5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Chai said Berlusconi traveled to Kenya with Italian billionaire Flavio Briatore.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives in Kenya a week after an Italian court convicted him of tax fraud and sentenced him to four years in prison.Berlusconi arrived Thursday in Malindi _ a fishing and resort village where many Italians live and visit. His arrival was confirmed by Phillip Chai, the manager of the exclusive Lion in the Sun resort.Berlusconi, who dominated Italian politics for nearly two decades, has seen his image tarnished by sex and tax scandals. Last week a court found him guilty of inflating the price his media empire paid for TV rights to movies from the United States and pocketing the difference. Berlusconi is appealing the ruling. Check your body, save your life Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 3 international destinations to visit in 2019
By contrast, manufacturing job growth remained basically flat, reflecting the beating the industry is taking from the rise in the value of the dollar. A strong dollar makes U.S. exports less competitive in overseas markets because they become more expensive. It also makes imports cheaper for U.S. consumers.Manufacturers added just 1,000 jobs in March and April combined.Overall, U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in April. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent, the lowest level since May 2008.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction and manufacturing — two bedrock sectors of the American economy — landed on opposite ends of April’s jobs report.Construction companies added 45,000 jobs during the month, bringing their year-to-date total to 108,000. Most of April’s gains came from the “specialty trade contractors” subsector, which includes carpenters, electricians, plumbers and painters. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Four benefits of having a wireless security system New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Comments Share How men can have a healthy 2019
Top Stories Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ROME (AP) — The number of hungry people around the world has dropped to 795 million from over a billion a quarter-century ago despite natural disasters, ongoing conflicts and poverty, the three U.N. food agencies said Wednesday.Countries in East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean showed the most progress in reducing hunger, thanks in part to economic growth that didn’t exclude the poor, investments in agriculture and political stability, the agencies said in their annual State of Food Insecurity report. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day The report found that a majority of the countries monitored — 72 out of 129 — have met the U.N.’s ambitious Millennium Development Goals to halve undernourishment by 2015.“The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime,” said U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s chief, Jose Graziano da Silva.The agencies said the reduction in hunger and undernourishment came despite natural disasters, political instability and conflict in much of the developing world — even though the world’s population had grown by 1.9 billion people since 1990.The agencies said improved agricultural productivity, especially by family and small-scale farmers, and better social protection measures like food vouchers or school meal programs had had the most impact in reducing hunger.Sub-Saharan Africa still had the highest levels of undernourishment in the world: Almost one in four people there don’t get enough food to live an active and healthy life. Some West African countries that did invest in agricultural productivity and infrastructure managed to meet the U.N. hunger targets, the report found.
03Mar In-home stair lifts will be more accessible, affordable under Pscholka/Nesbitt bills Categories: News The House Commerce and Trade Committee today approved a package of bills to remove regulations on residential stair lift installation, after hearing testimony from local state Reps. Al Pscholka and Aric Nesbitt on how removing the regulations could provide more affordable access for Michigan residents while still maintaining safety standards.Rep. Pscholka’s House Bill 4163 and Rep. Nesbitt’s House Bill 4162 clarify that residential stair lifts are not subject to the same regulatory standards as elevator installations. Currently, Michigan law regulates residential stair lifts in the same way that it oversees commercial elevators. This misclassification means that state inspectors and commercially-certified contractors are required to install simple stair lifts, which is more expensive for the homeowner. Their bills require that the installer be a licensed elevator contractor or certified by the manufacturer of the residential lift.“The current law requiring stair lifts to be installed by commercial contractors puts Michigan residents at a major disadvantage and costs nearly double that of surrounding states,” said Rep. Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “This is especially of detriment to our seniors, disabled veterans, and mobility-impaired individuals, as it keeps them from being able to afford a simple tool that allows them to stay in their homes.”Rep. Nesbitt, R-Lawton, said: “These burdensome roadblocks hinder local job creators and, in some cases, increase costs on Michigan residents. This legislation maintains effective safety standards, while also making the common sense reforms necessary to ease a burden facing many senior and disabled homeowners who use these helpful tools to stay in their homes.”Both bills were approved by the committee and now head to the House floor for further legislative action.
Categories: News,VanderWall News 25Jun Rep. VanderWall-supported law gives high school students credit for internships State Rep. Curt VanderWall today announced a new state law will allow high school students to earn course credit for completing an internship or work-study program, citing the need for expanding education beyond the classroom.“We have to give our state’s future generations more opportunities to learn and gain real-world experience, not just expect success because they completed 12 years of education in a classroom,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “Whether a student is set to go to college or start a career right after earning their diploma, an internship can be invaluable for deciding what is best for themselves. This will help the students and our local businesses to prepare for their respective futures.”Michigan Department of Education guidelines already allow work-based paid or volunteer internships in grades 9-12, but this new law cuts through the state administrative hurdles by giving the local district board of education authority to approve and oversee the internship for course credit. The new law also protects funding, allowing school districts to count anyone participating in an internship or a work experience program off campus as a full-time student.“Giving local schools more say is crucial because matching the right students to the right program has clear educational benefits,” VanderWall said. “If a high school junior has an interest in being an electrician, how does it not help to spend five hours a week on a construction site while helping a journeyman electrician? That’s on-the-job training and skill development that is not available in every high school. Opening that door is all about opportunities with it being up to the student, their family and the school to work together.”House Bills 4106 and 5676 are now Public Acts 184 and 185, respectively, of 2018.#####
02Jul Rep. Griffin measure eliminates an outdated, irrelevant law Categories: Griffin News A plan removing an obsolete section of Michigan law proposed by state Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, has been signed into law by the governor.Griffin’s new law removes a 1931 act that references the criminal sentencing guidelines in regard to ship officers making a false protest about a ship or its cargo with intent to defraud an insurer. Individuals who injure, deceive or defraud someone today would be charged with fraud rather than making a false protest.“The impact of cleaning up the books helps government run much more efficiently – which is something I know every hard-working taxpayer desires,” Griffin said. “While building on all the work we’ve accomplished already this legislative session, it is important we reduce unnecessary regulations in the process.”House Bill 5763 now becomes Public Act 285 of 2018.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares April 21, 2014; Hechinger Report and The NationIn 2011, Teach for America and Kenneth Maldonado were both finding a home in Seattle. For TFA, 2011 marked its founding year in the city, and Kenneth had applied to be one of its first recruits. TFA had had a monumental and ongoing growth spurt and Seattle was one of its most recent additions in its scaling effort. Maldonado, who had grown up in poverty and struggled for work before his TFA assignment, was beyond excited in looking at what the experience was to bring him.Maldonado’s experience did not start as he had hoped, and TFA’s arrival in Seattle also found challenges. According to a report shared by the Hechinger Report and The Nation, the Seattle Public School system was facing a $25 million deficit and saw more than 13,800 teachers apply for just 352 full- and part-time positions. In the midst of this, TFA obtained a contract with the district, charging over $4000 per teacher.The new relationship quickly became an issue. Board meetings were “sometimes standing room only, dozens of community members—including parents, teachers and high school students—signed up in record numbers to testify against the district’s contract with the organization, urging the administration to hire more experienced local teachers.” Maldonado was also feeling the conflict, but also noted that TFA’s national office had stumbled in dealing with the challenges in Seattle. Maldonado said that “TFA just hadn’t done the research” and “national staff came off as ‘arrogant…they were assigning the blame to everyone but themselves.’”TFA’s original 38 approved applicants had been reduced to just 13, serving ten schools, only three of which addressed the high-needs population, a critical part of TFA’s mission. An official with TFA cited that the issues in Seattle were a “complete aberration” by the organization.As Teach for America has grown, several of the organization’s positions and relationships have attained national attention. TFA has sought placements for recruits in wealthier school districts where teaching jobs are scarce, and Seattle is a perfect example. This, along with other controversies, has led many to ask for TFA to be more transparent. “I’m really troubled by public dollars going to TFA at the same moment teachers are being let go,” says Gloria Ladson-Billings, a professor of education and race theory at the University of Wisconsin.TFA in Seattle has made adjustments following the backlash. Lindsay Hill, the Seattle TFA Director, has eliminated all district fees, stating, “We have to make sure that our vision and our strategy meet our context.” Maldonado continues on in the program. He still “believes strongly in the organization,” and having worked at its summer institute in New York City in 2013, he is considering leaving the classroom for a full-time gig with TFA, something unforeseen just a few years earlier.—John BrothersShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Latvian telco Lattelecom has added 3D channel High TV to its programming line-up.The addition of the channel follows the launch of 3D on-demand movies earlier this year. Lattelecom TV director Inga Alik said High TV would be offered on a trial basis initially. The channel is available to customers with an internet connection of 8Mbps or above. Subscribers can sign up for the channel via an HD package for LVL3.80 (€5.40), or can sign up for individual à la carte channels for LVL1.20 each.
Turkish pay TV operator D-Smart has chosen CDN technology provider Broadpeak to support its deployment of over-the-top TV services.D-Smart has deployed Broadpeak’s BkS400 video servers to manage its OTT streaming services, using HTTP adaptive streaming technology to stream live and video-on-demand services to approximately two million subscribers on a wide range of devices, including TVs, PCs, and tablets.“With subscriber demand for OTT streaming services growing every day, D-Smart needed a more powerful and flexible server to support additional sessions and traffic,” said Erdogan Simsek, DTH technical director, D-Smart. “Broadpeak’s BkS400 uses adaptive bit rate technology to speed up OTT delivery while ensuring a high quality of service for viewers. Since deploying the new servers, we’ve dramatically increased the amount of content streamed to traditional and handheld devices.”
European countries in the top 10 average internet speed countries globally recorded significant improvements in 2013, according to CDN provider Akamai’s annual state of the internet report.South Korean continued to lead globally on average connection speeds, with a connection speed of 21.9Mbps. Among European countries in the top 10, number three-ranked the Netherlands achieved a 38% increase in average speeds to reach 12.4Mbps in 2013, while sixth-ranked the Czech Republic and seventh-ranked Sweden saw average speeds rise by 30% to 11.4Mbps and 10.5Mbps respectively.Eighth-ranked Latvia saw average speeds rise by 11%, while Ireland at number nine saw an impressive 59% rise in average speeds to 10.4Mbps.Global average peak connection speeds recovered from a small decline in the third quarter of 2013 with an impressive improvement of 30% to 23.2Mbps in the fourth quarter, according to Akamai.In Europe, Romania led the way on average peak connection speeds, with an 11% rise in the fourth quarter taking it to 50.6Mbps. In Europe, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and Sweden exceeded 40Mbps average peak connection speed.In terms of adoption of high-speed services, defined as services with a speed of above 10Mbps, the Netherlands saw adoption rise to 45% by the end of the year, while Switzerland recorded adoption of 42%.The Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, the UK and Sweden saw adoption of 10Mbps and above by over 30% of connected households.
UK Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid.The UK’s rollout of superfast broadband is “among the fastest in the world” and has been “steadily accelerating” since it began in 2012, according to the UK government. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport claimed yesterday that 1.5 million premises are now passed and that an additional 40,000 homes and businesses are being added each week, with now marking the fastest stage of deployment.The UK government claims that the average broadband speed in the UK has almost quadrupled from 5.2Mbps in May 2010 to 18.7Mbps in May 2014.It also said it is on track to up superfast broadband coverage to 95% of the UK by 2017, with the figure currently standing at some 80% – “ahead of the top five European economies for broadband coverage, speed, choice and price.”According to the government “26% of all UK connections are now superfast, up from just 6% two years ago. Every day more and more people are opting to make the most of all a superfast connection has to offer.”Culture secretary Sajid Javid said: “We know how important superfast broadband is to everyone, which is exactly why we are investing £1.7 billion in this remarkable project. Our transformation of the UK’s digital landscape is progressing at an incredible rate and delivering a tremendous boost to the nation’s economy as part of the government’s long-term economic plan.”
Pay TV operator NTV+ has secured the rights to French Ligue 1 football in Russia.The operator will show matches from the French championship on its Match TV channel and across the thematic sports channels on the platform.NTV+ CEO Alexander Vronsky said that the deal was in line with the c company’s strategy of acquiring premium sports content.In July, NTV+ secured the rights to top-tier Russian domestic football for the next three seasons and unveiled plans to broadcast some matches in 4K before the end of this year.
Video ads on Twitter deliver better recall, particularly on mobile, stronger engagement and stronger brand recommendation from viewers, according to research commissioned by the company, amidst renewed efforts to establish itself as a serious contender in the video advertising market.According to research by Dentsu Aegis Network and consumer neuro-science research outfit MediaScience, ad recall on Twitter is 20% higher than the second-placed video platform among those tested.According to Twitter, ‘cognitive effort’ measurably decreased on all platforms tested except Twitter when ads were served during content. The company said that attention levels stayed the same or increased on Twitter whether participants were watching organic or branded ad content.The company said that ad recall was significantly higher on mobile devices on Twitter than for other video providers, while favourability, purchase intent and recommendation was consistent across all three online video properties tested.Twitter claimed that viewers felt more emotionally engaged with video ads in Twitter’s in-feed environment. The company also cited an earlier group of studies by Twitter and Facebook that showed that consumers absorb content faster on mobile devices than on desktops.The company said the latest research showed that viewers who saw ads on Twitter were 12% more likely to recommend brands to friends and family than a group that saw the same ads on TV.Twitter compared the latest findings with a study it ran earlier in the year with Starcom and Canvs that showed a 9% increase in ad recall when brands paired TV ads with ads on Twitter, versus running a TV ad alone.The finding were based on research carried out with 179 viewers watching video content on computers and mobile phones in a natural environment. Participants were asked to watch shows on a premium video site and an online video platform, during which they were served with 15-second pre-roll ads. The group was then exposed to the same ads on Twitter via apps and the mobile web. A separate control group was exposed to the same ads on TV.Twitter’s latest move to boost perceptions of its potential as a video advertising platform follows an admission at the end of last month that its work on video ads would take some time to come to fruition.In a letter to investors sent ahead of its Q2 results at the end of July, the company said it would “take time for marketers to understand the impact of video ads on mobile vs. the alternative” and that “to unlock budgets, we will also need to launch additional features and functionality over the next few quarters including accurate audience verification, reserved buying, and reach and frequency planning and purchasing”.On top of tools to support skip-able pre-roll ads and testing of ways to sell ads based on reach and frequency in Q2, Twitter said that it was working to enable advertisers to directly control the reach of their campaigns across target audiences.
Total TV ad expenditure in the UK is forecast to fall 1.9% this year, according Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report data.The marketing intelligence service made a 1.4 percentage point downgrade for TV ad expenditure since its last forecast in April, despite UK advertising spend growing for its 15th consecutive quarter in Q1.James McDonald“The latest data shows that large retailers – particularly supermarkets – and major food brands reined in their TV spending by 25% during the first three months of 2017, instead committing to cutting prices on the shelves as household expenditure wanes,” said James McDonald, Senior Data Analyst at WARC.Despite this, the report said it expects TV ad losses to be regained in 2018, with ad revenue growing 2.5%, partially due to next summer’s FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Russia.WARC’s outlook for total UK ad market growth in 2017 was downgraded by 0.5 percentage points to +2%, which McDonald attributed to “higher inflation and slow wage growth” squeezing consumer spending.In Q1 the report recorded a 1.3% year-on-year increase in UK advertising spend to £5,318 million – a gain, but also the market’s slowest growth rate since Q2 2013.
Germany’s migration from the DVB-T digital-terrestrial TV standard to the more modern DVB-T2 format provided a bonanza for set-top box sales in the first half of this year, according to the latest figures released by consumer electronics industry association the GFU.According to the outfit’s Hemix home electronics market index for the two quarters to June, the value of set-top box sales jumped by 255% to €349 million, while the volume of boxes sold grew by 172% to 3.4 million.The number of TV sets sold meanwhile grew by 3.4% to 3.4 million, while the value of TV sets sold grew by 3.1%.In addition to the switch from DVB-T to DVB-T2, sales of boxes and TV sets was boosted by the shutting down of analogue cable transmissions in three Federal states.Overall, Germanys’ consumer electronics market saw sales growth of 2.4% in the first half to €12.5 billion.Other categories of CE goods had mixed fortunes over the same period. Videogame consoles saw sales rise by 43.6% in value terms and by 53.7% in unit terms, while audio and video accessories saw sales grow by 21.2% in value terms. Smartphone sales increased by 3.9% in value terms, while the number of units shipped declined by 3.4%. Wearables saw sales grow by 32.9% in value terms, and by 19.6% in units.The value of digital camera sales grew by 4%, despite a decline in the number of units sold of 16%.Sales of PCs continue to decline sharply, by 10% in value terms.
Freesat is seeking manufacturing partners to develop a “new range of innovative set-top boxes” that will include Ultra HD support and multiscreen streaming.The free-to-air UK satellite operator said it is seeking proposals for its next generation consumer product and aims to announce manufacturing partners in the autumn, with a view to bringing the set-top box to market “as soon as possible”.The platform provider said that the new devices should be ultra high definition-ready for encrypted broadcast and IP; should offer “fast channel change”; and support HBBTV 2.0.1 applications.Other key features should include: in-home multiscreen streaming to allow users to watch TV across multiple set-top-boxes in the home; and additional tuners to help customers plan their recordings and avoid programme clashes.“We’re thrilled to announce plans for Freesat’s next generation product,” said Freesat managing director, Alistair Thom.“The requirements for our set-top box have been developed with the customer in mind and our aim is to continue to bring UK audiences the best subscription free TV service, and a fantastic alternative to pay TV.”The product requirements will be based on an open technical specification set by the Free TV Alliance, which is a collaboration between four major European digital satellite television broadcasters: Fransat (France), HD Plus (Germany), Tivusat (Italy) and Freesat (UK).Freesat said its request for proposals signals the Free TV Alliance’s ongoing commitment to create “common standards for free-to-view satellite TV services and technologies across Europe for the benefit of viewers, manufacturers and broadcasters.”
Argentinian pay TV service providers CableVideo and Cosecor have turned to Kudelski Group-owned Conax to provide security services and technology.The regional operators have chosen to adopt technology and services from Conax and regional partner, BOLD MSS, to drive expansion in pay TV and multi-DRM content offerings.CableVideo is migrating its existing security platforms to a new system from Conax including OTT services.Colsecor, a cooperative made up of operators from around Argentina, has deployed a pay TV platform secured by Conax Contego content protection, giving its members the flexibility to develop OTT consumer offerings in the future.Ricardo Lima, CEO of BOLD MSS, said: “We believe these deployments will strengthen service providers’ ability to add more and more popular content and value added services to adapt changes in viewing behaviour and provide the best viewing experience to the end-consumer – and ultimately tap new market share.”Jose Alcacer-Mackinlay, director, Lat Am sales, Conax, said: “With a consumer market eager to adapt the latest choices for accessing desired content, we are pleased to be selected to support CableVideo and Colsecor as they deploy new, enhanced service offerings. In addition, the cooperation with BOLD MSS provides significant value for the operators providing a highly skilled integration and services organisation.”
Swedish cable operator Com Hem has filed a claim with Guinness World Records after it provided internet access at a speed of 1.6Tbps during the DreamHack Summer weekend event in Jonkoping.The cable operator said it was providing DreamHack Summer with a connection of 1.6Tbps through a direct link to the backbone, which is also used to supply broadband to Com Hem’s 700,000 broadband customers.Com Hem used dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) over a 300 kilometres link between Stockholm and Jönköping, which the operators said was “most likely” the first time a connection this fast has been set up at such a distance for this type of event.It said a speed of 1.6 Terabits per second corresponds to 16,000, 100 Mbps connections, which is the most frequently used broadband service delivered by Com Hem to Swedish households.“Beating the world record and providing the world’s fastest internet connection is a milestone in Com Hem’s history and have been made possible by our modern network and our outstanding employees. It is important that a major broadband provider such as Com Hem has a stable, fast and flexible network that has more capacity to offer our customers when they need it. Today, we have demonstrated that we have this,” says Thomas Helbo, CTO of Com Hem.“It is wonderful to be involved in breaking a world record and that Com Hem chose to do this with us at DreamHack Summer. Our visitors and participants are very discerning when it comes to connectivity and want it to work seamlessly, so it feels great to let them experience the world’s fastest internet access. We love to break records, and look forward to continuing our partnership with Com Hem and to together deliver powerful experiences and the best connectivity to our participants,” says Marcus Lindmark, CEO of DreamHack.
Disney has upped its bid for Twenty First Century Fox’s film and television assets to US$71.3 billion, bettering the US$65 billion offer that rival bidder Comcast made last week.In a statement, 21st Century Fox said that it has entered into an amended and restated merger agreement with Disney that it described as “superior” to the proposal made by Comcast.The amended deal will see 21st Century Fox shareholders receive, for each share of 21st Century Fox common stock, US$38 in either cash or shares of Disney common stock. The overall mix paid by Disney will be approximately 50% cash and 50% stock.Disney previously agreed a US$66 billion stock deal for 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets in December. The terms of the previous offer would have seen Disney pay Fox shareholders US$52.4 billion in stock and assume around US$13.7 billion in net debt.The latest amended agreement comes after Comcast put in a US$35 per-share cash offer last week – a bid that valued the Fox assets at some US$65 billion.“We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry,” said 21st Century Fox chairman, Rupert Murdoch.“We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF’s iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney’s will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world.”Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, commented: “The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies and after six months of integration planning we’re even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox.”“At a time of dynamic change in the entertainment industry, the combination of Disney’s and Fox’s unparalleled collection of businesses and franchises will allow us to create more appealing high-quality content, expand our direct-to-consumer offerings and international presence, and deliver more personalised and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world.”The deal covers Fox’s TV and movie studios, cable networks FX and National Geographic, 30% of streaming service Hulu, 50% of formats powerhouse Endemol Shine Group, Fox Networks Group’s international channels suite, a 39% stake in European operator Sky and control of Indian pay TV service Star.Analysts told CNBC that Disney is currently “the favourite in the horse race” to gain Fox assets as it has better “tools” for its bidding war with Comcast.
The mergers of Comcast-Sky and Disney-Fox mean that two in every 10 dollars spent on content worldwide will be by one of these two companies, according to Ampere Analysis.The research firm estimates that the combined content spend of the two merged players will reach US$43 billion (€38 billion) by the end of 2018 – more than the combined spend of the next 10 largest content spenders in the US, including OTT providers Netflix and Amazon.Disney-Fox is tipped to spend some US$22 billion on originated and acquired content in 2018, while Ampere estimates that Comcast-Sky will spend slightly less at US$21 billion. By comparison, Netflix is expected to spend more than US$8 billion on a profit and loss basis by the end of the year.“Prior to the recent mergers, Netflix was on course to catch – and overtake – the top Hollywood studios by content spend. However, in light of the two new combined entities, Netflix would now need to triple spend to achieve this this feat,” said Ampere analyst, Daniel Gadher.Ampere noted that the ‘mega-mergers’ of Comcast-Sky and Disney-Fox will strengthen each entity’s position in the global market while also protecting against “the rising strength of online video,” with Disney set to launch its own Netflix-rivalling SVOD service next year.However, Ampere also sounded a note of caution over the implications of such consolidations on independent producers. “With a shrinking number of content acquirers in the market, the competition for rights will diminish,” said Gadher. “This will inevitably impact the indie sector’s ability to negotiate favourable deals.”