On Demand

Virgin Media Appoints Chellomedia Veteran as Director of On-Demand TV

--Music Choice Appoints Director of Content, Tasks her with Integrating More UGC into its Offerings
UK cable operator, Virgin Media , last week announced that it has appointed Aleks Habdank to the newly created position of director of on-demand television services. Habdank, who will start in his new position in the New Year and who will be tasked with the commercial management of Virgin Media's VOD service, joins the company from Chellomedia where he was general manager of Chello On Demand and where, according to Virgin Media, he was "a...

Rogers Beta-Launches Rogers On Demand Online, Its Initial Implementation of "TV Everywhere"

Canadian cable operator, Rogers Communications , on Monday announced the widespread availability of the beta version of Rogers On Demand Online , its initial implementation of the so-called "TV Everywhere" distribution model (note: the "TV Everywhere" distribution model seeks, via authentication technology, to make programming that pay-TV customers have already paid for through their cable, satellite or IPTV subscriptions available to those customers on multiple Web sites and platforms, and thus aims to head off...

Hulu Invites Users to Contribute Tags in Order to Facilitate Content Discovery

--Disney/ABC Launches Online "Grey's Anatomy" Spin-Off Series
In a posting on a corporate blog Monday, Hulu , the free, ad-supported broadband video venture co-owned by The Walt Disney Company (ABC), NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox), announced that it is launching a user-generated/crowd-sourced tagging system to facilitate content discovery, because its video catalog has now "grown to a size where tags will prove extremely useful": "Those of you who are heavy users of the Web are likely already familiar with the benefits...

iN DEMAND Trumpets Movies-on-Demand Line-Up for December

--Eight Movies to Be Available on Cable VOD Day-and-Date with DVD Release
Cable industry-owned VOD content aggregator, iN Demand , contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that it will be distributing first-run movies representing over a billion dollars in domestic box office to cable VOD systems in December--which it says is a record. According to the company, eight of the 14 titles it is making available on-demand that month will be day-and-date with their DVD release. The 14 titles are: "Terminator Salvation," which premieres December 1st...

Comcast Expands Programming Line-Up for Celtics On Demand

--Virgin Media Provides Info on its Winter VOD Line-Up
Comcast announced last week that it is expanding the content line-up of Celtics On Demand , the free VOD service it offers fans of Boston Celtics basketball on its systems in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. According to the MSO, the new season of the service--which is enabled by a collaboration with the MSO's Comcast SportsNet arm and the Boston Celtics team--will provide more behind-the-scenes coverage of the team, its players and its cheerleaders...

Shaw Launches New VOD Web Site, Free VOD Programming from Treehouse TV

--Rogers Begins "Private Customer Testing" of "TV Everywhere" Service
--Rogers Executive Tells CRTC that Company Will Roll Out EBIF Apps in Mid-2010
Canadian cable MSO, Shaw Communications , has announced the launch of its new VOD Web site ( http://www.vod.shaw.ca ), which it says offers thousands of movies and TV shows, including premium content from Movie Central, 500 HD offerings and various high-profile sporting events. According to the company, the site features a redesigned look-and-feel, improved search capabilities, filtering and sorting. The company also says that Super Channel subscribers have been able to access that channel's VOD...

EMI Becomes First Major Music Company to Offer Music Videos, Concert Coverage on Hulu

--STV Seeking Injunction to Prevent ITV from Signing Deals with Hulu, other Broadband VOD Services
Hulu , the free, ad-supported broadband video venture co-owned by The Walt Disney Company (ABC), NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox), said Wednesday that it has signed a deal with EMI Music , under which the latter will be the first major music company to offer concerts and music videos on Hulu's broadband video platform.

The Hulu-EMI partnership--which the companies say will see Hulu offering content from artists on various EMI...

Brightcove 4 Features Support for Native iPhone App Development, Expanded Live Streaming and More

--Brightcove Targets SMB's with Entry-Level Brightcove Express Offering, Priced from $99 per Month
Broadband video publishing solutions provider, Brightcove , on Monday announced the general availability of Brightcove 4 , which it describes as a "major new release" of its flagship online video platform that incorporates a range of new features, including support for native iPhone video application development, expanded live streaming capabilities, advanced analytics, and new resources for video distribution, monetization and custom online video applications. The company also launched Brightcove Express, an entry-level version of Brightcove...

Sezmi Secures $25 Million in New Funding, Launches Public Pilot in Los Angeles

--Company's Flagship Offering Combines Traditional TV, Movies and Internet Video
Sezmi , a company that has developed a set-top box-based offering which it bills as "combining traditional TV content, movies and Internet video in a single, easy-to-use product and service," said Monday that it has secured $25 million in new funding from new and existing investors. The company--which last year announced that it had raised $33 million in an earlier funding round--also announced Monday that it has made its "all-in-one personalized television service" available via...

News Round-Up

--Bebo Freezes Commissioning of Original Web TV Programming
--BT Vision Gained Only 3,000 Net New Subs in Most Recent Quarter
--Banse: Comcast On Demand Online to Launch Before Chanukkah
--EchoStar Developing IPTV App Store
--Espial in IPTV Deal with Tele2 Netherlands, Four VOD Deals with US Telcos
--Motorola Said to Be Set to Purchase BitBand, Looking to Sell Set-Top Business
--MTV Networks to Use Sky's Green Button Interactive TV Advertising Service
--YouTube to Support 1080p HD Video
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue: Social networking company, Bebo, has frozen its commissioning of original Web programming, as part of across-the-board cutbacks by its corporate parent, AOL. Notable original Web programs that have been offered by the company over the years include "KateModern," "Sofia's Diary" and "The Gap Year." BT revealed last week that its Microsoft Mediaroom-powered hybrid DTT/IPTV service, BT Vision,...