Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): ITC, Cablevision, Verizon, CBS, Cox, CTAM, Canoe
--ITC Rules for Cablevision in Patent Dispute with Verizon
--CBS Launches "48 Hours Mystery" App for iPad
--Cox Expands MyPrimetime VOD Programming Line-Up
--CTAM Announces "iTV Idol" Finalists
Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.
- The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Cablevision's set-top boxes do not infringe on Verizon's US patent No. 6,381,748 ("Apparatus and methods for network access using a set-top box and television"). In a notice published Tuesday, the ITC cites a judgment by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in a separate patent-infringement case that Cablevision vendor, ActiveVideo Networks, filed against Verizon. The judge in that case ruled that the so-called '748 patent is invalid. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more.
- CBS has launched a "48 Hours Mystery" app for the iPad. The free version of the app provides users with preview videos and supplemental footage from the eponymous true-crime series; while users who purchase an annual $4.99 subscription through the app's in-app purchase feature gain access to full episodes from the show's current (made available on the same day as their broadcast) and past seasons, photo galleries, sneak peeks of upcoming shows, and other content. The app also offers social-media functionality.
- Cox Communications says that it has expanded the programming line-up for its MyPrimetime VOD service (note: MyPrimetime makes available episodes of primetime series from around 20 networks free-of-charge, within 12 hours of their linear broadcast; it also gives participating networks the option of disabling fast-forwarding on their programs, in order to ensure that viewers watch the commercials associated with those programs). Fall-season shows that will be available on the service include ABC's "PanAm," Fox's "The X Factor" and NBC's "Parks and Recreation."
CTAM has announced the finalists for its second annual iTV Idol competition (note: the 2010 competition was won by Rebecca Lim, then of Starz--for videos of the 2010 finalists, see the iTV Doctor column published on itvt.com, October 21st). The competition is co-sponsored by Canoe Ventures. The finalists will present their apps during a session entitled "Groundbreaking Applications" and hosted by Canoe chief product officer, Arthur Orduna, at CTAM's CTAM in New York event, October 5th, and the winner will be announced immediately after a vote by session attendees. "The five iTV Idol finalists and their apps," CTAM states in its press materials, "are: 1) itaas: a tablet computer app that allows users to discover and tune to content, create playlists, set reminders for upcoming content and avoid marital disputes by auto selecting content. 2) Showtime Networks, Inc.: an upsell app that puts viewers in control, allowing them to learn more about Showtime and even watch full sample episodes of hit Showtime programming. And with a few clicks of the remote, viewers can upgrade to Showtime within a few minutes. 3) The Weather Channel and Nielsen MediaSync: a companion app that uses audio watermarks in the show to unlock bonus content while the viewer watches the program live or on-demand (via DVR or VOD). It allows viewers to interact with exclusive 'synced' content on their iPad. 4) Intrasonics Limited: a RFI, tcommerce, polling, trivia app that allows users to engage directly with their favorite media programs and advertising brands by enabling any broadcast media to interact directly with smartphones and tablets. The user's smartphone or tablet hears unique sounds (inaudible to people) that trigger built-in actions in the app. 5) WE tv/FUSE/MSG/Ensequence: a multi-function app that puts viewers in control of a diverse in-program engagement experience. Viewers are invited to opt in to the application several times during each hour of programming and are offered new interactive content every 5-7 minutes. Attendees will score the apps on functionality, user experience/creativity, scalability, and business impact and consumer engagement. The iTV Idol winner will receive, among other things, a trophy and ribbon, and an invitation to participate in a CTAM Wired webcast following the competition, and have their app featured on CTAM's consumer-facing Web site: www.thisiscable.com."