BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Following their chastening whitewash last September, West Indies are quietly hoping to return the favour on home soil when they take on Pakistan in the four-match Twenty20 International series starting at Kensington Oval here today.The T20 World champions looked a shadow of the side that dominated the showpiece in India just months before, as they slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 loss in the United Arab Emirates.But even though revenge rests on their minds, captain Carlos Brathwaite said they were taking nothing for granted against a dangerous Pakistan side.”They are very, very worthy opponents,” Brathwaite told reporters yesterday.”I think they are one of the better teams in the world as well and it is tough playing them in their backyard but we welcome them to the West Indies and we want to take home advantage as well.”He added: “I think they play a fearless brand of cricket. Sometimes you see them dismissed for 80, but on another day, they can make 180, 200, and it can be very exciting as well.”I think one of their strengths is their rotation of strike in the middle overs. They play spin very well.”It’s about us counteracting that; not focussing on their strengths but maximising ours.”West Indies will again miss the talents of superstar opener Chris Gayle and will also have to do without the experienced all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell.PROVEN MATCH WINNERSHowever, they have at their disposal the likes of Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons, all of whom are proven match winners in the game’s shortest format.Brathwaite pointed out that even without some of their leading names, West Indies were still an extremely strong side and were backing themselves to put up big totals.”We have strength in depth. Not having Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, and still being able to pick the team we’ve selected is massive for any international team,” he noted.”One thing we’ve always been able to boast of is power-hitters, and we have four or five one after the other and with three or four in the shed. There’s a perfect mix of experience and youth as well. We have very, very young guys like … Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, but then there’s still elder statesmen although Pollard is only 28, he is a T20 veteran.Last year’s nightmare against Pakistan still looms large. It was not so much that the Windies lost the series, but rather, the way in which they did.They mustered a paltry 115 in the opening game batting first and lost by nine wickets, failed to chase down 160 in the second outing and lost by 16 runs before scraping together 103 in their final game to lose by eight wickets.Brathwaite admitted he was still unsure about what went wrong, but said he hoped the team would put things right in the upcoming series.”[I’m] not sure. It’s a multitude of factors. Obviously, when things don’t go as well as you would like, everyone seems to know the problem, but in the dressing room, we are trying to find the solutions,” he said.SQUADSWEST INDIES Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Samuel Badree, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.PAKISTAN Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Ahmad Shahzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz , Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan Shinwari.
Some 46% of Americans now subscribe to streaming video services, with millennials aged 14-25 spending more time streaming than watching live TV, according to Deloitte.The professional services firm’s tenth ‘Digital Democracy Survey’ claims that more than half of all consumers and three-quarters of millennials watch movies and TV shows via streaming on at least once a month.Millennials aged 26-32 who currently pay for streaming video have an average of three subscriptions and those aged 14-25 said they value their streaming video subscriptions more than pay TV subscriptions.“The proliferation of online content shows no signs of slowing down and the consumer appetite to consume content is equally voracious,” said Deloitte vice chairman and US media and entertainment sector leader, Gerald Belson.“The survey data indicates that consumers are more willing than ever to invest in services to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device they choose.”The survey also said that more than 90% of US consumers are now multitasking while watching TV with millennials engaging in an average of four additional activities while watching TV – primarily surfing the internet, using social networks and text messaging.The report claims that 33% of all consumers typically browse the web while watching TV, while fewer than 25% of consumers’ multitasking activities are directly related to the program being watched.US viewers were also found to be keen ‘binge watchers’ with 70% of US consumers binge watching an average of five episodes at a time, and 31% bingeing on a weekly basis.
TF1 chief Gilles Pélisson has reiterated that he is hopeful of striking a deal with Orange over carriage terms soon, but has not backtracked on his call for retransmission fees from the operator.Gilles PélissonSpeaking to the Journal du Dimanche, Pélission said that the broadcaster was justified in asking for a small part of its investment in content to be returned in the form of carriage fees. He sid that TV channels and distribution platform operators had a common interest in offering to subscribers an ambition TV offering with unique content.Pélisson cited TF1’s investment in functionality including catch-up TV, startover TV, the availability of avant-premières and other digital initiatives as evidence of its commitment.The TF1 chief said that rival operators Altice-SFR and Bouygues Telecom – with which TF1 shares common ownership – had “understood” its case.TF1 struck agreements with both operators last year that are believed to encompass an element of payment.Pélisson also told the Journal du Dimanche that he planned to further diversify away from relying too heavily on TV advertising revenues through the integration of production outfit Newen and the acquisition of female-focused digital platform AuFéminin.Pélisson had earlier said he was “hopeful” of striking a deal with Orange after TF1 unveiled solid full-year results at the end of last week.TF1 took legal action to prevent Orange redistributing its channel via its IPTV boxes after withdrawing its digital services from the Orange platform after the pair failed to strike a deal. Canal+ and Free have also indicated they are unwilling to accept the broadcaster’s demands to ensure continued carriage of its channels on their respective platforms.
Arris-owned Ruckus is joining Facebook’s Express WiFi initiative, deploying hotspots to connect parts of Africa, India and Indonesia to the web.Facebook’s Express WiFi Certified ecosystem is a program that allows access point manufacturers to build WiFi hardware that is compatible with Express WiFi – part of Facebook’s plans to bring more people online globally.Operators participating in the Facebook’s initiative will deploy Ruckus virtual SmartZone controllers and indoor and outdoor WiFi access points in high-traffic public areas in these regions.Ruckus products are currently deployed in Express WiFi installations in Tanzania, Nigeria, and other developing nations.“We are committed to providing connectivity to people in the most remote areas of the world,” said Ian Whiting, President, Ruckus Networks, an Arris company.“We are excited to be a partner in Facebook’s Express WiFi Certified program which is another important step in bridging the digital divide, giving individuals access to high-performance WiFi networks.”Facebook’s product lead for Expres WiFi said: “With this program, we hope to expand the Express WiFi ecosystem and work with partners like Ruckus to help bring affordable WiFi solutions to emerging markets.”