RRsat intensifies focus on North American market

RRsat Global Communications Network Ltd., a leading provider of comprehensive content management and global distribution services to the television and radio broadcasting industries, has announced that it has expanded the responsibilities of Eric Larsen, recently hired as Senior Director of Sales for RRsat America, to include the development of strong business relationships with major US media organizations and to increase exposure and awareness of RRsat throughout the North American market.

Larsen, who will be based in Los Angeles, comes to RRsat with over twenty-five years of experience in the international television industry, with a particular focus on content aggregation and distribution, marketing, production and operations. Prior to joining RRsat, he was the Senior Director of Key Accounts for Intelsat Corporation. Larsen provided strategic account management for many of Intelsat’s premier North American customers, and was responsible for securing one of its largest contracts.

“We have big plans over the coming year to bring all of RRsat’s globally recognized broadcasting services and capabilities to the U.S. market” said Lior Rival, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of RRsat. “Eric, with all of his experience and industry knowledge, is the perfect person to extend our North American initiative and we are excited to support his progress in the region.”

BBG Chairman says "America's voice must be credible and must be heard"

Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chairman Walter Isaacson tonight announced a new direction for U.S. international broadcasting that “seizes on the latest media tools and technology to stay one step ahead of those who seek to repress free information around the world.”

As Chairman of the BBG, Isaacson oversees RFE, VOA, Radio Free Asia, Radio/TV Marti, Radio Sawa, and Alhurra TV, which have a combined weekly audience of more than 171 million people.

“The challenges we face in the new global struggle against repression and intolerance are as great today as they were during the Cold War,” he said at a reception marking the 60th anniversary of RFE’s first broadcast.

“And just as the founders of Radio Free Europe succeeded in developing creative and innovative ways to get news and information to people suffering behind the Iron Curtain, so too must today’s U.S. international broadcasters respond to modern threats to freedom in new and inventive ways.”

Speaking at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Isaacson said, “America cannot let itself be out-communicated by its enemies.”

“Our traditional role of delivering the news top down needs to be complimented by a new approach that catalyzes social networks,” said Isaacson. “By creating peer-to-peer global communities, we help guarantee the universal human right of access to the free flow of information.”

Tonight’s reception honored six decades of RFE. On July 4, 1950, Radio Free Europe went on the air for the first time with a broadcast to communist Czechoslovakia from a studio in New York City’s Empire State Building.

Today, RFE reaches nearly 20 million people in 28 languages and 21 countries from Europe to the Middle East. In Afghanistan, RFE’s Radio Azadi is the most popular media outlet in the country. In Iran, RFE’s Radio Farda is influential – its Facebook page has more than 50,000 fans.

“We remain a lifeline for people living in war zones and under authoritarian rule who seek accurate and reliable news,” said RFE President Jeffrey Gedmin, who moderated tonight’s reception.

ABOUT RFE

RFE is an independent, international news and broadcast organization whose programs — radio, Internet and television — reach influential audiences in 21 countries such as Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the republics of Central Asia. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). You can follow RFE on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Al Jazeera Children's Channel launches new grid as it lights its 5th candle

Al Jazeera Children’s Channel (JCC) launched its new grid meeting the back-to-school season and crowning JCC’s 5-year anniversary with an array of premieres that will enforce the diversity and positioning of the different slots.

JCC’s grid reflects its maturing programming strategy and features many in-house productions along with international co-productions and acquisitions. These exciting new programs that include Saladin (a new 3D-animated series), a cookery show, a unique science program, a debate program, a sports magazine, and a first time quiz show will capture the hearts and minds of children and youth across the Arab world.

On September 17th, 2010, children across the Arab world watched the premiere of the long awaited 3D-animated adventure series Saladin. Saladin will take Arab children and their families on an epic full of adventure and humor. Over the past 3 years, JCC and Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Company (MDEC) have successfully worked together to bring to life this animated series inspired from the long history of heroism in the Arab region. The series is available in both English and Arabic and has thus generated considerable interest from the international market and content buyers from Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, China, America and several European countries.

JCC has also dedicated a slot to encourage healthy eating habits. Over the past two years, JCC has been collaborating with Fresh One, a British production company made famous by Jamie Oliver to produce a cooking show that promotes and emphasizes on the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. JCC’s Al Tabaq Al Taer (Flying Saucer) is an entertaining easy to digest 26-minute series offering fresh and simple recipes and nutrition tips for children.

JCC’s new grid will also mark the launch of PhysiaKawn (Discover Science), a major co-production between JCC and Japan’s Broadcasting Corporation NHK/NED. Beginning February 2011, PhysiaKawn will make physics visually fun through some easy to understand spectacular experiments. JCC’s in-house productions include Anta Batal (Be a Champion), a weekly sports magazine, hosted by a fun sports enthusiast. Khair Al Kalam, a weekly debate show with teams debating the hottest topics affecting teens nowadays; and, Al Alam Soual a quiz show in which contestants answer general knowledge questions about different countries of the world.

JCC’s Executive General Manager, Mahmoud Bouneb stated: “Today, we proudly celebrate JCC’s 5th anniversary and the launch of our new grid showcasing some remarkable content. Over the past years, JCC has not only matured but also learnt how to innovate on many levels; this growth has allowed us to take a leading role in the field of children’s media and in making a major impact internationally.”

“As a non-profit organization, our goal is not only to sell to the international market but primarily to produce and acquire quality programming suitable for Arab children”, Bouneb added.

“JCC’s success is predominantly driven by the vision and guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned. As a result of Her continuous support, JCC has become a major player and contributor in the children programming industry. We dedicate all of our award-winning quality programming and multimedia content to Her Highness and to JCC’s loyal audience”, Bouneb concluded.

Since its launch, JCC has developed its own corporate environment, and has evolved both its organizational structure and its technical facilities to manage two children’s channels and set up high production standards. Furthermore, JCC has enabled global partnerships in program-making for children that will help cement its presence in the 5 continents. Today, JCC operates with a professional diverse fabric of human asset representing more than 30 nationalities.

euronews ahead of competition

euronews is the only media offering multi-lingual services on TV, mobile and on all main digital platforms. The formula is a success. Once again euronews confirms its leading position among the international news TV channels in Europe. For the sixth consecutive survey release, euronews ranks number 1 in weekly reach.

EMS-C-EMS study, released on September 27th, measures the media consumption of 46.4 million upmarket viewers in Western and Eastern Europe. EMS Digital Life, an extension to EMS ¡V looks into the digital consumption of 44.4 million internet users.

¡§EMS demonstrates that euronews has become a major brand in Europe, perfectly fitting the today¡¦s digital world. With multilingual and short format news, euronews has all the key assets to develop rapidly on all digital platforms. In summer 2010, euronews has enriched its digital offer by launching a new connected TV service with Panasonic Vieracast and an iPhone application. Both services contribute to the success of the brand and new languages such as Persian, due to be launched in October, will make euronews available to an even wider audience around the world.¡¨ said the Managing Director of euronews Sales, Olivier de Montchenu.

ƒ­ 15m upmarket Europeans in contact with the euronews brand

Each month, more than 15m upmarket Europeans are watching, reading or interacting with euronews content on TV, online or on their mobile phone.

euronews TV is particularly successful in some of the most important markets in Europe. The channel ranks 1st in weekly reach in France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium/Lux., Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Russia.

ƒ­ euronews is the perfect fit to the Europeans¡¦ need for information

EMS Summer 2010 release demonstrates once more that TV and Internet are the top 2 sources of information for current affairs, with 31% and 26% of Europeans turn to first to these media respectively. News is also the TV genre obtaining the highest opinion rating with 71% of upmarket Europeans enjoying it and being satisfied with the current TV offer.

Languages remain a crucial issue in Europe particularly in the Eastern part where a half of the population does not understand English enough to watch TV or read a newspaper. Therefore, addressing them in their own language remains vital.

euronews has the key assets to meet the needs of Europeans: euronews is the only service to provide news in 9 languages, with a 10th language ¡V Farsi (Persian) to be launched next month.

ƒ­ euronews digital strategy is a success

Beyond TV, EMS Digital Life shows that 4.9 million upmarket Europeans (10.9%) are watching and reading euronews content online or on their mobile phone each month. The euronews digital offer is fully integrated in the brand development and allows the channel to reach new audiences that would not watch euronews on TV on a regular basis. EMS shows that 2.7 million Europeans watching or reading euronews content online or on mobile actually did not watch any euronews programming on TV in the past month.

Services ¡V also available in 9 languages – include euronews.net, m.euronews.net, RSS feeds, live streaming and online Video on Demand.

ƒ­ euronews expanding with the growth in digital consumption

euronews has always striven to stay one step ahead of the game by adopting digital technologies as early as in 1999. The channel now benefits from the growth in 3-screen consumption.

EMS Digital Life shows that 43% of Europeans watch TV programming on a laptop and 8% on a mobile device (mobile phone, MP4, etc).

Watching TV & video programmes is particularly popular amongst smartphone users.

EMS Digital shows that in 2009, a quarter (26%) of upmarket Europeans owned a smartphone, Blackberry or an iPhone. A half of all smartphone users access the internet via a 3G connection or an or equivalent which is fast enough for streaming multimedia. 26% of smartphone users in Europe watch video clips, films or TV programmes on demand every week.

Again, euronews embraced the mobile phone market revolution at an early stage. Today, m.euronews.net is ready to provide content to all internet-enabled mobile phones and the TV channel is broadcast live on 26 mobile phone networks throughout Europe. In July 2010, euronews has launched an iPhone application dedicated to its iconic programme no comment.

(Source: euronews press release)