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Yesterday β€” February 19th 2019Your RSS feeds

Ireland expresses β€˜frustration’ at Brexit uncertainty

By Georgi Gotev

Ireland's deputy prime minister expressed annoyance on Monday (18 February) at Britain's continued failure to ratify a deal on its orderly withdrawal from the European Union.

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

Eleven Sports launches on Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV

By Robert Briel

Eleven Sports is launching apps on Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TVs in the UK and Ireland.

Viewers can already watch Eleven Sports on TV via Google Chromecast, and the new apps are now available to download for Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TVs, with apps for Samsung Smart TVs coming soon.

The user interface for each app is optimised specifically for TV and the action will be available in HD 1080p.

“The launch of these user friendly, high quality apps for Amazon Fire TV stick, Android TVs and Samsung Smart TVs ensure that Eleven Sports is easier to watch and more accessible than ever for football fans,” said Marc Watson, Executive Chairman and CEO, Eleven Sports.

“This development also gives fans in the UK and Ireland even more ways to watch wall-to-wall LaLiga action, including an enthralling El Clasico double header, on TV.”

The Eleven Sports apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV stick can be downloaded from the Google Play and Amazon app stores.

Eleven Sports launches on Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV

By Robert Briel

Eleven Sports is launching apps on Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TVs in the UK and Ireland.

Viewers can already watch Eleven Sports on TV via Google Chromecast, and the new apps are now available to download for Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TVs, with apps for Samsung Smart TVs coming soon.

The user interface for each app is optimised specifically for TV and the action will be available in HD 1080p.

“The launch of these user friendly, high quality apps for Amazon Fire TV stick, Android TVs and Samsung Smart TVs ensure that Eleven Sports is easier to watch and more accessible than ever for football fans,” said Marc Watson, Executive Chairman and CEO, Eleven Sports.

“This development also gives fans in the UK and Ireland even more ways to watch wall-to-wall LaLiga action, including an enthralling El Clasico double header, on TV.”

The Eleven Sports apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV stick can be downloaded from the Google Play and Amazon app stores.

How a β€˜No-Deal’ Brexit Could Open a Path to Irish Unity

By BENJAMIN MUELLER

On the Catholic, mainly nationalist side of the divide in Northern Ireland, many think an abrupt withdrawal — and a hard border — could lead to reunification.

What Is the Irish Backstop, and Why Is It Holding Up Brexit?

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

The measure aims to guarantee that no physical barrier will spring up between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It sounds simple, but it’s not.

Theresa May Wants the E.U. to Renegotiate Brexit. Will It?

By STEVEN ERLANGER

Brussels has said many times that the “Irish backstop” cannot and will not be renegotiated. But a paradox lurks at the heart of its position.

Abortion, Newly Legal in Ireland, Faces Old Roadblocks

By CEYLAN YEGINSU

Women say the entire process is still hush-hush, given an emboldened anti-abortion movement and a continuing stigma that has left doctors slow to sign up for the service.

Barnier insists current Brexit deal is the β€˜only one possible’

By Aline Robert

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has reflected on what can and what cannot be negotiated between the EU and the United Kingdom, with only 65 days until the scheduled severance date. EURACTIV France reports.

No-deal Brexit makes hard border in Ireland β€˜inevitable’, says Commission

By Benjamin Fox

A ‘no deal’ Brexit would ‘inevitably’ lead to the return of a hard border in Ireland, the European Commission’s chief spokesman said on Tuesday (22 January).

How the Irish Won Their Freedom

By CHRISTOPHER L. PASTORE

A century ago, Irish nationalists broke from Britain — and set the mold for decades of independence movements.

Northern Ireland Car Bombing Leads to Two Arrests

By ED O’LOUGHLIN

The device caused no casualties or major damage, but after receiving a warning, the police evacuated children from a youth club and hundreds of people from a hotel and a masonic hall before the explosion.

Brexit: BBC domestic channels to lose international distribution

By Robert Briel

In case of a ‘no-deal-Brexit’ the BBC is set to lose the international distribution of its domestic channels in Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium.

At the moment, five domestic BBC channels are distributed via cable and IPTV networks, as a result of so-called ‘overspill’ reception in the three neighbouring countries. The channels involved are BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC. Distribution of these channels brings in a significant amount of money for the BBC.

Carriage of the domestic channels has grown historically, as people in the neighbouring countries were able to pick up the BBC signals from terrestrial transmitters. Under European law, it was possible for distribution platforms to carry these channels, who operate under a UK Ofcom licence.

After a ‘no-deal-Brexit’ these UK licences are no longer be valid in the European Union and distributing platforms such as Telenet in Belgium and Ziggo and KPN in The Netherlands will have to cease distribution of the domestic channels.

Spokespersons of Telenet and Ziggo said they do not want to speculate about possible consequences of a ‘no-deal-Brexit’. Both are studying the judicial consequences and will follow instructions from the media authorities, such as the Commissariaat voor de Media in The Netherlands.

The commercial channels of the BBC, such as BBC First, BBC Entertainment and BBC World News will not be affected, but the British broadcaster will need to apply for an EU licence in another country in the Union.

Talks are under way with media authorities in the Republic of Ireland and in The Netherlands, but a spokesperson for the Dutch Commissariaat voor de Media refused to comment. The BBC said it is not commenting on speculation, other than to say “We will be keeping the situation under close review to ensure that we can continue to best serve our audiences in any changed regulatory environment.”

Getting a broadcast licence in another country would require the BBC to have their head office (of the international operations), a significant part of their workforce (at least the people who are responsible for programming) and a satellite up-link in the country to qualify for a licence there. Such a licence would be a solution for the commercial channels, but would not work for the domestic channels.

Due to the unclear validity of the Ofcom licences in other European countries in the course of Brexit, Turner Broadcasting System and NBC Universal had also applied for German licences for their international channels previously licensed by Ofcom. Bavarian media authority BLM granted the licences in mid-December 2018. Sports broadcaster DAZN has applied for a licence in Berlin, while Discovery recently opted for the Netherlands.

Brexit: BBC domestic channels to lose international distribution

By Robert Briel

In case of a ‘no-deal-Brexit’ the BBC is set to lose the international distribution of its domestic channels in Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium.

At the moment, five domestic BBC channels are distributed via cable and IPTV networks, as a result of so-called ‘overspill’ reception in the three neighbouring countries. The channels involved are BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC. Distribution of these channels brings in a significant amount of money for the BBC.

Carriage of the domestic channels has grown historically, as people in the neighbouring countries were able to pick up the BBC signals from terrestrial transmitters. Under European law, it was possible for distribution platforms to carry these channels, who operate under a UK Ofcom licence.

After a ‘no-deal-Brexit’ these UK licences are no longer be valid in the European Union and distributing platforms such as Telenet in Belgium and Ziggo and KPN in The Netherlands will have to cease distribution of the domestic channels.

Spokespersons of Telenet and Ziggo said they do not want to speculate about possible consequences of a ‘no-deal-Brexit’. Both are studying the judicial consequences and will follow instructions from the media authorities, such as the Commissariaat voor de Media in The Netherlands.

The commercial channels of the BBC, such as BBC First, BBC Entertainment and BBC World News will not be affected, but the British broadcaster will need to apply for an EU licence in another country in the Union.

Talks are under way with media authorities in the Republic of Ireland and in The Netherlands, but a spokesperson for the Dutch Commissariaat voor de Media refused to comment. The BBC said it is not commenting on speculation, other than to say “We will be keeping the situation under close review to ensure that we can continue to best serve our audiences in any changed regulatory environment.”

Getting a broadcast licence in another country would require the BBC to have their head office (of the international operations), a significant part of their workforce (at least the people who are responsible for programming) and a satellite up-link in the country to qualify for a licence there. Such a licence would be a solution for the commercial channels, but would not work for the domestic channels.

Due to the unclear validity of the Ofcom licences in other European countries in the course of Brexit, Turner Broadcasting System and NBC Universal had also applied for German licences for their international channels previously licensed by Ofcom. Bavarian media authority BLM granted the licences in mid-December 2018. Sports broadcaster DAZN has applied for a licence in Berlin, while Discovery recently opted for the Netherlands.

BBC looking for Dutch or Irish post-Brexit licences

By Robert Briel

The BBC is in talks with Irish and Dutch authorities to obtain broadcast licences allowing it to continue broadcasting across the European Union in the event of a no-deal Brexit, reports Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The BBC needs European licences for its international channels including BBC World, BBC First, BBC Entertainment and BBC Earth in order to continue to have its channels distributed across Europe. In addition, three domestic BBC channels (BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four) are also being distributed by cable networks in The Netherlands and Belgium.

The BBC is yet to make a final decision on international broadcast licences, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are confidential.

A BBC spokesman told Bloomberg the organisation will keep the situation “under close review to ensure that we can continue to best serve our audiences in any changed regulatory environment.”

The Irish regulator BAI said it had a similar licensing regime to Ofcom in the UK and had “been engaging with a number of UK-based broadcasters who are exploring Ireland, and a number of other EU member states, as a potential licensing jurisdiction in which to base their EU broadcasting services.”

Over 500 pan-European channels currently use an Ofcom-issued licence and the United Kingdom is the most significant hub for linear and on-demand services targeting other countries. Following a ‘No deal Brexit’ such licences might become invalid.

However, getting a broadcast licence in another country would require the BBC to have their head office (of the international operations), a significant part of their workforce (at least the people who are responsible for programming) and a satellite up-link in the country to qualify for a licence there.

Meanwhile, other inter national broadcasters have already taken steps to secure broadcast licences in Europe, including Turner Broadcasting System Deutschland and NBC Universal Global Networks Deutschland.

In a related development, the European Audiovisual Observatory has just published a new report, Brexit: The impact on the audiovisual sector. The 80-page report is available free from the website of the European Audiovisual Observatory (download will start automatically).

Scott Fenton joins Eleven Sports UK and Ireland

By Robert Briel

Scott Fenton will join Eleven Sports’s UK and Ireland team as Head of Marketing and Communications.

With Eleven Sports’ entry into the UK and Ireland, Fenton will be responsible for leading customer acquisition, brand development and fan first positioning, working closely with rights holders to increase content opportunities and affiliates in Eleven’s open approach to distribution.

Fenton brings with him great experience from UFC where he successfully led the international marketing and brand strategy across EMEA, focusing on growing the fan base and monetising audiences via key touch points including brand, affiliate, social and events.

Prior to UFC, Fenton was at the NBA where he led the broadcast marketing strategy, and ESPN where he helped to drive the fan engagement strategy.

“Scott’s knowledge and experience of business to consumer communications as well as his background at both a broadcaster and rightsholders makes him the perfect person to lead our Marketing team in the UK and Ireland.” said Danny Menken, Group Managing Director Eleven Sports.

“At Eleven Sports everything we do is with the fan at the heart, always trying to find new ways to create value for them. Scott will be the perfect person to drive this and we are very happy to have him on board.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining Eleven as they embark on their journey into the UK & Ireland market.” said Scott Fenton, Head of Marketing and Communications Eleven Sports UK and Ireland.

“What Eleven has achieved across a number of international markets in such a short space of time is very impressive, and I look forward to continuing the success story, strengthening the platform’s position as a major player in the UK & Ireland.”

Fries: Ireland will prosper after Brexit

By Julian Clover

Ireland will do well regardless of the outcome of Brexit, according to Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.

Speaking at the company’s annual Overseas Board Meeting in Dublin, where Liberty runs the Virgin Media cablenet and the soon to be rebranded TV3, Fries said: “I don’t believe there will be a hard Brexit, but Ireland has done a great job of diversifying its exports over the years. In many ways it could become a magnet for companies looking for an English-speaking launchpad into Europe. Of course, issues around the border could become complex and challenging but I still feel great about Ireland under any scenario. I still feel it will be a lot smoother than many anticipate.”

Within Ireland itself, Fries described the Irish regulatory regime as generally positive. “We quite like the regulatory environment here in Ireland”, he said. “The ability to integrate TV with distribution is very powerful. The mobile market is very stable and there are no access issues to speak of. On balance, we would favour deregulation over more regulation, however. For example, if Eir made the case they were over-regulated we would probably support them on that. Our experience in Europe over the past 10 to 15 years is that when you reduce regulation and unleash companies to compete against each other that’s when the magic happens.”

TV3 will take the Virgin Media TV brand on August 30. “Now is the right time to rebrand”, said Mr Fries. “We are doing it from a position of strength and all of the people in TV3 are hugely enthusiastic about it.”

Liberty bought the loss-making TV channel in 2015; it now turns a profit.

“The success of TV3 is due to the talented people in there as well as to the capital we have invested”, Mr Fries added. “The €10 to €15 million capital investment is small in comparison to the €1 billion we have invested in Ireland over the years but is still significant.”

Virgin is also launching a dedicated sports channel for the Irish market that will feature UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Six Nations Championship, international football matches, and live racing.

Fries: Ireland will prosper after Brexit

By Julian Clover

Ireland will do well regardless of the outcome of Brexit, according to Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.

Speaking at the company’s annual Overseas Board Meeting in Dublin, where Liberty runs the Virgin Media cablenet and the soon to be rebranded TV3, Fries said: “I don’t believe there will be a hard Brexit, but Ireland has done a great job of diversifying its exports over the years. In many ways it could become a magnet for companies looking for an English-speaking launchpad into Europe. Of course, issues around the border could become complex and challenging but I still feel great about Ireland under any scenario. I still feel it will be a lot smoother than many anticipate.”

Within Ireland itself, Fries described the Irish regulatory regime as generally positive. “We quite like the regulatory environment here in Ireland”, he said. “The ability to integrate TV with distribution is very powerful. The mobile market is very stable and there are no access issues to speak of. On balance, we would favour deregulation over more regulation, however. For example, if Eir made the case they were over-regulated we would probably support them on that. Our experience in Europe over the past 10 to 15 years is that when you reduce regulation and unleash companies to compete against each other that’s when the magic happens.”

TV3 will take the Virgin Media TV brand on August 30. “Now is the right time to rebrand”, said Mr Fries. “We are doing it from a position of strength and all of the people in TV3 are hugely enthusiastic about it.”

Liberty bought the loss-making TV channel in 2015; it now turns a profit.

“The success of TV3 is due to the talented people in there as well as to the capital we have invested”, Mr Fries added. “The €10 to €15 million capital investment is small in comparison to the €1 billion we have invested in Ireland over the years but is still significant.”

Virgin is also launching a dedicated sports channel for the Irish market that will feature UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Six Nations Championship, international football matches, and live racing.

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