Share43TweetShareEmail43 Shares“The Rent Is Too Damn High wallpaper,” Tiger PixelJuly 27, 2018; New York TimesLast week ended with the nation receiving some encouraging news: The economy had one its best quarters of growth. Month after month since October 2010, things have gotten better. Or have they? Readers of NPQ will find it no surprise that for millions of Americans, even those with full-time jobs, affordable housing is far away. While many nonprofits continue to work to ameliorate the human impact of this growing problem, there are few signs that the politics and policies that have allowed the problem to fester are changing.Since the crash of the housing market in 2007, the demand for rental housing has been strong, outstripping the construction of new units as rents rise higher and higher. More than a decade after the crash, and despite strong overall economic growth, housing from coast to coast often requires more than the salaries of many households, hourly wage workers, and the unemployed can bear. According to a recent New York Times article, “An estimated 12 million Americans, most of them poor, now spend more than half of their earnings on housing…while prices are cooling at the high end of the market in many big cities, the low- and middle-income housing markets in Nevada, Texas, California, Florida and Colorado are so hot, local officials say, that landlords routinely reject subsidized tenants because they can charge more to other renters.”A report by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach 2018, documented how widespread the problem is.In no state, metropolitan area, or county can a worker earning the federal minimum wage or prevailing state minimum wage afford a two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent by working a standard 40-hour week. In only 22 counties out of more than 3,000 counties nationwide can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom rental home at fair market rent.An already bad situation is being made worse by the federal government’s current view that much of the problem is local and needs to be solved at that local level. Federal tax incentives, which subsidize the development of below-market-rate housing, became less attractive with the passage of last year’s tax cut bill, even if the final version passed wasn’t as damaging to affordable housing as some proposals would have been. Accountant Michael Novogradac was cited by NPQ at the start of 2018 when it examined how significantly these changes would effect affordable housing: “It’s the greatest shock to the affordable-housing system since the Great Recession.”While federal policy may decrease construction of new units, HUD Secretary Ben Carson is also pushing to reduce funding for rent subsidies and has proposed increasing the rents paid by low-income renters. While telling Congress that he continues “to advocate for fiscal responsibility as well as compassion,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson has proposed raising the maximum rents paid by the poorest households in public housing to $150 a month from $50.According to the Times, Secretary Carson acknowledges the crisis in most of his speeches. “Alarmingly high numbers of Americans continue to pay more than half of their incomes toward rent…many millions remain mired in poverty, rather than being guided on a path out of it.” He sees the cause as primarily one of red tape and bureaucracy holding the private market back from building new housing and keeping rents affordable.Raffi Williams, Carson’s spokesperson, says, “Subsidies are a piece of the puzzle, but we must also address the regulatory barriers relative to zoning and land use in higher-cost markets that are preventing the construction of new affordable housing. This is not just a federal problem—it’s everybody’s problem.”NPQ has covered many local responses to the affordable housing shortfall. Private foundations and corporations have recognized that the harm that shortages cause to the quality of life of their communities. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s “efforts to increase affordable housing parallel the plans of Facebook, the source of CZI’s resources, to expand its corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California. As announced last year, the expanded campus will include 1,500 residential units, with 225 being rented below market rates.” NPQ also has looked at how local government and organizations not normally in the housing business, like libraries, have become involved in increasing affordable housing options. There is a growing use of land trusts to empower nonprofits to protect the erosion of affordable housing, too.Energizing state and local governments to do their part and bringing the philanthropic and nonprofit community on board can be part of the solution. But without a robust national effort, those efforts will fall short. Chad Williams, executive director of the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, told the Times that “to be brutally honest, I think that we aren’t really getting any help right now out of Washington, and the situation has gotten really bad over the last two years.…I think Carson’s ideas, that public housing shouldn’t be multigenerational, are noble. But right now, these programs are a stable, Band-Aid fix, and we really need them.”—Martin LevineShare43TweetShareEmail43 Shares
Netflix has promoted Cindy Holland to vice-president, original content and content acquisition making her responsible for acquiring and launching original series across the streaming service’s entire 25 million-strong domestic and international customer base. Jason Ropell, who joined Netflix last year, meanwhile, will take on Holland’s former responsibilities and oversee licensing content for the US market as well as the Canadian and Lat-Am markets for which he was already responsible.Both executives report to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “Cindy has worked closely on every aspect of our original series launches,” he said. “We are also delighted to give Jason an important role in our biggest market. As head of our Latin American and Canadian acquisition teams over the last year, he’s skilfully managed the growth of those businesses.”Previously, Holland oversaw domestic TV licensing for Netflix after starting her career at the company in DVD acquisition. Before joining Netflix in March 2011, Ropell was vice president, business d development at NBC Universal. Netflix added that it has embarked on a search for a new leader for its Latin America content acquisition team and is seeking an executive with deep knowledge of the region and extensive industry ties.
BSkyB’s OTT service Now TV is a response to underlying technological change and not to the launch of Netflix, according to Sky’s chief operating officer Mike Darcey. Speaking at the IBC conference in Amsterdam this morning, Darcey said that Sky’s main goal with the service was to appeal to free-to-air homes that had hitherto been resistant to pay TV.Broadcasters that embrace new innovations and trends are likely to win out over those who appeal to regulators or attempt to resist change by other means, said Darcey.Getting content as widely distributed as possible was key to allowing Sky to make a return on its investment in content, said Darcey. He said that free-to-air homes were willing to pay for content on their own terms, evidenced by the fact that people went to the cinema and rented movies to view. “That’s why we launched Now TV,” he said. “There are now two distinct ways to access and enjoy content form Sky – the full-fat version and semi-skimmed.” He said Sky now had “two rods fishing in the pool” of the UK’s remaining free-to-air homes. He also said that BBC-backed connected TV platform YouView represented “a promising route” to reach out to new homes.Live viewing of TV still dominated time spent viewing video content in the UK, Darcey told attendees. For sport in particular, live viewing was crucial, he said. This did not necessarily mean viewing on the TV screen. For flagship dramas like Mad Men, meanwhile, fragmentation of viewing and time-shifting was increasing.Hybrid viewing and the use of second screens as companion devices was clearly on the increase, and Sky is catering to this, said Darcey. “The key is getting the connectivity between the satellite service and third party devices such as the iPad,” he said. “The challenge for us is to get these devices to talk to each other and also to sort our the rights issues.”Darcey said that Sky would increase its investment in UK-originated programming from £450 million (€570 million) to £600 million by 2014. Sky believes that success comes from content worth paying for and from making it easy for users to access that content, said Darcey. He said that Sky’s customers came to it primarily for content rather than for “boxes or for pipes”.“Every year we’ve been in operation we’ve increased the amount of money we’ve spent on content,” he said. “Initially we focused on movies, sport and 24-hour news.” He said that Sky was still looking to add depth and breadth to its sports offering, but was now focusing on adding to its entertainment portfolio. He highlighted investment in channels including Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts.Darcey said the content gap between pay and free “should continue to widen” meaning that the pay share of viewing in Sky homes would continue to increase.Addressing future technology priorities, Darcey said the jury was still out on 4K TV. “One issue is [whether] people’s houses are big enough to benefit from this in the UK,” he said.
Tesco has launched its Clubcard TV streaming service, offering free movies and TV shows to customers of the supermarket chain.The service is powered by Tesco’s Blinkbox on-demand rental service, which Tesco acquired in 2011.At launch Clubcard TV will offer “hundreds” of titles, including films like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Shawshank Redemption and shows like The Only Way is Essex and Doc Martin.“The reason we can offer great programming for free is because customers will see relevant advertising before and during the movie or TV show they are watching. We’ll use Clubcard data to tell us what might be relevant for our customers and therefore help us deliver a more personalised service,” said Michael Comish, CEO of Tesco Digital Entertainment.
Intelsat has started distributing a draft registration statement ahead of its planned IPO, which will see it listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The satellite operator plans to make an initial public offering of 21,739,130 common shares and 3,000,000 Series A preferred shares, it said in a statement.Intelsat has granted the underwriters of the IPO a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 3,260,869 common shares and an additional 450,000 Series A preferred shares.Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are acting as joint book-running managers, with Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse Securities, Deutsche Bank Securities, Nomura Securities International and UBS Securities acting as book-runners.Evercore Group, HSBC Securities, RBC Capital Markets, LionTree Advisors and Raymond James & Associates are acting as co-managers for the proposed offerings.
Swedish-based investment firm East Capital Explorer has agreed to buy a majority stake in Estonian cable TV, broadband, and phone services provider Starman.East Capital Explorer will invest approximately €24 million to acquire 51% of the company based on a total enterprise value of €107 million, it said. The remaining 49% will be held by Starman’s founders, Peeter Kern and Indrek Kuivallik.East Capital Explorer will acquire the shares from the existing owners, a consortium led by Bancroft Private Equity. The founders will increase their current equity stakes in Starman by investing an extra €5 million on the same terms as East Capital Explorer.Gert Tiivas, head of Baltic private equity for East Capital, said: “Starman is a well-managed company with a track record of solid financial performance and high profitability. We see further opportunities for growth in this area in the Baltics and Starman is well-positioned to take advantage of this growth.”The transaction is subject to approval from the Estonian competition authorities, and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013.
Global pay TV households are expected to reach almost one billion by 2018, up from 772 million in 2012, according to the latest report by Digital TV Research.According to the Digital TV World Household Forecasts report, The Asia Pacific region will account for 59% of pay TV homes by 2018, with China expected to be the world leader with 313 million subscribers, followed by India with 158 million. Together with the third-placed US’s expected 107 million pay TV homes, the top three countries are expected to account for 58% of global pay TV households.The other members of the pay TV top 10 in 2018 will be Russia, with 32.3 million subscribers, Brazil with 30.5 million, Japan with 27 million, Germany with 23.1 million, Mexico with 19 million, South Korea with 16.9 million and the UK with 16.3 million.Digital TV Research estimates that global analogue and digital pay TV penetration reached 53.6% at the end of 2012 and this is expected to rise to 63.1% by 2018, ranging from 86% in North America to 29% in the Middle East and Africa.The global pay TV penetration leader in 2018 is expected to be the Netherlands, with close to 100% penetration. The others in the top 10 will be Denmark, Belgium, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Estonia.Digital TV homes are expected to grow by 667 million between now and 2018 to reach 1.453 billion, with an additional 127 million households expected to migrate to digital this year. Global digital penetration is expected to rise from 54.7% at the end of 2012 to 92% by 2018. Cable is expected to account for 513 million digital homes by that date, followed by 363 million primary digital-terrestrial , including 16 million pay TV homes, 167 million pay IPTV homes, 251 million pay DTH homes and 143 million free-to-air DTH homes.The global TV household total is expected to rise by 141 million households to 1.58 billion between now and 2018.
UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has ruled that ITV must deliver more regionalised news reports as part of its new public service requirements when its current license expires at the end of 2014. Setting out terms for the next 10-year license for ITV, STV, UTV and Channel 5, Ofcom approved proposals for a more localised Channel 3 news service across England, with ITV to provide regional news in 14 separate news regions, compared to the eight it currently operates.In all but two of ITV’s licences, requirement for a weekday regional news bulletin in the early evening will be reduced from 30 minutes to 20 minutes, though ITV said it will continue to run 30 minute news segments. ITV’s proposal to reduce the volume of news coming out of the London and North West England regions were rejected.“Ofcom considers that, in most regions, the benefits to viewers of a more localised news service will more than offset the reduction in the amount of regional news that ITV is required to provide under its licences,” the regulator said.ITV provides the Channel 3 service in England, Wales, the Border region and the Channel Islands. STV takes the same EPG slot in northern and central Scotland, while UTV serves viewers in Northern Ireland.In Scotland, Ofcom said there should be “enhanced coverage of Scottish affairs in the area covered by ITV’s Border licence that lies in Scotland to better serve viewers” and ordered a further weekly 90 minutes of regional programming to be scheduled in Scottish part of the Border region, on top of the 30 minutes of weekday early evening news relevant to the region.The current requirements for regional programming in central and northern Scotland will remain the same. In Northern Ireland, Ofcom rejected UTV’s proposal to reduce the amount of regional non-news programming, which will remain at two hours a week.A new licence for the whole of Wales will be created, Ofcom said. This will include “a requirement to retain a full 30 minutes of regional early evening news, while reducing the length of lunchtime, late evening and weekend regional news bulletins in line with the English regions.”No changes were made to the programming obligations of Channel 5, which broadcasts throughout the UK.
This year’s IBC show had attracted 54,460 visitors as of 10:00 this morning, up 2.8% up on last year’s closing number, according to CEO Mike Crimp. Crimp said he expected the final figure to be about 4% up on last year’s show.Crimp said that the new IBC Content Everywhere venture, launched last year, had seen good take-up by exhibitors, with 10,000 visitors enrolled. He said a new Lat Am event would be organised in Sao Paolo next year. Crimp said IBC was in the final stages of strking an agreement to organise this event.The next Content Everywhere MENA event will be in Dubai from January 20-22.“These are regions where the economy is growing fast…and there is a real thirst for knolwedge delivered in a high-quality way,” he said.Mike Lumley, conference chairman, said that this year’s conference was the best attended to date and had generated more of a buzz than in previous years, with 280 speakers across 70 sessions from 27 different countries. He said that this year’s conference had a sharper editorial focus, with high attendances throughout.Exhibition rebookings stood at 21,000 square metres as of 10.15, with an expectation that last year’s figure would be exceeded by the end of the day, according to event’s organisers.The next IBC show will take place from September 10-15, 2015.
CNBC and Prisa have struck a content deal whereby the former’s news content will be distributed across the websites of Prisa-owned newspapers El Pais and Cinco Dias.NBCUniversal-owned news net CNBC will seed its short form business and current affairs video across the sites. It will appear in its original English-language form with Spanish subtitles.The pair said at least five videos a day will be distributed across the Prisa sites.CNBC senior VP of international news & programming John Casey said: “We are delighted to enter this partnership, which allows CNBC to serve the Spanish speaking business community, not only in Spain, but also in Latin America where Prisa Noticias publications and their websites have a strong following.”Manuel Mirat, CEO of Prisa Noticias said: “This is a great opportunity to increase our offer of news and information. This partnership with CNBC will allow us to offer our readers premier financial and business news in audio visual format, which will complement what’s already offered by El Pais and Cinco Dias.”
AT&T has announced plans to make its DirecTV available over-the-top on smartphones, tablets and other smart devices later this year.The service provider is due to offer three internet-delivered options from the fourth quarter – DirecTV Now, DirecTV Mobile and DirecTV Preview.DirecTV Now will offer a range of on-demand and live programming packages, including much of what is available from DirecTV today; DirecTV Mobilewill be a smartphone-focused offering of premium video and made-for-digital content; while DirecTV Preview will be a free, ad-supported offer that will include some programming available on DirecTV, content from AT&T’s Audience Network and millennial-focused video from Otter Media – a joint venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group.“These new video subscription models reflect the flexible content choices, viewing options and simple, transparent pricing that consumers want,” said AT&T Entertainment Group CEO, John Stankey.“These offers will provide a broad range of customers with greater freedom and choice to watch, binge and even buy premium content, regardless of how and where they enjoy their entertainment.”“We are looking at these offerings differently than others in the market. We often hear from customers who want more content from streaming services, or who can’t get or can’t afford a traditional pay TV service. We intend to offer customers a quality pay TV experience, including top channels, sports and more, with increased value and flexibility of pure online streaming and no need for home installation.”AT&T is yet to announcing pricing details for the new online offerings.