News Round-Up

--Bebo Freezes Commissioning of Original Web TV Programming
--BT Vision Gained Only 3,000 Net New Subs in Most Recent Quarter
--Banse: Comcast On Demand Online to Launch Before Chanukkah
--EchoStar Developing IPTV App Store
--Espial in IPTV Deal with Tele2 Netherlands, Four VOD Deals with US Telcos
--Motorola Said to Be Set to Purchase BitBand, Looking to Sell Set-Top Business
--MTV Networks to Use Sky's Green Button Interactive TV Advertising Service
--YouTube to Support 1080p HD Video

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • Social networking company, Bebo, has frozen its commissioning of original Web programming, as part of across-the-board cutbacks by its corporate parent, AOL. Notable original Web programs that have been offered by the company over the years include "KateModern," "Sofia's Diary" and "The Gap Year."
  • BT revealed last week that its Microsoft Mediaroom-powered hybrid DTT/IPTV service, BT Vision, secured only 3,000 net new subscribers (18,000 gross new subscribers) in the three months to September 30th, down nearly 50% from the previous quarter.
  • At the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco last week, Amy Banse, president of Comcast Interactive Media, said that On Demand Online, Comcast's implementation of the TV Everywhere distribution model, will launch on Comcast.net and the MSO's Fancast portal sometime before the Jewish holiday of Chanukkah (begins at sundown on December 11th). According to Todd Spangler's write-up in Multichannel News, Banse revealed that "the first time customers register a device with On Demand Online...they must be in their own home. [Then] after downloading the Move Networks player as well as an authorization application that remains resident on their PC or Mac, a Comcast customer will be able to access the service over any Internet network. Each household is allowed to authenticate up to three devices," she reportedly explained
  • Light Reading's Craig Matsumoto has a report on the new IPTV app store that EchoStar is developing for its corporate stablemate, DISH Network. The app store appears designed to support the launch of EchoStar's ViP 922 set-top box, which will be used by DISH Network and which will also include TV place-shifting technology from Sling Media.
  • Espial, the Canadian digital TV software company that last year bought US IPTV and video-on-demand technology provider, Kasenna (note: the deal valued Kasenna, which had raised $90 million in funding since its launch in 2000, at around $6.5 million), announced last week that, through its reseller agreement with Power & Telephone Supply, it has installed its MediaBase VOD Platform at four new US customer locations: LeRu Telephone, Granby Telephone, Seneca Telephone and McDonald County Telephone. It also announced that Tele2 Netherlands will use its Evo TV Service Platform to launch its next-generation IPTV service, which will offer such advanced services as interactive TV applications, VOD, PVR and HD.
  • According to reports in the Israeli press, Motorola is set to acquire VOD technology provider, BitBand for $10 million. Meanwhile, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Motorola is looking to sell its Home and Networks Mobility business, which makes set-top boxes and other products for cable and telco TV companies.
  • MTV Networks International has signed a deal to use BSkyB's Sky Media arm as its exclusive advertising sales representative. According to the companies, the five-year deal, which takes effect January 1st, will see MTV Networks properties using, among other "technological innovations from Sky," the Green Button interactive TV advertising service that the satellite TV provider launched earlier this year (note: for more on the service, see the article published on itvt.com, April 28th).
  • YouTube has announced that, starting this week, it will support viewing of 1080p HD videos in full resolution.

 

North America