By Esra AyginThe Turkish Cypriot administration, financially dependent on Turkey, has not received any funding from Ankara for more than a year and is increasingly reliant on bank borrowing.The unprecedented stoppage is being viewed as blackmail from Ankara to put political pressure on the ruling coalition.The four-party coalition – Republican Turkish Party (CTP), People’s Party (HP), Democratic Party (DP) and Social Democracy Party (TDP) – which came to power in February 2018, has been relying on domestic borrowing to keep the system running. It currently has an internal debt of about 6 billion Turkish lira (about 980 million euros).Although in recent years the Turkish Cypriot administration has largely been able to pay salaries through local revenues, it depends on financing from Turkey for infrastructure investments, defence expenses, incentives and private sector support.Economists warn that without investments and private sector support the economy will be faced with stagnation in a matter of months. The lender banks are also expected to go under pressure since the administration does not have the capacity to pay even the interest, let alone repaying the loans, said economist Erdal Guryay.“I don’t know how much longer this system can continue. It is not sustainable as it is. Imagine, you borrow but you can’t even pay the interest,” he said.The devaluation of the Turkish lira, which lost almost 40 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2018, has added to the ruling coalition’s woes.According to the 2019 budget, the Turkish Cypriot administration expects 695 million Turkish liras (about 113 million euros) in financial aid and 575 million TL (about 94 million euros) in loans from Ankara. It also needs an additional 825 million TL (about 135 million euros) to compensate for its budget deficit forecasted for the year 2019 – which bring the total amount of resources expected from Ankara to 2, 095 million TL (about 342 million euros).Unless funds start flowing, it will be very difficult for the ruling coalition to sustain stability until the middle of the year, says economist Vargin Varer.“Not only because it will have difficulty in payments but because the drop in public spending will cause stagnation in the economy and cause a reaction in the people.”The official explanation is that the delay is a technical glitch caused by the system change in Turkey as the country finalised the process of adopting an executive presidency replacing the parliamentary system of government last June. This has interrupted transfers to the northern part of Cyprus and delayed the preparation and signing of an economic protocol to regulate grants and loans from Turkey for the years 2019-2021.Despite repeated statements by coalition partners, that the problem would be overcome soon, the delay continues, prompting sources to think that Ankara is using funding as leverage to impose political control on the ruling coalition.“The problem cannot be technical,” said a source close to the administration. “Turkey is blocking the money due to political and social problems it has with the government.”Back in December, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had stated that he did not believe what he called “a financial crisis with Turkey” is due to technical reasons. “Especially now that the system has changed and the powers of the president have increased, this would be something that could be solved with one instruction,” Talat said.The ruling coalition officially denies that the problem is other than technical. Kudret Ozersay of HP, responsible for foreign affairs, told Yeniduzen newspaper in December: “What the Turkish officials are telling us is that they are having problems due to the change in the system and that the reasons are technical… This problem will be overcome. I believe that there are no bad intentions or political ulterior motives.”“The problem is that they are not happy with this government,” said a member of the coalition, who asked to remain anonymous. “Ankara has two main expectations from us: Respect for its authority, and compliance with its Sunni Islam policies. And it is trying to make us conform through financial pressure.”The infamous Afrika newspaper incidents were the first challenge for the Turkish Cypriot ruling coalition.Ankara was open about the fact that it expected the Turkish Cypriot administration to punish Afrika after the newspaper first published a cartoon in December 2017 titled “Through Greek eyes” which showed an ancient Greek statue urinating on the head of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Then, in January 2018, it ran a front-page article criticising Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Syria, calling it a ‘second occupation after Cyprus’.The publication enraged Erdogan, who called Afrika a “sleazy newspaper” and called on his “brothers in northern Cyprus to give the necessary response”. The newspaper’s offices were largely destroyed the next day by an ultranationalist mob while the riot police stood by.“Ankara believes that the coalition did not back President Erdogan enough against Afrika,” said the source. “And the logic goes: why should Erdogan back a government that did not back Erdogan?”The Turkish Cypriot coalition’s resistance against pressure for increased Islamic policies in the north is also a continuous cause of tension, according to the source. “For example, Ankara demands to directly control the Hala Sultan Mosque. We refuse and say if it is opened it has to operate under Turkish Cypriot control. This is why the mosque remains closed” although it was completed in mid-2018.The monumental mosque, which is one of the biggest in the Eastern Mediterranean, has come to be widely seen as a symbol of Ankara’s religious and cultural pressure on Turkish Cypriots.Last month, in what was widely seen as a big change in Turkey’s handling of relations with the Turkish Cypriots, it was declared that President Erdogan would personally be responsible for Cyprus, including being the sole authority for its financing. Turkey, in the past, managed its Turkish Cypriot affairs through a state minister.“This means that now everything is now up to one person, whereas in the past relations were more horizontal,” said the source. “Erdogan’s approval will be sought for everything.”The lack of any development to resume the flow of Turkish funds is also leading to speculation that soon the ruling coalition will be replaced by a right-wing National Unity Party (UBP)-People’s Party (HP) coalition, which would be more preferable for Ankara as traditionally, right-wing administrations are more compliant and conform to Ankara’s demands.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. 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Chippewa CountySault Area Chamber of Commerce2581 I-75 Business Spur in Sault Ste. Marie?4-5 p.m. State Rep. Lee Chatfield invites residents of the 107th House District to join him during local office hours for the month of November. Categories: Chatfield News,News ?Monday, Nov. 21? Emmet CountyGrand Traverse Pie Co.?316 E. Mitchell St. in Petoskey?9-10 a.m. 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 email@example.com or through his website at www.RepChatfield.com. Mackinac CountyAng-Gio’s Restaurant?232 S. M-134 in Cedarville?2-3 p.m.? Cheboygan CountyChristopher’s Cafe?3725 S. Straits Hwy. in Indian River?11 a.m.-12 p.m. “Since taking office, my staff and I have held monthly office hours in every county throughout the district for 22 consecutive months,” said Rep. Chatfield. “Monthly office hours is a great opportunity for me to stay accessible and anyone is welcome to attend.” His November office hours schedule is: 16Nov Rep. Chatfield announces November office hours ###
Photo Information: State Rep. John Reilly (left), of Oakland, invited Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett (right) as his guest on the House floor during Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address, where the governor outlines priorities for the coming year. Categories: Reilly News 23Jan Orion Township supervisor joins Rep. Reilly for State of the State
20Mar Rep. Markkanen’s plan helps county road commissions Categories: Markkanen News,News Measure improves facilities for road improvementsState Rep. Greg Markkanen this week testified before the House Transportation Committee in support of a plan to help county road commissions to improve their facilities and fix Michigan roads.Under current Michigan law, county roads commission have only up to 15 years to make payments when purchasing property for public use. Markkanen’s plan would double that timeframe, allowing road commissions up to 30 years to complete purchases.Gregg Patrick of the Keweenaw County Road Commission testified with Rep. Markkanen in support of the bill.The plan was brought forward to Rep. Markkanen by Keweenaw County residents.“Construction season is here and local county road commissions need all the help they can get to improve our Michigan roads,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “This plan will help local county road commissions in Keweenaw County and across the state have more flexibility on payments when purchasing property. That should translate to savings that can go into road repairs.”No parties were in opposition and MDOT was neutral on the plan.House Bill 4120 remains under consideration in the Transportation Committee.####
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesApril 23, 2014; ACLUIn case you have any doubts about this country’s need to address its rate of incarceration, here is a simple graph to bring the point home. The U.S. prison population is the largest in the world, comprising 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Some of the rapid rise in those numbers is due to mandatory sentencing in drug offenses. Now the Obama administration is taking the issue on, but its very active partner in the effort is a strong coalition of nonprofits that have been working toward this day for many years.In 2010, Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the differences between mandatory minimum sentences for crack and powder cocaine. That disparity was considered by many to be race-based; since the 1990s, 80 percent of those imprisoned for crack have been black. Still, although the sentencing from that point on was adjusted, there were 9,000 people who could have been released had the act been made retroactive. According to Al Jazeera, criminal justice and civil liberties groups petitioned the government to address the problem, but they worried that things were not moving to prepare for what would be a massive operation.Then, early this week, Attorney General Eric Holder released a video in which he announced the Obama administration’s Clemency Project 2014. In it, he said, “In 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing unfair disparities in sentences imposed on people for offenses involving different forms of cocaine. But there’s still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime. This is simply not right.”The administration is making changes to personnel, including to the pardon office, which now has new leadership to facilitate what is expected to be, as the New York Times estimates, the most significant clemency effort since Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter offered amnesty to Vietnam War draft evaders.Standing at the ready for what may be an unprecedented effort is a working group described below, as it was posted on the ACLU website:Clemency Project 2014, a working group composed of the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as individuals active within those organizations, wholeheartedly supports Cole’s announcement and the Justice Department’s plans to restore the integrity of the clemency process.“The doors of the Office of the Pardon Attorney have been closed to petitioners for too long. This announcement signals a truly welcome change; the culture of ‘no’ that has dominated that office is being transformed,” said Mary Price, FAMM General Counsel. “We stand ready to assist in any way we can to support petitioners and bring their cases to the attention of the President.”Clemency Project 2014 launched in January after Deputy Attorney General James Cole asked the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received a shorter sentenced if they’d been sentenced today.NACDL President Jerry Cox said, “Clemency Project 2014 marks the beginning of the end of the age of mass incarceration. We must seize this historic opportunity to start the process of remedying decades of cruel and unnecessarily harsh sentencing policies. I call upon the nation’s lawyers, especially the criminal defense bar, to rise to this challenge in an unprecedented effort to restore hope and the prospect of an early return to freedom for the countless deserving individuals who are languishing in federal custody.”Clemency Project members will collaborate to recruit and train attorneys on how to screen for prisoners who meet the criteria laid out by the deputy attorney general. Pursuant to the criteria announced today, candidates eligible for clemency must be:serving a federal sentence;serving a sentence that, if imposed today, would be substantially shorter;have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels;have served at least 10 years;have no significant prior convictions;and have demonstrated good conduct.“Federal defenders have advocated for reform of the criminal justice system for many years, and we wholeheartedly endorse the President’s commitment to lowering the sentences of prisoners who are serving unduly harsh sentences through the clemency process,” said Michael Nachmanoff, Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia. “In recent years, federal defenders have assisted thousands of defendants to reunite with their families through the crack retroactivity process, and we are eager to work with the other organizations affiliated with the Clemency Project 2014 to help many others serving unfair sentences that would not be imposed today.”While Clemency Project 2014 will focus on those cases that clearly fit the broad criteria described by Deputy Attorney General Cole, the groups stress that there are many other federal prisoners whose sentences are grossly disproportionate to the crimes for which they were convicted. The groups will continue to urge the Department of Justice and President Obama to vastly expand use of the clemency power to correct widespread injustice. Similarly, each organization participating in the Project supports legislative action to curtail sentencing laws that continue to cause unjust sentences.Clemency Project 2014 looks forward to support and participation from other legal and community advocacy groups, and gratefully recognizes the early support of the National Action Network, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, as well as state bar associations, including the New York State Bar Association, before which Deputy Attorney General Cole first announced this initiative last January.Lawyers interested in volunteering for the project may do so by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org—Ruth McCambridge ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares September 15, 2014;Al JazeeraOne slice of the hybrid organization movement that seems to be pumping right along is comprised by “B Corporations,” for-profit entities deemed to meet public benefit standards of being socially responsible, often in terms of their dealings with communities and the environment. Companies assessed and certified by a nonprofit called B Lab can place a “B Corp” logo on their marketing materials. In addition to the private certification process overseen by B Lab, more than half of the states in the U.S. have adopted legislation to authorize “benefit corporations,” which may or may not overlap with certified B Corporations. Writing for Al Jazeera, Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and president of Eat Drink Politics, cites Forbes for the definition of the benefits accorded by benefit corporation legal status: “Incorporating as a benefit corporation legally protects an entrepreneur’s social goals by mandating considerations other than just profit.”Although Simon suggests that the philosophy “of prioritizing positive social and environmental practices” guides both B Corporations and legally authorized benefit corporations, there is a difference. The impact of B Corporation certification is fundamentally one of marketing, like, as Simon notes and the B Lab observes on its webpage, the “Fair Trade” label placed on some brands of coffee. In a time when consumers are increasingly interested in corporate social responsibility regarding the businesses they shop at and support, the B Corporation branding probably counts for a lot. It is a little more questionable to imagine investors challenging B Corporations like the Better Bean Co., Revolution Foods, Numi Organic Tea, Nutiva, Guayaki, and Happy Family because they are not doing enough for shareholders’ bottom-line interests. How many corporations of any sort have had to seek serious legal protection from profit-ravenous shareholders due to the companies’ philanthropic or CSR activities?Perhaps that might be in an issue in the future, though, as big corporations see the market attractiveness of these CSR-minded companies and begin to gobble them up. Simon points out that Campbell Soup Co. acquired the certified B Corporation Plum Organics, a company making children’s food products. This is the first instance of a B Corporation wholly owned by a publicly traded company. She also notes that General Mills is preparing to buy Annie’s, an organic food company. Of course, Ben & Jerry’s is also a B Corporation and is owned by the publicly traded Dutch conglomerate Unilever. (As an aside, Ben & Jerry’s got the brownies it used in its original chocolate fudge brownie ice cream from another B Corporation, the Yonkers-based Greyston Bakery.)Corporate social responsibility sells, so to some extent these acquisitions might be seen as big corporations purchasing and developing new product lines that they’re unlikely going to want to muck around with. For example, despite the acquisition of Ben & Jerry’s, there are no apparent signs that Ben & Jerry’s operates much differently as a subsidiary of Unilever. Also, the mythology that Cohen and Greenfield, the founders of the company, were compelled by corporate law to sell once Unilever made a bid has demonstrated to be patently untrue. Much more plausible is that Cohen and Greenfield cashed out and walked away with something like $50 million in hand. Unilever might not make major changes in a product line that the conglomerate likes and sees as successful. The notion that without the protection of benefit corporation legal status, an offer to acquire from Unilever, General Mills, or Campbell Soup might have to be automatically accepted is simply false.But it is also possible that despite Unilever’s appreciation of the distinctive product lines of Ben & Jerry’s (or General Mills’ of Annie’s), future acquisition of benefit corporations could result in attempts by big corporations to water down the social responsibility content of benefit corporations they acquire. That’s a possible concern, especially since, according to Simon, the B Lab’s assessment criteria do not include important elements of social responsibility such as companies’ marketing practices (like marketing to children) or their standards regarding animal welfare in product testing, which are significant issues among many large corporations in the food industry.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Disney is to begin broadcasting a free-to-air channel in Russia next year in partnership with local media group UTH, backed by entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov.Disney has agreed to buy a 49% stake in Seven, owned by UTH, which will be rebranded as Disney when the deal, reportedly worth US$300 million (€214 million), is completed. Entertainment channel Seven had an audience share of about 1.9% in the second quarter of this year. Along with Seven, UTH operates music channel Muz-TV.According to Disney, the new channel will be available to about 40 million households across the country. Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company believed in Russia as a growth market.Ivan Tavrin, CEO of UTV (pictured), said: “We believe that our partnership with The Walt Disney Company, the global entertainment leader, will establish a popular and highly successful free-to-air business. The superb infrastructure and technical foundation of UTH in combination with Disney’s unique brand and global expertise will deliver excellent results for the Disney Channel in Russia. Seven TV’s transformation from sports to general entertainment in 2010 helped us to significantly improve its ratings and financial results, now it is time for a new page in the network’s history. I am confident about the success of the Disney Channel and our long term partnership with The Walt Disney Company.”Disney Russia managing director Marina Zhigalova-Ozkan said that the channel would focus on a broad family audience and would feature original animation, feature films and content produced in Russia under the Disney brand.The move to launch a free-to-air channel follows Disney’s recent announcement that it would go free-to-air in Turkey. Iger has reportedly said the company is looking at investing in 10 other potential markets to increase Disney Channel’s footprint.
Global sports broadcaster ESPN has promoted programming boss John Skipper to the position of president as long time boss George Bodenheimer becomes executive chairman.Bodenheimer is currently president of ESPN and ABC Sports and co-chair of Disney Media Networks and he will relinquish his day-to-day operating responsibilities as of January 1. He will continue to chair ESPN’s board of directors.Skipper, who has been executive vice president, content, since 2006, will report to Bodenheimer and The Walt Disney Company president and chief executive officer Bob Iger. Iger said: “George has said repeatedly that ESPN’s success has been led by its collaborative corporate culture and a deep bench of executive talent. While that remains true, it obviously and intentionally downplays his leadership and many significant contributions. We’ve focused on succession at all levels of Disney for some time now, and consistent with that approach, George initiated conversations last spring that led to today’s announcement.
Russian multi-play service provider MTS has said it will fight the acquisition of mobile telco Tele2’s Russian subsidiary by is state-owned lender VTB.MTS and VimpelCom last week expressed an interest in acquiring the Russian assets of Tele2. The pair said they were willing to make a joint bid for control of Tele2 Russia for US$4-US$4.25 billion (€3.1-€3.3 billion), including US$1.15 billion in debt, representing a 30% premium on VTB’s offer. VTB has however said its deal to acquire Tele2 is legally binding.
Cloud-based on-demand service Magine has launched in Spain, with Viacom, National Geographic Channel and Chello Multicanal among those signed up.The service, which provides cloud-based live TV and catch-up programming across Apple devices and Samsung smart TVs, yesterday secured US$19 million (€15 million) in investment and today launched a Spanish beta service.“The Spanish marketplace is an ideal one for Magine, as it enjoys high broadband penetration with a relatively low pay TV penetration. When combining those two factors the Magine solution seemed an obvious one to the Spanish channels and content providers who were keen to be part of a service that offered their viewers a highly competitive subscription package,” said Mattias Hjelmstedt, CEO and co-founder, Magine.Magine first launched in Sweden just before MIPTV, as DTVE sister publication TBI revealed at the time. It has subsequently gone live in Germany and now in Spain. Plans to launch the service on more TV platforms and Android tablets are in the works.The company also says it is in “advanced negotiations with a number of major international media and entertainment groups” and predicts it will launch in “at least another four more European territories by the end of the year.”
European satellite operator Eutelsat has closed its US$831 million (€609 million) acquisition of Latin American rival Satélites Mexicanos (Satmex), securing 100% ownership of the firm.The deal, which was first announced last July, closed after Eutelsat obtained all required government and regulatory approvals and last month secured a €930 million of six-year senior unsecured bonds.“With the acquisition of Satmex, Eutelsat is significantly upscaling activity in the Americas to complement our strong presence in fast-growing markets,” said Eutelsat Chairman and CEO Michel de Rosen.“Satmex’s strategic orbital slots, which will be expanded in 2015 with two further high-performance satellites, bring Eutelsat a robust platform from which to access significant opportunities in this region. They will be further complemented by the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite that we will launch in advance of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to serve video and broadband markets in Latin America.”Last year, Eutelsat agreed to buy Satmex for US$831 million and take on its US$311 million net debt, giving the deal an enterprise value of US$1.14 billion.
Polish pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat has added TVP Sport HD from the country’s public broadcaster to its line-up ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics.The service will be available to existing Cyfrowy Polsat subscribers with the Sport HD package. The package is available as an upgrade for Family Max HD package customers and comprises 11 sports channels, inludiing five in HD – Polsat Sport HD , Polsat Sport Extra HD , Eurosport HD , Eurosport 2 HD and TVP Sport HD.Other channels in the package include Extreme Sports Channel FightKlub, FightBox and Orange Sport.
The HomeGrid Forum has named Barbara Stark as its new chair and David Thorne as vice-president.Stark is lead member of technical staff in the strategic standards organisation of AT&T, while Thorne is chief researcher, broadband and access at BT’s technology, service and operations unit.HomeGrid president John Egan will continue in his role.Home network standards body HomeGrid, which last year merged with the HomePNA group, is anticipating further operator trials and early deployments of the G.hn standard for home communications this year as well as furthering the migration of HomePNA to G.hn.
Russian pay TV broadcaster NTV+ has used the Sochi Winter Olympics to test broadcast transmissions in 4K.NTV+ broadcast coverage of the opening ceremony in the ultra HD format in partnership with technology providers Broadcom and Elemental.The broadcaster used the Elemental Live encoding platform and a decoder based on Broadcom’s chipset to test broadcast the event.The trial used Sony PMW=F55 Cine Alta 4K cameras to capture the content and, which was encoded and uplinked to satellite for playback in Moscow on a 65-inch Panasonic 4K TV.NTV+ technical director Oleg Kolesnikov said that the trial showed what could be achieved when operators and equipment manufacturers worked together to deliver ultra HD content.Rival pay TV operator Tricolor TV had previously test broadcast 4K in Russia in partnership with Eutelsat, Ericson, SvyazProekt, Rohede & Schwarz DVS. Scope Video and LG Electronics, airing a 16-minute travel guide.
Fox International Channels (FIC) executive Jesus Perezagua is to step down at the end of April.Perezagua, president, Europe and Africa for FIC, will step down at the end of Pril and will continue to consult for companies in the group.FIC president and CEO Hernan Lopez said that a search would begin immediately for a successor to Perezagua, who has been in his current position since 2011.“We’re disappointed that Jesus is leaving FIC,” said Lopez.“He’s done an outstanding job growing FIC Europe and Africa as a valued asset for the company and we are grateful for his leadership over the past several years. However, we respect his decision, thank him for his tremendous contributions, and wish him nothing but the very best. We’ll start an immediate search for his replacement, and hope to have an executive in place as soon as possible.”
Content recognition app provider Shazam has named former NBCUniversal executive Lauren Zalaznick to its board.Zalaznick, who served as executive vice-president at NBCUniversal and also worked at MTV, will be an independent board member for Shazam.Shazam said that Zalaznick’s strategic knowledge and deep operating experience would be a major asset in the development and execution of its expansion plans.“Lauren has devoted her career in media to transforming the cultural landscape. From her start as an independent feature film producer to her most recent role as executive vice-president, NBCUniversal, Lauren’s expertise on the intersection of content, technology, and data will bring tremendous value to Shazam as we pursue our mission to be the world’s leading media engagement company,” said Andrew Fisher, executive chairman, Shazam.
Jørgen Madsen LindemannModern Times Group (MTG) said that its Nordic pay TV operations and acquisitions are driving revenue and earnings growth, despite “soft advertising markets and ongoing investments.”Announcing its quarterly earnings, MTG said that in Q2 it delivered the highest quarterly sales in the group’s history and also recorded higher operating profits than last year.The firm said that it benefitted from a combination of on- and off-line advertising, subscription and content production businesses, allowing it to successfully monetise “rising video consumption levels.” With its Viaplay service it is also capitalising on the shift from linear to on-demand viewing.“Both Viaplay in the Nordics and our emerging market wholesale channel business performed well in the quarter, and our results were boosted by the content production business,” said MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindeman.“TV advertising market development remains mixed but we grew our online advertising revenues in all markets. We continue to adjust our cost bases to the market development, and to maximise the earnings potential in our traditional businesses so that we can prioritise investments in future growth.Among the significant events detailed for the quarter was MTG’s Nordic content deal with Sony Pictures Television, the launch of its TV1000 Russian Kino movie channel in Isreal and its acquisition of youth media brand Trace.Net sales were up 13% at constant FX and up 3% on an organic basis to SEK4.1 billion (€444 million). EBIT before associated company income and non-recurring items were SEK472 million, up from SEK465 million last year. However, net income was downto SEK307 million, compared to SEK376 million in the same quarter last year.Looking forward, Lindemann said: “Advertising spending trends across our 11 free-TV markets are mixed but we will continue to adjust our investments accordingly and to grow our online shares.” He added that MTG is currently analysing Russia’s proposed ban on advertising on pay-TV channels from 2015.
BSkyB’s Sky Sports has secured rights to American football association the NFL’s Monday Night Football from 2015.Sky Sports viewers will be able to enjoy over 80 live fixtures a season, including up to five games each week of the regular season, the playoffs and Super Bowl.Sky Sports’ coverage will also include all matches from the NFL’s International Series as teams travel to the UK for regular season match ups.“We’re delighted to be awarded the rights to Monday Night Football as part of this fantastic new deal for even more live American Football. The agreement means Sky Sports viewers can enjoy all the drama, excitement and unpredictability from the NFL until at least 2019. Our partnership with the NFL spans two decades and we look forward to helping the sport continue its huge growth in popularity in the UK and Ireland for years to come,” said Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis.
Spanish public broadcaster RTVE has posted a 2015 loss of €33.6 million (US$37.5 million), though this represents a deficit 70% reduction compared with the previous year.The losses, attributed to the level of contributions from the telecoms and television sectors, were €40 million lower than expected, meaning the broadcaster kept within its budget for the first time in three years.RTVE’s finances have been under pressure since advertising was banned in 2010 in favour of government subsidies and contributions from telcos.Commercial revenues were €49.3 million, the highest amount since RTVE was forced to stop broadcasting adverts.Personnel expenses were €387.3 million, €15 million more than budgeted for and “a direct result of outstanding extra pay” from 2012, though overhead savings were expected to reach €14.3 million, higher than the previously-budgeted €12 million.RTVE said 2016’s prospects were “even more favourable”, because a deduction in VAT and an additional €100 million in revenue from the general state budget.Last month, Spanish commercial terrestrial channels body UTECA rejected calls for the reintroduction of advertising on RTVE, a notion that’s risen as the broadcaster struggles to keep costs in hand.