May 2006

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

Mikasalmi2006 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-generat

ITV Column: Legends of ITV #3

By Patrick Donoghue

New IFC Show to be Based on User-Generated Content

Ifcmedialab2006 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.

Ultimate Fighting Championship Launches Broadband VOD Service

Ufcwebsite2006 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 Verizon's mobile TV service, V CAST. As a result of an exclusive deal with Verizon that Atom signed last month, V CAST customers can view the films on their mobiles free-of-charge as part of their monthly subscription to the service.

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:

Warner Bros. in Deal with BitTorrent

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

Flextech Taps Mobrio for User-Generated Content Platform

Mobriologo2006 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 quickly and flexib

Two Way TV Australia Appoints New CEO

Chrisgrantfostertwtv2006 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 Asia Pacific CEO of iTouch Australia Pty Ltd., wh

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 president and CEO of Occam Networks, and, before that, chief marketing officer of AccessLan Communications (now part of Tellabs).

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 who, while still in the early stages of their careers, have made significant contributions to engineering.

CNN International Launches Interactive TV Service on Telewest

Cnntelewest2006 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.

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 is to determine viewer reaction to "brand-created on-demand content."

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

Jetixsweedish2006sm 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 ba

Vidiom Releases Version 1.0 of VISION Workbench

Vidiomvwbsimulator2006sm 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