Thursday, January 31, 2019

GRAB is Adding HOOQ Video STREAMING Service on its APP

There is little question on which between local and international ride-hailing services are dominating in Southeast Asia. And among the regional icons of that industry, Grab from Singapore stands at the top. Its infrastructure is well known to have been bolstered by its acquisition last year of the assets left behind by the abortive Uber SEA operations, and they have even opened offices in Seattle to bring in American know-how. But that is not enough for Grab, which has plans to evolve its ride-hailing app to something more. They have partnered with a fellow local online service for that purpose.
Tech Crunch reports that Grab has taken steps to integrate a new feature into their mobile app that goes beyond its usual stomping grounds of ride-hailing: video sharing. It is teaming up with HOOQ, another Singapore-based company that provides video on demand streaming, and is considered the Southeast Asian-grown Netflix. This is another indicator of Grab’s planned directional shift towards providing entertainment, manifest in the basic mobile games that can also be played on the Grab app. The company has hit on the idea that they could keep their consumers invested in their online platform even when not needing a ride, by offering other services.
Initial steps towards making Grab a do-anything “super app” were initiated in 2018 when they inaugurated a new partner platform system. They offered to companies in Southeast Asia that are in “adjacent industries” to ride-hailing, the chance to integrate their services online with the Grab app. This evolution of the Grab platform would serve to not only secure but expand its current base of around 130 million registered users across 168 cities in eight countries as of February 2018. Only truly giant networking platforms like Google and Facebook have more regulars than Grab’s in SEA.
Singapore itself and Indonesia were the first countries with a Grab presence to have access to HOOQ streaming content on their versions of the company’s mobile app. This is understandable being the former is Grab’s home and the latter has the fourth largest national population in the world. The feature will be represented with a HOOQ “Video” tile on the Grab app interface, and users will have three months of access to the HOOQ streaming library, containing Hollywood and Asian media, directly played on Grab’s app. The next countries where this feature will be implemented include Thailand and the Philippines.
The HOOQ streaming service was launched in 2015 as a joint venture between Singtel of Singpaore and major studios Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures. Its CEO Peter Bithos assures Grab users that the whole HOOQ media library will be accessible on Grab when the feature is fully implemented in future.
Images from YugaTech and RR-Magazine


There is a marked increase in difficult challenges when a new reality competition tries to premiere on network TV in the US. There are either already existing shows with multiple seasons already with an established audience like NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”, which is currently running a spinoff subtitled “The Champions” which brings many popular contestants from past “Got Talent” seasons around the world; or there is another new show like Fox’s “The Masked Singer” which may have stolen the thunder already. But CBS is set to premiere “The World’s Best” next month regardless, which is all the better for Filipinos that are competing and judging.
ABS-CBN News has it that some Filipino celebrities will be visible both on stage and on the panel section when “The World’s Best” reality talent competition takes off in February. For the contestants’ side, virally famous child singing trio the TNT Boys will be pitting themselves against an international pool of hopefuls. After individually placing in the finals of “It’s Showtime” singing contest “Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids” in 2017, Kiefer Sanchez, Mackie Empuerto and Francis Concepcion were packaged together as a boy band and have performed locally and internationally, particularly in no less than four editions of “Little Big Shots.”
Meanwhile, iconic singer and host Pops Fernandez will also be involved in “The World’s Best” as part of a panel called “The Wall of the World”. Separate from the actual three-person panel of judges with Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill and RuPaul, the Wall will consist of 50 entertainment experts – music artists, actors and so on – from around the world. Pops’ own descriptor in the CBS website for “The World’s Best” is “music icon”. She also posted a sneak peek of the competition proper on her Facebook page. Former husband Martin Nievera also expressed pride at Fernandez’ inclusion, particularly as CBS went out of its way to have a Filipino representative as part of the Wall.
“I’m very, very proud,” Martin said in an interview Tuesday, January 29 at a press conference for “Timeless Classics”, his Valentine’s Day concert with Lani Misalucha. “I know for a fact that the producers of ‘The World’s Best’ said they need a Filipino expert and they chose Pops. I think it’s a perfect choice.” He also shared how he too was considered to join the Wall of the World, but fell through because of scheduling conflicts with his concert tours.
“The World’s Best” talent competition was co-developed by Mike Darnell and reality show creator Mark Burnett of “Survivor” fame. James Corden will host for the show, which will premiere in CBS on Sunday, February 3.
Image from Inquirer Entertainment, TVLine

Friday, January 25, 2019


Ever since its launch 12 years ago on December 2006, the Canadian online fiction publishing platform and social network Wattpad has become something of a wellspring of novel-format stories on the internet. With 70 million regular users around the world and over 50 languages used, it has a wide international reach. And in some countries, Wattpad has even entered into partnerships with book publishers to have some of their most popular and promising member-authors get deals to have their stories printed or adapted in TV and film. Following on that, Wattpad is planning to go a step further by opening its own in-house publishing arm.
The Verge has it that Wattpad is launching Wattpad Books, a dedicated book publishing imprint that will open a path for the platform’s authors to get a chance at seeing their online stories be printed as books for sale at bookstores. Wattpad made the announcement Thursday, January 24. The company plans to have their Books imprint help in the further development of their author-submitted content, which already amounts to well over 500 million individual stories published online. It is the latest step in Wattpad’s direction to transition into a multiplatform entertainment company with global presence.
For its initial offering of hardcopy novels, Wattpad Books will launch six stories in September through October, with genres ranging from the ever-popular Young Adult to fantasy and mystery. These lucky soon-to-be paperback books are: “The QB Bad Boy and Me” by tayxwriter/Tay Marley, “Trapeze” by Leigh Ansell, “What Happened that Night” by Lyssfrom1996/Deanna Cameron, “Cupid’s Match” by Lauren E. Palphreyman, “Saving Everest” by Teenagexnightmare/Sky Chase, and “I’m a Gay Wizard” by V.S. Santoni. These Wattpad stories range in online readership from over 404,000 to more than 46 million, reflecting the wide spectrum of what online stories might be published.
Due to the massive volume of content already available on Wattpad, the company will be employing a hybrid selection panel of human editors and their Story DNA Machine Learning tech. This will identify which of the over half a billion complete uploaded stories on the Wattpad platform, matched against collected reader data on global genre trends, are chosen to be sent on to Wattpad Books for publishing and distribution. Wattpad Studios, Publishing Deputy General Manager Ashleigh Gardner says of it, “We bring something completely unique to publishing: an engaged global community, the most diverse set of writers on the planet, and the technology to find every type of hit imaginable.”
The first batch of Wattpad Books titles will be made available in North America, with different publishing labels handling distribution in the US and Canada. If successful, this approach could go worldwide, with the existing publishing partnerships in other countries.
Images from Wattpad, Business Wire


Ever since the rise of reality competition programs on television, there has been one trend that has developed started racking up seasons over the years: returning reality contestants. These are those participants of reality programs who, whether they originally won or not, would later come back for more. Either they make an appearance in a later season of the show they joined (especially if they lost), or they join another program and be recognized there from their prior experience. Alternatively, the show might do a “champion’s edition” season reuniting some of its past winners and popular contestants, so the returnees show up in force there.
That is pretty much the intention of the mini-season spinoff “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” on NBC. And not only veterans from previous “America’s Got Talent” seasons but famous contestants from the global franchise have been assembled to battle it out in eight weeks of episodes. But for Filipino “Got Talent” followers, they might be focusing more on an achievement by Fil-American singer Angelica Hale, who first appeared in “America’s Got Talent” season 12. She advanced via golden buzzer, ultimately losing to Darci Lynne Farmer. On episode 4 of “The Champions”, she did it again.
As tells it, Angelica Hale has made “America’s Got Talent” history by becoming the first contestant to receive a golden buzzer in the competition twice, at two different outings in the franchise. Here in “The Champions”, on the episode that aired Monday, January 21, the young singing dynamo from Atlanta, Georgia impressed regular “AGT” judge Howie Mandel with her take on “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. It was, in Angelica’s own words, a strategic choice for her performance. “I wanted to send a message, telling them this is my fight song and I can put up a fight!” she said. “I’m going to fight for my place on ‘Champions’.”
Hale pretty much needed the confident declaration of her fighting spirit in this segment of “America’s Talent: The Champions”. Her fellow competitors in this batch of veterans include viral “Britain’s Got Talent” opera singer Paul Potts, magicians and illusionists like Jon Dorenbos and Darcy Oake, extreme roller-skaters Billy and Emily England, stunt duo Ryan Stock and AmberLynn, standup comedian Tom Cotter and character singer Prince Poppycock, among others. While Angelica got the round’s gold buzzer, Potts received the highest votes resulting in the two of them advancing to the finals.
Angelica Hale’s original outing in “America’s Got Talent” season 12 had her singing “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys. For this she was advanced by guest judge Chris Hardwick pressing the golden buzzer. As stated earlier, she made it to the finals where she placed second to puppeteer Darci Lynne.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News


As the year 2019 proceeds through the last few weeks of January, followers of the awards season have been keeping tabs on which movies, TV programs, theatre productions, songs, and everything else connected to these, will be nominated in the upcoming awards ceremonies across the various genres of entertainment. One of the biggest draws has got to be the premier award for the motion picture industry, the Academy Awards. At least that is how it should were it not for controversies in film nominees, choice in host, and so on. The Academy (AMPAS) has promised to make some changes in which movies get nominated this time. Apparently they meant it.
CNN reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has at last announced which films from 2018, their stars and producers, have been nominated for a chance to bring home an Oscar statuette or more at the 91st Academy Awards. The announcement was done at in the morning of Tuesday, January 22 (local time), at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California. Actors Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross presented the nominees; and those who got to watch the 76th Golden Globes earlier this month will recognize some film titles and names.
The Best Picture list for instance looks like a “best of the best” compilation of choice films from the Drama and Comedy/Musical ends of the Golden Globe Best Picture. Marvel’s “Black Panther” is certainly celebrating not having to be put in the postponed “Popular Picture” category, and “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “BlacKkKlansman”, “Green Book”, “Vice” and “A Star is Born” round up the nominees here. The one unique addition is Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma”, a Mexican film that is both on this list and “Best Foreign Language Film”. Top Oscar honor aside, the other nominations for “Black Panther” fall only on technical categories.
Again, the nominees for Best Actor and Actress, and the Supporting Roles, are for the most part doing it all over again from the Golden Globes: Rami Malek, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Viggo Mortensen, Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy, Mahershala Ali, Amy Adams and so on. The Animated Feature film category also sees a rematch between Disney and Pixar’s 2018 offerings against Sony’ “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. In summation, “Roma” and the Fox Searchlight Pictures period film “The Favourite” tie at 10 nominations apiece for the most. “Black Panther” seems pitted against Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” for some Music-related categories.
The 91st Oscars awarding ceremonies are set to be held February 24 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, televised on ABC. There will be no masters of ceremonies; instead the program will have a rotating roster of award presenters.
Image courtesy of Awards Daily

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Back when this month was still a few days old, a notoriously accurate smartphone leaker showed what may well be the earliest images of the latest Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S10. What was initially an edited image with a blurred-out icon screen was eventually confirmed the following week when the South Korean electronics giant announced a live event scheduled for February, punctuated by a promo poster showing the number 10. There can be no coincidence there. Anyway, over a week after the Samsung announcement, tech reporter and veteran spoiler Evan Blass strikes again, with images intimating that the Galaxy S10 will have three possible variants.
Tech Crunch has it that Evan Blass has just gone and posted a new leaked image on his Twitter page of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone. Well, to be specific, he posted an image of three types of Galaxy S10s, variants to one another. From the shared photo below, the basic Samsung Galaxy S10 is in the middle; to its right is the larger S10+ phablet, and at left is the S10E. This three-variant product release is similar to the model implemented by Apple when they introduced the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.
And just like with the new Apple iPhones, the third Galaxy S10 variant the S10 is touted as the entry-level version: slightly less powerful than the baseline S10 but at a more affordable price range. From a cursory glance at the image above, the S10 variants have in common the loss of the once-familiar top-edge notch where the “selfie” front cam normally is. Now it is located in a hole-punch to the upper right of the display. The fingerprint sensor is apparently on the screen this time. Speaking of front cams, the Galaxy S10+ has two lenses; and while this and the regular S10 have three rear cam lenses the S10E version only has two. Also, it might only have an LCD screen rather than the more pricy AMOLED display.
With this new leak by Evan Blass, there seems to be not much left to reveal at their February live event about the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone line other than their internal components. Still, maybe the Korean company still has a few surprises left for their loyal Galaxy users on the 27th of next month. Even if it is only another preview of their folding-screen smartphone prototype, it will dazzle along with the Galaxy S10s.
Image courtesy of 9to5 Google

MARAWI “Solid Vote” for BOL

Yesterday, residents of the provinces and areas that comprise the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) came out in force to redo what their parents and elders have done back in 1989 which led to the creation of their region in the first place: a plebiscite. This time, the plebiscite will ask whether or not they want their communities to become part of a new Bangsamoro autonomous region replacing the ARMM, through the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. The proposed region will have even greater levels of autonomy than what the ARMM enjoyed. Among the most enthusiastic BOL supporters voted from the once-troubled capital of Lanao Del Sur: Marawi.
CNN Philippines has it that, on the day of plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law this Monday, January 21, Marawi City in Lanao Del Sur quite obviously voted overwhelmingly for the ratification of the BOL and, consequently, for inclusion in the territory of a future Bangsamoro autonomous region. In unofficial results following the completion of canvassing for the provincial capital this 3 AM of Tuesday, January 22, some 58,688 registered voters across the 96 barangays of Marawi voted “Yes” to the BOL, against 112 “No” voters. These results will be deemed official once announced by the national board of canvassers.
Support for the BOL and the resultant new autonomous region in Marawi was never in doubt. With a Muslim resident population of over 99% (but not fully 100), the city is one of the historical cultural centers of the Bangsamoro people. Following the devastation it suffered in 2017 after being occupied by ISIS-aligned extremists, Marawi looks to an autonomous region with greater autonomy from the rest of the Philippines as an added measure of security. The rest of Lanao Del Sur is fit to follow its capital, although canvassing in the rest of the province is unfinished and resumes today.
If Marawi is a bulwark of the BOL “Yes” vote, another major historical cultural center of the Bangsamoro looks to remain aloof. Cotabato City, which rejected inclusion in the ARMM nearly three decades ago, is looking to vote “No” once again, this time to the BOL, despite campaigning by Muslim supporters and the tacit desire of President Rodrigo Duterte himself. The late-night initial canvassing was put on hold at 1 AM Tuesday but will also resume in the morning. In the rest of Maguindanao, of which Cotabato is geographically but not politically joined, BOL ratification and inclusion looks very certain according to Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangundadatu, with a 97% “Yes” vote in three municipalities combined.
A second plebiscite will be done on February 6 for North Cotabato, Lanao Del Norte except Iligan City, and 28 adjacent areas which petitioned for Bangamoro autonomous region inclusion, but only if the BOL ratification goes through from January 21.
Image courtesy of SunStar Davao


It is often amazing how some of the biggest things around could start from the smallest beginnings. There is the Biblical example of the mustard seed; and then there is the story of the little shoe retail shop in Quiapo back in the 1950s that would become the seed of a mighty Philippine retail empire. The store’s name was Shoemart, brainchild of Fujian-born entrepreneur Henry Sy Sr., and from shoe sales it expanded into a chain of department stores and ultimately, supermalls that bear the moniker “SM”. The primacy of SM among Philippine malls can be attributed to the marketing brilliance of Sy, who had passed away just this weekend.
Business World Online reports that Henry Sy Sr. died last Saturday, January 19, at the age of 94 years. According to an official statement released by SM Investments Corp., better known as the SM Group, Sy passed peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of the preceding weekend, though the conglomerate shared no further details regarding the death of the man whom they called the company’s “Father”. Sy served as chairman of SMIC until stepping down to emeritus status on 2017. During the past 11 years he has been named by Forbes as the richest man in the Philippines.
A separate statement from the Sy family expressed thanks to the condolences given by Filipinos as soon as word of their patriarch’s death was made public. “We are truly grateful for the outpouring of sympathy on the passing of our father, Henry Sy, Sr.,” announced a spokesperson for the family, adding that the Sys are currently in reflection and making arrangements for the funeral, and are therefore asking for privacy.
Henry Sy Sr. or Sy Chi Sieng (Shi Zhicheng in modern Hanyu Pinyin), was born 1924 in Fujian, China. His family moved to the Philippines in 1936 to operate a store. When the closing months of World War II saw their business destroyed with much of Manila, the Sy family returned to China except Henry, who finished his education at Far Eastern University and started his business career by selling surplus US Army boots. This eventually led to his opening of the Shoemart shoe store, and the rest is history.
The current SM Prime Holdings mall chain is now only one part of the larger SM Group, which includes real estate developments, hotels, convention centers and a sports arena, and two banks (BDO and Chinabank).
No details on Sy’s wake have been disclosed as of yet. At present, his children Henry Jr., Teresita, Elizabeth, Hans, Herbert and Harley hold controlling positions at SMIC, though the current chairman is Jose Sio.
Image courtesy of Philippine Star


Ever since it was founded in 1971, the not-for-profit organization called the World Economic Forum has done much in the spirit of its motto “Committed to Improving the State of the World”, by providing their annual meetings as a platform for engagement between private business interests and national governments for mapping global history agendas. Their yearly forum, held at Davos, Switzerland at January’s end, came to prominence by 2015 when it was given formal status under the Swiss Host-State Act, giving any public-private cooperation initiatives proposed there some political weight. This year’s economic forum however, is suffering from a lack of important participants, all bowing out due to pressing problems with their countries’ respective economies.
CNN tells us that there is a surprising g trend of world leaders from major nations that have decided to no-show at the 2019 World Economic Forum, nowadays better known in short for its venue at the Swiss mountain town of Davos. While attendance figures still run up the usual numbers of upwards to 3,000 guests, mostly company leaders from some of the biggest business names, the primary press focus on several heads of state will be disappointed that many of them have opted out.
Leading the absentee world leaders is US President Donald Trump. While he was one of the “stars” that got plenty of listening cred at Davos back in 2018, this time he has cancelled in favor of focusing on events happening closer to home, namely the still-ongoing federal shutdown. Another no show is UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who still has her country’s impending Brexit proceedings to worry about. And then there is President Emmanuel Macron who is trying to clamp down on some very heated street demonstrations happening in France. At least President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe was able to send a deputy in the person of his finance minister.
With several top world leaders not showing up in the World Economic Forum this year, others who did will be able to get their influence over the gathering of business interests and bankers. Asia is looking to make an impression with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Narenda Modi of India and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil are there too. The Davos organizers have presented the following as its current theme: “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Aside from public-accessible panels, there is also lots of exclusive closed-door private-public networking expected to go on at Davos, tackling current topics such as technological progress, the surge of populism, the present economic slowdown that caused many leaders to back out to handle their respective problems more closely, and the constant subject of climate change.
Images: Modern, Straits Times


This February, Warner Bros. will be releasing the sequel to their surprise 2014 animated blockbuster “The LEGO Movie”, and they are doing their level best to promote “LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” as not just a worthy but better follow-up to the original. To that end they are touching nearly the exact same points in hyping the films, including a popular song from the respective soundtracks. For the first “LEGO Movie” that was “Everything is Awesome”, an honest-to-goodness Oscar nominee. With the sequel, the Warner Animation Group is putting forward a new song to ape “Everything is Awesome” to the level of “Baby Shark”.
Entertainment Weekly has it that Warner Bros. is gearing up to infect moviegoers with a delightfully annoying earworm of a song for “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” next month. Where its predecessor had “Everything is Awesome”, the sequel shall have the even more blatantly ear-wormy “Catchy Song”, performed on the soundtrack by T-Pain and That Girl Lay Lay, produced by Dillon Francis with lyrics by Jon Lajoie. The song has a very direct memory hook in its wording, particularly the repeated line “This song is gonna get stuck inside your head”. Brace yourself.
While Lajoie, who also penned “Everything is Awesome” back in 2014, opines that that song set a bar for “catchy”, his “Catchy Song” will shift the focus into “annoying”, though hopefully in a good and enjoyable way. It will also figure into events in the “LEGO Movie 2” plot, particularly in what the rulers of the Systar System plan to do to their LEGO minifigure captives. A scene featured in a sneak peek sees Lucy Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) being subjected to torture by “catchy pop music” by Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), with hilarious side-effects to the prisoners as shown.
Even “LEGO Movie 2” director Mike Mitchell speaks of the earworm potential of their sequel film’s new theme song. “In the editing room, I watched it over and over. It drills itself into your head. It’s relentless,” he remarked on “Catchy Song”. “I feel like I had to get it surgically removed from my head.” Both he and songwriter Jon Lajoie gave a humorous advance apology to parents when their children start demanding for the song to be played over and over again in the days to come, akin to the heyday of Disney film “Frozen” and “Let It Go”.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” also stars Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie and Nick Offerman. It premieres on cinemas this coming February 8. Here is “Catchy Song” in all its annoyingly catchy glory.
Image courtesy of SlashFilm

Former CIA Agent Played by BEN AFFLECK in “ARGO” Dead

In 1979 the Iranian monarchy was topped by revolution to become an Islamic Republic ruled by Islamic religious law. As that year drew to a close, protests by Iranians denouncing the United States for protecting the deposed Shah (emperor) led to the Iranian hostage crisis, where Iranian militants held diplomats of the US embassy for over a year. During that period, several embassy diplomats who escaped the compound during the takeover were rescued by a joint CIA-Canada operation under the cover of a bogus film project. This “caper” was fictionalized in 2012 Warner Bros. film “Argo” starring Ben Affleck as CIA “disguise master” Tony Mendez, who has recently passed away.
USA Today reports that retired Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez, whose exploit in the Canadian caper during the Iran crisis was dramatized in Warner Bros.’ “Argo” with his character played by Ben Affleck, died Saturday, January 19, at the age of 78. A statement released by his family revealed that Mendez spent his last years in an assisted-living center in Frederick, Maryland on account of his worsening condition due to Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by two sons – one from his first wife who passed in 1986 – and his second wife who had also been a fellow CIA agent.
During the Iranian crisis, regarding the exfiltration of the hidden US embassy escapees from the country, Mendez conceptualized the idea of creating a fictional movie, and issuing the diplomats, sheltered by friendly embassies, with the identities of a Canadian film crew, including a cover story involving them scouting Iran for shooting locations. The ruse enabled Mendez to escort the escapees on a flight to Switzerland, with operational credit being given to Canada to cover US involvement, which would have spurred the hostage takers to take revenge on the embassy captives.
On a Twitter post with his condolences, Ben Affleck described Tony Mendez as a “true American hero” who did not seek recognition for his actions on behalf of his country. “I’m so proud to have worked for him and to have told one of his stories,” the actor said. The film dramatization “Argo” was based on Mendez’ own published memoirs of the caper, though the movie, which won the 2013 Best Picture Oscar, had its conflict and dramatic tension intensified for more suspense. In real life, Iranian authorities never discovered the caper until the embassy diplomats were out of Iran.
According to the Mendez family, Tony Mendez will be laid to rest at their family graveyard in Nevada, following a private ceremony with only relatives.
Image courtesy of BBC