Interactive TV Headlines Round-Up 2/3/15 (IV): HBO, HLN, Hopster, Imagine, RGB, Pongalo, Maker Studios, Vimeo, Mondelez, Alan Wurtzel, NBCU, Nickelodeon, Oculus, Penthera

As most of you are probably aware, [itvt]'s daily news reporting was on hiatus for several weeks, because our editorial team was working on TVOT NYC 2014 and then taking a post-event break. In order to catch up with the news we missed during that period, we are covering stories in headlines/round-up format (note: we have marked older stories with the date they originally broke). We expect it will take us a few weeks to catch up with all recent developments, so if you have sent us a press release or briefed us about a piece of news, and don't yet see it covered here, please bear with us.

  • Technology SVP's, Mark Thomas and Drew Angeloff, Leave HBO; CTO, Otto Berkes, Resigned in December; Moves Follow HBO's Decision to Abandon Plans for Homegrown Streaming Platform
  • HLN Unveils its Long-Awaited Shift to a "Social-First" Network with 2 New Shows
  • Subscription-Based Children's Interactive Video Service, Hopster, Closes "Multi-Million" Funding Round
  • Imagine Communications (Formerly Harris Broadcast) Acquires RGB Networks; Bills Acquisition as Enhancing its "End-to-End Video Distribution Capability with Dynamic Ad Insertion, Just-in-Time Packaging and Cloud DVR Technology"
  • "The Interview" Now Available for Streaming on Netflix and Sony's Crackle
  • Report: ISIS to Launch 24-Hour OTT Channel Featuring Captive UK Journalist, John Cantlie
  • Spanish-Language Digital Media Company, Latin Everywhere, to Launch New Streaming Service, Pongalo, Billed as "Hulu for Hispanics"; Service Slated to Offer 50,000 Hours of Movies and Telenovelas
  • Disney-Acquired YouTube MCN, Maker Studios, Reaches Beyond its YouTube Roots with New, Exclusive-Window Deal with IAC-Owned Streaming Service, Vimeo; Maker Studios also Recently Struck Carriage Deal with Dish's Sling TV
  • Report: Marriott Testing In-Room HDTV Streaming of Netflix, Hulu and Pandora at 8 Hotels
  • Mondelez Teams with TubeMogul and Wide Orbit to Become First Company to Buy Super Bowl Ads Programmatically; the Ads--for Oreo and Ritz--Aired in Erie, PA
  • Research Chief Alan Wurtzel Says NBC Will Release Daily Digital Estimates of Viewership of Previous Night's TV Shows: "Of Course, We Want Cross-Platform, and of Course We Want Nielsen to Do it. We just Can't Hang around and Whine about the Fact They Are not Doing it. We've Got to Understand what Is Going on with the Tools We Have Today"
  • NBCU Launches "Audience Targeting Platform" which Will "Incorporate Set-Top Box Viewing Data from Several Third-Party Sources with First- and Third-Party Consumer Data to Identify Top-Performing, Client-Specific Inventory for Select Categories across NBCUniversal's Entire Portfolio of National Broadcast and Cable Networks"
  • NBC Launches 25-City "Red Is on the Run to Thursdays" Scavenger Hunt to Drive Awareness of Schedule Change for "The Blacklist"
  • NBCUniversal Holds "Super Stream Sunday" to Promote its "TV Everywhere" Offerings; Consumers Could Access 11 Hours of Streaming Content without Authentication, Including Live Coverage of Super Bowl XLIX, Katy Perry Halftime Show, Super Bowl Pre- and Post-Game Shows, "The Blacklist" Premiere, and More
  • NBC Sports Digital Creates Tumblr Page to Showcase Super Bowl XLIX Commercials Immediately after their Broadcast
  • NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Announces Shift to Live+3 Ratings; Will Use Live+Same Day Ratings Only for Sports/Entertainment, Specials and Event Programming
  • Netflix Ended 2014 with 57.4 Million Subs, but US Growth Appears to Be Slowing
  • Sarandos: Netflix Aiming to Launch "Around 20" Scripted Series per Year
  • Despite Reports to the Contrary, Netflix to Continue Offering "Doctor Who" and Other Popular BBC Series
  • Netflix Tells Shareholders: "We Now Believe we Can Complete our Global Expansion over the Next Two Years"
  • Viacom CEO Dauman: Nickelodeon Will Launch Subscription-Based OTT Service in March
  • Facebook-Owned Oculus Launches VR Movie Studio, "Story Studio"; Premieres 5-Minute Film, "Lost," at Sundance Festival
  • Online Retailer,, to Launch Online SVOD Service this Year
  • Video-Download Technology Company, Penthera, Awarded 3 New US Patents
  • Philips uWand Study Finds Poor UI Hampering Smart TV Usage
North America