Numlock News: September 19, 2019 • CCTV, RV, SVU
By Walt Hickey
Japan is now hosting the Rugby World Cup, a six-week-long event where earth’s drunkest nations compete in the sport. Japan likes beer, sure — they drank 53.5 liters per person in 2018 — but a third of tickets have been sold to overseas fans, most of whom are from Britain, Australia, and Ireland, three nations that love to party: Per capita, the U.K. consumes 88.6 liters of beer annually, Australia consumes 97.6 liters and Ireland consumes 117.9 liters of beer per capita. This is leading Japanese beer distributors — such as Kirin Holdings, which brews the official beer of the Rugby Cup Heineken in one location in Japan — on a logistical expedition to ensure that stadiums all over the country are stocked up ahead of what’s projected to be a 40 percent to 50 percent pop in sales for pubs.
Dick Wolf, the producer of the Law & Order franchise, as well as the three Chicago shows and more, is being courted for an overall streaming deal that will be one of the most dizzying licensing deals in an already ridiculous summer of streaming. Dick Wolf’s arsenal of cop-related content — Law & Order, spinoffs of SVU and Criminal Intent, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, FBI, New York Undercover, and Cold Justice — combines to 72 seasons of content, together 1,568 total hours of dedicated detectives investigating vicious felonies. NBCUniversal, which just announced its streaming network will be called Peacock, is hungrily eyeing that library with a drooling lupine grin. The cost alone of obtaining such a hoard could also mean that the House of Wolf gets divided up between two networks.
A new report analyzing municipal surveillance found that six U.S. cities cracked the top fifty when it came to security camera use, which from 2012 to 2016 had been estimated to have grown from 33 million to 62 million in the U.S. Eight of the top ten cities were in China, the other two being London (68.4 cameras per 1,000 people) and Atlanta (15.56 cameras per thousand). Other U.S. cities in the top 50 were Chicago (13.06 cameras per thousand people) which beat out Baghdad (12.3) and Washington D.C. (5.61) which came out just north of St. Petersburg (5.53). China is the surveillance capital of the world, as by 2020 anywhere from 200 million to 626 million cameras will be in use, up to one CCTV camera for every two people.
National CineMedia is the largest theater advertising company, controlling 65 percent of the market for in-theater ads. Tuesday, the company announced that Regal and Cinemark both agreed to run six minutes of commercials after the posted movie showtime — a period that has typically held only trailers, with advertisements taking place before the advertised showtime — including a minute-long mid-roll ad during the trailers. It’s one solution that exhibitors are turning to with box office sales down 6 percent this year, though AMC — the largest chain — rejected the strategy, because they’re not complete maniacs who want to make their core offering, a pleasant experience, bad. That new spot will begin November 1 on half their networks.
The way television gets made in the U.K. has changed drastically, and in many ways Downton Abbey was the leader in the new kind of globalization of television. Back in the day, British television was introduced to foreigners the old-fashioned way: by comedy nerds sharing YouTube rips of Mitchell and Webb shows, or torrent-savvy American teenagers pirating Skins, or eighth graders being told about Monty Python by the cool teacher and ruining their parents’ lives for several months. But now it’s different, as budget cuts at the networks — BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 collectively cut their drama budgets by 44 percent — has led them to look to international co-productions. That U.K. television export market has since contributed $1.6 billion to the economy.
Following the housing market crash, the RV industry was crushed: industry sales of recreational vehicles fell 60 percent, to just 165,700 in 2009. It was an implosion, but the recovery has been steady, with the industry growing a solid 6 to 8 percent year over year steadily since. That’s led to some quality control problems — 80 percent of all RVs worldwide are made in Elkhart, Indiana on manual assembly lines, rather than the more roboticized and consistent automobile assembly — and recent tariffs have led to some adjustments in sourcing material to less ideal and more cost-conscious types. The industry — now booming, with 482,000 units sold last year, though shipments are down 20 percent this year — is working to expand the group of 13,000 RV techs to keep up with repair and assembly needs.
Apple is in a bare knuckle tax fight with the European Union, which ruled in 2016 that the corporation owes 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland. The European Commission ordered the computer corporation to pay up as part of a crackdown on tax avoidance, which the EU said happened when Ireland did not properly assess the company’s tax bill. In 2014, Apple’s Irish unit paid a 0.005 percent tax rate. Apple claims that on average they pay a global tax rate of 26 percent, and is arguing with the EU in front of a panel of five judges over two days.
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