Viacom buys television streaming service for $340 mn

VIacom
Updated 23 January 2019
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Viacom buys television streaming service for $340 mn

  • The Los Angeles-based company boasts more than 12 million active monthly users, most of them using televisions connected to the Internet

SAN FRANCISCO: US media group Viacom announced Tuesday a deal to buy free streaming television service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash to better compete as lifestyles shift to online entertainment.
Viacom properties include Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, as well as Paramount Pictures.
“Today marks an important step forward in Viacom’s evolution,” Viacom chief executive Bob Bakish said in a statement.
“As the video marketplace continues to segment, we see an opportunity to support the ecosystem in creating products at a broad range of price points, including free.”
Viacom is optimistic about the ad-supported streaming television market, where it plans to work with Pluto TV and a range of partners, according to Bakish.
Acquiring Pluto TV will advance Viacom strategic priorities, including “expanding its presence across next-generation distribution platforms and growing its advanced advertising business,” according to the New York-based media company.
Founded in 2013, Pluto TV streams more than 100 channels of ad-supported television on the Internet.
The Los Angeles-based company boasts more than 12 million active monthly users, most of them using televisions connected to the Internet.
Pluto streams content to screens through Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Sony PlayStation video game consoles.
The media sector is being shaken up by technology companies such as Amazon, Netflix and YouTube that let people stream video on-demand rather that be tethered to costly cable or satellite services.
The competition for viewers has led to maneuvering in the sector, with AT&T buying Time Warner and Fox assets being acquired by Disney, which is launching a streaming service of its own.


French far-right weekly barred from Twitter over ‘hate speech’

Updated 19 February 2019
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French far-right weekly barred from Twitter over ‘hate speech’

  • Rivarol’s Twitter account “called for racial hatred and sympathized with crimes against humanity,” a government spokesman said
  • France, home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, has seen a sharp rise in anti-Jewish offenses reported to police

PARIS: A French far-right magazine had its Twitter account suspended Monday, French officials said, after multiple complaints of hate speech including anti-Semitic abuse.
Rivarol’s Twitter account “called for racial hatred and sympathized with crimes against humanity,” a spokesman for the government’s racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination body (DILCRAH) said, adding it had repeatedly reported the account to the social media platform.
France, home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, has seen a sharp rise in anti-Jewish offenses reported to police — up 74 percent last year.
A spate of anti-Semitic vandalism and graffiti in and around Paris in recent weeks has caused fresh alarm and sparked widespread condemnation.
Frederic Potier from DILCRAH welcomed the move by Twitter, saying it was thanks to a push “against online hate speech.”
In a tweet on February 13 that has now been removed, the weekly magazine wrote: “When I was a child I didn’t understand why Jews were detested by all people, all nations throughout history. Today I don’t even ask the question anymore. Actually I do, I wonder why they aren’t (detested) more.”
Sacha Ghozlan, head of the French Union of Jewish Students, told AFP: “It’s an important victory and a brake on this anti-Semitic rag that has been spreading hatred of Jews for years.”
“However, there is still a lot of work to be done on Twitter,” he said, adding that online abuse of Jews has long gone unpunished.
He said he suspected that Rivarol’s editor Jerome Bourbon — whose own Twitter account was already suspended — was personally behind the magazine’s tweets.
Several rallies against anti-Semitism are planned across France on Tuesday.