Not that we have any historical basis to fall back

first_imgNot that we have any historical basis to fall back on, but you’d think an NFL team that won its first four games and then proceeded to lose their next seven would have an unbelievable shift in statistics.In the case of the 2012 Arizona Cardinals, the only team ever to fall into this category, that is not true.When comparing the numbers between Arizona’s four-game winning streak and their current seven-game skid, the numbers, strangely enough, look very similar in most categories. Paul Calvisi suggested as much in a column he penned for, and he’s absolutely right. The difference for the Arizona Cardinals in wins and losses comes down to quarterback play.Kevin Kolb is by no means a franchise quarterback, but his rib injury has absolutely crippled the Cardinals’ chances of winning football games. Kolb did just enough in four contests to help Arizona win football games, including his stint in relief of John Skelton in the season opener against Seattle in which he completed six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown in the 20-16 win.His passer rating of 86.1 won’t wow anybody, but it still ranks eighth in the NFC and is ahead of the likes of Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler. Oh, and it’s much better than the figures of Skelton (64.4) and rookie Ryan Lindley (47.0), who have yet to lead the Cardinals to a win in Kolb’s absence.Over 26% of the possessions Kolb engineered ended in points, while only 24.8% of Skelton’s and 16.7% of Lindley’s have. It’s hard to believe, especially considering how a lot of fans thought of him after training camp, but Kevin Kolb is the most important player for the Arizona Cardinals this season. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling In fact, in their last seven contests, the Cardinals are averaging more rushing yards and more passing yard per game on offense. On defense, they’re allowing fewer passing yards and total yards per game.Their turnover margin is even during the losing streak.The overall stat sheet shows opponents are scoring more points against the Cardinals during the losing streak, but let’s keep in mind that Arizona’s last seven opponents have combined for four defensive touchdowns and a safety.The Cardinals’ inability to get the ball to All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald more has been magnified because of their recent losing. But in actuality, Fitzgerald’s production is only down less than a catch and seven yards per game in losses. Sacks? Opponents sacked Arizona quarterbacks 3.5 times per game in wins, and 4.5 times in losses, so the difference is negligible.The Cardinals have been abysmal at both times in converting third downs — 30.9% in wins and 27.1% in losses. So what is the big difference? Why has a seemingly promising season been derailed in a fashion that has many bellowing “ah, it’s the same ol’ Cardinals.”The answer is simple. Quarterback play. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Unfortunately, for the last seven weeks, he’s been wearing a ball cap and a gray hoodie and hasn’t been able to help his team on the field.You want to know the difference between a 4-0 start and an 0-7 stretch? There’s your answer right there.last_img read more

Rep Webber backs measure to support veterans at local level

first_img13Feb Rep. Webber backs measure to support veterans at local level Tags: Veterans Categories: Webber Newscenter_img State Rep. Michael Webber, of Rochester Hills, has cosponsored legislation providing financial incentive to encourage Michigan counties to establish and maintain veteran service offices.Currently, 11 counties do not have a local veteran support department and many other counties are understaffed. This poses a great barrier for veterans who are looking for help navigating their hard-earned benefits.“Having a local office provides for that in-person experience that sometimes helps make applying for benefits or working through the process a little more comfortable,“ Webber said. ““Oakland County has been ahead of the curve on this effort, which is recognized in this legislation. Our veterans have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms and I fully support efforts to provide them the resources they deserve.”Under the bill, each county with a veteran service office which satisfies the requirements outlined in the bill will receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county. The bill calls for $5 million in state budget dollars to fund the incentive.In order to receive funds a county must:Maintain a county veteran service office;Have an accredited veterans benefit claims employee on staff;Provide at least 20 hours of service each month assisting veterans;Maintain the previous year’s county funding level for the veteran service office;Report to the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and Legislature regarding the amount of claims completed throughout the year.House Bill 5536 was referred to the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.###last_img read more

The 10 leading pay TV services in the US lost 663

first_imgThe 10 leading pay TV services in the US lost 663,000 subscribers between them in the second quarter of 2016, according to Informitv’s Multiscreen Index report.AT&T, the largest pay TV group in the Index saw its satellite subsidiary DirecTV gain 342,000 television customers in the US, while its U-verse telco television service lost 391,000.Comcast reduced its television customer loss for the quarter to 4,000, ending the period with 22.40 million television subscribers, while Verizon Fios television subscribers declined by 1,226,000 following the transfer of some markets to Frontier – which gained 1,085,000.Meanwhile, Charter the third largest provider following the merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, lost 152,000 TV subscribers with a total of 16.93 million in the quarter.“DIRECTV was the only company in the top 10 to report organic subscriber growth, although that was largely at the expense of AT&T U-verse,” said Informitv analyst Sue Farrell.“It’s been a turbulent quarter with some large losses but the real story is one of consolidation.”last_img read more

Although over55s remain staunch supporters of lin

first_imgAlthough over-55s remain staunch supporters of linear television, a new study shows they are now waking up to binge viewing through SVOD platforms.According to Ampere Analytics, there is virtually no difference in viewing habits between those aged 55-64 and 18-24s if subscription on-demand is the only service in their household.Over-55s SVOD users watched about one hour, 20 minutes of content per day, with 18-24s watching one hour, 26 minutes on average.In general, those that favour SVOD over TV watch about the same amount of content, with the 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 demos all clocking in at around one hour, 25 minutes.“It’s long been held that an ageing population offers a ready audience for broadcast TV, but our analysis shows that it’s time for a reality check,” said Ampere director Richard Broughton.“Subscription video-on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon are not exclusively for the younger viewer, they are just taking longer to convince 55- to 64-year olds of the value of a paid-for TV content subscription.”He added older age groups changed their viewing behaviour in a similar way to younger counterparts after taking an on-demand subscription.The different between age groups is starker among what Ampere classes as average respondents, with 55-64s watching just eight minutes of SVOD content and 18-24s tuning in for 39 minutes.In total, just 13% of SVOD customers are 55 or older, according to the research, with the vast majority (44%) aged under 35.However, usage is growing rapidly, with UK Netflix users aged 55-64 growing from just 9% in mid-2015 to 25%.Surprisingly, Ampere found that most markets were relatively consistent in their SVOD consumption across age groups – with the average around the one hour, 20 minute mark.France, which has been far more conservative in its SVOD uptake, was the exception. The average clocked in at just 50 minutes of SVOD consumption per day.As they hit saturation point with the youngest viewers in the markets like the US and UK, the marketing teams of the SVOD services will increasingly want to turn their attention to older viewers,” said Broughton.“We expect this to herald yet more changes to content consumption for both broadcast and on-demand services.”Ampere polled 33,000 people with internet connections in 16 markets to assess typical consumption patterns.Over 55s believe in SVOD fantasy, want actionAn interesting facet of Ampere’s research shows action and adventure, sci-fi and fantasy, and crime and thriller content best draw in 55-64s.Action and fantasy/sci-fi were the most popular genre among 14% of the demo, with crime and thriller just behind on 13%.This behaviour is much the same as that of younger demographics.Eight per cent were enticed by comedy, and 7% by documentaries, which means most consumers continue to see entertainment and formats as the preserve of the linear TV channel.Ampere noted the preference for documentary was slightly higher than younger demos and slightly lower for comedy.last_img read more

JB Perrette With its international business now ac

first_imgJB PerretteWith its international business now accounting for over half of factual giant Discovery’s overall business, Discovery Networks International president JB Perrette talked to Stuart Thomson about plans for Eurosport, the free-to-air and pay TV markets, investing in production, and digital initiatives. Among global channel providers, Discovery has perhaps gone furthest over the last few years in expanding its business outside the US market, to the point where its international business now accounts for the greater proportion of revenue. Not only has the group expanded the range and distribution of its portfolio of organically developed channels, it has made major international acquisitions over the last three years in the shape of Eurosport, previously owned by France’s TF1, and the Nordic SBS-branded channels formerly owned by ProSiebenSat.1. Discovery’s channels reached a record 654 million viewers globally at the end of last year. Eurosport, majority owned by Discovery for the last nine months, is crucial to the broadcaster’s European plans. Discovery recently appointed former MP & Silva Group co-CEO Peter Hutton to run the sports network. The broadcaster is now moving to invest heavily in sports rights, including high-end premium rights where appropriate, and using the sports network’s second channel, Eurosport 2, as its vehicle for localisation.“Strategically we are on the path to move from having the single pan-regional strategy that’s been in place for 25 years to a dual-pronged pan-regional and local strategy,” says JB Perrette, who has served as Discovery Networks International’s president for the last year. “We see this as a marathon, not a sprint.” He cites the example of Sweden, where Eurosport 2 carries local ice-hockey and handball, and France, Eurosport’s home ground, where the channel holds second league rugby rights. Eurosport has also invested in MotoGP rights for Germany and the Benelux, among other investments.Rights portfolioPerrette says Discovery’s aim is “a strengthening of our rights portfolio in terms of each of the markets where we want to localise, while staying financially disciplined about what makes sense”. However, he says that localisation is not just restricted to acquiring specific sports properties but extends to “making the channel feel more local not just in terms of rights but in production, promotional activity and marketing…to promote events and drive viewership”.Perrette is realistic about the financial realities of competing with incumbent pay TV platforms for very high-end premium properties such as national top-tier football rights. However, he points out that Discovery has the ability to make money from rights across multiple rather than single, national markets and also argues that there may be room to complement pay TV platform operators in certain cases. “What we can do with rights holders is very different from a single market approach. We can also see that these guys are running businesses and there is a question of how many rights can you swallow at once,” he says. As Discovery is on big basic packages, it could complement premium operator-owned sports channels by airing coverage of early rounds of premium competitions or the competitions of lower-tier leagues, allowing pay operators to defray some of the ever-growing costs of maintaining large portfolios of sports rights. In addition, Eurosport can continue to air coverage of sports that don’t have the same pulling power as football, but nevertheless remain popular.If Eurosport is aligned with its traditional focus on pay TV, Discovery’s other principal European acquisition of the last three years – of the former SBS Nordic channels previously owned by ProSiebenSat.1 – is indicative of the attention it is now paying to the potential of a dual-revenue strategy including both pay TV carriage deals and advertising-supported free-to-air channels. Discovery has also dipped into the free-to-air business in Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain. “The leadership team looked at some of the markets where pay TV was struggling or had capped out and innovated, in a creative way, to launch some free to air networks around Europe. That strategy has been a key part of what has – in a fairly moribund macro-economic environment – enabled us to grow at a double-digit rate,” says Perrette. “We love the hybrid pay and free-to-air model and it has worked very well – exploiting pay TV rights and then taking [that content] to free-to-air.”He says Discovery could now take the same model into sports, and adds that the broadcaster will look at possible further free-to-air channel launches in markets where digital-terrestrial platforms provide opportunities.Production interestsIn addition to acquiring channels, Discovery has also extended its production interests – a journey that began with the 2011 acquisition of UK independent production company Betty – most recently teaming up with international cable operator Liberty Global to take control of global production outfit All3Media. (The pair also recently joined forces again to invest in all-electric motorsports franchise Formula E, indicative of the close relationship between two companies that share a common shareholder in the form of US cable mogul John Malone). Describing Liberty Global as a “terrific partner”, Perrette says the pair had a shared interest in acquiring more intellectual property, not only in entertainment but in sports as well.Perrette says that Discovery’s approach is to be “opportunistic where it makes sense” within the framework of “a strategic rationale”. Of the acquisition of Betty, the joint acquisition of All3Media and the joint investment in Formula E, he says that “in all three of those deals, we felt there was great creative talent and great intellectual property.”Even before investing directly in production assets, Discovery had, says Perrette, looked to own the rights to the content it airs. “Without owning production companies, for 30 years we have owned the vast majority of our content. Our philosophy is that owning strong IP is critical for us as a company, and that will continue whether we own the production company or not,” he says. “That will be at the heart of what we do. We will look at studios where it makes sense. We want to own more IP but…we are open to a variety of ways to do it.”Perrette is more sceptical about the value of taking a deeper plunge into the fashionable world of multichannel networks. In fact, he points out that Discovery was one of the first big media companies to invest in what are now called MCNs – in its case by acquiring San Francisco-based Revision 3 in 2012. However, he emphasises that Discovery’s approach with Revision 3 was different than what he sees as the more typical MCN model. In that case, he says, Discovery took a company that effectively rented rather than owned its content and turned it into a company that “owns most of its streams”.“What we believed was that the pure MCN model where you aggregate rented IP is a very difficult business model. There is a lot of interest but the business model seems very unclear to us,” says Perrette. “The [MCN] model is evolving but it isn’t a great business yet.”Discovery will continue to evolve the mix of content on its own networks to cater for audiences that it hasn’t yet fully served. One area Perrette highlights is the development of crime and mystery fiction content to support its true crime-based ID channel. Another is more male-focused content for Turbo, the international variant of the US Velocity channel. However, in general, he says, Discovery will focus on developing a mix of channels with broad international appeal that is complemented by a range of channels with a more local focus, as in Latin America where it operates the number one kids channel in that market – something that has not been replicated elsewhere.Overall, Perrette says he believes the pay TV model has staying power, and that OTT will exist alongside, rather than cannibalise, the existing model: “Consumers do not want to subscribe to 10 different services. Brands that curate content will become even more important.”last_img read more

LabourList readers would vote for a full selection

first_imgLabourList readers would vote for a full selection process rather than automatically reselect their local sitting Labour MP, our latest survey has found.Asked whether they would opt to trigger an open contest, allowing the local party to possibly deselect their current representative, 59% of those respondents who identified themselves as Labour members said they would vote for a full selection process. 41% of the members who took the survey said they would vote to reselect their MP.27% of all respondents indicated that they were either not a Labour member or that they were not currently represented by a Labour MP (and will therefore inevitably be given the opportunity to participate in a full selection, unless an early election is called before it is completed).Corbynite campaign group Momentum has launched a drive to encourage members to trigger open selections ahead of the next election. Under new rules, the threshold for kickstarting a full process is one third or more of party branches or one third or more of affiliated branches.LabourList readers also overwhelmingly support Labour’s new Brexit position, with over 78% agreeing with the decision to back a public vote and Remain against a Tory deal or no deal.Jeremy Corbyn confirmed in an email to members last week that Labour would back a public vote and “campaign for Remain against either no deal or a Tory deal”. The shift in policy follows years of pursuing an alternative plan aimed at uniting Leave and Remain voters.Responding to the latest LabourList survey, 78.5% of 6,454 respondents said they endorsed the new stance, while just 21.5% answered ‘No’ or ‘Don’t know’.Most LabourList readers believe Labour has done enough to tackle antisemitism within the party – and that an ‘auto exclusion’ rule for members with a “prima facie case to answer” on the issue should not be implemented.Keir Starmer and deputy leader Tom Watson have endorsed the idea of automatically excluding members in “prima facie” cases of antisemitism. But 60% of readers and 63% of self-identified members said such a rule change should not be implemented, while 40% of readers and 37% of self-identified members favoured the idea.For the first time since LabourList surveys were rebooted, John McDonnell has topped the poll of favourite shadow cabinet members. Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry made up the rest of the top three.The latest survey saw 56% of respondents select the Shadow Chancellor as one of their three favourite members of the top team, while 38% chose the Shadow Brexit Secretary, who has always previously topped the poll.Rebecca Long-Bailey has improved her standing again in the popularity poll, swapping places with Tom Watson to come fourth.1. Are you a member of the Labour Party?Click to enlarge.Yes – 86.1% (5,554)No – 13.9% (900)2. Momentum has launched a campaign encouraging Labour members across the country to trigger open parliamentary selections.Would you vote for a full selection to choose your local Labour candidate or vote to reselect your sitting MP without moving to a full selection?Click to enlarge.I would vote for a full selection – 46.1% (2,973)I would vote to reselect my sitting MP – 32.5% (2,095)I am not a Labour member and/or I am not currently represented by a Labour MP – 21.5% (1,386)3. Has Labour done enough to tackle antisemitism within the party?Click to enlarge.Yes – 50.1% (3,234)No –  36.6% (2,360)Don’t know – 13.3% (860)4. Tom Watson and Keir Starmer have backed the idea of an ‘auto exclusion’ rule for members with a “prima facie case to answer” on antisemitism. Do you believe that Labour should implement this rule change?Click to enlarge.No – 60.2% (3,886)Yes – 39.8% (2,568)5. Labour has decided to back a public vote and Remain against a Tory Brexit deal or no deal. Do you agree with this decision?Click to enlarge.Yes – 78.5% (5,067)No – 16.2% (1,048)Don’t know – 5.3% (339)6. Who are your top three favourite shadow cabinet members?Click to enlarge.John McDonnell – 3,611Keir Starmer – 2,478Emily Thornberry – 1,787Rebecca Long-Bailey – 1,522Tom Watson – 1,496Diane Abbott – 1,352Angela Rayner – 1,253Richard Burgon – 1,088Barry Gardiner – 1,012Dawn Butler – 569Ian Lavery – 524Shami Chakrabarti – 439Jonathan Ashworth – 376Dan Carden – 279Andy McDonald – 215Andrew Gwynne – 179Cat Smith – 176Baroness Smith of Basildon – 156John Healey – 150Jon Trickett – 140Nia Griffith – 107Nick Brown – 85Margaret Greenwood – 63Sue Hayman – 59Tony Lloyd – 57Lord Thomas McAvoy – 53 Barbara Keeley – 39Peter Dowd – 37Valerie Vaz – 35Lesley Laird – 30Christina Rees – 26The survey was open from 12.30pm on Sunday 14th July until 12.30pm on Monday 15th July. The results are unweighted and from a self-selected sample of readers. Thank you to all 6,454 readers who took part.Tags:Parliamentary Selections /Weekly Survey /Antisemitism /Brexit /Trigger ballot /last_img read more