Interactive TV News Round-Up (I)

--AOL Europe Acquires Online Video Distribution Network, goviral
--Bravo to Host Social-TV Event around Tonight's "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Reunion Show
--ITV Hires BBC Executive as Part of Ongoing Restructuring of its Online and On-Demand Businesses

Here is the first of two round-ups of interactive TV/multiplatform video-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:



  • AOL Europe has announced that it has acquired online video distribution network, goviral. "goviral distribute branded video content across the Internet for some of the world's largest and most esteemed brands, media agencies, creative agencies, and content producers," AOL states in its press materials. "The transaction will further strengthen AOL's video offerings in Europe and ultimately North America and will deliver further scale, placing it in pole position to expand its reach internationally, engage new highly targeted consumer audiences and serve its advertising partners. AOL Inc. has completed the purchase of goviral A/S ("goviral") for $74.1 million. In addition, $22.6 million of consideration will be deferred and paid over two years following completion." Said Kate Burns, SVP of AOL Europe: "Video is core to AOL's consumer programming strategy and goviral has created an incredibly compelling platform that delivers highly measureable and cost-effective solutions to publishers and advertisers. We believe that goviral offers a unique proposition in today's market, and allows us to match our ambition for premium content creation and engaging advertising, with highly targeted distribution at scale. We look forward to welcoming this truly talented and innovative team."

  • Bravo has announced plans to host one of its "Talk Bubble" social-TV events around the show, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion Part II," which airs tonight (Tuesday) at 10:00PM Eastern/Pacific. "Join the conversation with superfans, insiders and your favorite Housewives live on both coasts during the hour-long reunion," Bravo states in its press materials. "Beverly Hills' finest--Taylor, Kyle, Lisa, the beloved Giggy, and Showrunner--will comment and respond to questions, alongside New York Housewives Ramona and Sonja, as well as Gretchen from the upcoming 'The Real Housewives of Orange County.' Participants can RSVP for the party at www.bravotv.com/talkbubble, on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/epyz2e, text PARTY to 27286 or unlock the QR code on Twitter by following @Bravotv. The preferred hashtag for the event is #RHOBH. Fans can join the event online, on a mobile device at http://bravotv.com/talkbubble, or on an iPhone and iPad using the Bravo Now app."

  • UK terrestrial broadcaster, ITV, has appointed former BBC executive, James Micklethwait, as director of product strategy and customer engagement, as part of an ongoing restructuring of its on-demand and online business that it says will see it attempting to make its Web site and its broadband TV service, the ITV Player, "more user-friendly" (note: for more on this restructuring, see the article published on itvt.com, January 11th). "Our short-term goals of improving and distributing the ITV Player and the design and functionality of ITV.com are clear and there's great momentum building around both," ITV.com managing director, Robin Pembrooke, said in a prepared statement. "This is one of the many changes we've already made in the last three months to get ITV fit to compete in the online and on-demand space."
North America