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NetMed sale mulled November 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV.
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Naspers Ltd, Africa’s largest media company, is considering selling its Greek and Cypriot pay-television operator, NetMed NV.

«Keen interest has been expressed from several potential investors,” Cape Town-based Naspers said in a statement to South Africa’s stock exchange today.

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Athenians becoming teletubbies > survey October 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Media Radio TV.
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Nearly one in two Athenians spends five hours per day in front of the television while just over 55 percent of Athenians do not participate in any form of exercise, according to a survey made public yesterday.

The survey, conducted by the Hellenic Medical Association for Obesity and sports group Europe Corporate Games, showed that 46 percent of respondents admitted to watching at least five hours of television per day.

The survey sample was 403 white-collar workers, including 178 women, employed at different companies in Athens.

The majority, 55 percent, exercise less than 100 minutes per week and use their own means of transport to get around the city, even to cover short distances, according to the study.

New interactive game-show in Greek TV October 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV.
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2waytraffic International has shored up deals for its young-adult-skewing interactive game-show format TXTC with Greece’s Mega Channel.

TXTC, targeted at teenagers and under-25s, pits two teams against each other to challenge their texting skills. The two four-member teams compete in fast-moving rounds by typing their answers into giant mobile phones using their feet, earning “talktime” as they advance, to be used in the final round where one team plays for a prize. The studio-based format, which was recently acquired by 2waytraffic, features two larger-than-life-sized mobile phones built into the studio floor that contestants can use to text their answers. The format was created by Tony Dortie for Triple T Entertainment, and has aired on SCTV in Thailand and Indonesia and HTV in Vietnam.

Under the new agreements, Greece’s Mega Channel’s weekly series, known as Sumusu, launched earlier this month, already winning 50 percent of the 15 to 24 demographic.

Greek Bishops in debate about succession October 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV, Religion & Faith.
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Arguments over Greece’s Archbishop Christodoulos

Bishops who attended the meeting of the Church of Greece’s Holy Synod yesterday began discussing the possibility of electing a successor to Archbishop Christodoulos, as doctors debated whether he had received the most suitable treatment for his liver cancer.

The Βishop of Zakynthos, Chrysostomos, was the first member of the Holy Synod to publicly suggest that the Church of Greece needs to begin discussion of who will replace the Αrchbishop. «It is absolutely natural for the discussion about a successor to begin since the Αrchbishop is suffering from an incurable disease,» said Chrysostomos.

Archbishop Christodoulos’s liver transplant in the USA was aborted on Monday after it was found that his cancer has spread to his stomach. The 68-year-old Αrchbishop will now undergo a different treatment.

«We will wait for the developments, which have been rapid,» said Chrysostomos. «When you have a situation like this, you cannot wait until the last minute to prepare.» Some Βishops objected to this discussion. The Βishop of Lemnos, Ierotheos, described the talk as being «unseemly, untimely and unethical.»

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, also issued a statement saying that it was «not right» to discuss the Archbishop’s successor while he is still alive.

There were also arguments between doctors on TV shows yesterday about whether the decision to line the Archbishop up for a liver transplant rather than have him undergo some form of chemotherapy was the correct one.

The Athens Medical Association (ISA) urged its members to «exercise restraint» and follow the medical code of ethics when making statements about the Archbishop. «Everyone is free to present their views at scientific conferences or forums, not on television,» said ISA President Sotiris Rigakis. The Association of Hospital Doctors of Athens and Piraeus (EINAP) issued a statement saying that this type of behavior from doctors risked shaking people’s confidence in the medical profession.

Private television channels have sunk to new depths of vulgarity. After the television trials, it’s now the turn of live medical councils. Ever since the bad news emerged about Archbishop Christodouols’s operation, all the commercial networks, with only one exception, have staged a horror show, posing extremely important questions to media-savvy doctors.

But what can be said of a diagnosis that is made thousands of kilometers away? And how reliable can certain doctors be when they are exercising their profession in front of the television cameras? It’s not the news bulletins that are being discredited over the past few days. That’s old news. The casualty this time is medical science itself. Unfortunately, this media stance has been castigated only by the Union of Athens-Piraeus Hospital Doctors (EINAP), while the Athens Medical Association failed to condemn the incident. Human pain is once again subject to exploitation as a means to boost TV ratings. Sure, there is no ban on being inhuman but it’s time people showed some resistance. Those who have some respect for the country and their fellow citizens ought to reach for their remote controls.

A revolution in the homes of Cypriots > TV September 30, 2007

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50 years on, cameras still rolling > Fifty years ago, people huddled around electronics stores to catch their first glimpse of television in Cyprus. It has come a long way since

Fifty years ago this week there was a revolution in the home in Cyprus: the introduction of TV. On October 1, two cameras and various other equipment were set up at what has since become the CyBC, Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, building as an attractive young women with a distinctive 50s hairdo and dress sat down and transmission began. In these media intense times, it’s hard to picture there was a time when the little box, or large plasma screen, we have come to depend so much on today was practically non-existent. And when it did happen, only the privileged few were able to watch.

The very first television programme was broadcast on an experimental basis and transmission was available twice weekly, for a total of 2½ to three hours. Gradually, broadcasting hours were increased but reception was still limited to a 16-mile radius within Nicosia. It wasn’t until 1965, when two transmitters were placed on Mount Olympus and Mount Sina, that more people around the island were able to watch history in the making.

The biggest challenge to TV broadcasts in Cyprus came with the 1974 Turkish invasion. “Those were extremely tough times,” says Andreas Constantinides, Director of the station from 1969. “People felt disconnected and almost destroyed but with the station’s constant sourcing of information and broadcasts, we were able to help in a very significant way.” Reporters were sent out to capture images and inform people about the happenings around the island. Nayia Roussou, who also worked at the station as a television producer during the invasion, recalls:

“As television producers at the time, we didn’t just do our job. We went through intense mental and emotional suffering. We witnessed and recorded scenes of tragic despair at the Philoxenia Hotel where we filmed the missing men who made it back home, bearded, terrorised and shaken. We interviewed 80-year-old women who, among others, had been raped. For many years after the invasion, we, as producers, continued to produce documentary and magazine programmes about the misery of the uprooted people, the destruction of the cultural heritage in the occupied areas, presenting these in film festivals like the Leipzig Festival and talking about the destruction.”

During those days of filming in basements and hotels, all images were hurried back to the studios where a time-consuming process of developing and projecting began. “Our equipment was up-to-date but back then everything worked so differently so we had a lot of work on our hands when the cameramen would come back,” said Constantinides. “The 16mm film used was black and white and we had to change the polarity by developing the negative, which also meant that the quality wasn’t excellent.”

However, cameramen also had a hard time recording images as they were the only people on the job those days apart from various foreign reporters who were sending information around the world. “The people of Cyprus depended on us,” says Constantinides. During the invasion and despite the constant roll of information, broadcasts began late in the afternoon and finished around midnight. “A lot of what we were broadcasting was live with various presenters coming in but the announcements were recorded.”

CyBC 2 was launched in 1992 as more commercial and mainstream stations began operating. It was CyBC’s attempt to lure housewives to the box by airing endless South American dramas and soap operas without losing its reputation as a source of informative reporting.

Once upon a time, people worked hours on end, sometimes risking their lives to get an image or an article through; they loved their jobs and working as a team was of utmost importance. Nowadays? “It’s a shame that competition is what is driving people in this area,” she says. “Everything has become about mass production and while the Greek shows airing every night are fun and light, I prefer watching The History Channel.”

Even though we now have five local TV channels to chose from, the need for more Americanised raw and entertaining programmes brought to us bang up-to-date, mostly initiated by the younger generation, brought the era of pay TV to Cyprus. Between them, CyBC, MEGA, ANT-1 and Sigma have not managed to fight the popularity of satellite TV, with increasing numbers of homes on the island displaying a dish on the roof.

LTV may have made the first step in 1993, but it wasn’t long before The Cyprus Electricity Board popped up with Cablenet and the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority followed suit with MiVision as well as Athina Sat, launched in May 2005. It is the first Cypriot-owned DTH satellite provider in Cyprus and one of two satellite platforms, the other being NOVA Cyprus.

New paths open for Greece’s Metaichmio Publishing September 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life Greek, Hellenic Light Europe, Media Radio TV.
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Dimitris Mingas’s novel “Sta psemata paizame” (We Were Only Joking), published by Metaichmio, is being made into a miniseries for Spanish television.

The Catalan Cinema Institute, an independent company that has made many prize-winning films, television series and theater productions, has a tradition of adapting novels for the screen, including works by Manuel Vazquez Montalban and Eduardo Mendoza. The company likes Mingas’s book for what it saw as a direct, frank account of the rapid political changes that have taken place in Europe over the past 30 years.