TORONTO — Looking to capture the growing number of consumers cutting their cable cord, DAZN has launched a sports streaming service in Canada.And DAZN (pronounced Da Zone) has started with a bang by offering live and on-demand coverage of every NFL game as the new, exclusive Canadian home of NFL Game Pass, the league’s premium digital subscription product.The DAZN package includes all Sunday games previously offered on NFL Sunday Ticket, plus NFL RedZone, a game-day channel owned and operated by NFL Network.The new streaming platform is leaving Canadian cable providers out in the cold on the deluxe NFL service.The DAZN cost is $20 a month or an introductory annual price of $150, with the first 30 days free. The service will be available on everything from smart TVs to tablets and smart phones.The NFL is the only sport on the Canadian menu so far. But DAZN promises to add more, as it already has in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. All four launched last August.For example, the German package now includes English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1 soccer plus a Bundesliga highlights package. It also includes NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball as well as cricket, rugby and tennis among others.The German package will be bolstered by Champions League soccer beginning 2018-19.The Japanese package is built around an exclusive 10-year rights agreement for the domestic J-League soccer.Hockey will be the big question mark for Canada, with Rogers seemingly holding all the cards thanks to a US$5.232-billion, 12-year deal with the NHL that runs through the 2025-26 season.That deal gives Rogers national rights to all NHL games, including the Stanley Cup playoffs, on all of its platforms in all languages. Bell is also involved, via regional NHL broadcasts.But the NFL is a good first card to throw down.DAZN follows some of Netflix’s business model, in terms of flexibility of contract.“When you see the breadth of other rights, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, you’ll see that we’re trying to really (provide) choice to the consumers as well and offer up a selection of different sports and different leagues,” Alex Rice, DAZN managing director for rights and strategic development, said from London.DAZN will offer full games live, as well as making them available on demand. In some cases, a condensed game will also be available.Like Netflix, DAZN recognizes the need to keep varying the menu.“You obviously have to keep spending — and spending on content. And that’s the long-term plan in all the markets,” Rice said.There will be French-language commentary “on key events.”Canada offers DAZN a connected audience in terms of broadband penetration, shown by the success of entertainment streaming services.“We could see there was clearly an appetite and clearly a movement, in some cases, to cord-cut — and obviously attract a cord-never generation who never bought a pay-TV package and are more used to buying subscription services in this way,” Rice said.The DAZN menu will be a blend of exclusive and shared properties.Rice declined to divulge subscription numbers in DAZN’s existing markets but says there are plans to expand to other countries.The DAZN announcement seemed to catch competitors by surprise Thursday.In the past, NFL Sunday Ticket has been available via Canadian cable companies. Rogers, for example, was still advertising it on its website Thursday morning as part of its $39.95 monthly Super Sports Pak.Rice called it an administrative error, saying DAZN had acquired the Sunday Ticket package.“And we’ve chosen not to distribute that on the linear pay-TV platforms in Canada, it will just be available through via the DAZN service,” he said.A Rogers spokeswoman said a selection of NFL games will continue to be available through Canadian and U.S. TV channels.“It will be disappointing for our customers that the new NFL rights-holder has decided not to make RedZone or NFL Sunday Ticket available on TV to Canadian sports fans at home,” the spokeswoman said.NFL Sunday Ticket will continue to be available to Rogers’ commercial customers.Bell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.DAZN has substantial backing behind it in the form of Perform Group, a digital sports content and media group. The majority owner of Perform is Access Industries, founded in 1986 by chairman Len Blavatnik, a Ukraine-born American who ranks 40th on Forbes 2017 list of billionaires with a net worth of US$19.5 billion.The Canadian launch comes two months after Perform struck a deal with the NFL to market the league’s TV rights in various global territories and NFL Game Pass outside the U.S. and Europe.The “strategic media relationship” covers more than 100 countries and territories, including Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, and Turkey.—Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter
Bandaranayake, 54 awaits removal from the position early January after parliament holds a vote on the recommendations of the parliamentary select committee submitted last week.The report was released after Ms Bandaranayake and her lawyers walked out of the proceedings calling it unfair.Following concerns raised internationally, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Tuesday, said he would appoint an independent panel to seek its views on the select committee report prior to acting on them. Lawyers across Sri Lanka went on strike on Wednesday protesting the impeachment motion against the island nation’s first woman Chief Justice, bringing the judiciary to halt.The protesters were seen clashing with pro-government protesters who called for the resignation of Ms Bandaranayake staging counter demonstrations in support of the impeachment Mr Rajapaksha said the BASL committee had resolved to condemn the procedure adopted and the findings of the parliamentary select committee on the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The parliamentary panel last week announced that Ms Bandaranayake has been found guilty of three of the 14 charges slapped against her by the government.The protesting lawyers said that some of the court’s functioning was crippled in many provincial areas throughout today and is likely to remain so tomorrow. “We have come out today to protest in the branch association across the country on the single theme, ‘let’s protect the independence of the judiciary’”, Wijayadasa Rajapaksha, the head Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said. However, the lawyers rejected the President’s offer. “The President’s statement that he would appoint an independent panel to review the report is an admission by the President that it was an unlawful process and that the report is flawed. Therefore the said Report must be withdrawn immediately. Any future inquiry must take place only after a fair procedure and tribunal are lawfully introduced. Until then the agitation of the Bar will continue”, a lawyer’s union statement said. (The Hindu)
“As they go about their daily lives doing what they enjoy, more and more young people are placing themselves at risk of hearing loss,” Dr. Etienne Krug, WHO Director for the Department for Management of Non-communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention said in a press release. “They should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back,” Dr. Krug continued, adding: “Taking simple preventive actions will allow people to continue to enjoy themselves without putting their hearing at risk.”International Ear Care Day is an annual advocacy event held on 3 March. Designated at the First International Conference on Prevention and Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment in Beijing, China, in 2007, the Day aims to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world, according to WHO.This year, WHO is launching the Make Listening Safe initiative to draw attention to the dangers of unsafe listening and promote safer practices. “In collaboration with partners worldwide, WHO will alert young people and their families about the risks of noise-induced hearing loss and advocate towards governments for greater attention to this issue as part of their broader efforts to prevent hearing loss generally,” the UN health agency said.According to WHO, “some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events.”“Data from studies in middle- and high-income countries analysed by WHO indicate that among teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 years, nearly 50 per cent are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices and around 40 per cent are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues,” the agency said.WHO explained that safe listening depends on the intensity or loudness of sound, and the duration and frequency of listening. The agency recommends that the highest permissible level of noise exposure in the workplace is 85 decibels up to a maximum of eight hours per day. Many patrons of nightclubs, bars and sporting events are often exposed to even higher levels of sound, and should therefore considerably reduce the duration of exposure. For example, exposure to noise levels of 100 decibels, which is typical in such venues, is safe for no more than 15 minutes.“Teenagers and young people can better protect their hearing by keeping the volume down on personal audio devices, wearing earplugs when visiting noisy venues, and using carefully fitted, and, if possible, noise-cancelling earphones/headphones,” according to WHO. “They can also limit the time spent engaged in noisy activities by taking short listening breaks and restricting the daily use of personal audio devices to less than one hour.”“With the help of smartphone apps, they can monitor safe listening levels,” it said.WHO said governments also have a role to play by developing and enforcing strict legislation on recreational noise.“Parents, teachers and physicians can educate young people about safe listening, while managers of entertainment venues can respect the safe noise levels set by their respective venues, use sound limiters, and offer earplugs and “chill out” rooms to patrons,” according to WHO.WHO went on to say manufacturers can design personal audio devices with safety features and display information about safe listening on products and packaging.Worldwide, the UN health agency says 360 million people today have moderate to profound hearing loss due to various causes, such as noise, genetic conditions, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, and ageing. “It is estimated that half of all cases of hearing loss are avoidable,” the agency said.