Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Parks Releases New Study on Online Viewership

April 23, 2010

By Mansha Daswani

DALLAS: More than 25 million U.S. broadband homes are watching full-length TV shows online, Parks Associates reports, double the number recorded last year.

In addition, the Parks Associates study, Online Video and Broadband Provider Strategies, reveals that more than 20 million homes watch movies online. “Connected CE devices are affecting the competitive ecosystem of the television industry, and while the current number of cord cutters isn’t substantial, service providers are concerned about these developments,” said Jayant Dasari, research analyst at Parks Associates. “Pay-TV providers are working to head off a possible shift that might devalue their services by offering TV Everywhere. These services supplement their traditional offerings, which might not dissuade anyone determined to cut the cord, but providers could use them as models for future business strategies.”
The report goes on to note that consumers have yet to establish strong preferences on whether they get video and other value-added services from broadband service providers or over-the-top providers such as Hulu.

see original article http://worldscreen.com/articles/display/25263

Breakfast briefing: Google has its eyes on your TV set

March 30, 2010

from guardian.co.uk

• Everybody and their dog has been developing web-enabled TV sets recently, so perhaps no surprise to see that Google – the company that can’t keep its finger out of any pie it comes across – is working with Intel and Sony to create Android-compatible tellies. Somebody unlikely to be impressed by the 7,194th Google project, however, is outgoing US Federal Trade Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour, who laid into the company for launching products “where the guiding privacy policy seems to be ‘throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks'”.

• Most of us probably wonder what information other people might know about us through our social networking profiles – but do we ever wonder what law enforcement can find out? Just weeks after the controversy over Microsoft’s “spy guide”, Electronic Frontier Foundation has released documents showing how US investigators obtain evidence from social networks. Worth reading… not that you’d ever do anything illegal of course.

• If you’re looking to have your mind boggled, then think about the chaos caused when more than 100 cars were shut down in Texas over the web. The suspect, apparently a disgruntled worker with access to a controversial online immobilising system used by car dealers, went on a remote shutdown spree that must surely call into question whether we could end up making our vehicles too connected.

You can follow our links and commentary each day through Twitter (@guardiantech, @gdngames or our personal accounts) or by watching our Delicious feed.

see orginal article http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/mar/18/google-sony

DirecTV dives into 3D

March 30, 2010

ESPN also will offer on-demand and pay-per-view content

from variety.com

From nature documentaries to the Major League Baseball All-Star game, DirecTV is diving head first into the 3D broadcasting market.

The satcaster plans to roll out its 3D content in June, including 3D pay-per-view, on-demand channels as well as ESPN 3D and its own N3D channel.

DirecTV senior VP Steven Roberts told Variety, “We made the decision late last year that we were going to continue with our innovation with providing our customers with a great experience in terms of entertainment and taking 3D and really running with it.”

For its N3D channel, DirecTV has paired with Panasonic and various programmers, including Fox, MTV and CBS, to produce 3D content that will include films, documentaries, sporting and entertainment events.

The ESPN 3D channel plans to showcase at least 85 live events during its first year, beginning June 11 with the 2010 FIFA World Cup match between South Africa and Mexico.

The X Games 16 and college football’s ACC Championship are set for later this year, with the 2011 BCS National Championship game, college basketball and NBA games to follow in 2011.

“There is going to be specific content where people aren’t going to want to watch in just plain 2D any longer,” Roberts said.

DirecTV is providing a free software upgrade that will happen seamlessly in June for customers with Sony, Panasonic, LG and Samsung TVs. With the upgrade, DirecTV customers with an HD package and a 3D flatscreen with glasses will be able to watch the stereoscopic programming.

see original article http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118017055.html

IPTV World Forum embraces hybrid future

March 30, 2010

from informitv.com

The sixth annual IPTV World Forum in London showed signs that the market is maturing and the scope of internet protocol television services is expanding. IPTV is no longer synonymous with the ambitions of telecommunications providers to deliver telco television. There are now around 33 million subscribers to IPTV services, up from around 20 million a year ago, but that still represents only 10% of broadband homes, 5% of the multichannel market and less than 2% of television homes worldwide. As this convention demonstrated, more significant growth may come from hybrid broadcast and broadband network connected devices and displays. 

The conference talk has largely moved on from discussions about how to deliver video over data networks to how to differentiate the resulting services from traditional television operators. 

Operators like AT&T and Verizon are now showing sophisticated services that deliver on the promise of teleco television and giving the entrenched cable companies a run for their money. 

Cable companies are ultimately able to migrate all their services to internet protocols. There is plenty of bandwidth in their existing hybrid fibre coaxial infrastructure to deliver very high-speed internet protocol services. Some of the established cable companies appear characteristically conservative and reluctant to replace set-top boxes and face the future while they can continue to extract revenues from their existing plant. 

The most significant development may be the emergence of hybrid broadcast and broadband services that combine the benefits of efficient distribution of traditional channels over conventional satellite, terrestrial and cable networks with video on demand services delivered over internet protocols. 

It is also becoming clear that given the bandwidth, open networks are quite capable of delivering high quality video over the internet on a best efforts basis. That means there are opportunities for consumer electronics companies to create connected television propositions. 

On the exhibition floor most vendors were reporting high levels of interest but it still feels like a sideshow to the main broadcast conventions like NAB. Nevertheless, the concentration on internet protocol networks means that this event is now a firm fixture in the convention calendar. 

Cisco was among those pushing the line that telcos need to become media companies, moving from being network service providers to experience providers. Generally, however, technology providers seem to have very little appreciation of the world of entertainment. 

NDS was showing Oona, a conceptual user interface that incorporates social networking features. 

Ericcson had a concept remote control that includes a touch screen for exploring and previewing programming. That could be a strong selling proposition for operators, but what is really needed are standards to allow users to control their television experience from any device, from an iPad to their mobile phone. 

An awards dinner recognised the achievements of the last year, which extended beyond the usual suspects. 

Award winners 

PCCW received the award for most innovative new service with its eye2 device, a wireless touchscreen table providing television and multimedia services, as well as video and voice calling. 

China Telecom was recognised for best subscriber growth, reflecting a 275% increase in subscribers to reach 750,000 users at the end of 2009. 

The best interactive television service or application went to ADB for the ‘n’ service in Poland. 

Amino received the best consumer device award for its Freedom hybrid digital terrestrial television and internet media centre. 

The best quality improvement solution award went to Witbe for its quality of experience measurement system, deployed with a number of operators, including Deutsche
Telekom, KPN, Orange, Singtel, Telefonica and Vodafone. 

Echostar Europe received the award for best hybrid broadcast and internet protocol video solution with its Slingloaded hybrid digital video recorder. 

The best on-demand technology award went to Ericsson for its WatchPoint content management system. 

Netgem, with its NetgemTV hybrid IPTV middleware, combining broadcast and broadband delivered media, was recognised as the best IPTV service delivery platform. 

The best internet television technology award went to Cisco for its content delivery system, allowing service providers to support video on both set-top boxes and internet streaming. 

First Media picked up the award for best client software for its client resident m-QM video monitoring system. 

Raoul Roverato received the special merit for outstanding industry contribution for his work at Orange.

 see original article http://informitv.com/news/2010/03/25/iptvworldforum/

Sky 3DTV launch marks European first

March 30, 2010

from informitv.com 

The Sky 3D television channel will be the first in Europe when it launches in early April, kicking off with live coverage of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea. Football will be followed by other sports, movies, entertainment, arts and documentaries later in the year. Initially the Sky 3D channel will be available at no extra cost to customers on premium packages with high-definition, using their existing Sky boxes. They will need a new 3D compatible display and a special pair of dark glasses. The future’s so bright, we’ve gotta wear shades. 

The official launch of the Sky 3D service follows match coverage of Arsenal and Manchester United broadcast in January to a limited number of venues. Over a thousand pubs and clubs across the United Kingdom and Ireland have since signed up for Sky 3D, with more expected to join them. They will have some of the first 3D TV screens available in the country, following a deal with manufacturer LG. Sky 3D is also on show at various locations, including the O2 venue in London and other retail sites.

Allowing the public to experience 3DTV will be critical to its future. “With 3D, seeing really is believing,” said Brian Lenz, Sky’s Director of Product Design and TV Product Development. “So it’s great news that over a thousand pubs across country will be able to show the magic of 3D to their customers.”

 Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic have all confirmed that they will have sets on sale soon. Sky 3D is compatible with these and works with displays that use either passive polarised and active shuttered glasses. The choice is partly a matter of preference. The polarised glasses are cheap and easy to replace, while the active glasses are heavier, relatively expensive and require a small battery to power the liquid crystal lenses that are wirelessly synchronised with the screen.

3DTV sets will be scarce initially and are likely to command a significant price premium, but the actual cost of production is little more than for a conventional high-definition display and in time 3D Ready displays will be widely available and prices will come down. How ready consumers will be to replace their existing flat screens for 3D compatible versions is another matter.

 Sky 3D is broadcast using a normal HD broadcast channel, over existing Sky infrastructure. Two separate scenes are captured, corresponding to the images for the left and right eye. These are broadcast side by side in a normal high-definition signal, effectively halving the horizontal resolution. Sky+ HD customers will be able to use their existing set-top box and can record 3D programmes in the normal way.

 How the stereoscopic images are presented depends on the display. In a passive system they are displayed so that when viewed through glasses fitted with polarising filters they are split into separate images for the left and right eye. In an active system liquid crystal shutters are synchronised with the screen to present images alternately to each eye.

 Gerry O’Sullivan, director of strategic product management at Sky, for the moment at least, is a passionately persuasive and impressively rational advocate for 3D. He understands that vision is a phenomenon of perception that goes beyond simply seeing two slightly different stereo images and that 3D production requires a different approach to direction, opening up new creative opportunities in much the same way as high definition and colour before it.

 As part of restructure to create two separate groups for research and development, Gerry will be leaving Sky after over a decade in which he has led developments like the Sky+ digital video recorder and Sky Broadband, together with Steven Nuttall, who led initiatives in online and mobile video.

 Sky 3D is an example of how the pay-television operator is continuing to drive developments in British broadcasting, forging ahead of the BBC. It is no accident that the Sky 3D showreel features not only sports but ballerinas from the English National Ballet performing Swan Lake.

Sky believes that like 3D, like HD, will be applicable to many more genres of programming than just sports and movies, bringing a new dimension to natural history and allowing people to watch theatrical productions from the best seat in the house.

 There is still a lot to learn about how to shoot and present stereoscopic productions. Certain subjects seem to benefit more, while the effect may be marginal in long shots. On-screen graphics require special attention, while issues such as eyestrain need to be given serious consideration.

 3DTV may initially be seen as something of a gimmick and while it is evidently successful in cinemas it is not clear how accepted it will be in the home, beyond special events and early adopters. The usage of television and the social viewing environment within the home are very different to that of the cinema. So long as it is necessary to wear dark glasses to watch 3DTV it will remain a novelty. However, games and adult entertainment are likely to be popular and 3D screens could become a premium feature of hotel rooms.

 Amazingly, there has been very little rigorous academic or medical research on the subject. It is not even known how many people can actually perceive stereo vision correctly. Up to one in ten may not, for one reason or another. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some people may experience headaches as a result of processing the conflicting visual depth cues with which they may be presented. It is a field that informitv will continue to follow with interest.

 William Cooper of informitv will be speaking on a panel at the MPEG Industry Forum Master Class at the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas and chairing a session at the 3D TV World Forum in London.

 Coverage of the match between Manchester United and Chelsea starts at 12.00 noon on Saturday 3 April. The Sky 3D channel will appear in the electronic programme guide before then. To access preview programmes customers will need to call Sky with details of their 3D television to activate the channel. There will be at least a further five Premier League matches shown in 3D before the end of the current football season.

 see original article here http://informitv.com/news/2010/03/25/sky3dtvlaunch/

Endemol Sets Up Global Brands Business

March 30, 2010

from worldscreen.com

By Kristin Brzoznowski
Published: March 29, 2010

LONDON: Endemol’s new division, Endemol Worldwide Brands, will focus on extending the company’s properties across multiple platforms, including investment in product development and the creation of games applications and branded entertainment.

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Serving as CEO of the new division is Oliver Gers, former senior executive at FremantleMedia and IMG Media. As part of his new role, Gers will be responsible for Endemol Group’s key digital activities following the integration of digital into the company’s core commercial business. Gers takes up the post with immediate effect and is based at Endemol Group’s offices in London, reporting to Tom Toumazis, Endemol’s chief commercial officer. Joerg Bachmaier, former senior VP of digital media business development at Endemol USA, has been named senior VP and general manager for the Americas at Endemol Worldwide Brands. Further appointments will be announced in due course.
 

Toumazis commented: “The launch of Endemol Worldwide Brands represents another significant step forward in our ongoing strategy for growth; one which we believe will add considerable value to our IP. Olivier has a proven track record in the media industry as an innovator with extensive strategic and operational experience. His expertise in brand enhancement through digital media, original content creation and commercial extensions makes him ideally suited to lead this new worldwide venture.”

Gers added: “Endemol is perfectly positioned to launch a successful international business in this space. Its brands are recognized worldwide, attract a huge fan base and can cross over seamlessly into other forms of content and consumer products. This is an extremely exciting opportunity and I’m very much looking forward to the challenge and to working with Endemol’s leading operations around the world.”

see original article

http://worldscreen.com/articles/display/24916

Online video viewing complements TV

March 21, 2010

from informitv.com

Viewers want their internet TV. More than 170 million individuals viewed over 30 billion videos online in the United States in January, over a third of them on YouTube. Hulu was the next most popular site, with 900 million views, which is ten percent less than the previous month. Online video is increasingly seen on the television screen. One in four Americans watch internet television more than once a week, but see it in addition to traditional television rather than as a substitute, concludes a new study from In-Stat.

Google sites, primarily YouTube, attracted over 136 million viewers, with over 90 videos per viewer, according to ComScore. Hulu was the fifth most popular video destination in the United States, with 38 million viewers. They watched on average over 23 videos each, representing 2.3 hours per viewer, suggesting that they were sampling many episodes, rather than watching them all.

The total online video audience dropped slightly in January compared to December, which is not in itself unusual. There is clearly an enormous appetite for online video, with the number of views doubling over the last year, although it is still marginal in comparison to the total viewing of broadcast television.

People want the best of both worlds, with both pay-television and over-the-top video, concludes Keith Nissen of In-Stat. “Nearly 40% of consumer broadband household respondents want a combination of linear TV and on-demand TV, and nearly three quarters want to acquire all their video content from their pay TV service provider.”

Recent research found that while personal computers remain the primary means for viewing internet television, people are increasingly using other devices, including internet televisions and mobile phones.

They are connecting many different devices to their televisions, including media adapters, games consoles, and Blu-ray disc players. An estimated 24 million web-enabled devices were in use in the United States at the end of 2009. This is expected to grow to over a hundred million by 2013.

www.comscore.com
www.instat.com

see original article http://informitv.com/news/2010/03/10/onlinevideoviewing/

Producers’ Forum: Principles of Transmedia Storytelling

March 21, 2010

By Mansha Daswani

from worldscreen.com

NEW YORK: Jeff Gomez and Nathan Mayfield will be hosting a session at the MIPTV Producers’ Forum—a two-day initiative organized in association with World Screen—about developing stories and concepts across multiple platforms.

The first thing you need to know about transmedia storytelling is that it’s not the same thing as “cross-platform” or “cross media,” according to Jeff Gomez, the president and CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment. “Transmedia is where you’re planning and coordinating the rollout of an artful project, a story, and you’re using different media platforms as if each is an instrument and you’re composing a symphonic score,” he tells World Screen Weekly. “Each platform plays a role in telling a story. That what makes it distinct.”

Gomez will be participating in the Principles of Transmedia Storytelling session on Tuesday, April 13, at 3:30 p.m. as part of the Producers’ Forum, together with Nathan Mayfield, the chief creative officer and co-founder of Hoodlum. The executives will be hosting a creative boot camp, drawing on their extensive experience with transmedia projects—Gomez’s credits include James Cameron’s mega-hit Avatar, while Mayfield’s work includes Lost and Flash Forward.

“I can’t wait to share the learnings that we have made over the many projects we have produced,” says Mayfield. “This is a halcyon opportunity for producers to take charge, explore new models and, most importantly, truly engage with their audience. Our key tip is very simple: never make your audience feel stupid! So many online extensions we see rely on audiences to be tech savvy, our experiences never let the technology get in the way of good storytelling.”

Both executives stress the importance of transmedia projects today, given the increasing fragmentation of the media landscape. “In this day and age, people are enjoying stories on whatever platform they can,” explains Gomez. “At the core of any good transmedia implementation is a highly compelling story and when you become a fan of the story world, the body of fiction, you will feel compelled to chase it, to actually move from one platform to the next to get more enjoyment out of that aspirational universe.”

He continues: “No matter what country you’re from, in this day and age if you’re in television you’re noticing at least the start of an exodus away from television, particularly on the part of young people. Young people are becoming preoccupied with interactive media, video games, the web, and that is impacting ratings and it’s impacting revenues. With transmedia, you’re quite often addressing young people exactly where they live. There’s no doubt that television is still an incredibly powerful driving platform, but with transmedia, you’re increasing the touchpoints between your audience and the narrative.”

This is a view shared by Mayfield, who co-founded Hoodlum in Australia more than a decade ago and quickly became a pioneer in the world of online content. “We see these online extensions as the key deciders in an environment where audiences are seeking new ways to get their entertainment fix,” he notes. “Our most successful projects have been those that have a single message and URL across all channels of communication. Our most successful projects are ones that have all marketing pointing to our site. It is our responsibility to give audiences a taste of the film or TV series, a way to set up questions that can only be answered by the film or TV series. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that the leap you are asking your mainstream audience [to make] between TV and online is as small as possible… sending an audience from your beautiful, expensive TV series to a gritty handheld webisode will never be as effective as emulating the production values of the TV series in the online extension.”

One of Hoodlum’s most high-profile projects has been its work on Lost, with the Find 815 and The Dharma Initiative online experiences. “Studios were and continue to be very responsive to online extensions,” Mayfield says. “After all, they are in the business of storytelling and once we had allayed their fears, it was not long before they were calling on us to create stories that would be told across multiple platforms. ABC Studios was the first champion in the U.S. to really embrace the online extensions.”

Mayfield says that in approaching Lost, as with any other project, the process begins with “allaying the fears of the creatives involved. We are not about to take your beloved brand and create a story that sits outside the mythology that you have created. The key element is to ensure you have champions in your marketing and creative teams. Honestly, the devil is in the detail with these projects and that means you need to make sure you are working with pioneers who are going on the ride with you. This is the Wild West and we worked closely with the producers of the show and ABC Entertainment marketing to mobilize the fans. As I said above, ABC has really led with the way they have embraced online extensions. It was up to us to then make sure we were creating an experience that would ensure audiences wanted to return again and again.”

For Gomez, whose transmedia projects include Avatar and Showtime’s Dexter, the process begins with “immersing ourselves in the world such as it is when we arrive on the project. Our job in general is to collect all the information about the world [of the film or TV show] and present it in the form of a mythology. So we’re compiling everything that’s known about the universe, the characters, the locations, the historic story points, and putting it into one single massive document. And then we help our clients to determine how best to implement that story across an array of media platforms. So, how will this best work as a video game? How will this best work as a mobile execution? And in doing so, we also become the guardians of quality control. We make sure that the content lives up to the quality of the main story, so that you don’t get too much of that knockoff licensed product that doesn’t add to franchise.”

Beyond working on existing television and film projects, both Gomez’s Starlight Runner and Mayfield’s Hoodlum are developing their own IP, and are assisting major consumer brands with their transmedia marketing campaigns.

Gomez explains that when approaching a brand like Coca-Cola—Starlight worked with the company on its Happiness Factory campaign—”we have to look at what could be about 60 seconds worth of content and turn that into a huge sprawling universe, so it takes a little more creative energy, which is fun for us.”

“Big advertising brands are seeking new ways to engage with audiences,” Mayfield says. “They are evolving from branded entertainers to branded storytellers. Branded storytelling is a hybrid of Hoodlum’s expertise to integrate the brands values, tones and sensibilities with quality stories that resonate with consumers.”

The Principles of Transmedia Storytelling session takes place on the Tuesday of MIPTV at 3:30 p.m.

Eisner cuts deal for Web shows

October 30, 2009

Pacts with Rogers Communications for funding

from variety.com

By CYNTHIA LITTLETON

Eisner Eisner’s Tornante produces ‘Glenn Martin, DDS’ for Nickelodeon.

Michael Eisner has grand plans for his made-for-Internet production business. Eisner’s Tornante Co. has cut a deal with Canadian media conglom Rogers Communications to help fund the production of as many as 30 Web skeins a year through his Vuguru production shingle. The deal with Rogers calls for Vuguru to become a standalone entity, with Rogers taking a minority interest in the company and controlling Canuck distribution rights to Vuguru productions. Eisner will serve as chairman of Vuguru, which will assemble its own board of directors. The plan is to recruit a CEO and expand the creative staff beyond the handful of execs who have worked with Eisner on the 3-year-old production venture. Vuguru will maintain its offices alongside Tornante in Beverly Hills. “We’re going to put the foot to the metal. We’re trying to show that high-quality content with a promotable hook can get an audience on the Web,” Eisner told Daily Variety. “If you can get an audience, you can get advertisers. I think the big upside in the entertainment business in the future is probably not the movie business or other existing businesses. I think it’s going to be story-driven content delivered through the Internet.” Vuguru has produced several Web skeins since the shingle was formed in late 2006, notably the serial suspenser “Prom Queen” and sports comedy “Back on Topps,” starring Jason and Randy Sklar. (Tornante bought the Topps baseball card and bubble gum company in 2007.) Eisner said Rogers execs approached him about becoming an investor in Vuguru. He hadn’t been shopping for a partner, but he’d gotten to know Rogers’ senior management team after the company acquired Canuck rights to “Prom Queen” as well as “Glenn Martin, DDS,” the stop-motion animation series that Tornante produces for Nickelodeon. A number of high-profile Internet production ventures, some with deep showbiz pockets, have folded or dramatically scaled back operations in the past year, including 60Frames, Mania TV, Disney’s Stage 9 and Turner Broadcasting’s SuperDeluxe. Among the notable ventures that are still investing in the realm are Will Ferrell’s FunnyorDie, Sony’s Crackle, MTV’s Atom and Reveille through its partnership with MSN. Eisner said Vuguru intended to ramp up production long before the deal with Rogers came to fruition. Vuguru has been able to keep its shows from running deficits because it keeps a tight rein on budgets. And it has been successful in recruiting sponsors and licensing its shows in foreign and ancillary markets. A tuner adaptation of “Prom Queen” is also in the works, while “Back on Topps” is being developed as a TV series by Comedy Central. Eisner said the company will focus squarely on scripted series running 120-200 minutes in total. Among the projects in the works is “The Booth at the End,” which he described as “In Treatment” meets “The Twilight Zone,” and “Pretty Tough,” revolving around the lives of young femme athletes. Vuguru productions are generally budgeted at $3,000-$6,000 per minute, though costs vary depending on the talent involved and the source material, among other factors. But even as the company expands its scope, another major factor in keeping costs down is to be selective, he said. “You only put things in development that you’re sure you’re going to make,” Eisner said. “The first time we talked about ‘Prom Queen,’ I knew we were going to make it. The biggest waste of money in this business is script and talent abandonment.” Vuguru has taken a number of different routes in the distribution of its Web product. “Prom Queen” got a promo boost in 2007 through its partnership with MySpace, which had a 12-hour exclusive window for each seg. “Back on Topps” has its home base on FoxSports.com but is widely distribbed on other Internet vid sites. The ability to experiment with distribution strategies was one of Rogers’ motives for getting into business with Vuguru, Eisner said. Rogers has a wide footprint in the Canuck media landscape, from cable TV systems to local broadcast stations to Internet and telephony services. Whatever the distrib scenario, his experience has taught Eisner that the key is to promote the shows through social networks and other online media and make it easy for viewers to find the episodes on advertiser-friendly video sites. Eisner, who ended his 21-year tenure as Disney CEO in 2005, said his approach with Vuguru was shaped by his experience in finding creative solutions to fiscal constraints when he worked at ABC and Paramount in the 1960s and ’70s. “Everybody said we couldn’t get anyone to do movies for under $10 million, but that’s what got us things like ‘Footloose’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ ” he said. “I’m always more interested in doing things that are uniquely challenging and that nobody thinks will work.”

Lionsgate to put Weeds, others on ZillionTV

October 30, 2009

DIGITAL: Studio will provide content to online video-on-demand service launching next year

By Susanne Ault — Video Business, 10/26/2009

OCT. 26 | DIGITAL: Upcoming video-on-demand service ZillionTV has signed on studio partner Lionsgate, which has committed such film/TV content as Mad MenWeeds and Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail.

Lionsgate joins such other studio partners as Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, NBC Universal and Walt Disney Studios.

Lionsgate will make its programming available to ZillionTV as either paid electronic rental or sell-through or as free ad-supported VOD. The studio, whose library encompasses 12,000 movie and TV titles, also will offer the films The Haunting in ConnecticutMy Bloody Valentine 3D and Rambo, among other titles.

“We are delighted to add Lionsgate’s diverse range of television and film properties to the ZillionTV service,” said Mitch Berman, executive chairman of ZillionTV. “Lionsgate has already established itself as the leading next-generation studio committed to finding new and exciting ways to connect with its consumers, and it offers an impressive array of commercially successful and critically acclaimed feature films and television programming in addition to its enormous library of filmed entertainment content.”

Lionsgate president of digital media Curt Marvis said, “We are always exploring new ways to monetize our content in a digital world. We believe that ZillionTV has distinguished itself with a strong business model and an impressive content offering, and we look forward to our partnership to deliver content to our audiences with the customization and immediacy of the online world.”

ZillionTV is expected to launch in the second part of 2010 through partnerships with media service providers. Earlier this month, the company cut staff and replaced its CEO.

see original http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6703858.html?nid=3516