BSkyB has seen a major increase in the number of customers taking its on demand and internet connected services. Read the story »
Rumors of an assault on Europe have circled for quite some time, but today BSkyB has finally made a move to expand its pay-TV empire outside of the UK. The company today announced it has agreed to pay 21st Century Fox a total of £4.9 billion ($8.33 billion) to acquire Sky Italia and buy the majority share (57 percent) of Sky Deutschland. If the deal is given the green light by regulators, the newly-formed Sky Europe would emerge with almost 20 million European customers.
Source: Sky (PDF)
SES has posted a net profit of €290.9 million for the first half of this year, an 8.5% increase on the €268 million it had in the same period in 2013. Read the story »
The operator has moved to take control of Sky Italia with the purchase of the Italian platform from 21st Century Fox. It has also acquired a 57.4% interest in Sky Deutschland. Read the story »
Despite the popularity of its music service, Spotify's presence on connected TV platforms is still spotty. It's on Apple TV via AirPlay, Roku, LG and Samsung, but not Xbox, PlayStation or Chromecast (officially). We can add on one more today, as Vizio says it's coming to their VIA Plus enabled TVs. The only bad news? That list is currently limited to just a few models consisting of the 2014 E- and M-series TVs, and you'll need Spotify Premium to tune in. If you don't have Spotify Premium you can try it free for 48 hours -- check out some favorites from our editors if you need musical suggestions.
Source: Vizio Blog
YouTube comments typically fill one with shame and disappointment in the human race, but here's one that just might make you cry. Below a video from PBS about video games as spiritual experiences, a user going by the online handle 00WARTHERAPY00 has written a touching story about the time they spent gaming with their dad. 'THERAPY00 says that when he or she was four years old, they'd play Xbox with his or her father and had tons of fun up until a few years later when their dad passed away. It was ten years before the commenter could bring him/herself to boot Microsoft's first game console and when they did, there was a surprise waiting for them. Rally racer Rallisport Challenge features a function that records the best lap-time for a given circuit with an apparition-like version of the car used. Meaning that, quite literally, there was a ghost of 00WARTHERAPY00's father waiting to compete against him or her.
Via: Yahoo! Autos
Back at this year's E3 we learned that Halo: Nightfall would tell the origin story for a new character in Halo's sci-fi universe, and we're finally getting to see some of the show in motion. And, well, there are a couple of instances where it looks pretty similar to the Alien not-a-prequel, Prometheus. That almost assuredly isn't a coincidence given the fact that Prometheus' director Ridley Scott is serving as executive producer for the show. It's hard to tell exactly how the episodic series is going to turn out based on a teaser trailer (embedded after the break), but we can tell you that in its 74 seconds there's a distinct lack of Master Chief and a whole lot of talk about an element that "selectively kills humans." How's that for mystery? You'll be able to check out the exploits of Agent Locke and his crew after Halo: The Master Chief Collection releases this November.
Update: Video of the entire Halo: Nightfall panel from Comic-Con is also embedded after the break.
What does the future hold in store for pay-TV services in Central and Eastern Europe? Read the story »
What's the internet's most popular game-streaming service worth? About $1 billion, if VentureBeat sources have their story straight. Earlier this year, Variety and the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was in talks to acquire Twitch, but conceded that the two companies were only just starting negotiations. Now, sources familiar with the deal say an agreement has been reached, though its unclear when the reported acquisition will be officially announced. Naturally, there are some concerns that a Google acquisition of Twitch would stifle competition for rival services, but the tried and true platform could certainly bolster Mountain View's own streaming efforts. If nothing else, perhaps the deal will validate emerging market shared gameplay in the eyes of its doubters. Both Google and Twitch have declined to comment on the report.
Apple's set-top hobby has come a long way since its major refresh in 2010, thanks largely to a variety of services bringing different content to the platform. When it comes to gaming, however, the Apple TV isn't exactly a powerhouse, despite being able to support it through AirPlay features -- something similar to what Real Racing has done in the past. Another developer that's made use of this particular second-screen kind of experience is Rolocule Games, and it just announced a new free title (with in-app purchases) dubbed Dance Party.
Source: App Store
When a broadcaster logs off for dinner or puts down the controller for some shut-eye, Twitch now lets them keep the game streaming going with its new Host Mode. The function keeps a channel's chat up and running, but embeds a video of the action from another user's session or event while the host takes a breather, or a nap, or goes outside. Viewing stats are still compiled for the original broadcaster and the option can be triggered with a simple chat command. For now though, Host Mode is only available via the web interface.
It seems as if this week is a good one to get stuff on the cheap or even for free. First, Marvel announced a promo yesterday which gave access to its Unlimited comics service for 99 cents, and now EA has quietly revealed that it's giving away copies of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. You'll need to have Origin, EA's software distribution platform, installed on your machine to take advantage of this deal, but it's as easy as entering a code for old and new users alike. Just don't expect EA to keep supporting the classic game after you install it, since the publisher brought closure to that a few days ago. The Windows download on Origin will be available until July 31st at 1:00AM ET, which means there's plenty of time to let it all sink in and cancel whatever you had planned for the weekend.
German media company Senator Entertainment and French rights dealer Wild Bunch have agreed to merge, creating a leading European movie production and sales company. Read the story »
It's hard to believe that it's been a year since Google's streaming dongle arrived on the backs of TVs, bringing easy streaming chops to the masses. As a proper celebration, the folks in Mountain View are thanking both current and new Chromecasters with three free months of Google Play Music All Access -- starting today through September 30th. The company has been keen on adding new features to the accessory regularly, and in the festive announcement teased the ability to beam content while away from your WiFi and customizable homescreens as upcoming additions. Heck, with that bit of subscription savings, you'll almost have enough for a second unit.
Source: Google Chrome Blog