News Round-Up:

--Lori Schwartz Elected Co-Governor of ATAS Interactive Media Peer Group
--Ex-Digeo CEO, Greg Gudorf, Resurfaces at Thomson Technicolor
--Free Press: Comcast's "TV Everywhere" Service Poses a Threat to Online Video Competition
--New Online Reality Show Involves Hulu, MySpace
--Jinni Secures $1.6 Million in Series A Funding Round
--Ooyala Provides Live Streaming Coverage of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
--Report: SeeSaw Secures Content Deals with Channel 4, Five
--Teletext Closes Down
--Thoughts from thePlatform's Ian Blaine and SysMedia's Andrew Lambourne
--Google's Eun: YouTube Mulling Subscription Option

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 Lori Schwartz, SVP and director of the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab, has just been elected as co-governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group (note: the other co-governor is Geoff Katz, VP of business development and marketing at Transpond). We hope to cover this story in more depth shortly. Congratulations, Lori!
  • Former Digeo CEO, Greg Gudorf, has resurfaced at Thomson's Technicolor business, where he has been named general manager of a newly created business unit focused on integrated digital content delivery and device management. According to the company, the unit "will be focused on the convergence of content, cloud-based applications and a variety of devices for use at home and on-the-go."
  • Public interest group, Free Press, has criticized Comcast's new TV Everywhere service as posing "a serious threat to online video competition."
  • 19 Entertainment, the production company of "American Idol" creator, Simon Fuller, is teaming with Hulu, Clear Channel Radio and MySpace on an interactive online reality TV show, called "If I Can Dream," that will center on five young people who have dreams of making it big in Hollywood. According to the project's press materials: "Hulu will stream an 'If I Can Dream' TV episode each week exclusively via Each program will include highlights from the week, stringing together the storylines from the past seven days into an easy to follow episode. It will be the first recurring show to be available to select international audiences via Hulu." MySpace, meanwhile, will serve as the "exclusive audition and primary social networking platform" for the show. "Through the audition process, essentially anyone will have the chance to take part in the show by uploading videos explaining why they deserve to be featured," the project's press materials state. "'If I Can Dream' will have a customized page on MySpace empowering fans to socialize content by sharing, commenting and interacting. The integration exemplifies the aspirational overlay that has always existed on MySpace and the site's ongoing capability to offer access to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities." More information is available here.
  • Jinni, an Israeli company that has developed a semantic search-and-recommendation engine which it bills as being based on "content genetics and user psychographics" (note: Jinni, which in September announced the appointment of cable-industry veteran, Mike Pohl, as CEO--see the article published on, September 30th--recently announced partnerships with OpenTV and SeaChange International--see the articles published on, August 12th and September 9th), has secured $1.6 million in a Series A funding round led by DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures.
  • Broadband video platform provider, Ooyala, was recently tapped to provide live streaming coverage of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. According to the company, its streaming coverage reached over 572,000 unique users in 207 countries.
  • SeeSaw, the broadband VOD service that broadcast transmission company, Arqiva, is building following its acquisition of 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 4, for a price believed to be in the £8 million range (note: Project Kangaroo was believed to be close to launch, when it was nixed in February by the Competition Commission, an independent public body that investigates mergers, markets and regulated industries at the UK government's behest), has signed content deals with Channel 4 and Five, according to an article in New Media Age. SeeSaw has previously announced a content deal with BBC Worldwide.
  • Teletext, the UK's pioneering interactive TV service, has closed a month earlier than scheduled, the BBC reports, though a limited number of services will remain available.
  • thePlatform CEO, Ian Blaine, has posted some thoughts on TV Everywhere and broadband video in general in 2009 and 2010 on his company's blog. And SysMedia CEO, Andrew Lambourne, has published some thoughts on why he believes YouTube's new automatic captions feature "should not yet be seen by anyone as being a cheap substitute for human subtitlers."
  • According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, BSkyB has pulled out of talks with Google about offering full-length programming on YouTube. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Google's VP of content partnerships, David Eun, told it that YouTube may provide users with the option of paying for subscriptions, in order to encourage more media companies to license premium content to the site. "We're making some interesting bets on long-form content; not all content is accessible to us with the advertising model," Eun told Reuters.

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