Discovery Moves TV and Business Systems Into AWS Cloud

By the end of 2017, Discovery Communications will have shifted the processing of all its U.S. TV programs and 80 percent of its business systems from its own data centers to the public cloud. Last week, the company distributed Discovery Life and Destination America, among the smallest of its 13 U.S. channels, via Amazon Web Services. By doing so, Discovery is moving away from its reliance on pricey satellite networks and enabling more flexible programming, says the company chief technology officer John Honeycutt. Continue reading Discovery Moves TV and Business Systems Into AWS Cloud

Turner Tests New Ad Countdown Clock with ‘Animal Kingdom’

Turner Broadcasting is experimenting with a way to keep viewers from skipping ads: a countdown clock showing how much time is left in each ad break. The idea was first tested this season on TNT’s new crime drama “Animal Kingdom,” via a timer at the bottom of the screen for both live TV and pay TV affiliates’ VOD systems. The timer appears when there is 60 seconds left in a break. NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” have also used countdown clocks, but “Animal Kingdom” may be the first primetime show to do so. Continue reading Turner Tests New Ad Countdown Clock with ‘Animal Kingdom’

ELeague Broadcasts Gaming Competitions on TBS and Twitch

Turner and WME|IMG’s new gaming league ELeague, which began showing “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” competitions via online video streaming service Twitch, will now debut the winning teams this Friday at 10 p.m. on national cable TV channel TBS. This is the latest attempt to bring eSports to TV, including one by DirecTV, which failed to gain traction. The trick to make it succeed is to translate eSports “online sensibility” to television, bringing some of its 214 million 18-to-25 year old viewers along for the ride. Continue reading ELeague Broadcasts Gaming Competitions on TBS and Twitch

New eSports League to Provide Stake to Players and Teams

Esports Championship Series, a professional league just formed by Twitch and competitive-gaming platform startup FaceIt, is offering teams an ownership stake, the first such video-game league to do so, say its founders. “ECS – Counter-Strike,” offers a prize pool of $3.5 million for players competing in Valve’s “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” first-person shooter game. The new league enters a crowded field that currently includes Activision Blizzard’s Major League Gaming and Electronic Sports League (ESL). Continue reading New eSports League to Provide Stake to Players and Teams

Sony PlayStation Vue Debuts OTT Tiers, Skinny to Full Bundles

Sony’s PlayStation Vue, which recently added ESPN, is offering OTT service throughout the U.S., although most markets still won’t get live local TV programs. The national OTT offering competes head-on with Dish Networks’s Sling TV, priced at $20+ per month, and AT&T’s DirecTV pay-TV packages, slated to launch in Q4 2016. PlayStation Vue’s Slim packages, which start at $30 per month and are on offer in 203 U.S. markets, provide on-demand access to ABC, NBC and Fox primetime content, with CBS on board later in some markets. Continue reading Sony PlayStation Vue Debuts OTT Tiers, Skinny to Full Bundles

Amazon Expands its TV Footprint, in Talks on Skinny Bundles

AMC Networks chief executive Josh Sapan and ESPN president John Skipper have both spoken recently about discussions with Amazon to include their channels in possible skinny bundles for the Internet. Amazon has gone on record as considering the idea for some time, but hasn’t responded to Sapan and Skipper’s remarks. Amazon isn’t the only online entity that might be hawking TV service soon. Turner Broadcasting chief executive John Martin reveals that he’s talking with six or so new companies looking to do just that. Continue reading Amazon Expands its TV Footprint, in Talks on Skinny Bundles

Watchup for Personalized Newscasts is Now Free on Apple TV

With an app from startup Watchup, Apple TV users can now receive free customized newscasts from 160 news partners, including CNN, Fox News Channel, CBS News and Tribune Media, as well as local news covering 80 percent of U.S. markets. Users can select topics of interest and then further refine resulting newscasts by “liking” or “disliking” specific reports. The app supports fourth-generation Apple TV, launched last fall, as well as apps for iOS and Android, Amazon Fire TV, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii U. Continue reading Watchup for Personalized Newscasts is Now Free on Apple TV

CES 2016: VR, Game Platforms, eSports Coming to Las Vegas

The increasing interest in virtual reality and rise of the app stores are expected to help make gaming a hot topic at January’s CES. Coming off its crowd-pleasing debut at the show last year, and with its consumer launch only months away, expect Oculus to monopolize the floor. And with it comes an array of manufacturers hoping to add a new dimension to the immersive gameplay experience with new peripherals. Meanwhile, the widespread adoption of game systems as entertainment hubs has created a new pipeline for indie developers to reach consumers. And let’s not forget the rise of eSports. Turner Broadcasting certainly hasn’t, and will be bringing its largest-ever showcase to prove it. Continue reading CES 2016: VR, Game Platforms, eSports Coming to Las Vegas

Intel Looks to RealSense, Wearables, Creates Reality TV Show

As growth slows in the chip market, Intel is turning to a variety of other related industries to keep the revenue flowing. The company has turned to the burgeoning field of wearables, creating tiny chips and circuit board modules that can fit into the form factors and designs favored by wearable creators. It is also pushing RealSense, technologies that bring hearing and vision functionality to devices. To keep in the public eye, the company is also launching a reality TV show with Mark Burnett and Turner Broadcasting. Continue reading Intel Looks to RealSense, Wearables, Creates Reality TV Show

Digital Domain and Immersive Media Join Forces for VR Content

Digital Domain Holdings Ltd. and Immersive Media are launching a joint venture called IM360. According to the two companies, IM360 plans to produce immersive content and services, including virtual reality content, by combining Digital Domain’s CGI and motion capture expertise with Immersive’s 360-degree video hardware and software. The 360-degree video tech is already being used for live-streaming VR content, and the software can send video to devices including tablets, smartphones and VR headsets. Continue reading Digital Domain and Immersive Media Join Forces for VR Content

Dish Network Unveils Over-the-Top Sling TV Service at CES

During a press event at CES, Dish Network announced its new subscription streaming service, Sling TV, which is slated to debut in the first quarter of 2015. According to Dish President and CEO Joe Clayton, the $20/per month OTT service will offer 25-30 channels from Disney, ESPN, Scripps Networks Interactive and Turner Broadcasting, in addition to exclusive content from YouTube and Maker Studios. The bundle is targeting millennials who might not otherwise subscribe to a cable or satellite pay TV service. Continue reading Dish Network Unveils Over-the-Top Sling TV Service at CES

Nielsen, Adobe to Launch Cross-Platform Measurement System

Nielsen, in partnership with Adobe, is developing the first measurement system for tracking the consumption of digital media across apps, the Web and smart TVs. The system is expected to launch commercially in 2015. ESPN, Sony Pictures Television’s Crackle, Turner Broadcasting, Univision Communications, and Viacom have already signed up to participate. Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime will be integrated with Nielsen’s digital measurement tracking tools to create the system. Continue reading Nielsen, Adobe to Launch Cross-Platform Measurement System

Dish Network Plans Internet TV and Wireless Data Services

Late this summer, Dish Network hopes to begin offering a low-cost Internet TV service that would allow customers to solely stream live TV channels on tablets, smartphones and computers. The company is in talks with potential content partners and has already struck a deal with Disney to offer channels such as ABC, the Disney Channel and ESPN. Dish also partnered with startup Artemis on a separate project to develop a high-speed wireless data service that is 1,000 times faster than 4G. Continue reading Dish Network Plans Internet TV and Wireless Data Services

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

Netflix Signs New Deals with Turner and Warner Bros. TV

Netflix will expand its offerings through new deals with Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros. Television Group. The licensing agreements will provide the streaming site with complete previous seasons of animated and live-action programming from Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation and Adult Swim. The shows will become available beginning March 30. Continue reading Netflix Signs New Deals with Turner and Warner Bros. TV

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