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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

AOL to acquire Adap.tv in $405MN deal Parent Category: News | 09-08-2013 In a very clear statement to take advantage

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    AOL to acquire Adap.tv in $405MN deal
    Parent Category: News | 09-08-2013

    In a very clear statement to take advantage of the growing monetisation opportunities in online video, AOL has entered into an agreement to acquire Adap.tv.
    Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal will be worth $405 million in aggregate comprising approximately $322 million in cash consideration and approximately $83 million in AOL common stock, subject to certain adjustments.
    The Internet giant is striving to make a return to its glory days of the dot.com era and believes that by buying Adapt.tv it will be able to take a leading position in premium and programmatic video advertising. It sees the combination of Adap.tv and its AOL On online video offering as giving it a “unique end-to-end solution and video stack” for publishers and advertisers – from premium original production, to content aggregation and syndication platforms, robust video CMS technology, and now a leading programmatic video platform.
    AOL regards Adapt.tv as offering the only complete global programmatic video technology stack for publishers and advertisers across all screens with a unified yield management platform for advertisers and publishers for planning, targeting, ad-serving and measurement.
    Adapt.tv claims to be one of the fastest growing platforms on the Internet, having grown global revenue over 100% per year in each of the last three years. In 2012, Adap.tv supported more than 26,000 global ad campaigns, which ran on approximately 9,500 websites and was used by many top brand advertisers.
    "AOL is a leader in online video and the combination of AOL and Adap.tv will create the leading video platform in the industry," explained Tim Armstrong, chairman and chief executive officer of AOL. "The Adap.tv founders and team are on a mission to make advertising as easy as e-commerce, and the two companies together will aggressively pursue that vision. Two trends are prevalent in the video space right now – the movement from linear television to online video and the shift from manual transactions to programmatic media buying. Adap.tv is positioned squarely in front of the huge opportunity these trends are presenting.”
    Adap.tv will operate independently as part of AOL’s video organization which is led by Ran Harnevo, SVP, video, and be included as part of the overall solution offered by AOL Networks to its publisher and advertiser partners.
    Commenting on the takeover, Amir Ashkenazi, CEO, Adap.tv, said: “At Adap.tv, we are focused on building the most important business within the most important category in digital advertising. We believe that most TV advertising will soon be traded programmatically on platforms like ours. The combination of AOL and Adap.tv accelerates our vision of efficient and effective TV and video advertising.”

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    VH1 appoints Susan Levison head of original programming
    Michelle Clancy | 09-08-2013

    Susan Levison has been tapped to lead VH1's creative development team as executive vice president of original programming and production.
    Based in Los Angeles, Levison will oversee all VH1 original programming and development for both coasts as well as celebrity talent development.
    Levison's appointment comes as VH1 posts a strong summer in primetime ratings fuelled by Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, the No 1 cable reality series of the summer among adults 18-49, and Hit the Floor, this summer's No 1 new scripted series on basic cable among adults 18-49 and women 18-49, according to Nielsen.
    "Susan's proven expertise in crafting engaging stories with strong characters in reality formats and scripted dramas and comedies makes her a perfect match for VH1 and our successful mix of music, pop culture, humour and nostalgia programming," said Tom Calderone, president at VH1. "Susan is a highly respected and successful executive having earned a stellar reputation in the creative community with both talent and producers, and we're happy to welcome her to the VH1 family."
    Levison was most recently executive vice president and head of creative affairs at FishBowl Worldwide Media. In the three years since the company's creation, Levison and her team sold unscripted reality series to Bravo (Toned Up), TruTV (Upload With Shaquille O'Neal), Fuse (Off Beat), as well as VH1 for its hit series, I'm Married To A... In addition, Levison executive-produced Ultimate Surprises, a digital series which ran for three seasons on Yahoo! She also sold scripted projects to NBC, MTV, the CW and Comedy Central among others.
    Previously, Levison served as senior vice president of comedy development for the FOX Broadcasting, supervising the network's comedy development efforts and working as the company's key creative liaison with studios, writers and production executives. She oversaw development of the animated series The Cleveland Show from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, as well as Bob's Burgers, from creator Loren Bouchard.
    Prior to that, Levison was vice president of drama development at FOX, where she was involved in the creation of House, Prison Break and Bones.
    Levison joined FOX in 1999 as an assistant in the Alternative Programming department.
    Levison earned a Bachelor's degree from Pomona College and a Master's degree in English from Boston University.

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    B. Scott sues BET for anti-gay discrimination
    Michelle Clancy | 09-08-2013

    Openly gay TV and Internet personality Brandon Sessoms, aka B Scott, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing BET and its parent company Viacom of being responsible for gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation discrimination.
    He alleges that he received disparate treatment while working as a Style Stage correspondent for the BET Awards Pre-Show, held 30 June, 2013. B Scott said he was pulled from his hosting duties after being told his transgendered appearance was unacceptable. He addressed the situation in an open letter on his website: "It's not just about the fact that BET forced me to pull my hair back, asked me to take off my make-up, made me change my clothes and prevented me from wearing a heel. It's more so that the mentality and environment created by BET made me feel ... that something was wrong with who I am as a person."
    BET issued an apology note, which B Scott has rejected. "While I want nothing more than to put this incident behind me and move on with my life, I still wholeheartedly believe that I'm entitled to a true public apology" he said in a statement released via his official website. "BET's non-apology statement added more insult to injury. What happened to me was not a 'miscommunication' nor was it 'unintentional'. It was wrong. I have been vehemently trying to come to a resolution with BET and Viacom behind the scenes. After a few weeks of back and forth dialogue with no foreseeable resolution, I have filed a lawsuit against BET and its parent company Viacom for discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation."
    "Any form of discrimination is wrong and has no place in the work environment, in Corporate America or in Hollywood," said B Scott's representation, civil rights attorney Waukeen McCoy. McCoy successfully argued the gay marriage cases before the California Supreme Court in 2008.
    Despite ongoing efforts "to resolve the issue in a discreet manner," B Scott is suing for a public apology and damages in excess of $2.5 million.

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    Veteran News Corp exec steps down


    Kim Williams has resigned abruptly as CEO of News Corporation Australia, ending an 18-year career with the media conglomerate.


    He’s being replaced by Julian Clarke, a former chairman of the company’s Victorian arm The Herald & Weekly Times, who retired from the HWT board in June.


    A former CEO of satcaster Foxtel and founding CEO of Fox Studios Australia, Williams took the reins of Rupert Murdoch’s Australian publishing empire in December 2011.


    He presided over the A$2bn (US$1.8bn) deal to acquire a 25% stake in Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports from James Packer’s Consolidated Media and streamlined the newspaper organisation, which entailed hundreds of lay-offs.


    Murdoch said: “Kim has been a steady and courageous leader at a time when our businesses have faced unprecedented pressure and economic challenges. I want to thank him for his unwavering commitment, and the blood, sweat and tears he has put into News Corp Australia.”


    Williams said in an email to staff: “An action like this is always taken with a heavy heart and a mixed bag of feelings and reflections on a wide range of experiences with News Corp across almost 20 years. It is certainly not a decision made lightly, or without an awareness of the impact decisions like this inevitably have on many close colleagues, clients and diverse bodies within the media community.”


    Prior to News, Williams served with pubcaster ABC, the Australian Film Commission and Southern Star Entertainment.


    News Corp Australia is part of News Corp following the demerger which saw the entertainment assets hived off to 21st Century Fox.


    Some analysts have speculated that Clarke, who is 69, will act as a place-holder until Lachlan Murdoch takes the top job at the Australian company. However, Rupert’s son has consistently denied suggestions that he will rejoin News Corp, where he is a non-executive director.


    Also, as the owner of the DMG Radio network and as non-executive chairman of and a 9% shareholder in the struggling Ten Network, Lachlan could not simultaneously control a newspaper publishing company under the current cross-media laws.

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    German channels to remake Best House, Coach Trip
    by TBI reporter August 9, 2013

    May the Best House WinA pair of German channels has commissioned daytime formats from ITV Studios.


    Kabel Eins has ordered a 20x33mins remake of May the Best House Win, which will be known locally as Mein Zuhause, Dein Zuhause – Wer Wohnt am Schönsten.


    It will air in a striped weekday slot from August 19.


    The 6x60mins Coach Trip remake will be shot on location in Italy and broadcast on commercial channel RTL. Der VIP Bus – Promis auf Pauschalreise will be a celebrity version of the 12 Yard Productions-created format and will broadcast later this year.


    ITV Studios Germany will produce both series.

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    True North doc series is Designed in China
    by Jesse Whittock August 9, 2013

    Guo Pei onlineA new doc series about emerging Chinese designers is bringing together French digital channel France Ô, China’s state broadcaster and expanding UK indie True North.


    The three-part Designed in China will see True North coproducing with the French network, Chinese doc channel CCTV9 and the China Intercontinental Communication Center, which commissioned the project.


    True North’s executive producer, specialist factual, Liz McLeod developed the show, which will follow nine talented young Chinese designers, including a glamorous fashion designer, a world-renowned architect and an award-winning product designer.


    It is to be filmed on location in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, with a True North team lead predominantly by local Chinese production staff working alongside CICC’s research and production team.


    Production is underway and delivery is expected in 2014.


    Marc Allen, managing director at True North said: “International productions and coproductions, especially with China, are an important area of focus for True North, opening up new programme-making opportunities.”


    “In ten years of doing international coproductions, this is the first time I’ve managed to bring together a foreign broadcaster and a Chinese broadcaster to work with CICC and an international production company. I think this is because – in Chinese design – we’ve found the right subject,” added head of international at CICC Wang Yang Yuan.

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    Zee's interactive movie channel & Pictures unveiled
    Rebecca Hawkes | 10-08-2013

    Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) is to launch India's first cross-platform interactive Hindi movie channel, & Pictures, on 18 August.
    The channel will show Bollywood blockbusters such as Chennai Express, Besharam and the Zanjeer remake. Initially it will only be available in India, but the company plans to broadcast it overseas in the future, reports Business Standard.
    Explaining its name, Bharat Ranga, CCCO, ZEEL, said: "The Ampersand sign in & Pictures signifies 'udaan' (flight) and 'neev' (rooted) and celebrates the duality of contemporary Indians."
    & Pictures will cater to all, and be available across all direct-to-home (DTH) satellite and cable TV platforms, he added.
    Never &ing Movie, the channel's pre-launch film-making competition, went live on 5 August. People suggested names for the film online, then blogged stories for it, accumulating over 1,950 live feeds on Twitter. The contest reportedly attracted 40% traffic from mobiles and gained more than 18,000 Facebook fans.
    "While people are giving their input, machinery at the back-end is aggregating the content and finalising the script," Akash Chawla, marketing head, ZEEL told Business Standard.

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    Dhoni endorses English football for India's Star Sports
    Rebecca Hawkes | 10-08-2013

    India's cricket captain MS Dhoni has been appointed a brand ambassador for Star Sports to promote Barclays Premier League (BPL) football in India, which will this season have a Hindi feed for the first time as well as English commentary.
    Dhoni, a fan of Premier League champions Manchester United, will invite sports fans to 'Join the Game' in a new marketing campaign to coincide with the start of the league's 2013-14 season.
    "Soccer is extremely exciting and very close to my heart," said MS Dhoni. "I was a goalkeeper during my school days. Even today, I play soccer as a warm-up game ahead of key cricket matches. I feel that Indian sports fans should consume different types of sports. I want them to be passionate about cricket as they are, but at the same time one needs to give healthy respect for other disciplines as well."
    Over 100 live football matches will be broadcast in India by Star Sports throughout the season, as well as a six-episode build-up show called Superstar Football, setting the scene with player profiles, top clubs and famous owners.
    "We are delighted to have MS Dhoni come on board as the brand ambassador for BPL in the country. We are targeting to expand the fan base of BPL in India by leveraging the iconic power and fan following of Dhoni to attract cricket fans to sample BPL – Duniya ka sabse bada league," said Vijay Rajput, chief operating officer, ESPN Software India.
    As well as the English Premier League, Star Sports holds the broadcast rights in India for the Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, the English FA Cup and England international matches. The sports network also recently broadcast the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 from Brazil.

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    Kartina.TV selects Dune HD as preferred STB provider
    Michelle Clancy | 10-08-2013

    Kartina.TV, an operator of Russian-language pay-TV services, has selected Dune HD as its preferred supplier for IPTV and OTT set-top boxes worldwide. The long-term agreement expands the companies' existing multi-year relationship.
    "We have been using Dune HD set-top boxes and media players for several years," said Oleg Shevchenko, CEO of Kartina.TV. "During this time, Dune HD products have proven the most reliable, highest performing and best received by our customers."
    He added: "Selecting Dune HD as our main supplier of set-top boxes for Kartina.TV service is the logical next step for our company."
    Dune offers a range of CPE, including full-HD media players and connected boxes for consumers and operators, to support Internet-based digital streaming and download, disc-based formats such as 3D, Blu-ray and DVD, IPTV and video-on-demand, networked digital files and interactive services.
    "Dune HD's success has always been driven by best-of-breed design and world-class reliability and support, and we have invested heavily to optimize our software for customers like Kartina.TV," said Igor Kovalev, vice president of Dune HD. "We are very pleased to be named a preferred supplier for this fast growing company."

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    Hawaiian Telcom more than doubles TV base
    Michelle Clancy | 11-08-2013

    While some major US pay-TV operators are suffering subscriber losses in the second quarter (ie, DISH Network), regional operators are faring much better. For example, Hawaiian Telcom more than doubled its TV subscriber base in the last year. The Aloha State telco now has 13,618 TV subscribers, compared with 6,354 in the year-ago quarter.
    Quarter-over-quarter the company has racked up a 16.7% increase over the 11,671 subscribers that the carrier had in Q1. And it has room to grow: the carrier also said that it has now enabled 100,000 video homes, 17,000 more than Q2 2012. Hawaiian Telcom TV penetration of households enabled was approximately 14% at the end of the second quarter.
    "We successfully executed on our goal to expand the reach of our enhanced broadband network to 100,000 households on Oahu by the second anniversary of our commercial launch of Hawaiian Telcom TV," said Eric Yeaman, the carrier's president and CEO. "This build-out gives us a solid foundation for future revenue growth in our consumer channel, which is expected to increase as we continue to deliver Hawaii's best home entertainment experience to more neighbourhoods and homes every week."
    Consumer revenue overall increased 1.5% year-over-year to $34.8 million, driven by growth in video and high speed Internet revenue of $1.8 million and $0.9 million, respectively. Video service revenue was $2.9 million in the quarter, up from $1 million a year ago. Hawaiian Telcom also said that video ARPU, a crucial metric, was up about 12% since 2012.
    "Our investments are transforming the company and successfully repositioning us for the future," concluded Yeaman. "We have built a strong set of assets and have the right strategies to capitalise on the key opportunities that exist in our marketplace. I am confident about the company's growth prospects and our ability to drive long-term shareholder value."


 

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