News Round-Up:

--Alcatel-Lucent Trumpets Work on Vodafone Portugal's Mediaroom-Powered IPTV Service
--Amino IPTV Set-Top Boxes Selected by Tele2 Netherlands
--BBC Switch Revamps its Web Portal
--beActive Launches Multiplatform Thriller, Featuring Social and AR Elements
--Blockbuster in VOD Alliance with Suddenlink and Mediacom
--Epix Launches Initiative to Create Largest Online Movie Catalog
--Five, UEFA, Livestation Launch Europa League iPhone/iPod touch App
--HBO Launches "HBO Imagine" Interactive Video Experience
--Hillcrest Labs Launches New Products for OEM's
--Hulu Launches Social TV Apps for Facebook Users, "Continuous Play" Feature
--Inverto Supporting HbbTV
--IP Vision in Over-the
The [itvt] editorial team is currently traveling in the UK, and, because of time constraints, we are covering a number of this issue's news stories in round-up/summary form. We anticipate some additional interruption of our regular news publishing schedule in the coming days, so we apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers. Here is the round-up: Alcatel-Lucent is trumpeting its role in developing Vodafone Portugal's new Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV service, Vodafone Casa TV...

Cox Launches MyPrimetime VOD Service in Las Vegas and San Diego

--DISH Network in VOD Deal with Image Entertainment
Cox Communications announced last week that it has launched its MyPrimetime VOD service in Las Vegas and San Diego. The service makes available episodes of primetime series from ABC, NBC, Cartoon Network, FX, TBS, AMC, USA Network, Travel Channel, TNT, A&E and other programmers free-of-charge, the day after their linear broadcast. The service has previously been rolled out in Cox's Orange County, Calif.; New England; Kansas/Arkansas; Arizona; Macon, Georgia; Roanoke, Virginia; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Omaha, Nebraska;...

Movie Central Interactive Launches on Bell TV

Movie Central , a commercial-free premium programmer owned by Corus Entertainment, has launched Movie Central Interactive (MCi), an interactive guide to its programming schedule that is located on a dedicated channel (313) on the Bell TV pay-TV platform (note: it can also be accessed through Bell TV's iTV Home portal). The guide, which features schedule information for several weeks in advance, lists programming from all Movie Central's multiplex channels, including HBO Canada, by program title...

Avail-TVN in Spanish-Language VOD Movies Deal with TuTv

Avail-TVN --the company formed last month from the merger of VOD distribution services provider, TVN Entertainment, and Avail Media, a provider of managed content-aggregation services for smaller IPTV operators ( see article published on, July 15th )--said Tuesday that it has secured an industry-wide VOD services deal with existing customer, TuTv , a joint venture between Grupo Televisa and Univision Communications that provides Spanish-language programming to US cable and satellite customers. The deal covers...

Hulu's UK Launch Pushed Back to Early 2010, Due to Slow Negotiations with UK Broadcasters

--Said to Be Closest to Deal with ITV
According to a report Monday in the UK newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, Hulu , the free, ad-supported broadband video venture co-owned by The Walt Disney Company (ABC), NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox), will not launch in the UK until early next year. It had previously been expected to roll out the UK version of its service next month. According to the newspaper, the company, which is seeking to land programming agreements with major UK...

France's Little Worlds Studio Launches Interactive Slasher Series for the iPhone/iPod touch

--Barking Angel, Worth to Launch "Po5t," an Interactive Thriller for Teens, Next Month
French game developer, Little Worlds Studio , has developed " Scream in the Dark ," an interactive slasher show for the iPhone/iPod touch. The show, which is slated for availability in the App Store in French, English, German, Spanish and Italian versions on August 21st, requires viewers to "escape the clutches of a mysterious serial killer by making the right choices at the right time," Little Worlds Studio says, and is billed by the company...

Sundance Channel to Launch Transactional VOD Offering, "Sundance Selects"

Rainbow Media-owned Sundance channel, which specializes in offering independent and foreign-language movies, has announced plans to launch a transactional (pay-per-view) VOD offering, August 26th, on Comcast's, Cox's and Cablevision's platforms (note: Cablevision is Rainbow Media's corporate parent). The service, dubbed "Sundance Selects," will launch with Spike Lee's "Passing Strange," whose theatrical release is scheduled for August 21st, and will feature mostly documentary and international films. It is expected to initially premiere one title a month,...

President and CEO, Rob Jacobson, Leaves VOD Content Company, iN DEMAND

--Will Be Replaced on Interim Basis by Senior Time Warner Cable Interactive TV Exec, Bob Benya
Rob Jacobson , who has served as president and CEO of cable industry-owned VOD content-aggregator, iN DEMAND (note: the company's shareholders are Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner Cable-Advance/Newhouse) since 2004, has left the company, following the expiration of his contract. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Bob Benya, SVP of video product strategy at Time Warner Cable, and iN DEMAND says that the search for a permanent replacement will "commence immediately." An...

Paramount Digital Entertainment, Milchan/Van Eyssen Announce Plans for Interactive Thriller

--"Circle of 8" to Feature Mountain Dew Brand Integration
Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE) has announced plans to distribute an original interactive thriller, entitled " Circle of 8 " and produced by Milchan/Van Eyssen (MVE), which will integrate branding from Pepsi-Cola's Mountain Dew product and which is slated to debut in October exclusively on MySpace. According to the company, "Circle of 8" is a studio-quality, episodic thriller that will invite audiences to "participate in the fate of its characters." It will center on a "supernatural...

Arqiva Said to Have Hired Pierre-Jean Sebert to Head its Planned Online VOD Venture

--Company Purchased Project Kangaroo Assets Last Month
[itvt] reported last week ( see article published on, July 27th ) that broadcast transmission company, Arqiva (note: the company owns and operates two of the UK's six digital terrestrial TV multiplexes, and is currently in the running to acquire a third), had agreed to acquire the platform assets of Project Kangaroo, the VOD platform developed by UKVOD, a joint venture between the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, and terrestrial broadcasters, ITV and Channel...