Well, that didn't take long. We reported yesterday that the FCC was taking aim at sports blackout rules this week, and today the Commission voted to nix the "unnecessary and outdated regulations." For nearly four decades, policies kept pay-TV providers from airing games blacked out on local stations. The rules also prevented that latter group from showing NFL matchups that failed to sell out at least 72 hours ahead of time. Now that the NFL no longer relies on ticket sales to drive revenue, the rules have been repealed to further eliminate blackouts for local viewers. As the press release notes, current over-the-air network contracts run through 2022 (FOX, CBS, and NBC), so the NFL won't likely make the jump to cable and satellite any time soon. If it so chooses, the league can create a private blackout policy (like MLB, for example), but it will no longer be afforded the protection of the government to do so. "Instead, the NFL must rely on the same avenues available to other entities that wish to protect their distribution rights in the private marketplace," the PR details.
[Photo credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images]
Looking for a streaming media stick that's more accessible than Google's Chromecast? You might have found it. After a few teasers, Matchstick has revealed the first Firefox OS-based media sharing adapter. The self-titled gadget lets you "fling" video, websites and other content from Firefox (naturally), Chrome and supporting apps to your TV. While the hardware should be a bit more powerful than Chromecast, the real allure is a completely open platform -- you can tinker with the software and even build your own hardware if you're the entreprenurial sort. A low price will help, too. Matchstick hopes to sell its stick for $25 this February, and that's assuming you don't back the upcoming Kickstarter project -- get in early and it will cost $18. Even if Matchstick doesn't get as much app support as Google's device, it may be worth a look.
It was nearly a year ago that TiVo brought streaming to its iOS apps, enabling you to watch recorded shows anywhere with a WiFi signal. Eleven months later, and the company has finally added the same functionality for TiVo's Android app. The feature will work on most devices running Android 4.1 or above, but there are a few caveats, like the fact that it won't work on devices with Intel's mobile chips, and you're still at the mercy of whatever copy protection restrictions is placed upon the shows. On the upside, the app will also access content from Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video - the latter being another service that's belatedly gotten around to adding Android support for its users.
Early-bird registration for [itvt]'s fifth annual East Coast TV of Tomorrow Show event, TVOT NYC 2014 (December 9th, at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan's Chelsea district) ends at midnight tonight, Tuesday, September 30th.
Early-bird registration allows you to attend TVOT NYC for just $775, representing a savings of $300 off the regular price of a ticket (and guaranteeing you a seat at this limited-attendance event).
To take advantage of this discounted pricing, click here: http://tvotnyc2014.eventbrite.com
To find out about special group rates (three or more), contact Tracy Swedlow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 824-5806.
From October 1st through October 31st, tickets will be priced at $875.
From November 1st through December 9th, tickets will be priced at $1,075.
For more information about TVOT NYC 2014, please go to our Web site: http://www.thetvoftomorrowshow.com
Have questions about speaking or sponsorship opportunities? Contact us: 415-824-5806 or email@example.com
(Note: We will be announcing the first wave of TVOT NYC 2014 speakers in a special upcoming issue of the [itvt] newsletter.)
German children’s channel RiC has expanded its distribution and can now also be received as part of Vodafone Mobile TV. Read the story »
German children’s channel RiC will expand its digital terrestrial distribution. Read the story »
Germany’s third largest cable operator Tele Columbus is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Read the story »
Sky is investing $5 million in the US advertising technology firm Sharethrough, a leader in so-called ‘native advertising’. Read the story »
The ILS Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) has concluded the May 16 failure of the Express AM4R satellite was down to a loss of structural integrity of a bolted interface that attaches the Stage III steering engine turbopump to the main engine structural frame. Read the story »
Apple, NHK, Orange and Samsung are among 23 organisations listed as holders of essential patents by MPEG LA. Read the story »
A growing number of US households are relying on dedicated set-top/plug-in devices to watch Netflix on a TV set, according to a new GfK study, Over-the-Top TV 2014. Read the story »
A new ad campaign launches this week promoting the autumn line-up on DTT platform Freeview. Read the story »
Fancy yourself a master of the Sonic Screwdriver? Well, in a few days you can put those skills to the test... in Minecraft, that is. Whether you're a timelord fanperson or a Dalek-sympathizer, you'll be able to show it off once the Doctor Who skin pack hits the Xbox 360 version of the pixely build-your-own-adventure on Friday. As if you needed another reason to look forward to this weekend, yeah? PlayXBLA (Microsoft's official blog for Xbox Live Arcade news) still doesn't mention any word of an Xbox One release, but considering that the company recently paid $2.5 billion for the game's developer, Mojang, we expect to hear it break the, ahem, silence on that soon.
MTG – the Mordern Times Group – has launched a new brand. As part of the rebrand, MTG is also renaming its broadcasting operations in London to MTG from Viasat, and its international wholesale channel business from Viasat World to MTG World. Read the story »
A new OTT service will be launched in Hungary on October 1. Read the story »
Grooveshark's disappearing and reappearing act looks like it could finally come to an end; permanently. A Manhattan judge has ruled that because Grooveshark employees themselves had uploaded 5,977 songs to the service and infringing on copyrights in the process, the outfit couldn't be granted safe harbor for hosting music from the likes of Jay-Z and Madonna. Meaning, the firm's previous method of compliance under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was null and void because it wasn't users who uploaded the copyrighted material (which would be subsequently removed upon request), it was in-house staffers including CEO Samuel Tarantino and CTO Joshua Greenberg, according to The New York Times. Reuters notes that there was also evidence of internal communications from Greenberg that told employes to share music as much as possible from outside the office in an effort to foster growth -- all as a condition of employment.
Several reports in the last few days that Netflix will soon launch in Hungary provided the backdrop to a number of debates on OTT at Media Platform 2014. Read the story »
Netflix's tight relationship with The Weinstein Company has scored another win, and the streaming service's first big movie debut -- but definitely not its last. The two revealed tonight that next year when the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon arrives in theaters, it will also be available streaming on Netflix at the same time. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend also shares a writer, John Fusco, with another Weinstein/Netflix team-up, the Marco Polo series that's arriving next year. So far, studio efforts at sending movies home day-and-date with their theater release like this year's Snowpiercer have centered around VOD, but Netflix subscribers worldwide (the movie is being shot in English) are getting this flick at no extra cost. Back in 2011, Universal wanted to charge viewers $60 to watch Tower Heist at home instead of the theater, weeks after it debuted -- this seems like a slightly better value.