children

DISH Network CES News Round-Up

--Launches Whole-Home HD DVR Solution with 2,000-Hour Storage Capacity
--Adds VOD Streaming Support to DISH Remote Access App for iPad
--Partners with Thuuz on Google TV App that Offers Sports Fans Alerts Based on "Excitement"
--Signs Multiplatform Distribution Deal with Univision
--Gives Prospective Subscribers "TV Everywhere" Access to a Selection of its Programming
--Expands On-Demand Access to HBO Programming
--Adds 3,000 On-Demand Children's Titles to its Blockbuster @Home Entertainment Package

DISH Network generated a fair amount of news over the past couple of weeks at CES and beyond. Here is a round-up of recent major announcements from the company:

Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): Netflix, AMC, On Demand Group, Cablevision Mexico, HIT

--Netflix Kills Qwikster
--Netflix in Multi-Year Licensing Deal with AMC Networks
--SeaChange's On Demand Group in VOD Deal with Mexico's Cablevision
--On Demand Group in Children's VOD Deal with HIT Entertainment

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): PBS, Roku, Disney, Fling Soft, "Travel with Kids," YouTube

--PBS to Premiere First Episode of New Ken Burns Documentary on its iPad and iPhone/iPod touch Apps
--Roku Adds Disney App Featuring Short-Form Video
--TV Series, "Travel with Kids," Launches on Roku; Official YouTube Roku Channel Set to Launch

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): NDS, Netflix, Ooyala, ESPN

--NDS Unveils its IBC 2011 Exhibit Plans
--Netflix Launches Children's Version of its Service
--Ooyala Tapped to Power Online Video for ESPN

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks--as well as working on our second annual TVOT NYC Intensive event--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us a few more days to catch up with all the recent news: 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.

Disney to Offer Free Preview of its Disney Family Movies Subscription VOD Service

--Fox to Offer Primetime Shows on Cox's MyPrimetime VOD Platform

Disney-ABC Domestic Television said Monday that its subscription VOD (SVOD) service, Disney Family Movies, has partnered with Comcast, Charter, Cox, AT&T U-verse, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS TV and various operators that are affiliates of VOD content distributor, Avail-TVN, to offer a free preview from Thursday, September 2nd through Monday, September 6th.

The free preview, which will be hosted by Phylicia Rashad, will offer a range of classic and contemporary Disney movies, including "Pocahontas," "Muppet Treasure Island," "A Bug's Life," and "Monster Truck Mater" (note: the latter two titles are Disney-Pixar productions), Disney said.

Charter Launches PBS Kids Sprout on its VOD Platform

Charter Communications announced last week that it has launched PBS Kids Sprout--a multiplatform programming service which is a joint venture between PBS, Comcast, HIT Entertainment and Sesame Workshop and which targets children aged 2-5--on its VOD platform. The MSO also says it plans to make the service's 24-hour linear channel available on a market-by-market basis by the end of the year.

News Round-Up:

--BT Vision Planning to Launch VOD Advertising
--DirecTV Teams with Panasonic to Launch 3D Channels
--Groups Seek to Expand COPPA to Interactive TV, Other New Media

Here is a round-up of some other recent interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue:

Comcast Unveils Summer Line-Up of Children's Programming Available On-Demand and Online

Comcast on Tuesday unveiled the line-up of children's programming that it will be offering this summer on its VOD platform and online. According to the company--which claims that its customers watch over 25 million hours of children's VOD programming each month (note: the company says that around 1,500 children's programs are available on Comcast On Demand)--the line-up includes TV series, new-release and classic movies, and programming devoted to family games, fitness, crafts, cooking, magic, dance, drawing lessons and more. "We always have something for everyone in the family, and a lot of it," Diana Kerekes, Comcast's VP of entertainment services, said in a prepared statement.

High-Profile Interactive TV Industry Figure, John P. Roberts, Joins Discovery-Hasbro JV, The Hub

--Roberts Pioneered Participation TV in the US while at the Game Show Network

John P. Roberts, the executive who pioneered participation TV in the US as SVP of digital media and entertainment at the Game Show Network (now GSN), has been named SVP of digital content and cross-platform entertainment at The Hub, a multiplatform children's TV network that is a joint venture between Discovery and Hasbro and that is scheduled to launch October 10th with what it promises will be a "robust and engaging online presence." He will report to The Hub's president and CEO, Margaret Loesch.

BBC Announces Plans to Offer Four Original "Interactive Episodes" of "Doctor Who"

--Also Makes Children's Radio Reports Available through Red Button
--Commissions Second Series of "EastEnders" Broadband TV Spin-Off

The BBC last week announced plans to offer four original "interactive episodes" of its long-running scifi series, "Doctor Who." Entitled "Doctor Who--The Adventure Games" and available free of charge on bbc.co.uk/doctorwho, the "interactive episodes" will take the form of downloadable computer games for PC and Mac that will allow players to assume control of The Doctor and his human sidekick, Amy, as they embark on new adventures that complement the latest season of the TV series, the corporation says.

Music Choice Says Viewers Responding Enthusiastically to New Interactive Network, SWRV

--Imira, Enne Team on Interactive TV Series for Children
--MySpace, Fox Inviting Viewers to Audition for New Roles in "Glee"
--"Sims" Creator, Will Wright, Said to Be Teaming with Current TV on Interactive TV Series

Multiplatform music programmer, Music Choice, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that its new 24/7 interactive music video network, SWRV, has generated 500,000 viewer interactions in 750,000 homes since its launch last month. According to the company, 54% of those interactions were via the Web (http://www.swrv.tv) and 46% via the phone.

BBC Launches @North Initiative to Boost Interactive/Multiplatform TV Industry in North of England

--Initiative Has £500,000 Budget to Support Development of Interactive Content for Children

The BBC on Wednesday unveiled a new digital initiative, called @North, that is designed to boost the interactive/multiplatform TV industry in the north of England, the region in which Salford--the city to which a number of BBC departments, including Future Media & Technology and Children's, are scheduled to move in 2011--is located.

"Sesame Street" Launches its First-Ever iPhone App, Makes Current-Season Episodes Available on iTunes

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the long-running children's TV show, "Sesame Street" (which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary), said Wednesday that it has teamed with design consultancy, IDEO, to launch the first-ever official "Sesame Street" iPhone/iPod touch app.

Cookie Jar Entertainment Launches Broadband Video Service for Children, Jaroo.com

Children's entertainment company, Cookie Jar Entertainment, has launched a free, advertising-supported broadband video service, called Jaroo.com, which it claims offers one of the largest selections of full-length episodes of current and classic children's programs and movies.

Characters from New E4 Show, "Misfits" to Tweet to Audience During Each Episode

--Other "In-Character" Multiplatform Extensions Include Facebook Page, YouTube Channel

"Misfits," a new drama series from Channel 4's digital channel, E4, that centers on a group of teenage superheroes, will offer a multiplatform experience by having two of its characters send out tweets during the course of each of its hour-long episodes, according to an article in The Guardian. The tweets for the show's first episode have been written in advance of its November 12th broadcast by a team led by the show's head writer, Howard Overman, and tweets will also be incorporated into the show's other five episodes, the show's producers say.

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