News Round-Up (I): ActionView, Comcast, Amino, AT&T
--ActionView International in Deal to Offer Mixed Martial Arts Programming on Comcast VOD
--Amino to Launch "Amino Solutions" Offering, Focus on OTT Solutions, at IBC
--AT&T Launches Interactive TV Account Manager App
Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.
- Pay-per-view event promoter, ActionView International, and its subsidiary, MatchFights, have announced that their World Championship Full Contact (WCFC) mixed martial arts events are now available on Comcast's VOD service in the Mountain West region "with plans to expand the offerings to all 11 Western states and, ultimately, the entire US market. The WCFC has already delivered video of one WCFC event to Comcast and is expected to deliver a second event this week," the companies state in their press materials. "Comcast has created a folder on the VOD system for WCFC content to be posted so that it can be downloaded and viewed by any Comcast subscriber in the Mountain West region. Both of the WCFC events are expected to be available on Comcast VOD within the next several days. In the future, the company expects to post additional WCFC content to Comcast in an edited format about 10 days after a live event so as to not distract from the live broadcast and PPV demand."
- Amino Communications, a Cambridge, England-based provider of IPTV and hybrid-IP set-top boxes, has announced the line-up of technologies it plans to demo in its booth (5.B40) at the IBC in Amsterdam next month. In addition to demo'ing its Amino Freedom DVB-T hybrid/OTT media center and its STi7105 system-on-chip (SoC)-based set-top range, the company plans to launch a new "Amino Solutions" offering, which it describes as "a flexible, modular end-to-end solution to drive profitable, personalized and easy-to-manage services via the Amino Freedom platform. By partnering with best-of-breed providers, Amino Solutions supports operators and service providers to manage multiple digital formats--from ingest to consumption--in both traditional video delivery and the new era of OTT and connected services," the company's press materials continue. "Key features supported include: a wide range of apps--including the Intel 'Appup' store; management information system; content and product management; personalization and recommendation; element management system; [and] consumption data analysis tools."
- AT&T has announced the launch of an interactive TV Account Manager app for its Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV service, U-verse TV. According to the company, the app "gives U-verse customers quick and easy access to make U-verse TV package upgrades, compare TV packages, view channel line-ups, view their account summary, view product overviews and ordering information on U-verse High Speed Internet and U-verse Voice, and more. Now when a customer wants to learn more about a TV package or sees a show they want to watch on a channel they are not subscribed to, Account Manager lets them instantly upgrade their subscription at any time, without needing to make a phone call," AT&T continues in its press materials. "Account Manager is available on channel 9910 and will roll out on a market-by-market basis to all U-verse TV customers at no extra charge." AT&T has also announced the return of U-verse TV's "TV Awards & New Fall Shows" and "Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football" apps. According to the company, the former app, located on channel 95, "highlights TV shows that have been nominated for recent awards, as well as new shows that are premiering this fall," and "allows you to watch and vote for nominated shows, see bios of award nominees and view information for fall shows and season premieres on your TV screen"; and the latter app "allows you to simply and conveniently track your Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football team and receive customized information on your favorite professional football teams through the AT&T U-bar."