Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Showtime, TiVo, Motorola Mobility, TWC, tweetTV

--Showtime Offering Preview Samples of Returning Series on Multiple On-Demand Platforms
--TiVo Files Patent-Infringement Suit against Motorola Mobility, Time Warner Cable
--Social-TV Guide Company, tweetTV, Receives $750,000 in Seed Funding

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.

  • Showtime Networks announced Tuesday that it is offering sample previews of its returning series, "The Borgias," "Nurse Jackie" and "The Big C," on a range of on-demand platforms two weeks before their network premiere. "The premiere episodes can be accessed on the Showtime Web site http://www.sho.com/preview, on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/showtime and via select television providers' free on-demand channels and Web sites, reaching over 40 million digital households across 26 distributors," the company states in its press materials. "The series premieres are also available on Showtime Anytime, Showtime apps on iPhone, iPod Touch, Android smartphones and tablets, and Nook tablets, as well as the Showtime Social app for iPad, on connected-TV platforms, major Web portals, and for download as a free video podcast on iTunes."
  • TiVo has filed a patent-infringement suit against Motorola Mobility and Time Warner Cable, according to an 8-K filing from the company. Last year, Motorola filed a patent-infringement suit of its own against TiVo (see the article published on itvt.com, February 28th, 2011). According to TiVo, its suit centers on three US patents: 6,233,389 (Multimedia Time Warping System); 7,529,465 (System for Timeshifting Multimedia Content Streams); and 6,792,195 (Method and Apparatus Implementing Random Access and Time-Based Functions on a Continuous Stream of Formatted Digital Data).
  • tweetTV, a start-up that bills itself as "the real-time social-TV guide that groups and enhances TV-based conversations happening on Twitter," said Tuesday that it has raised $750,000 from angel investor, Joe Kalfa, and that it will use the funds to build and release mobile apps, hire staff, enhance its proprietary algorithms and power its planned partner and social rewards programs. "tweetTV's unique social-TV guide updates every minute to show real-time TV-watching trends along with localized channel numbers for the user's TV provider," the company states in its press materials. "Its real-time search feature enables users to find where the social buzz is among currently airing TV programs based on any combination of genres and networks. And its cloud-based, embeddable 'tweet rooms' go beyond generic hashtags to curate Twitter-based conversations happening around TV programs, adding enhancements such as filters, editorial content, fan polls, and multi-user video chats to the tweet-based TV conversations...The tweetTV project was started by former Googler Bradley Markham in 2009 and, until now, has been funded exclusively by Markham as it built out a robust backend and limited beta Web site that was released to the public in November 2011." Said Markham: "We set out in 2009 to give context to the TV-related trends on Twitter, noticing that we could curate and group together TV-related tweets into program-specific conversations and make them filterable, while also showing users how the TV programs on their TV's provider rank in social popularity in real time."
North America