PlayStation Vue Content Now Available via the Apple TV App

Sony announced that PlayStation Vue’s on-demand programming and live sports are now accessible via the Apple TV App on iOS and tvOS. PlayStation Vue becomes the first U.S. pay TV provider added to the TV App, which already includes content from major cable channels and top streaming services (although not Netflix). While viewers will be forwarded to the PlayStation Vue service rather than streaming content directly in Apple’s TV App once content has been selected, the integration should make the process of finding available movies and TV shows easier. Continue reading PlayStation Vue Content Now Available via the Apple TV App

YouTube TV Adds Turner and Sports Content, Raises Pricing

Starting next month, new subscribers to YouTube TV will face a $5 monthly increase. The new price will run $40 per month; however, existing subscribers will continue to pay $35. The good news for consumers is that the service announced a major content expansion with new offerings from Turner, NBA TV and MLB Network. The base package now includes Turner networks such as Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. MLB Network and NBA TV will soon join the lineup. Continue reading YouTube TV Adds Turner and Sports Content, Raises Pricing

With NBCU Deal, Hulu Will Stream All Top Four Broadcasters

Hulu just inked a deal with NBCUniversal that will bring live coverage of NBC and Telemundo-owned stations to its live streaming service. The deal is a coup for Hulu, which, when it unveils its new service later this month, will offer the top four broadcast TV channels. Hulu previously made deals with CBS, Disney-ABC and Fox as well as USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, NBCSN, Sprout and others, for a total of 50 live TV channels. The new deal also allows Hulu to license NBC and Telemundo broadcast affiliates. Continue reading With NBCU Deal, Hulu Will Stream All Top Four Broadcasters

Dish Unveils New Sling TV Packages and Adds More Channels

Dish announced it is updating its Sling TV streaming service to include popular channels such as Bravo, BBC America, NBC, Syfy and USA. Sling TV will also offer new price packages intended to attract those without pay TV service. “Dish has named its basic $20 single-screen package Sling Orange, and added Sling Blue, a $25 multiscreen package, which will feature local NBC broadcasts in 10 cities,” reports Bloomberg. “Customers can buy a combination of Blue and Orange for $40 a month.” Sling currently has more than 700,000 subscribers. Continue reading Dish Unveils New Sling TV Packages and Adds More Channels

Comcast to Purchase DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion

The rumors are true. Comcast announced yesterday that it would acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG in a deal valued at $3.8 billion. The move reflects a significant change in entertainment media as companies seek new ways to address the impact of evolving trends such as streaming video and cord-cutting. Since animation performs well in foreign markets and helps drive consumer product sales, DreamWorks could serve as a vital resource for NBCUniversal. The animation studio could also become a launch pad for the Universal theme parks unit, which is currently planning a new park in Beijing. Continue reading Comcast to Purchase DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion

NBCU Adds First-Time Sales of TV Ads via Programmatic Tools

There’s a sea change at NBCUniversal, which will, for the first time, begin selling some linear TV ad space to advertisers using programmatic tools and advanced data targeting. But the move isn’t as broad as it sounds and requires some parsing. Starting this fall, advertisers will be able to use their own data sets and ad-buying technology to buy on NBC, USA and Syfy. But this isn’t the “real-time bidding” found in digital advertising and marketers won’t be able to cherry-pick individual shows. Continue reading NBCU Adds First-Time Sales of TV Ads via Programmatic Tools

DirecTV Launches First VR App to Promote Big Knockout Boxing

DirecTV just released its first virtual reality app, BKB VR, which stands for Big Knockout Boxing. Not for use with live games, BKB VR will display the event held on June 27 at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay, which was recorded in 360-degree video. Available for Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR headsets, BKB VR can be downloaded on Google Play for Android phones and the App Store for iPhones. The fight footage is also available via Samsung’s Milk VR service and the Oculus Store. Continue reading DirecTV Launches First VR App to Promote Big Knockout Boxing

Today’s Actors Need Social Media Presence as Much as Talent

Hollywood casting directors are admittedly more mindful today of an actor’s social media clout when determining whether or not to consider an individual for a leading role. Who actors portray on film or TV is equally important to who they are in their actual lives, especially on social media. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are means by which actors can directly interact with their fans, generate buzz about an upcoming movie or show, and get people to tune in or make their way to a movie theater. Continue reading Today’s Actors Need Social Media Presence as Much as Talent

CES: Broadcasters and Execs Gather at 2nd Screen Summit

The 2nd Screen Society — formed to address the companion screen viewing of TV and home entertainment — hosted the 2nd Screen Summit on January 5 during CES. Television network, production and creative tech execs gathered at the Encore Las Vegas to discuss this year’s theme — It’s all about the data: “Data is going to be the currency that fuels the entertainment industry in the years ahead and 2nd screen will be the way that data is collected.” The event featured a series of thought-provoking keynote discussions and panels. Continue reading CES: Broadcasters and Execs Gather at 2nd Screen Summit

Viewers Turn to Time-Shifting, Except for Sports and Animation

TiVo Research & Analytics has released its first “TiVo State of TV Report,” which provides insights into television viewing habits, advertising and commercial retention rates, and the top streamed and time-shifted programs. The team analyzed viewing data from multiple datasets, including TiVo and non-TiVo households, from July to September. The results point to a significant increase in time-shifted viewing and binge watching, while sports programming and primetime animation led the charge for live viewing. Continue reading Viewers Turn to Time-Shifting, Except for Sports and Animation

NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

NBC launched a free 24-hour live broadcast feed over the Internet, which viewers can access if they have a pay TV subscription with certain providers and they live in one of 10 markets across the U.S. Currently, the live feeds can only be viewed on desktop PCs, but NBC plans to add mobile support in early 2015. Other networks, such as ABC and CBS, have launched similar live TV streaming services. NBCUniversal also launched a new campaign to drive viewers to its apps. Continue reading NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

Comcast Adds 18 Popular Networks to Live Streaming Roster

Comcast added 18 popular TV networks yesterday to its roster of live streaming options via Xfinity TV Go. The app now offers more than 50 live channels and 25,000 on demand choices. The new additions include A&E, Bravo, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, E!, Food Network, HGTV, HISTORY, mun2, Oxygen, Sprout, STARZ, Syfy, TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV and USA Network. Comcast’s Xfinity TV Go app began offering live streaming television for the first time last November. Continue reading Comcast Adds 18 Popular Networks to Live Streaming Roster

Comcast Announces Major New Partnerships for SEEiT Platform

Twitter is taking another step toward TV integration, as new partners have signed on to leverage the social service and Comcast’s SEEiT platform. Originally available for Comcast Xfinity and networks owned by NBCUniversal, new partnerships will allow subscribers of Time Warner Cable, Charter and Cablevision Optimum to use SEEiT via set-top boxes. Additionally, networks such as ABC, AMC, Fox and FX will use SEEiT to help steer access to their programming. Continue reading Comcast Announces Major New Partnerships for SEEiT Platform

Microsoft: Xbox Video Service Features Voice and Motion Controls

  • Microsoft is getting a boatload of new content for its Xbox video service intended to help it serve as a digital media hub. The company has struck deals with Comcast, Verizon, HBO and others.
  • Verizon and Comcast will be joining AT&T’s U-Verse to provide content, although while Verizon will include live video TV and video on demand, Comcast is testing the waters with its VOD library only. HBO Go streaming access will provide HBO original programming and movies from Warner Bros., Fox Searchlight and Universal Studios. Bravo, EPIX and Syfy are among the cable networks that will be available. Xbox’s international content will include the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and LOVEFiLM in the UK; Antena 3, RTVE and Telefonica in Spain; and Televisa in Mexico.
  • But how do you get to the movies, TV shows, games and music that you want? Microsoft hopes you will command your Xbox with voice control, motion control and a Windows smartphone.
  • “This is incremental stuff but it’s still interesting. A source who’s played with the new service says it’s genuinely cool. Just as important, given that Microsoft has sold some 50 million compatible machines, it has (potential) leverage to do some really interesting stuff,” reports All Things D. “This is where Google TV would like to be, and it’s why Google is out pitching content guys for a relaunch this fall.”

Shazam for TV Offers Fans Access to Exclusive Media Content

  • Shazam, an application that recognizes audio content, tags and shares it on social networking sites, has raised $32 million in an effort to expand integration with TV.
  • The company is currently working with Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen and Spike TV to allow viewers to tag and unlock content.
  • Shazam recently helped promote Lil Wayne’s new music video, which is currently at 4 million views.
  • During the MTV Video Music Awards, Bing ran ads that Shazam could recognize and brought users exclusive content related to the show.
  • It is also said to do the same for ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” promos, allowing viewers to access new content such as music videos and exclusive scenes as the season progresses.
  • The app is already a big driver of iTunes downloads. Shazam PR manager Rica Squires said that there are “over 4 million tags each and every day that result in 300,000 song downloads across iTunes and other vendors.”