Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): BBC, BBC Worldwide, Comcast Media Center, Bluefin Labs

--BBC Releases Red-Button Programming Schedule through January 29th
--BBC Worldwide Taps Comcast Media Center for VOD Delivery of CBeebies
--Social-TV Analytics Company, Bluefin Labs, Raises $12 Million in Series-B Funding

Due to the large volume of news generated by the recent 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several more days to process all the news from the show: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • The BBC has released the schedule of programming and interactive content that will be available via the BBC Red Button service through January 29th.
  • The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is using Comcast Media Center's (CMC) VOD content-distribution platform to deliver programming from the Spanish-language version of CBeebies--its TV channel for preschoolers--that it offers in the Americas, the companies said Tuesday. "CMC's VOD distribution encompasses cable systems across multiple MSO's serving more than 56 million VOD-enabled households in the US and Canada," the companies state in their press materials. "CBeebies is the preschool brand of BBC Worldwide Channels, one of the most trusted producers of children's programming around the world. The channel's content mixes animation, storytelling, puppets and live-action programming with a wide selection of award-winning animated titles, such as 'El Jardin de los Suenos,' 'Dibujemos con Squiglet' and 'Boogie Beebies,' and series that include 'El Closet de Cloe,' 'Zigby' and 'Finley: El Camioncito de Bomberos'...CMC, which distributes more than 12,000 hours of on-demand video programming per month, provides its wide range of VOD services from one central location including content acquisition, transcoding, editing, distribution, and quality control. The platform operates under automated workflows and remote management capabilities to accelerate the delivery of VOD content, often to near real time. In addition to its role in uploading and managing television programming and related metadata, the CMC's Web-based portal lets clients track each VOD asset from CMC receipt to distribution across the VOD platform's footprint."
  • Social-TV analytics specialist, Bluefin Labs, said Tuesday that it has raised $12 million in a Series-B funding round that was led by Time Warner Investments and that saw the participation of new investor, SoftBank Capital, and existing investors, Redpoint Ventures and Lerer Ventures. "Bluefin Labs first introduced its analytics service through a private pilot program in May 2011, and followed quickly in July 2011 with the launch of its flagship product, Bluefin Signals," the company states in its press materials. "Bluefin Signals is an analytics platform that analyzes and organizes social media conversations about US national television. Clients of Bluefin Signals leverage social data about TV shows and commercials to inform the buying and selling of TV media. Clients are a mix of television networks, marketers and agencies including CBS, Fox, Discovery Communications, MediaCom, MTV Networks, Starcom MediaVest Group and many more. The new financing will be used to accelerate growth of Bluefin Labs' sales and client services efforts. The company will also continue to invest heavily in technology and R&D to lead further innovation in the field of social-TV analytics...To date, Bluefin Signals provides enterprise-quality data and analysis of social media responses to more than 346,000 individual TV telecasts airing across all television dayparts and programming genres."
North America