Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Canoe Ventures, Aereo, Discovery Channel
--Executives Downplay Impact of Canoe's Closure of its ITV Advertising Operations
--Chet Kanojia's Aereo Sued by Broadcasters and TV Stations
--Discovery Channel to Offer Extensive "Digital Experience" for "Frozen Planet"
Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.
- Broadcasting & Cable's and Multichannel News's Advanced Advertising event took place in New York, Wednesday, just a week after Canoe Ventures announced that it was abandoning its efforts to implement a national interactive TV advertising platform. According to a report by Multichannel News's Tim Baysinger, the consensus of participants (including Comcast Spotlight's VP of integrated media sales, Kevin Smith; Ensequence's president and CEO, Peter Low; MPG's EVP of televisual applications, Mitch Oscar; Music Choice's president and CEO, Dave Del Beccaro; and Rovi's SVP of worldwide advertising, Jeff Siegel) on a panel entitled "What's Next for Interactive TV Ads?" was that Canoe's announcement "is not the death knell to the ITV industry that everyone fears it is." More coverage of the event, which also focused on dynamic VOD ad insertion and addressable advertising is available here and here.
- Aereo, the company which last month announced plans to offer a $12-per-month Internet-TV service that will deliver network and local television to Web-enabled devices (note: the company, which was founded by interactive TV industry veteran, Chet Kanojia, has secured $20.5 million in a Series-A funding round led by Barry Diller's IAC--see the article published on itvt.com, February 14th), has become the target of two federal copyright lawsuits brought by various broadcasters and station groups. Both lawsuits (note: the plaintiffs in one of the suits are listed as the American Broadcasting Companies, Disney Enterprises, CBS Broadcasting, CBS Studios, NBC Universal Media, NBC Studios, Universal Network Television, Telemundo Network Group and WNJU-TV; and the plaintiffs in the other are listed as PBS, Fox Television Stations, Univision Television Group, the Univision Network, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., WNET and Thirteen) seek an injunction against the company's service, as well as financial damages. While previous attempts (such as that of ivi TV) to offer Internet-TV services that retransmit networks' content have been defeated in the courts, Aereo claims that the fact that its service employs tiny antennas (note: the antennas, which are located in large arrays in Brooklyn, receive OTA signals which are then transcoded for delivery over the Internet to devices such as iPads and iPhones), each of which is dedicated to an individual customer, means that it is not subject to the retransmission laws that apply to pay-TV operators. Multichannel News's George Winslow has more.
- Discovery Channel and sponsor SeaWorld have announced an extensive "digital experience" for the US premiere of the show, "Frozen Planet." The experience includes Penguin Cam, a live video feed from SeaWorld San Diego's Penguin Encounter attraction, which is available on the 'Frozen Planet' and SeaWorld Web sites, as well as through Ustream; a weekly online chat with a SeaWorld expert; behind-the-scenes videos, interviews and other content on Discovery.com; and an online game entitled "Criminal Penguins."