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You Down With O-T-T? Direct-to-consumer options at sports media forefront – rdnewsnow.com

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“There is so much choice out there that has never existed (before),” said Keith Pelley, a longtime Canadian sports media executive who’s now CEO of golf’s European Tour. “That’s the reason why (1970s variety show) Donny & Marie had a 60 share. It was because there was very limited choice.”

Many sports consumers still pay for traditional cable while others pick and choose online packages — direct-to-consumer, or over-the-top (OTT) — and subscribe by the year, month, week, or even the day, depending on the event and the outlet. Broadcasts are available on laptops, digital media players, desktops, smartphones, and of course, old-school television.

The game has changed over the last few years and more developments can be expected as the domestic sports broadcasting scene evolves.

“I always say A, B, C: Always be changing. If you’re not, then you definitely run the risk of falling behind,” Pelley said from Surrey, England. “But there’s no question that you know what (viewers) want, they want unlimited choice. But also you have to understand that different demographics want different things.”

Former Sportsnet president Scott Moore, the CEO of media company Uninterrupted Canada, predicts that direct-to-consumer options and sports betting will be the two biggest developments that will impact sports broadcasts over the next five years.

Moore, speaking at the recent PrimeTime sports management conference in Toronto, said direct-to-consumer is a game-changer with its “ultimate bandwidth.”

“Every sport, every game, every contest can be broadcast and broadcast in multiple ways to multiple different end points,” he said. “So if you’re a consumer, you can watch on your big-screen TV, you can watch on your tablet, you can watch on your phone. You can watch the English broadcast, you can watch the Punjabi broadcast, you can watch the Japanese broadcast.

“Soon you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that is brought to you by regular commentators, you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that’s all about sports betting, you may be able to watch a broadcast that is specifically targeted to high-end stats geeks.”

Moore added that in traditional prime time there can be limited shelf space, but an unlimited schedule really opens things up.

“So that’s the one area that I think is just going to have an explosion effect on sports media,” he said. “The other is sports betting. Sports betting, as it becomes legal in Canada — and I believe it will be legal in Canada in the next two years — will impact every part of the sports ecosystem.”

Moore’s successor at Sportsnet, Bart Yabsley, said the live nature of sports is tough for other forms of entertainment to match.

“It has the ability to draw millions and millions and millions,” Yabsley said in a recent interview. “We all saw what happened during the Blue Jays’ run (in ’15 and ’16). We all saw what happened during the Raptors’ run (last spring). There’s almost nothing else like it.”

Sportsnet landed the national hockey rights in 2013 with a monster $5.23-billion, 12-year deal with the NHL. The network also has rights to the Toronto Blue Jays, Grand Slam curling, Rogers Cup tennis, IndyCar and the Canadian Hockey League.

The Toronto Raptors’ rights are split between Sportsnet and TSN, which also boasts a solid lineup with regional NHL rights, the world juniors, CFL, Season of Champions curling, golf and tennis majors along with Formula One and NASCAR.

Moore, who like Pelley has worked at both Sportsnet/Rogers and TSN, said when it comes to evolution, smart legacy players with strong brands have the best chance to succeed.

“They’re the ones who not only have the brand, who have the audience, who have the following, but if they’re on top of the evolutionary technological changes, they can still win. It’s not going to be just the upstarts,” he said. “And I think if you look at some of the upstarts that have come out in the business as it relates to sports — Twitter, Facebook, Amazon — have been abject failures at revolutionizing the way traditional sports are broadcast.

“They’ve all tried to do traditional broadcasts and they’ve all failed at them. And the legacy players are back doing most of the broadcasts and using those other platforms as additions to their broadcasts.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2019.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

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Hashtags #BidenBombs And #BidenRemorse Trending On Social Media – Forbes

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President Joe Biden has come under fire this week, not just from Republican lawmakers and conservative critics, but from many progressives following his orders to bomb Syria. On Friday, the President and White House Press Secretary Jen Pasaki were called out for past comments each had posted to social media criticizing former President Donald Trump for similar actions in the Middle East.

By Saturday morning several hashtags and memes related to the bombings on Syria had been trending across social media according to website Trendsmap.com. The hashtags #BidenBombs was among the top global trends yet it wasn’t just tagged to the missile attack on Syria.

#BidenBombs appeared alongside a number of other hashtags including #BidenRemorse, #MinimumWage and #StudentDebt.

The wave of anti-Biden hashtags could suggest that the so-called “honeymoon” period is already over, especially as the harshest critics and loudest voices seemingly came from Biden supporters.

@MartinWilliams95 was among many who quoted Biden for calling former President Trump:

Another user, @Willie_jackson_ , also suggested there is strong disappointment in the new president’s actions, “I voted for @JoeBiden to not see this. #BidenBombs #Syria without any congressional approval. that might be right action to take, but the change we were looking for comes here. Don’t be a new Trump

Making It Visual

A number of memes trended on late Friday and Saturday that called out President Biden’s actions – some humorous and some far more blunt.

Several groups including Arabs For Bernie (@ArabsForBernie) were quite direct following Thursday’s attacks, “STOP BOMBING THE MIDDLE EAST. THANK YOU. #BidenBombs”

Comedian Preet Singh (@comedypreet) was among a few who attempted to find humor in the situation while he mocked the administration’s actions with a short video that was also posted to social media, “This is how I imagine Biden’s Democrats think Syria has reacted to his bombs”

The issue wasn’t limited to the United States either. Irish Republican Socialist Senator Paul Gavan (@pau_gavan) was among those on the international stage to call out President Biden, “Yesterday Joe Biden bombed Syria and dropped the proposal for a $15 minimum wage from his Covid relief package. Business as usual then. #Biden #BidenBombs #AmericaIsBack”

The Pundits Join The Fray

Some political commentators also called out the president, and surprisingly it wasn’t just those on the right this week. Progressive commentator Krystal Ball (@krystalball), tweeted, “So when they said $2k checks immediately, what they actually meant was $1400 checks, whenever we get to it, after bombing Syria and abandoning the minimum wage hike. Good luck in the midterms!”

Alt Right activist Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) shared reported photos from the aftermath of the Thursday’s attack. “New photos reportedly show aftermath of Biden’s Syria strike. 22 Syrians killed.”

Journalist Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) called out now only President Biden, but many of his progressive supporters, “Hey @AOC does Biden bombing Syria also count as violence? You and your colleagues seem awfully quiet today.”

The sentiment was shared by political pundit Matt Couch (@RaealMattCouch), “So now the Biden Administration is trying to start issues with the Saudis on top of Syria in a span of 24 hours…. Amazing work Dems…”

However, as Vox reported via its official Twitter account (@voxdotcom) some progressive lawmakers have been vocal about the attacks.

No Easy Decision

However, President Biden’s actions in launching the attack at Iranian-back militants in Syria was likely not a decision that he made on the whim.

“I’m not sure he had much choice,” explained technology industry analyst Rob Enderle, principal at the Enderle Group.

“That was the joint chief’s recommendation, and U.S. soldiers had been attacked with one injured,” added Enderle. “It was a test of his resolve, and had he not defended his troops, he’d have been crucified, and rightly so.”

What is notable is how quickly critics can become so vocal thanks to the power of social media. And these recent tweets and reactions across social media are a reminder that the nation isn’t just divided, it could be seriously fractured, and the hopes for healing could be soon dashed.

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Myanmar police launch most extensive crackdown; one woman dead, media say – CBC.ca

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Police in Myanmar launched their most sweeping crackdown in three weeks of protests against military rule on Saturday in towns and cities across the country, with media reports of a woman shot dead and dozens of people detained.

The violence came after Myanmar’s U.N. envoy urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to stop the Feb. 1 coup.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi’s whereabouts. The independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.

The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

A riot police officer fires a teargas canister to disperse pro-democracy protesters taking part in a rally against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on Saturday. (Reuters)

Police were out in force in cities and towns from early on Saturday in their most determined bid to stamp out the protests.

In the main city of Yangon, police took up positions at usual protest sites and detained people as they congregated, witnesses said. Several journalists were detained.

One woman believed dead

Confrontations developed as more people came out to demonstrate despite the police operation.

Three domestic media outlets said a woman was shot and killed in the central town of Monwya. The circumstances of the shooting were not clear and police were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, a protester in the town said police had fired water cannon as they surrounded a crowd.

“They used water cannon against peaceful protesters — they shouldn’t treat people like that,” Aye Aye Tint told Reuters.

A big crowd of protesters later surged through town streets chanting defiance, an activist video feed showed. One protester told Reuters the crowd was demanding the release of people detained by the security forces.

Junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities were using minimal force. Nevertheless, at least three protesters had died over the days of turmoil up to Saturday. The army says a policeman was killed in earlier violence.

Protesters flee from teargas during a rally against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on Saturday. (Reuters)

In Yangon, crowds came out to chant and sing, then scattered into side streets and slipped into buildings as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and shooting guns into the air, witnesses said.

Some protesters threw up barricades across streets. Crowds eventually thinned but police in Yangon were still chasing groups and firing into the air in the late afternoon, witnesses said. Numerous people were seen detained and some beaten through the day.

Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay and other towns from north to south, witnesses and media said. Among those detained in Mandalay was Win Mya Mya, one of two Muslim members of parliament for the NLD, media said.

‘Our cause will prevail’

At the UN General Assembly, Myanmar’s Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun said he was speaking on behalf of Suu Kyi’s government and appealed for “any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people.”

“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup … and to restore the democracy,” he said.

WATCH | Widespread strikes in Myanmar in protest of military coup:

Protests and strikes in Myanmar against the military government following a coup three weeks ago have become so widespread the regime is using soldiers to try to fill workers’ jobs. People are demanding the elected leaders, including Aung San Su Kyi, be released from detention and their democracy be restored. 2:02

Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced, “Our cause will prevail.”

Reuters was not immediately able to contact the army for comment.

UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he was overwhelmed as he watched the ambassador’s “act of courage.”

“It’s time for the world to answer that courageous call with action,” Andrews said on Twitter.

Democratic leader moved to undisclosed location

China’s envoy did not criticize the coup and said the situation was an internal Myanmar affair, adding that China supported a diplomatic effort by southeast Asian countries to find a solution.

In more bad news for the generals who have traditionally shrugged off diplomatic pressure, Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. said it was cutting its presence in Myanmar over concern about rights violations and violence.

“Woodside supports the people of Myanmar,” the company said.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

A lawyer for her, Khin Maung Zaw, told Reuters he had also heard that she had been moved from her home in the capital, Naypyitaw, but could not confirm it. Authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawyer said he had been given no access to Suu Kyi ahead of her next hearing on Monday and he was concerned about her access to justice and legal counsel.

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Myanmar police launch most extensive crackdown; one woman dead, media say – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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(Reuters) – Police in Myanmar launched their most sweeping crackdown in three weeks of protests against military rule on Saturday in towns and cities across the country, with media reports of a woman shot dead and dozens of people detained.

The violence came after Myanmar’s U.N. envoy urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to stop the Feb. 1 coup.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi’s whereabouts, as the independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.

The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

Police were out in force in cities and towns from early on Saturday in their most determined bid to stamp out the protests.

In the main city of Yangon, police took up positions at usual protest sites and detained people as they congregated, witnesses said. Several journalists were detained.

Confrontations developed as more people came out to demonstrate despite the police operation.

Three domestic media outlets said a woman was shot and killed in the central town of Monwya. The circumstances of the shooting were not clear and police were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, a protester in the town said police had fired water cannon as they surrounded a crowd.

“They used water cannon against peaceful protesters – they shouldn’t treat people like that,” Aye Aye Tint told Reuters.

A big crowd of protesters later surged through town streets chanting defiance, an activist video feed showed. One protester told Reuters the crowd was demanding the release of people detained by the security forces.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities were using minimal force. Nevertheless, at least three protesters had died over the days of turmoil up to Saturday. The army says a policeman was killed in earlier violence.

In Yangon, crowds came out to chant and sing, then scattered into side streets and slipped into buildings as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and shooting guns into the air, witnesses said.

Some protesters threw up barricades across streets. Crowds eventually thinned but police in Yangon were still chasing groups and firing into the air in the late afternoon, witnesses said. Numerous people were seen detained and some beaten through the day.

Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay and other towns from north to south, witnesses and media said. Among those detained in Mandalay was Win Mya Mya, one of two Muslim members of parliament for the NLD, media said.

‘PREVAIL’

At the U.N. General Assembly, Myanmar’s Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun said he was speaking on behalf of Suu Kyi’s government and appealed for “any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people”.

“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup … and to restore the democracy,” he said.

Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced, “Our cause will prevail.”

Reuters was not immediately able to contact the army for comment.

U.N. Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he was overwhelmed as he watched the ambassador’s “act of courage”.

“It’s time for the world to answer that courageous call with action,” Andrews said on Twitter.

China’s envoy did not criticise the coup and said the situation was an internal Myanmar affair, adding that China supported a diplomatic effort by southeast Asian countries to find a solution.

In more bad news for the generals who have traditionally shrugged off diplomatic pressure, Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd said it was cutting its presence in Myanmar over concern about rights violations and violence.

“Woodside supports the people of Myanmar,” the company said.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

A lawyer for her, Khin Maung Zaw, told Reuters he had also heard that she had been moved from her home in the capital, Naypyitaw, but could not confirm it. Authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawyer said he had been given no access to Suu Kyi ahead of her next hearing on Monday and he was concerned about her access to justice and legal counsel.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by William Mallard and Clarence Fernandez)

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