South African cricket’s many colours mix uneasilyThe Centurion: Its “historical allies” in India may have been dewy eyed at the stirring support in cricket’s Dennessgate crisis, but the United Cricket Board (UCB) of South Africa is coming to live with the realisation that its damage control exercise may end up,South African cricket’s many colours mix uneasilyThe Centurion: Its “historical allies” in India may have been dewy eyed at the stirring support in cricket’s Dennessgate crisis, but the United Cricket Board (UCB) of South Africa is coming to live with the realisation that its damage control exercise may end up doing more damage than anticipated. While UCB officials maintain that they had little choice but to support the Indians due to financial and political pressures, the noises coming from the Board indicate that more rumbling is to follow.In a country where Hansie Cronje’s betrayal was taken very personally, the Johannesburg Star thundered that the UCB had misjudged the situation at every level, including the moral.It had therefore abandoned the right to stand on judgement on any issue anymore. “The UCB has weakened its own stance regarding the Hansie Cronje scandal. The moral rectitude practised now seems rather unconvincing. It has undermined the position of a governing body of the sport to such an extent that any future pleas will seem almost laughable,” wrote the daily. Many believe that the current chorus of disapproval of the UCB’s actions is part of a campaign targeted at the new UCB chief executive Gerald Majola, who has rivals in the Asian lobby of the Board.The South African team may be predominantly white today but the Board is a more mixed, with enough representations of white, black and Asian interests. The Indian predicament and the case for standing up to Mike Denness is now secondary.advertisementAt the top of South African minds is alarm that the UCB is aligning itself with the new rebel forces of international cricket a perception that has the most disturbing associations here.While UCB President Pery Sonn maintained his Board had not defied ICC, followers of that school of thought are very few.
Bob IgerThe Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has sidestepped speculation around a potential move for SVOD giant Netflix, but admitted direct-to-consumer models were creating “really interesting opportunities”.Disney was linked to a multi-billion dollar deal for Netflix last month, leading to intense speculation about a takeover.Questioned directly about interest in Netflix and social media platform Twitter on an investors call yesterday, Iger declined to comment. However, he noted a recent US$1 billion investment in on-demand technology company BAM was an indication of increased business in the D2C space.“Well, obviously we’re not going to get specific about that [Netflix link], but we think there’s some really interesting opportunities, given what’s going on from a technological perspective, to both improve our businesses and also improve the consumer experience by selling directly to consumers,” he said.“The purchase of BAM was designed just to do just that. Whether there will be more or not, I can’t really say, except to say that we’re obviously interested in the opportunity that exist today to have more direct relationship with the consumer.”Elsewhere on the call, Iger declined to provide new detail on his retirement plan upon the end of his current contract in 2018.COO Thomas Stagg was expected to replace him, but he threw succession plans into doubt when he exited earlier this year.“The board has discussed succession at every meeting that the board has had in the last few years,” he said.“I don’t think there’s necessarily a need for the board to provide any more details publicly about the process, except to say the process is ongoing, it’s robust, and we’re all confident that it’s going to result in the board choosing not only the right candidate, but the right candidate on a timely basis.Iger also said political attempts at a smooth transition from incumbent president Barack Obama to Donald Trump this week were encouraging, and that Disney had already prepared a bust of the Republican president-elect to go in the Hall of the Presidents at Disney World.Hollywood is currently assessing how Trump will treat the US entertainment business when he becomes president next year. He has been hugely critical of the media, which he accused of systematically attempting to make him lose the American election to Democrat Hilary Clinton.“It’s really too early to speculate about what the changes in Washington are going to mean for our business or for businesses,” said Iger. “We have, though, been exhorting Washington both the executive and the legislative branches to take a look at the current tax policy of the United States, particularly the corporate tax rate, and to close more loopholes but lower the corporate tax rate.“We are no longer competitive with the rest of the world in that regard and that must be addressed. It’s possible that, given what’s gone on this week, that that’s likely to be addressed sooner rather than later. That’s obviously a good thing.”
Emerging markets SVOD service Iflix has partnered with smart TV software provider Vewd to make Iflix available on millions of Vewd-enabled devices. Iflix worked with the Vewd team to certify the Iflix app for the Vewd ecosystem, meaning the app can be deployed across connected TVs and set-top boxes.“We aim to give users the freedom to enjoy Iflix on any screen of their choice – from their 6-inch mobile screen to 65-inch big screen television,” said Iflix CEO, Mark Britt.“Our partnership with Vewd is an important step to fulfilling that promise. Vewd’s leading edge technology and connected smart TV ecosystem allows us to integrate with platforms efficiently, whilst offering users an uncompromising user experience.”Vewd CEO, Aneesh Rajaram, said: “Iflix has established itself as one of the world’s pre-eminent subscription video-on-demand services. Having them join the world’s largest connected TV ecosystem underscores our commitment to providing the richest catalogue of key apps on connected TV devices.“Now more than ever, Vewd can provide the industry’s most comprehensive content offering for smart TV manufacturers and pay TV operators.”