘Best Wi-Fi’ in South America in the APEX Passenger Choice Awards; ‘Outstanding Food Service by a Carrier South America’ in the PAX International Readership Awards 2019; and the most punctual ‘Mega Airline’ in the 2018 Official Airline Guide (OAG).Annual Skytrax World Airline SurveyThe Skytrax World Airline Awards are based on the results of its World Airline Survey, which is recognized as the main reference tool for satisfaction levels among global airlines, serving as a single, independent analysis of passenger opinion. Between September 2019 and May 2019, more than 21 million passengers, representing over 100 nationalities, were surveyed.The ceremony: Paris Air Show 2019The award ceremony was held during the 53rd Paris Air Show, which takes place June 17-23 at the Le Bourget Parc des Expositions in the French capital. Founded in 1909, it is the world’s largest and longest-running aerospace trade show. At this year’s event, more than 2,300 exhibitors from 48 countries will convene in meeting space of 192,000 m2.For more information about LATAM’s in-flight experience visit latam.comSource = LATAM Airlines Group
in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News May 14, 2014 419 Views Housing Affordability Measure Improves in Q1 Share Home Prices Housing Affordability National Association of Home Builders Wells Fargo 2014-05-14 Colin Robins A decrease in median home prices coupled with steady mortgage rates helped contribute to higher housing affordability in the first quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).NAHB, coupled with Wells Fargo, recently published its Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), which found 65.5 percent of new and existing homes sold from January through March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900.The figure from the first quarter was slightly higher than the 64.7 percent of homes sold that were considered affordable in the fourth quarter of last year.”Housing affordability remains strong and this is an encouraging sign as the spring home building season moves into high gear,” said NAHB chairman Kevin Kelly.The national median home price dropped from $205,000 to $195,000 in Q1. Average mortgage rates remained relatively stable, moving from 4.54 percent to 4.57 percent in the same period.”As home prices and mortgage interest rates are unlikely to go down, the first quarter HOI is another indicator that this is an opportune time to buy,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe.On a local level, Syracuse, New York, was the nation’s most affordable major housing market with 93.7 percent of all new and existing homes affordable to the national median income.Other major U.S. housing markets at the top of the affordability chart in the first quarter include Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio/Pennsylvania; Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Dayton, Ohio.For a sixth consecutive quarter, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California, held the top spot among the least affordable metros. A mere 13.3 percent of homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $100,400, much higher than the national average.Other major metros at the bottom of the affordability chart included Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California; New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York/New Jersey; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California.
Angkor WathelicopterLaosLUXE by EXOsoutheast Asiatours Asia-based luxury tour specialist, LUXE by EXO, has announced two new helicopter tours designed for discerning experiential guests. Both tours provide adventurous travellers with exclusive views of some of Southeast Asia’s most iconic archaeological sites. The first – a half-day Angkor tour – promises unrivalled views over Angkor Wat, Koh Ker and Beng Mealea. Guests experience Angkor Wat in two unique ways: from the air, and through the eyes of an Angkor archaeologist, who provides a guided tour through the temple complex.The second tour is a half-day helicopter adventure to the Plain of Jars in Laos, launching from Luang Prabang. Guests enjoy a luxury, air-conditioned flight in a Eurocopter AS 350, soaring over Laos’ picturesque interior terrain, then embark on guided tours of the main jar sites and enjoy a gourmet picnic on the plateau.“Our new helicopter tours represent the ultimate in exclusivity, offering highly personalised experiences to capture discerning luxury travellers,” says Director of LUXE by EXO Maeve Nolan. “Private commentary by an archaeologist further enhances the exclusive nature of our Cambodian helicopter tour, providing a truly one-of-a-kind experience of Angkor Wat.”For further information contact or Maeve Nolan or Alexander Stephan on (66 2) 633 9060
State Rep. Jon Bumstead invites residents of the 100th House District to join him during office hours this November.Office hours will be held at the following dates, times and locations:Friday, Nov. 20Daniel’s Restaurant, located at 55 E. South Ave. in Hesperia, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m;One East Main, located at 1 E. Main St. in Fremont, from 10 to 11 a.m.;Monday, Nov. 23Pink Elephant, located at 207 S. State St. in Hart, from 8 to 9 a.m.;Good Stuffs, located at 111 S. Hancock St. in Pentwater, from 10 to 11 a.m.; andSadey’s Hometown, located at 134 W. Main St. in Walkerville, from noon to 1 p.m.“As always, I’m looking forward to meeting with all those in our community who wish to discuss our state government,” said Rep. Bumstead, R-Newaygo.No appointment is necessary. Residents who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Bumstead’s office by phone toll free at 877-999-0995, or by email at JonBumstead@house.mi.gov.### 05Nov Rep. Bumstead invites West Michigan residents to office hours Categories: News
Categories: Hughes News,News LANSING – Legislation authored by Rep. Holly Hughes, which allows for retired teachers to maintain their retirement benefits if they return to the classroom as substitute instructors or in critical shortage subjects, was unanimously approved by the Senate today.House Bill 4059 will address a critical shortage of accredited substitute teachers available to school districts across the state of Michigan.“This legislation makes it easier for both sides – the teachers and the school districts – to make sure qualified instructors are in front of our kids,” said Rep. Hughes, R-Montague. “With the Associated Press reporting that 15 percent of classrooms do not have qualified teachers as substitutes, this bill will help improve education quality in our state.”Rep. Hughes’ legislation replaced Public Act 464 of 2012, which allowed for retirees to retain their benefits while providing services, but expired on July 1, 2014.HB 4059 will sunset on July 1, 2018.With today’s approval, Rep. Hughes’ legislation returns to the House for concurrence, then advances to Gov. Rick Snyder for his possible approval and signature. 01Dec Rep. Hughes’ legislation to help put more qualified teachers in classrooms
Categories: Featured news,Inman News,News 11Aug Rep. Larry Inman, R-Traverse City: Local School Funding Tags: #SB, education funding, Grand Traverse County, Inman, local school funding, most education funding in Michigan history, per-pupil funding increases
State Rep. Tom Barrett, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, today encouraged local groups to apply for a grant opportunity available through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).Barrett, of Potterville, said MDARD is now accepting grant proposals for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The initiative is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crops, which include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.“This program is an outstanding resource that brings awareness to the diverse agricultural products grown and produced across our state,” Barrett said. “Michigan’s agricultural businesses and organizations can utilize the funding to improve the quality of their products, increase consumer access and ensure our state’s specialty crop industry continues to grow and thrive in the future.”The grants, with a maximum award of $100,000, enhance the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crops, including but not limited to promotion, marketing, research, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, increased knowledge and consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, good agricultural practices, good handling practices and good manufacturing practices.Barrett said eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local, state and federal government entities and for-profit organizations. The organizations must be recognized by the IRS, and applicants must reside and/or conduct their business or organization in Michigan. Applications should demonstrate how the project will potentially produce measurable impacts for the specialty crop industry as a whole and not for the exclusive benefit to a specific product, single organization, institution or individual.Grant proposals must be received by MDARD no later than 3 p.m. on February 15, 2018.For program information, application form, or submission criteria, visit www.michigan.gov/mdardgrants.### Categories: Barrett News 05Jan Rep. Barrett: Grant opportunity available for specialty crop producers
09Jan Hughes submits bill to require offenders to hear victim impact statements, calls it a top priority Categories: Hughes News,News Rep. Holly Hughes, of Montague, today introduced legislation to require anyone convicted of a crime to hear the impact statements by victims or their families during a sentencing hearing.The bill is inspired by a Muskegon County murder trial where the convicted offender, Jeffrey Willis, requested to leave his sentencing hearing on Dec. 18 before the victim’s family made their statements.“This legislation is a top priority for me because anyone convicted of a crime absolutely should be required to hear directly from the victim or family members about how their lives are impacted,” Hughes said. “The convicted felon in the Muskegon County case stated he had a ‘desire’ to leave the courtroom before the victim’s family spoke. Rebekah Bletsch’s family deserved to be heard. Anyone convicted of a crime shouldn’t have the right to dictate when they should leave the courtroom. It should be left to the court.”Hughes’ legislation will update the William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim Rights Act, which set the procedures currently used in Michigan courtrooms for protection of victims. The bill will require the defendant be in attendance for sentencing hearing for conviction of any crime, unless the defendant is determined to be a safety risk or providing a disruption by the court.“After speaking with multiple criminal justice officials, we all agreed this was the most responsible and reasonable way to have criminals face the victims and their families to hear the effects of their behavior,” Hughes said. “The court will have its discretion.”###
State Rep. Thomas Albert, of Lowell, encourages local veterans and military members to attend the upcoming Veterans’ Resource Fair to receive information about certain services and resources available in Ionia County.The fair will take place Saturday, Oct. 13, and run from 9 a.m.-1p.m. at the VFW of Belding, located at 114 North Bridge Street in Belding.“This is great opportunity for our local military veterans and military members to receive much-need information, resources and supplies from many generous organizations from the area that are dedicated to supporting our troops,” said Albert, who is a Marine Corps veteran. “I’d like to thank all the donors and volunteers that make this event so special for our men and women who have served and are currently serving to protect our most cherished freedoms.”The event is free for military veterans and members with their DD214 or military ID. Free haircuts, warm clothes and much more will be available. Rep. Albert will be giving the opening remarks.For those interested in partnering to provide a service or donate boots, jackets, hats, gloves, blankets, snacks or money can contact The Right Door at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (616) 527-1790 and ask for Susan Richards. Categories: Albert News 04Oct Rep. Albert: Ionia County Veteran’s Resource Fair is just around the corner
16Jan Rep. O’Malley appointed chair of Transportation Committee in Michigan House State Rep. Jack O’Malley today was appointed chair of the Michigan House Transportation Committee for the 2019-20 legislative session, a key position to help improve the quality of roads across the state.The committee assignment, announced by Speaker Lee Chatfield, also allows O’Malley to focus on aviation, railroad and maritime infrastructure needs in Michigan.“We need good roads and transportation systems in order for Michigan’s economy to continue to grow,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “Michigan residents want and deserve better roads, and I will be one of their leading voices in the state House.“The state is spending more than ever on road repairs right now, but there is a lot of catching up to do from years of neglect during the Lost Decade of the 2000s. We must make sure we are spending tax dollars wisely and efficiently to get the best return on investment possible.”O’Malley received several other committee assignments for the 2019-20 session. He will serve as a member of the Tax Policy, Education and Energy committees.“It is an honor to serve on these committees and I look forward to focusing on issues that will keep Michigan moving forward,” O’Malley said.O’Malley represents the Fighting 101st District, which includes Benzie, Leelanau, Manistee and Mason counties.### Categories: News,O’Malley News
Share5Tweet30Share4Email39 SharesChristopher Michel [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsJuly 28, 2017; New York TimesFor the millions of workers who can’t participate in an employment-related retirement plan, saving for retirement just got harder. For the organizations that will face the need to support retirees living in poverty, that work is going to get much harder too.Thirty thousand participants in the federal myRA program for low- and moderate-income households were informed last week by the Treasury Department of the program’s coming end. This comes just a few months after President Trump and the Republican Congressional majority cancelled an Obama-era policy that made it easier for states to directly provide low-cost IRA programs for employees of small businesses who did not have access to an employer-sponsored plan. Both programs had been created in response to a growing recognition that changes in the economy and the nature of the workplace had left a large portion of the populace without an easy path to saving for retirement.At the request of Politifact, The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College used data gathered by the Federal Reserve System to define the scope of this problem. They found that 41 percent of all 55- to 64-year-olds did not have an IRA or a 401(k) retirement plan. Of that group, 38.5 percent have some other personal saving but “the median amount of their savings is $1,000—in other words, half of them have savings of more than $1,000 and half have less.” Those on retirement will have only the Social Security benefits they have earned, benefits that were never designed to be sufficient as a sole source of support when work ended.In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama recognized this challenge, saying, “Today, most workers don’t have a pension. A Social Security check often isn’t enough on its own. And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn’t help folks who don’t have 401(k)s.” He launched the federal myRA program to make saving for retirement easier for those without employers that provided that kind of support.In a ruling released in August 2016, the Treasury Department went further to address the retirement savings challenge by allowing states to set up plans that enrolled workers in state-sponsored retirement plans. According to Forbes, prior to the Trump administration’s ending federal support, many states had responded favorably, with “over half of the states…considering providing retirement savings programs.”In cancelling the myRA program the Trump administration emphasized the small number of participants and its high cost as reasons for its decision. U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza said in a statement that “Unfortunately, there has been very little demand for the program, and the cost to taxpayers cannot be justified by the assets in the program. Fortunately, ample private-sector solutions exist, which resulted in less appeal for myRA.” The response doesn’t seem to give much thought to the failures in the private sector that caused the problem in the first place.Opposition to state-sponsored plans seemed to be spearheaded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to CNNMoney, it claimed that “state-sponsored plans would lead to a patchwork of laws across the country. This could make it difficult for small businesses to keep up, especially for those who might have workers who live in a different state.” That confusion was apparently enough to stop states from creating options that these businesses had not previously been willing to provide.Are these reasons significant enough to end these lifelines toward more secure retirement? In a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) said, “Given that this administration has worked to reduce access to retirement plans for millions of Americans, it is more critical than ever for the Treasury to strengthen one of their remaining options for retirement savings.”Forbes, reporting on a statement from AARP, noted, “Too many small business employees don’t have a way to save for retirement out of their regular paycheck. That’s 55 million workers.” Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, said, “This is an industry effort to try to preserve that customer base for itself even though they’ve had no interest in that customer base for years. Putting sand in the wheels of these state efforts is a destructive thing to do. The message: You’re on your own for retirement if you don’t have a workplace retirement plan.”The Obama administration’s efforts served as good beginnings in helping to fill the retirement-savings gap as more and more workers lack access to employment-connected options. Without these programs, many will face their retirement years with limited incomes. Government safety net programs, if they continue to exist, will need to make up for this lack of private savings. Nonprofits whose mission is to help fill those same gaps also have a stake in a solution.—Martin LevineShare5Tweet30Share4Email39 Shares
System-on-a-chip vendor Skyviia has chosen TV software company Access’s NetFront Living Connect solutioon to provide media sharing capabilities for its Android SoC that is being built for TVs and set-top boxes.Access said the solution will enable content to be shared to and from camcorders, NAS drives, PCs and smartphones with Skyviia powered Android TVs.Edward Shan, vice-president sales division and product marketing division of Skyviia said: “We chose NetFront Living Connect because in addition to its DLNA certification and class-leading interoperability, Access has ensured that its solution has advanced features such as Android support for client and server, a ‘Play-To’ feature and fully developed applications which will ensure our SoC can provide CE manufacturers with best-in-class media sharing.”
TDC-owned Danish cable operator YouSee has rebranded its Onfone mobile arm as a YouSee service, with Onfone’s founder departing to focus on an e-books venture.YouSee merged with TDC-owned MVNO Onfone last year, but both companies continued to operate under their own brands with Onfone founder and CEO Morten Strunge continuing in his role as part of YouSee’s management team.Strunge has now departed to focus on his Mofibo Books e-books subscription venture.YouSee said customers would retain the Onfone services they currently enjoy, including its Free Music, Free Facebook and Free YouSee offerings.
Satellite operator SES has struck a deal to broadcast Setanta Sports two HD channels in the CIS countries and the Baltic States via its 31.5° East position.SES will broadcast the channels to 13 countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – via the Astra 5B satellite.Setanta Sports and Setanta Sports+ will broadcast a mix of high-profile sports content in the region, including La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, European and World Cup Qualifiers, FA Cup, Capital One Cup, NHL, UFC, Formula 1, French Top 14 Rugby and World Championship boxing.“At Setanta Sports, we aim to bring TV viewers closer to the action on the ground through live broadcast of matches and races,” said Dwyer McCaughley, CEO at Setanta Sports Eurasia. “SES’s track record in delivering high-quality satellite television, coupled with Astra 5B’s extensive reach, is exactly what we need, and we look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with them.”“Setanta’s ambition is to increase their worldwide viewership and bring exciting content to sports enthusiasts in this part of the world. We are pleased that they have chosen to work with SES,” said Norbert Hölzle, senior vice-president, commercial, Europe, at SES.
Pascal RiallandAltice has named Pascal Rialland, the former head of business-to-business at French cable and telecom subsidiary Numericable-SFR and CEO of Virgin Mobile France, as head of B2B.Rialland, who will report to recently appointed chief operating officer Michel Combes, was Virgin Mobile France CEO from 2010-14, before moving to Numericable-SFR as head of B2B. He was also worked for Xerox, SFR and SAP in senior roles.
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and broadcast and OTT technology company, Inview, have selected Paywizard to support the country’s digital TV switchover project.Paywizard will manage customer data, subscriptions and billing for the switchover – including voucher code and scratchcard transactions – using its AgileXtra subscriber management platform.The platform will be integrated with Inview’s set-top boxes and Nagra’s conditional access system. Paywizard will also provide Inview with contact centre support, service automation and “DTT and digital switchover insight”.“While the pay TV market across Africa is growing rapidly and demand is high, the switchover process is challenging. We were looking to work with proven partners, such as Paywizard and Inview, who have lots of experience and industry knowledge to guide us as we move towards going digital,” said Emeka Mba, director general of NBC Nigeria.Inview chairman, Nick Markham, added that vouchers are the “obvious route of pre-payment” for subscribers to easily pay for the digital access fee that NBC Nigeria plans to introduce.“We’ve worked with Paywizard on a number of opportunities across the world, predominantly in the DTT and digital switchover market and with the complexities of a market such as Nigeria; they were the obvious choice of partner to work with us,” said Markham.Nigeria failed to meet the official deadline for for switchover from analogue to digital TV in June – a deadline that was agreed by member states of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference in 2006.NBC Nigeria has now agreed a new deadline of June 20, 2017 in coordination with neighbouring states.In September the broadcast commission granted MTN permission to provide digital-terrestrial pay TV services in Nigeria after the South African telco paid NGN34 billion (€149 million) to secure the licence. NBC said the MTN deal would provide just under 50% of the budget to finance the country’s digital switchover.
Casten AlmqvistSwedish free and pay TV broadcaster TV4 Group has posted respectable sales and profit growth for its full 2015 financial year, with sales rising from SEK4.206 billion (€450 million) to SEK4.234 billion, and EBITA rising from SEK640 million to SEK662 million.TV4 Group said that the results reflected increased investment in Swedish content and technology, which had boosted consumption on all platforms, including digital services.In digital, TV4 Play outperformed the market, according to the group, with the number of streams initiated by viewers rising by 95% and time spent on the platform rising by 79%. TV4 Play’s weekly reach in the fourth quarter rose to 20.9%, placing it second to YouTube in Sweden among advertising-funded online players.CEO Casten Almqvist said that the results reflected said that results were “clear proof” that the company’s strategy of investing in Swedish content on all platforms was working. He said that these investments would “remain central” to the company’s strategy, along with closer coordination with the wider Bonnier broadcasting organisation to which TV4 belongs.
Matt GrestThe BBC has named Matt Grest as director of platform. Grest was previously Sky’s director of digital platforms, with responsibility for web and mobile across Sports, News, Sky.com and intranet. He also led the creation and expansion of Sky’s new digital hub in Leeds.As the BBC’s director of platform, Grest will be part of the Design and Engineering (D&E) technology division created last year and will be tasked with heading up the transformation of the BBC’s digital and broadcast products into a fully integrated platform, merging together the public broadcaster’s existing platform products and teams with myBBC, the corporation’s digital innovation initiative unveiled by director-general Tony Hall in 2015.Prior to working for Sky, Grest was part of the IT leadership team at Yorkshire Building Society, head of development at NHS Choices (Capita) and head of software development at Plusnet. He will join the BBC in late spring.Matthew Postgate, chief technology and product officer for the BBC, said: “I believe Matt’s experience can help us make a step-change toward our goals around platform convergence – broadcast and online, content and users – whilst bringing experience and insight about what it’s like being a user and customer of a platform. Matt is aligned with our philosophy and approach to creating a platform group with a strong sense of identity and service to the BBC; he has achieved just that at Sky, having built up a highly regarded team and established a strong and inspiring culture at a similar scale as we’re working to in D&E.”
Amazon is likely to have a bigger impact on the German market, and other markets in which it is present, than Netflix, according to a panel of TV and platform operator executives at the ANGA COM congress in Cologne.Taking part in the opening panel session at the show, Anke Schaferkordt, CEO, RTL Deutschland, said that Netflix successfully appealed to a younger audience with its content offering.However, she said that Amazon would ultimately prove stronger and could evolve into a player like Google or Apple that have successfully developed a closed ecosystem encompassing a wide range of products. Amazon has a broader range of products than Netflix and could disrupt the market more deeply, she said.Schaferkordt nevertheless maintained that RTL would continue to be a successful player in German TV. She said that the “big American players with their own exclusive content are now present in the German market” and competition is increasing as a result. On the other hand, Netflix and Amazon are attracting “smaller target groups” while RTL is attracting a large, mainstream audience, she said.Lutz Schuler, CEO of Liberty Global-owned cable operator Unitymedia, also speaking on the panel, said that he had “huge respect for Amazon” because “they are going out there and taking our business away”.Schuler said that Amazon is likely to disrupt the German market and is likely to have a more profound influence than Netflix.He said that local players had relied too long on “the inertia of local customers” to thrive. Elsewhere in the world, customers are cutting the cord, he said. “I’d like to shake us awake,” said Schuler. Network operators had to bundle local content and offer it to customers.Schuler said that technological innovation married to high-speed networks would add value, citing the example of virtual and augmented reality, which companies like Liberty Global are best placed to deliver.Tele Columbus CEO Ronny Verhelst, also speaking on the panel, said that regular broadcast TV “is not dead” in Germany, with 70% of people still watching on a daily basis.“What is changing is that every year there is a 30% increase in VOD usage in Germany. The danger is coming from abroad, from the Netflixes and Amazons. This is a global threat. In the content world, international content… belongs to the Netflixes and Amazons of the world”, he said. On the other hand, he claimed that local broadcasters could still thrive by focusing on live content – including sport – and content with local relevance.