Fox Sports Hires Former ESPN Analyst Chris Spielman For College Football, NFL Role

first_imgESPN's logo in red and white.Chris Spielman is headed to Fox Sports. The former ESPN college football analyst will have a college football and NFL role at Fox. Spielman, 50, had been at ESPN since 2001. .@FOXSports is excited to welcome @chris_spielman as an @NFLonFOX and @CFBONFOX analyst:— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) May 17, 2016From the release:Former Ohio State All-American and NFL All-Pro linebacker Chris Spielman returns to FOX Sports as an NFL and college football analyst, it was announced today by FOX Sports President, Production & Executive Producer John Entz. Spielman, who began his broadcasting career with FOX Sports Net in 1999, serves as a game analyst during the upcoming NFL season and contributes to the network’s extensive college football coverage.“I’m excited about being part of FOX’s NFL and college football coverage for years to come.” Spielman said.“Chris is a tremendous broadcaster with a wealth of NFL and college football knowledge,” Entz said. “His outstanding career both on and off the field brings a huge amount of credibility to FOX Sports. We feel really fortunate to have him with us.”Spielman played at Ohio State in the mid-1980s and was a two-time All-American. He played in the NFL from 1988-99. [Fox Sports]last_img read more

Education Ministry Introduces Associate Degree in Occupational Studies

first_img Speaking with JIS News, Chairman of the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), Dr. Cecil Cornwall, says that the degree was created to offer a wide variety of industry-specific training at the tertiary level. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI), in an effort to boost Jamaica’s skilled workforce, has introduced a new Associate Degree in Occupational Studies to enhance its Upskilling and Retooling programme. Story Highlights The objectives of the Associate Degree in Occupational Studies are to create an access conduit between skills-based institutions offering the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) into advanced occupational certification and the traditional/classical education system, and to prepare leaders and supervisory workers with the requisite supervisory competencies for local and international employment. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI), in an effort to boost Jamaica’s skilled workforce, has introduced a new Associate Degree in Occupational Studies to enhance its Upskilling and Retooling programme.Launched in December 2016, by the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, the Associate Degree aims to create higher-learning opportunities for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students.The programme was developed under the direction of the Centre of Occupational Studies (COS) in the Education Ministry and is in response to the demands of the workplace.Areas of training include logistics, business process outsourcing (BPO), knowledge process outsourcing, manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality and renewable energy technology.Speaking with JIS News, Chairman of the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), Dr. Cecil Cornwall, says that the degree was created to offer a wide variety of industry-specific training at the tertiary level.“What makes it different from other degree programmes, is that it is not purely academic in nature, but focuses on applying the knowledge and skills being taught to real life situations… making it easier for students to transition into the world of work,” he says.The Programme also seeks to increase and diversify the product offerings to include skills-based Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) in Tertiary institutions; use the CBET methodology to create the holistic employee at the supervisory level, so as to engender economic growth and sustainability at the micro and macro levels; and to strengthen the integration of TVET in the general education system by integrating efforts with tertiary providers to allow for increased articulation.In addition, the programme also features opportunities to study overseas, industry certification and licensure, specialised industry-related courses, enrichment seminars and professional development activities, and personal development and growth.Learners who possess NVQ-J and CVQ certification at levels two and three and the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), also at levels two and three, automatically matriculate to pursue the two-year programme that is being offered in more than 15 institutions. Meanwhile, Dr. Cornwall says the Associate Degree is industry-driven, industry-approved and focuses primarily on technical/vocational studies geared directly at workplace studies and employment.“The programme has been quite interesting, as the curriculum outline covers a wide range of topics that I have never encountered before, and has exposed me to what it means to be a well-rounded individual,” he notes.He also advises that the Associate Degree has adopted the American ACCUPLACER test, which is used to determine the level of skill and competence in mathematics, reading, and English.He explains that the American ACCUPLACER system tests the skills of the students, and where they fall short, the programme would have the necessary system in place that will take them from foundation level to college level.“When they complete the two years of studies, they would have also internationalised their education, because they are leaving with stackable credentials and several industry certifications. This gives them access to international internship programmes overseas to gain exposure, but most importantly, they are getting local and international industry certification, which the traditional tertiary graduates do not have,” he says.For her part, Director of the Centre of Occupational Studies in the MOEYI, Linda Stewart Doman, tells JIS News that as Jamaica advances its work agenda, there is a need to harness human capital development.“There is a social demand for education and training globally and for productive skilled citizenry across the world. It is very important that we understand that an educated and trained nation is a productive nation, and a productive nation is a prosperous nation,” she says. She notes that the programme was piloted in January 2017 with an enrolment of 457 students, covering 17 curricula, which is in accordance with labour market intelligence data as well as the growth agenda of the Government.In the meantime, Massage and Beauty Therapist, and student in the Fitness Management Programme at G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sports, Rose- Marie Senior Sergeon, says she is happy to have been selected for the programme.“Though the coursework is heavy, the resources are there to facilitate us, and for this I am so grateful. I am very happy to have been selected for this Associate Degree in Fitness Management.There are no programmes without challenges, and I believe that with our continued communication and teamwork, my cohort will be a successful group,” she states.The Associate Degree in Occupational Studies is offered at the Caribbean Maritime University, Excelsior Community College, College of Insurance and Professional Studies, Shortwood Teachers’ College, The Mico University, University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), and University of Technology (UTech) Academy in Kingston; Western Hospitality Institute, St. James; Brown’s Town Community College, St. Ann; College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland; G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, and Portmore Community College in St. Catherine; Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Manchester; Bethlehem Moravian College, St. Elizabeth; and the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) in Kingston and Manchester.last_img read more

Six stories in the news for today Sept 6

first_imgSix stories in the news for Wednesday, Sept. 6———LATEST NAFTA TALKS WRAP WITH WORD OF PROGRESSThe latest round of NAFTA negotiations have wrapped up in Mexico City with the three countries declaring they have made progress ahead of the next round in Ottawa later this month. While sources say there has been no serious movement yet on any of the more sensitive issues, the countries say they have tabled two dozen texts that will form the backbone of the chapters in a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement.———AIR TRANSAT LAUNCHES HURRICANE AIRLIFTAir Transat has launched an evacuation operation to get all its travellers out of the Dominican Republic ahead of hurricane Irma. The Montreal-based airline says it is sending 10 aircraft to the Caribbean nation — seven to Punta Cana, two to Puerto Plata and one to Samana. Air Transat says all aircraft should arrive in the Dominican Republic by this morning and passengers should be back in Canada by afternoon or early evening.———CENTRAL BANK POISED TO MAKE RATE ANNOUNCEMENTSome experts expect the Bank of Canada to boost its trend-setting rate today, not later this fall as they had anticipated. They’ve changed their forecasts due to a surprisingly powerful performance from the Canadian economy. Last week, the latest growth numbers showed the economy expanded at an annual pace of 4.5 per cent in the second quarter — a bigger-than-expected surge driven by consumer spending.———POLL: HALF OF WORKERS LIVING PAYCHEQUE TO PAYCHEQUEA new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association suggests nearly half of workers are living paycheque to paycheque due to soaring spending and debt levels. The poll found that 47 per cent of respondents said it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed by even a single week. The summer survey of 4,766 Canadian also found that 35 per cent said they feel overwhelmed by their level of debt.———HELP FOR B.C. RANCHERS HURT BY WILDFIRESRanchers who have lost animals and land to the wildfires in British Columbia are getting help from the provincial and federal governments. The governments are setting aside $20 million to help farmers replace lost breeding animals and re-seed damaged lands. Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says the money will also help ranchers with vet bills, feed, fencing, transportation and infrastructure not covered by insurance.———‘GRABHER’ LICENSE PLATE CASE BACK IN COURTA legal battle over whether Nova Scotia violated the constitution when it ruled a man’s personalized licence plate was offensive to women is expected back in court today with fresh arguments. Lorne Grabher had his licence plate with the text “GRABHER” — his last name — revoked last year after government officials agreed with a complainant that it was a “socially unacceptable slogan.” Grabher’s lawyers say the regulation is so vague that it violates the freedom of expression guarantee in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend the National Caucus meeting in Kelowna, B.C.— The federal Conservatives shadow cabinet will meet in Winnipeg.— StatsCanada will update several indicators today, including Canadian international merchandise trade for July.— The Fraser Institute will release studies examining education spending in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.— The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour announces the next step to fight Bill 148, which legislates a wage pattern on 75,000 public workers.— Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard will release first-quarter results.— Sentencing in Bridgewater, N.S. today for six teens accused of sharing intimate images of up to 20 underaged girls without consent.— Hit and run trial resumes in Edmonton for MLA Derek Fildebrandt, who left the UCP to sit as an independent.— Next appearance for accused in the Chilliwack Cattle Sales case, where three farm workers were charged with animal cruelty.last_img read more

Be The Whos Roadie For A Day

first_imgThis is a one of a kind, once in a lifetime experience for a fan of The Who – get up in the morning and join the road crew as they assemble and prepare the stage and the venue for the band’s performance.A new online auction is giving a fan the chance to spend the day working with the crew as a “roadie”, helping assemble the stage, organising and preparing for The Who Quadrophenia show on Saturday, June 15 at O2 in London.

The winner will have a bird’s-eye view of how a huge rock show is assembled from that unique vantage point: not just behind the stage, but actually right there in the middle of it.The winner will be given a videotape of the day’s activities to keep as a memento, and have a chance to interact with band members. The winner will be given some souvenir special guitar picks, and have a photograph taken with Roger Daltrey or Pete Townshend — or if they are around, both together!No singing required!Winner needs to be over 18, physically fit, and is expected to conduct themselves in a discreet fashion as a member of the road crew from morning until after the show and all of the gear is loaded up in the trucks. The winner will be insured along with the crew and any info needed by the insurance company will be required.The auction supports the Brain Tumour Research Campaign, and kicks off May 9 and runs until May 19. It can be accessed here.The Brain Tumour Research Campaign was started in 2004 by Wendy Fulcher who lost her husband to a brain tumour. Their vision is to raise public awareness of the urgent need for brain tumour research, to lead a fundraising campaign to support research into and treatment of brain tumours, and to assist the emergence of the UK’s first multi-disciplinary Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Charing Cross Hospital in West London. Find out more here.last_img read more

Paks FM Asad Umar steps down

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar, who was involved in extensive discussions with the IMF to finalise a bailout package for the cash-strapped country, quit the Cabinet on Thursday after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his desire to shift him to the energy ministry. Umar, who recently returned from a trip to the US in which the details of Pakistan’s next International Monetary Fund bailout were finalised, said he has obtained the prime minister’s consent “to not take any cabinet position”. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”As part of a cabinet reshuffle, prime minister desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance,” Umar said. “However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position.” Prime Minister Khan-led government and Finance Minister Umar in particular have faced mounting criticism by opposition parties, members of the business community and citizens over the handling of the economic crisis. On Monday, the Pakistani media reported that a major reshuffle was on the cards in the Finance Ministry. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHowever, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry denied the reports of the reshuffle. “There is no truth in reports regarding changes in posts of federal ministers. The prime minister has the power to change ministers and the media should play a responsible role on this subject,” he tweeted. Cash-strapped Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy. Pakistan has so far received a total of USD 9.1 billion in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the current fiscal year. Finance Minister Umar said earlier this month that a mission of the IMF would visit Islamabad soon after the spring meetings of the World Bank Group, which includes the IMF, and an agreement should be signed by the end of this month.last_img read more

Give Up Drinking for the Weekend Challenge

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 5 Nov 2014 – For those who do, the Department of Mental Health & Substance Dependence is asking if you can you go three days without Drinking alcohol? In celebration of Alcohol Awareness month, the department is calling on residents to observe November 7-9, that’s this weekend as alcohol free days! The organizers say: “The goals are to raise awareness around alcohol-related diseases, and promote healthy lifestyle choices.” Other activities on the calendar for Alcohol Awareness Month are screenings and counseling sessions which will be available at hospitals from November 6; an essay, rap and poster competition on November 22nd at the Gus Lightbourne Gym and school drug prevention programs with this year’s global theme, “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”. In the US, 80,000 people die each year in the US from alcohol related diseases. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:alcohol, Alcohol awareness month, Department of mental health TCIG Successfully Host First Youth Expression: “Essay Rap and Poster Competition”last_img read more

Six TCIG Finance workers trained for coming new system

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, August 16, 2017 – Providenciales – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government is moving from cash based accounting to accrual basis and to prepare TCIG for that change, six Finance staffers were recently certified in International Public Sector Accounting Standards.Deputy Accountant General, Sally-Jean Astwood and Finance Managers: Pamela Clarke, Jonelle Glinton, Kimberly Simmons-Lewis, Letitia Williams and Shandera Hall were during July participants of the program which the Ministry of Finance says improves financial accountability through better financial reporting.“Strong and transparent financial reporting has the potential to improve public sector decision making and make governments more accountable to their constituents,” said the media release issued on Monday.Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Athnee Harvey-Basden congratulated the six, adding this step is just the beginning as #TCIG migrates to the new accounting system in the next few years. ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Recommended for you The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianewslast_img read more

25 killed in Saudi air strikes on Yemen market

first_imgAt least 25 Yemenis were killed when Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck a market in the northern Saada province, a local health official said on Sunday, the latest in a string of deadly incidents in the 27-month-old conflict.Officials from the Saudi-led coalition could not immediately be reached for a comment on the report.Yemen has been torn by a civil war in which the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is trying to roll back gains made by the Iran-aligned Houthi group which controls most of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.The director of the Houthi-run Health Department office in Saada said the aircraft conducted two raids on al-Mashnaq market in Shada district, which is close to the Saudi border, on Saturday, killing 25 people and wounding at least one.“Rescue teams were unable to reach the area for some time for fear of being hit by artillery shelling of the area,” the official, Dr Abdelilah al-Azzi, told Reuters by telephone.Reuters could not independently confirm the report because the area is located very close to the frontline, but several Yemeni online news outlets carried a similar report.A Saudi-led coalition air strike killed 22 people and wounded dozens when it struck a market in western Yemen near the Red Sea fishing town of Khoukha in March.Khoukha and the nearby city of Hodeidah are controlled by the Houthis who overran Sanaa in 2014 and moved south to Aden in 2015 forcing Hadi and his administration to flee into exile.The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than three million and ruined much of the impoverished country’s infrastructure.The Saudi-led coalition was formed in 2015 to fight the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who have fired missiles into neighboring Saudi Arabia.In December, the coalition acknowledged it had made “limited use” of British-made cluster bombs, but said it had stopped using them.Nearly half of Yemen’s 22 provinces are on the verge of famine, according to the UN World Food Programme.last_img read more

Syrian rebels say army besieging their enclave in Deraa

first_imgA view of South-west Syria as seen from Quneitra countryside, Syria on 8 July 2018. Photo: ReutersThe Syrian army and allied troops on Monday laid siege to the rebel-held enclave in Deraa and were poised to gain complete control of the city where the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s rule first erupted, rebels said.Abu Shaima, a spokesman for the opposition in the southern Syrian city, said several thousand people were now encircled after the army pushed into a base west of the city without a fight.”The army and its militias have besieged Deraa completely,” the rebel spokesman told Reuters.The return of Deraa to Assad’s complete control would deal a big psychological blow to the opposition since the city came to epitomise the early peaceful protests against authoritarian rule that spread across Syria. The protests were violently crushed and paved the way for the bloody civil war.A surrender deal was reached on Friday between Russian officers and rebel representatives to give up Deraa city along with other towns in the southern province that borders Jordan in another victory for Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.Before the deal, many towns and villages in Deraa province were forced to agree to return to state control after a major Russian aerial bombing campaign on urban centres that led to the largest displacement of civilians in the more than seven year long conflict.As part of the deal, opposition fighters not ready to make peace with the army must first be allowed to evacuate to opposition-held areas in northern Syria before the hand over of weapons and the return of state sovereignty.”There are fighters who want to go to (opposition-held) Idlib but this was rejected after we were besieged,” said Abu Shamia, referring to a meeting held on Sunday in which he said a go-between with Syrian army had flatly rejected their demands to leave.The rebels say the deal also does not allow the army to move into their bastions and allows for setting up local forces from ex-rebels under the oversight of Russian military police.”There is a lot of fear about the unknown fate and we do not trust the Russians or regime,” Shaima added saying remaining rebels in Deraa city were still holding their positions on its frontlines.Another opposition negotiator said another round of talks with Russian officers was planned this afternoon over the fate of the rebel-held bastion and security arrangements once it returns to state rule.”We will work with the Russians on setting up a local force from the inhabitants that will prevent the entry of the army to Deraa with Russian guarantees,” Abu Jihad, a negotiator said.last_img read more

Adobes Latest Product Lets You Turn a Photo of a Document Into

first_img Adobe Systems is once again stepping up its cloud document game, this time with a mobile-friendly twist and a dash of Photoshop magic.The global software giant today announced its latest cloud computing product, Adobe Document Cloud, a new, streamlined document creation, editing and sharing experience that will work seamlessly across mobile, desktop and web platforms. It’s Adobe’s third major cloud release to date, joining Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud.The subscription-based all-in-one cloud document services solution features a completely overhauled “mobile-first” Adobe Acrobat and Reader combo (called Adobe DC), a set of tools that enable users to create, manage, fill out, sign and share PDFs — the ubiquitous file type Adobe introduced to the world some 22 years ago.Related: Hey Designers, Dream OnThe goal of the new offering, Kevin Lynch, Adobe senior vice president and general manager of document services told Entrepreneur, is to “revolutionize and simplify how people get work done with critical documents, from helping you get a contract signed as soon as possible, to collecting comments on a document from clients and customers, to even getting them to read your white paper.”Outfitted with a new, mobile-optimized Tool Center, Acrobat will enable users to more easily accomplish a variety of document management and distribution tasks via its freshly touch-enabled interface, all within their personal Adobe document hub in the cloud — directly from their smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC.Related: Adobe Releases Free App for Making Narrated Video PresentationsIn addition to creating, reviewing, approving, e-signing, tracking and commenting on docs from the Document Cloud, users will also be able to accomplish something really cool thanks to Photoshop technology — instantly and automatically convert any paper document into a digital file that can then be modified, keyword-searched and sent for signatures, without losing any of its original formatting. We witnessed this convenient feature in action firsthand and it’s pretty slick, particularly the cherry image enhancement capabilities that we’ve come to expect from Photoshop over the last 25 years.Subscribers to Adobe Document Cloud will also have access to Adobe’s eSign Services (formerly Adobe EchoSign). They’ll also be able to use two new companion Adobe mobile apps for free — Acrobat Mobile, which stores your files, settings and signatures, and Fill and Sign, a handy auto-complete feature.The Acrobat DC and Adobe Document Cloud package will be available for $14.99 per month and is expected to be available within 30 days.Related: Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and Other Tech Giants Invest $1 Billion to Get Kids Online Register Now » 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img March 17, 2015 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more

Rep Glenn pledges to fight bill threatening Bay City Western Warrior mascot

first_img State Rep. Gary Glenn, of Williams Twp., whose son graduated and played football at Bay City Western High School in Auburn, today said he will work to kill a state Senate bill introduced last month that threatens to reduce state funding to Bay City Public Schools unless Western sports teams abandon their Native American-based “Warrior” mascot.Western High School fight song and imagery, long on display in the gymnasium, honoring the Warrior spirit. The bill, introduced Nov. 2 by a Democratic senator from Detroit, would reduce state funding to any school district that allows a school to maintain a sports mascot or logo deemed “race and ethnicity-based.”“This politically correct waste of time in Lansing is a good argument for a part-time Legislature,” Glenn said. “Trying to force Western to abandon its long-held tradition of honoring the Warrior spirit, and threatening to cut school funding if we refuse to capitulate to liberals’ ‘identity politics’ agenda, is not the proper role of state government. We should continue to urge our young people, as Western does, to have a Warrior mentality as they face the challenges of life, not an attitude of victimhood, and in the end, what we call our local sports teams in Auburn is our business, not Detroit’s or Lansing’s.”“When my son played ball at Western, the Warrior mascot was an honored inspiration to student athletes to emulate the fighting spirit and pride of the native peoples of Michigan,” Glenn said. “In that same spirit, I will work to preserve Western’s tradition of respect and honor and protect the authority of local school board members, administrators, and parents to make such decisions.“I assure families and students at Western that as a proud Warrior dad, I will work to ensure that this threat to funding for Bay City schools does not become law,” Glenn said.Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., left, and son, a former Western Warrior football player. Glenn’s son, now 27, played football at Western High School during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, graduating in 2010. He was also involved in computer technology competitions at the Bay Arenac Career Center and is now a senior rocket instrumentation technician in the aerospace industry.Glenn noted that previous attempts to force Michigan schools to change Native American-based mascots have been dismissed by the U.S. Department of Education and the state Attorney General.Senate Bill 646, introduced by state Sen. Ian Conyers, D-Detroit, has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee. Should the legislation be approved by that committee and the Senate, it would advance to the House where Glenn, who serves as Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem and chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, promises to fight it.##### 01Dec Rep. Glenn pledges to fight bill threatening Bay City Western Warrior mascot Categories: Newslast_img read more

Mediaset has threatened to take legal action again

first_imgMediaset has threatened to take legal action against Vivendi if the French media company fails to respect the terms of its contract with the Italian broadcaster to take control of Mediaset Premium, the company has said.Mediaset’s board yesterday emphatically rejected the revised proposal put forward by Vivendi this week, which would see it take a smaller stake in the Italian pay TV outfit.The board said that the revised proposal submitted by Vivendi was incompatible with the binding contract already signed by the two parties. The board authorised “all necessary measures” to ensure that the terms of original deal are respected. Should this fail to happen, it authorised legal action, whether civil or criminal, to defend its interests.Vivendi responded by saying that its disagreement with Mediaset concerned the latter’s business plan, which had served as the basis for the April 8 agreement. The company said that forecast of a breakeven for Mediaset Premium by 2018 was based on “unrealistic assumptions”. It cited as evidence a due diligence report commissioned by it from Deloitte in June, which stated that “the business plan appears unachievable and would need to be seriously downgraded in order to be realistic”.Vivendi added that it was still open to an agreement with Mediaset.According to French paper Le Monde, citing an unnamed French source, Mediaset had predicted 700,000 new subscribers a year between now and 2018 and an increase in average revenues per subscriber of 20%..The ratcheting up of the conflict between the two companies came as Mediaset posted better than expected first-half financials, with the company’s bottom line continuing to be hit by costs associated with Mediaset Premium despite a strong uptick in the core advertising market.The company posted a net loss of €27.8 million compared with a profit of €24.2 million for the same period last year. EBIT for the period fell from €137 million to €97.3 million for the first half, pulled down by negative EBIT in Italy of €52.8 million compared with a positive €26.5 million for the same period in 2015.The costs of sports rights – particularly European Champions League rights – figure large among the reasons for the fall in EBIT and profits. Mediaset said that the rights would help ensure the continued growth of the client base and revenues of Premium. Premium in fact posted a loss of €37.1 million for the quarter, less than the budgeted loss of €39.8 million. The company maintains that the pay TV unit will reach breakeven in 2018.Mediaset’s first half performance was boosted by a strong increase in revenues. The company reported first half revenues of €1.87 billion, up from €1.72 billion for the first half of 2015. Spanish advertising revenues grew significantly, but there was also growth in Italy. Overall, advertising sales growth accelerated to 4.6% year-on-year in the second quarter.last_img read more