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In the battle of sports media giants, DAZN blinks, lets Bianca out of its cage – The Globe and Mail

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Bianca Andreescu, of Canada, reacts after defeating Serena Williams, of the United States, in the women’s singles final of the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York on Sept. 7, 2019.

Adam Hunger/The Associated Press

In the world of sports, it’s always a riveting moment when a cocky rookie who’s never known defeat suddenly looks vulnerable.

The same holds true for sports media. Over the past couple of years, one of the most interesting stories in that world has been the rise of DAZN, a global streaming service dubbed “the Netflix of sports.” Bankrolled by the businessman Len Blavatnik, who is estimated to be worth US$19-billion, DAZN (pronounced da-zone) aims to disrupt the way we watch sports as much as the introduction of cable TV blew up the cozy broadcast landscape in the 1980s.

But DAZN just blinked.

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Canadian sports fans have viewed the rise of the service, which launched here in the summer of 2017 with a massive package of NFL games and select European soccer matches, with a mix of excitement and dread.

Excitement, because after DAZN picked up a bunch of other marquee rights, including the English Premier League, some viewers chose to cut their cable cord. But dread, too: for casual fans of, say, women’s tennis, DAZN’s appearance on the scene meant they couldn’t tune in to TSN or Sportsnet whenever a women’s tennis tournament was on. Not only would they have to pay more – DAZN retails for $20 a month or $150 a year – they would also have to navigate the world of apps, which is frankly too much of a hurdle for some techno-challenged TV viewers.

That erupted into something of a national crisis last March during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif., when Canadian tennis fans had to figure out two things simultaneously: 1) how to pronounce “Andreescu”; and 2) which sports channel was showing the 18-year-old unseeded newcomer destroying anyone in her path.

What they discovered to their chagrin, through a lot of frantic Googling and tweeting, was that Bianca Andreescu was nowhere to be found on their cable dial. DAZN had the rights to the WTA tournaments, which comprises all of the important matches in the women’s calendar outside of the four Grand Slam events and the Rogers Cup.

Up that point, it’s fair to say that most Canadians had barely heard of DAZN, or how to watch (or pronounce) it. And even though, when Andreescu made the Indian Wells final, DAZN said it would stream the match free on its Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as its app, many fans missed out.

And so they blasted TSN, which owns the rights to the men’s tennis tour, for its perceived sexism in apparently ignoring the women. (For what it’s worth, the last time the WTA tournaments had been on TV, it was Rogers Sportsnet that had the rights. But that was some years ago and nobody much complained until Bianca came along.)

On Friday afternoon, TSN said it had secured the rights to nine of this year’s biggest WTA tournaments, including the Miami Open, the China Open and the Qatar Total Open, which begins airing Sunday morning at 6 a.m. ET. TSN will also air the triumphant return of Andreescu to Indian Wells next month, if she has recovered from her nagging knee injury by then.

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DAZN will continue to stream those tournaments on its own platforms, though no longer on an exclusive basis.

That’s a sharp comedown for a company whose business model is based on securing exclusive rights to sports events and making viewers pay for them. Just last month, John Skipper, the former ESPN president who joined DAZN Group as executive chairman in 2018, told an industry gathering that “we want exclusive content. … When we bought the Serie A rights in Italy, or the Japanese baseball rights, we bought them exclusively.” He added: “We want to move people over. We want a transformation. We don’t want to be a complementary service.”

But even goliaths backed by billionaires sometimes have to compromise. Because last year, as Bianca shot up the rankings, the tennis powers-that-be in this country and at the WTA began to chafe at the situation. For the first time in recent memory – or, perhaps, ever – one of the biggest tennis stars in the world was from Canada. And most Canadians were missing out. DAZN got the message: Set Bianca free.

“At the end of the day, the average tennis fan in this country still looks towards conventional TV to see tennis,” Michael Downey, the president and CEO of Tennis Canada, said in an interview on Friday afternoon. “This is going to be great news for Canadian tennis fans who want to watch Bianca, because she’ll be playing in all those major tournaments that TSN has.”

He declined to comment on whether the WTA or Tennis Canada pushed DAZN to make nice and share its rights with TSN.

For DAZN, which is still trying to build awareness of its brand in Canada, it’s probably a smart strategy, even if it makes the company look weak. NFL football and EPL are its big subscriptions drivers; tennis is a nice add-on, but few people are going to sign on to the service just to watch the second-tier WTA tournaments. DAZN will continue to try to build its brand while flying in the promotional slipstream of TSN, as that network – which has a much higher profile, as well as a bigger marketing budget – raises awareness of the tournaments through its news coverage, advertising and the matches themselves.

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A few months ago, I spoke with Norm Lem, the senior vice-president of revenue for DAZN Canada, who outlined the unique challenge of disrupting the sports landscape in Canada, which is dominated by two enormous telecom companies. “If you’re looking at a very duopolistic – ‘control’ may be a strong word, but – controlled sports-media market in Canada, it’s kind of hard to get your brand out there to the masses,” he said in an interview at the time. Given that, he suggested, DAZN would have to get creative to spread its message.

On Friday, I asked DAZN about its decision to sublicense its WTA rights. It declined to comment.

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Local media highlight Coyote media day – University of South Dakota Athletics

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Football
08.12.2022

Bryan Boettcher, USD Sports Information

South Dakota football held its annual media day Thursday which included a morning practice, 1-on-1 interviews with players and coaches, and a press conference featuring Coyote team captains and head coach Bob Nielson.
 
The Coyotes are fortunate to have several talented journalists throughout the region who cover the team on a regular basis. Links to the work they provided during media day are listed below:
 
Nielson Excited About ’22 Coyotes – Eric Bean, Yankton Press & Dakotan
South Dakota football braces for tough start to 2022 season – Bailey Zupke, Sioux City Journal
Camp’s experience leads hopeful Coyotes – Zech Lambert, Mitchell Republic
USD football ready for bigger and better year in 2022 – Mark Ovenden & Zach Borg, Dakota News Now
Coyotes eager to get rolling for 2022 football season – Alex Northcutt, KMEG
Yotes host football media day – Austin Tanner & Jayson Moeller, KTIV
Coyotes motivated to bounce back after last season’s playoff loss, Anthony Mitchell, KCAU
 
In addition to his coverage yesterday, Michael McCleary of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls continues to post position previews on the team. His most recent posts are listed below:
South Dakota tight ends group trying to replace Brett Samson in receiving game
South Dakota’s offensive line returns four starters and looks to build on last season
South Dakota football will have new faces in wide receiver group, but should have a similar feel
South Dakota football’s running back room still strong despite breakout star’s injury
USD football enters 2022 with perhaps best quarterback room in MVFC
 
John Thayer, the voice of Coyote football, has posted recent interviews with Travis Theis and Carson Camp.
 


 


 
And check out this article from Randy Dockendorf of the Yankton Press & Dakotan featuring Sara Wieseler, who has been with the program since 2007 and was recently promoted to director of athletic facilities.

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Women-owned NU Media marketing agency's founder attributes her business success to the passionate women of her team – Net Newsledger

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“As the digital space continues to grow, so does the need for companies to have a strong digital marketing strategy. With billions of active digital media users, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a plan to connect with their target audience online,” says Ada Hu, CEO and founder of NU Media.

Known for revolutionising the way companies do business online, Ada and her partner have built NU Media, New York, into one of the most successful digital marketing firms in the country. Born in 1998 in Hangzhou, China and hailing from humble beginnings, excelling in entrepreneurship as a young female was not always easy. She often had to go through workplace biases, gender pay gaps and other common challenges faced by most females, even today.

While dedicating all her years of learning to all-girls education at Forest Ridge School of The Sacred Heart, followed by Parsons School of Design college, Ada experienced the power of a women-only network. She says, “Having an all-female education definitely made me who I am today. It instilled a lot of confidence in me to take on any challenge and never give up.”

This is evident in the way she operates NU Media. The company stands upright on the pillars of an all-female team that is led by creativity, innovation and a strong work ethic.

The company has been a driving force in contributing to the ever-changing landscape of digital services and technology. While most marketing companies rely on standard practices, Ada believes in always being one step ahead of the curve. This means always keeping the employees amped up, and keep looking out for new platforms, software and strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

A typical day at NU Media is adorned by diverse languages, young people with new ideas and an open mind to change. “Having a great team is essential to any company’s success, but it’s especially important in the digital space. Technology changes so quickly, and if you’re not constantly innovating and evolving, you’ll be left behind,” Ada says of her team.

Today, businesses and brands face more challenges than ever. The digital age has forced companies to change the way they operate and market themselves. With new platforms and strategies emerging every day, it can be difficult to keep up. The team’s marketing efforts are aligned to meet the business goals and the strategies are continuously being monitored and improved to make sure they’re still relevant. “I contribute a big chunk of NU Media’s success to our team’s willingness to always learn and try new things. We’re constantly experimenting and testing different marketing strategies to see what works best for our clients,” Ada explains.

While marketing companies focus on the businesses’ core product or service to retrieve profits, Ada believes in bringing customers close to the businesses. “It’s not just about making a quick sale, it’s about building a relationship with your customers and providing them with value,” she says. This philosophy has led NU Media to develop unique services such as their social media management system, which helps businesses save time and money by automating their digital communications.

And the company is definitely on an upwards trajectory. NU Media has grown rapidly since its inception in 2019, and now boasts a client roster that includes some of the biggest names in the business. The company’s vision to help brands and businesses connect with their target audiences in the digital space has resonated with clients, and Ada shows no signs of slowing down. “I’m so proud of how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time,” Ada says, “It’s been an incredible journey, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for NU Media.”

While she has been inspiring many women to stretch the conventional boundaries at workplaces, including her own company, her only advice to young women would be – “There is no substitute for hard work. Be passionate about your dreams and go after them with everything you’ve got.”

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August 12, 2022 – Media Release – Winnipeg Police Service – City of Winnipeg

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2022 Winnipeg Police Service Public Opinion Survey

Every two years, a public opinion telephone survey is conducted through an independent agency to ask citizens about their view of the Winnipeg Police Service and their opinions about crime and public safety in Winnipeg. This year, on behalf of the Winnipeg Police Board, interviewers from PRA Inc, an independent market research firm, will randomly call individuals in all areas of Winnipeg beginning August 15th, 2022 to complete the 15 minute survey. 

Citizens can be assured the survey is legitimate. Interviewers will ask for general demographic information (age, gender, postal code), but will never request personal identifiers such as banking information, street address, or Social Insurance Number.

Once complete, the results of the survey will be made public and posted on both the Winnipeg Police Board and Winnipeg Police Service websites.
   
On behalf of the Board, the Winnipeg Police Service thanks all those who take the time to participate in the survey.

“Grandparent Scam” – Arrests: C22-161861

On July 28, 2022, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a public advisory in response to an increase in “grandparent scams” targeting the elderly.
 
Update:
 
The Financial Crimes Unit continued its investigation and identified two female suspects believed to be involved. On July 29, assisted by officers of the East District Community Support Unit, investigators arrested both suspects in the 1100 block of Sommerville Avenue without incident.
 
Investigators executed a search warrant at a residence in the 1100 block of Somerville Avenue and located evicence linking the suspects of the offences. During ten days, the suspects defrauded nine seniors for approximately $100,000.
 
Vanessa Fatima ALVES DASILVA, 18, of North York, Ontario, has been charged with the following offences:
 
– Fraud Over $5,000 x 6
– Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence
– Possession of Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Forgery
– Use a Forged Document
 
Gabriella Edith Marie PARADIS, 25, of Walpole Island, Ontario, has been charged with the following offences:
 
– Fraud Over $5,000 x 2
– Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence
– Possession of Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
 
The victims and the suspects were not previously known to one another.
 
The Financial Crimes Unit is continuing the investigation.
 
As previously released:
 
The Winnipeg Police Service has recently seen a significant increase in local “grandparent scam” (also known as “emergency scam”) reports – including 15 incidents over the past six days, with about $100,000 in losses.
 
The Financial Crime Unit is investigating these incidents.
 
The “grandparent scam” often involves an actor calling an elderly person and claiming to be a grandchild who is in serious legal trouble and needs money immediately. The caller sometimes cries, and there is often urgency and secrecy around the demands.
 
In October 2021, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a cautionary media release in response to an increase in “grandparent scams” targeting the elderly.
 
This release was followed up in March 2022, when it was discovered that the scam had escalated to the point where couriers or rideshare drivers were physically attending the victim’s residence to collect funds – rather than relying on an online transfer.  
 
An example of the scam, as seen in recent local incidents, occurs as follows:
 
A caller will claim to be a nephew, niece or grandchild – and sometimes provides the first name. They then claim to have been involved in an accident (such as a collision with a vehicle).
 
They then claim to have been arrested and jailed. The phone is passed to another actor who claims to be a lawyer and can come off as very professional.
 
The victim is told that money is needed for bail; otherwise, the family member will continue to be jailed. They are also told that a “gag order” has been put in place by a judge and that they cannot discuss the matter with anyone, including other family members or the bank.
 
Instructions are given to the victim to inform the bank that the money will be used for home repairs or something similar.
 
The victim is given a phone number to call, or the fraudster calls back soon after.
 
Once the money is obtained, the victim is told a bondsperson will attend their home. This fictitious bondsperson will attend the residence and take the cash – completing the scam.
 
There may be additional attempts to retrieve money from the victim over the following days.
 
Warning signs – How to protect yourself:
 
Knowledge is critical when it comes to preventing these frauds.
 
– The police and courts will never send someone to your house to collect money.
 
– The police and courts, including lawyers, will never tell you to lie to the bank about the purpose of obtaining money.
 
– These scammers will pressure people to act quickly before they have time to consider what they are doing or agreeing to. Always talk to a trusted person before providing personal information or funds, especially if it is an unsolicited call.
 
– We urge people to converse with their elderly relatives regarding this fraud.
 
– If you receive a call like this, please contact the police immediately.
 
If you have been victimized by the “grandparent scam”:
 
If you have been a victim of fraud, document all the information you can recall about your fraudulent transaction, e.g. receipts, copies of emails, text messages and courier companies.
 
It is also crucial that you report the fraud – doing so can help you possibly recover any loss, and it helps protect the community from future frauds and scams.
 
Information on how to report the “grandparent scam” can be found here: https://www.winnipeg.ca/police/TakeAction/frauds_scams.stm#report
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Drug Trafficking Investigation – Arrests: C22-118564

Beginning in August 2022, the Winnipeg Police Service’s Guns & Gangs Unit conducted an investigation involving the trafficking of methamphetamine within the City of Winnipeg.

On August 11, 2022, the Guns & Gangs Unit observed four suspects operating a stolen 2014 Cadillac ATS in the 400 block of Marion Street. Officers placed four adults under arrest and seized the following items from the vehicle:

– 53 grams of Methamphetamine (Estimated Street Value = $2,100 to $2,650
– 2 grams of Fentanyl (Estimated Street Value = $360 – $400)
– 2 grams of Cocaine (Estimated Street Value = $160 – $200)
– Digital Scales
– Score Sheets
– Cell Phones

With the assistance of the Tactical Support Team and officers from the East District, the Guns and Gangs Unit executed a search warrant at a residence in the 300 Block of Marion Street and seized the following items:

–  2.8 grams of Methamphetamine (Estimated Street Value = $112 – $140)
– Unused Packaging Materials
– 12 Guage double barrel shotgun
– Digital Scales
– Score Sheets

Bryden Joel JONASSON, 28, of Winnipeg, has been charged with the following offences:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Fail to Comply with Condition of Release Order x 2
– Possession of Firearm, Restricted/Prohibited Weapon or Ammunition Contrary to Prohibition Order
– Warrant x 2 (RCMP)

He was detained in custody.

A 25-year-old female from Winnipeg is facing the following charges:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
– Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
– Store Firearm or Restricted Weapon Contrary to Regulations

She was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

A 25-year-old male from Winnipeg is facing the following charges:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Operate of a Conveyance While Prohibited by Order Under Criminal Code

He was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

A 35-year-old female from Winnipeg is facing the following charges:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
– Store Firearm or Restricted Weapon Contrary to Regulations
– Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
– Possession of Firearm, Restricted/Prohibited Weapon or Ammunition Contrary to Prohibition Order x 2

She was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

Weapons – Arrest: C22-181351

On August 11, 2022, at approximately 2:30 p.m., members of the North District Community Support Unit observed an adult male operating a bicycle in breach of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) in the 500 block of Pritchard Avenue.

Officers attempted to stop the male; however he fled on foot. After a short foot pursuit, officers arrested the uncooperative male and placed him in custody.

The male was found to be in possession of the following items:

– Loaded Taurus G2C 9 mm Handgun with obliterated serial number
– Magazine containing several rounds
– Drug Paraphernalia
– Approximately $3,200 in currency

A  21-year-old male from Winnipeg has been charged with the following offences:

– Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
– Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
– Tampering with Serial Number of a Firearm
– Possession of Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
– Resist Peace Officer

He was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

Weapons – Arrest: C22-181032

On August 11, 2022, at approximately 8:00 a.m., officers from the North District observed a wanted male at the intersection of Andrews Street and Flora Avenue. The adult male suspect was also believed to have a rifle in his possession.

Officers attempted to make contact with the suspect; however, he promptly fled on his bicycle. After a short distance, the strap from the duffle bag he was carrying became entangled in his front bicycle wheel, causing him to crash to the ground when the bicycle abruptly stopped.

Officers safely placed him under arrest on the strength of the Warrant and, as they did so,  observed a sawed-off rifle in plain view protruding from the duffle bag the suspect had been carrying.

Clinton WIRFFEL, 37, of Winnipeg, is charged with the following offences:

– Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
– Carrying Concealed Weapon Prohibited Device or Ammunition
– Possession of Firearm, Restricted/Prohibited Weapon or Ammunition Contrary to Prohibition Order x 4
– Fail to Comply with Probation Order
– Warrant – Fail to Comply with Probation Order

He has been detained in custody.


Constable Jay Murray, Public Information Officer
Constable Dani McKinnon, Public Information Officer
Constable Claude Chancy, Public Information Officer
Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs

Office: 204-986-3061
E-mail: WPS-PIO@winnipeg.ca

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