Universal stores and Hispanoamericana University will host job fairs in coming days with the goal of hiring 1,300 people for permanent and seasonal posts.The fair at the university is scheduled for July 9-10 at its campus in Tibás, northwest of San José. Entrance is free.A total of 30 companies will be offering 1,000 technical and professional jobs. Most of the posts require fluency in a second language, and participating companies are seeking staff who speak English, French, German or Portuguese.Recruiters are seeking sales executives, network executives, web developers, java software developers, software testers (QA), customer service reps, administrative assistants, systems engineers, technical support, bilingual specialists, database administrators, financial analysts, call center agents with advanced English, electronic engineers, project managers, marketing executives and others.Companies will accept résumés in both digital and printed formats, and organizers have set up information kiosks for questions about participating companies.Visitors will be offered free lectures from human resource specialists, have their English proficiency tested and receive free counseling on labor issues.Among participating companies are: Amazon, EPA, Sykes, Pizza Hut, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, ITS, Credomatic, Starbucks, Unilever, Credix, Grupo Multivex, Search, Renaware, Eurociencia and Teleperformance, among others.Universal also will hold an annual job fair from July 28-29, with 300 seasonal posts available at stores. The fair takes place at Centro Colón in downtown San José, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.Posts are available for reception, information, sales, cashiers, maintenance, decoration and others.Those interested should bring a printed résumé, a recent photograph, two recommendation letters and a criminal background check. Facebook Comments Related posts:Hiring expectations low for Costa Rican employers in first months of 2015 Employment outlook slightly better for Ticos in coming months, survey finds Hiring outlook in Costa Rica up 3 percent over last quarter, survey finds Costa Rica employers optimistic about hiring in Q4
Theme park vacations are the most popular,according to the study Belying any suggestions that travelers were still tightening their belts when it came to planning for holidays, a new study has found that in fact most vacation budgets will increase in 2012.According to the Wyndham Hotel Group study, 70 per cent of travelers worldwide said they would spend the same amount or more on vacations this year as they did last year, with 35 per cent admitting to likely spending more. With deeper pockets, more than half (52%) of US travelers said they intended on spending any extra money on extending their vacations, while two-thirds (66%) of Chinese travelers confessed to doing likewise. Accommodation costs aside, American (37%), Canadian (36%) and Chinese (42%) travelers will spend the majority of their budgets on entertainment and excursions, while British (37%) and Brazilian (40%) travelers will opt to fork out more on dining and shopping.Common amongst all holidaymakers was the desire to visit a major theme park, with 43 per cent of travelers choosing this type of vacation above all else. Of those who were looking to cut back on spending, only 24 per cent said they would give up vacationing to do so, with US respondents placing the most importance on travel, putting it last on their list of items they would be willing to do without. The Wyndham survey polled over 5,600 adults in key cities throughout the United States, Brazil, Canada, China, and the United Kingdom. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
AKARYN Hotel Group introduces exclusive activities for Women TravellersAKARYN Hotel Group introduces exclusive activities for Women TravellersAKARYN Hotel Group, the innovative Thailand-based hospitality group specialising in boutique experiences, is offering unique stay, play and learn packages created especially for independent women travellers.Following the rise of the female traveller, four of AKARYN Hotel Group properties in Thailand are giving women the opportunity to enjoy an array of engaging experiences and learn new skills during a 4 Day, 3 Night stay known as the Deluxe Doyenne package.Upon arrival, female guests will enjoy the aroma of an evocative scent emanating from an oil burner or candle in their room as they savour a refreshing welcome drink and healthy snacks. Then on the second day of the stay, they can participate in an ‘Art of Hospitality’ course with an introduction to floral design led by a professional florist, along with lessons on how to make a selection of creative canapés and cocktails – skills they can put to good use when hosting a gathering or entertaining friends back home.On the third day, different activities are available at each of the participating properties:At akyra Beach Club Phuket, learn surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, or develop basic DJ skills with the resort’s resident DJ using a special smartphone app.At akyra Manor Chiang Mai, absorb the hotel’s design driven surroundings and pick up a brush to learn the art of painting from a local artist.At Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa, learn the basics of Thai massage, yoga or Thai boxing from experienced instructors.At Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa, visit the resort’s own organic farm, learn about Thai herbs and their benefits, then see how they are used at the Aleenta kitchen and Ayurah Spa.Meeting the needs of modern travellers has always been a priority for Akaryn Hotel Group. The company’s Founder and Managing Director, Anchalika Kijkanakorn, is a highly successful female Asian entrepreneur, and she makes it a priority to ensure hotel staff members are well trained to be responsive to female travellers.“Twenty years ago, independent females travellers were somewhat of an anomaly and certainly not the norm when compared to other demographics,” she says. “Today, women are not only an important guest segment, but they also create new trends for the industry while providing invaluable insights into hotel operations.”“With this new package we hope to make stays for women in some of Thailand’s most popular destinations more enjoyable and fulfilling than ever, while also giving them new skills to learn along the way.” she adds.Visit aleenta.com and theakyra.com for more information on AKARYN Hotel Group’s new Delexe Doyenne package, or contact E-mail: email@example.com to make a booking.Source = Akaryn Hotel Group
Share January 20, 2016 618 Views Earnings Statement Goldman Sachs Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Settlement 2016-01-20 Staff Writer As expected, fourth quarter earnings for Goldman Sachs took a huge blow as a result of last week’s announced settlement for $5.1 billion to resolve claims of mortgage-backed securities fraud. The investment banking firm’s Q4 2015 net earnings totaled $765 million, approximately one-third of the $2.17 billion net earnings reported for the prior-year quarter, according to the firm’s Q4 and full year 2015 earnings statement released Wednesday.Goldman Sachs’ net earnings for the full year of 2015 were $6.08 billion, down from $8.48 billion in 2014. Earnings per common share were reported at $12.14 for 2015, having been reduced by $6.53 due to the RMBS settlement.Despite the substantial decline in net earnings and earnings per common share, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein characterized the results as “solid.”“We are pleased that our diversified business mix allowed us to deliver solid results in a year characterized by uneven global economic activity,” Blankfein said. “Looking ahead, we believe our strong global client franchise leaves us well positioned to generate superior returns over the long term.”“Looking ahead, we believe our strong global client franchise leaves us well positioned to generate superior returns over the long term.”Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEOThe settlement, announced on Friday, January 15, concluded an investigation by the Presidential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group of the U.S. Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (RMBS Working Group) relating to Goldman Sachs’ securitization, underwriting and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007. The fraud allegations were brought about by the U.S. Department of Justice, the New York and Illinois Attorneys General, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Federal Home Loan Banks of Chicago and Seattle. As part of the settlement, Goldman Sachs admitted no wrongdoing and no executives from the firm will be prosecuted.Goldman Sachs paid significantly more in non-compensation expenses for both Q4 and the full year 2015 as a result of the settlement. For the full year, non-compensation expenses rose by 30 percent up to $12.36 billion due to the higher net provisions for mortgage-related litigation and regulatory matters in 2015 than in 2014 ($4.01 billion compared to $754 million), according to the firm’s announcement. Non-compensation expenses for Q4 2015 were $4.14 billion, which was a 64 percent increase from the year-ago quarter and a 68 percent leap from Q3—again due to higher net provisions for mortgage-related litigation and regulatory matters. In both cases, the increases were partially offset by lower depreciation and amortization expenses.U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) blasted the settlement, calling it a “farce” on herFacebook page earlier this week.“In the 2008 financial crisis, we lost trillions in wealth and millions of people lost their homes and their jobs because of Wall Street recklessness,” Warren wrote. “Today, Goldman Sachs announced it will pay $5.1 billion for its role in precipitating the economic collapse by misleading investors about the quality of the junk mortgage securities they peddled. Seven years later. No admission of guilt. No individuals are going to jail. A payment that’s barely a fraction of the billions investors lost—and the trillions our economy lost—because of this fraud. And over half of it could be tax deductible! That’s not justice–it’s a white flag of surrender.”Click here to see Goldman Sachs’ entire Q4 and full year 2015 earnings statement. in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination, Secondary Market Goldman Sachs’ Earnings Suffer the Aftershocks of RMBS Settlement
Akaryn Hotel GroupbaliHoi AnhotelsIndonesiaresortsVietnam Thai boutique hotel specialist, AKARYN Hotel Group, will launch two of its hotel concepts into Bali and Vietnam in the coming months. Aleenta, the original barefoot luxury brand that first launched in Thailand in 2004, will be introduced to Bali, and akyra, the trend-setting boutique brand, will arrive in Hoi An, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed port town in central Vietnam.Aleenta Retreat Bali will be a spiritual sanctuary in the island’s mountainous north, an hour’s drive from Ubud. Designed in a classical low-rise Balinese style, this serene wellness retreat will feel a million miles away from the busy tourist resorts in the island’s south. Nestled in the lush, jungle-clad hills, this exquisite hideaway will allow guests to relax and reconnect with each other in paradise. The 50 rooms will be large and luxurious, whilst also exuding authenticity and being equipped with the latest amenities.“Aleenta was our first brand and our pioneering resorts in Phuket and Hua Hin have become hugely popular among guests,” said said AKARYN Hotel Group’s Founder and Managing Director, Anchalika Kijkanakorn.“Every Aleenta property is designed to reflect the timeless charm and character of its destination, featuring large living spaces and world-class facilities while also operating in harmony with the environment. Aleenta Retreat Bali will be a fantastic addition to our portfolio; secluded, spiritual and sensual, this sublime sanctuary will allow guests to discover the true essence of the Island of the Gods.” Aleenta Retreat BaliA spa village and yoga resort, Aleenta Retreat Bali will feature an extensive Ayurah Wellness centre, where guests can unwind with an array of soothing treatments, including traditional Balinese massages and natural therapies. An outdoor yoga area will overlook reflective ponds and a fitness centre will allow guests to enjoy an invigorating workout in paradise.A choice of restaurants will focus on fresh, organic ingredients, while the Pool Bar will serve refreshing drinks during the day and after dark. Local handicrafts will be available at the Galleria boutique, and guests will have plenty of opportunities to head out and discover the local area, including Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital. Aleenta Retreat Bali will also provide an elegant setting for weddings and functions, with a choice of indoor or alfresco event spaces.akyra Hoi An is a unique waterfront resort nestled midway between Hoi An’s historic town centre and China Beach. Located on the banks of the Thu Bon estuary, this low-rise boutique retreat will be accessible either by car or by boat and many of the 110 stylish rooms and pool villas will sit on the water’s edge.“With its peaceful and picturesque waterfront setting, halfway between the city and the sea, akyra Hoi An will allow visitors to discover everything this charming destination has to offer. Guests who have experienced akyra’s hotels and resorts in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai will be familiar with the brand’s trend-setting style. We look forward to introducing guests to a new era of contemporary, cutting-edge hospitality in this idyllic location,” said Anchalika.Guests can soak up this stunning setting with a morning yoga class, a spa treatment at the Ayurah Wellness centre, a dip in the onsen or a workout in the modern fitness centre. Alternatively, they can simply plunge into the inviting outdoor infinity pool. Young guests will be kept entertained at the kids’ club, and all ages can discover delectable Vietnamese and international cuisine at a choice of two restaurants and a pool bar.akyra Hoi An will provide the perfect balance between cultural exploration and tropical relaxation; the enchanting port town of Hoi An, with its diverse heritage and alluring architecture, is just a short distance away, while the golden sand and azure sea of Vietnam’s central coast is also easily accessible. It will also provide a spectacular setting for events and dream weddings.TOP IMAGE: akyra Hoi An Vietnam
The amount of rubbish thrown into landfills is unacceptable and the practice threatens to burden the state with large fines by the European authorities, Environment Minister Costas Kadis said on Wednesday morning.According to European directives, he said, less than 10 per cent of municipal rubbish should end up in landfills, whereas in Cyprus more than 70 per cent does.Kadis expressed the hope that through a major agreement recently signed with a waste management company, a concerted effort will be made to bring Cyprus closer to complying with the objectives of the EU.Under the agreement, he explained, a gradual reduction of shipping waste to Kotsiatis landfill will start, with the aim of closing down the controversial landfill, thereby avoiding a payment of a €60 million penalty to the EU.The minister said soon a series of meetings with local authorities will begin to discuss how to speed up processes leading to this result.Just one day ago the government announced it has struck a deal to pay €36 per tonne for the processing of municipal waste at the Koshi treatment plant, compared to €54 up until now.Helector, the consortium operating the waste-processing facility reportedly agreed to lower their rate on condition that the government moves to close the Kotsiatis landfill site and divert the waste from there to Koshi – thereby increasing the volumes of processed waste.Kadis’ remarks came a day after the European council adopted a waste package which sets out new rules for waste management and establishes legally binding targets for recycling.Member states will have to meet targets as they increase the reuse and recycling of municipal waste over the coming years. They need to reuse and recycle 55 per cent of it by 2025, 60 per cent by 2030 and 65 per cent by 2035.Cyprus now recycles less than 20 per cent of its waste.EU members will set up, by January 1, 2025, separate collections of textiles and hazardous waste from households. In addition, they will ensure that by the end of December 2023, bio-waste is either collected separately or recycled at the source, such as by home composting. This is in addition to the separate collection which already exists for paper and cardboard, glass, metals and plastic.The legislation defines specific targets for packaging. 65 per cent of all packaging should be recycled by 2025, and 70 per cent by 2030. The numbers are higher for paper and cardboard, 75 per cent and 80 per cent respectively.As of 2030, all waste suitable for recycling or other recovery, in particular municipal waste, shall not be accepted in a landfill.Now that the Council has adopted the legislation, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.Over the past two decades many member states have gradually improved their waste management, in line with the EU waste hierarchy. In 1995, on average 64 per cent of municipal waste was landfilled in the EU. In 2000, the average had been reduced to 55 per cent while the average recycling rate stood at 25 per cent. In 2016, landfilling of household waste in the EU as a whole dropped to 24 per cent, with recycling having increased to 46 per cent. Yet, challenges and big differences between EU countries remain. Cyprus is just one of ten member states which still landfilled over 50 per cent of their household waste in 2016.You May LikeCodigosi.comAre perfumes toxic to humans?Codigosi.comUndoSoGoodlyHere’s Why Air Force One Beats Every Other PlaneSoGoodlyUndoMedical Alarms | Search AdsHome Medical Alarms For SeniorsMedical Alarms | Search AdsUndo Companies must use buying power to root out slavery, says UK officialUndoGreece to overturn law that made universities no-go zone for policeUndoFresh case of Blue Nile virus in northUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
10Jun State Rep. Ken Yonker welcomes East Kentwood boys track team State Rep. Ken Yonker R-Caledonia (at right) proudly welcomes the East Kentwood High School boys track team, which secured a Division I state title during its 2014 season. The team was honored with a tribute on the Michigan House floor. Categories: News
29Nov House supports Rep. Brann bills protecting family pets Categories: Brann News,News The House today approved legislation by state Rep. Tommy Brann to improve protections for companion and family pets.Under House Bill 4332, it would be a crime to knowingly torture or kill an animal with the intent to cause mental distress or exert control over a person. The legislation would create first-, second- and third-degree offenses depending on severity, while partnering with HB 4333 to update sentencing guidelines of up to 10 years imprisonment.“Pets are a crucial part of many Michigan families, often like children and close friends,” said Brann, of Wyoming. “Anyone willing to injure or torture a family pet with the goal of manipulating someone is probably not going to stop there. It could be a child or a parent next. Besides seeking protection of our family pets, we’re also going to stop this sadistic behavior before it becomes even worse.”The bills were inspired by a conversation overheard at his Wyoming restaurant, where several individuals discussed how “to get back at someone,” including killing their pet.Brann’s legislation is supported by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.“Animal abuse continues to be a growing a problem in Michigan and we absolutely need to address it,” Brann said. “I anticipate that it will be a solution to help address this awful behavior. It will close a loophole in the law and prevent even more damage being inflicted on a family or loved one.”HBs 4332 and 4333 advance to the Senate for their consideration.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Julie Calley of Portland today hosted two Michigan corrections officers, Brian Gibson (left) and Sean Conley (right), for the House’s Sept. 11 Memorial Service. The observance at the state Capitol memorializes Michigan first responders and military members who died in the line of duty in the past year.### Categories: Calley News,News 06Sep Rep. Julie Calley hosts corrections officers for Michigan House Sept. 11 ceremony
11Jan Rep. Meerman’s office open, ready to serve residents Categories: Meerman News State Rep. Luke Meerman, of Polkton Township, today announced his legislative office is open and ready to serve residents of the 88th House District.“I appreciate the trust residents have placed in me to sit in their seat at the state Capitol,” Rep. Meerman said. “My goal is to ensure the people of the 88th District are well represented by having their concerns heard and their issues resolved.”Residents are encouraged to contact Rep. Meerman by calling (517) 373-1830 or emailing LukeMeerman@house.mi.gov. Correspondence can also be mailed to N-1192 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.Rep. Meerman also announced the members of his legislative staff. Tim Holland, who has four years of experience in the Legislature, will serve as Rep. Meerman’s legislative director. Matthew Criado-Cano, an Ada resident and former President of the Grand Valley State University College Republicans, will serve as his constituent relations director.“I’m proud to be serving the 88th District,” Meerman said. “My staff and I look forward to putting our experiences to good use and coming up with sensible solutions for the residents of Ottawa County.”Residents can view updates from Rep. Meerman or subscribe to his news updates by visiting www.RepMeerman.com.###
Content security specialist Irdeto has announced the global launch of Irdeto Intelligence, its online piracy monitoring and enforcement service.Irdeto said the solution marks the culmination of its 2011 acquisition of US-based BayTSP. Irdeto has also added online ad network monitoring to the solution, which offers rights holders and brand advertisers enforcement against unauthorised pairing of pirated content and online ads. The company also announced the international availability of its live event monitoring service.Irdeto CEO Graham Kill said, “Irdeto Intelligence is already in place with the majority of major Hollywood Studios and premiere US-based broadcasters. We believe these piracy management services are highly germane to our pay TV customers, broadcasters and other rights holders in Europe and Asia Pacific, and now is the right time to roll those services out to the global community.”
Leading Middle East broadcaster MBC expects growth next year to be boosted by the launch of its new dedicated channel for Egypt, MBC Masr, according to Mazen Hayek, official spokesman and group director for PR and commercial.The region’s leading commercial broadcast group, MBC, has experienced modest growth year-on-year and has exceeded its initial budgets, said Masr. MBC has grown on the strength of content including local versions of three international talent show formats – Arab Idol, Arabs Got Talent and The Voice – as well as through ongoing investment during the slowdown, said Hayek. In addition, some Gulf economies have turned in state budget surpluses and consumer confidence has risen by comparison with 2011, he said.The group expects growth in 2013 to be boosted by the launch of MBC Masr, the broadcaster’s new dedicated channel for Egypt, next month. This will be a general entertainment channel on the model of the existing MBC 1 brand, but with a stronger local flavour. Responsibility for the channel will be split between teams in Cairo Media City and Dubai. Hayek said the channel will be available across the region alongside MBC’s existing 11 channels. “It’s sharply targeted to cater to local tastes – if audiences [from other territories] want to watch they can but it’s targeting the Egyptian market,” he said.Hayek said MBC Masr will compete with the five serious private sector players that have emerged in Egypt. “We think competition is healthy for the market,” he says. “When we announced Masr we saw an immediate reaction from key players in the private sector wanting to improve their offerings and produce more.”The launch of Masr represents a shift in emphasis for MBC, which has previously expanded its portfolio of services by launching genre-based channels. “We moved from launching genre channels to targeted channels by geography,” said Hayek. He says MBC does not “exclude the possibility of launching other local channels” but is focusing on the Egyptian launch for now.Hayek said MBC’s launch a year ago of its portfolio of HD channels, using receivers supplied by Technosat, has progressed well. While the broadcaster’s MBC Drama channel is a pay TV offering that airs on OSN’s platform, offering first runs of premium drama series, this is seen as an exception. “We are a free to air satcaster. We pride ourselves on being able to provide the same premium quality content as pay TV,” he said. While shying away from any serious move into pay TV, MBC is trying to diversify its sources of revenue, 85-90% of which currently come from advertising, by expanding things such as product placement, SMS and interactive revenues as well as output deals with third parties.As well as developing local versions of international formats the latter has made significant moves to develop local productions. This year has seen one of the most significant to date in the form of historical drama series Omar, telling the story of the second Islamic Caliph, Omar ibn Al-Khattab. The series aired on MBC 1 during Ramadan and has been sold internationally outside the Arab world to broadcasters including Turkey’s ATV and Indonesia’s MNC TV Network. According to Hayek, the exercise is one the broadcaster will seek to repeat. “The challenge is to be able to produce content that caters to [international] tastes and brings production values that can be exported. We can easily do it with other mega-productions,” he said.MBC will also invest in “two big new shows” based on international format for 2013, said Hayek, complementing its existing talent show line-up, as well as further investing in local Arabic series, Turkish soaps and other content popular across the region.
Tom Jahr, EVP and Head of Products and Partners, Conax talks to DTVE about how the concerns and security challenges facing cable operators in Europe as they look to offer enhanced services.
Turner Broadcasting has signed a broadcast affiliate agreement with N1, a new channel for the Adria region.Under the agreement, N1 will be the exclusive news channel affiliate of CNN in the region, joining CNN’s extensive global network of affiliate channels.The deal gives N1 exclusive access to video and newsgathering resources from CNN International including live breaking news, news stories and programming, for transmission in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.N1 also will also have the option of translating selected CNN programming and news into localised languages for the first time in the region.N1 will give CNN access to its own reporting from the Adria region, which will be gathered by teams based in its Belgrade headquarters and in regional hubs including Sarajevo and Zagreb.Under the terms of the agreement, CNN will also provide consultancy, training and operational support, across all aspects of news production, for the channel’s launch phase and beyond, marking an additional dimension to the affiliate agreement.This is the second major affiliate agreement CNN has struck in central and eastern Europe this year following its networks deal with News7 Bulgaria, which launched in March.“We’re delighted to be able to report this continued momentum in our affiliate business as we continue to grow in this space. It enables us to deliver on our goal of supporting local news operations with training and consultancy expertise and we’re delighted that N1 is joining the CNN fold. We look forward to working with the N1 team,” said Rani Raad, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer, CNN International.
UK pay TV operator Sky has started to trial #WatchOnSky, a new Twitter tool that lets Sky customers watch or record TV shows by clicking on icons contained within a tweet.Tweets from Sky that contain the WatchOnSky hashtag will now link to Sky’s mobile TV service Sky Go so that viewers can immediately tune into a show. A Sky+ ‘R’ button will also let them remotely set their Sky+HD box to record.Sky said the new service gives its customers more control of their TV viewing and marks the first time that a British broadcaster has let users access live TV and set recordings via their Twitter timeline.“It’s all part of our commitment to make it even easier for our customers to discover great TV and make sure they never miss those virtual water cooler moments,” said Luke Bradley-Jones, brand director, TV products, Sky. “#WatchOnSky is another brilliantly simple way for our customers to find and watch the shows everyone is talking about.”Twitter UK’s head of broadcast, Dan Biddle, added: “#WatchOnSky is a really exciting development that will make it even easier than ever for Twitter users to spot social buzz about a show, and tune in or record it for later. We’re delighted to see Sky innovating with this service and look forward to seeing Twitter users enjoy this functionality.”
Satellite operators Hispasat and Intelsat have teamed up to provide better reach in the growing Latin American market.The pair have agreed to co-locate Inteslat’s Galaxy 11 and Hispasat’s Amazonas 1 satellites at the 55.5° West positon for two years.Amazonas 1 will provide both operators with new growth capacity at the position over the next two years. Hispasat will use the satellite to deliver services for this year’s football World Cup.Hispasat and Intelsat will cooperate at the position, sharing orbital resources.“We welcome Hispasat as a partner at the 55.5° W location. Intelsat has a strong and rich history of providing critical connectivity and content distribution in Latin America. We look forward to working with Hispasat on future opportunities in the region that will further strengthen our combined presence,” said Stephen Spengler, president and chief commercial officer of Intelsat.“The agreement struck with Intelsat is in keeping with the company’s strategic plan, a cornerstone of which is to target growth through alliances with third parties,” said Carlos Espinós, CEO of Hispasat.“This deal also enables Hispasat to fully exploit the capability and service life of Amazonas 1 and to operate at a new orbital position, thereby further strengthening the Group’s position in Latin America. This agreement, unprecedented in the history of our company, exemplifies Hispasat’s endeavours to optimise resources in orbit under its new growth plan.”
Having seen off the threat of a new free-to-air competitor in the shape of TF1’s LCI, French news channel BFM TV has committed to raise its annual budget from €55 million to €70 million.Speaking to press yesterday, channel boss Alan Weill said that if media regulator the CSA had ruled that LCI should be allowed to migrate to free-to-air on the digital-terrestrial TV platform, BFM TV would have been forced to cut its budget to about €40 million. Instead, it now plans to hire an additional 25 journalists this year, according to Weill.Weill said he was convinced that LCI would not close as a result of the CSA’s decision, despite the threat from TF1 chief executive Nonce Paolini that it could.
YouTube is due to launch ‘donation cards’ outside of the US, allowing site users to easily donate money to non-profit organisations.YouTube recently started rolling out donation cards to its US content creators, who can add these to videos so that viewers can click to donate money to registered charities and non-profits.“We’re excited to take this first step and look forward to expanding into other countries so creators across the world can power nonprofits they care about,” said YouTube in a blog post.“YouTube has over a billion users. That’s almost one-third of all people on the Internet. And everyday those users watch hundreds of millions of hours of video, racking up billions of views – which are now billions of opportunities to do good.”
UK telco TalkTalk has unveiled the TalkTalk TV Store, a new pay as you go service offering recent movies and TV shows from £3.45 a month.The move follows TalkTalk’s acquisition of film and TV streaming service blinkbox. The telco says it has updated the platform to offer more than 7,,000 movies and TV shows, available on multiple devices.The service is available to TalkTalk customers and non-customers alike. Viewers can watch movies fresh from the cinema or popular TV shows such as The Walking Dead or Suits, without an ongoing commitmentTalkTalk customers can rent or buy a show on their home TV then switch to a mobile device to watch the same show.Viewers will be able to register up to five devices to their account, and watch one film or programme on their TalkTalk TV while streaming or downloading another on a different device. Additionally, existing TalkTalk customers can access the new service by using their TalkTalk log-in details. At the end of the month, any purchases will be added directly to their monthly bill.Aleks Habdank, chief operating officer of TalkTalk TV, said: “The launch of TalkTalk TV Store is an exciting step forward in our mission to offer the best film and TV content at Britain’s lowest price. It’s all about choice and flexibility – you can opt for anything from Star Wars to Game of Thrones, only pay for what you watch, and switch easily between devices. It puts you back in control, as you can enjoy all the shows and movies you love on your own terms.”
Vivendi has put its plans to develop a pan-European OTT service to compete with Netflix on ice following its decision to close German SVOD service Watchever and the acrimonious collapse of its planned alliance with Italy’s Mediaset, according to a French press report.According to daily Libération, citing an unnamed source, Vivendi Content chief Dominique Delport last week told the team that had been set up to lead the project that its weekly meetings were suspended until further notice.Instead, according to Liberation, Vivendi plans to focus its energies on the development of mobile-dedicated short-form series offering Studio+, which is set to launch at the end of this month.According to the paper, the plan for a Netflix-like service has not been completely abandoned, but it is no longer seen as an immediate priority.Vivendi had hoped to build a service on the basis of the combination of its existing OTT properties – France’s Canalplay and Watchever in Germany – with Mediaset’s Infinity and, possibly, the participation of Spain’s Telefónica, in which Vivendi holds a 1% stake.However, the closure of the loss-making Watchever in the face of competition from ProSiebenSat.1’s Maxdome and Netflix, and the collapse of relations with Mediaset following Vivendi’s decision to seek a renegotiation of the April 8 agreement between the pair, made the viability of the project questionable.Vivendi has also announced that it is to cut €300 million costs at pay TV unit Canal+, with about half to come from cuts in its programming budget.According to Liberation, Vivendi planned to launch the SVOD offering in France, Germany and Italy, and then develop the service into other international territories. However, according to the paper’s source, Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré is no longer willing to meet the considerable costs of such a project.