May 2006

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ITV Interview: Mika Salmi, Founder and CEO, Atom Entertainment

Multiplatform VOD and games company, Atom Entertainment (note: the company--which was founded in 2001 via the merger of AtomFilms and Shockwave.com--offers short films and animated titles on its AtomFilms.com broadband VOD portal and a range of games on its Shockwave.com portal; it claims that AtomFilms attracts a monthly audience of 5 million consumers), recently revamped its AddictingClips Web site to support uploads of user-generated content, including videos, animation and Flash-based games. Atom founder and CEO,...

ITV Column: Legends of ITV #3

By Patrick Donoghue In the next two installments of Legends of ITV I have taken on the role of archeologist, in order to unearth some of most unusual and rare specimens of remote controls the world has never seen. I have enlisted a few experts to help with my excavations, including my friend, colleague, former partner, former boss and co-conspirator, Tab Noble. As I dug deep into the rich soil of the ITV graveyard, I...

New IFC Show to be Based on User-Generated Content

The Independent Film Channel (IFC) will next month debut a show, called "Media Lab Uploaded," that will be centered on user-generated and user-selected content. The show draws on IFC's IFC Media Lab initiative, which provides a site where aspiring filmmakers can upload their films, to be watched and voted on by IFC viewers. Since last month, IFC has been airing the top viewer-ranked films interstitially on its linear channel: "Media Lab Uploaded" will assemble those...

Ultimate Fighting Championship Launches Broadband VOD Service

Martial arts promoter, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has launched a broadband VOD service, called UFC On Demand ( www.video.ufc.com ). The service offers live streaming video of UFC events, a library of downloadable videos of those events, downloadable episodes of the Spike TV/UFC reality show, "The Ultimate Fighter," and video of preliminary-round fights that is not available for viewing anywhere else (customers have on-demand access to around 40 UFC fights at any one time)...

Shorts from AtomFilms Studio Premiere on Web, Verizon's V CAST

On Wednesday, multiplatform VOD and games company, Atom Entertainment (note: the company--which was founded in 2001 via the merger of AtomFilms and Shockwave.com--offers short films and animated titles on its AtomFilms.com broadband VOD portal and a range of games on its Shockwave.com portal; it recently revamped its AddictingClips Web site to support uploads of user-generated content, including videos, animation and Flash-based games), premiered several new on-demand short films on its AtomFilms Web site and on...

TiVo News:

--Unveils "TiVo Guru Guide" Programming Recommendations Service
--Signs Deal to Distribute Brightcove-Published Video to Series2 Boxes
--Signs "Multi-Million Dollar" Advertising Agreement with Interpublic
--Launches Interactive Ad for Lexus DVR vendor/service provider, TiVo, has announced a number of new services and deals for its platform in the past two weeks: The company has announced plans to launch, in the next few weeks, a programming recommendations service called "TiVo Guru Guide." (Note: Guru Guide...

Warner Bros. in Deal with BitTorrent

--Films to be Offered for Download Day-and-Date with DVD

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has signed an agreement with BitTorrent, a San Francisco-based provider of peer-to-peer technology that has been widely used for illegal content downloads. The deal--which follows an agreement between BitTorrent and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), under which BitTorrent has undertaken to help prevent content piracy (note: as part of its efforts to ingratiate itself with...

Flextech Taps Mobrio for User-Generated Content Platform

Flextech, the content arm of UK cable operator, ntl/Telewest (it is the company behind such channels as LIVINGtv, UKTV, Trouble, Bravo UK, Ftn and Challenge), has tapped Mobrio, a company that specializes in online community services, to provide a interactive user-generated content platform, which will be integrated into Flextech's various channel Web sites and which will support shows broadcast on Flextech channels. According to Flextech, the platform can receive, format and present all user-generated content...

Two Way TV Australia Appoints New CEO

Two Way TV Australia--a company which holds exclusive perpetual licenses to use technologies and content from Two Way TV UK in Australia and New Zealand, and which, following an IPO in which it raised AUS$40 million to fund its expansion, last year signed a licensing deal with the UK company that will allow it to use the latter's technologies in a number of new Asian markets--has appointed Chris Grant-Foster, 41, as CEO. Grant-Foster was previously...

Kasenna Appoints New CEO

VOD and IPTV technology and content provider, Kasenna, has appointed Kumar Shah as CEO, effective immediately. Shah, who will also serve on the company's board of directors, replaces Kasenna's founder, Mark Gray, who will continue to serve as chairman of its board, and who, the company says, will "continue to drive strategic partnerships across the globe." Shah joins the company from Kasenna investor, US Venture Partners, where he was "entrepreneur-in-residence." Prior to that, he was...

itaas' Rustagi Receives Young Alumni Award from University of Pittsburgh

Vibha Rustagi, co-founder, president and CEO of itaas, an Atlanta-based company that provides a variety of products and services to the interactive TV industry (for an in-depth interview with Rustagi and other members of the company's senior management team, see [itvt] Issue 6.35), has received the Young Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh. She is the first woman to receive the award, which is presented to alumni of the University's Pitt School of Engineering...

CNN International Launches Interactive TV Service on Telewest

CNN International has launched a text-based interactive TV service on the digital platform of UK cable operator, Telewest (note: the latter recently merged with the UK's other cable provider, ntl). The service, which is accessed via the red button, allows Telewest's digital subscribers to access stories, weather information, and financial updates, as well as a schedule guide. The service was built by interactive TV production company, Two Way TV. "The interactive television service ensures that...

Tesco Begins One-Month VOD Trial on Video Networks' HomeChoice

--Honda Also Expected to Launch VOD Service on the Platform UK-based IPTV provider, Video Networks, and supermarket chain, Tesco, have begun a one-month trial of a VOD service on Video Networks' IPTV service, HomeChoice (operates in London and Stevenage). Dubbed "Tesco Sport," the service, which launched May 18th, provides information on sport and exercise, and is an extension of Tesco's Tesco Sport for Schools and Clubs program. According to HomeChoice, the goal of the trial...

Two Way TV, Jetix Team on Multi-Country Interactive TV "Event"

UK-based interactive TV technology and production company, Two Way TV, is teaming with Jetix Nordic, the Scandinavian TV channel of children's programmer, Jetix Europe, on what the companies claim is the first multi-country text-to-TV "event." During the shows, "Sonic X," "W.I.T.C.H." and "Totally Spies" (note: the shows are targeted at 6 to 12-year-olds), Jetix viewers in Sweden, Denmark and Norway will be able to play a text-to-TV game, called "SMX," that is based on Two...

Vidiom Releases Version 1.0 of VISION Workbench

OCAP specialist, Vidiom Systems (note: the company--which, among other things, designed and developed an OCAP stack for OCAP Development, LLC, the joint venture between Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable, and which is also licensed to distribute that software--was recently acquired by ADB Holdings, the parent company of set-top box manufacturer, ADB, and MHP specialist, Osmosys), has released version 1.0 of its VISION Workbench OCAP application development software. The software includes an OCAP set-top box...

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