TV App: Local Station Pursues Online and Mobile Viewers

As an increasing number of television viewers are accessing content via tablets and smartphones, apps from the likes of HBO, ESPN and Netflix are growing in popularity. Local TV stations may soon be taking a similar approach to pursuing online and mobile viewers. For example, NBC affiliate KHQ in Spokane, Washington launched its “Watch KHQ” app earlier this month. While content is currently limited, the app suggests a new direction by local broadcasters. Continue reading TV App: Local Station Pursues Online and Mobile Viewers

Potential Aereo Rival: CBS Invests in Streaming TV Startup

As broadcasters continue to battle the unauthorized distribution of their shows via Aereo, CBS announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Syncbak, a company that allows local TV stations to stream their content online. Syncbak’s technology enables the delivery of broadcast signals to smartphones and tablets. The service is currently being tested by more than 100 TV stations (including CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC affiliates) in 70 markets. Continue reading Potential Aereo Rival: CBS Invests in Streaming TV Startup

Twitter Signs Deals with Broadcasters and Ad-Buying Firm

Twitter signed deals over the weekend with BBC America and Comedy Central that will bring video clips inside users’ real-time streams (last week we reported that Twitter was in discussions with Viacom, Comcast and NBC). While there have been video content deals before, such as featuring Weather Channel updates in expanded tweets, the new deals could serve as prototypes for future video sharing. Perhaps as a sign of things to come, Twitter also announced a new deal with a major ad-buying firm. Continue reading Twitter Signs Deals with Broadcasters and Ad-Buying Firm

Twitter Pursuing Deals to Host Television Content and Ads

Twitter is reportedly close to reaching partnerships with TV networks that would bring video content and advertising to the social site. Talks are underway with Viacom, Comcast and NBCUniversal, say sources, who note that the deal with Viacom would allow the micro-blogger to host TV clips on its site and sell ads alongside them. The push for TV coincides with Twitter’s expansion into music discovery and sharing with its new mobile app. Continue reading Twitter Pursuing Deals to Host Television Content and Ads

App Based on The Voice Hopes to Engage Kids with Music

StarMaker Studios, in partnership with Talpa Media Holdings, has created a new app called The Voice: On Stage. The goal is to get kids engaged with music, allowing them to use their own voices, inspired by the hit reality television show “The Voice,” according to creators Jeff Daniel and Nathan Sedlander. The app includes features that enable children to audition and compete, much like performing on the NBC show. Continue reading App Based on The Voice Hopes to Engage Kids with Music

Should Nielsen Change How it Measures TV Audiences?

When the fourth season of NBC’s “Community” aired in February, it pulled in 4 million viewers, which is roughly a quarter of the audience that tunes in to top hit sitcoms. Until recently, Nielsen numbers in that range might be the end of a series (think “Firefly,” “Jericho,” “Freaks and Geeks”). But on the night of the “Community” premiere, the show spawned two worldwide trending topics via Twitter — perhaps a more important metric today. Continue reading Should Nielsen Change How it Measures TV Audiences?

CBS Launches Full Episode Streaming with Free iOS App

CBS is the latest to join networks including NBC, ABC and TBS with a free full-length streaming app for its TV content. With the new iOS app for Apple devices, viewers can watch their favorite programming such as “NCIS” and “How I Met Your Mother” eight days after episodes premiere on TV, all in HD. Available now for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the free app also includes second screen features. Continue reading CBS Launches Full Episode Streaming with Free iOS App

DISH Hopper with Sling Outperforms Genie from DirecTV

DISH’s Hopper with Sling has finally arrived — and is worth the wait, according to a product review this week from Wired. This is the second generation Hopper and shows a lot of improvement over the debut from a few years ago. Most notably, it includes the Sling place-shifting service that enables users to load TV shows and DVR recordings to any compatible device like an iPad or laptop. Continue reading DISH Hopper with Sling Outperforms Genie from DirecTV

ABC Unified: Disney to Use Nielsen Cross-Platform Metrics

As TV audiences increasingly turn to online options for content discovery and consumption, audience-measuring firms such as Nielsen have made necessary adjustments regarding cross-platform analysis. The potential of the new metrics will be tested with Disney’s new Unified initiative in which ABC, ABC Family and ESPN will start using Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings to sell their ad inventory. Continue reading ABC Unified: Disney to Use Nielsen Cross-Platform Metrics

HPA Tech Retreat: Sony to Shoot Several New Pilots in 4K

At the HPA Tech Retreat, Sony Pictures Television announced its plans to shoot between three and five pilots in 4K this season, perhaps signifying the beginning of a shift towards popularizing 4K. At last month’s CES in Las Vegas, there was a big push for the Ultra HD platform; about 50 sets were unveiled. But after the conference, many were left to wonder if content and delivery would be made available for the currently expensive TV sets. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Sony to Shoot Several New Pilots in 4K

Comcast to Buy Rest of NBCUniversal from GE in Early Sale

Comcast is acquiring General Electric’s 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal. Teamed with Comcast’s initial 51 percent acquisition two years ago, the new $16.7 billion deal will result in the cable operator’s full ownership of the film and television giant. Comcast is taking a bold gamble, particularly when considering the uncertain direction of the entertainment industry in the midst of digital change and the growing success of services from the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Continue reading Comcast to Buy Rest of NBCUniversal from GE in Early Sale

Yahoo Teams with NBC Sports for Sharing Content, Cross-Promotion

  • Yahoo has deals with CNBC and ABC in order to expand the reach of its news content to millions of viewers. The company recently announced a similar agreement with NBC Sports, which is the first such initiative under the new CEO Marissa Mayer.
  • Yahoo and NBC Sports will cross-promote and share content such as live coverage, Rivals college content, and fantasy sports products.
  • “Though both sites will maintain editorial independence, the partnership will include collaborations on original Web content that will appear on Yahoo Sports and NBCSports.com and will utilize both company’s popular personalities such as NBC’s Bob Costas and Mike Florio and Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski,” notes The Hollywood Reporter. “Yahoo Sports also will link to and promote the NBC Sports Live Extra streaming player.”
  • “And Yahoo Sports will become the exclusive fantasy game provider of NBC Sports’ Rotoworld, while Yahoo Sports’ Rivals.com will power recruiting and college sporting news for NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Regional Networks,” the article continues.
  • Yahoo says the partnership will help fans access news and analysis in real time, regardless of where they are.
  • “The complementary nature of this partnership is unmatched in digital sports media,” says Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports chairman. “Through our growing television and digital platforms, the Yahoo Sports partnership dramatically expands the digital reach of NBC Sports around the biggest sporting events. We are committed to continually growing this alliance for the benefit of both parties, our sports-property partners, and, most importantly, sports fans.”

UBS Global Media: Comcast Execs Discuss Benefits of New Verizon Pact

  • At this week’s UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Comcast executives described “their multi-billion dollar pact with Verizon inked late last week a transformative event in some ways on the scale of acquiring of NBCUniversal,” reports Variety.
  • “Talk about content, you got NBC. And wireless, you got this. In perpetuity,” said CFO Michael Angelakis. “This is a deal forever. We don’t have to invest in building a wireless network. We aren’t going to acquire a wireless network. It’s quite a significant transaction.”
  • The deal to sell wireless spectrum to Verizon will finally enable the quadruple play where customers can receive video, Internet, landline and cell phone service.
  • “Watching a video on your wireless devices, then resuming it in your home. Great new devices with your Comcast (subscription), great new innovations…will come out of that side of the deal,” said Comcast Cable prexy Neil Smit.

New Cord-Cutting Tool: Boxee to Offer USB Live TV Stick in January

  • Boxee is augmenting its broadband box for cord-cutters with a USB dongle that provides users access to broadcast TV.
  • According to paidContent: “Boxee, which has been working mightily to get people to cut their cable cords with its own broadband box for five years, is preparing a new add-on product in January that will let users pull out the cable cord and plug a USB device into their cable box, giving them access to broadcast TV channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC for free.”
  • “If you live and die by ESPN, then yes, you have to stay on cable. But we believe there are plenty of people who just want access to regular broadcast channels,” says Avner Ronen, CEO and co-founder of Boxee.
  • However, Ronen believes there are consumers interested in basic broadcast content that would benefit from this approach. “The problem with canceling your cable subscription and relying just on the Internet has been the lack of live sports, a presidential address, local news, special events and live TV shows,” he told paidContent. “But these things are all available on broadcast TV channels…for free, over the air in HD.”
  • The Live TV stick will be available for $49, as an add-on to the $180 Boxee Box.

Networked Insights Hopes to Fine-Tune Social Data for TV Advertisers

  • Nielsen data is no longer enough for effective TV planning and buying, suggests Networked Insights, a company that “analyzes social data to uncover trends and consumer engagement opportunities.”
  • Networked Insights recently published reports that focus on the value of television viewers’ social data. One such report examined top social TV shows from FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS and CW. Viewers were grouped by TV Fans, Millennials, Gamers, Electronic Consumers, Moms and Sports Fans, while general sentiments from each group were analyzed.
  • “What’s impressive is how the company looks at specifically where ad money is being spent to analyze the conversations around the show,” reports Lost Remote. “For example, before the show even premiered, they described NBC’s ‘massive ad campaign’ for ‘Whitney’ as a ‘Social Turkey,’ and that ‘over-hyping a show is underwhelming potential fans.'”
  • Another report revealed opportunities for a Toyota Corolla TV ad to improve its digital strategies, specifying where targeted spending would be most effective. Respondents included fans of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The article suggests that the case study “is pretty compelling proof that social data can help you get the competitive advantage in TV planning and buying if you listen in the right places across the social web.”
  • Networked Insights recently announced $20 million in series B funding from Goldman Sachs.

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