DirecTV in Talks with Disney for New Licensing Agreement

Following this week’s news of a first-of-its kind licensing agreement between Disney and the Dish Network, DirecTV said it is in similar talks to license the rights to offer Disney channels as part of an Internet-based product. The rights are part of a larger programming deal that would replace a current agreement slated to expire in December. In related news, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said he expects to reach a streaming deal with Netflix and hopes to partner with content providers for a broadband-only video service. Continue reading DirecTV in Talks with Disney for New Licensing Agreement

Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight from Sochi with a wide range of options for viewers this time around. Television networks will broadcast a great deal of coverage over the next 18 days, and fans will have numerous options for streaming content via smartphones, tablets and PCs. In addition to the traditional TV broadcasts, a number of websites, apps and social media platforms including Facebook will provide viewers with extended coverage and event highlights. Continue reading Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

Increasing Number of Sundance Films are Being Crowdfunded

Of the 140-plus films in this year’s Sundance Film Festival, 26 of them were crowdfunded through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” was one such film, which raised funds from more than 47,000 fans to make up part of its $5 million budget. Some question what kind of impact crowdsourcing might have on sales and distribution, but many filmmakers insist it’s a great way to raise awareness and interest in their productions. Continue reading Increasing Number of Sundance Films are Being Crowdfunded

MPAA Joins W3C to Help Standardize Video Copy Protection

In an effort to join the official conversation on how to come up with a solution for copy protection of videos on the Web, the Motion Picture Association of America has joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which makes official decisions on Web standards like HTML. A new HTML component allows websites to host video directly on their sites instead of having to use a video tag, which doesn’t enable copy protection. Some, however, don’t care for the new approach. Continue reading MPAA Joins W3C to Help Standardize Video Copy Protection

Verizon Expands In-Home Device Streaming with CBS and Fox

In an effort to convince customers that pay TV is worth the cost, Verizon is expanding its live TV streaming options to allow FiOS subscribers to watch local CBS and Fox stations at home on mobile devices. The company is also adding 16 available-for-viewing cable channels to its out-of-home live TV streaming for a total of 25. Still, those channels do not include broadcast channels or many popular cable nets. Such multiplatform rights have proven difficult to for cable providers to obtain. Continue reading Verizon Expands In-Home Device Streaming with CBS and Fox

Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

Spotify launched “Spotify for Artists” this week, a new website designed primarily for musicians and music managers. In an effort to quell industry critics, the site provides details regarding how the Spotify business model works, how the company calculates payouts for musicians, and how much the artists can expect to earn as the company expands. Spotify is also opening up its analytics for free, and has made e-commerce partnerships that incorporate merchandising. Continue reading Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

Intel Looking to Sell Online Pay TV Service for $500 Million

Intel is reportedly asking about $500 million for its OnCue service, which the chipmaker developed before making the decision to no longer pursue its online pay TV ambitions. The company is looking to secure a sale by the end of the year, according to inside sources. Verizon, which has been talking with broadcast and cable channels regarding terms for a streaming TV service, is believed to be one potential suitor. Intel has also met with Samsung and Liberty Global. Continue reading Intel Looking to Sell Online Pay TV Service for $500 Million

NFL and MLB: If Aereo Not Challenged, Sports May Go to Cable

The National Football League and Major League Baseball are trying to convince the Supreme Court to grant broadcasters’ petition to challenge Aereo, a startup that enables unauthorized streaming of local broadcast signals. The NFL and MLB filed an amicus brief that suggests that if Aereo is not challenged, sports programming will likely switch over to cable. Broadcasters assert that Aereo undermines their ability to collect retransmission fees. Continue reading NFL and MLB: If Aereo Not Challenged, Sports May Go to Cable

Streamnation Offers New Approach to Sharing Movies and TV

Streamnation is a comprehensive solution for storing and streaming photos and videos. Version 2.0 now allows users to share movies and TV shows that have been ripped to their computers and uploaded to the cloud. Founder Jonathan Benassaya, who navigated digital rights for years as the co-founder of streaming music service Deezer, is confident in Streamnation’s approach. He sees it as similar to physical borrowing but in the digital realm, since no copy is made. Continue reading Streamnation Offers New Approach to Sharing Movies and TV

Blockbuster to Shutter U.S. Stores and DVD by Mail Services

DISH Network announced that its Blockbuster subsidiary will close approximately 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores and its DVD by mail distribution operations by January 2014. The Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December. Blockbuster has recently divested itself of U.S. and international assets, including operations in the UK and Scandinavia. However, DISH plans to continue its support of Blockbuster’s domestic and international franchise operations. Continue reading Blockbuster to Shutter U.S. Stores and DVD by Mail Services

Netflix Plans to Release Sundance Award-Winning Documentary

Netflix is making good on its promise to compete directly with movie theaters now that it’s in final negotiations for the exclusive rights to a Sundance Film Festival documentary. The film, “The Square,” is about the Egyptian revolution and will be released through Netflix. It could make Netflix an Oscar contender, just a short while after its success at the Emmys with “House of Cards.” According to one source, this will be the first of many films to be released first on Netflix. Continue reading Netflix Plans to Release Sundance Award-Winning Documentary

Spondo’s Video Rental and Streaming Available on Facebook

A new video rental and streaming platform by Spondo will now let Facebook users watch and share movies on the social media site. The movies are on-demand and shareable among users — in fact, users can even earn a little commission when their friends buy a movie that they’ve shared. In celebration of Halloween, Spondo launched 200 horror movies for streaming, and it plans to add more mainstream and indie films over time. Continue reading Spondo’s Video Rental and Streaming Available on Facebook

Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

Following last month’s report by major Hollywood studios stating that 82 percent of infringing URLS that point to pirate sites and torrent files come from Google’s search engine, the Motion Picture Association of America has released a list of major worldwide torrenting sites, cyberblockers, and brick-and-mortar marketplaces. The MPAA is not creating this list to facilitate piracy, but rather to raise awareness in an effort to combat it. Continue reading Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

Cable Networks and Netflix Face Off Over Streaming Rights

Two of cable’s biggest programming networks, FX and Turner, have decided they want to stream all of their series’ episodes within a current season online. It’s a challenge to the industry standard, which generally allows networks to stream only the five most recent episodes online. But if this were to change, Netflix would get away with paying significantly lower rates for any show streamed elsewhere — and studios aren’t too happy about that possibility. Continue reading Cable Networks and Netflix Face Off Over Streaming Rights

DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates

While many are in favor of DRM being integrated into HTML5, some open Web advocates are concerned that the integration will eventually lead to third parties controlling too much of our online browsing. Tim Berners-Lee suggests that allowing content protection may be needed for standards to combat the rise of proprietary platforms. Meanwhile, mobile operating systems such as Firefox OS will be DRM-free. Also, some TV networks and performers are selling their content without digital restrictions. Continue reading DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates