News Round-Up

--BIAP Changes its Name to FourthWall Media
--Canoe Ventures Looking to Staff Up
--Disney's Keychest Tech Would Enable New Content Ownership Model for Multiplatform World
--MySpace Launches vCommerce-Enabled Music Videos Hub
--NBA to Launch Interactive TV Show on
--NBA Also Considering Letting Fans Interact with One Another via Interactive TV Widgets
--Rogers to Launch TV Everywhere-Type Service Next Month, Cox in Wait-and-See Mode
--Yahoo! in Branded Programming Partnership with GroupM

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • As [itvt] was going to press, we learned that Plano, Texas-based interactive TV software provider, BIAP (note: last year, the company--whose name is an acronym for Broadband Interactive Applications--secured a five-year license agreement for its ETV User Agent with Time Warner Cable--see [itvt] Issue 8.23 Part 2B), has changed its name to FourthWall Media. We plan to cover this story in more depth shortly.
  • Canoe Ventures, the company tasked with implementing the US cable industry's plans for interactive and addressable advertising (note: its backers are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision and Bright House), plans to add over 20 new positions by the end of the year, increasing its workforce by 40%, a company spokesperson told Jeff Baumgartner of Cable Digital News. The company's Web site currently lists six open positions (all based in New York City): director of product promotion and sales support (marketing), enterprise program management office manager (operations), media research manager (sales), network relations coordinator (sales), procurement and vendor relationship manager (finance), and product marketing manager (product management).
  • Disney is close to launching a technology, code-named Keychest, that could change "what it means for a consumer to own a movie or a TV show, by redefining ownership as access rights, not physical possession," according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. The technology would allow consumers to pay once for permanent on-demand access to a piece of content across multiple digital platforms and devices--including smartphones, the Web and cable VOD platforms, the Journal reported.
  • MySpace has announced a major revamping of its MySpace Music service that sees it launching a new music video hub within the service, as well as MySpace Artist Dashboard, a free data and analytics tool for MySpace Music artists. Among other things, the new MySpace Music Videos hub features a video player that offers dynamically targeted overlay ads with clickable "buy" buttons, allowing users to purchase downloads from iTunes and
  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced plans for a new, live interactive broadband TV show, called "The Jump on" The show, which will air weekly on Tuesday nights, will be hosted by Kyle Montgomery and former Orlando Magic sharp-shooter, Dennis Scott. According to the NBA, the show will "allow fans to sound-off about their favorite teams via texts and videos posted to" Select viewer submissions will be featured on the show, and its announcers will respond to fans, the organization says.
  • The NBA is also considering developing interactive widgets for connected TV's that will allow viewers to communicate with one another in real time during games, NBA deputy commissioner and COO, Adam Silver, told New Media Age. "Interactive TV is something we're looking at because it would be great if fans could talk to each other through the TV while watching the games," he stated in an interview.
  • Canadian cable operator, Rogers Communications, plans to launch a TV Everywhere-type service with 15 network/channel partners on November 17th, the company's David Purdy announced at a panel at the Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Media Summit, Wednesday morning. The service, which will be powered by thePlatform, will be available on the MSO's Web portal and will be authenticated using a subscriber's cable modem, Purdy stated. A detailed write-up of the panel, which was entitled "TV Everywhere & Anywhere: Challenges, Opportunities and Revenue Potential," is available here. At the same event, however, Bob Wilson, SVP of programming at Cox Communications, stated that, while his company is "listening to the TV Everywhere discussions," it is not currently inclined to spend significant resources on implementing the distribution model, because 98% of viewing still takes place on regular TV.
  • Yahoo! has announced a partnership with WPP's GroupM Entertainment that will see the companies working with marketers to "creatively incorporate" their brands into original online programming for Yahoo!'s various media properties (including news, sports, finance and entertainment properties).


North America