A cautious recovery became apparent in the global shipbuilding industry in 2017, especially over the final months of the year. Also the Dutch maritime cluster sees a positive change. “We can be proud of the many orders that our industry has taken in 2017, despite the many challenges faced,” Bas Ort, chair of the Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT) trade association, said.Despite the beginnings of a recovery that became apparent in 2017, turnover still decreased by some five per cent during the year, from EUR 7.3 to EUR 6.9 billion for yards and suppliers collectively.The total workforce decreased by a little over three per cent, from nearly 29,000 FTE’s in 2016 to 28,000 FTE’ s in 2017. The decline in both figures now appears to have leveled off.“Over the past year we received one of the few large orders made by the global offshore market plus orders for the most powerful cutter suction dredger built to date, several other dredgers, and the first seagoing cruise vessel to be commissioned in years. Moreover, in 2017 we launched several record-breaking super yachts and dozens of smaller cutter suction dredgers for export, while also starting construction of a fleet of fishing boats. The number of orders for inland vessels has also seen a brisk increase,” Ort added.At the end of 2017, the combined Dutch order book counted 93 vessels with a total tonnage of 437,000 CGT.The cautious recovery in the final months of the year was very welcome after the disappointing figures of 2016. However, even though the new orders made in 2017 accounted for more than twice as large a tonnage as in 2016, this was not nearly enough to provide work for all the world’s yards.As a result, the global orderbooks decreased even more, and a number of yards found themselves in difficulties. The effects were especially visible in China and South Korea, while European shipbuilders were the only ones to experience an increase in the order books.“The only way for the global shipbuilding industry to survive is constant innovation and a focus on fair international competition,” Bas Ort says.“This is why NMT continued its efforts to once again get a subsidy for innovations in new vessels up and running in 2017. We remain committed to a level playing field, both outside and within Europe. Meanwhile, more and more companies are also seeing that the Netherlands is in a position to become one of the international leaders in making shipping more sustainable.”A strong Green Deal between the sector and the national government (as announced in the Dutch coalition agreement in 2017) should help in this context.“The coming years will see all kinds of environmental regulations come into force that affect shipping. Our yards and maritime suppliers have the innovative solutions required to supply vessels, and technologies that meet the most stringent requirements. Public authorities, vessel owners and maritime suppliers will have to work together to fulfil our stated ambition of maintaining a level playing field in this context too.”Netherlands Maritime Technology has published a position paper in which the trade association sum up their recommendations.SuppliersThe turnover of the approximately 800 maritime suppliers in the Netherlands amounted to EUR 3.4 billion in 2017 (EUR 3.8 billion in 2016). Total employment among Dutch maritimesuppliers was 16,413 FTEs in 2017 (16,838 in 2016). Additionally, they employed an average of 1,460 FTE’s of temporary workers during 2017.Seagoing vesselsA total of 58 seagoing vessels were delivered in 2017 (compared to 42 in 2016). 56 new vessels were ordered in 2017 (42 in 2016) with a value of EUR 1,143 million (EUR 642 million in 2016). The export share was 57 per cent (79 per cent in 2016).ShiprepairTurnover in 2017 was EUR 381 million (EUR 442 million in 2016). Total employment was 1,710 FTE’s (2,020 in 2016).Smaller vesselsThere were 155 inland shipping, fisheries and small seagoing vessels delivered in 2017 (116 in 2016). The order book contained 198 vessels on 31 December 2017 (126 in 2016).SuperyachtsTwenty-five superyachts were delivered in 2017 (19 in 2016), with a value of EUR 1.2 billion (EUR 1 billion in 2016) and 18 new commissions were received (17 in 2016) worth almost EUR 1.2 billion (EUR 1.3 billion in 2016). The order portfolio at the end of December contained 57 superyachts (66 in 2016) with a value of almost EUR 4.5 billion (EUR 4.6 billion in 2016).This article was originally published in the fourth edition of Maritime Holland 2018.
Advertisement It’s a sad day in the comedy world.. The legendary Mike MacDonald passed away. I am very thankful to have performed with him, and to have personally know him. #MikeMacDonald #CanadianComedian #RIP #RIPMike pic.twitter.com/OvoaELhG65— Shawn Lawrence (@_ShawnLawrence_) March 18, 2018 R.I.P. #MikeMacDonald Canadian Stand-Up Comedian.Thanks for all the laughs… pic.twitter.com/5XkI6HeXvz— TK-16942 (@xXxtraevil) March 18, 2018 We are so saddened to hear of the passing of comedy legend Mike MacDonald. He was a dear friend and influence on comics new and old will not be forgotten. Much love to his family and friends. Thanks for the laughs Mike, you will be missed greatly. pic.twitter.com/9uT8iqXsE3— Yuk Yuk’s (@yukyuks) March 18, 2018 Saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend and Canadian comedy legend Mike MacDonald. Over the years he has graced our stages more than any other comic and will be greatly missed. #RIPMike pic.twitter.com/YES7PayNSp— Just For Laughs (@justforlaughs) March 18, 2018 If there was a Mount Rushmore for Canadian comics he’d be on it. RIP Mike MacDonald. pic.twitter.com/VLbnBNWQIl— kevin BANNER (@BannerComedy) March 17, 2018 RIP Mike MacDonald – Canada’s first domestic stand-up star. The first comedian to do a stand-up special on Canadian television. A giant of North American clubs during the Comedy Boom. An icon of Just For Laughs. A big influence on most Canadian comedians. pic.twitter.com/LwbElIoOyw— Kliph Nesteroff (@ClassicShowbiz) March 18, 2018 Man, sad news. I literally had 4 channels from 1977-2000. Guys like Tom Green and Mike MacDonald helped me develop an intensely warped sense of humour, albeit thanks to VHS recordings courtesy of @newty99. https://t.co/gZwK69wxM8— Chris (@atackc) March 18, 2018 Just last month, @NTWLukeEdwards interviewed Mike Macdonald, who spoke of staring down death and his hope to keep telling jokes until the end. RIP. https://t.co/FgRBV9PgPE— Niagara this Week (@NiagarathisWeek) March 18, 2018 It is with great sadness we share the news that legendary Canadian comedian Mike MacDonald has passed away.We loved having Mike on our stage and as part of our #HFXComedyFest family for so many years. pic.twitter.com/ouFljd9My0— Halifax ComedyFest (@HfxComedyFest) March 17, 2018 Advertisement Mike MacDonald (June 21, 1954 – March 17, 2018) was a Canadian stand-up comedian and actor. He wrote and starred in many movies, including Mr. Nice Guy. In addition to his successful and well received live performances all over North America, MacDonald appeared in such TV shows as the Late Show with David Letterman and The Arsenio Hall Show.Mike MacDonald has passed away. I can’t wrap my head around it. Part of me wants to yell IT’S NOT TRUE!!! The rest of me is numb. Spent so many nights (late80s/early90s) into the morning, playing cards & laughing ourselves sick. And fighting. Then laughing more.Goddammit.— Brent Butt (@BrentButt) March 17, 2018 LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend and Canadian comedy legend Mike MacDonald. Over the years he has graced our stages more than any other comic and will be greatly missed. #RIPMike pic.twitter.com/YES7PayNSp— Just For Laughs (@justforlaughs) March 18, 2018 Twitter Sad to hear of the passing of Mike Macdonald. One of the greats of stand up comedy, a Canadian from my hometown of Ottawa, and a friend. Rest in Peace Mike. Say hello to Carlin and Pryor for us. I’m sure you are already making them laugh up there. https://t.co/cF21y1YAoo— Tom Green (@tomgreenlive) March 18, 2018 Sad to hear Mike MacDonald passed away today, a true Canadian comic legend. I got to chat with Mike a few times while he was in #Kamloops for a few days @KamloopsKomedy in 2016. He was quiet in the Green Room but would come to life on stage. He’ll be missed. pic.twitter.com/MHuJ5PNT9r— Allen Douglas (@ADouglasPhotos) March 18, 2018 Advertisement Login/Register With: Mike MacDonald – Award-Winning Comedian https://t.co/LReF1MJlGF via @YouTube— Helen Ann Cornett (@MccanirishHelen) March 18, 2018 Mike MacDonald probably did more to popularize stand-up in Canada than anyone else of his generation. He inspired many comics in the 1980s & 90s to enter comedy. For most of us, sharing the stage with him for the first time was a really big deal. pic.twitter.com/b4J4plyPT5— Kliph Nesteroff (@ClassicShowbiz) March 18, 2018 Facebook
‘The Vikings’ This was just a fraction of the excellent creativity in costume design. More to come on Wednesday, November 2. 2011. Most of the photos were taken under the Vaults, where everyone gathered for a parade. October 31, 2011This years Halloween party commenced this past Saturday, October 29. 2011. ‘The Queens’.
Connected TV services are “TV-like experiences” and should be subject to a higher degree of regulation than internet content access through a PC, according to Ed Richards, CEO of UK media regulator Ofcom.Richards, speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, said: “Converged or connected TVs, which incorporate broadcast, video-on-demand and open internet services, are considered to be closer to a TV-like experience. Audiences therefore expect content over these devices to be more regulated than internet content accessed through PCs and laptops.”Referring to a study carried out by Ofcom with 200 members of the public to assess attitudes, Richards said that “protecting minors from harmful content is seen as one of the most important parts of existing regulation” and was ranked as a higher priority than protecting privacy.Richards raised the possibility that this could include a second look at the partial self-regulation of video-on-demand services by ATVOD, the industry body set up to watch over such services.“It seems undesirable for these [connected TV] services to be subject to full broadcasting style regulation – by and large they belong to a different form of service and come from a very different context,” said Richards. “But we do need to consider whether to develop the approach in relation to existing co-regulation for video-on-demand to offer greater assurance and to ensure there is public trust in the approach to regulation as these services become more and more pervasive and significant.”Richards said there was a case for common media standards to cover all digital media, including TV, internet video and the digital activities of print publishing groups. “In this context I wonder therefore whether there may be a fairly simple opportunity to establish a core set of principles and aims which are held in common across a diverse media terrain with different regulatory environments.”Richards said that, while Ofcom should not be given responsibility to police the newspaper industry, it could play a role in producing a common set of principles for journalists across media following the Leveson inquiry, currently investigating the practices of newspapers in the wake of the UK’s phone hacking scandal.
Selling up to The Walt Disney Company could give subscription on-demand service Netflix a route into the lucrative sports content game, according to a research house.Disney has plans to monetise its ESPN cable channel as an SVOD service, and buying Netflix could supersize its ambitions, Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research told DTVE‘s sister title, TBI.“Streaming live sports is going to be huge in the next few years,” he said. “Netflix has said in the past that it isn’t interested in sports, but, of course, Disney owns ESPN. Imagine a Netflix platform that carried live sports – that would be pretty impressive.”Netflix’s share price shot up yesterday upon rumours Disney was giving serious thought to an acquisition of the market-leading SVOD service, which operates in 188 territories.Another analyst, Ampere Analysis research director Richard Broughton, said an acquisition would “substantially” improve Disney’s bargaining position in film and TV content negotiations thanks to Netflix’s global reach.Digital TV Research’s Murray said that HBO’s success launching SVOD service HBO Now without compromising its carriage deals was a positive sign. “HBO offering an OTT platform in the US has already shown that the risk of cannibalisation is quite small,” he added. “Maybe Disney’s deals with pay TV operators – especially in the US – wouldn’t be harmed that much.”For Netflix, the upside would come from scale, Ampere’s Broughton added. “Netflix would gain access to Disney production assets, which could help shave costs – particularly for originals,” he said. “That’s important for a low margin business like Netflix.”Furthermore, a merged business would “acts as a hedge against further broadcast TV declines”, said Broughton. “Disney’s single largest business line is media networks, which is facing intense pressure from cord-cutting partly caused by Netflix,” he added. “If the trend does continue, owning the prime culprit is a safe strategy.”However, analysts have warned there were a number of potential obstacles. These include rights issues and pay TV movie exclusivity, as many Disney films are part of long-term rights agreements, and the debt load Netflix would place on the Mouse House.“I am not at all convinced Netflix would be a good fit for Disney,” said Tony Gunnarsson, senior analyst of TV practice at Informa-owned research house Ovum.“Disney has always strictly stayed clear of anything that might be seen as shocking, controversial and/or overly adult – for fears of upsetting American cultural sensibilities.“On the basis of Netflix’s original programming alone, which from Orange is the New Black to Chelsea and beyond is intentionally all those things, I don’t think there is any realistic chance of this ever happening.”“Despite its focus on originals, Netflix is still reliant on acquired content,” said Broughton. “The reaction from other content owners in terms of willingness to sell to a rival’s platform could mean a Disney-owned Netflix faces steeper content acquisition costs and potentially new rivals set up by other content owners.”
MTG has agreed to sell its 75% stake in youth broadcaster Trace in a deal that values 100% of the business at an enterprise value of €40 million (approximately SEK 392 million).MTG agreed to sell its majority stake in the media group to TPG Growth, a division of investment firm TPG that has more than US$13 billion of assets under management.The move is the latest sign of MTG’s digital-focused strategy and follows the sale last year of its Czech TV assets for €116 million and its Baltic broadcasting business for €100 million.“Our focus at MTG is on the accelerated digital transformation of our broadcasting businesses, and the rapid expansion of our MTGx digital entertainment portfolio,” said Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG’s president and CEO.“Trace is a great business that we have enjoyed developing together with its talented management team over the past four years.”MTG has been making increasingly big steps into the digital world, investing €82.6 million to increase its shareholding in mobile and browser-based games company, InnoGames, from 21% to 51% last May.In July it closed its US$55 million acquisition of US games publisher and developer Kongregate while in November it launched a US$30 million investment fund, targeting minority investments in “high-potential” US and European online gaming businesses.Trace is an Afro-urban entertainment firm that owns a number of music and entertainment-focused TV channels, as well as radio, online and mobile assets – including the Trace Play streaming service, which it is currently rolling out around the world.The company is big in Sub-Saharan Africa, France, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean area, and claims its services are available in 160 countries to more than 200 million viewers and listeners.MTG’s sale of its Trace stake is subject to regulatory approvals.
“People familiar with the internet and devices including the iPod and the iPhone want their TVs to work the same way. That means intuitive recommendation engines and easy-to-navigate screens.”There is no getting around the fact that Apple’s iPhone has effected big changes in the mobile phone industry, but the iPhone effect is reverberating elsewhere, not least in the pay-TV business.In the mobile world, handset leaders including Nokia and Motorola have rushed to change the look and feel of smart-phones to compete against the slick and sexy iPhone. From touch screens to launching their own versions of Apple’s app store, the industry is trying to ride Apple’s wave of coolness.But soon the attributes of Apple’s easy-to-use and fashionable handset could come to a TV set near you. “The iPhoneisaton of pay-TV is underway,” says Ivan Verbesselt, senior vice-president of marketing at conditional access and interactive TV specialist Nagravision, part of the Kudelski Group. For Kudelski the road forward seems to be to follow the iPhone lead and get better user interfaces and applications into their clients’ hands as fast as possible.For example, the days of simple (and pretty inflexible) programme grids are on the way out. People familiar with the internet and devices including the iPod and the iPhone want their TVs to work the same way. That means intuitive recommendation engines and easy-to-navigate screens. And the next phase of the revolution could be just around the corner: the widgetisation of the TV.How far away are we from selling TV apps much like iPhone offers mobile apps? Likely not so far away at all. The point is that, as in the mobile space, customers will start to expect better and more flexible navigation and access to all kinds of content. What is required for TVs, set-tops and their EPGs are new user interfaces that bring together linear, VOD, PVR and web properties in one place.The iPhone factor is also about allowing many developers to write apps for the phones, opening up creativity while Apple holds onto a gatekeeper role to make sure the new app – whether a song identification service or a game – doesn’t crash the system.If this kind of flexibility doesn’t make its way into the set-top box, savvy customers will look elsewhere. If their pay-TV operator doesn’t provide what they want, they can use the PC or, increasingly, the built-in browsers that are popping up on TV sets. The bottom line for cable and satellite operators is clear: if they don’t provide a compelling customer experience they will lose their customers to others who will.Of course all of this is coupled with the ongoing convergence of internet and TV technology to create something new. And with the emergence of IPTV providers and over-the-top services including YouTube and Hulu, the competitive heat will only increase.Over-the-top services increasingly will be built into set-top boxes and TV sets. Yahoo! TV is one example. Sony loading its own user interface onto its new, broadband-enabled TV sets to give its customers instant access to Sony movies and music videos is another.“There will be more than a small battle for control of the user experience,” says Alex Osadzinski, executive vice president of product at Nagravision, and formerly a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Osadzinski joined Kudelski less than a year ago to help it figure out what new products it needs to focus on. “Set-top boxes are not dead but they will start appearing with built-in user interfaces or server-based UIs.”The ability to “do TV widgets” is going to become increasingly important. Widgets are of course simply small applications but how close are they to TV middleware? Osadzinski says they are very close and that one builds on the other. This is at least one reason why Kudelski is keen to increase its control of Open TV, the middleware company that allows on-demand and online services for pay-TV operators. “UIs have to evolve and the last thing we want to do is develop our own APIs and middleware when we have OpenTV, which is already doing that,” says Osadzinski.Getting control of the 70% of OpenTV shares that Kudelski does not already own has proven quite tough, due to opposition from Discovery Group, the largest independent investor in the middleware company. Kudelski says it is interested in controlling OpenTV for its software development capabilities (perhaps also for the US$114m (e80m) of cash on its balance sheet) but Discovery wants a higher price for its stake than Kudelski has so far offered. Of course perhaps as important for Kudelski is the large installed base of set tops that include OpenTV. This gives the owner a way to get quick and wide exposure for its current and future applications.Given the pressure on pay TV to secure its current and future customers, OpenTV could be considered important ammunition and a good way to catch the iPhone trend. For others keen to stay ahead of the curve of TV widgetisation, the watchwords surely have to be innovation and flexibily.For the pay-TV industry as a whole, catching the iPhone wave is a priority that it can ill afford to miss.Kate Bulkley is a broadcaster and writer specialising in media and telecommunications. firstname.lastname@example.org.