Preferred Hotels & Resorts has launched a mobile app and member rate program as major enhancements to its points-based hotel rewards program, iPrefer. In celebration of iPrefer and the pursuit of independent travel, Preferred Hotels & Resorts gifted 25,000 bonus points to iPrefer members who made a booking within the app by April 21, 2017.“The new mobile app and member rate program are designed to better connect today’s travellers with the unique appeal of the independent hotel experience through a seamless loyalty program that delivers exclusive, on-the-go access to an attractive rate, points and valuable on-property perks. These enhancements are a testament to our continuous commitment to making iPrefer the most compelling loyalty program for independent-minded travellers,” said, Casey Ueberroth, Chief Marketing Officer, Preferred Hotels & Resorts.“The noteworthy benefits of the iPrefer mobile app and member rate program shall strengthen the rising popularity of the iPrefer program in India, as well as encourage discerning luxury travellers to conveniently book their holidays directly through iPrefer channels for access to competitive rates and valuable benefits upon every stay,” remarked Saurabh Rai, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels & Resorts.The app that was built in collaboration with American Express; members can search and book stays at more than 600 iPrefer participating hotels worldwide, access exclusive offers such as member rates and the iPrefer Last-Minute Escapes, update their profiles, view past/upcoming stay history and related points earnings, and immediately access and redeem Reward Certificates.iPrefer members using the app will also receive push notifications regarding special offers, and American Express cardholders will have the ability to enjoy an expedited process through American Express Checkout. In the coming weeks, Preferred Hotels & Resorts will introduce enhanced features for the app such as a concierge chat service that allows guests to communicate directly with the hotel.iPrefer app is available for iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
This is exactly what the Cardinals needed to lower the civic temperature and keep their fan base intact. It’s not just a victory. It’s a nod to the future, which makes a 2-6 record tenable. At least for another two weeks.Rosen discounted the significance of the moment, how a rookie quarterback stood and delivered like he did, when he did, just as the season was ready to slip into the abyss. He spared Wilks the indignity of termination rumors in the coming days. He made it possible for Nelson to go out in public, although I wouldn’t pass him the salt, lest that crash to the floor as well.And best of all, the franchise quarterback made history on Sunday, doing something no quarterback has ever achieved in Arizona:He prompted Fitzgerald to spike a football.“My feelings were a little hurt so I was carrying that around all day,” Fitzgerald said. “So when I got in (the end zone), I kind of let it out. To all the kids that are watching, I’m sorry. I set a bad example today.”Rosen did the opposite. He set a great example across the board. To those in his locker room who felt like quitting on a grounded franchise. And to those who protested with their absence, believing they had found a better way to spend their Sunday. 67 Comments Share Reach Bickley at email@example.com. Listen to Bickley & Marotta weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We’re about to win this (expletive) game, that’s what he said,” offensive lineman D.J. Humphries said. “Excuse my French. (But) that’s what he said.”Said Rosen: “Something with some expletives. Got to leave it up to the imagination.”None of this stuff matters in the standings. The Cardinals are not going to turn their season around based on two wins against the hapless 49ers. Their situation is not a quick fix. Their roster is too flawed for mid-season miracles.But all of this stuff matters in Arizona, a bandwagon town that bails at the first sign of trouble, far quicker than our star cornerback.Rosen helped you find your missing belief. He threw two touchdown passes on the game-winning drive, including one that was dropped by J.J. Nelson, who should’ve been cut on the spot. His passer rating for the first three quarters was 47.9, 45.6 and 42.4.It soared to 129.4 in the final 15 minutes, nearly the amount of his previous three quarters combined.That’s not a comeback. That’s a declaration.“He always has that belief in his voice and you can see the conviction in his eyes,” Fitzgerald said. “It was on full display on those two last drives today.” Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws as San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (99) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Abandon ship, like Patrick Peterson once desired. Abandon hope, like the dispirited souls who left thousands of empty seats in their wake.We all received a powerful reminder on Sunday, from fair-weather fans to frustrated football players:Never give up on a team with a franchise quarterback.This story is as powerful as Larry Fitzgerald’s spike, the exclamation point on the Cardinals’ 18-15 win over the 49ers. He’s never done that before. Not in 26 college games. Not in his previous 225 NFL starts. Not in Pop Warner or any level of competition. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo But this was the perfect storm, a proud man overcome by happiness, rage, celebration and shame.Mostly because his 15-year old son had also given up on the Cardinals, choosing to go to the state fair over State Farm Stadium.“He didn’t want to come support us, so I’m trying to pick up the pieces,” Fitzgerald said. “I have to be a better father.”Related LinksRare, late offensive outburst lifts Cardinals to season sweep of 49ersRapid Reactions: Josh Rosen gets first comeback victory for CardinalsCardinals base defense stands up against 49ers run gameThere’s a first time for everything: Larry Fitzgerald spikes the ballRosen, Fitzgerald lead Cardinals to comeback win vs. 49ersThis story is bigger than Steve Wilks, the rookie head coach who made painful adjustments (Mike McCoy), personal adjustments (playing Deone Bucannon) and is mercifully spared from spending his bye week on a stovetop. It transcends the performance of Byron Leftwich, who ascended from intern to offensive coordinator in less than three years, producing tangible baby steps against the 49ers.This is about Josh Rosen, and the seeds of a legend he planted on Sunday.Rosen spun a game-winning, fourth-quarter comeback out of thin air. He coaxed victory from a wretched contest, lifting his own miserable performance on command. His fourth-quarter numbers hit like a bolt of a lightning: 12-of-18 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and zero turnovers.His poise and presence were even better. And it’s a shame we all couldn’t have been in that huddle when he inaugurated the final drive. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories
All roads leading to Troodos are open to traffic but are slippery, police said on Sunday afternoon.Due to rock slides, both lanes of the Paphos to Limassol motorway from the Pissouri to the Avdimou exits remain closed to traffic.Traffic is channelled to the old Paphos to Limassol road.In the Paphos district, the roads from Ayios Nicolaos to Kaminaria and Kelokedara to Filousa are open to traffic but drivers are urged to be alert as there have been rock and mud slides in the area.The following roads, also in the Paphos district, are closed due to overflowing of rivers, rock and mud slides and road collapse:Ayios Nicolaos – Pera Vasa at the Tzielefos bridgeKelokedara-Amargeti-Nata at the Ziripillis bridgeSalamiou –Galataria at the bridge of river SintisAyios Nicolaos-MandriaEpiskopi-NataDrivers are urged to be alert, drive at low speed, keep safety distances from other vehicles and comply with traffic signs.All changes to the road network due to weather conditions are changed in real-time in the ‘roads’ category on the Cyprus police app, as well as on www.cypruspolicenews.com and their Facebook page.You May LikePlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoLivestlyChip 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. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: Johnson News,Johnson Photos,News Johnson, McBroom bills expand state curriculum for voc edState Rep. Joel Johnson delivers comments during the governor’s signing of his legislation that updates the Michigan Merit Curriculum to include more flexibility for career and vocational high school courses.Michigan high school students can have career and vocational technology course options more easily count toward graduation with the signing of Public Acts 208 and 209 today by Gov. Rick Snyder.State Reps. Joel Johnson of Clare and Ed McBroom of Vulcan have worked for more than three years to adjust the Michigan Merit Curriculum so school district can offer students more opportunities for education exploration and career training.McBroom’s House Bill 4465 allows math and other curriculum requirements to be satisfied by CTE courses that include the same lesson materials. Johnson sponsored House Bill 4466, now PA 209 of 2014, to ensure students and parents are informed about career and technical education options. The law also streamlines the personal curriculum development process.State Reps. Joel Johnson and Ed McBroom attended a June 25 ceremony with Gov. Rick Snyder to see their legislation allowing schools to count certain career and vocational education courses toward graduation requirements be signed into law.“Career and vocational ed courses were a strong component of Michigan’s school systems for decades, but in recent times have been squeezed out because of limited time and resources in the school day,” Johnson said. “Our local educators and parents recognized the loss and disservice this does to students. It’s important not only to have the CTE option available, but to also actively inform students and families of the opportunity.”Johnson’s legislation also allows high school graduation credit requirements to include vocational education course work, including using anatomy and agri-science courses for science requirements, while McBroom’s bill also promotes availability of foreign language courses prior to high school grades.“The state’s curriculum has been geared with course mandates for students pursuing college degrees, but that path isn’t practical for all children and their families,” said McBroom, sponsor of the new Public Act 208 of 2014. “For those students, they need an option that allows freedom for elective classes and job training skills that will be useful to their future growth, development and potential employment.”The bills were signed at the Dakota High School in Macomb, part of the Chippewa Valley School District’s career and technical education programs.Rep. Joel Johnson was joined at the bill signing with Gov. Rick Snyder by his wife, Dawn Johnson; local educators Doug Pummell, Clare-Gladwin RESD Career Center director, Darren Kroczaleski, Arenac Eastern School District and Standish-Sterling Community School District superintendent, Mike Foster, Perry Public Schools superintendent; Ben Frederick, Johnson’s legislative director, and Aaron Bayliss, Johnson’s constituent relations director. 25Jun New laws expand students’ class choices
Categories: Farrington News 02Jul Farrington announces road project in Utica An important road improvement project for Utica will begin soon thanks to additional funding set aside by the Michigan Legislature, announced state Rep. Jeff Farrington.Farrington, R-Utica, said the project makes necessary and needed repairs to Auburn Road from M-59 to the Utica city line.“Residents of our community reached out to me about the importance of prioritizing roads, and I have been working to ensure the project at Auburn Road becomes a reality,” Farrington said. “It is exciting to announce that Auburn Road will receive these necessary repairs and improve the commute for local families.”Farrington said many local residents reached out about fixing Auburn Road, and he fought hard to ensure that their voices were heard.In addition to the Auburn Road project, there are another five projects totaling nearly $4.5 million that repair or fix roads in Macomb County.“However, Michigan’s roads and bridges were neglected for too long, and we need to continue to work on a plan that will result in a long-lasting, permanent solution for Michigan’s roads,” Farrington said. “I will continue to meet with local residents to receive input so I can bring a plan that focuses on fairness, efficiency and quality back to Lansing.”For the fiscal year 2014 budget, the Michigan Legislature created a special fund using $230 million in existing state revenue, half of which was appropriated on Oct 1. with the rest now being appropriated.###
11Jan Pagel sworn into office in Lansing Categories: Pagel News,Pagel Photos State Rep. Dave Pagel, R-Berrien Springs, takes the ceremonial oath of office administered by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markman on the House floor today. Joining the 78th House District lawmaker for the event was his wife, Sue.This is Pagel’s third term representing portions of Berrien and Cass Counties including the cities of Niles, New Buffalo and Buchanan and the townships of Three Oaks, Chikaming, Weesaw, Baroda, Bertrand, Oronoko, Sodus, Pipestone, Berrien, Buchanan, Niles, Galien, Silver Creek, Howard, Milton and Ontwa.He can be contacted by calling 517-373-1796, toll free at 888-373-0078, emailing DavePagel@house.mi.gov or by mail at Anderson House Office Building, N-1097, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares August 13, 2014; The AtlanticFor those who care to remember, one of the culprits behind the near-economic collapse of several years ago was the growth of the risky subprime lending market, which undertook the act of making loans to borrowers who might have traditionally had challenges making payments due to a variety of issues, including unemployment, divorce, or sudden medical crises. Despite these setbacks, borrowers were still able to participate in one of the centerpieces of the American dream: owning a home. The effects of subprime lending led to a flurry of unfortunate events that the world is still recovering from.If education is another pillar of the American dream, certain practices being exhibited by for-profit and nonprofit universities are following the same path. In a story in the Atlantic, author Paul Campos outlines disturbing trends seen in higher education, specifically highlighting law schools. Campos describes a world where “schools accredited by the American Bar Association admit large numbers of severely underqualified students; these students in turn take out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans annually, much of which they will never be able to repay. Eventually, federal taxpayers will be stuck with the tab, even as the schools themselves continue to reap enormous profits.”The article highlights that the problem has mostly been seen in for-profit universities, although the issue does not escape nonprofit institutions; just as “for-profits are run for the benefit of their owners, nonprofits are run for the benefit of the most-powerful stakeholders within those institutions.”From a student’s perspective, being admitted to law school would be an exciting next step in their professional path. Unfortunately, according to data outlined in the article, those attending bottom-tier schools may suffer a dismal professional fate. One case looks at New England Law, highlighting its $44,000 per-year tuition and the $870K salary of its president, delivering graduates “crushing debt loads and job prospects only marginally less terrible than those of InfiLaw graduates.” (The InfiLaw System comprises a group of for-profit law schools that similarly charge high tuition and produce dismal academic and employment results.)Although the realization of these challenges has caused a decline in law school applications, for the for-profit model, it may not matter. According to a case frequently referenced by the article, the Florida Coastal School of Law has a model “based on a very-short-term investment perspective: the idea was to make as much money as the company could as fast as possible, and then dump the whole operation onto someone else when managing it became less profitable.”On the nonprofit side, other methods have been deployed. The head of New England Law recently served as “chair of both the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which oversees the ABA’s accreditation standards, and of the Section’s Accreditation Committee.” If employment and passing the bar percentages ensure that law schools obtain accreditation, then a low-performing school having their president serve on the accrediting body might be helpful in ensuring future “compliance.”While the case discusses the problems within the world of law schools, Campos outlines that this is just an example of the challenges being seen in higher education, stating that schools like Florida Coastal have “perverse financial incentives under which they operate are merely extreme versions of those that afflict contemporary American higher education in general. And these broader systemic dysfunctions have potentially devastating consequences for a vast number of young people—and for higher education as a whole.”—John BrothersShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares a katz / Shutterstock.comDecember 31, 2014; National Employment Law ProjectA minimum wage of $8 or $9 an hour is hardly going to lift a family out of poverty, but boosting the minimum wage in some states to that level—above the $7.25 mandated as a wage floor by federal law—may mean a little less financial stress for the working poor. The nonprofit National Employment Law Project has produced a list of all of the states that will have minimum wage requirements higher than the federal requirement sometime in calendar year 2015:Alaska$8.75Arizona$8.05Arkansas$7.50California$9.00Colorado$8.23Connecticut$9.15Delaware$8.25Florida$8.05Hawaii$7.75Illinois$8.25Maine$7.50Maryland$8.25Massachusetts$9.00Michigan$8.15Minnesota$9.00Missouri$7.65Montana$8.05Nebraska$8.00Nevada$8.25New Jersey$8.38New Mexico$7.50New York$9.00Ohio$8.10Oregon$9.25Rhode Island$9.00South Dakota$8.50Vermont$9.15Washington$9.47West Virginia$8.00District of Columbia$10.50In addition to these 29 states plus the District of Columbia, a number of cities are also raising their minimum wages in 2015, including San Francisco ($11.05), Seattle ($11.00), San Jose ($10.30), SeaTac ($15.24), and Chicago ($10.00, to rise to $13.00 in December).Nonprofits like NELP have been doing the necessary research to show that raising the minimum wage to $8, $9, or $10 an hour will not cause the massive job losses that opponents suggest. But the campaigns to win minimum wage increases in states and localities are the responsibility of community-based nonprofits that know their local economies and politicians. Not one of these new minimum wage rates would have occurred had it not been for persistent nonprofit advocacy. That’s what it will take to make progress in the other 21 states and in municipalities across the nation.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Italian channel operator Switchover Media has recruited Fabrizio Salini as head of entertainment and factual channels. Salini will head entertainment and factual channels at the company and oversee the launch of new digital terrestrial channels across those areas this summer. Switchover has thus far focused on kids and youth-skewing services K2, Frisbee and GXT.Salini joins form Fox Italy where he was running a portfolio of entertainment channels. He has also worked at Sky Italia, where he managed the platform’s entertainment and movie offering.“The success of our free-to-air digital kids channels in an extremely competitive environment, gave us the incentive to take on new challenges, said Francesco Nespega, Switchover Media’s managing partner. “The addition of an experienced and competent industry professional like Fabrizio to Switchover Media’s management team will be a key factor to the success of our new adult targeted free-to-air channel brands”.
Belgacom has named Dominque Leroy as executive vice-president of its consumer business unit.Leroy will succeed Scott Alcott, who is returning to the US. Leroy joined Belgacom as vice-president, sales in the consumer business unit last year.
Online music service Spotify could be about to create a new video entertainment unit with HBO Nordic as its content partner, according to local reports.Danish broadcaster TV2’s TV Beep site has reported that Spotify is in talks with HBO Nordic to redistribute its TV shows in the Nordic region. TV Beep cited unnamed sources as saying that Spotify planned to create a new division for TV and movies.It is not yet clear if Spotify will launch a new platform or adapt its existing one, the site reported. It has been reported elsewhere that Spotify is developing a web client to enable the use of the service without the need to install dedicated software, enabling it to reach a wider audience.In April Spotify hired Comcast product innovation chief Mike Berkley as vice-president of product. Berkley headed up Comcast’s X1 DVR project, working on new TV interfaces and mobile applications to facilitate content discovery. He was previously CEO of social TV pioneer SplashCast Media.
Viacom is raising US$500 million (€385 million) via a new bond offering.The US-listed media giant said it would use the cash for general corporate purposes including repaying outstanding debt and to buy back its own stock as part of an ongoing share repurchase programme.The debt offering is expected to be complete by March 14, the company said.The company operates pay TV channels around the world including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
Polish cable operator Multimedia Polska added 46,000 revenue-generating units in the year to the end of September, taking its RGU total to 1.58 million.The operator had 821,200 customers at the end of the quarter, of which 303,200 took two services and 129,400 were triple-play customers.The RGU increase was boosted by the acquisition of Teletronik at the end of 2013 as well as the launch of an MVNO and the introduction of electricity supply as one of the services offered by the company. Average services per customer increased from 1.86 in September 2013 to 1.92 in September 2014.Revenue for the nine months to September amounted to PLN526.5 million (€124.4 million), up only 0.5% year-on-year, with a decline in phone revenues offsetting an increase in broadband revenues. Migration from analogue to digital TV packages produced revenues of PLN261.6 million from TV, up 0.6%. Basic TV RGUs numbered 768,500, including 316,000 digital RTV subs.Multimedia Polska reported adjusted EBITDA of PLN262.8 million for the nine months to September, down 1.3%, pushed down by higher sales and marketing costs.
Motors TVMedia services provider Arqiva has added a range of new channels to its Connect TV offering on the YouView platform in the UK.Arqiva has added thematic channels Motors TV, SonLife, RTDoc and Vintage TV to the platform.The channels have already been available as part of Arqiva’s Connect TV platform, which enables digital-terrestrial viewers to access internet-delivered channels, but this is the first time they have been available via the YouView on-demand service.Viewers can access content via the red button, as with other free-to-air services, and discover the channels in the EPG as with other YouView services. This means channel numbers can be retained, so viewers have consistency whatever TV service they use.“Launching our Connect TV services on to YouView maximises the hybrid capability of the platform. Together we will be delivering high quality streaming channels over IP to YouView devices as part of a coherent user experience with the DTT channels. Viewers expect greater breadth and depth of content on their TV service and adding Connect TV to YouView helps extend the platform’s content proposition with a range of exciting IP channels,” said Tom Cape, Arqiva’s director of connected solutions.
Guillaume BoutinFrench pay TV operator Canal+ has named Guillaume Boutin as director of marketing distribution.Boutin, who will report to Alice Holzman, deputy CEO in charge of distribution in France, was previously director of residential marketing at telecom service provider SFR, recently acquired by cable operator Numericable.
Netflix has said it will pass on the cost of a new ‘cloud tax’ that will come into force in Chicago later this year to its subscribers.The 9% tax, which will be levied on streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify but not download-to-own services such as iTunes, was approved approved by City authorities last week and comes into force in September.“We will be adding it to the cost we charge subscribers,” a Netflix spokesman told DTVE sister title TBI.“Jurisdictions around the world, including the US, are trying to figure out ways to tax online services. This is one approach.”The new charge is effectively an extension of Chicago’s ‘amusement tax’, which is applied at cinemas and concerts.The new tax, which was enacted last week and comes into force in September, will be levied on ‘electronically delivered amusements’, covering Netflix and its media streaming counterparts. It applies to all Chicago residents.The city already charges an ‘amusement tax’ at cinemas and music concerts and the new tax is an extension of this to account for new technology, City officials said.The new rules only apply to streaming services, dubbed ‘rentals’ in the official documentation, not electronic sales, or permanent downloads.The tax will generate about US$12 million a year, according to estimates.
John WhittingdaleUK culture secretary John Whittingdale has appointed an eight-strong panel to advise the government ahead of UK pubcaster the BBC having its Charter renewed.The Charter outlines the scope of the BBC’s activities and the licence fee it can command the new panel will meet about six times a year to advise Whittingdale ahead of the new Charter being set.Former Channel 5 boss and now Yahoo senior VP, Dawn Airey is on the panel, alongside Ashley Highfield, the former BBC new media boss who now runs local media group Johnston Press.Collette Bowe, currently chairman of the Banking Standards Board and formerly chair of UK communications regulator Ofcom, will also be part of the advisory group.From the TV world, former Shine Group boss Alex Mahon and former ITN boss Stewart Purvis are also on board.The panel is completed by Arts Council boss Darren Henley, Shazam CEO Andrew Fisher and digital entrepreneur Lopa Patel.Whittingdale said: “Each member of the independent advisory group brings individual skills, experience and expertise. Together they will contribute to the oversight of the Government’s Review of the BBC Royal Charter. I look forward to working with them on this important issue.”The Department of Culture, Media and Sport released the news and noted that the panel members are not representing their current or previous employers. There has, however, been criticism that the group mostly comprises people who have often been at odds with elements of the BBC and the way it is funded and managed.The specified remit of the group is to provide “expertise, innovation and advice for the process and policy of the review of the BBC Royal Charter and Agreement.” This will be achieved, the DCMS said, by the panel using their personal expertise and experience to provide independent strategic advice in the run up to Charter renewal.
Huawei is reportedly planning to launch an over-the-top streaming service in Europe next year.According to reports, Huawei will debut the service in Spain and Italy in 2018 and has already agreed a content deal with Atresmedia in Spain.DTVE contacted Huawei but was not able to get confirmation of its over-the-top plans ahead of going to press.The company is said to have revealed its video ambitions during its Huawei Connect Europe event in Berlin last week.Separately, Huawei and LG U+ announced that they had successfully completed a pre-commercial trial of live ultra-high-definition IPTV delivered over 5G.Huawei hailed the trial as a “key milestone” for the development of 5G and said it demonstrated up to a 2Gbps capacity of Huawei’s CPE in an end-to-end 5G network.LG U+ is a South Korean mobile operator owned by LG Corporation.UPDATE:Huawei has confirmed that it will launch an offering called Huawei Video Service in 2018.The mobile service will start to roll out globally starting in the first quarter of next year and be pre-installed on all Huawei and Honor phones.Huawei Video Service will feature movies and TV series on an advertising-free basis and will feature both global and local content.Huawei confirmed it will be working with Spanish media group Atresmedia and film distribution company Under The Milky Way to populate the video service ahead of its launch.“Both providers will be key content partners contributing to the Huawei Video Service and are committed to extending the reach and audience for their content by participating in new services and new markets,” said the company in a statement.
Deutsche Telekom’s US subsidiary T-Mobile US is to merge with rival Sprint to create a mobile telco with a combined value of US$150 billion in an all-shares deal.The combination will take the form of a takeover by T-Mobile US of Sprint in a stock swap that will see Deutsche Telekom hold about 42% of the combined company with Japan’s Softbank, Sprint’s majority shareholder, will have a 27% stake. The remaining shares will be free-floated.The merger agreement will give Deutsche Telekom majority voting rights, with control of 69% of voting shares. The German company will be able to appoint nine of the 14-strong board, including two independents. T-Mobile CEO John Legere will be CEO of the enlarged company will Deutsche Telekom CEO Timmotheus Höttges will be chairman.Deutsche Telekom currently owns 62% of T-Mobile US while Softbank has an 83% stake in Sprint.According to Deutsche Telekom, the merger will create synergies with a net present value of US$43 billion.The combined company will have about 127 million customers and generate expected revenues of about US$76 billion this year, which Deutsche Telekom said would put on the same level as rivals AT&T and Verizon.The company said the combination would enable Deutsche Telekom to benefit from growth opportunities in the US while maintaining its strong fixed and mobile business in Europe.“This is an exceptional deal, which will strengthen Deutsche Telekom’s presence in the leading markets in the Western World,” said Höttges.“No other company in the industry is represented as strongly in both the USA and Europe as we are. 90 percent of our revenue comes from countries with particularly strong economic conditions. Deutsche Telekom benefits from growth on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Middle East pay TV provider BeIN Media is to take legal action against its erstwhile content partner the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after the latter agreed to air content already contracted to BeIN free-to-air in Saudi Arabia.The AFC said that it would stream matches featuring Saudi Arabian clubs in the AFC Asian Champions League for free into Saudi Arabia on the AFC’s own digital channels, which BeIN says is in breach of its multi-million dollar broadcast agreement with the sports organisation.BeIN accused the AFC of colluding with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) to unilaterally live-stream matches into Saudi Arabia geo-blocked on the AFC’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels.Saudi Arabia’s government forced Qatar-based BeIN out of the Kingdom a year and a half ago, following the collapse of relations between the two Gulf countries.BeIN Media Group condemned the AFC’s move, which it said undermined the exclusive rights agreement it had earlier struck for the region with the Qatar group.The broadcasters said it would immediately launch international legal proceedings against the AFC and would continue to broadcast all its rights, including all AFC tournaments and matches, on its channels across the MENA region.BeIN further accused the AFC of implicitly supporting the Saudi-sponsored pirate organisation BeoutQ, which has aired content contracted to BeIN illegally within Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the region, and therefore of undermining the business model that sports rightsholders rely on. Every game of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was broadcast illegally by BeoutQ.Yousef Al-Obaidly, CEO, beIN Media Group, said: “The AFC’s decision to live-stream directly into Saudi Arabia on the AFC’s own digital platforms is a material breach of our multi-million dollar regional broadcast agreement and we will immediately be launching a major international dispute to recover damages and protect our position. The AFC’s decision is not only a self-harming commercial decision and a clear political play with Saudi Arabia, but most damagingly it will impact rights holders across sports and entertainment around the world. There is now no guaranteed protection of intellectual property in the region due to the AFC in effect endorsing Saudi Arabia’s theft of world sport and wholesale disregard for the international rule of law.”