The process of obtaining, building and testing IFE content has always been a mystery to us so during a recent visit to Panasonic’s Lake Forest, CA facility we decided to ask about the process. Of interest was content handling security and aircraft system testing, and since both subjects fall into the realm of Panasonic’s Julie Lichty, Director, Media and Creative Services (MCS), we had a few questions for her. We note that while there, the movie content room is a high security editing/review facility whereby digitally transmitted movie content is received, stored, and where the subtitles and closed captioning are integrated (per airline requirements), it reminded us of a secure location in a bank. For the most part, only approved visitors are allowed entry and they must not have any recording or photographic equipment, etc. When we asked Julie about the locked rooms housing a number of media experts, she told IFExpress: “We value content from the Studios and content owners and deliver great care in protecting and using what the airlines want for their passengers. Our job is to make sure that all content is secure, that it is integrated as the airline ordered it. Finally, we want to ensure that it all comes together in a way that will seamlessly work onboard the airlines aircraft equipped with a Panasonic system… in other words, we want a happy airline and satisfied passengers – that is our job number one!” We also addressed the following questions to Julie and we think our readers will find her answers interesting:

Q: Why does Panasonic have media centers?

Julie: Completing the task of content integration is not simply putting a movie in a folder. So, Panasonic instituted MCS (Media & Creative Services) to facilitate the update process. MCS’ mission is to provide our customers with an on-time, high quality, perfectly executed turnkey solution, which integrates the media with the software and hardware. Panasonic has invested in establishing regional media centers to better service the respective customers nearby. This affords the customers the ability to work with a Panasonic staff member who is nearer in time zone, appreciates the cultural sensitivities and work with the local content owners to receive and integrate their content for the airlines. These centers also afford the customer the ability to come on-site (a lot closer than trying to trek to Lake Forest) to review their content in advance of release to the field as needed.

Q:How many people are dedicated to airline content development/production world wide in the 7 media centers?

Julie: We have 116 highly dedicated professionals.

Q: How many square feet (approx.) are dedicated to airline content storage and development in the California offices?

Julie: In Lake Forest we have 14,754 Sq. Feet

Q: From what IFExpress has seen, security is very important to your operation… what is done and how is media protected?

Julie: Content security is a top priority for Panasonic. We have created an environment that helps maintain the focus on security while utilizing best in class technologies for content management. Our server room hosts state-of-the-art storage specifically designed and optimized for media. This room is restricted to key personnel who have badge access. This is where all media assets are stored encrypted. Files will be sent into Panasonic digitally and housed on the storage. From there, our personnel can access the file from our QC lab where the technician will validate the technical aspects of the file (bit rate, frames per second, aspect ratio, etc.) then visually inspect the file for artifacts, lip sync, language tracks, etc. We will often be QC’ing files that are still in theaters so again content security is paramount. Both the server room and QC lab is badge accessible by only qualified staff. Neither location has access to the Internet nor are any removable hard drives (thumb or larger) or devices with cameras on them allowed in there. Additionally, we have security members watching the cameras overlooking the area 24×7.

Q: Who do you work with for content support – suppliers and airlines?

Julie: Currently Panasonic works with all 6 of the major Hollywood Studios, Regional content owners from every part of the globe, 35+ TV and Short Subject content owners, Major & independent record labels to amass content for over 238 airlines customers. On average we send updates out for 190 of the customers monthly.

Q: How do the movies come in to Panasonic and what are the security processes involved – does content arrive digitally… is it transmitted?

Julie: Most assets (95%) are sent to us via Signiant or SmartJog, which are studio approved secure digital file transmission systems. These point-to-point connections allow media to be moved from point A to point B in an encrypted state while best utilizing the bandwidth. All movies are watermarked for their individual airline customer and unique file naming conventions ensure that the right file is delivered to the right airline customer.

Q: We assume that once the content is assembled for an aircraft, it goes to testing on the representative Panasonic/plane system. How long does this take on average?

Julie: This really depends on the system type, the quantity of media and the media configuration (route based programming, parental lock, applications used, etc.). Rack testing can last anywhere from 2 days to 10 days depending on the items outlined above.

Q: How many Panasonic IFE systems are simulated for testing there?

Julie: We integrate all of the media for Panasonic customers using our systems and deliver service across 10 platforms.

Q: We assume airlines and/or art houses submit media, as well as movie studios for airline video content… is that correct?

Julie: Yes, we receive movies, TV content, Documentaries, Broadcast Audio, CD’s, VPA’s, BGM files, Safety Videos and other airline owned assets, Destination Videos and the like.

Q: You deliver content in what forms… tapes, discs, digital? Other?

Julie: Approx. 95% of the media is sent to us digitally and the remaining 5% is a mix of Removable Hard Drives and DVD/CD’s.

Q: What is the most common movie modification the airlines request?

Julie: With the edits we receive it’s mostly language and nudity that’s modified.

Q: Is there one movie more than others that airlines request?

Julie: Every month the hot Hollywood titles are commonly selected across a large number of airlines globally. I can’t say 1 movie is a hotter commodity over another.

Q: Is Panasonic the Media Encoding Lab? We assume someone takes all the input and digitizes it as well as fixing the movie changes.

Julie: No, the encoding labs are companies like Cinemagnetics and Post-Modern Edit, and now Global Eagle Entertainment. The labs will vault the Studio’s assets and digitize them into our encoding specification and digitally deliver them to Panasonic.

Q: How is this process changed for onboard wireless transmission to passengers?

Julie: To support eXW it hasn’t changed our process any. We adjust to a different “seat” type, which is all. We clearly have to continue our content security focus and ensure that the content works at the device level vs. a seat back embedded screen.

Q: Assume Panasonic or airline employees load the aircraft? How? What Panasonic products are involved?

Julie: Both airline employees and Panasonic PTS (Professional Technical Services) load media to the aircraft. To load the a/c various types of loaders can be utilized based on the system type. We have portable loaders, solid-state drive OML, etc.

Q: What is it Panasonic can do that other IFE houses can’t… or are they all about the same?

Julie: Every hardware manufacturer has their own integration process to enable the media to be consumable at the aircraft. However, Panasonic is able to provide our customers with extensive quality checks throughout the integration process, we mux subtitles/closed captions for our customers and we can offer them integration of our One Media ad service to help them monetize the system. We think we are the best!

Q: How many airlines are signed up for Panasonic content development/loading?

Julie: We have over 238 customers! Here are some more MCS Statistics:
We receive over 35,000 files a month – this equates to about 7-8 TB of new media delivered to Panasonic.
We ship out approximately 34 TB of content each month
• With all of the new files & held over files we manage over 475,000 files a month.

So readers, the next time you are sitting in your airplane seat you will know a bit more about the process, time and effort provided by the IFE manufacturer to ensure a quality viewing experience en route to your destination. Stay Tuned, and thank you, Julie!

Los Angeles | May 20, 2015– Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (“GEE”) (Nasdaq:ENT), a market-leading media and connectivity provider to the travel industry, today announced that it has been selected by Avianca Holdings to provide the in-flight entertainment service onboard its subsidiary airlines.

The agreement, underscores GEE’s strong foothold in the Latin American market. Currently, GEE provides IFE content and software solutions to over a dozen airlines in the region.Through this long-term agreement, GEE will provide a variety of international and regional inflight entertainment (IFE), including movies, TV programming and audio, to Avianca’s fleet of 168+ aircraft. The agreement will also be extended to provide content services on the 33+ A320neo aircraft that the airlines recently committed on order from Airbus. In addition, GEE will also provide content technical services to the airlines.

“We’re delighted to be selected as the content service provider across Avianca’s entire fleet,” explained Amir Samnani, Senior Vice President of Content at GEE. “Latin America is an important market for GEE, as it is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Our agreement with Avianca highlights our commitment to meeting the needs of our global customers through our regional presence and expertise.”

Avianca’s CEO, Fabio Villegas, said: “The alliance with GEE will allow Avianca travelers to enjoy a new onboard experience, with a wide offer of high quality content that will make our flights much more enjoyable. Its experience and knowledge in IFE systems for commercial airlines make GEE, without a doubt, the ideal partner for Avianca.

Itasca, IL | March 4, 2015– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider and the world leader in wireless in-flight entertainment, will partner with Spafax to support the management and development of content for Gogo’s wireless in-flight entertainment product – Gogo Vision.

Spafax is a global leader when it comes to the management and curation of content for the aero market and currently has partnerships with more than 50 airlines. Gogo Vision is currently installed on more than 1700 commercial aircraft on six major airlines and a growing number of business aircraft.

“Partnering with Spafax is a natural fit. Tapping into their global content experience and leveraging it for our Gogo Vision product will only strengthen what has become the industry leading wireless IFE product,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief commercial officer. “As we begin to roll out this product globally, having access to content tailored to fit the needs of different cultures and regions around the world will be an incredible asset.”

“We are excited to partner with Gogo as they accelerate the global expansion of their highly successful Gogo Vision Product,” adds Niall McBain, CEO of Spafax. “Content is at the core of our business, and we know that our international team of experts will help deliver an even more appealing and diverse Gogo Vision entertainment offer.”

Spafax currently works with hundreds of original content providers, including all major Hollywood and international studios. In addition to content procurement, Spafax’s world-class operations team will provide assistance to streamline the content delivery and integration process, further increasing speed and reliability for Gogo’s airline clients.

Los Angeles, CA | January 6, 2015– Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: ENT), a worldwide leading provider of content, connectivity and digital media solutions to airlines, has been selected by Hong Kong Airlines to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) and content services for their entire fleet.

Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) provides Hong Kong Airlines (HKA) with an array of regional and international content including movies, TV programming and audio for their seat-back and wireless AVOD systems, providing their customers with a superior passenger experience. HKA is an internationally acclaimed carrier and flies routes throughout Asia, including Beijing, Shanghai, Sanya, Bangkok, Bali and Okinawa.

To enhance the content onboard HKA, GEE also provides a catalog of regional and international digital publications for the airline’s digital wireless eReader. Local and international publishers have been instrumental in helping to make the deployment of digital publications possible, including Asia Review of Books, Bookworm Club, Haymarket Media Limited, Hwa Ker Publishing Co. Ltd., New Media Group, and Random House LLC.

“We’re thrilled to offer Hong Kong Airlines a robust IFE program and to support the airline’s wireless strategy through relevant and engaging content services” commented Walé Adepoju, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at GEE.

“Hong Kong Airlines has received a four-star rating from SKYTRAX for three consecutive years and we aim to continue to provide the same level of excellent service and quality IFE to our passengers with our content partner GEE,” added Mr. Stanley Kan, Hong Kong Airlines Director of Service Delivery.

London, United Kingdom | November 27, 2014– Bluebox Avionics is delighted to announce today its provision of the Bluebox Ai application to Dragonair, the Hong Kong-based airline, for deployment with its new Airbus A320 wireless inflight entertainment streaming system.

Through Ai-enabled iPads the airline’s Business Class passengers, when connected to the in-cabin wireless IFE system, can enjoy both pre-loaded premium movies and access to cabin-streamed content.

“Out of the 25 airlines now employing Bluebox, Dragonair is the first customer to adopt our application specifically to integrate with in-cabin wireless IFE”, notes Bluebox spokesman Kevin Birchmore. “We like to take that as a vote of confidence in our recent work around hybrid IFE, from a highly respected and, quite rightly, a highly demanding new client.”

Bluebox Hybrid empowers airlines to offer Early Window Content (pre-DVD and retail-release movies) and access to streamed IFE in one integrated proposition. The secure app for iPad Air and iPad mini can interface with a Hollywood-approved wireless streaming solution to complete a premium IFE platform as content-rich as any fitted system. It is approved by major studios to host EWC and is the market leader in tablet IFE – now with over 14,000 units flying.

Bluebox Hybrid users enjoy the same superior audio, retina display screens and iOS games that the iPad delivers on the ground, and with closed-caption capability as standard.

Ultimo, Australia | November 12, 2014– Virgin Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) have today announced an innovative new partnership giving passengers exclusive access to daily ABC news bulletins across the airline’s international and domestic network for the first time.

Passengers travelling on board the airline’s Boeing 737 and Embraer 190 fleet, which service more than 33 destinations domestically, will be able to stream dedicated daily news bulletins direct to their own devices from early 2015. The exclusive content will be available through Virgin Australia’s pioneering wireless in-flight entertainment app, which was the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region when it launched in 2013.

Three 15 minute ABC bulletins covering news and weather, sport, business and finance, were also introduced to Virgin Australia’s wide-body fleet earlier this month, through the airline’s award-winning seatback entertainment system, Red.

Virgin Australia’s Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said: “The Virgin brand was born in entertainment and has a long history of leading this space. Today we are delighted to be taking our in-flight content offering to the next level with one of the most comprehensive and reputable news services in Australia.

“We continue to enhance the customer experience both on the ground and in the air and by delivering valuable, unique and trusted Australian news content on a daily basis we will ensure our customers reach their destination informed of the latest current affairs. We are delighted to be working with the ABC to better service the needs of our business and leisure travellers and look forward to continuing to expand this unique offering into the future,” Mr Hassell said.

From next year, four 90-second news briefs, refreshed multiple times a day, will be available for passengers through Virgin Australia’s wireless In-flight Entertainment platform.

Director of ABC Commercial, Robert Patterson, said: “I am thrilled that ABC Commercial are to partner with Virgin Australia and offer such a great news service, along with the variety of ABC comedy, drama and children’s programming to travellers on Virgin Australia flights.”

Head of ABC News Content, Gaven Morris said: “ABC News is excited to partner with Virgin Australia to provide Australia’s most trusted and comprehensive news service to travellers across Australia and the world. Every day we’ll keep Virgin Australia’s passengers informed with news, analysis and weather as well as business and sport updates.”

Virgin Australia’s wireless In-Flight Entertainment app has been downloaded more than 1.4 million times since January 2013. The app can be downloaded on Apple iOS devices (iPad®; iPhone®; iPod touch®), Android devices (phone or tablet) and Windows laptops through the relevant app stores.

  • Beer to lead Spafax’s growing technical team in California

London | July 21, 2014– Global content and media agency Spafax has appointed Andy Beer to Vice President Technical Services.

Beer joins Spafax in this new role in the company’s Orange County office, bringing more than 10 years of experience in the IFE industry. He is also a member of the APEX Technical Committee, and will continue his place as a Spafax representative.

Beer was previously Vice President of Technology for Inflight Productions. He started his career in the music industry, as technical manager at Master Rock Studios and Phoenix Sound Ltd in London.

“We are thrilled to have Andy join Spafax and could not have a better candidate for leading our California operations,”Tony Taverner, Chief Technical Officer, Spafax. “We’re confident in Andy’s ability to grow out the California service offerings and be working on cutting edgetechnologies that support our clients globally.”

Spafax’s technical services team of 25 in Orange County, California is the production and fulfillment hub for our worldwide inflight entertainment (IFE) business. Spafax currently works with over 25 major airline clients to program, license and deliver their IFE content.

United Kingdom | October 16th, 2013 – IFP is delighted to announce that it has signed a multi-year agreement with SriLankan Airlines to provide route-specific inflight entertainment (IFE) content services for the airline’s international flight destinations including the Far East, India, the Middle-East, Europe and Russia.

The new programming also promises to showcase Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage, history and business opportunities through a blend of movies, TV shows and audio recordings relevant to passengers traveling with the airline.

“Our IFE programming will reflect the excellence in service we aim to provide to each of our customers and the prestige of our airline as the national carrier of Sri Lanka,” commented Mr. Jeyaseelan G T, Chief Marketing Officer at SriLankan Airlines. “We are thrilled to have the support of IFP to ensure our inflight entertainment is of the highest standards and meets the expectations of our passengers.”

“SirLankan Airlines is a well-respected airline and this agreement underlines IFP’s expertise and commitment to providing some of the industry’s widest variety of international content,” added Wale Adepoju, COO of AIA, Parent company of IFP.

Knutsford, Cheshire, UK | July 1, 2013– IFE Services, one of the world’s leading in-flight entertainment (IFE) providers, announced today that it was Iberia’s technical consultant for its Panasonic eX2 system.
IFE Services supported the Iberia team on system design, capacity, functionality, applications configuration and customisation for its Panasonic eX2 system with QT GUI.

Business Plus passengers can now enjoy new and intuitive entertainment options using 15.5” screens similar to those seen on tablet computers, plus 4.2” touch screen remotes with a virtual keyboard with which passengers can make telephone calls, send text messages and easily access the available content.

Major enhancements in economy have been introduced too with overhead screens being replaced with a highly advanced in-flight entertainment system for every passenger that includes individual 9” touch screens through which a wide selection of IFE content can be enjoyed. Every seat has a connection port for Apple devices and a USB port, whilst universal power sockets are also available.

The new eX2 system was successfully launched across Iberia’s fleet of A330 aircraft in February this year following a two year collaboration with IFE Services. By mid 2015 a total of 8 new A330s will join the fleet and 17 A340s will be retrofitted with the new IFE system and interiors.

Technical consultancy for this project was led by IFE Services’ Spanish team with support from the company’s technical teams in the USA and UK.

IFE Services has been Iberia’s IFE content service provider for two decades. As well as supplying Spain’s leading airline with movies, TV shows and audio, IFE Services meets all of its original production requirements.

“We selected IFE Services for its expertise of the Panasonic eX2 system,” said Iberia’s Product Design Manager. “We knew they would be flexible enough to manage this project against very tight timescales and they significantly helped us to successfully implement this demanding project in time.”

– Leading in-flight entertainment content service provider has signed an agreement with Miami-based in-flight games specialist to bring high quality PlayStation, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, iOS and Android games to airline passengers.

Knutsford, Cheshire, UK | June 26, 2013– Leading in-flight entertainment provider, IFE Services, has signed an agreement with in-flight games specialist, GUE Tech, that will significantly improve the gaming experience of airline passengers.

Miami-based GUE Tech has developed a growing and exclusive catalogue of 160 high-quality games from the PlayStation, Xbox 360, Wii, PC Android and iOS platforms covering genres including action, sport, interactive movie, role-playing, racing, strategy, arcade, shooter, adventure, educational and puzzle. Very popular iconic games such as Warm Up, Fallout, Worms, Redneck Rampage, Gun Metal and Alone in the Dark, which have sold millions of copies ‘on the ground’, are now available to airlines to license for the first time. The games have been tested on all major embedded IFE systems.

GUE Tech first hit the headlines back in March this year when the company announced that it had licensed 15 games to Singapore Airlines for its ‘Red Eye Games Collection’. IFE Services, which currently provides IFE content to 43 airlines globally, is now working closely with GUE Tech to bring its games to a wider market.

“As an independent and innovative IFE provider we’re constantly monitoring the market for exciting new content suppliers on behalf of our clients,” said Andy McEwan, CEO of IFE Services. “When we came across GUE Tech’s catalogue of games we were very impressed. We now have access to the highest quality in-flight games on the market and cannot wait to demonstrate them to airlines all over the world. We know their passengers will love playing these fantastic games.”

“We’re very proud of our in-flight games which we’ve sourced from highly respected publishers such as Atari, Interplay, Team17 and Anuman,” said Max Lingua, CEO of GUE Tech. “Iconic titles like Broken Sword, Syberia and Myst made history in the terrestrial gaming world selling millions of copies. Our games catalogue includes a wide variety of genres so there is truly something for everyone to enjoy in-flight. We’re very excited to be working closely with IFE Services to bring our games catalogue to airlines that wish to offer their passengers a great gaming experience.”

– Available every quarter, ‘IFE Insight’ includes useful facts and figures about the IFE industry in an interesting and engaging way.

Knutsford, Cheshire, UK | February 28, 2013– IFE Services launched the first infographic for the in-flight entertainment (IFE) industry today.

Named ‘IFE Insight’, the infographic includes visual representations of useful facts and figures from around the IFE world in an interesting and engaging way. Some of the hot IFE topics covered include ancillary revenues, Wi-Fi connectivity, passenger behaviour, forthcoming entertainment content and the use of different types of personal electronic devices (PEDs) in-flight.

The infographic shows some staggering statistics such as the $22.64b spent by airline passengers on ancillary revenues last year and the $1.5b predicted to be spent on in-flight connectivity services by 2015. The proliferation of personal electronic devices (PEDs) is evident with 82% of airline passengers globally taking a smartphone onboard and 19% an eReader such as a Kindle.

“We continually research the major trends taking place within the IFE industry so that we can provide our airline clients with accurate and relevant information at all times,” said Andy McEwan, CEO of IFE Services. “We wanted to share some of our findings with the wider IFE community and hope that IFE professionals around the world will find our infographic useful.”

To download the ‘IFE Insight’ infographic visit:

London, UK | February 20, 2013– Global content agency Spafax has signed a long-term agreement with Scandinavia’s leading airline SAS to continue to provide video entertainment and for new audio, publishing and production services.

Spafax will continue to provide early-release Hollywood and Scandinavian films and award-winning TV dramas, documentaries, children’s TV, sports and current affairs programmes. Chinese and Japanese films will be aired on flights to and from Asia.

In addition Spafax will provide:

– A new in-flight audio entertainment service including:

business and lifestyle podcasts,
new channel themed around Scandinavian culture,
multi-lingual audio books,
ambient, classical, rock, jazz and pop music channels;
– A revamped in-flight entertainment guide featuring best picks, reviews and listings;

– Branded content marketing promos.

Sue Pinfold, Executive Vice President for IFE, Spafax said:

“We are delighted that after fourteen years SAS continues to trust us with their passengers’ content experience. We are now looking forward to extending how we do this in ever more engaging, new and innovative ways.”

Gunilla Ait El Mekki, Head of SAS Cabin Interior and IFEC said:

“Spafax continues to be our supplier of choice. They have the expertise and knowledge of our passengers, who are discerning and sophisticated, and know what they do and don’t want from their in-flight entertainment experience.

– Leading in-flight entertainment provider believes Apple’s new mini tablet will be a hit with airline passengers.

Knutsford, Cheshire, UK | December 12, 2012– IFE Services, one of the world’s leading in-flight entertainment (IFE) providers, announced today that it can provide a variety of content that can be exhibited on the iPad Mini for airline passengers to enjoy.

Released in November 2012, the iPad Mini is ideal as a portable in-flight entertainment device, weighing in at just 308 grams and featuring a 7.9 inch screen and storage capacity up to 64 Gb. It can be loaded with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, games, e-magazines and apps and be rented out to passengers during their flight or offered complimentary depending on the airline’s business model.

IFE Services, which currently provides in-flight entertainment to over 50 airlines with a combination of embedded and portable systems, has signed content agreements for the larger iPad tablet with 8 airlines to date making it the market leader in this space.

“We believe that the iPad Mini is a brilliant portable IFE device for airline passengers to enjoy,” said Andy McEwan, CEO of IFE Services. “It’s light, has a long battery life and can be loaded with a wide array of fantastic in-flight entertainment content. We’re confident it will be a huge hit with airlines and their customers.”

August 17, 2011 — M-Net, the leading South African broadcaster, is bringing over 100 hours of African content to showcase to the in-flight entertainment industry at the APEX 2011 EXPO. Its catalogue features a diverse range of programming including new titles looking at the true story of South Africa’s historical victory at the 1995 Rugby World Cup and a moving documentary on the life of Nelson Mandela.

Highlights from M-Net’s range of programming will include:

Playing the Enemy – The True Story of ‘Invictus’ (1x54’) is an award-winning documentary produced by HelenaNogueira. The film tells the story of South Africa’s national rugby team, the Springboks, and their miraculous victory at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The Springbok’s were once hated by the black community, viewed as ambassadors of Apartheid, playing a game that many saw as a symbol of oppression. But on that day, rugby became the most powerful unifying tool for the nation, and is seen by many as the final catalyst in the birth of a new South Africa.

The African Film Library –(over 900 hours of content available) M-Net’s African Film Library is the largest collection of award winning African full length feature films, documentaries and short films. AFL is available for licensing for in- flight entertainment purposes. The library contains films for all regions and languages including a fine selection of films from Francophone, Lusophone and Arabophone Africa and African Diaspora.

The Last Mile (1x26’) is a one-off documentary on the life of Nelson Mandela produced by Jennie Pogrund. Featuring a collection of archive footage including interviews and clips of Mandela through the different stages of his political career, the documentary pieces together his extraordinary story. From times of extreme struggle and his incarceration to becoming South Africa’s first black president, The Last Mile gives viewers a unique view of Mandela’s journey in becoming one of the country’s most influential and well-respected figures.

Cooking with Siba (13x24’) is a new cooking series produced for M-Net by Homebrew Films. Siba Mtongwana, one of South-Africa’s most renowned food editors, shares her knowledge of the continent’s culinary trends by cooking up a selection of recipes in each episode. She is also joined in the kitchen by a guest celebrity in each show, who helps her cook up their favourite dishes whilst chatting and providing an insight into their own eating habits.

African Kaleidoscope (52x48’) is a new culture series produced by M-Net. The programme profiles Africa’s leading personalities including Senegalese music giant Ishmael Lo, South African songstress Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Zimbabwean-born muso Louis Mhalanga. African Kaleidoscope takes viewers on a journey across Africa as the celebrity guests share their perspectives on the diverse cultural landscapes of this vibrant continent.

Koowee (12 inserts, 7hrs per day) is a brand new kids channel produced for M-Net. Aimed at children aged between one and six years old, Koowee boasts 15 animated series featuring an array of bright and colourful characters. Programmes include Bundu Buddies, Froggies, Matilda and Thembi and Themba.

In addition, M-Net will be taking the following programmes to the Expo:

· Nollywood Films – a selection of films from M-Net’s pay TV channel, Africa Magic
· All Access (26x25’)
· Amplified (13x24’)
· Goal Diggerz (26x26’)
· Kwela Funnies (400x1’)
· Pranks (25x5’)
· Pretty Yende (1x78’)
· Projek Mandela (1x52’)
· Studio 53 Extra (40x26’)

For further information on these programmes, please visit:

Lausanne, Switzerland – May 17, 2011 — PubliGroupe sells its subsidiary Emphasis Video Entertainment to Advanced Inflight Alliance, an internationally operating Munich-based company specialized in inflight entertainment.

The sale is part of the structural simplification of the group structure announced in November 2010. Under this reorganization, Custom Publishing ceased to exist as an independent business segment as of 1 January 2011 with PubliGroupe seeking to concentrate its activities in the three business segments Media Sales, Search & Find and Digital & Marketing Services that exhibit the greatest earnings potential.

In assessing the video film business that Emphasis Video Entertainment (EVE) has successfully built up in recent years alongside its programming for Asian airlines, PubliGroupe believed that the enter-prise and its 16 employees would find a more coherent framework for future success in an international firm of over 400 employees fully devoted to this activity.

The other activities of the Asia-based Emphasis Group in the field of Custom Publishing (Emphasis Media) were incorporated into the ‘Media Sales’ business segment as part of the Asian division of Publicitas managed out of Singapore since January 2011. This integration further strengthened its marketing and sales potential to the benefit of the media partners in the region.

The agreement between PubliGroupe and Advanced Inflight Alliance was signed 17 May 2011 with a closing anticipated in June 2011.