TORONTO — The Malta Specialist Program is now available on Travelweek’s Learning Centre, giving agents the chance to learn about key selling points of the destination’s three islands (Malta, Gozo and Comino), as well as enter a contest for a chance to win a Stephen Cordina gift hamper.“This program provides a thorough overview of the possibilities that exist for customers. Having this designation signals credibility when talking about Malta,” says Damon Allan, Operations Manager of Maxima Tours. “It also gets agents excited to sell a destination that is relatively new, outside of being on a Mediterranean cruise itinerary as a shore excursion.”By taking this course, agents will learn about Malta’s 7,000 years of history, which is best exemplified in its ancient towns and archaeological sites. They’ll also learn about the local climate, scenery and beaches, plus all available activities like diving, hiking, snorkelling, rock climbing, sailing, golf and more.In addition, the program highlights why Malta is a destination for families, weddings and honeymoons. There is a wide range of accommodation, dining and nightlight on the island, all of which will help agents book the perfect holiday for their clients.More news: AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’ns“Malta is very safe, has English as one of the official languages, fabulous weather year-round and enough to keep fill the cup of any cultural enthusiast,” continues Allan. “So whether it is our rich history and culture, our food, adventure opportunities or our festive calendar, Malta is guaranteed not to disappoint!”Allan works for Maxima Tours, which targets niche markets such as retirement or active living communities and bank travel clubs, and presents newer destinations such as the Maltese Islands. Currently, Maxima has the best Malta itinerary for the cultural enthusiast and for those who like travelling in small groups with a personal, non-tourist feel.“Since our mother was born in Malta and we are both nationals, it made perfect sense for us to introduce ‘our Malta’ to North Americans,” says Allen. “We really get excited with any new destination that we offer.”Malta has traditionally been recognized as a sun and sand destination for Europeans, with little exposure of its significant treasures to the North American traveller. A big push to target North Americans is underway through a variety of efforts geared to engage the more cultured client.More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaFeedback from agents suggests that their clients are loving the destination and Maxima Tours.“I just had my client at my desk and she spent a half hour telling me how wonderful your tour was, how well planned it was and what a great time she had. What most impressed her were the little surprises, the table prepared for them at the Canons with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, the special attention, all unexpected. In the countryside, the personal visits with locals were wonderful,” said Lynda Spinner, Manager AAA Northeast.To learn more about this destination, visit travelweeklearningcentre.com.Agents who complete the course by April 6 will be entered to win a luxurious Stephen Cordina gift hamper, which includes luxury essential oils and aromatherapy. Posted by Share Tuesday, January 30, 2018 Take the Malta Specialist Program now on the Learning Centre Devin Kinasz Tags: Education, Malta, Travelweek Learning Centre << Previous PostNext Post >>
QantasSydney Airport welcomes new Qantas service to OsakaSydney Airport welcomed the commencement of Qantas’ new direct Sydney-Osaka service today, marking a new route for the airport.The three-weekly service will operate on an Airbus A330 aircraft, adding 92,000 seats annually.Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said the new route would provide additional capacity to meet growing demand from travellers.“We’re thrilled that Qantas has recognised the strength of this growing market with its new service,” Ms Mather said.“This new Qantas service is a fantastic boost for tourism, as it’s expected to bring in an additional 24,000 Japanese visitors and $50 million in additional visitor expenditure per year for NSW,” Ms Mather said.“Japan is also one of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers. Osaka is our largest unserved market and Sydneysiders will be excited to now have a direct route to Osaka in time for the busy holiday period.“The city of Osaka offers a new gateway for Australians to explore Japan, particularly the beautiful Kansai region, the neighbouring historic city of Kyoto, and its great shopping, restaurants and nightlife.”Japan is Sydney Airport’s sixth largest origin and destination market, growing 15 percent in the past year.Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the NSW Government is working with Qantas and travel trade partners to further promote the new year-round service.“Sydney is undisputedly the gateway to our great State and we are delighted to be welcoming the new Qantas service, set to encourage more Japanese visitors to explore our sparkling Harbour City, iconic attractions and beautiful rural and regional destinations,” Mr Marshall said.“With record numbers of visitors flying into Sydney and travelling beyond into rural and regional NSW, we look forward to boosting the State’s visitor economy as a result of this new service and ensuring NSW is the number one choice for Japanese travellers.”Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia was already working closely with Qantas to promote the new Osaka service in Japan, including supporting a party of Japanese media travelling to Australia on the inaugural flight.“The travel trade in market are really excited about the new service. As we’ve seen in the past few years, improved air access has really helped turn around the Japan market. Being able to fly direct to Australia from Osaka is hugely significant. When combined with the high-speed rail network that serves the airport, this new service effectively opens up a huge catchment area of potential holidaymakers for Australia across southern and western Japan,” Mr O’Sullivan said.Source = Sydney Airport
Italian carrier MyAir has announced two new routes to the Balearic island of Ibiza.The airline will add flights from both its Bologna Guglielmo Marconi and Milan Orio al Serio bases next month.At Bologna, the Ibiza services will operate alongside flights to Bucharest, Sofia, Bordeaux and Paris Charles De Gaulle, alongside domestic Italian routes to Brindisi and Catania on the island of Sicily.The Milan-Ibiza service will join a schedule that already includes flights to Madrid, Marrakech, Istanbul and Napoli, among other destinations.Flights on the Milan to Ibiza route will run once a week until September, while services from Bologna will operate over the same summer period.New flights to Ibiza have recently been announced by Jet2 and Monarch Airlines. Jet2’s summer service will operate from Blackpool Airport, with Monarch running its new Ibiza flights from Birmingham, London Gatwick, Luton and Manchester. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedBlu-express adds new Rome routeLow cost Italian carrier Blu-express has announced a new domestic flight from Rome to Pantelleria.Monarch to launch new Ibiza services next summerCheap flights carrier Monarch has announced that it will be launching new services to IbizaNew cheap flights from Edinburgh to Europe announcedNew cheap flights from Edinburgh to Europe announced
MPs agreed on Wednesday that a single system needs to be in place for the collection and management of rubber, to avoid incidents like the large fire earlier in the month near the Vasiliko cement factory caused by large piles of old tyres being stored next to a flammable substance.The issue was discussed on Wednesday at the House environment committee, where MPs heard that if the fire had not been contained it would have caused a huge disaster in the area as the factory is located in the same area as the VTTV oil depot and an electricity authority (EAC) substation.Disy MP Giorgos Karoulas, who registered the issue for discussion, said that it is important that a single system is introduced for the collection and management of old tyres, to ensure the safety and health of members of the public. He added that the Department of the Environment ought to promote legislation providing for just that.State services ought to address this responsibly, he said, and all stakeholders involved ought to fully cooperate.A study should be carried out, he said, to define where and how old tyres should be stored “to avoid any unpleasant incidents like that in Vasiliko”.The Greens’ MP Charalambos Theopemptou said that despite the existence of licenced companies dealing with the recycling of old tyres, there are still many of them dumped in the countryside.Unless the collection and management system is improved, he said, the problem will continue to exist.As regards the fire in Vasiliko, Theopemptou said there were too many tyres near the cement factory, next to a flammable substance. He referred to the EU’s Seveso Directive on major industrial accidents involving dangerous chemicals. The flammable substance, he said, was in a Seveso area.In addition to the fire, he said, the water used to put out the fire washed away the dangerous substances and polluted the subsoil. The damage needs to be fixed.The fire service said last week that the Vasiliko fire was probably caused by quantities of spontaneously combustible renewable biofuel (RBF). It said that investigations indicated that RBF was present around huge piles of old wooden electricity poles and old tyres, thus making it highly likely to be the source of the fire and the reason it spread so quickly. Crews were working all night to get the fire under control.Plans are underway to have a fire station in the area up and running by 2019. You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
A 51-year-old man was remanded in custody for two days on Tuesday in connection with a fire at a Polemidia property on Saturday that destroyed scrub and killed animals.He was arrested on Monday in connection with fire caused by a negligent and reckless act charges. He is believed to have been working in the area the fire starting, making a roof.He admitted to being in the area at the time but said that as soon as he realised there was a fire worked with two other unknown people who later left to put it out.Another three people were arrested earlier for their involvement in the case.On Sunday the 43-year-old man who was operating an electric tool from which the fire started was remanded for four days.The suspect, who arrived at court without a lawyer, denied involvement in the case.Initially police had arrested the 51-year-old owner of the affected farm and his 45-year-old wife as during the course of their investigations both people had been named and the woman is believed to have given false information to the police.The 43-year-old had undertaken, on behalf of the couple, to build an extension to the farm and according to witnesses he had used an electric tool during his work which started the fire.The fire, which was brought under control at 5.25pm on Saturday destroyed half a square kilometre of land, some olive and carob trees, the farm buildings, farm animals and two parked cars.A total of four helicopters belonging to government services plus two from the British bases helped fight the blaze.You May LikeSilentSnoreSnore like a Pig? Here’s One Trick to Stop SnoringSilentSnoreUndoInfo-life.xyz10 Best Concept Cars For The FutureInfo-life.xyzUndoBlitzLiftLittle Known Facts About Air Force OneBlitzLiftUndo Russian opposition leader Navalny hospitalised for allergic reactionUndoLimassol police investigating attempted murderUndoCypriot ambassadors gather in Nicosia for annual briefingUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
09Mar Chairman Haveman discusses legislation on the House floor. Categories: News Chairman Haveman discusses legislation on the House floor.
Categories: News 05Feb Rep. Lyons responds to preliminary injunction ruling Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto, released the following statement in response to today’s court ruling which granted preliminary injunction only to Section 57 (3) of Senate Bill 571, now known as Public Act 269 of 2015:“I am focused on my legislation to clarify the intent of Senate Bill 571 (PA 269 of 2015), which was to prevent taxpayer dollars from being spent on influencing voters regarding ballot questions. The court agrees that clarifying language will further improve the existing law, therefore I urge my legislative colleagues and interested stakeholders to support my bill which protects hardworking taxpayers and clarifies that schools and local governments can disseminate factual information to residents.”HB 5219 was reported out of the House Elections Committee this week and awaits a vote on the House floor.
Categories: Sheppard News,Sheppard Photos Photo Information: State Rep. Jason Sheppard (left), of Temperance, invited William Bruck (right), owner of Visiting Angels in Monroe and trustee for Monroe County Community College, as his guest on the House floor during Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address. Bruck, a United States Army veteran, served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. The governor discussed priorities for the coming year during the speech. 23Jan Local business owner, Monroe County Community College Trustee joins Rep. Sheppard for State of the State Tags: State of the State
Share8TweetShareEmail8 SharesJuly 10, 2016; TakePartFormer prison inmates often find reentry into the community difficult enough, but for registered sex offenders, release from prison carries the social stigma of deviance as a figurative scarlet letter. Nobody wants a sex offender as a neighbor or as a coworker. Restrictions on where they can live, including distances they must remain from schools and playgrounds, significantly affect the quality of their lives and those of their families once they leave incarceration. As NPQ reported only recently, International Megan’s Law now requires sex offenders to have a special symbol on their passports when they travel abroad. International governments will also be notified when a sex offender is traveling, a law that advocacy groups have called unconstitutional and unjust.One consequence of these externalities is that communities have been established solely to accommodate sex offenders and their unique challenges. Miracle Village, situated in a secluded Florida town, has hosted a community of sex offenders for several years. The documentary that aired yesterday on PBS profiled a different sex offender community in Florida, exploring what life is like for its residents and whether we as a society are taking the right steps to rehabilitate them. Pervert Park follows 120 residents in Palace Mobile Park in St. Petersburg, Florida, where every member of the community has stood convicted of a sex crime. Through one-on-one interviews, the documentary records the daily lives of those in the community. The trailer park is run through Florida Justice Transitions, a nonprofit that was established in 1990 to help find housing and resources for sex offenders, who are often ostracized by society. While the documentary was first released at the Sundance Film Festival last year, PBS’s airing of the film will be the first wide release of the movie to the public. “Before we went there, we hadn’t really questioned what a sex offender was,” said Scandinavian filmmaker Frida Barkfors, who co-directed the documentary with her husband, Lasse Barkfors. “We had completely bought into what the mainstream media portrayed.” According to the description of the movie, “Pervert Park raises significant questions. Should America give these criminals a second chance? And can their experiences help in devising a successful strategy for reducing the growing number of sex crimes?” Many have discussed whether the sex offender registry, and the myriad crimes one can be convicted of and end up labeled a sex offender, are part of that successful strategy. As NPQ has discussed before, individuals designated as sex offenders and placed on the national registry have committed crimes as heinous and repulsive as rape or the possession and distribution of child pornography, and as banal as public urination. A 17-year-old might be convicted as a sex offender if he or she receives explicit photos from a 16-year-old girlfriend, an offense many would agree does not merit a place on the sex offender registry next to a violent child molester.These disparities are reflected in the demographics of the community. Florida Justice Transitions was established by Nancy Morais when her son, a sex offender, had a difficult time finding a place to live that abided by the restrictions given to those on the registry.“If they could choose, they would not be there. They want to live with their families. They want to heal. They want to reintegrate into society,” said Frida Barkfors. “They’re not able to do that because of the registry and because of all the restrictions that you have to live with as a sex offender.”While such laws and the registry have not been recognized as the best solutions for rehabilitating sex offenders, the documentary does focus on what may be working: group therapy. According to the documentary, several residents endured abuse as children, including Tracy Hutchinson, who was repeatedly raped by her father. Hutchinson then proceeded to abuse her own son. According to Don Sweeney, a counselor at the community, group therapy may have broken the cycle for Hutchinson. In the film, Sweeney says, “Offenders will continue to act out until they’re stopped and they understand their behavior. Treating one offender might prevent 10 more victims from being created.” The community’s support for one another may have a greater chance of reducing recidivism than other methods of tackling sexual misconduct and assault.—Shafaq HasanShare8TweetShareEmail8 Shares
Share7TweetShareEmail7 Shares“Selly Oak Hospital – Raddlebarn Road – sign – H Hospital” by Elliot BrownApril 3, 2017; WWL-TV and Greater Baton Rouge Business ReportAbout five years ago, Louisiana began a public-private program with its charity hospital system. The system, which was in financial trouble, was transitioned to a mix of for-profit and nonprofit private hospitals and corporations. A recent impact analysis of Louisiana’s privatization of its public health system has declared the project a resounding success, saving the state $2.7 billion over the four-year period between 2013 and 2016.The study estimates the financial impact of the privatization. First, it estimates the revenues raised for the state from leases of buildings and equipment to private hospitals and doctors. Then, the author adds in federal matching funds. Finally, the author adds monies provided for capital improvements that the private groups bear, rather than the state.The study then performs a series of exercises (read: homework problems) to estimate the spillover effects of these monies into the rest of the Louisiana economy. The study estimates an impressive 17,500 jobs added as a result of the state, splitting the new revenues 50/50 between health and education expenditures. Additionally, the study estimates $1.7 billion in additional sales in 2016.Now, these estimates are based on a number of assumptions, some more justifiable than others, but on net, these spillover/multiplier estimates are likely an overstatement. Without getting too far into the weeds, the assumption of an even 50/50 split of 100 percent of the revenues is very optimistic. However, that is not the biggest takeaway of this study.What should be noted is that Louisiana has found a way to privatize its hospital system, which was one of the few remaining state-run systems in the U.S. With this privatization naturally come a few concerns. Are more people left without healthcare as a result of the privatization? What happens to the cost of healthcare in these formerly state-run institutions? What about the quality of care? Will private hospitals care for their patients in the same way?Luckily, the public-private hospital ownership question has been among the most studied in the economics field. Unfortunately, the results of these studies have been mixed, although many empirical studies tend to lean toward private hospitals being an improvement in many ways over state-run hospitals, although the degree of competition can affect the quality of care and amount of uncompensated care—i.e., care for patients who cannot pay all or part of their hospital bills. The good news for patients of nonprofits is that nonprofit hospitals may compete over quality of care, leading to high levels of care in areas with competing nonprofit hospitals.The study aims to measure the “improved care” now available thanks to privatization of the state’s health system. Unfortunately, it is not nearly rigorous enough to draw any solid conclusions about the care now being received by these would-be patients of the state. There is reason to be optimistic, however. It will be interesting to see how the healthcare system evolves and revenues change over time. Four years in is far too early to declare victory, but it is off to a good start.—Sean WattersonShare7TweetShareEmail7 Shares
Imported feature films generated US$4.31 billion (€3.51 billion) for European broadcasters in 2011, according to new research. The value created by movies, mainly hailing from the US, fell slightly year on year against the 2010 figure of US$4.33 billion, but was up sharply on the 2009 figure of US$4.17 billion. The number of hours screened, 98,961, was, however the highest in recent years.The report, from Madigan Cluff, ETS and Digital TV Research, measures the value created by advertising around the airing of movies, largely on commercial free-to-air channels. The 2011 figures show the market for movies among broadcasters has proved resilient despite the challenging economic conditions, audience fragmentation and the emergence of OTT and other platforms and technologies.The report shows that the US studios accounted for over two-thirds of the imported movies. Warner Bros shopped the most titles of all the majors by a large margin ahead of NBC, Fox, Paramount, Sony and Disney respectively.There was a noticeable difference in the value created and hours screened in different territories. Michael Cluff, co-author and director at Madigan Cluff, said: “German channels contributed nearly a quarter of the total value in 2011, followed by Italy and the UK. Together these three countries accounted for 52% of the total.”Jonathan Bailey, co-author and managing director at ETS, added: “The total number of imported feature film hours in Europe hovers just below 100,000 each year. Germany was the leader again in 2011, followed by the UK and Russia. However, France and the Netherlands are notable absentees from the list of top countries.”
Google could move quickly to sell the Home division of recently acquired Motorola Mobility, which includes its set-top box and cable headend equipment activities, according to US reports.According to Light Reading Cable, citing un-named industry insiders, Google could start the sale process early next month, with an initial round of bidding to be held in October ahead of a deal as early as mid-December. However, another source cited by Light Reading said that Google could take time to assess and secure intellectual property assets from the unit before putting it up for sale.
Time Warner backed Central and Eastern European broadcast group CME is considering selling Nova TV in Croatia and Pop TV in Slovenia, according to a local report.The news story, which came from a Croatian business news site, follows comments from CME CEO Adrian Sarbu that the company is looking at selling some assets.The company issued disappointing third-quarter results last month.Speaking to analysts in the wake of the results, Sarbu said: “We are in the early stages of evaluating the potential for asset sales, as well as other measures to further optimize or restructure our cost base.”CME bought Nova TV in 2004.Time Warner upped its stake in CME to 40% earlier this year.A CME spokesman declined to comment.
Fox International Channels has appointed Jean-Philippe Amos as its vice-president of media sales and partnerships, international and France.Amos will be responsible for Fox International Channel’s international advertising sales out of France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He will also manage local advertising sales in France.Amso was most recently CEO of Mediamarks Geneva and New York and brings 15 years of international media, sales and marketing experience to the role.He previously worked for firms including ESPN, The Hearst Corporation, Emap, CNN, Time Warner, News Corp, and IMG.
Roku has sold more than 10 million streaming players in the US in the time since it first launched in 2008. Announcing the milestone, Roku said that more than 1,800 streaming channels are now available on the device and that customers have streamed a total of five billion hours since 2008 – with 3 billion hours expected to be streamed in 2014 alone.Roku said its top-performing US metro areas are the Bay Area, Washington D.C., Seattle, Atlanta and Phoenix.“We’re thrilled that Roku is recognised for making America’s favourite streaming players,” said Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood.“Our goal is to make TV better for everyone and that single focus guides us to create better ways for consumers to easily and instantly enjoy the best streaming entertainment. With the recent launch of Roku TV, we’re offering even more ways to stream.”Recent NPD Group research said that, as of Q2, Apple had the biggest stake of the US streaming device market with a 39% market share, compared to 28% for Roku and 16% for Google.
Elizabeth Hendricks NorthCuriosityStream, the factual video-on-demand service from Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, has launched on Amazon Fire TV devices.CuriosityStream president Elizabeth Hendricks North described the Amazon launch as a “significant milestone for the service”.“Consumers can now access the service in their living rooms, along with Netflix and Hulu, to watch and share with their family and friends,” she said.CuriosityStream is already available to watch via Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV devices, as well as on phones and tablets.The service launched in the US in March and rolled out globally at the end of September. CuriosityStream now claims to offer more than 1,000 original and first-run documentaries and is available for US$2.99 per month in SD or US$5.99 in HD.
Some 1.4 million 4K Ultra HD TVs were sold in the US market during the second quarter, a 119% increase compared to Q2 2015, according to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).The US-based industry association said that to date more than 8 million 4K UHD TVs have been sold domestically and that the roughly 45 Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray releases that were available in the first half of the year had reached “impressive sales of some 288,000”. The DEG’s ‘Second Quarter 2016 Home Entertainment Report’ estimates that overall HDTV penetration in the US now stands at 95%, or 104.1 million homes, and that Blu-ray playing devices – including games consoles and set-top boxes – are now in 85 million homes.“Total US home entertainment spending was more than US$4.3 billion (€5.3 billion) for the second quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to US$8.9 billion, 2% higher than in the first half of 2015,” according to the DEG.“Purchases of physical and digital content were up more than 4% to US$1.7 billion for the quarter pointing to consumers’ continued desire to add content to their collections. Overall physical sales grew 3% with Blu-ray discs particularly robust with 35% growth for the quarter over the same period last year.”
Viaccess-Orca has partnered with Harmonic to bring two solutions to IBC – one relating to OTT applications and the other to virtual reality (VR).The companies will showcase a new end-to-end video software as a service for OTT applications, as well as a new multiview app for the virtual reality (VR) environment.By combining Viaccess-Orca’s Voyage – TV Everywhere as a service platform with Harmonic’s VOS 360 cloud media processing service, the two companies are offering pay TV operators a flexible OTT solution that runs entirely on the cloud.The ecosystem is designed to streamline video management, security, and service delivery tasks, handling everything from contribution to transcoding, packaging, scrambling, and distribution of live and time-shift content to connected devices.The new multiview app for the VR environment uses space-related UHD content from Harmonic, on a Samsung Gear VR headset with Viaccess-Orca’s Connected Sentinel Player, to simulate a live 360-degree VR environment that provides synchronised, multiple perspectives for a richer VR experience.“Given the dynamic nature of the OTT environment, pay TV operators are looking to partner with technology providers skilled in data management and experiences, content protection, and delivering high-quality, exciting video experiences to consumers on a broad range of devices,” said Chem Assayag, executive vice-president of marketing and sales at Viaccess-Orca.“Harmonic and Viaccess-Orca both bring a very high level of innovation to this collaboration, enabling safer, immersive video experiences to be enjoyed by end-users, with better video quality and advanced features like 360-degree viewing on VR headsets, along with increased savings and monetization for operators.”Viaccess-Orca are exhibiting at IBC on stand 1.A51. Harmonic can be found at stand 1.B20
Discovery is to provide premium short-form video content exclusively for US users of social media platform Snapchat.Under the terms of the deal, Discovery and Snapchat will collaborate to produce new series created specifically for Snapchat’s mobile-centric audience as well as shows inspired by existing Discovery titles including Shark Week and Mythbusters.The shows are expected to be made available to Snapchatters in the next few months.The pair will also collaborate on advertising, with Discovery taking Snapchat’s ad technology and formats to its stable of advertisers.“We’re thrilled to introduce our iconic Discovery content to the Snapchat community. There are few other platforms as dynamic and engaging, especially among younger audiences,” said Paul Guyardo, chief commercial officer, Discovery Communications.“Discovery are world-class storytellers who have turned unlikely subjects into cultural phenomena,” said Nick Bell, vice-president of content, Snap Inc.“We have seen what they can do when developing and producing creative concepts for TV and we’re excited to see what’s in store as they apply their talent and expertise to this new medium.”Snapchat, which provides an app that enables users to share photos and short videos, is increasingly looking to video as part of its overall proposition. In February, the social media outfit struck a deal with BBC Worldwide to make exclusive content from Planet Earth II available on the platform a day before its linear TV airing.In its recent IPO filing, Snapchat listed traditional TV companies among its potential competitors, along with internet technology companies and digital platforms.
Europe’s commercial broadcasters have said proposed changes to to the main directive covering content and distribution risk stunting growth in the sector, reducing consumer choice, and putting a brake on investment in local programming.Europe is in the throes of revising the AVMS Directive with a view to fostering the digital economy in the region.A host of associations representing broadcasters in the EU have aligned their lobbying effort with a joint statement in which they warn of the dangers to the industry if mooted changes are implemented.A statement outlining objections counts industry groups ACT, COBA, CRT, EGTA, VPRT and UTECA among its signatories.Its specific complaints relate to proposed new rules on advertising, which the group complains will limit the ability of commercial networks to invest in content, and are also out of sync with the rules for online video platforms.They also take issue with the idea that broadcasters will face levies on their linear and on-demand services, which they say will restrict their ability to fund programming ‘and prevent channels from taking an innovative approach to funding content in response to changing audience demand’.The other area of concern is that the ‘country of origin’ principle, which means channels are beholden to local country-specific rules, will be eroded as the EU seeks uniformity across the region.The group said reworking AVMS is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to boost commercial TV in the EU region, but that the proposals in their current form ‘represent a step backwards’.“When the European Commission embarked on the current review, vice president Andrus Ansip pledged to enable audiovisual companies ‘to be the powerhouses in the digital economy, not weigh them down with unnecessary rules’, but instead of deregulation, current proposals will increase restrictions – jeopardising investment in European content, increasing unfair competition with online players, and undermining the freedom to broadcast,” said the group.