MUMBAI, India (CMC) – Nine West Indies Twenty20 stars that have enriched the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) have been retained for next season, organisers announced yesterday.Superstars Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, as well as current West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite headline the list. They are included among 44 overseas players of the 140 in total kept when the window for the eight franchises to retain players for the coming season closed on December 15.Current West Indies Test and One-day International captain Jason Holder and fellow fast bowler Jerome Taylor are the only two West Indians who were part of the IPL last season that were cut, being dropped by Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians respectively.Gayle and leg-spin bowler Samuel Badree were retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore which lost the Final this year against Sunrisers Hyderabad.Gayle and Badree are two of 20 that RCB have retained at a cost of close to US$9 million and will help to form the same core of players that played last season.Bravo and his namesake Dwayne Smith have been kept by Gujarat Lions which retained 16 players at just over US$8.5 million, but also off-loaded eight players including star South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn.Brathwaite regained his place with the Daredevils, as one of five overseas players retained among the 18 at a cost of close to US$7.5 million.Though they may have parted company with Holder, the Knight Riders have however, held on to spinner Sunil Narine and all-rounder Andre Russell, as two of four overseas players retained as part of a group 14, costing a little over US $7.7 million.The Indians have kept big-hitting Kieron Pollard and compatriot Lendl Simmons among six overseas players that help to form the 20 which the franchise retained at a hefty price tag of just over US$9 million – the highest of the franchises.RCB and the Indians have retained 20 – the highest number of players – and KKR have retained the least number of 14.Rising Pune Superstars released 11 players – the highest number – but Kings XI Punjab still have the biggest cap space of close to US$3.9 million to spend on bringing new playing resources to the franchise.
Jim ClarkeTelstra has launched Global Media Switch, a video delivery platform that allows broadcasters and content creators to schedule, manage and distribute video in real-time across the world.The IP-based delivery network offers customers codec-level connectivity from the originating content source to the broadcast destination, according to Telstra. It can also be combined with Telstra’s Satellite Media Services, which provide access to more than 20 communications satellites.“With new models of on-demand consumption and audience fragmentation, media companies have had to make some substantial changes to the way they acquire, distribute and manage media assets,” said Jim Clarke, director of marketing, products and pricing, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services.“In this new era, staying profitable requires fresh thinking and adaptive approaches to technology. With the Global Media Switch web portal, video contributors can take direct control of service booking, scheduling and delivery to broadcasters themselves in a cost effective way, and even advertise content to other media providers to further maximise revenues.The launch comes after Australia-based Telstra agreed to buy video streaming and analytics specialist Ooyala for US$270 million (€201 million) in August, as Telstra looks to grow its media solution portfolio.
Liberty Global has agreed to sell its wholly-owned Swiss operation, UPC Switzerland, to local operator Sunrise for a total enterprise value of CHF 6.3 billion (€5.6 billion).Olaf SwanteeThe deal will establish Sunrise – which is Switzerland’s number two player in mobile, TV, fixed broadband and fixed voice behind Swisscom – as the “leading converged challenger” with the scale to drive innovation and invest in new services.“Today’s announcement is an important milestone for Sunrise, our customers, employees and shareholders,” said Sunrise CEO and chairman, Olaf Swantee, in a statement.“Together with UPC Switzerland, we will create a stronger, truly converged challenger and significant value for our shareholders. We are committed to accelerating innovation and enhancing customers’ experience, building on the enlarged scale of the combined business and superior next generation network infrastructure.”As of the end of 2018, UPC Switzerland’s network passed 2.3 million homes and served 1.1 million customers – 1.1 million of whom subscribed to video, 700,000 to broadband and 520,000 to voice services, creating a total of 2.3 million service subscribers.Sunrise said that the takeover will enhance the customer experience, particularly in regions not within its fibre footprint, as UPC has high quality fixed network infrastructure with a roadmap to speeds of 1Gbps and eventually 10 Gbps via DOCSIS 3.1 upgrades.Sunrise will pay Liberty Global roughly CHF2.7 billion in cash and will take on outstanding senior notes and senior secured credit facilities, which have a value of roughly CHF 3.7 billion.Liberty Global said it will use the proceeds of the sale for “general corporate purposes”.The deal represents a ten-times multiple of UPC Switzerland’s estimated 2019 adjusted segment operating cash flow. Liberty said that after an investment of US$1.6 billion in 2005, it will have realised at closing US$6.5 billion of dividends and equity proceeds, or nearly four-times its capital.“After 13 years of investment, innovation and growth, UPC Switzerland will combine with Sunrise to form a strong challenger in the Swiss market” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries in a statement.“This is a great moment for the Swiss consumer as network quality, product innovation and customer experience is at the heart of both companies. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in this market and are thrilled for our shareholders who will benefit from yet another example of value creation.”The completion of the deal is subject to regulatory clearances. Sunrise said it expects to get regulatory approval in the second or third quarter of 2019 and to close the transaction in the second half of 2019. Liberty said it expects the deal to close “prior to year-end 2019”.The deal comes after Liberty completed its sale of UPC Austria to T-Mobile Austria for an enterprise value of €1.9 billion in July 2018. In December 2018 it also agreed to sell its central and eastern European DTH business to international pay TV operator M7 Group for €180 million.The Sunrise agreement was announced as Liberty posted its fourth quarter and full-year results. Liberty’s Q4 operating income increased 73.2%year-on-year to US$252.2 million while revenue from continuing operations was up 1.2% to US$2.95 billion.