News Round-Up: Pay TV

--FCC Publishes Notice of Inquiry on "AllVid"
--Arris Sues Harmonic over VOD Patents
--Comcast Media Center Expands into Latin America
--Frito-Lay Using Current TV VCAM for National Campaign
--NetPlayTV in Interactive TV Gambling Deal with UK Broadcaster, ITV
--Verizon FiOS TV Revamps its Interactive TV Widgets Service
The [itvt] editorial team will be on the road this week and next, so we will be covering most stories in round-up/summary form, and we anticipate that there will be some additional interruptions of our regular news publishing schedule beyond that. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers. Here is a round-up of interactive TV-related news pertaining primarily to the pay-TV (cable, satellite, telco) space: The FCC last week published a Notice...

News Round-Up

--Tribeca Film Festival Launches CMC-Powered VOD and KIT Digital-Powered Online Video Services
--Comcast Launches "Independent Movie Club" on
--Starz Offering Sneak Previews of "Gravity" on Free VOD, Online
--Verizon Revamps its My Verizon Portal
Here is a round-up of some other recent interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue: The Tribeca Film Festival has tapped KIT Digital to power Tribeca Film Festival Virtual (TFF Virtual), which it describes as "a virtual and interactive movie experience featuring high-definition premium video content and live streaming coverage from the 2010 Festival." The free service will provide live streaming video coverage of select red carpet events, the event's...

Four More Cable Operators Select CMC/ARRIS Managed VOD Solution

--Canada's CRTC Allows Advertising on VOD Platforms
HITS (stands for "Headend in the Sky"), a business unit of Comcast Media Center that provides content management and distribution solutions for MSO's, and communications technology company, ARRIS , said Wednesday that four smaller cable operators-- Cass Cable TV , Mediastream (formerly Waycross Cable Company), MTC and Plantation Cable --are using the companies' VOD In a Box service to deliver VOD to their subscribers.

CMC and ARRIS bill the service as a...

CMC's HITS, Motorola Upgrade National Authorization Service (NAS) to Support EBIF

Comcast Media Center (CMC) announced Thursday that its HITS (stands for "Headend In The Sky") service--which provides centralized content-management and distribution solutions for cable operators serving smaller markets--and its partner Motorola have upgraded the National Authorization Service (NAS) that they jointly operate, adding support for interactive TV applications using the Enhanced Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) platform. The companies say that the upgrade includes support for ETV/EBIF services managed and delivered via CMC's HITS AxIS service...

CMC Launches Packaged Pricing for its HITS Quantum and VOD In a Box Offerings

--Launches Marketing Kit for Locally Branded VOD Services
--Says Glasgow EPB Saw 117% Rise in VOD Revenues in First 4 Months after Launching VOD In a Box
Comcast Media Center (CMC) announced Tuesday that its HITS (stands for "Headend In The Sky") service--which provides centralized content-management and distribution solutions for cable operators serving smaller markets--has introduced packaged pricing for its linear programming platform, HITS Quantum, and its video-on-demand service, VOD In a Box (note: the latter is offered in partnership with Arris). The company says that the new pricing structure allows cable operators to offer linear programming from HITS Quantum's HD, SD...

CMC Launches "C3 VOD" Service, Using Nielsen's C3 Commercial Ratings

--Meanwhile, Comcast Spotlight to Offer New Cross-Platform Marketing Opportunities for VOD
Comcast Media Center (CMC) announced Tuesday that its national video-on-demand platform--which it says every day delivers more than 9,000 VOD assets from over 275 content providers to over 90% of the US's top cable MSO's and over 30-million VOD households--is now offering a "C3 VOD" service for delivering TV programming that can be counted in time-shifted mode, using The Nielsen Company's C3 commercial ratings. C3 ratings are billed as measuring average commercial minutes in programs...

Comcast Media Center Launches VOD "Express Lane"

--Round-Up of Recent Interactive TV-Related News from CMC
At the NCTA Cable Show in Washington, DC last week, Comcast Media Center (CMC) launched Express Lane, a new service for VOD content providers. According to CMC, the service offers automated workflows and remote management capabilities that enable TV networks, advertisers, cable MSO's and other content services companies to accelerate the delivery of VOD content to "near real time" by publishing that content directly into the company's VOD distribution platform (currently reaches around 30 million...

itaas in tru2way/ETV Deal with Comcast Media Center

Adds Four New Members to its istart ETV Developer Program
Comcast Media Center (CMC) and Atlanta-based interactive TV technologies and services company, itaas, have signed a joint marketing agreement that they say will see them teaming to provide expanded tru2way- and ETV/EBIF-compliant application development and testing support for CMC's HITS AxIS platform. (Note: HITS AxIS--whose name stands for "Headend In The Sky Advanced Interactive Services," and which was developed in collaboration with Vidiom and TVWorks--is a centralized platform that operates on the NAS and DAC...

More Companies Sign Up for CMC's Centralized Interactive TV Platform

--New HITS AxIS Clients are NDS, Softel-USA, S&T, and Unisoft
--Buckeye CableSystem to Serve as Beta Site for HITS AxIS ITV Services