first_imgOTM Mumbai is a larger platform where we can participate and can meet B2B partners under a roof. OTM is a great scope for people, travel agents and customers from all over India as well as other countries to meet up at a one particular place. So it is very much convenient for travel agents like us.last_img

first_img December 16, 2011 440 Views in Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing application,Zillow Releases Mortgage Rates This Week In line with record-low mortgage rates, “”Zillow””:http://www.zillow.com/ found interest rates for the 30-year fixed-rate loan hovering around 3.78 percent this week.[IMAGE]The real estate finance Web site culled figures from anonymous online quotes, which it used in the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.The rate for a 15-year loan stayed around 3.11 percent, with rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) nearing 2.52 percent.[COLUMN_BREAK] “”Mortgage rates have remained fairly insulated from stock market volatility for the past few weeks and have hovered in a narrow band between 3.7% and 3.9%,”” Erin Lantz, director of the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said in a statement.””We expect this decoupling of rates and stock prices to continue this week as rumors of renewed Fed economic stimulus next quarter offsets any potentially positive economic news that might lift stock prices,”” she added.By state, mortgage rates also fell nationally, with New York leading the way in a decline by 13 basis points from last week to crest at 3.69 percent.Massachusetts followed with a drop by 9 basis points that landed rates for the 30-year loan at 3.78 percent in the state.For New Jersey, rates for the 30-year loan fell to 3.78 percent, followed shortly by figures in Pennsylvania, which slid back by 6 basis points to hit 3.77 percent.Colorado meanwhile arrived at 3.8 percent for its 30-year loan.Only Illinois and Texas saw growth in their mortgage rates, which climbed to 3.86 percent and 3.85 percent, respectively.center_img Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers Zillow 2011-12-16 Ryan Schuette Sharelast_img read more

first_img The fifth anniversary can be a large milestone and something to really celebrate, but for the fifth anniversary of The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which came on Thursday, July 21, the celebration may be premature. Some critics even wonder whether the Bureau as it stands now will be around to celebrate next year.From the Bureau’s initiation, the stated purpose of the CFPB has been protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. According to a recent post from the Bureau, “Since we opened our doors, we’ve focused on making the financial marketplace work for consumers. We’ve listened to your complaints about problems with your financial companies, created new consumer protections for financial products and services, and held bad actors accountable for breaking the law.”In the report, the CFPB shares what they believe to be the largest accomplishments since their origination in 2011. Included in this list is $11 billion in relief given to 27 million consumers in legal actions (encompassing in that figure action taken against mortgage companies for wrongly foreclosing on consumers’ homes), handling approximately one million consumer complaints, implementing new rules for the mortgage market such as “Know Before You Owe” and “Ability to Repay,” and most recently attempting to put new consumer protections in place like banning arbitration clauses.“There were a lot of consumer protection laws out there but the problem was there was nobody really to enforce them,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) in a CFPB video interview. “The idea behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was to draw together all of those laws and put them into once place and to say this agency has the tools to watch out for the American consumer to level the playing field and will be held responsible for doing that.”“In a few short years we’ve been working to protect people against financial predators, make sure these markets are safe for consumers, and see they are treated fairly, which is what everyone of us deserves.” Richard Cordray, Director, CFPBNot everyone is singing the same tune as Warren, though. Earlier this year, Congress proposed changes for how the Bureau is funded, moving for annual appropriations, as well as changes for the CFPB leadership, calling for a bipartisan commission instead of a single director. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found some problems with the CFPB’s internal controls and accounting procedures, according to a report from the GAO released earlier this year.“During its audit of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) fiscal years 2015 and 2014 financial statements, GAO identified deficiencies in CFPB’s internal control over accounting for property, equipment, and software that collectively constituted a significant deficiency in CFPB’s internal control over financial reporting,” the GAO reported.These are not the biggest issues facing the CFPB this year, though. The Bureau is also struggling with accusations from the New Jersey-based lender PHH Corp. which is currently trying to overturn a $109 million penalty issued by the CFPB in June 2015 over alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). This is a landmark case because it is the first time in the now five-year history of the CFPB that a company has judicially challenged a penalty handed down by the Bureau. Rulings in the PHH case over the Bureau’s constitutionality will be determined this fall.The petition from PHH reads, “Never before has so much authority been consolidated in the hands of one individual shielded from the president’s control and Congress’s power of the purse.”Despite controversy surrounding the CFPB, consumers and those in the mortgage industry stand behind the work the Bureau is doing. “The CFPB’s record of strong leadership stands by itself and should not be hampered by congressional efforts that would cripple its ability to ensure a safer and more accountable financial system,” said Joe Valenti, Director of Consumer Finance at the Center for American Progress, in a post celebrating the CFPB’s work over the duration of its existence.Still others feel there is more work that could be done to increase regulations through the CFPB. A survey of 1,000 likely voters jointly conducted in late June by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) indicated that members of both parties think financial regulation should be tougher. More than half of respondents in each party concurred: 52 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of Independents, and 84 percent of Democrats all said they believe that more financial regulation is necessary.As the CFPB begins a new year, plans for progression are the mission of the Bureau. They state that will continue to work on protecting consumers in the financial marketplace and empowering them to make informed financial decisions.Director for the CFPB, Richard Cordray, said in a video interview, “In a few short years we’ve been working to protect people against financial predators, make sure these markets are safe for consumers, and see they are treated fairly, which is what everyone of us deserves.”But are these actions congruent with where the where the mortgage industry stands now, five years after the Bureau’s launch? Tom Booker, Managing Director of The Collingwood Group, said, “At the five year mark, the cost to originate has sky rocketed to over $7,000 per loan, the products available to mortgage lenders that address, high debt to income ratios, imperfect credit and difficult to document incomes are difficult to access for most consumers. The compensation schemes for brokers which needed attention, have created a disincentive to loan originators, the front line for borrowers to work on difficult loans to get approved.”Booker continues on to describe how his balanced assessment is that the law of unintended consequences best describes the impact on the mortgage business at this juncture. He doesn’t believe the goal was to raise costs, to discourage loan offers, or impede access to loan products that could allow more credit worthy Americans access to home ownership. He says that the CFPB has the best of intentions, but not with the intended direction or outcome thus far. Exactly Five Years Into the CFPB Era. . . Share July 21, 2016 536 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 2016-07-21 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

first_img State Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto, was joined in the Capitol rotunda by Lowell Fire Captain Shannon Witherell prior to the Michigan House of Representatives’ Sept. 11 memorial service on the House floor. House members invited first responders and members of the military as their guests during the ceremony, which marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The names of 14 first responders and servicemen from Michigan who died in the line of duty during the past year were read during the ceremony. Categories: News 11Sep Lowell fire captain joins Rep. Lyons for Sept. 11 ceremonylast_img read more

first_img Categories: Hughes News,News State Rep. Holly Hughes is inviting 91st District residents to meet with her during office hours in Norton Shores, Moorland Township and Montague on Tuesday, Aug. 30 and in Blue Lake Township on Wednesday, Aug. 31.“The most important responsibility I have is representing my constituents in Muskegon County,” said Rep. Hughes, R-Montague. “That’s why I schedule multiple office hours throughout the 91st District every month, to talk with everyone about our state government and make sure Lansing knows what my fellow Muskegon County residents have to say.”The office hour events are as follows:Tuesday, Aug. 308 – 9 a.m., Toast ‘N Jams, 3462 Henry St., Norton Shores10-11 a.m., Moorland Township Hall, 12416 East Apple Ave., RavennaNoon-1 p.m., Book Nook and Java Shop, 8744 Ferry St., MontagueWednesday, Aug. 3110-11 a.m., Blue Lake Township Hall, 1491 Owasippe Road, Twin LakeThe office hours are open to the public and no appointment is necessary. Anyone unable to attend the office hour events can schedule an appointment or share their thoughts by calling Rep. Hughes’ Lansing office toll-free at 877-633-0331. Rep. Hughes can also be contacted by email at hollyhughes@house.mi.gov or mail at N-1195 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909. 17Aug Rep. Hughes schedules office hour events for Aug. 30-31 in Muskegon Countylast_img read more

first_imgSamsung plans to sell over 25 million Smart TVs this year, according to TV business chief Kim Hyun-Suk.The Korean consumer electronics giant hopes that half its total estimated flatscreen TV sales of 50 million units will be of internet-connected Smart TVs.Kim told journalists that a new model, the ES8000, with voice-recognition capability in 30 languages, enabling voice commands to switch-off and switch channels, as well as gesture-recognition controls, would be launched by the end of March.last_img read more

first_imgContent discovery specialist ThinkAnalytics has launched two new enhanced metadata libraries, ThinkMovies and ThinkTV.The new modules integrate with ThinkAnalytics’ Recommendations Engine and can be applied across EPG and VOD/OTT libraries.ThinkMovies includes over 500,000 movie titles worldwide, in over 20 languages, with new content to be added at a rate of around 10,000 titles a month. ThinkTV includes over 10,000 moods, tags, keywords and synonyms for regional TV shows across and supports ten languages.“As the pool of content available to consumers continues its inexorable rise, service providers understand the benefit of using a Recommendations Engine that has been designed from the ground up to handle live linear TV, and not just static VOD/OTT content. By integrating ThinkMovies and ThinkTV with ThinkAnalytics’ advanced and proven Recommendations Engine, service providers have yet another tool at their disposal as they strive to offer consumers even more relevant, personalised content. Adding ThinkMovies and ThinkTV to the mix can further boost our service provider customers’ ability to cross- and up-sell and to reduce subscriber churn,” said Eddie Young, chairman, ThinkAnalytics.ThinkAnalytics’ Recommendations Engine has been deployed by more than 25 service providers including the UK’s BSkyB, Virgin Media, ITV and Belgian operator Telenet.ThinkAnalytics will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 1.D93last_img read more

first_imgSpanish telco Telefónica is partnering with Microsoft to roll out a new global video platform for all video services across its various businesses.Starting in Brazil, Chile and Spain, the platform, based on Microsoft Mediaroom, will deliver TV services over IPTV and unmanaged networks to various devices.Earlier this month, Telefónica launched an IPTV service in Brazil, following a similar launch in Chile in October. Both services, Vivo TV Fibra in Brazil and Movistar in Chile, are the first IPTV deployments to take advantage of the new global video platform supported by Mediaroom.“Video is a fast-growing market, and we already play a leading role in delivering pay TV services to customers in Europe and Latin America. This new platform allows us to reflect the deep and rapid changes happening in this market. It offers the ease and convenience of a global, convergent platform while maintaining flexibility over content for our local businesses. Most important, it allows us to meet customer demands for access to video content on an ever- expanding range of devices,” said Vivek Dev, director of digital services, Telefónica Digital.last_img read more

first_imgANGA COM closed yesterday after attracting a record 17,000 visitors and 450 exhibitors.According to the event’s organiser, German cable association ANGA, 50% of visitors came from outside Germany. This was the first year that the former ANGA Cable had operated under the ANGA COM brand.“This year, ’ANGA Cable’ has become ‘ANGA COM”. The new name even better reflects our two thematic pillars, broadband and media. This was also clearly visible in the exhibition hall. In addition to the traditional cable and satellite technology, the roll-out of fiber, IPTV, Video on Demand, software solutions and consumer electronics have become integral parts of our exhibitors’ product range. We’re especially pleased with the success of the Connected Home special, which we organized in cooperation with the BITKOM association,” said Thomas Braun, president of ANGA.ANGA COM 2014 will take place in Cologne from Many 20-24.last_img read more

first_imgThis year’s football World Cup could produce record audiences, while World Cup viewers are engaging in the use of second screen activity, with 12.2 million tweets being sent during Brazil’s win over Croatia, according to figures released by a group of TV marketing associations and agencies.According to the Platform for the European Promotion of TV (PEPPTV), World Cup broadcasters are optimistic that the July 13 final could produce an audience that matches or exceeds the 909 million who watched the Spain v Netherlands final in 2010.According to the figures compiled by the group, a record 42.9 million Brazilians tuned in to see their team’s opening win over Croatia, while 81.3% of Croatians or watched the game. Brazil-Croatia was also the most watched opening match in at least 12 years in the UK, with 11.2 million UK viewers.In the UK a peak of 20 million, or a 71% share, watched England v Uruguay, the highest peak audience on any channel since the 2012 London Olympics, while 27.3 million or 84.2% of viewers in Germany tuned in to watch Germany defeat the US. The French victory over Honduras scored a 56.3% audience share in France, or 15.9 million viewers, amongst whom one million saw the game on digital platforms.last_img read more

first_imgAndrus AnsipNew European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip has backed “solid” and “clearly defined” net neutrality and called for geo-blocking restrictions in Europe to be scrapped.In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg Ansip – who is one of three European commissioners who has taken over from recently retired digital policy chief Neelie Kroes – said that geo-blocking based on location or residence “goes against the core principles of Europe’s single market.”He also said that building trust and confidence in the online world is vital if a digital single market is to exist in Europe and function properly.“Our citizens want the best the internet can offer, they want an internet that is safe and accessible to everybody. This is not a reality in Europe today,” said Ansip.“There is even more work to do to achieve a truly connected digital single market. A market where every consumer is able to enjoy digital content and services – wherever they are in the EU, including government services.“It means every company should be able to share and sell its wares to a market of 500 million, using seamless online channels.”In terms of geo-blocking restrictions, Ansip said that work should centre around reforming and modernising copyright rules and “getting rid of unjustified curbs on transfer and access to digital assets.”In 2015 the European Commission will present its strategy for a digital single market and prepare measures based on its assessment of “the most urgent obstacles to be removed.”“The benefits of a digital single market are €260 billion a year, potentially more. Imagine ending those barriers, making this a benefit to Europe, not the cost of non-Europe. This is the jolt that our economy needs and the opportunity our citizens want,” said Ansip.The comments came as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) yesterday called on EU member states to launch negotiations as soon as possible with the European Parliament on net neutrality provisions.In an open letter co-signed by the EBU last month, the union said that legislation on net neutrality “would provide certainty for providers of innovative online content, applications and services, enhance transparency for end-users and boost consumers trust in the internet”.Neelie Kroes stepped down earlier this month, with her role divided up and three European Commissioners succeeding her: Ansip, vice president-designate for the Digital Single Market; Günther Oettinger, commissioner-designate for the Digital Economy and Society; and Jyrki Katainen, vice president-designate for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness.last_img read more

first_imgTV delivered strong growth for Deutsche Telekom in the German market in the first quarter, delivering high revenue growth, but growth remained slow or negative throughout much of central and eastern Europe. Deutsche Telekom grew its German IPTV and satellite TV base by 74,000, or 3%, to reach 2.516 million subscribers in the first quarter.Over the year, Telekom’s domestic TV base grew by 11.6%, while the international base grew by 5.1%.In Germany, the number of broadband lines increased by 76,000 in the first three months of 2015.TV revenues in the German market amounted to €277 million, up 10.4%, out of total fixed revenues of €2.45 billion, down 2%.The telco’s international TV base grew by 27,000 over the same period, or 0.7%, to reach 3.741 million.In Greece, Telekom subsidiary OTE had 367,000 satellite, cable TV and IPTV customers at the end of the period, up from 354,000 at year-end and up 32% year-on-year.In neighbouring Romania, Telecom Romania’s TV numbers were up only 3.2% year-on-year to 1.414 million. Also in the CEE region, Hungarian unit Magyar Telekom’s TV numbers rose by 4.2% year-on-year to reach 934,000. In Croatia, TV subscribers declined by 0.5% year-on-year to end the quarter at 390,000. Slovakia saw some growth however, with TV numbers growing by 6.8% to 474,000.In the Czech Republic, Telekom discontinued its TV service last year, leaving it with 2,000 TV customers still on its books.last_img read more

first_imgRoku has started rolling out a software rollout in the UK, adding two new features designed to make it easier to find and follow content – Roku Search and the Roku Feed.  The update will be available on all current generation Roku players and Roku has at the same time this week launched its new, upgraded Roku 2 player in the UK.Roku Search will allow users to search for movies, TV shows, actors and directors, with the results to show the availability and price of this content across different channels.At launch, Netflix, Snagfilms and Popcornflix will support this search functionality in the UK, with more channels expected t be added over time.Roku’s new My Feed function lets users follow upcoming entertainment they want to watch, with an initial focus on  ‘Movies Coming Soon’, which will give reminders on when titles are available to stream, on what channel and at what price.Roku also said that a new version of the Roku Mobile App for Anrdroid and iOS and Android, with support for the new search and discovery features, is available now.Roku first announced the new Roku Search and Roku Feed functionality, and started to roll it out in the US, last month.The new Roku 2 player will be available in the UK starting this week from Argos, Curry’s and Amazon.last_img read more

first_imgGlobal pay TV penetration reached 48% in the first quarter of the year, with more than 900 million subscribers signed up to these services, according to ABI Research. The new figures claim that total pay TV penetration will exceed 50% – or 1 billion subscribers – by 2017 and will grow steadily over the next five years, driven mainly by emerging markets.“[The] worldwide pay TV market is expected to reach 1.1 billion subscribers, generating US$307.5 billion in service revenue by 2020,” said ABI analyst, Khin Sandi Lynn.“The Asia Pacific pay TV market is likely to grow faster than most other regions in the years to come. ABI Research forecasts that pay TV market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5%, generating US$79.4 billion in 2020.”ABI said that as pay TV providers face increasing competition from over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix and other alternative platforms, average revenue per user (ARPU) “continues to decline across the various platforms in many markets.”However, many pay TV operators have added OTT, multi-screen and on-demand services to their offerings in order to compete with OTT players, contributing more revenue and customer loyalty, according to ABI.“Competition is higher in more mature markets such as North America and Western Europe where pay TV penetration is as high as 60% to 80% of households. A slower growth rate is expected to occur in such markets in the years to come.”last_img read more

first_imgNetflix is due to launch in Japan on September 2, marking its first steps into the Asian market.The video streaming giant confirmed the launch date to tech site VentureBeat, after revealing earlier this year that it planned to go live in Japan this autumn.Last month Netflix said in its second quarter earnings announcement that it had passed the 65 million subscriber-mark and also plans to launch in China next year as part of its ongoing expansion efforts.Though Netflix did not launch in any new markets in Q2, it said that its international segment is growing at “a rapid pace” with plans already in place to launch in Japan in Q3; in Spain, Italy and Portugal in Q4; and in further global markets after that.Netflix has already expanded into Australia and New Zealand this year, going live in these countries in March.News of the Japan launch date came yesterday as Netflix’s share-price climbed 7.6% to reach a day high of US$122.70 – exceeding its 52-week high of US$177.88.Bloomberg said the surge came as Guggenheim Securities issued a buy recommendation and a price target of US$160, indicating confidence in Netflix stock. Netflix’s shareprice has  already reportedly climbed 148% this year.last_img read more

first_imgThe internet accounted for 71.8% of the UK’s entertainment revenues in 2015 compared with 28.2% for bricks and mortar stores, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).However, the UK trade organisation’s latest research claims that the number of physical stores selling music, video and games has reached an all-time high of more than 14,800.DVD and Blu-ray discs were available in 14,852 stores in the UK last year, while CD and, or vinyl music releases were available in 14,727, according to the ERA.“Conventional wisdom has always suggested that the internet spelled the end for physical entertainment stores, but these numbers show that traditional retail still has a place, particularly for impulse purchases and gifts. After all, you can’t gift-wrap a download or a stream,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley.“Just as the internet has demonstrated that accessibility and convenience are key to selling entertainment, physical stores are demonstrating that if you put entertainment in front of people, they will buy it.”Despite this, the ERA said in January that digital revenues from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky Store exceeded £1bn for the first time in 2015. It also said that claims that it is “almost certain” that video will become a majority-digital business in 2016, after digital video revenues grew by 30.3% year-on-year in 2015.last_img read more

first_imgVodafone España has said it can now deliver virtual reality experiences to 4G mobile users in close to real-time without a significant delay through the use of Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technology.Vodafone said it was using MEC technology in conjunction with Huawei’s Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), one of the technologies that will go towards future 5G platforms.Vodafone demonstrated its real-time VR delivery by transmitting a version of its Yu programme to VR headsets and tablets, enabling users to view content in 360° live as it was being recorded in the VR studio.Vodafone said the use of MEC meant that it could deliver the content in high-quality with minimal latency.According to the operator, the use of MEC technology could open up a host of applications, including VR, AR and gaming.Yu is Vodafone’s YouTube network, which offers a range of content targeted at young people. For the purposes of the VR demo, Vodafone transmitted an edition of daily infotainment show Yu No Pierdas Nada in 360°.last_img read more

first_imgITV delivered 6% growth in revenues over the first nine months of the year, driven by strong performances across ITV Studios, advertising and online.The broadcaster posted total external revenues of £2.6 billion (€3 billion) with around £1.5 billion coming from broadcast and online and £1.1 billion originating from ITV Studios, which is up 10% over the period last year (£1 billion).Meanwhile, the broadcaster posted advertising revenues – which includes ITV channels’ net advertising revenues as well as online VOD and sponsorship – of £1.29bn, up 2% over 2017 figures (£1.27 billion).Carolyn McCallOverall, advertising revenue for the year is expected to be broadly flat over the full year, with continued double-digit growth coming from online.The results revealed that online viewing of the Love Island broadcaster’s catch-up service ITV Hub was up by 37%.ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said the broadcaster’s performance from January to end of September was “in line with expectations” and highlighted the 10% growth of revenues from ITV Studios as well as the boost in online viewing.“Our strong on-screen and online viewing performance has continued with ITV total viewing, which measures our viewing across the ITV Family and the ITV Hub, up 5% driven by a 4% increase in total minutes viewed across the ITV Family and a 37% increase in the time spent viewing online on the ITV Hub,” she said.ITV’s forthcoming programs for the remainder of the year and early 2019 include dramas Cheat, Cleaning Up and The Widow in addition to I’m A Celebrity and Dancing On Ice.McCall indicated that full-year revenues will be lower than expected due to no Hell’s Kitchen deliveries in 2018 and a delay with TNT’s adaptation of Snowpiercer, which will now air next year.The exec said ITV will reveal its SVOD plans in February.“We are very focused on executing our strategy to create a stronger, structurally sound business, building on our strong operating performance in the areas of the business which are under our control. We are making good progress with implementing the strategy – the investment and cost saving programmes which we set out in July are on track, and as previously mentioned, we will update the market in February on our SVOD plans,” she said.last_img read more

first_imgComcast’s statement this week that it is in “advanced stages of preparing” an all-cash offer for the 21st Century Fox assets promised to Disney presents a fresh headache for the Murdoch clan. Already facing a challenge from Comcast in the shape of its competitive bid for Sky, which in turn could complicate the Disney agreement, the Murdochs now must weigh up the threat of a direct bid by Comcast.When Comcast made a reported US$64 billion move on Fox last year, Fox’s board rejected this in favour of Disney’s lower-priced offer on the grounds that it could struggle to secure the approval of US regulators. AT&T’s attempt to acquire Time Warner, the subject of a legal battle between the telecom giant and the US Department of Justice, served as a warning.The timing of Comcast’s latest statement is crucial in this respect. It comes ahead of a confluence of decisions within a few days of each other in mid-June that will likely play a significant role in determining the outcome.First up is a judgment on the US government’s case against AT&T. A favourable outcome for the telecom operators would make a Comcast bid for Fox much more likely – and much more likely to secure the approval of Fox’s shareholders.Second, UK culture, media and sport secretary Matt Hancock is scheduled to take a final decision on Fox’s bid to acquire the shares in Sky that it does not already own.Third, the European Commission must make a decision on whether Comcast’s rival bid for Sky can go ahead.Comcast’s decision to make its intentions known now makes it less likely that Fox shareholders will approve Disney’s acquisition before the outcome of the AT&T case is known. Those shareholders have every reason to wait as, at the very least, a Comcast bid could force the price up.In addition to the hurdle of securing regulatory clearance, it has been pointed out that Comcast’s proposal for an all-cash bid would play to the disadvantage of the Murdochs because it could lead to a big capital gains tax bill.However, while the Murdochs hold 40% of Fox’s voting stock, the Disney bid will only give them a vote in line with the number of shares they own, giving other shareholders more power to accept or reject it. How attractive Comcast’s offer will be to Fox’s other shareholders will depend on whether it is big enough to offset any tax disadvantages to them and on how attractive they find the prospect of hard cash over the variable value of shares.Beyond the Game of Thrones aspects of the overlapping battles for Fox and Sky, what does all of this say about the future of Comcast in particular and the media and pay TV business in general?For Comcast, the strategic benefits of acquiring Fox’s assets are that it would give the company a much bigger international play in both content and distribution – in the shape of Hulu, Sky and Star India – and would give it much more scale in content in general, marrying NBCUniversal with Fox’s sports networks as well as the National Geographic and FX cable networks.Both the content and distribution pieces are attractive, at least in theory.In content, scale is increasingly seen as crucial for success in a world where the perception is that internet players as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (the so-called FAANG group, or FANG, depending on your view of the ultimate likely impact of Apple’s stalled moves into content) are making most of the running. Consolidation among more established media players has been gathering pace. In the case of Comcast, taking control of Fox’s assets will give it access to a much-enlarged library of content as well as an expanded portfolio of network brands at home and abroad.In distribution, a deal would wed Comcast’s 30% stake in Hulu to Fox’s 30% stake, giving Comcast effective control of an OTT direct-to-consumer play in the US – and also in Japan – to help offset the long-term decline in its domestic pay TV base. Regulatory restrictions preventing Comcast exercising control of Hulu that were imposed at the time of its acquisition of NBCUniversal, which previously held the stake, are set to expire later this year. On the other hand, victory for Disney, which also has a 30% stake, would give it effective control of Hulu, so the stakes are quite high.Internationally, Comcast could gain control of Sky either through its separate bid for the operator or through a combination of that and a successful bid for Fox’s assets. On the other hand, if Fox acquires Sky first, Comcast could potentially acquire Sky later along with the other Fox assets that were previously promised to Disney. A successful bid for Fox’s assets would also give it 100% control of Star India.Acquisition of these companies would give Comcast an international pay TV operation with growing revenues and profitability at a time when its own pay TV operation in the US is facing unprecedented challenges.Strategically, acquiring Fox’s assets makes a lot of sense for Comcast. Whether it makes sense to the number crunchers is another matter, particularly in view of the likely debt load that will be required to finance the deal.The many moving parts – from overlapping bids to regulatory hurdles – mean that the only thing that can be said with certainty about Comcast’s bid is that it creates a huge amount of uncertainty. Actually, there is one other certainty – which is that it will be interesting to watch how it all plays out.last_img read more

first_img DS RAWSONhazelbankPOLICE PROBE AFTER STOLEN CAR FOUND BURNED OUT IN DERRYPSNISPRINGTOWN ROAD DETECTIVES in Derry are appealing for information following a burglary at a house in the Hazelbank area of the city at the weekend.A car was stolen during the burglary on Sunday, May 14, and it was later found burned out in the city.Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Rawson said “ It was reported that around 1:40 am entry was gained to the premises and a set of car keys removed. ShareTweetcenter_img “A silver Nissan micra was then stolen from the property and later found burnt out on the Springtown Road.“We are appealing for anyone with information or who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area to contact Strand Road on 101 quoting reference 155 14/05/17.“Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”POLICE PROBE AFTER STOLEN CAR FOUND BURNED OUT IN DERRY was last modified: May 16th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more