Interactive TV Headlines Round-Up 10/6/15 (III): Emmys, Endemol, Epix, Ericsson, Espial, Facebook, FreeCast, FreeWheel, Fullscreen, Funny or Die, Google Chromecast, Gracenote, HBO, Hulu

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy working on TVOT NYC 2015 (December 3rd at the SVA Theatre in New York City--purchase your Fall Discount tickets here!), we are covering stories in this issue in headlines/round-up format:

  • Interactive Media Emmy Winners Announced
  • "Emmys Backstage LIVE!" Second-Screen Experience Returns
  • Endemol Beyond USA Teams with Piksel to Launch OTT Service, GetBeyond.US; Service Features an Array of Endemol Beyond USA Content, Including its Michelle Phan-Led ICON Network
  • Endemol Beyond USA's ICON Network to Launch 3 New Original Series on Verizon go90
  • Pizza Hut Becomes "Integral Brand Partner" of Endemol Beyond USA's New Digital Series, "Legends of Gaming"
  • Epix Offers Ability to Download Movies for Offline Viewing
  • Ericsson Launches VOD Infrastructure Solution, Billed as "Enabl[ing] TV Service Providers to Seamlessly Offer More to Subscribers, without the Need to Rip and Replace Legacy Systems"
  • Ericsson Announces Commercial Availability of Ericsson MediaFirst, Billed as "a Cloud-Based End-to-End Service and Delivery Platform for the Creation, Management and Delivery of Next-Generation Pay-TV"
  • Ericsson to Acquire Envivio for $125 Million; Says Acquisition Will "Strengthen [its] Video Compression Position, Combining its Leading Position in Broadcast and Contribution with Envivio's Leadership in Multiscreen Cable and Telecom"
  • AT&T Selects Ericsson to Enhance and Integrate its Satellite (DirecTV) and Wireline (U-verse) TV Platforms
  • Ericsson Signs Exclusive Multi-Year Broadcast and Media Services Deal with Viacom-Owned UK Broadcaster, Channel 5
  • Ericsson's Video Storage and Processing Platform Powering Cloud DVR and VOD for Swisscom
  • Netherlands-Based SBS/Sanoma Taps Ericsson to Power Live and On-Demand OTT Services
  • Ericsson Publishes its Annual ConsumerLab TV & Media Report; Report Finds that "with Recorded and Downloaded Content Added to the Equation, Today 35% of All TV and Video Viewing Is Spent Watching VOD"
  • Espial Announces Commercial Availability of its RDK-Based Espial G4 STB Client for IPTV Operators; New G4 Iteration "Is Enhanced to Enable IPTV Network Operators Create an Immersive Viewing Experience which Blends Advanced-TV Capabilities with OTT Apps while Gaining Full Benefits of the RDK and HTML5 Environments"
  • German Cable Operator, Tele Columbus, Licenses Espial's G4 STB Client and MSP Solutions, Taps Espial to Integrate its Next-Gen IP Video Platform
  • Espial Integrates its G4 STB Client with Metrological's Application Platform to "Enable Operators to Quickly Deploy Operator-Branded TV App Stores in an RDK-Compliant User Experience"
  • Espial Acquires Bluestreak Technologies, in Bid to Strengthen its "Expertise in Advanced Video Technologies, Software Development and Integration" (June 23rd)
  • Espial Launches "Espial Experience Professional Services" for RDK-Focused Video Service Providers (June 10th)
  • Sharp AQUOS 4K Next UHD TV's, Incorporating Espial's HTML5 Client Software, Begin Shipping in Japan (June 4th)
  • Espial Closes $35 Million in Bought-Deal Financing (June 4th)
  • Espial Launches its Fourth-Generation Software Solution for Video Service Providers, the G4 STB Client (May 4th)
  • Espial HTML5 Client Technologies Power Orange's New "Orange TV Stick" Consumer Streaming Service (April 29th)
  • High-Profile Cable-Industry Veteran, Mike Hayashi, Joins Espial's Board of Directors (April 14th)
  • Facebook Opens Up its "Mentions" Live Broadcasting App to Verified Journalists, Experts and Other Influencers; App Was Previously Available only to Celebrities
  • Facebook Mentions Lets Users Monitor Reactions to their Broadcasts
  • Facebook Launches 360-Degree Video Support
  • Facebook Head of Ad Product, Ted Zagat: "A Year or Two from Now, We Think Facebook Will Be Mostly Video"
  • Facebook Testing 7-Second Profile Videos
  • Facebook Teams with NBA Digital on Live Simulcast of "NBA Real Training Camp"
  • Sports-Focused Social Network, Fancred, Launches Live Video Functionality
  • Fandor, an Online VOD Service for Indie Films, Names Ex-Sundance Chief, Larry Aiden, President and CEO
  • FreeCast's "Rabbit TV Lite" App Launches 360-Degree Video Channel, "360 Nation," on Facebook; Channel Also Available to Rabbit TV Plus Subscribers
  • FreeCast Releases its First OTT Audience-Data Report to its Content Partners
  • FreeCast Launches Freemium Facebook App, "Rabbit TV Lite," Featuring 500+ Streaming Channels
  • UK FTA Digital TV Service, Freeview, to Launch Freeview Play Connected-TV Service this Month; Service Will Initially Be Available on Compatible Panasonic TV's
  • Comcast-Owned Advanced-Advertising Specialist, FreeWheel, Launches FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, "an Advocacy Group that Will Serve the Interests of the Premium Video Industry through Leadership, Research and Advocacy for Standards for the Premium Video Economy": Launch Members Include ABC, A+E, Comcast, Discovery, ESPN, Fox, NBCU, Turner, Univision and More
  • FreeWheel Teams with Canoe, ABC, A+E Networks and Comcast on VOD Pilot that "Enables Programmers to Seamlessly Manage VOD Ads alongside IP/Digital Ads and STB TV Ads within the Same Platform and Take Advantage of Unified Inventory within the FourFronts Premium Marketplace" (June 9th)
  • Frontier Communications Targets Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers with TiVo Roamio OTA-Powered "FreedomTV" Offering
  • MCN Fullscreen Says It Is Working on "a New Premium Entertainment Service," Targeted at "a Community of Viewers Who Grew Up Online and Live on their Mobile Devices"
  • Fullscreen Names Polly Auritt VP of Scripted Content and Katy Chen VP of Unscripted Development; Chief Content Officer, Michael Goldfine, Steps Down
  • Funny or Die Promotes Chris Bruss to President of Digital Content, Hires Owen Burke as Editor-in-Chief of Content
  • Georama's Virtual Reality Travel Platform Lets Users Take Part in Live, Guided Tours
  • Google Launches New Chromecast Devices and App
  • Cablevision Renews Deal with Tribune Media to Use Tribune-Subsidiary Gracenote's TV Listings and Movie Data for its EPG, DVR Recordings and VOD; Deal also Gives Tribune Access to Cablevision Audience Data and Analytics
  • Gracenote Launches "DVR Extend" Feature for US Cable and Satellite-TV Operators; Feature "Uses a Combination of Predictive Analytics Based on Live Game Stats, Historical Sports Data, TV Schedules and Human Editors to Automatically Adjust the Recording of a Live Sports Game in the Event that it Goes Past the Scheduled Broadcast Time"
  • Gracenote Adding "Digital-First Content" to its Database, to Keep Abreast of Pay-TV Operators' Recent Moves to Add Short-Form Content from YouTube MCN's to their Offerings
  • Gracenote Acquires Sports-Data Companies, Infostrada Sports and SportsDirect; Launches Gracenote Sports (May 28th)
  • App Annie: HBO Now is 2015's Top Video Streaming App by Revenue
  • Hulu Launches $11.99-per-Month Commercial-Free Viewing Option--though with Exceptions
  • Hulu Names Former Xbox Exec., Ben Smith, Head of Experience
  • Imagine Communications Launches "Landmark xG Open," an Open API-Based Solution for Programmatic Advertising

Region: 
North America