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30 September 2012

Melbourne Storm wins the NRL grand final - 30th September 2012

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Melbourne Storm wins the NRL grand final...

Melbourne is celebrating its second NRL Premiership after beating the Bulldogs 14-4 in the NRL Grand Final at a packed ANZ Stadium.
In a fiery match that was marred by a biting allegation, the Storm held on with an impressive defensive performance to keep the Bulldogs scoreless in the second half.

Baccarat deals big profit for Crown...


James Packer's strategy to lure Asian high-rollers to his revamped Crown Perth entertainment complex appears to be paying off in spectacular style after the casino's gross gaming revenue leapt 25 per cent to a record $634 million last financial year.
And it was baccarat, a card game wildly popular with Asian gamblers and the game of choice for so-called "whales", or wealthy high-stakes punters, that was almost solely responsible for the bumper result. Figures contained in the Gaming and Wagering Commission's annual report, tabled in State Parliament this week, shed light on Mr Packer's Perth gambling operation that is not provided in Crown's reports to the Australian stock exchange. They showed that gross revenue from gaming machines, blackjack, roulette and other casino games was only marginally up in 2011-12 compared with the previous financial year. Attendance at the casino and the number of gaming machines and tables were virtually unchanged. But gross revenue from baccarat exploded, doubling to $245 million. The record gaming revenue delivered $106 million in gambling taxes to State Government coffers. Crown did not comment on the figures, but casino operators in Las Vegas and Macau have relied increasingly on baccarat, a game of chance, to land the "whales" that can make or break a casino gaming operation. The Gaming and Wagering Commission, which regulates the operation of Crown Perth, will soon be asked to decide on Crown's application for an extra 500 gaming machines and 130 gaming tables, an application the State Government has indicated it will not oppose as part of a deal for Crown to build a new 500-room, six-star hotel. (The West Australian)

More trouble for Star City Casino owners' board...


ALAN KOHLER, PRESENTER: More ructions at the Echo Entertainment company, the one that owns the Star City casino in Sydney. Another board member, Brett Paton, quit this week and CEO Larry Mullin will leave in January. It looks to be falling apart, that place. And James Packer mustn't be able to believe his luck. So why was - what happened with Larry Mullin? Got sacked? ADELE FERGUSON, COMMENTATOR, THE AGE AND SMH: Well it appears to be so, despite the spin around it. They had a meeting on the Tuesday and the decision was made with - it was unanimous except for one director that he should go and the one director that was backing him resigned on the Wednesday. ALAN KOHLER: So is it good for Packer or not? ADELE FERGUSON: I think it is good for Packer because he's been pushing the line that Echo isn’t run very well, it hasn't got control of its finances - they had to have a big equity raising recently. So, yes, it sort of plays into Packer's hands, disruption, board unstable. There was a piece in the newspapers saying dysfunctional board. ALAN KOHLER: Yes. But Packer's obviously playing a long game to become the casino operator in Sydney as well as in Melbourne, right? IVOR RIES, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, WILSOM HTM: Australia's casino king. ALAN KOHLER: Australia's casino king. He's patient. I mean, he could just launch a takeover offer for Echo, but he doesn't want to pay the money. ADELE FERGUSON: Well he’s - at the moment he's applied ... ALAN KOHLER: He’s applied, yes. ADELE FERGUSON: ... to go to 25 per cent. He has to get permission for that. So he’s not going to be screaming out, "I want to make a takeover bid" because the share price would go right up. So he's putting out that - a joint venture, and maybe that’s one of the options. If that doesn't work, then there possibly would be a takeover bid. IVOR RIES: And trying to go past 25 per cent, doesn't there have to be some sort of Government inquiry or something into whether he's allowed to do that or not? ADELE FERGUSON: Well, there’s already the Government inquiry into him going to 25 per cent. Any time they have to go above in 5 per cent increments ... IVOR RIES: So it’s not going to be resolved overnight. It’s going to take a - be a long, slow process. ADELE FERGUSON: That’s right. And he would not want the share price to be running away. (ABC)


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29 September 2012

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Google becomes online advertising king...
Gooogle has become the US market leader in online display ads, and now leads all categories for internet advertising including search and mobile, a market research firm said today. The firm eMarketer said Google will top the market for online display advertising with $US2.31 billion ($2.2 billion) in revenues -- 15.4 per cent of the market -- in 2012. Google will thus overtake Facebook in display, after the social network dethroned longtime leader Yahoo! last year, eMarketer said. The milestone means Google now holds more share than any other company in each of the US search, display and mobile advertising markets. Google will see a 38 per cent jump in online display ad revenue this year, the report said. Facebook, the consultancy said, will earn $US2.16 billion in US display ad revenues this year, up 24.4 per cent from billion last year. Facebook's share will be 14.4 per cent. Yahoo! will see nearly flat revenues for display ads, which will mean its market share will fall to 9.3 per cent this year from 11 percent last year and 14 percent in 2010. The eMarketer estimate said the overall US display ad market will grow 21.5 per cent to $US14.98 billion from $US12.33 billion in 2011, aided by mobile growth; and increased spending growth on digital video advertising, especially on Google-owned YouTube.
Renner: Avengers stunts were blast'...

Jeremy Renner has raved about his time in Hollywood blockbuster Avengers Assemble - because he loved the catering. The Hurt Locker star plays Hawkeye in director Joss Whedon's action movie, which also stars Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L Jackson and Mark Ruffalo. Jeremy revealed: "Shooting the Avengers was a blast... there's much better food on set." Of the stunts and training, Jeremy admitted: "I actually didn't have to do very much archery training because I was using CGI arrows and I was shooting CGI monsters." He added: "It's like learning a new language or a dance." Co-star Tom Hiddleston, who plays villain Loki, also expressed his joy at the film's action scenes. He said: "I love doing the stunts and flying around on wires. At the very beginning, the first I had to do was jump off a platform, do a 30-foot leap and spear somebody in the chest. "Joss [Whedon] wanted me to fly beyond the horizontal, so they attached a harness to me under my costume, which enabled me to dive headfirst towards the camera. I felt like I was part of a circus trapeze act! It was fantastic." Avengers Assemble is out now on DVD.

Joss Whedon: 'The Avengers isn't a perfect movie'...

Joss Whedon has claimed that The Avengers isn't "a great movie".

The film has met with critical acclaim and outstanding commercial success, becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time in just a few months, but Whedon, the superhero blockbuster's writer and director, is determined to keep his feet on the ground.

In an interview with Vulture, the 48-year-old claimed that the box office numbers became, ultimately, "meaningless".

He said: "They're large, and you can't really count that high."

Describing what his goals were with The Avengers, he claimed: "I felt like I had a particular mission in making what I felt was a slightly old-fashioned movie, because I grew up wanting to make summer movies and wanting to make superhero movies, and I got to do both at once.

"I felt like summer movies haven't been what I remember them to be, so I felt like I would love to evoke something that's less hip and ironic and more heartfelt and character-driven, and apparently, other people cared about that in a large way."

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator then conceded: "I don't think it's a perfect movie. I don't even think it's a great movie. I think it's a great time, and I'm proud of it, but for me, what was exciting is that people don't go to see a movie that many times unless it's pulling on something from within, unless there's a need there. That's very gratifying."

The film is set to increase its box office even further this weekend, after being re-released in the US to take advantage of the Labour Day holiday.

Whedon will oversee a Marvel-produced SHIELD television show for ABC, before starting work on the Avengers sequel, due for a summer 2015 release.


The Avengers Crosses $1.5 Billion At Worldwide Box Office...

While the re-release of The Avengers at the U.S. box office might have failed to break into the top ten Labor Day weekend movies, it did help The Avengers reach another major milestone. The Avengers has become the third movie in history to cross the $1.5 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

While retaining its number three position on the worldwide box office list, The Avengers took in another estimated $1.7 million over Labor Day weekend, which brought The Avengers U.S. box office total to $619.5 million and The Avengers worldwide box office total to $1.501 billion.

Interestingly enough, The Dark Knight Rises also reached a milestone today, surpassing $1 billion at the worldwide box office, which means that combined The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have accounted for $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office this year. If you add in The Amazing Spider-Man, which currently sits at number four on the 2012 worldwide box office list with $734.9 million, then the total rises to $3.2 billion. It’s definitely a good time to be in the superhero movie making business.





bwin.party to Be Taken Over?...
The London and Vienna-listed gambling group is said to be an acquisition target. The Austrian-British sport betting company may be taken over, the newspaper “Guardian” says. According to rumors, there are three potential buyers. One of them is the Malaysian Genting, a second one should be an Australian betting company. The third potential buyer is a financial investor, insiders say. Bwin.party is expected to record net losses this year. In its half year report for the six months ended 30 June 2012, a solid growth in Clean EBITDA (+13%) was recorded. Losses were down from € 41m to € 21.3m.

Bwin.party losing its poker face...

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Online gaming titan bwin.party says revenues in the first half of 2012 grew at its casino and gaming offerings but poker has been hit by strong competitors and difficulties in southern Europe.

The group was formed last year by the merger between German outfit bwin Interactive Entertainment and British firm PartyGaming and still has co-Chief Executives Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan.

On a pro forma basis (comparing the results of both companies before the merger), total revenue increased by 3% to €410.0m (2011: €398.0m). This was achieved despite an 11% increase in gaming taxes so that the pro forma “clean” earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 13% to €92.3m (2011: €81.9m). This is better than the forecast of €89m made by analysts at Peel Hunt.

Bwin.party has also had to take a nasty one-off charge of €31.5m after the Spanish authorities contacted all of the major online gaming operators making clear any online operator that had ever accepted customers from Spain had an obligation to pay Spanish taxes.

The group offers four online “experiences”: sports betting produced revenues of €128.1m in the first half, versus €125.7m in 2011; casino and games delivered €139.7m, against €124.3m in the prior year; bingo was down from €33m to €31.5m; while the weakest performance was from poker, which fell from €104.9m to €96.4m.

In a joint statement, Ryan and Teufelberger said they were "determined to return [poker] to growth through execution of a detailed plan that includes pooling our poker liquidity as well as repositioning our flagship PartyPoker brand.”

The interim dividend has been increased by 10% to 1.72p per share although the company warned that net gaming revenue since June has fallen 8% as the end of the Euro 2012 Championships and a late start to the Bundesliga hit takings.


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment: PartyCasino gets new 'Under the Sea' slot game

Check out PartyCasino via the Media Man network for more on this exciting new slot game which can be played for free or played for money. Bwin.Party is one of the most financially stable gaming companies on the planet and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. They also high security and high excitment online poker, sports betting and more.


New Trailer For Marvel Heroes...

Gazillion Entertainment is proud to show off a new trailer for Marvel Heroes. The new trailer announces 3 new playable heroes in the game – Daredevil, Punisher, and Squirrel Girl. The trailer made its debut at the Marvel Heroes panel at PAX 2012. The panel featured Gazillion President David Brevik (one of the creators of Diablo!), legendary Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man! Avengers vs. X-Men! And) and Marvel’s mighty VP of Games Production TQ Jefferson. If you look closely, you’ll also see a bunch of villains were also revealed in the trailer, including Mr. Fisk the notorious crime lord.

Website:
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About Marvel Heroes...

Marvel Heroes is a FREE-TO-PLAY action-packed massively multiplayer online game created by David Brevik, the visionary behind Diablo and Diablo 2. Set in the iconic Marvel Universe, Marvel Heroes combines the core game-play style of Diablo and MMOs with the expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. In the game, players can collect and play as their favorite Marvel Superheroes (including Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider Man, Captain America and many others). Team up with friends and try to stop Doctor Doom from devastating the world with the power of the Cosmic Cube in a story crafted by comic-book super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis.



Echo CEO Larry Mullin in shock exit as Packer target loses second key player...

Echo Entertainment has risked further antagonising its key investors with the shock decision to replace chief executive Larry Mullin in a bid to repair damaged relations with the NSW government and bring a more operational focus to the management of the embattled casino group. The board's decision agreed over the past week to replace Mr Mullin, which is understood to have also prompted the surprise resignation of long-serving director Brett Paton on Tuesday, was yesterday questioned by some of Echo's institutional investors who were taken by surprise by the decision.

Australian TV Ratings - 25th September 2012... 1. Seven News (7) 1.29 million 2. Nine News (9) 1.14 million 3. ABC News (ABC) 1.03 million 4. A Current Affair (9) 1.02 million 5. Big Brother, Nominations (9) 979,000 6. 2012 Brownlow Medal (7) 956,000 7. Today Tonight (7) 955,000 8. Big Brother, Daily Show (9) 938,000 9. Australian Story (ABC) 932,000 10. Four Corners (ABC) 847,000

Crown execs paid more despite warning - 26th September 2012

Most of Crown's senior executives received pay rises last financial year despite a rejection of the previous year's pay policy by shareholders. Casino operator Crown has made no changes to its executive pay policy despite the threat of a board spill in the event of another shareholder backlash. Four of the company's six senior executives received a larger pay package in the 2011/12 financial year, and all base salaries rose or remained the same as in 2010/11. Crown's executive pay report for the 2010/11 financial year received a 55 per cent `no' vote from Crown shareholders, and a `no' vote of at least 25 per cent against the 2011/12 report would result in the majority of board positions being vacated and put up for re-election. But Crown said in its 2011/12 annual report, released on Wednesday, it had made no change to its pay policy and had instead focused on providing a clearer explanation of its pay structure. "The Crown board remains confident that Crown's remuneration policy and the level and structure of its executive remuneration are suitable for the company and its shareholders," it said in the report. Chief executive Rowen Craigie was paid $6.875 million in the 2011/12 financial year, including a bonus of $800,000, up from $600,000 in the previous year. Mr Craigie's remuneration totalled $7.7 million in 2010/11, due to the inclusion of a $1 million benefit from the revaluation of share-based long-term incentives. His base salary remained stable at $2.98 million in 2011/12. Executive deputy chairman John Alexander's total remuneration also remained steady, at $1.5 million. Chief financial officer Ken Barton, Burswood CEO Barry Felstead, Crown Melbourne deputy CEO Greg Hawkins and executive vice president of strategy Todd Nisbet all received an increase in salary and total pay in 2011/12. Executive chairman James Packer receives no remuneration or bonuses from Crown. In the event of a board spill, Mr Packer could use his major stake in the company to effectively ensure the re-election of those board members forced to vacate their positions. Crown shareholders will vote on the report at the company's annual general meeting on October 30.

Star Casino boss Larry Mullin quits, moves back to America - 27th September 2012...
A Star casino spokesman has confirmed Mr Mullin will leave his job on January 31 “by mutual agreement” with the board of Echo Entertainment, the parent company of The Star. He will be leaving the job almost one year to the day after the man he brought in to run the Star, Sid Vaikunta, was sacked over a sexual harassment scandal. The casino spokesman said Mr Mullin was from America and had not intended to stay in Australia forever. He denied it was linked to the Vaikunta scandal or attempts at a takeover by billionaire James Packer. Since Vaikunta quit, the board has rolled chairman John Story in favour of John O’Neill, another non-executive director Brett Paton left this week and now Mr Mullin is departing.

Brooklyn, Barclays Center bracing to steal show...

Consider Madison Square Garden on watch. Luring the Nets from New Jersey was only Step 1 in Brooklyn's metamorphosis into an entertainment hot spot. Next up for the borough, a ruthless bid in stealing the spotlight and the stars from MSG, New Jersey's Prudential Center, and any other venue that books boldface names in music and sports. There's a new kid in town, folks, a state-of-the-art arena in Brooklyn that is gobbling up acts at an alarming rate. Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Andrea Bocelli are just a few of the marquee attractions coming to the new Barclays Center, a facility that will house the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and so much more. College basketball is on the way, as are the Harlem Globetrotters and World Wrestling Entertainment, and before the lockout was announced, an NHL preseason game was even on tap. Indeed, it appears Barclays has balance and boom in its acts, and will stop at nothing as it quickly makes a sudden statement that it is a desired destination in an attractive borough. And the other facilities in and around New York may never be the same again. "In the past, Brooklynites had to leave our borough for world-class entertainment and sports and head over to Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Nassau County ... Newark or East Rutherford," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said. "Hello. Not anymore." Brooklyn is going hard and if this current clip keeps up, it may become the No. 1 tour stop in the region. Jay-Z, the Nets' part owner and hip-hop icon, will christen the Barclays Center with eight sold-out shows opening Friday. Holla! "Without Brooklyn, I wouldn't be standing here right now," Jay-Z said at a Barclays Center press conference. He's not alone. Barbra Streisand, a Brooklyn native like Jay-Z, will perform for the first time in her native borough Oct. 11. These megastar acts will raise the curtain on what Barclays expects to become a 220-event-a-year center, and create a little competition with the world's most famous arena. The budding Barclays-MSG bidding war, in fact, is already more heated than the Knicks-Nets rivalry. The Golden Gloves finals dumped MSG for the first time in its 86-year history for the 19,000-seat Barclays. Bocelli had played nine straight holiday shows at MSG before bolting this year for a Dec. 5 concert at Barclays. Other defections from MSG and New Jersey arenas include college basketball's Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, the Legends Classic and the Atlantic 10 tournament. But without question, none of the other facilities are intimidated by Brooklyn. This is after all, the New York market we're talking about, and there will always be plenty of acts to book. Robert Sommer, president of Rock Entertainment Management at the Prudential Center, declined comment. And MSG insists it doesn't feel threatened by the younger, hipper arena at all. "While we always respect any competition, The Garden will always be The Garden," MSG President and CEO Hank Ratner said. "Madison Square Garden is located in the heart of New York City, sitting on top of the busiest transportation hub in the nation, and has been a destination for New Yorkers and visitors to the city for over 130 years. The Garden is New York's living room, we host over 400 events annually, and are in the midst of a comprehensive, top-to-bottom transformation that has already received amazing feedback from fans." The world's most famous arena underwent an $850 million upgrade that gutted the arena from the ground up — all without changing the building's familiar hatbox-shaped exterior. Madison Square Garden was completed in 1968 and had not had a major upgrade since 1991. And, let's not forget, the Garden is the Garden. There's no price tag, after all, on the legendary sports moments and the iconic concerts that called MSG home. Ali vs. Frazier. Willis Reed limping through the tunnel and onto the court for the 1970 NBA Finals. Mark Messier and Stephane Matteau leading the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen rocking the joint. Ricky Nelson's Garden Party. On and on. "You can bring a new venue into another borough, but you can't erase history," said Sammy Steinlight, a former MSG executive, now of Steinlight Media. "You can't just instantly have a brand. It takes time, it takes years. It takes really special and unique moments created over time." Barclays is trying to speed up the pace. Yet, not every act is choosing only one stage. The Who is booked to play Nov. 14 at Barclays, Dec. 5 at Madison Square Garden, and Dec. 6 at the five-year-old Prudential Center in Newark. While WWE remained committed to booking events at Madison Square Garden, the WWE's own Brooklyn Brawler should feel at home when the sports-entertainment promotion holds its monthly pay-per-view event Dec. 16 at Barclays. There are plenty of entertainment dollars to spread around, of course. Brooklyn's population of 2.5 million is the largest of the city's five boroughs, and is home to $3 million condominiums and four-star restaurants. The New York metropolitan area is so massive, there should be enough acts and dates for both. Barclays' honeymoon period will eventually fade. But for now, business should boom — especially with top tickets hitting $600 for Streisand at face value. "Because the building is new, artists know the level of business they can do is higher at a brand new building," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the trade publication Pollstar. "The fact that it's new on the market means that the local population will turn out in great numbers, great force than you would otherwise see. That means more money in the artist's pocket." In a bustling market, the two arenas should be able to play nice. But bidding wars could spark for the top-dollar stars. The Minneapolis Target Center and the St. Paul Xcel Energy Center are separated by 10 miles from one Twin City to the other. The buildings regularly fiercely compete to land selected artists, a boon for concert promoters looking to keep down costs. "Concert promoters are certainly aware of the two buildings and they'll often bid the two buildings against each other," said Jeff Pellegrom, chief financial officer of Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, the company that runs the Xcel Center. "They'll lock or hold dates in the two different arenas and then they'll look for the best financial deal they can get. I don't blame them for this, by the way. It makes perfect sense." The Nets, the vibrant arena's anchor tenant, are focused on settling into their sparkling $1 billion digs and not the calendar of events at Madison Square Garden. "We don't concern ourselves with being better than what they do or what the Garden does," Nets general manager Billy King said. "We have a new building and we're excited about being there." So, it seems, is the rest of the entertainment industry. (MSG)

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Google becomes online advertising king...
Gooogle has become the US market leader in online display ads, and now leads all categories for internet advertising including search and mobile, a market research firm said today. The firm eMarketer said Google will top the market for online display advertising with $US2.31 billion ($2.2 billion) in revenues -- 15.4 per cent of the market -- in 2012. Google will thus overtake Facebook in display, after the social network dethroned longtime leader Yahoo! last year, eMarketer said. The milestone means Google now holds more share than any other company in each of the US search, display and mobile advertising markets. Google will see a 38 per cent jump in online display ad revenue this year, the report said. Facebook, the consultancy said, will earn $US2.16 billion in US display ad revenues this year, up 24.4 per cent from billion last year. Facebook's share will be 14.4 per cent. Yahoo! will see nearly flat revenues for display ads, which will mean its market share will fall to 9.3 per cent this year from 11 percent last year and 14 percent in 2010. The eMarketer estimate said the overall US display ad market will grow 21.5 per cent to $US14.98 billion from $US12.33 billion in 2011, aided by mobile growth; and increased spending growth on digital video advertising, especially on Google-owned YouTube.
Renner: Avengers stunts were blast'...

Jeremy Renner has raved about his time in Hollywood blockbuster Avengers Assemble - because he loved the catering. The Hurt Locker star plays Hawkeye in director Joss Whedon's action movie, which also stars Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L Jackson and Mark Ruffalo. Jeremy revealed: "Shooting the Avengers was a blast... there's much better food on set." Of the stunts and training, Jeremy admitted: "I actually didn't have to do very much archery training because I was using CGI arrows and I was shooting CGI monsters." He added: "It's like learning a new language or a dance." Co-star Tom Hiddleston, who plays villain Loki, also expressed his joy at the film's action scenes. He said: "I love doing the stunts and flying around on wires. At the very beginning, the first I had to do was jump off a platform, do a 30-foot leap and spear somebody in the chest. "Joss [Whedon] wanted me to fly beyond the horizontal, so they attached a harness to me under my costume, which enabled me to dive headfirst towards the camera. I felt like I was part of a circus trapeze act! It was fantastic." Avengers Assemble is out now on DVD.

Joss Whedon: 'The Avengers isn't a perfect movie'...

Joss Whedon has claimed that The Avengers isn't "a great movie".

The film has met with critical acclaim and outstanding commercial success, becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time in just a few months, but Whedon, the superhero blockbuster's writer and director, is determined to keep his feet on the ground.

In an interview with Vulture, the 48-year-old claimed that the box office numbers became, ultimately, "meaningless".

He said: "They're large, and you can't really count that high."

Describing what his goals were with The Avengers, he claimed: "I felt like I had a particular mission in making what I felt was a slightly old-fashioned movie, because I grew up wanting to make summer movies and wanting to make superhero movies, and I got to do both at once.

"I felt like summer movies haven't been what I remember them to be, so I felt like I would love to evoke something that's less hip and ironic and more heartfelt and character-driven, and apparently, other people cared about that in a large way."

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator then conceded: "I don't think it's a perfect movie. I don't even think it's a great movie. I think it's a great time, and I'm proud of it, but for me, what was exciting is that people don't go to see a movie that many times unless it's pulling on something from within, unless there's a need there. That's very gratifying."

The film is set to increase its box office even further this weekend, after being re-released in the US to take advantage of the Labour Day holiday.

Whedon will oversee a Marvel-produced SHIELD television show for ABC, before starting work on the Avengers sequel, due for a summer 2015 release.


The Avengers Crosses $1.5 Billion At Worldwide Box Office...

While the re-release of The Avengers at the U.S. box office might have failed to break into the top ten Labor Day weekend movies, it did help The Avengers reach another major milestone. The Avengers has become the third movie in history to cross the $1.5 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

While retaining its number three position on the worldwide box office list, The Avengers took in another estimated $1.7 million over Labor Day weekend, which brought The Avengers U.S. box office total to $619.5 million and The Avengers worldwide box office total to $1.501 billion.

Interestingly enough, The Dark Knight Rises also reached a milestone today, surpassing $1 billion at the worldwide box office, which means that combined The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have accounted for $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office this year. If you add in The Amazing Spider-Man, which currently sits at number four on the 2012 worldwide box office list with $734.9 million, then the total rises to $3.2 billion. It’s definitely a good time to be in the superhero movie making business.





bwin.party to Be Taken Over?...
The London and Vienna-listed gambling group is said to be an acquisition target. The Austrian-British sport betting company may be taken over, the newspaper “Guardian” says. According to rumors, there are three potential buyers. One of them is the Malaysian Genting, a second one should be an Australian betting company. The third potential buyer is a financial investor, insiders say. Bwin.party is expected to record net losses this year. In its half year report for the six months ended 30 June 2012, a solid growth in Clean EBITDA (+13%) was recorded. Losses were down from € 41m to € 21.3m.

Bwin.party losing its poker face...

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Online gaming titan bwin.party says revenues in the first half of 2012 grew at its casino and gaming offerings but poker has been hit by strong competitors and difficulties in southern Europe.

The group was formed last year by the merger between German outfit bwin Interactive Entertainment and British firm PartyGaming and still has co-Chief Executives Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan.

On a pro forma basis (comparing the results of both companies before the merger), total revenue increased by 3% to €410.0m (2011: €398.0m). This was achieved despite an 11% increase in gaming taxes so that the pro forma “clean” earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 13% to €92.3m (2011: €81.9m). This is better than the forecast of €89m made by analysts at Peel Hunt.

Bwin.party has also had to take a nasty one-off charge of €31.5m after the Spanish authorities contacted all of the major online gaming operators making clear any online operator that had ever accepted customers from Spain had an obligation to pay Spanish taxes.

The group offers four online “experiences”: sports betting produced revenues of €128.1m in the first half, versus €125.7m in 2011; casino and games delivered €139.7m, against €124.3m in the prior year; bingo was down from €33m to €31.5m; while the weakest performance was from poker, which fell from €104.9m to €96.4m.

In a joint statement, Ryan and Teufelberger said they were "determined to return [poker] to growth through execution of a detailed plan that includes pooling our poker liquidity as well as repositioning our flagship PartyPoker brand.”

The interim dividend has been increased by 10% to 1.72p per share although the company warned that net gaming revenue since June has fallen 8% as the end of the Euro 2012 Championships and a late start to the Bundesliga hit takings.


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment: PartyCasino gets new 'Under the Sea' slot game

Check out PartyCasino via the Media Man network for more on this exciting new slot game which can be played for free or played for money. Bwin.Party is one of the most financially stable gaming companies on the planet and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. They also high security and high excitment online poker, sports betting and more.


New Trailer For Marvel Heroes...

Gazillion Entertainment is proud to show off a new trailer for Marvel Heroes. The new trailer announces 3 new playable heroes in the game – Daredevil, Punisher, and Squirrel Girl. The trailer made its debut at the Marvel Heroes panel at PAX 2012. The panel featured Gazillion President David Brevik (one of the creators of Diablo!), legendary Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man! Avengers vs. X-Men! And) and Marvel’s mighty VP of Games Production TQ Jefferson. If you look closely, you’ll also see a bunch of villains were also revealed in the trailer, including Mr. Fisk the notorious crime lord.

Website:
http://www.youtube.com/marvelheroesonline

About Marvel Heroes...

Marvel Heroes is a FREE-TO-PLAY action-packed massively multiplayer online game created by David Brevik, the visionary behind Diablo and Diablo 2. Set in the iconic Marvel Universe, Marvel Heroes combines the core game-play style of Diablo and MMOs with the expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. In the game, players can collect and play as their favorite Marvel Superheroes (including Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider Man, Captain America and many others). Team up with friends and try to stop Doctor Doom from devastating the world with the power of the Cosmic Cube in a story crafted by comic-book super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis.



Echo CEO Larry Mullin in shock exit as Packer target loses second key player...

Echo Entertainment has risked further antagonising its key investors with the shock decision to replace chief executive Larry Mullin in a bid to repair damaged relations with the NSW government and bring a more operational focus to the management of the embattled casino group. The board's decision agreed over the past week to replace Mr Mullin, which is understood to have also prompted the surprise resignation of long-serving director Brett Paton on Tuesday, was yesterday questioned by some of Echo's institutional investors who were taken by surprise by the decision.

Australian TV Ratings - 25th September 2012... 1. Seven News (7) 1.29 million 2. Nine News (9) 1.14 million 3. ABC News (ABC) 1.03 million 4. A Current Affair (9) 1.02 million 5. Big Brother, Nominations (9) 979,000 6. 2012 Brownlow Medal (7) 956,000 7. Today Tonight (7) 955,000 8. Big Brother, Daily Show (9) 938,000 9. Australian Story (ABC) 932,000 10. Four Corners (ABC) 847,000

Crown execs paid more despite warning - 26th September 2012

Most of Crown's senior executives received pay rises last financial year despite a rejection of the previous year's pay policy by shareholders. Casino operator Crown has made no changes to its executive pay policy despite the threat of a board spill in the event of another shareholder backlash. Four of the company's six senior executives received a larger pay package in the 2011/12 financial year, and all base salaries rose or remained the same as in 2010/11. Crown's executive pay report for the 2010/11 financial year received a 55 per cent `no' vote from Crown shareholders, and a `no' vote of at least 25 per cent against the 2011/12 report would result in the majority of board positions being vacated and put up for re-election. But Crown said in its 2011/12 annual report, released on Wednesday, it had made no change to its pay policy and had instead focused on providing a clearer explanation of its pay structure. "The Crown board remains confident that Crown's remuneration policy and the level and structure of its executive remuneration are suitable for the company and its shareholders," it said in the report. Chief executive Rowen Craigie was paid $6.875 million in the 2011/12 financial year, including a bonus of $800,000, up from $600,000 in the previous year. Mr Craigie's remuneration totalled $7.7 million in 2010/11, due to the inclusion of a $1 million benefit from the revaluation of share-based long-term incentives. His base salary remained stable at $2.98 million in 2011/12. Executive deputy chairman John Alexander's total remuneration also remained steady, at $1.5 million. Chief financial officer Ken Barton, Burswood CEO Barry Felstead, Crown Melbourne deputy CEO Greg Hawkins and executive vice president of strategy Todd Nisbet all received an increase in salary and total pay in 2011/12. Executive chairman James Packer receives no remuneration or bonuses from Crown. In the event of a board spill, Mr Packer could use his major stake in the company to effectively ensure the re-election of those board members forced to vacate their positions. Crown shareholders will vote on the report at the company's annual general meeting on October 30.

Star Casino boss Larry Mullin quits, moves back to America - 27th September 2012...
A Star casino spokesman has confirmed Mr Mullin will leave his job on January 31 “by mutual agreement” with the board of Echo Entertainment, the parent company of The Star. He will be leaving the job almost one year to the day after the man he brought in to run the Star, Sid Vaikunta, was sacked over a sexual harassment scandal. The casino spokesman said Mr Mullin was from America and had not intended to stay in Australia forever. He denied it was linked to the Vaikunta scandal or attempts at a takeover by billionaire James Packer. Since Vaikunta quit, the board has rolled chairman John Story in favour of John O’Neill, another non-executive director Brett Paton left this week and now Mr Mullin is departing.

Brooklyn, Barclays Center bracing to steal show...

Consider Madison Square Garden on watch. Luring the Nets from New Jersey was only Step 1 in Brooklyn's metamorphosis into an entertainment hot spot. Next up for the borough, a ruthless bid in stealing the spotlight and the stars from MSG, New Jersey's Prudential Center, and any other venue that books boldface names in music and sports. There's a new kid in town, folks, a state-of-the-art arena in Brooklyn that is gobbling up acts at an alarming rate. Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Andrea Bocelli are just a few of the marquee attractions coming to the new Barclays Center, a facility that will house the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and so much more. College basketball is on the way, as are the Harlem Globetrotters and World Wrestling Entertainment, and before the lockout was announced, an NHL preseason game was even on tap. Indeed, it appears Barclays has balance and boom in its acts, and will stop at nothing as it quickly makes a sudden statement that it is a desired destination in an attractive borough. And the other facilities in and around New York may never be the same again. "In the past, Brooklynites had to leave our borough for world-class entertainment and sports and head over to Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Nassau County ... Newark or East Rutherford," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said. "Hello. Not anymore." Brooklyn is going hard and if this current clip keeps up, it may become the No. 1 tour stop in the region. Jay-Z, the Nets' part owner and hip-hop icon, will christen the Barclays Center with eight sold-out shows opening Friday. Holla! "Without Brooklyn, I wouldn't be standing here right now," Jay-Z said at a Barclays Center press conference. He's not alone. Barbra Streisand, a Brooklyn native like Jay-Z, will perform for the first time in her native borough Oct. 11. These megastar acts will raise the curtain on what Barclays expects to become a 220-event-a-year center, and create a little competition with the world's most famous arena. The budding Barclays-MSG bidding war, in fact, is already more heated than the Knicks-Nets rivalry. The Golden Gloves finals dumped MSG for the first time in its 86-year history for the 19,000-seat Barclays. Bocelli had played nine straight holiday shows at MSG before bolting this year for a Dec. 5 concert at Barclays. Other defections from MSG and New Jersey arenas include college basketball's Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, the Legends Classic and the Atlantic 10 tournament. But without question, none of the other facilities are intimidated by Brooklyn. This is after all, the New York market we're talking about, and there will always be plenty of acts to book. Robert Sommer, president of Rock Entertainment Management at the Prudential Center, declined comment. And MSG insists it doesn't feel threatened by the younger, hipper arena at all. "While we always respect any competition, The Garden will always be The Garden," MSG President and CEO Hank Ratner said. "Madison Square Garden is located in the heart of New York City, sitting on top of the busiest transportation hub in the nation, and has been a destination for New Yorkers and visitors to the city for over 130 years. The Garden is New York's living room, we host over 400 events annually, and are in the midst of a comprehensive, top-to-bottom transformation that has already received amazing feedback from fans." The world's most famous arena underwent an $850 million upgrade that gutted the arena from the ground up — all without changing the building's familiar hatbox-shaped exterior. Madison Square Garden was completed in 1968 and had not had a major upgrade since 1991. And, let's not forget, the Garden is the Garden. There's no price tag, after all, on the legendary sports moments and the iconic concerts that called MSG home. Ali vs. Frazier. Willis Reed limping through the tunnel and onto the court for the 1970 NBA Finals. Mark Messier and Stephane Matteau leading the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen rocking the joint. Ricky Nelson's Garden Party. On and on. "You can bring a new venue into another borough, but you can't erase history," said Sammy Steinlight, a former MSG executive, now of Steinlight Media. "You can't just instantly have a brand. It takes time, it takes years. It takes really special and unique moments created over time." Barclays is trying to speed up the pace. Yet, not every act is choosing only one stage. The Who is booked to play Nov. 14 at Barclays, Dec. 5 at Madison Square Garden, and Dec. 6 at the five-year-old Prudential Center in Newark. While WWE remained committed to booking events at Madison Square Garden, the WWE's own Brooklyn Brawler should feel at home when the sports-entertainment promotion holds its monthly pay-per-view event Dec. 16 at Barclays. There are plenty of entertainment dollars to spread around, of course. Brooklyn's population of 2.5 million is the largest of the city's five boroughs, and is home to $3 million condominiums and four-star restaurants. The New York metropolitan area is so massive, there should be enough acts and dates for both. Barclays' honeymoon period will eventually fade. But for now, business should boom — especially with top tickets hitting $600 for Streisand at face value. "Because the building is new, artists know the level of business they can do is higher at a brand new building," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the trade publication Pollstar. "The fact that it's new on the market means that the local population will turn out in great numbers, great force than you would otherwise see. That means more money in the artist's pocket." In a bustling market, the two arenas should be able to play nice. But bidding wars could spark for the top-dollar stars. The Minneapolis Target Center and the St. Paul Xcel Energy Center are separated by 10 miles from one Twin City to the other. The buildings regularly fiercely compete to land selected artists, a boon for concert promoters looking to keep down costs. "Concert promoters are certainly aware of the two buildings and they'll often bid the two buildings against each other," said Jeff Pellegrom, chief financial officer of Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, the company that runs the Xcel Center. "They'll lock or hold dates in the two different arenas and then they'll look for the best financial deal they can get. I don't blame them for this, by the way. It makes perfect sense." The Nets, the vibrant arena's anchor tenant, are focused on settling into their sparkling $1 billion digs and not the calendar of events at Madison Square Garden. "We don't concern ourselves with being better than what they do or what the Garden does," Nets general manager Billy King said. "We have a new building and we're excited about being there." So, it seems, is the rest of the entertainment industry. (MSG)

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28 September 2012

Kym Staton in Yulli's Attic: Playing Surry Hills, Sydney on 4th October 2012

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Kym Staton in Yulli's Attic ***bookings essential*** Candlelight Dinner & Music Night ***bookings essential*** Enjoy dinner plus some wonderful music in a very intimate setting. Experience a purely acoustic performance by candlelight, as Kym Staton plays renditions of jazz, blues, celtic, baroque, and original songs on guitar/vocals, violin and cello. Dinner and music will be served In the small attic with lovely warm acoustics, which holds only 24 people. The night also includes an interactive element, where audience members are invited to write down an idea for a lyric for a song that Kym later creates into and song and performs "off the cuff" at the end of the night! Kym Staton has studied music from a young age, taking up the violin at age 7. He has performed more than 50 concerts as a violin soloist, and has recently begaun performing as a singer/songwriter. He has very diverse tastes in different musical styles and is a multi-instrumentalist. Date: Thursday 4th Oct, 2012 Time: Dinner orders taken from 6pm - 7.30pm, music from 8pm - 9pm Please order your meal by 7.30pm at the latest, so that you do not interrupt the music performance. Venue: Yulli's Restaurant, 417 Crown St, Surry Hills Cost: $40 Includes: Entree + Main + live music performance Bookings: Bookings essential. Click here and follow the links to book: http://www.meetup.com/Dinner-Live-Music/events/83357032 Menu: Yullis has a full vegetarian/ vegan menu http://yullis.com.au/lunchdinner Enquiries: Email Kym Staton: kjstaton@me.com
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PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award; bwin.party digital BPTY Nordeus Social Gaming Partnership


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PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month" award.

Bwin.Party's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both Virgin Casino, PKR Casino and Captain Cooks Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $6 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Co-CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasinowill soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

News

bwin.party digital BPTY Nordeus Social Gaming Partnership...

bwin.party digital entertainment plc ('bwin.party', or the 'Company')

Partnership formed with Nordeus to develop a social sports betting application

bwin.party has today announced a further step forward in the execution of our social gaming strategy with the signing of an agreement with Nordeus, the award-winning social gaming company, to develop initially a social sports betting application.

Having launched a new business unit called Win to drive our social gaming initiatives in May  2012, finding the right partner to help us exploit our strong presence in real money sports betting has been a key area of focus.

Founded in March 2010 by ex-Microsoft engineers Branko Milutinovic, Ivan Stojisavljevic and Milan Jovovic, Nordeus has established itself as the market leader in social sports games. The company's Top Eleven football management social game consistently features in the Top 25 list of games by daily average users on Facebook.

Top Eleven is the most-played online sports game in the World with more than 6 million monthly active users and 2 million daily active users on Web, Android and iOS devices. In addition to  its popularity on Facebook, the Top Eleven game is available on Odnoklassniki, a Russian social  network with more than 100 million users.

Nordeus was voted The Best Gaming Startup at the Europas Awards 2011 and was chosen as one of  the 25 hi-tech European companies with 'most potential and successful outcome' by the European Tech Tour Association.

Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin.party, said: "Nordeus has demonstrated that there is  great demand for social sports games around the world through its Top Eleven game.  We will leverage our unrivalled sports brand and products as well as our online betting and gaming expertise.
Nordeus and bwin.party are two  European companies with global footprints and share an aspiration to become clear leaders in social sports gaming."

Branko Milutinovic, CEO of Nordeus, said: "Following the  successful release of Top Eleven, we  recognised a huge opportunity for social sports betting games based on the feedback from millions of our customers. Since then, we have been seeking the right partner and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to work with bwin.party, market leader in online sports betting and one of the most known brands in sports.

"With Top Eleven, we have proven that our unique approach in social games design is highly engaging and successful. With that in mind, we are convinced that leveraging our development experience in combination with bwin.party's expertise in real-money betting will lead to a highly successful title and establish our companies as the leaders in social sports gaming."

About bwin.party:

bwin.party digital entertainment plc (LSE:  BPTY) is a global online gaming company, formed from the  merger of bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and PartyGaming Plc on 31 March 2011. Incorporated, licensed  and regulated in Gibraltar, the Group also has licences in France, Italy, Spain and Denmark. With offices in Europe, India, Israel and the US, the Group generated  total pro forma revenue of €816.0m  and pro forma Clean EBITDA of €199.3m in 2011. bwin.party commands leading market positions in each of its four key  product verticals: online sports  betting, poker, casino and bingo with  some of the world's biggest online gaming brands including bwin, PartyPoker, PartyCasino and Foxy Bingo. The Group's scale, technology and strong portfolioof games collectively differentiate its customer offer from those of its competitors.  bwin.party is a constituent member of the FTSE 250 Index and the FTSE4 Good Index Series, which identifies companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards.

About Nordeus:

Nordeus, located in Belgrade in Serbia, is one of the leading and award winning European game development companies and officially the best European gaming startup of 2011. Its Top Eleven game, with more than 6 million monthly active users and 2 million daily active users on Web, Android and iOS devices, is the most  played online sports game in the World. Nordeus' goal is  to provide a seamless  gaming experience to millions of people no matter what device they are using. Quite simply they make social games that are free and accessible to play on any device.  Every day its team in Belgrade puts all of its talent into making 5-star games. Every day millions of people enjoy what they have created.

News

Nordeus partnership for bwin.party...

The world’s largest listed online gambling operator, bwin.party digital entertainment, has signed a deal that will see it develop a social sportsbetting application in partnership with Serbian firm Nordeus.

Following the launch of its bespoke Win business unit in May, bwin.party stated that the agreement is a ‘further step forward’ in the execution of its ‘social gaming strategy’ as it looks to capitalise on its ‘strong presence in real-money sportsbetting’.

“Nordeus has demonstrated that there is great demand for social sports games around the world through its Top Eleven game,” said Norbert Teufelberger, Co-Chief Executive Officer for bwin.party.

“We will leverage our unrivalled sports brand and products as well as our online betting and gaming expertise. Nordeus and bwin.party are two European companies with global footprints and share an aspiration to become clear leaders in social sports gaming.”

Based in Belgrade, Nordeus was established in March of 2010 by former Microsoft engineers Branko Milutinovic, Ivan Stojisavljevic and Milan Jovovic and concentrates on the development of social sports games. Its Top Eleven title is now one of the most-played games of its type in the world with in excess of six million monthly active users via the web and Android and iOS devices.

“Following the successful release of Top Eleven, we recognised a huge opportunity for social sportsbetting games based on the feedback from millions of our customers,” said Milutinovic, Chief Executive Officer for Nordeus.

“Since then, we have been seeking the right partner and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to work with bwin.party, a market-leader in online sportsbetting and one of the most known brands in sports.

"With Top Eleven, we have proven that our unique approach in social games design is highly engaging and successful. With that in mind, we are convinced that leveraging our development experience in combination with bwin.party’s expertise in real-money betting will lead to a highly successful title and establish our companies as the leaders in social sports gaming."

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26 September 2012

Australian bodyart, bodypainting and creative arts news; Human Statues and more

Australian and international bodyart, bodypainting and creative arts news; Human Statues and more; Australia, New Zealand, United States and online... Profiles

Human Statue Bodyart Hilton Hotel Sydney Entertainment Art Australia Property Promotions Publicity

Miss Zeta at Sydney Hilton Hotel; Recap from Hilton Hotel, Sydney, Australia...
The Hilton marquee Hilton reads: "Zeta`s "CONEY ISLAND" is our exciting new Friday Nights concept. Experience evenings of the unexpected, perfectly paradoxical and the weird and wonderful, with extravagant entertainment and a creative mix of classic cocktails with progressive and fun elements."

The Hilton Hotel franchise and our friends at the Zeta Bar were serious and they were back to the Coney Island theme last Friday night, with an 'Ms Zeta Bar Girl Girl' for the evening's entertainment.

The action was all mixed with a specially concocted range of classic cocktails with a twist, like Cosmopolitan Candy Floss, Toffee Apple Martinis and Long Island Iced Tea snow cones and much, much more, with with the 'Ms Zeta Bar Girl' adding addition excitement.

The team at Human Statue Bodyart created the 'Americana Girl', led by creative artist Eva Rinaldi, and assisted by bodyart and bodypaint veteran, Vince Cantali, who also shares a fetish for dressing models up and painting on human bodies.

The Coney Island theme was once again a huge hit and Human Statue talent will be continuing to entertain patrons at the Zeta on most Friday nights for another month we understand.

Very well done to everyone involved in the success of the Coney Island promotion and we're certain the titillating entertainment will keep patrons coming back for more.

It's all there for the taking at Hilton's little slice of paradise in Sydney's CBD and its you're big chance to see why 'Coney Island' is so popular the world over.


Promo...

Zeta Bar pushed the boundaries of cabaret, bringing the sexy mystique of 19th century underground back to life in Extreme Cabaret.

Extreme Cabaret was a delicious smorgasbord of fantasy and magic, wit and whimsy served with sides of lunacy and luxe, and very well lubricated with prohibition-style cocktails, mystifying molecular cocktails and delectable morsels.

About Zeta Bar...

As a progressive cocktail bar and exclusive escape in the Sydney CBD, Zeta changed the face of Sydney’s bar culture when it launched as part of Hilton Sydney in 2005. Today, Zeta has won multiple awards year on year for its bartenders, playful drinks, cocktail classics and seasonal, trend setting concepts; the latest of which being ‘Extreme Cabaret’.

Access to Zeta is via glass elevator at the Hilton Sydney entrance on George Street. Zeta boasts a chic, outdoor terrace overlooking the iconic Queen Victoria Building. A VIP lounge and selection of private booths and breakout areas in luxe purple and dark wood interiors underline Zeta as the CBD cocktail bar to be seen in and part of.

An exclusive escape for visiting international celebrities too, Jessica Simpson, Kimberley Stewart, James Blunt, Snoop Dogg and Nicole Ritchie have all partied at Zeta and regular Aussie A-listers include Jennifer Hawkins, Hugh Jackman, Ian Thorpe and Megan Gale.
Naked Body-paint Model Settles Lawsuit with New York City...
22-year-old model Zoe West, arrested last summer in New York City's Times Square during a body-painting expo, has been able to settle her lawsuit filed against the city, according to her legal eagle. The city wil be paying the risque model $15,000. Ron Kuby, West’s lawyer, stated that the model never should have been arrested in the first place; public nudity is not illegal in the city as long as it is a part of a show, exhibition, or performance. The Law Department of NYC could not (or would not) be reached for comment. West and her lawyer filed the lawsuit in Manhattan after West alleges she was arrested in violation of her rights; she argued that at the time of her arrest, she was being painted by controversial artist Andy Golub. The model, although inconvenienced by the episode, went on record having no regrets about the body-painting incident and her subsequent arrest. She has publicly stated that the entire situation has put her "on the map in a positive way." The public nudity law has critics and supporters; however some people in the general public felt that West should have had her nude body painted in a private residence before the photo shoot or should have had it done indoors rather than outdoors in full public view. Maybe that was by design to help garner extra attention. If that was the case, it worked a charm, with news all over the U.S, Australia and beyond. Artist Andy Golub has also had plenty of issues with law enforcement as he prefers to paint his nude models in public outdoor spaces. His latest arrest took place last year. Military Body Painting Calendar Popular...
The world's ongoing wars haven't hurt the sales of military body painting themed calendars, and in fact they look to have rocketed sales worldwide. Not exactly the Pirelli Calendar, but something different. Check Google for more details. Body Art Awards in New Zealand...
Being covered in body paint in the name of art is an increasingly popular trend in New Zealand, and international judges are impressed with how creative the Kiwi's are becoming. Some of the country's most imaginative artists showcased their talents last Sunday at the seventh annual Body Art Awards in Auckland. The event was extravagance personified. Designed around a futuristic theme, ethereal other-world beings came to life last night in Auckland. "What I've noticed is they're putting more into that art, covering more of the body, including the hair, adding on fancy fingernails, right down to the toes, and that has spread the art as a complete piece to give a greater impact," says international judge Elizabeth Osborn. Forty-nine contestants from as far as the United States worked with body paint, prosthetics, and wigs and more to showcase their best efforts. Auckland's Julian Bartram even used his two children to give an alien-like sensory overload, wowing the judges for a win in the mask category. But it was a bizarre foam and latex being by Sofia Beu-Pederson from Denmark that wowed the international judges. A stint studying here after winning her category last year was enough to sharpen her imagination and take out the grand prize. "She did a very good job of constructing the mask,” says Ms Osborn “The paint job was amazing right down to the toes." You can bet designers next year will take hair-raising to a whole new level. Body paint and body art business searches on Google...
Not to anyone's surprise, searches for bodypainting and bodyart are some of the most popular art and fashion searches performed on search engines such as Google. Google won't give exact numbers, but they are huge. This is part of the reasons bodypainting and bodyart creative arts companies strive to attain the highest Google ranking as possible, looking to snatch corporate and private bodypainting and bodyart clients and opportunities. In the meantime, the general public are enjoying a wonderful array of bodypainted models showcased online. Could a Google art or bodyart showcase or shop be next? Don't change your dial and be watching out for Google TV when it comes to your city.
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25 September 2012

Wrestling News Media: WWE leans toward launching pay-TV channel; The Richest Wrestlers in the World...

Wrestling News Media: WWE leans toward launching pay-TV channel; The Richest Wrestlers in the World; Wrestling reality TV tie ins; U.S broadcast first, Australian Foxtel may follow lead; WWE Wrestlers in movies...

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WWE leans toward launching pay-TV channel...

Are there enough John Cena and Triple H fans to justify the launch of a WWE pay cable channel?

That's what WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and the rest of the executive team are going to be wrestling with for the next few months.

More than three years ago, McMahon unveiled plans to create a WWE cable channel that would capitalize on the company's vast library as well as feature new programming. But since then there have been lots of fits and starts and delays but no channel and little about it coming out of the WWE. Wall Street is eager to see movement because WWE has been telling investors it thinks having its own distribution platform could be a game changer for the company.

"You guys need to say more than you have," an exasperated Brad Safalow, an analyst with PAA Research, said on the WWE's second-quarter-earnings call last month. McMahon promised more clarity on the company's next earnings call. So far, WWE has spent about $40 million developing a programming service, according to its financial filings.

The reason WWE is being cagey is that it is still not sure what kind of channel it will launch. Originally, WWE wanted to build a broadly distributed commercial channel with hopes of getting a subscription fee in the neighborhood of 20 cents per month per subscriber.

However, not only is space tight on most cable and satellite systems, there were concerns about the amount of WWE content already available limiting the growth potential of a stand-alone commercial network. WWE has shows on the USA and Syfy cable channels and a new program for the ION broadcast network. It is also producing a kids show for the CW Network.

"Clearly the cable operators didn’t view what they brought to market as compelling enough," said Safalow in an interview.

Now the WWE is switching gears and focusing its efforts on creating an HBO-like pay cable channel that consumers would order on an individual basis and that would be commercial-free, people familiar with the company's thinking said.

On paper, the WWE certainly has a base to support such a venture. It produces a dozen pay-per-view events every year. In 2012, through eight events, WWE is averaging 250,000 buys in the United States. "Wrestlemania," its biggest event, had 850,000 buys. Add in international purchases and those figures grow by several hundred thousand. The price tag for WWE's pay-per-view programming is $44.95, except for "Wrestlemania," which goes for $54.95.

If WWE goes forward with a premium channel, it would likely place some or most of its pay-per-view events (which besides "Wrestlemania" includes "Summer Slam" and "Royal Rumble") on the network to entice people to sign up. That does not mean WWE would get out of its lucrative pay-per-view business. It will try to have its cake and eat it too by continuing to offer its events on pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Also, "Wrestlemania" would likely remain strictly a pay-per-view event.

The price tag WWE would seek for a premium channel would be north of $10.00 a month and perhaps as much as $15.00, which would be cheaper than buying all or even half of the pay-per-view events. Typically, the subscription fee is split 50-50 between the programmer and distributor.

Besides its pay-per-view content, WWE would also create some new shows that would complement its content on other channels and use its library fare as well.

"Subscribing to the network would be a 'no brainer' for the company's hardcore fans," Safalow wrote in a recent report. Safalow said he anticipates a price of $14.95 for the channel and that WWE should be able to get 400,000 subscribers out of the gate and almost double that in two years. In 2014 Safalow projects that a pay channel could add as much as $141.6 million in revenue to WWE.

Whether pay-TV distributors will be on board remains to be seen. The PPV revenue that WWE generates for cable and satellite operators is not insignificant. There may be fears that making the majority of that fare available on the channel too will hurt the pay-per-view business without proof that there is enough appetite to sustain a full-time network.

The WWE is still not ready to declare what type of channel it is planning. George Barrios, the WWE's chief financial officer would only say: "The WWE Network in any form is a transformative opportunity if we execute it right." As for the growing impatience on Wall Street over the network, Barrios said: "It is taking the appropriate amount of time for us to identify the best strategic and financial opportunity.”
Despite the slow pace of the channel's development, analysts such as Safalow are not ready to throw in the towel. The WWE's recently launched YouTube channel WWE FanNation has already become one of the most popular outlets on the site with more than 600,000 subscribers, an amount that Safalow feels is further proof that there is a market for a cable outlet.

"Vince is a very competitive empire builder," Safalow said. "Whether you like him or what his product is, he runs a very good business and has a very long history of building upon his success." (LA Times)


George Clooney Reportedly Splits From Stacy Keibler...

Actor George Clooney has split from former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler, The Sun reports.
Keibler reportedly told her friends her relationship with Clooney is over. A statement is expected any day announcing the couple have split amicably.

A friend of Keibler's told the publication, "She said George wants to be on his own again and has no intention of getting married. Stacy hoped they would be together long-term. It was a big breakthrough to spend time with his parents. But over the last few weeks George has pulled away from her."

The couple had been romantically linked for over a year.


CNN TV - Flair interviewed on Lawler...

Ric Flair appeared on CNN Headline News's "Evening Express" to discuss Jerry Lawler's heart attack during Raw. Flair defended Lawler, 62, wrestling at his age and WWE allowing Lawler to be physically involved in WWE shows, saying he believes Lawler is more qualified to wrestle than many other wrestlers on the roster because he has 40 years of in-ring experience and some younger wrestlers on the roster have five or fewer years of experience.

Flair added that "great medical advances" have been made to protect wrestlers and the medical care available ringside and backstage probably saved his life. Flair concluded the interview: "Nobody made Jerry get in the ring. He got in the ring because he's a great pro."


NICK HOGAN: Jerry Lawler Should Quit Wrestling After Heart Attack...

Hulk Hogan's son Nick Hogan is incredibly relieved that Jerry "The King" Lawler has stabilized since his heart attack Monday night -- but tells TMZ, it might be time Lawler considered retirement.

Nick tells us, wrestling "takes a toll" on your body -- and as a result, "most guys retire around 50ish." Lawler is 62.

According to Nick, people in the wrestling business have varied career lengths -- but when injuries come into play, it's hard to ignore the obvious ... it's time to slow down.

Nick uses his own dad as an example -- saying even his 59-year-old father has cut back drastically on wrestling because of serious back injuries.

Nick's parting words -- "Our prayers are with you, Jerry. Glad to hear you're alright."


The Richest Wrestlers in the World...

Who are the richest wrestlers in the world? For anyone whose parents say you’ll never make any money learning to take a folding chair to the face, immediately show them this list. Over the last 30 years, Vince McMahon has turned the WWE, formerly WWF, into one of most popular and profitable sports companies in the world. In the process McMahan has made dozens of wrestlers extremely rich. He also earned himself an astonishing personal fortune. Today, WWE Raw and SmackDown are consistently some of the top ten most viewed shows on cable television, attracting between four and six million viewers each week. WrestleMania XXVIII aired on April 1st 2012 and was the highest grossing event in the company’s history with nearly $70 million in pay per view revenues. But who are the richest wrestlers in the world?

***The figures contained in this list were acquired from all publicly available information including salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements. The final net worths come from a formula that takes out taxes, manager’s fees, agents’ fees, and lifestyle.***

The Richest Wrestlers in the World:

#1: The Rock Net Worth – $70 Million
#2: Steve Austin Net Worth – $45 Million
#3: John Cena Net Worth – $35 Million
#4: Big Show Net Worth – $30 Million
#5: Triple H Net Worth: $25 Million
#6: Kurt Angle Net Worth – $20 million
#7: Chris Jericho Net Worth – $18 Million
#8: Shawn Michaels Net Worth – $17 Million
#9: The Undertaker Net Worth – $16 Million
#10: Mick Foley Net Worth – $15 Million
#11: Bret Hart Net Worth – $14 Million
#12: Edge Net Worth – $14 Million
#13: Sting Net Worth – $13 Million
#14: Brock Lesnar Net Worth – $12.5 Million
#15: Goldberg Net Worth – $12 Million
#16: Batista Net Worth – $10 Million
#17: JBL Net Worth – $9 Million
#18: Rey Mysterio Net Worth – $8.5 Million
#19: Kevin Nash Net Worth – $8 Million
#20: CM Punk Net Worth – $7.5 Million
#21: Jerry Lawler Net Worth – $7 Million
#22: Randy Orton Net Worth – $6 Million
#23: Alberto Del Rio Net Worth – $6 Million
#24: Hulk Hogan Net Worth – $5 Million

***Hogan lost an estimated $25 million in his divorce from ex-wife Linda Hogan. Linda was awarded 70% of the couple’s liquid assets, a 40% stake in all of Hulk’s companies, six luxury cars and millions more in property***

#25: Ric Flair Net Worth – $5 Million
#26: The Miz Net Worth – $5 Million
#27: Rowdy Roddy Piper Net Worth – $4 Million
#28: Chyna Net Worth: $1.5 Million

Other:

Vince McMahon Net Worth – $500 Million
Randy Savage Net Worth – $8 Million


Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Brings His Action-Oriented Brand to TV: New Reality Show 'The Hero' Poised to Premiere in 2013 ...

Likeable action-oriented film star, and wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson brings his brand to TV in the TNT reality competition show, “The Hero.” Set to premier in the summer of 2013, “The Hero,” (a working title), pits 10 housemates against one another in missions that will “test their brains, their brawn and even their morality,” TNT says. Johnson will serve as mentor and executive producer along with Dany Garcia, his production partner. The network has ordered eight episodes from Ben Silverman’s multimedia entertainment studio, Electus and 5×5 Media, and the show plans to use social media extensively, seizing on Johnson’s 10 million fans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Viewers will vote each week for the contestant they consider to be the most heroic. “The Rock is the embodiment of ‘The Hero’ and an inspirational superstar with an unwavering moral compass,” said Ben Silverman, founder and chairman of Electus. “‘The Hero’ will deliver on his brand as an incredible action-filled series that test the limits of real people in extraordinary circumstances while also activating the Rock and Turner’s audience with seamless digital and social media tie-ins. “Dany and I couldn’t be more excited to enter into our first official foray in TV production,” said Rock. “The Hero speaks to everything I believe in when it comes to challenging ourselves, to becoming better people every day and to making the right choices while growing from the wrong ones. Bridging the digital and physical world on the small screen in a way that’s never been done before will enable fans to use social media and on-screen decision making to determine the fate of the show’s contestants, and our goal is to make each TV moment impactful and exciting.” The premise of Hero is bringing together ten "ordinary people" in one house and then assigning them "various missions that will test their brains, their brawn, and even their morality." Social media will be a strong component of the show. TNT described the social media aspect. "In a unique twist on the reality-competition format, The Hero will incorporate social media into every facet of the show, from pre-production and casting to on-location shooting and live broadcasts. Through the show’s interactive digital platform, viewers will be able to vote each week for the contestant they consider to be the most heroic. The series will also leverage the power of Johnson’s enormous social-media following, which includes more than 10 million fans through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube."
Hulk Hogan to star in new reality show... Los Angeles - Hulk Hogan is to star in a new reality TV show to find the next big British wrestling star. The legendary wrestler is to be a mentor onTNA Wrestling: British Boot Camp, which will follow the company's search for a breakout star who can make it in the US. The series will air in December in the UK. Dominic Wilkins, acting Director of Challenge TV who will air the series, can't wait to see Hogan put the hopefuls through their paces. 'The series will provide entertainment content' Wilkins said: "TNA Wrestling has a huge fan base in the UK and it's great to be able to commission exclusive original content which cements Challenge TV as the UK home for TNA Wrestling. This series will provide unmissable entertainment content which resonates with our viewers." The six-part series will feature four of the best wrestlers Britain has to offer competing for a contract with TNA IMPACT Wrestling. Twins Hannah and Holly Blossom will be joined by Marty Scrull and Rockstar Spud as they seek to impress mentors Hogan and British World of Sport legend Rollerball Rocco and TNA President Dixie Carter. Winner to join company's roster The winner will earn a place on the company's roster, joining the likes of Sting and former Olympic Gold medallist Kurt Angle on the UK's most-watched wrestling programme. They will also feature on TNA's Road To Lockdown Tour of the UK and Ireland in 2013, which culminates with a TV taping at Wembley Arena, London. TNA Wrestling British Boot Camp marks the first non-game show commission from Challenge TV since their relaunch last year, and is the channel's first full commission with TNA Productions.
Former WWE star Stacy Keibler to host new Lifetime TV show... Former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler will host a new "reality competition series" centered on food products to air on Lifetime Network. Lifetime announced Friday a ten-episode order of the new "Supermarket Superstars" series, but did not announce when the show will air. According to the description, Keibler will host the show in which "aspiring food product inventors will pitch their concepts to a panel of industry experts for a once in a lifetime chance to have their creation launched nationally in a major grocery chain." Lifetime's press release focuses on Keibler's TV show resume and being a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars," but does not mention her WWE background.
Edge returns to Syfy's "Haven"... Edge returns to Syfy's hit series "Haven" as a recurring guest star in the show's third season, including the U.S premiere, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Orton's movie wife revealed... The latest actress to portray Randy Orton's wife in a fictional setting is Cindy Busby, who is local to Vancouver, Canada, where WWE Studios's "12 Rounds: Reloaded" is being filmed. Cindy announced on Twitter this weekend: "Yup! Playing @RandyOrton 's wife in 12 rounds! Say what?!?!" Orton tweeted Saturday night: "Having dinner with @roelreine the Director of #12RoundsReloaded and @cindy_busby, my movie wife. Don Julio + sugar lime = 1 kick ass movie."
Miz talks change to good-guy role... In an interview with the Times Record News (Texas) promoting next weekend's WWE house show tour, The Miz talked about how he handled the transition to a good-guy role for WWE Studios's "Marine 3" movie. "I derived that character from a bunch of old movies ... a lot of Paul Newman movies. I haven't played a good guy in seven years," Miz said. Going back in time to when he was in Developmental, Miz credited Billy Kidman for keeping him going even when everyone else thought he should quit. "It was brutal just having people tell you you're not going to make it. But that was the fuel," Miz said. "One of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten was from Billy Kidman, who said, 'Stick with it.'"
WWE star films Nick show this week... Prior to joining Raw's weekend house show tour, Big Show spent the week in Pittsburgh filming scenes for a Nickelodeon TV show, according to WWE's website. Show filmed scenes for the second season of Nick's "Supah Ninjas" show, which premieres in 2013. Show plays the role of a super-sized biker and prison escapee named "Two-Ton Harley."
Edgy WWE videos are back -- after U.S Election Day... Earlier this month, WWE announced it would be taking off YouTube and other websites some of its raunchier wrestling videos, a move that was widely seen as designed to help the company's ex-CEO, Linda McMahon, spruce up her image for her U.S. Senate race. Well, the company isn't quite consigning those clips to the trashcan. In November, just after the election, WWE will be releasing an "Attitude Era" Blu-ray. WWE spokesman Brian Flinn says the Blu-ray will be rated PG and will reflect the company's family-values marketing of recent years. This is how the product is described on Amazon.com: "In the late-90s, WWE was struggling for ratings survival while a cultural shift in the viewing audience's taste was occurring. ... Enter Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mankind and the notorious crop of edgy and fearless Superstars who ushered in The Attitude Era. Now in this 3-Disc DVD set, fans can own all the infamous moments from this controversial and revolutionary era that redefined sports entertainment for an entire generation. Over 8-hours of envelope-pushing content includes all the aggression, antics and innuendos that proved to be the perfect cocktail for an explosion of popularity."
WWE legend Dave Bautista set to make mixed martial arts debut... Former WWE superstar Dave Bautista is slated to make his mixed martial arts debut on Oct. 6 against Rashid Evans, in the main event of the "Real Pain" card from the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Bautista, who performed in the WWE in the early-2000s as "Batista," is making his MMA debut at age 43. Dave Bautista is set to make his MMA debut on Oct. 6. Luckily, his opponent, Evans, is also an MMA newcomer who has no pro fights under his belt. Evans is not to be confused with former UFC champion Rashad Evans. On Sept. 1, it was announced that UFC veterans David Loiseau and John Howard were added to the "Real Pain" card, adding a little credability to a card headlined by two combatants with 0-0 records. Loiseau (20-10) hasn't fought in over a year, as he battled through an elbow injury that sidelined him since Feb. of 2011. He'll be fighting 32-year-old Chris McNally (5-4). Howard's opponent is yet to be determined. He (11-7) is 3-0 since getting released from the UFC last year. The main card of "Real Pain" will air on DIRECTV per-per-view for $29.95. Bautista has also nicely timed things with the upcoming release of 'The Man With The Iron Fists' movie, where he shares the screen with movie legends such as Australia's Russell Crowe. How cool is that - 'The Animal' VS 'The Gladiator'. *Special thank you to WWE, TNA Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Inc and Google News for assistance and references in compiling this news report. Websites

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