Media and Broadcasting, Business

Kinetic by Windstream Deploys Cisco and Qwilt’s Open Caching Solution to Elevate Streaming Experience in North America

Kinetic by Windstream Deploys
Cisco and Qwilt  announced the deployment of their unique content delivery solution across the North American network of Kinetic by Windstream, to enable superior streaming performance to its customers throughout the United States. The adoption of Cisco and Qwilt’s open caching solution considerably improves the quality and efficiency of live and on-demand video delivery while increasing Kinetic’s network capacity for other forms of media.

Kinetic will deploy Qwilt’s open caching technology across its 170,000 miles of fiber network across the US. The deployment helps Kinetic address the growing number of live streaming events and other media consumption, as households increasingly turn to streaming services and expect broadcast quality to the home. Cisco’s edge compute and networking infrastructure, combined with Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud for Content Delivery Solution, makes this possible by preparing Kinetic’s network to support increasing data volumes and improving the streaming experience.

Gary Cooke, Senior Vice President of Engineering for Kinetic, said: “We tell our customers ‘High Speed for Here’ – whether live, on-demand, or other forms of media content. By partnering with Qwilt and Cisco, we’re ensuring our fiber-backed network has the scalability and capacity needed to handle the growth in demand for all forms of streaming content. By integrating innovative edge technologies across our network, we’re bringing high quality content closer to our customers than ever before.

Open caching, an open architecture developed and endorsed by the Streaming Video Alliance, offers a platform that federates content delivery infrastructure deployed deep inside service provider networks. It provides open APIs, protection, and security mechanisms for content publishers. The open caching approach helps service providers quickly deploy an edge delivery footprint and addresses the needs of global and regional content providers for more capacity, consistency in content delivery, and performance assurance. The deployment also creates a telco cloud foundation for future use cases, such as website delivery and edge computing.

 “Streaming is the future of content delivery, but it doesn’t have to mark the end of great quality content experiences. By embracing content delivery at the edge through open caching technology, service providers are embracing a new model to manage their network capacity. Working alongside Qwilt, we’re equipping Kinetic by Windstream with the tools needed to bring fantastic experiences to its customers across North America and in doing so, democratize capacity across its nationwide infrastructure.”

-Theodore Tzevelekis, Vice President and Head of Business Development, Mass-scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco

Alon Maor, CEO and Co-Founder of Qwilt, said: “Soaring demand for streamed content brings an urgent need for service providers to scale their networks for the future. Through Cisco and Qwilt’s united vision, we empower service providers like Kinetic by Windstream to do more with their assets while accelerating their digital transformations. We look forward to helping modernize the way Kinetic delivers content and ready their growing network for the future of content experiences.

About Qwilt
Qwilt’s mission is to deliver connected experiences at the quality they were imagined. Its model is built on partnerships with service providers and content publishers, globally, to create a fabric that powers high-performance delivery of media and applications at the very edge of neighborhoods, big and small. Qwilt’s open architecture and inclusive business model make local edge delivery more accessible than ever before, unlocking more reliable, higher quality-of-experience at greater scale than previously possible. A growing number of the world’s leading content publishers and cable, telco, and mobile service providers rely on Qwilt for Edge Cloud services, including BT, Telecom Argentina, Telecom Italia, and Verizon. Founded in 2010, Qwilt is a leader of the Open Caching movement and a founding member of the Streaming Video Alliance. Qwilt is backed by Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cisco Ventures, Disruptive, Innovation Endeavors, Marker, and Redpoint Ventures. For more information, visit www.qwilt.com.

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future. Discover more on The Newsroom and follow us on Twitter. Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

About Kinetic
Kinetic by Windstream is a business unit of Windstream Holdings, a privately held FORTUNE 1000 communications and software company. Kinetic provides premium broadband, entertainment and security services through an enhanced fiber network to consumers and businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states. The company also offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and high-capacity bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S. Additional information is available at GoKinetic.com. Follow us on Twitter at @GoKineticHome. From Fortune. ©2021 Fortune Media IP Limited. All rights reserved. Used under license. Fortune and Fortune 1000 are registered trademarks of Fortune Media IP Limited and are used under license. Fortune is not affiliated with, and does not endorse products or services of, Windstream.

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Activity Stream and Project Admission Announce Strategic Partnership

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Activity Stream, the leading marketing platform for live entertainment, and Project Admission, the solution platform that makes buying, selling and distributing tickets for live events simple and intuitive, announced today that they have entered into a strategic partnership to further enhance their respective offerings for clients across the live event industry. "As we continue our journey to elevate every event, our focus on offering the very best data-centric products for live events is enhanced by strategic partnerships. Project Admission's transactional capabilities and innovative approach will empower our clients to better leverage their data in perfect harmony with our objectives." says Activity Stream CEO Einar Saevarsson. Adds Project Admission CEO Stephen Glicken, "From the moment we met Einar and the team behind Activity Stream, we knew there were tangible synergies between our companies. We are very bullish on the opportunities ahead for clients in being able to seamlessly leverage Activity Stream's marketing and segmentation tools that have been tactically developed to drive conversion in the live entertainment space." Activity Stream is a pioneer in data-driven solutions that increase profitability across every stage of the event lifecycle, servicing over 600 clients globally across more than 25 ticketing platforms. Activity Stream launched its Total Marketing Platform late 2021, an unparalleled industry-first marketing suite designed specifically for live entertainment. This groundbreaking platform empowers organizations to monitor sales and marketing effectiveness in real-time, gain deep insights into customer behavior, effectively segment audiences, and execute high-performance marketing campaigns with unmatched targeting precision and results. Project Admission, launched in 2018 and working with more than 50 professional sports teams across all the major North American sports leagues in addition to other key stakeholders in live entertainment, provides clients with unique monetizing features and opportunities around the life of the ticket, while also adding value and simplifying the commercialization of live events. From its customizable digital storefronts to its unrivaled bulk distribution tool to its season ticket management offerings, Project Admission addresses a breadth of ticketing needs from teams, venues and promoters' across live entertainment. "Ever since ticketing came online, there have been conversations about the opportunities to leverage data to better serve customers with customized, targeted ticketing offers," says Glicken. "We have finally arrived at the time where those conversations are a reality and it's at the nexus between Activity Stream and Project Admission." Both companies have shared a period of sustained growth. To date, Activity Stream is integrated with Ticketmaster, AXS, SeatGeek, Eventim, Tessitura, AudienceView, ShoWare and a host of others. In 2022, Activity Stream announced the acquisition of Yesplan, a venue management platform, and crowdEngage, a mobile and in-venue customer experience platform. Project Admission is integrated with SeatGeek and Tickets.com with a handful of notable integrations coming near term. The company also acquired Split Season Tickets in 2022 which is currently completing its integration with Ticketmaster as a Nexus Partner. Concludes Saevarsson, "We look forward to the year ahead with Project Admission as our partnership promises transformative experiences for our clients and their audiences, actioning data into material conversion." About Activity Stream Activity Stream envisions a world where live entertainment organizations have the power to create and deliver exceptional experiences for their audiences effortlessly. Drawing on our expertise in live entertainment and innovative technology, we've created a suite of solutions tailored to support live event organizers through every phase of the event lifecycle. From the initial conception of an event to the final settlement, our solutions help you manage your venue, build an audience, and deliver an unforgettable visitor experience. With 600+ clients across 20 countries, you will find Activity Stream solutions in many of the world's largest entertainment capitals. Learn more about our solutions and what we stand for here. About Project Admission With an extensive and flexible platform, Project Admission works directly with the live event industry to provide unique monetizing features and opportunities around the life of the ticket, adding value and simplifying the commercialization of live events. Project Admission's evolving suite of features currently provides clients across the NFL, NBA, MLS and NWSL with promotional tools to assist fans, brands, and influencers to sell tickets from custom branded storefronts. The company's current roster of clients includes the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Pelicans, Florida Panthers, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota United FC and St. Louis City FC, among others.

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Solutions

Sphere studios and stmicroelectronics reveal new details on the world's largest cinema image sensor

PR Newswire | January 12, 2024

Sphere Entertainment Co. revealed new details on its work with STMicroelectronics a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, to create the world's largest image sensor for Sphere's Big Sky camera system. Big Sky is the groundbreaking, ultra-high-resolution camera system being used to capture content for Sphere, the next-generation entertainment medium in Las Vegas. Inside the venue, Sphere features the world's largest, high-resolution LED screen which wraps up, over, and around the audience to create a fully immersive visual environment. To capture content for this 160,000 sq. ft., 16K x 16K display, the Big Sky camera system was designed by the team at Sphere Studios – the in-house content studio developing original live entertainment experiences for Sphere. Working with Sphere Studios, ST manufactured a first-of-its-kind, 18K sensor capable of capturing images at the scale and fidelity necessary for Sphere's display. Big Sky's sensor – now the world's largest cinema camera sensor in commercial use – works with the world's sharpest cinematic lenses to capture detailed, large-format images in a way never before possible. "Big Sky significantly advances cinematic camera technology, with each element representing a leap in design and manufacturing innovation," said Deanan DaSilva, lead architect of Big Sky at Sphere Studios. "The sensor on any camera is critical to image quality, but given the size and resolution of Sphere's display, Big Sky's sensor had to go beyond any existing capability. ST, working closely with Sphere Studios, leveraged their extensive expertise to manufacture a groundbreaking sensor that not only expands the possibilities for immersive content at Sphere, but also across the entertainment industry." "ST has been on the cutting edge of imaging technology, IP, and tools to create unique solutions with advanced features and performance for almost 25 years," said Alexandre Balmefrezol, Executive Vice President and Imaging Sub-Group General Manager, STMicroelectronics. "Building a custom sensor of this size, resolution, and speed, with low noise, high dynamic range, and seemingly impossible yield requirements, presented a truly novel challenge for ST – one that we successfully met from the very first wafer out of our 12" (300mm) wafer fab in Crolles, France." As a leader in the development and manufacturing of image sensors, ST's imaging technologies and foundry services cater to a wide range of markets, including professional photography and cinematography. Big Sky's 316-megapixel sensor is almost 7x larger and 40x higher resolution than the full-frame sensors found in high-end commercial cameras. The die, which measures 9.92cm x 8.31cm (82.4 cm2), is twice as large as a wallet-sized photograph, and only four full die fit on a 300mm wafer. The system is also capable of capturing images at 120 fps and transferring data at 60 gigabytes per second. Big Sky also allows filmmakers to capture large-format images from a single camera without having to stitch content together from multiple cameras – avoiding issues common to stitching including near distance limitations and seams between images. Ten patents and counting have been filed by Sphere Studios in association with Big Sky's technology. Darren Aronofsky's Postcard from Earth, currently showing at Sphere as part of The Sphere Experience, is the first cinematic production to utilize Big Sky. Since its debut, Postcard from Earth has transported audiences, taking them on a journey spanning all seven continents, and featuring stunning visuals captured with Big Sky that make them feel like they have traveled to new worlds without leaving their seats in Las Vegas. More information about The Sphere Experience is available at thesphere.com. For visual assets, please click here. About Sphere Entertainment Co. Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) is a premier live entertainment and media company. The Company includes Sphere, a next-generation entertainment medium powered by cutting-edge technologies to redefine the future of entertainment. The first Sphere venue opened in Las Vegas in September 2023. In addition, the Company includes MSG Networks, which operates two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network and MSG Sportsnet, as well as a direct-to-consumer and authenticated streaming product, MSG+, delivering a wide range of live sports content and other programming. More information is available at sphereentertainmentco.com. About STMicroelectronics: At ST, we are over 50,000 creators and makers of semiconductor technologies mastering the semiconductor supply chain with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. An integrated device manufacturer, we work with more than 200,000 customers and thousands of partners to design and build products, solutions, and ecosystems that address their challenges and opportunities, and the need to support a more sustainable world. Our technologies enable smarter mobility, more efficient power and energy management, and the wide-scale deployment of cloud-connected autonomous things. We are committed to achieving our goal to become carbon neutral on scope 1 and 2 and partially scope 3 by 2027.

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Solutions

Consello Group Announces the Launch of Strive

PR Newswire | January 15, 2024

The sports and entertainment industries are being transformed by emerging technologies, the globalization of leading brands and the institutionalization of ownership. Within this rapidly changing environment, Consello Strive will seek to empower those investing in or commercializing assets in the sports, media, and entertainment arena to maximize their business potential and create the highest sustainable value. Consello will advise on how best to evolve investments, businesses, leagues, teams, or brand strategy across technology, infrastructure, commercial partnerships and acquisitions, among other disciplines. Consello Group co-founder, and seven-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, will be joined as a founding partner in this new division by 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, and two-time NBA champion, six-time NBA All-Star and NBA Basketball Hall of Famer, Pau Gasol. Mr. Gasol will also lead a team focused on expanding Consello Strive's interests throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Consello Strive will be chaired by Mark Dowley, Chief Operating Partner at Redbird Capital, who has over 30 years of senior managerial experience in the sports and entertainment industries. Other founding partners in the new enterprise are: Declan Kelly Janey Whiteside Peter Mattoon Dr. Oscar Salazar Mindy Grossman Over the course of the coming weeks, Consello will announce a number of commercial partnership agreements with leading third-party industry participants and individuals as part of its rollout of Consello Strive around the world. Announcing the new division, Consello Group Founder, Chairman and CEO Declan Kelly said: "We believe that Consello Strive has the potential to change the entire global landscape of sports, entertainment and leadership development because of the opportunities that exist in the marketplace today and the unique experience, relationships and track record of the team we have assembled. Over the coming months we will be expanding our presence and partnerships further and rolling out a series of new services as part of the overall platform. We couldn't be more excited to have this senior group come together to build this groundbreaking new business." Tom Brady added: "Since the start of our journey at Consello our mission has been very clear – to make the best in the world even better. With Consello Strive we are bringing the very best in the world together to help advise people everywhere in the fields of sports and entertainment in ways that have never been done before. I am especially passionate about the launch of our leadership development vertical because working with leaders to drive them to search for improvement in whatever they do is something my partners and I have been devoted to our entire careers." Serena Williams added: "I am excited to deepen my relationship with Consello by joining Consello's Strive platform as a partner. The next chapter of my life will be as exciting and fulfilling as the last one, and I have no doubt that the team we have assembled here will help me do just that. I am also excited to help Consello Strive as a business to grow and expand around the world." Pau Gasol said: "I've seen firsthand the lasting impact that sports can create, both on and off the court. Joining Consello Strive as a partner is a natural step for me because of my passion for growth, mentorship, and creating impactful change, just like I am already doing through Gasol16 Ventures, my investment vehicle, and through the Gasol Foundation, whose mission is to eradicate childhood obesity. I'm excited about embarking on this journey, and I will additionally be focusing on building out our offering in the Spanish-speaking world where some of the greatest athletes, entertainers and leaders show us daily what it means to be truly great." Mark Dowley, Chairman of Consello Strive, said: "We have assembled an unstoppable team of athletes, trusted advisors to the world's business leaders, and proven global operators, who together will bring a broad-based set of perspectives, experiences and skills to the fore on behalf of the sports, entertainment and media leaders across the world. Consello Strive is unlike any other business in the market; my partners and I look forward to applying our knowledge and expertise to help our clients identify and unlock their full potential in the high growth sectors of sports, entertainment and media." Consello partner Janey Whiteside said: "Consello's unparalleled connection to the world's business leaders paired with the incomparable expertise of the sports icons involved, gives Consello Strive a unique opportunity to partner, advise and invest across the dynamic $550bn landscape that we see in front of us today in sports and entertainment. Commercializing that opportunity is something we believe we are better positioned to do than anyone else in the world today." Consello partner Mindy Grossman said: "I have spent my entire life working with and mentoring emerging leadership talent across multiple different businesses and industries, and that has taken me on an unforgettable journey through retail, sports, television, media and entertainment, and health and wellness. Launching Consello Strive today brings all those passions and interests together into one place and one platform and I truly believe we can and will change lives as part of what we are doing. I am especially thrilled that my friend and collaborator of more than 20 years, Serena Williams, is expanding her role with us on this journey and I am very confident we all can change the world together." Consello was launched less than two years ago and already has more than 100 employees and advisors, with offices in New York, London, Miami, Barcelona and Atlanta. About Consello The Consello Group is a financial services advisory and strategic investing platform. At Consello we invest capital to grow companies, we execute for our banking clients across industries, and we provide business development and marketing services to help companies grow and evolve. We also advise across sports, entertainment and leadership development, and our digital assets advisory business helps companies participate in the global digital financial services ecosystem. Consello offers these six distinct but integrated lines of businesses all on one platform: Sports, Entertainment and Leadership Development; M&A Advisory and Investment Banking; Investing; Growth and Business Development; Marketing and Brand Advisory; and Digital Assets Advisory.

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Business

Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming Expand Innovative Programs in Fight Against Human Trafficking

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming announce their ongoing commitment to the fight against human trafficking with new support tools for victims and those at risk, a youth education program, new trainings to help Team Members combat and prevent human trafficking, and work with new community partners to create a greater impact. "We are deeply committed to the work our community partners provide for those at risk, victims and survivors of human trafficking in the United States and around the world, as we work together to combat human trafficking," said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming. Over the last several years, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have implemented comprehensive protocols to increase awareness of and prevent human trafficking, including training over 27,000 hotel and casino Team Members globally and collaborating with local community partners and advocacy groups. Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are continuing their work in 2024 with direct support for victims, survivors, and at-risk youth, through the following programs: First Hospitality Brands to Globally Implement Twentyfour-Seven QR Code Created for trafficking survivors, by survivors at Twentyfour-Seven Inc., Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are the first hospitality brands to implement the Twentyfour-Seven QR code sticker, which provides critical information and support to those who need it, while also deterring traffickers from targeting individuals on the properties. The Twentyfour-Seven QR code sticker, which has resulted in several law enforcement investigations being opened, is being implemented in 44 hotels and casinos across 13 countries. This QR code, which offers information in several different languages, is helping people at risk find a way to understand their situations and the resources available for protection. Expanding Youth Education in Mexico to Prevent Online Luring Building upon the success of the Hard Rock Social Identity Quest (SIQ), an education program that helps teens understand the risks of being lured online, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have now expanded the program into classrooms in Mexico following a well-received pilot in Quintana Roo last year that reached 35,000 students. The state's Governor has made the program a mandatory part of the educational curriculum. To effectively reach Mexican youth, the SIQ content was co-developed with experts from PACT- (Protect All Children from Trafficking; formerly ECPAT-USA), ECPAT-Mexico, and EduNetwork Partners. To date, the Hard Rock Social Identity Quest was adopted and taught by 60,000 teachers in 45 U.S. states, reaching 1.2 million high school students, eight percent of the student population. Nearly 2,000 Hard Rock team members also completed the Quest with a young person in their lives. Funding our Community Partners through Change for Change Through its Change for Change program, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming will raise funds to combat human trafficking during January. Casino guests will have the opportunity to donate change from redeemed gaming vouchers to the Hard Rock Heals Foundation, where 100 percent of the funds will benefit our community partners: PACT, the first U.S. organization to focus on the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and Twentyfour-Seven. In 2023, this program raised $100,000 for PACT and Covenant House New York. Youth Employment Program with FLITE Center Florida and Covenant House New York Offered initially in New York City and extended to South Florida last year, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming's Youth Employment Program aims to help protect youth at risk and support survivors to escape a life of trafficking by helping them forge careers in hospitality. Partners include Covenant House New York City, the largest provider of runaway and homeless youth services in New York City, and FLITE Center, South Florida's leading agency for vulnerable youth and those aging out of foster care. FLITE Center provides support to vulnerable youth with guidance on education, employment, housing health and wellness, and care coordination. Setting a New Standard for Training in the Gaming Industry with the American Gaming Association Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are driving the advancement of industry practices to combat human trafficking with the American Gaming Association's (AGA) Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force's first-ever free industry-developed training, designed to be the new standard in training for the gaming industry. Working with non-profit and law enforcement partners, the AGA Taskforce created this training based on trauma-informed care and the contributions of trafficking survivors. It will help set a standard for the gaming industry and ensure that guest-facing Team Members know how to recognize signs that trafficking may occur and what steps to take. Learn more about Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming's corporate social responsibility initiatives at www.hardrock.com/social-responsibility. About Hard Rock®: Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 309 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 87,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock Hotels has been honored by J.D. Power's North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study as the number one brand in Outstanding Guest Satisfaction for two consecutive years, and among the top Upper Upscale Hotels for four consecutive years. HRI became the first privately-owned gaming company designated a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal in 2021, and has since been honored threefold. Hard Rock was also honored by Forbes among the World's Best Employers, as well as Best Employers for Women, Diversity and New Grads and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. In the 2022 Global Gaming Awards, Hard Rock was named Land-Based Operator of the Year for the second time in four years. Hard Rock International currently holds investment grades from primary investment-grade rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Fitch Ratings (BBB). For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com or shop.hardrock.com. About Seminole Gaming: Seminole Gaming manages six Florida casino enterprises for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, including Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla. Seminole Gaming has long been recognized for its industry innovations and success. The Seminole Tribe was the first Indian Tribe in North America to open Ultimate Bingo, a high-stakes bingo hall and casino, which debuted in 1979 and became the forerunner of the Indian Gaming movement. Seminole Gaming is currently the only gaming company with investment grade ratings from all three primary investment-grade rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB), Moody's Corporation (Baa2) and Fitch Ratings (BBB).

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