Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): VDS, Warner Bros., YOU On Demand

--VDS Demo's its New Watercooler Social-TV Tool at Cable Show
--Warner Bros. in China VOD Deal
Due to the large volume of news being generated this week by the Cable Show, we are covering today's stories in abbreviated round-up/summary form: VDS and its cable market sales partner, UniSoft , have announced that they are demo'ing Watercooler, VDS's new automated, rules-based social-TV tool, in the Cable Show's CableNET exhibit this week. "With Watercooler by VDS, an exciting new product for the generation of social media posts synchronized with television content playback, broadcasters...

Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): icueTV, Groupon, Imagina US, CMC, Insight, itaas

--icueTV Teaming with Groupon on tcommerce Demo at Cable Show
--Imagina US Taps Comcast Media Center for VOD Delivery
--Insight Taps itaas for EBIF Deployment
--itaas Launches iLaunch Program to Expedite Development and Deployment of EBIF Apps
Due to the large volume of news being generated this week by the Cable Show, we are covering today's stories in abbreviated round-up/summary form: icueTV is set to team with Groupon on a tcommerce demo at the NCTA Cable Show, Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. icueTV COO, George Singley, told the newspaper that the demo will show how viewers watching a Groupon commercial could use their remotes to access a menu of options, including...

Cable Industry Pushes Interactive Ads for VOD Programming

-- CableLabs Demonstrates Technology from 11 Suppliers at Interoperability Lab Event
U.S. cable operators may be ready to add interactive advertising to video-on-demand programming, based on the results of interoperability tests that CableLabs held recently in Colorado. Among the interactive features CableLabs and 11 technology suppliers demonstrated at its Interoperability Lab event was the ability to run interactive applications within VOD content, including a VOD server playing an ad with a RFI (request for information) application. CableLabs said the event also demonstrated the integration of the...

BlackArrow Powers Mid-Roll VOD Ads

-- Advanced Advertising Vendor Enables Interoperability with Third-Party Ad Systems
Advanced advertising technology vendor BlackArrow upgraded its ad-insertion platform, giving cable MSOs the ability to insert mid-roll ads in video-on-demand programs. In addition to supporting mid-roll ads, BlackArrow said its new platform gives service providers greater control over trick-modes, including a way to disable the fast-forward function for programmers that don't want subscribers skipping commercials. BlackArrow said it will also support third-party advertising systems. Supplying cable operators with technology that allows them to insert ads...

Fastweb Launches Broadband Movie Service in Italy

-- Chili TV Offers Free Movies, Rentals, and Option to Purchase Titles

Italian telephone company Fastweb launched Chili TV , a broadband video-on-demand service offering Web surfers a combination of free movies, rentals, and titles that can be purchased. Featuring movies from Italian producers and several major studios, including Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures , MediaWeb said viewers can access Chili TV from any connected device. In addition to connected TVs from LG , Samsung and other CE manufacturers, the content can be viewed on...

Comcast Adds ABC, Fox Series to Free VOD Lineup

-- MSO Disables Fast-Forward Function
Comcast Corp. added popular series from ABC and Fox to its lineup of free video-on-demand programming, boasting that it is the first pay TV provider to offer content from all four Big Four networks on demand. While Comcast subscribers will be able to watch programs such as Fox's "Fringe" and "Glee" and ABC's "Castle" and "Cougar Town," they won't be able to skip the commercials. Comcast said that it has disabled the fast-forward function in...

VOD Technology Veteran Don Gordon Joins BlackArrow

--Former ActiveVideo, Microsoft and Diva Executive Named Senior VP, Technology
Advanced advertising technology provider BlackArrow named former ActiveVid eo Networks and Microsoft Corp. executive Don Gordon senior VP, technology. Gordon, an inventor who is named on 70 pending patents, is a veteran of the VOD technology sector. He was the first employee at Diva Systems Corp ., which began selling VOD technology to cable operators in the mid-1990s. He later served as director of development at Microsoft TV's TVD venture, and was most recently the...

Hollywood Studios Renew Cable VOD Marketing Push

-- $10 Million Campaign Touts Movies On Demand, Day-and-Date Releases
Ten Hollywood studios renewed a marketing campaign organized by major cable operators looking to tout their video-on-demand platform as best way for viewers watch new movies. The studios and cable MSOs are spending $10 million in cash and cable ad inventory on the campaign, which has the tag line "Push It," from the song by rap group Salt-N-Pepa. Last year, the cable MSOs and studios spent $30 million on a similar campaign called, "The Video...

DirecTV: No Plans to Launch Epix

It looks like Dish Network will remain the exclusive U.S. satellite distributor for Epix , as rival DirecTV says it won’t launch the premium channel and Website owned by Viacom. DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said that the company has no plans to launch Epix. The network also has distribution deals with Cox Communications, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon’s FiOS TV. Epix has relied on a multiplatform distribution strategy, allowing subscribers to access movies...

March Madness On Demand Could Be a Slam Dunk Interactive TV App

--By Steve Donohue Considering the huge demand Web surfers and smart phone owners showed this year for March Madness On Demand , imagine how much traffic wall-to-wall coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament could generate if Turner Sports and CBS Sports manage to create an interactive TV application for the Big Dance. Since 2004, MMOD has been a huge draw for hoops fans, allowing viewers to toggle between up to four live games running...