Microsoft and NFL Team Up for Interactive Game Broadcasts

Microsoft has announced a partnership with the NFL to develop technology that will make football games more interactive for Xbox Live subscribers. The deal, reportedly worth $400 million over the next five years, was announced yesterday during Microsoft’s unveiling of its next-generation Xbox One gaming console. It marks the latest digital step by the NFL to enhance its live game broadcasts. Continue reading Microsoft and NFL Team Up for Interactive Game Broadcasts

Aereo Rival Agrees to Name Change Following Court Ruling

Alki David, founder of online video streamer Aereokiller, agreed yesterday to change his company name in order to settle a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by rival Aereo. Following a permanent injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins in California, David is prohibited from using the names Aero, Aero.tv, Aereokiller or “any other confusingly similar terms.” Aereo had successfully argued that the name was misleading. Continue reading Aereo Rival Agrees to Name Change Following Court Ruling

Pay TV Operators Time Warner Cable and DirecTV Eye Hulu

The number of potential bidders for Hulu grew late last week when it was reported that Time Warner Cable and DirecTV are both interested in the six-year-old online video site. Other firms that have expressed interest in Hulu include Guggenheim Partners, Yahoo and Peter Chernin’s investment group. The video site — jointly owned by Comcast, Disney and News Corp. — has reportedly been considering a range of strategic options, including a sale. Continue reading Pay TV Operators Time Warner Cable and DirecTV Eye Hulu

Time-Shifting: Video-On-Demand Continues to Gain Traction

As new TV Everywhere initiatives and looming Hulu bids continue to draw media attention, video-on-demand is quietly gaining traction. Despite what The New York Times describes as “past missteps by cable and satellite providers,” an increasing number of TV episodes and movies are becoming available through VOD systems and viewers are taking note. Some cable providers and TV networks recognize a viable future for the time-shifting technology. Continue reading Time-Shifting: Video-On-Demand Continues to Gain Traction

Cord-Cutting: U.S. Pay TV Providers Lose Subscribers in Q1

According to the Leichtman Research Group, pay TV experienced a disappointing first quarter for 2013. Cable companies lost an estimated 263,735 subscribers, which may have been the result of an increase in cord-cutting. While satellite TV providers and phone companies offering television gained some subscribers, the numbers were lower than in previous first quarters. Further losses are anticipated for Q2. Continue reading Cord-Cutting: U.S. Pay TV Providers Lose Subscribers in Q1

Best Buy Now Selling Sony 4K Televisions in its U.S. Stores

In an effort to boost lagging television sales, Best Buy announced that 700 of its U.S. stores will start selling Sony 4K Ultra HDTVs this week. The home theater departments of Best Buy and Magnolia stores will prominently display the 4K sets and offer demonstrations that tout the benefits of the new format over current 1080p offerings. The demos are expected to emphasize up-scaling capabilities to help attract consumers. Continue reading Best Buy Now Selling Sony 4K Televisions in its U.S. Stores

Upfronts: USA Network Unveils Screen Unification Strategy

We recently reported that networks such as ABC, TBS and TNT will be offering new apps that reflect the multi-platform TV Everywhere strategy so prevalent at last week’s Upfronts in New York. USA Network is making a similar move with its “screen unification strategy” that synchronizes the viewing experience across TV, online and mobile. USA, which unveiled its plans on Thursday, will begin rolling out the new initiative in early June. Continue reading Upfronts: USA Network Unveils Screen Unification Strategy

Machinima App for Xbox Live: Reaching Beyond YouTube

Successful YouTube channel Machinima recently launched an app for Xbox Live. The move is notable for the video entertainment channel, which is already available on iOS and Android apps, since it marks the first significant expansion to a distribution network beyond YouTube. Additionally, it marks the first time that Microsoft has introduced an app in all 41 of its global Xbox Live markets simultaneously. Continue reading Machinima App for Xbox Live: Reaching Beyond YouTube

TBS and TNT to Offer Live Streaming and New Mobile Apps

In the wake of ABC’s announcement that it would upgrade its app to live-stream local programming in the New York and Philadelphia areas, TBS and TNT plan to offer live 24/7 streaming of their series and sports coverage beginning this summer. The streams will be available via the channels’ websites and soon-to-launch mobile apps called Watch TNT and Watch TBS. The apps will initially be offered for iOS devices, with support for other platforms expected by the end of the year. Continue reading TBS and TNT to Offer Live Streaming and New Mobile Apps

Aereo Launches in Boston Area, Streamlines Pricing Plans

Live TV streaming service Aereo launches in Boston today, with plans to launch in the Atlanta area next month. The controversial service, which started in New York City, is scheduled to expand to 22 markets by the end of this year. The Atlanta launch will reach 55 counties across Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. Additionally, Aereo has announced a simplified pricing structure that eliminates the previous $1 daily and $80 annual plans. Continue reading Aereo Launches in Boston Area, Streamlines Pricing Plans

ESPN and Twitter Expand Collaboration with Video Clips

ESPN plans to post sports-related highlight videos on Twitter in the coming year. Sports fans can expect clips from soccer matches leading up to the World Cup, college football and the X Games. The videos will be made available on Twitter’s site and mobile apps shortly after the live television broadcasts. The collaboration is part of a bigger movement by TV networks and the microblogger to discover new approaches to advertising revenue. Continue reading ESPN and Twitter Expand Collaboration with Video Clips

ABC App to Offer Live Streams of TV Shows for Subscribers

ABC will upgrade its app for iPhones and iPads this week with a “live” button that will allow viewers in the New York and Philadelphia areas to live-stream local ABC programming. The live stream, which will also be offered via ABC-owned stations in six other cities this summer, will be made available only to cable and satellite subscribers. ABC is in talks with 200 affiliates to offer “live” in their markets as well. Continue reading ABC App to Offer Live Streams of TV Shows for Subscribers

TV Networks Face Unprecedented Challenges in Digital Era

As the upfronts roll out this week in New York City, television networks are facing new challenges: prime time ratings for major broadcasters have been dropping, ad spending is increasingly turning to cable, original programming from the likes of Amazon and Netflix are creating more competition, government regulators are seeking changes to spectrum allocation, and startups like Aereo may impact the subscription revenue of stations. Continue reading TV Networks Face Unprecedented Challenges in Digital Era

Boxfish CEO Hopes Second Screen App Will Build Better TV

Palo Alto-based Boxfish released a new Android version of its second screen TV guide app last week. The Boxfish app, which first launched on iOS in August 2012, monitors conversations in real time based on nearly 1,000 U.S. channels in order to make TV searchable via key topics. The data that is analyzed by Boxfish could potentially one day power consumers’ DVRs and cable boxes. Since last year’s iOS launch, the company has been working to perfect the identification of topics. Continue reading Boxfish CEO Hopes Second Screen App Will Build Better TV

TV Veteran Questions Value of Kickstarting Known Artists

Veteran television writer/director/producer Ken Levine suggested on his blog last week that Big Hollywood has no business financing projects via Kickstarter, an approach he believes should be reserved for the little guy. He references actor/filmmaker Zach Braff, who has raised nearly $2.6 million through the crowdfunding site to finance “Wish I Was Here,” his follow-up to “Garden State.” Levine believes offering Braff money “defeats the whole purpose of Kickstarter.” Continue reading TV Veteran Questions Value of Kickstarting Known Artists

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