Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): March Madness on Demand, YuMe, ZillionTV
--Content and Feature Line-Up Unveiled for this Year's March Madness on Demand
--YuMe Hires Six Ex-Transpera Executives to Lead its Mobile Advertising Efforts
--ZillionTV Files for Bankruptcy
Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy this 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 couple of 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.
- Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA have announced the line-up of content and features for this year's March Madness on Demand offering (provides multiplatform coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship). "NCAA March Madness on Demand, produced by Turner Sports Interactive, will be available across multiple digital platforms, including online (http://mmod.ncaa.com), as an iPhone and iPod Touch app, and for the first time, as an iPad app," the companies state in their press materials. "Among the new features, MMOD will offer improved live viewing with richer quality and larger format streams, a personalizable channel line-up feature, and live stats and social companion views. NCAA March Madness on Demand will provide live streaming video of every game of the new 68-team tournament as they are broadcast by CBS Sports and Turner Sports, starting with the First Four from Dayton, OH on March 15, and continuing through the Men's Final Four semifinals and national championship game from Houston, TX on April 2 and April 4. The 2011 NCAA March Madness on Demand will be free to users across all platforms, including the full versions of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch apps over WiFi and 3G, continuing its run as the largest annual digital sports event. The NCAA March Madness on Demand mobile applications will be available for free starting March 10 from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch located at www.itunes.com/appstore/...Additional features include: 1) My Channels [which] makes it easy for fans to find games on TV. The online, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad apps list all four TV networks: TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS by default. Through My Channels, fans can plug in their zip code, select their TV provider and see their channel lineup for every game. 2) The Game Center View [which] is a true companion experience with live in-game stats. Fans can follow key stats of every team while watching games on TV. A full range of team stats include box score stats, team leaders, scoring streaks, biggest lead, and foul trouble. 3) The Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena [which] will provide a gathering point for the March Madness conversation that will be displayed as a social commentary. Complete with live social hosts, fan comments, and TBS and CBS courtside reporters, it will capture news, trends, and sentiment of fans throughout the tournament. The March Madness Social Arena will extend onto Facebook and NCAA.com with a way for fans to 'like' teams in each round and build their social score in an innovative view of the traditional bracket, as well as comment on games, interact with the social hosts, and rate highlights."
- Multiscreen video advertising technology provider, YuMe, has hired six executives to drive its mobile advertising efforts. The new hires all hail from Transpera, the mobile video advertising network operator that was acquired by rival Tremor Media last month. They include Transpera founder and former chief product officer, Frank Barbieri, who will become SVP of emerging platforms; former Transpera VP of business development, Anshu Dua, who will become VP of business development for mobile; former Transpera director of sales, Tripp Boyle, who will become senior director of mobile sales; and former Transpera chief architect, Sachin Gupta, who will become principal engineer, focused on enhancing YuMe's platform with mobile features and functionality. "It's not often a company gets a chance to add such valued team members all at one time," YuMe CEO, Michael Mathieu, said in a prepared statement. "Frank, Anshu, Sachin and Tripp are all experienced professionals who will hit the ground running and will immediately grow the already solid YuMe mobile advertising business. Our ad technology platform offers advertisers the most comprehensive solution across multiple screens and over the next several months, with the help of this team, we expect to accelerate adoption of our technology platform and the reach of our network." Biographical information on the new hires is available here.
- ZillionTV, which was attempting to launch an ad-supported broadband video service, but which last year ceased operations, filed for bankruptcy on January 24th in order to liquidate its assets, Todd Spangler reports in Multichannel News.