Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Metrological Media, MTV, Nickelodeon, Facebook, Rentrak

--Metrological Media Appoints Ziggo, Endemol Veterans to its Advisory Team
--MTV to Launch Interactive, Multiplatform Awards Show Honoring Achievement in Digital Media
--Nickelodeon Premieres New "SpongeBob" Episodes on Facebook
--Rentrak to Offer OnDemand Essentials Advertising Reports

Because the [itvt] editorial team was busy last week working on the TV of Tomorrow Show 2011, we are covering recent news in round-up/summary form. We anticipate that it will take us a few days to catch up with all the news we plan to cover: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. Our regular daily news coverage will return shortly.



  • Metrological Media Innovations, a Dutch company that is developing a connected-TV platform called Mediaconnect TV (see the article published on itvt.com, August 24th), has announced the appointments of Walter Blom and Paul Romer to its new "advisory team." Blom was previously CFO of Dutch cable operator, Ziggo; while Romer was previously chief creative officer at Endemol and, Metrological says, a co-creator of the reality format, "Big Brother." "Metrological's Mediaconnect TV is a powerful, highly interactive digital home entertainment solution that enables video production companies from across the globe to establish a direct one-on-one relationship with viewers anywhere in the world, without creating an upset to the existing media entertainment ecosystem," Romer said in a prepared statement. Metrological claims to be "on the verge of launching" its first Mediaconnect TV products.

  • MTV has announced plans to launch a new awards show that will honor achievement in digital media and that will "air live on the Internet, on social media sites and mobile devices--but will not be broadcast." According to Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music and Logo Group, the awards show will be "an interactive musical mess." "It will be sloppy; it will be interactive; it will be customizable; it will be fun and unexpected," he told the Associated Press. "Most shows on television are about what's popular, and I think this will be about what's bubbling up."

  • Nickelodeon last week premiered an anthology of five new "SpongeBob SquarePants" stories, collectively entitled "Legends of Bikini Bottom," on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/spongebob). "The anthology format of 'Legends of Bikini Bottom' provides a great opportunity to try something new where we can give SpongeBob's 16 million fans on Facebook a first look, in addition to new content on-air," Brown Johnson, president of animation for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group, said in a prepared statement.

  • Multiscreen media measurement company, Rentrak, has announced what it says will be the first in a series of OnDemand Essentials Advertising Reports which are billed as providing an "aggregated look at performance reporting" for the VOD platform. "Unlike the world of linear television and online where advertisers, agencies and networks see daily performance data in order to understand the competitive landscape, the on-demand platform has been restricted from sharing such data due to the networks' desire to better understand the advertising opportunity before they were ready to release performance numbers," Rentrak states in its press materials. "Rentrak is leading this first-ever major VOD initiative by working with their OnDemand Essentials network clients to publish performance data by network category so the advertising industry can evaluate performance in a competitive context and increase ad spend on this powerful 'pull' platform...Rentrak's Advertising Report ranks networks by their current month's performance metrics with the first Advertising Report focusing on the Hispanic Category and will be based on January 2011 usage data from over 60% of Rentrak's OnDemand Essentials Hispanic network clients." Rentrak says that the first Advertising Report will be published in February, exclusively for subscribers to its OnDemand Essentials service and for "the network partners who have made their data transparent for the report."

  • In other Rentrak news: The company has announced that it has secured a contract to provide Canada's Astral Television Networks with measurement services from its OnDemand Essentials offering.
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