Mexican marines free dozens of kidnapped migrants

first_img Sponsored Stories MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican marines have freed 104 kidnapped Central American migrants who were being held in a house in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, authorities said Sunday.A statement from the Secretary of the Marines said the 102 Hondurans and two Salvadorans, including 13 women, had been held captive for four days.It said the rescue operation came after authorities received a tip that vehicles were seen arriving at the house in Tamaulipas state and armed men were then seen violently unloading people from them. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 3 international destinations to visit in 2019center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The statement didn’t say if the migrants were trying to cross Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States, but it is common for Central American migrants trying to reach the U.S. to be kidnapped and ransoms demanded from their families.According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, each year about 150,000 migrants, mostly Central Americans, cross Mexico trying to reach the United States.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Poet laureate Tracy K Smith launching podcastrad

first_imgPoet laureate Tracy K. Smith launching podcast-radio show by The Associated Press Posted Oct 2, 2018 7:02 am PDT Last Updated Oct 2, 2018 at 7:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – The country’s poet laureate, Tracy K. Smith, is launching a weekly podcast and radio program called “The Slowdown.”Smith said in a statement Tuesday that she wanted to inspire listeners to “make a daily space for poetry” in a world dominated by breaking news events.“The Slowdown” will begin on podcast platforms on November 26 and will be offered to public radio stations in January 2019. Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, will read works by other writers and will explore the role of poetry in the contemporary world. Her other projects include “American Conversations: Celebrating Poems in Rural Communities,” for which she has travelled around the country.“The Slowdown” is being funded by the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation. It’s also receiving support from the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center.center_img FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2018, file photo, U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith stands in a rotunda of the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, N.M. Smith, is launching a weekly podcast and radio program called “The Slowdown.” Smith said in a statement Tuesday, Oct. 2, that she wanted to inspire listeners to “make a daily space for poetry” in a world dominated by breaking news events. (AP Photo/Mary Hudetz, File) last_img read more

Governor signs Rep Runestads bill to remove culturally insensitive language

first_img Today, Gov. Rick Snyder approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, to remove culturally insensitive language that is no longer sufficient to describe the deaf and hard of hearing community.House Bill 5184, now Public Act 131 of 2016, amends the Division on Deafness Act by striking “deafness” and replacing it with “deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing.”“The term ‘hearing impaired’ implies that these individuals who are deaf have a deficiency or weakening quality that is entirely untrue and entirely unkind,” said Rep. Runestad. “Deaf people are excelling in all aspects of life, and as the door opens for more sign language interpreter opportunities these individuals will continue to flourish without hindrance of a perceived disability.“Designating or denoting an individual by highlighting their differences is cruel and unnecessary. We have evolved as a civilization, therefore our laws and statutes should reflect the common-sense steps we as a society have taken to support equal rights for all.”HB 5184 is part of a bipartisan package including HBs 5182 to 5188. The entire bill package was approved by the governor and signed into law today. The Legislature has previously updated laws to remove “crippled children” and other derogatory phrases. Public Act 131 of 2016 furthers the Legislature’s desire to modify existing statute with modern and culturally appropriate language.###### Categories: Featured news,News,Runestad News Tags: #SB, Deaf, hard of hearing, HB5184, Public Act 131 of 2016, removing culturally insensitive language, Runestad center_img 26May Governor signs Rep. Runestad’s bill to remove culturally insensitive languagelast_img read more

Rep Bellino to host indistrict office hours April 21

first_img Categories: Bellino News 07Apr Rep. Bellino to host in-district office hours April 21 State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe will host office hours during April to meet with residents in Monroe and Wayne counties.“One way I seek feedback from the people I was elected to serve is by hosting local office hours throughout the community,” Rep. Bellino said. “It’s important to hear from people living in the district so I can better represent them.”Rep. Bellino will meet with residents on April 21 at the following locations:• 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, 26614 Telegraph Road, Flat Rock;• Noon to 1 p.m. at Tim Hortons, 404 South Monroe Street, Monroe; and• 6 to 7 p.m. at Little Brown Jug, 7697 Bluebush Road, Maybee.Appointments are not necessary during office hours. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to contact Rep. Bellino’s office at (517) 373-1530, email or visit read more

Rep Kelly votes for more money toward Saginaw County road repairs

first_img21Feb Rep. Kelly votes for more money toward Saginaw County road repairs Categories: Kelly News,News Budget change gets money to local, county roads this yearSaginaw County drivers will benefit from legislation approved today by Rep. Tim Kelly and the state House of Representatives, directly allocating from $175 million in additional funds for Michigan road construction as early this summer.This increases 2018 road funding investment to approximately $760 million.“It’s not winter or spring, it’s pothole season in Michigan and we’re all fed up with it,” said Kelly, of Saginaw Township. “Today’s vote gives our local and county road crews the money to make repairs now and better fund infrastructure projects for this summer, instead of delaying funding until 2019. We can’t afford to miss this opportunity.”In addition to state projects, the bill includes money for Saginaw County roads in addition to city and village roads in Frankenmuth, Birch Run and St. Charles.Today’s additional funding is already available, meaning there were no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes required for the investment.“Having snowstorms, then 60-degree weather a week later is not easy on Michigan roads or the drivers,” Kelly said. “Today’s vote builds on our commitment in Lansing to improve funding to make our drive to work or school a safe one.”House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###last_img read more

Rep Whiteford plans consumer education forum on identity theft

first_img13Apr Rep. Whiteford plans consumer education forum on identity theft Tags: identity theft Categories: Whiteford Newscenter_img State Rep. Mary Whiteford has scheduled a consumer education event in partnership with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office to educate residents on identity theft.The forum will feature information on protection against identity theft and what steps to take in the event you become a victim of this crime.“As technology continues to become more and more prevalent in our lives, it’s important we provide the tools and knowledge people need to protect themselves and their personal information,” Whiteford said. “This forum will give people in the community a crash course on how to protect their information.” The event starts at 11 a.m. Friday, May 11 at the Perrigo Wellness Center, 490 Eastern Ave. in Allegan. There is no charge to attend.  Please RSVP to Rep. Whiteford’s office by Friday, May 4. For more information, contact Rep. Whiteford’s office at 517-373-0836 or by email at read more

Rep Chatfield announces upcoming office hours schedule

first_img Categories: Chatfield News State Rep. Lee Chatfield invites residents to join him during local office hours for the months of November and December. The schedule for office hours is as follows:Monday, Nov. 1910 to 11 a.m. at the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce, 2581 I-75 Business Spur in Sault Ste. Marie.Friday, Dec 710 to 11 a.m. at Christopher’s Café, 3725 S Straits Hwy in Indian River.“I am looking forward to continuing my commitment to meet with members of the community on a monthly basis,” Chatfield said. “I remain dedicated to being open and accessible to the people of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. I welcome anyone who has ideas, issues, or concerns to join me.”No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Anyone unable to attend may contact Rep. Chatfield’s office by calling (517) 373-2629, via email at or through his website at 14Nov Rep. Chatfield announces upcoming office hours schedulelast_img read more

BBC Worldwide has restructured its Western Europe

first_imgBBC Worldwide has restructured its Western Europe division, announcing five new country chiefs.All of the execs under the new structure report to David Weiland (pictured) who is executive VP, Western Europe, at Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK public broadcaster. The changes follow a wholesale restructure of the Worldwide operation, which saw the company reorganise along geographic lines.Under the new-look Western Europe structure, responsibility for the region will be divided into five regions and country-specific groups: Benelux, German-speaking, Italy and Iberia, Nordics and French-speaking territories. The territory managers will work across programme sales, channels and all other areas of Worldwide’s activity.Gabriele Galassi will be head of Benelux, having previously been overseeing programme sales for the Iberia region. He will oversee all of its businesses in the region including the BBC public service channels, which are carried on cable and DTT in the region.Isabelle Helle will be head of German-speaking territories and will oversee programme sales, coproduction and the Tower Productions joint venture with All3Media.Francesca Doria will be director, Italy and Iberia having previously been territory manager, Northern Mediterranean. She will oversee content sales as well as the BBC Knowledge channel in Italy.Richard Hornsby-Smith becomes director, Nordics. Before the restructure he was in charge of programme sales in the Nordics and Benelux and has also run Worldwide’s sports division.There are two appointments in France. Jean-Louis Blot, who set up Worldwide’s French base in 2008, will look after production. Sandra Petkovic will oversee all other activity in French-speaking territories.Tim Muff, currently general manager of the French programme sales business, will step down at the end of this month as part of the rejig. He has been at the company for almost three decades.A spokesman told DTVE sister title TBI that the overall headcount remains the same post-restructure and that it has not involved job losses.Weiland said: “The combination of this new structure and a senior management team, who are experts in their field and well connected in their territories, will allow our clients, for the first time, to have one point of contact for the BBC brand in their market. With MIPCOM imminent, it will be an ideal opportunity for our partners to meet the new team.”last_img read more

Laurent Dumeau Europebased channel group Trace sa

first_imgLaurent DumeauEurope-based channel group Trace said it will “significantly increase” the reach of Trace Sport Stars in the African market, after extending its deal with pay TV firm MultiChoice. Trace Sport Stars will move to the Extra, Compact and Family packages of MultiChoice-owned pay TV operator DStv as of the end of the month.Previously the channel, which is dedicated to sport and celebrity, was only available as part of the DStv Premium package.“We are excited to be extending our deal with MultiChoice to bring Trace Sport Stars’ unique sport and entertainment programming to a much wider audience base across Africa,” said Laurent Dumeau, CEO of Trace Sport Stars.“With an ever-increasing demand for the Trace brand in the region it is important we reach those fans that have not previously been able to access the channel. We are confident the channel will bring those subscribers a great mix of content where sport meets glamour and scandal, and where athletes reveal their real lives and personalities.”last_img read more

BBC director general Tony Hall BBC director genera

first_imgBBC director general Tony HallBBC director general, Tony Hall, has outlined plans for an “open BBC for the internet age” that will work “much closer with others for the good of the nation.”In a speech this morning about the future vision of the BBC, Hall said that the internet will transform the BBC’s mission to inform in the coming decade, and that the BBC will become a “platform” and creative partner for the UK.Speaking at the Science Museum in London, Hall said a core part of the BBC’s vision was to set up an Ideas Service that will host BBC content alongside that from cultural institutions like the British Museum and the Royal Shakespeare Company.“Our new, Open BBC will act as a curator bringing the best from Britain’s great cultural institutions and thinkers to everyone,” said Hall.He also proposed opening up the BBC’s on-demand service, the iPlayer, to enable it to showcase content from others. Hall said that the BBC could potentially put the iPlayer “at the service of the sector, using its brand, technology and reach.”“The ambition is clear: a platform for Britain’s creativity, and an even better experience for UK audiences. We want to build with others a gateway to the world for British creativity,” said Hall.In terms of programming, Hall said he wanted British drama to be “the backbone of a more distinctive approach to all our services” and proposed making “bigger and bolder series” available all at once on the iPlayer so viewers can ‘binge-watch.’“The iPlayer helped create a market, and others followed with successful players of their own. But the result is that consumers have to search across many different video players and Britain is losing out to global players, who are busy building platforms that could become gatekeepers to British content,” said Hall, alluding to digital players like Netflix and Amazon.Hall proposed keeping the iPlayer as a free offer, with BBC content funded from the licence fee. The BBC is also aiming to make it possible to buy and keep programmes through the in-development BBC Store.Elsewhere, the BBC proposed launching a new children’s service, called iPlay, in a bid to provide more children’s content across more platforms. This new service will be designed as a “single front-door” for children to access content from the BBC and other trusted partners.Other proposals put forward by the BBC were: a review of the BBC’s website to ensure that it is “distinctive with a stronger focus on online broadcast content”; a new partnership with local newspapers on local reporting; a “transition from rolling news to streaming news, with BBC Newstream”; and “significant investment” in the BBC World Service, including a daily news programme for North Korea and more broadcasts to Russia, India and the Middle East.“An Open BBC is a million miles away from an expansionist BBC. Indeed it is the polar opposite. It comes from the desire to partner and share. It comes from the recognition that technology gives us the opportunity to do things very differently. It comes from the belief that the BBC must do even more for Britain as a whole,” said Hall.The new vision for the BBC comes ahead of the broadcaster’s charter renewal next year.Hall said that to the BBC will have to manage its resources “ever more carefully and prioritise what we believe the BBC should offer” and said that the new-look BBC will inevitably mean that it will “either close or reduce some services”. However, he did not specify what would be cut.last_img read more

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann Modern Times Group MTG h

first_imgJørgen Madsen LindemannModern Times Group (MTG) has completed the sale of its Russian and international pay TV channel businesses for a total of US$45.5 million.Russian company LLC Sinerdzhi has acquired the Russian channels business while Sabiero Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of private equity firm Baring Vostok, has acquired MTG’s international channels business.The deal, which is a response to imminent changes to Russian media law, sees MTG offload its Russian assets – which include factual, movie and sports channels.MTG’s international channel sale comprises pan-regional factual channels and the TV1000 movie channels – though not MTG’s other entertainment channels or platforms, or the global Trace pay TV business.MTG executive vice-president and CEO of the acquired businesses, Irina Gofman, will be responsible for these businesses under the new ownership. The existing Russian and international channels’ management teams and employees will also stay the same.Commenting on the deal, MTG president and CEO, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, said that the sale “has been made necessary” by the new Russian legislation on foreign ownership of media firms.“We have undertaken a thorough review of the options available to us in this context and to seek the best possible outcome for the stakeholders in the businesses and MTG as a whole,” said Lindemann.“These transactions and the agreement announced by CTC Media aim to conclude our actions to comply with the new Russian laws. Our total cash income from our US$123 million of cash investments in Russia since 2001 would then be approximately US$770 million and equivalent to a cash return of more than five times our investment.”In September, Russia’s CTC Media has entered a definitive agreement to sell a 75% stake in its operating businesses to UTH Russia-affiliated UTV Management for US$200 million (€178 million) in cash. MTG, which holds a 38% stake in CTC, indicated its support for the deal, which was again motivated by foreign ownership restrictions imposed by the Russian government.Russian president Vladimir Putin signed an amendment to the Russian law on mass media at the end of last year that will limit foreign ownership of media companies in Russia to 20%, down from the current limit of 50%. This will apply to both existing and future foreign ownership and comes into effect on January 1, 2016.last_img read more

Apple TV users will be able to use Facebook to log

first_imgApple TV users will be able to use Facebook to log in to App Store apps following Facebook’s move to make its software development kit available for tvOS, the device’s operating system.Facebook has announced the beta release of the SDK for Apple TV and tvOS, enabling people to log onto apps by entering a confirmation code displayed on the TV into their smartphone or computer, rather than entering their user-name and password with their remote controls.The move will also enable people to share links, photos, videos and other content from their app with Facebook contacts and will enable content providers to use Facebook Analytics to understand how people are engaging with apps, according to Facebook.last_img read more

SES9 which will provide TV coverage and other se

first_imgSES-9, which will provide TV coverage and other services to Asia, successfully launched into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket over the weekend, satellite operator SES has confirmed.The satellite was launched on Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and separated from the second stage of the SpaceX rocket 31 minutes later after blast-off.SES-9 is due to start its services in the third quarter of this year and will be SES’s largest satellite to serve the Asia-Pacific region. It will be co-located with SES-7 at the orbital location of 108.2 degrees East and will replace NSS-11 at that position.The new satellite’s 57 Ku-band transponders will provide expanded capacity to the growing video, enterprise, mobility and government sectors across Northeast Asia, South Asia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to SES.“SES-9 is an important building block in our strategy to grow in dynamic regions and four prime sectors – video, enterprise, mobility and government,” said SES’s chief technology officer, Martin Halliwell.“Co-located with SES-7, the new satellite will reach 22 million TV homes and is designed to deliver high-performing connectivity to homes, enterprises and institutions across Asia.”last_img read more

Netflix is due to add over 100 hours of high dynam

first_imgNetflix is due to add over 100 hours of high dynamic range (HDR) programming to its service by August, with more than 150 hours slated by the end of the year.Announcing its plans, Netflix said that it plans to grow its catalogue of HDR titles at a similar pace as its catalogue of 4K titles in the past couple of years.“Today, you’re already able to watch Season One of the Netflix original series Marco Polo in HDR if you’re subscribed to the Ultra HD (4 screens at a time) price plan and have a 2016 Dolby Vision or HDR-enabled television from the top TV manufacturers,” said Netflix chief product officer, Neil Hunt.Netflix said that some of the other titles it plans to make available in the Dolby Vision and HDR formats include A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bloodline, Chef’s Table, Hibana, Knights of Sidonia, The Do-Over and The Ridiculous Six.Netflix’s host of Marvel series – Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Defenders – will also be available in HDR.“We’re looking forward to providing a visually stunning experience across a diverse slate of content to Netflix members all over the world – whether it’s a docuseries about international culinary talents, Japanese anime, or TV shows about fighting crime in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen,” said Hunt.HDR offers greater depth of colour and helps to enhance the higher pixel-count of 4K-only ultra high definition video.last_img read more

Satellite operator SES has seen record uptake of i

first_imgSatellite operator SES has seen record uptake of its satellite capacity for the Rio Olympics as compared to previous Games.The operator said that a total of 23,000 hours of capacity has been booked on four SES satellites — NSS-806, SES-4, NSS-7 and SES-3 – enabling broadcasts of coverage in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.SES is serving 10 major broadcasters in the US, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil and Japan with Olympics coverage, including Eurovision, CNN /Turner and Nippon Television Network.SES has provided capacity for the Olympics since 2000, and we are pleased that the capacity demand for Rio Olympics far exceeds the previous editions. For the first time ever, we are using more capacity on more satellites to broadcast more hours of sporting events and news coverage of the Games to a truly global audience,” said Richard Lamb, General Manager of Occasional Use Services at SES.“This record demand illustrates how broadcasters continue to view satellite as an ideal and cost-effective way to broadcast excellent image quality of sporting events live to millions of viewers around the world.”last_img read more

The number of mobile broadband connections in Afri

first_imgThe number of mobile broadband connections in Africa will more than double in the next five years, according to research by Ovum.The new stats claim that the number of African broadband connections will climb from 419 million at the end of 2017 to 1.07 billion at the end of 2022.This will be driven by further roll-out of 3G W-CDMA and 4G LTE networks and the increasing affordability of smartphones.Ovum forecasts that in 2019, W-CDMA will become Africa’s biggest mobile technology by subscriptions, and there will be 858 million W-CDMA connections on the continent by end-2022.It predicts there will be 210 million LTE subscriptions in Africa at end-2022 and that the first 5G services will launch on the continent in 2021, but that initial take-up will be “modest” with just 1 million 5G subscriptions expected by the end of 2022.“Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, practice leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum.“But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under increasing pressure to make the transition from being providers of communications services to providers of digital services.”The Ovum team will be attending AfricaCom in Cape Town this week, with the event running from November 7 – 9last_img read more

UK service provider TalkTalk is to update its TV s

first_imgUK service provider TalkTalk is to update its TV service, with the launch early next year of a a unified TV platform encompassing set-top viewing, the TalkTalk TV store and suite of mobile apps.The company is launching a new TalkTalk TV app, which will enable users to view content on up to four iOS or Android devices and on the web, inside and out of the home.TalkTalk said its TV customers would be able to stream, rent and buy the latest moves and box-sets through the app as well as to watch free and subscription-based channels on the go.TalkTalk has tapped CSG International’s Ascendon platform to power the service, which it says will deliver a unified TV experience on the set-top box, web and mobile apps. Viewers will be able to pause their TVs and resume viewing content on their mobile devices.The app is Chromecast-enabled, allowing users to stream content to other TVs than that connected to the set-top box.TalkTalk also plans to launch a multiroom TV offering for its fibre broadband customers in 2018, in a move squarely aimed at attracting Sky customers used to this service.“We’re focused on offering a truly premium TV service at an unbeatable price. With the internet and mobile changing the way our customers watch TV, we’ve tailored our service to suit their evolving needs. We’ve streamlined TalkTalk TV to create a more integrated and seamless experience across devices, making it even easier for customers to watch the entertainment they love whether at home or on the go,” said Will Ennett, acting managing director, TalkTalk TV.“Together, TalkTalk and CSG have created a differentiated digital TV experience, aligned with consumer demand for access to video content anytime, anywhere, across devices. Paired with TalkTalk’s extensive content library, Ascendon creates an intuitive, multiscreen, personalised TV viewing experience for every TalkTalk consumer,” said Kent Steffen, president of global OTT business at CSG International.last_img read more

There are now 125 million subscription videoonde

first_imgThere are now 125 million subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) subscriptions in the US, according to Futuresource.The research firm said that while consumer spend on SVOD is still just 10% of the total pay TV market, further growth is expected in 2018.This will be driven by continued growth in established SVOD services and the quick expansion of a “plethora of less established services”, with platforms like Amazon Channels also helping to drive this momentum, according to the report.Futuresource predicts that the overall US video and pay TV market will reach US$140 billion by the end of 2018.“Pay TV, largely through increased ARPU rather than subscriber growth, is contributing the most to overall growth in wider video consumer spend, SVOD continues to provide an increasingly significant contribution,” said the research.The research claims that the direct-to-consumer services, media industry acquisitions and consolidation, and regularity impact – for instance net neutrality – will ensure that the continued evolution of the landscape in 2018.last_img read more

The average monthly expenditure by US broadband ho

first_imgThe average monthly expenditure by US broadband homes on video entertainment outside of a pay TV subscription has dropped from US$29 (€24) to US$23 over the past two years.This is according to research by Parks Associates, which said that reduced spending on cinema tickets, DVDs and Blu-ray discs had “contributed significantly” to the overall decline for the period from the second half of 2015 to the second half of 2017.However, the research firm said that spending on internet video has held steady at roughly US$9 per month for several years, despite an apparent decline in multi-device video viewing.“The number of overall consumers viewing video on a connected device remains steady at 92% of US broadband households, but viewers are using fewer devices to access that content,” said Brett Sappington, senior director, Parks Associates.“This finding indicates that consumers are starting to settle into particular viewing habits. They are focusing more on their favourite screen and connected devices and are reducing time spent on other video screens.”Parks also said that currently one-fifth of US pay TV subscribers have the ability to access online video services through their set-top box, while one-third of subscribers say access to OTT via a pay TV interface or channel guide is appealing.“Users are experimenting less with multiple connected devices, but they continue to experiment with multiple OTT video services,” said Hunter Sappington, research analyst, Parks Associates.“Many consumers now see OTT video as complementary to both other OTT video services and pay TV services, rather than a replacement. Today’s OTT market is much more about bundling and partnerships than it is about winning subscribers from direct competitors.”last_img read more

Vodafone is likely to introduce quadplay offering

first_imgVodafone is likely to introduce quad-play offerings and may sell off its newly-acquired DTH satellite services in central and eastern Europe, according to S&P Kagan.According to the analyst group, Vodafone may view the introduction of quad-play offerings as advantage in what are competitive and fairly saturated markets in the region.Vodafone’s deal with Liberty Global last week saw it acquire the latter’s operations in Germany, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic for €18.4 billion.According to Kagan, Vodafone’s existing mobile operations in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, serving 15.8 million mobile customers in the three markets, will be supplemented by the acquisition of 6.4 million fixed-line homes passed, 1.8 million broadband subscribers and 2.9 million TV customers, enabling it to take advantage of synergies in cross-selling services to the combined base.Kagan said it is “quite likely” that Vodavone will opt to divest the former UPC Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania DTH operations, which served a total of 732,400 subs as of year-end 2017 and sell them to local players.The analyst group suggested that recent entrants Freesat and Orange Romania could be potential buyers for the Romanian DTH business. In the Czech Republic, despite the entry of new DTH players Flix TV and Antik Sat, it says that the most likely buyer could be Romania’s RCS&RDS, which operates across all three countries.Kagan argues that growth across all three markets can only really come from bundling fixed and mobile offerings, with growth in fixed tailing off.UPC Hungary lost pay TV subscribers overall in 2017, following years of DTH losses. While the cable TV base grew only by 7.7% over five, years, Magyar Telekom, which also offers mobile services, managed to fgrow its cable and IPTV base by 38% over the same period.In Romania, RCS&RDS, which again also runs a mobile business, grew its cable base by 32% over the last five years, while UPC Romania only grew its base by 9.6%.In the Czech Republic, a similar story saw O2 Czech Republic, which has five million mobile customers, grow its IPTV base by 69%. Over the same period, according to Kagan, UPC Czech Republic lost DTH customers and saw its cable TV base grow by only 9.4%.last_img read more