News Round-Up: Broadband Video and OTT

--NBA Digital to Offer Extensive Cross-Platform Coverage of 2010 All-Star Weekend
--Netflix in Streaming Deals with Multiple Indie Film Distributors
--The Grammys Channel Launches on Vevo
--SmugMug Photos, DreamTV Launch on Roku
--Obama Stresses Support for Network Neutrality in YouTube Interview
--Sungale Redesigns its Kula TV OTT Device

Because the [itvt] editorial team is busy working on The TV of Tomorrow Show (March 3rd-4th in San Francisco) and on our new EBIF Intensive event (March 5th in San Francisco), we will be covering most stories in summary/round-up form over the next few weeks. Here is a round-up of the latest broadband video and over-the-top (OTT) news:

  • NBA Digital, the new media arm of the National Basketball Association (NBA), has announced its cross-platform coverage plans for the upcoming 2010 All-Star weekend. Highlights include 12 hours of live streaming video on NBA.com, the ability for fans to ask All-Star players questions via Twitter, live coverage of the Sprite Slam Dunk competition on the iPhone and Android mobile platforms, and behind-the-scenes Flip-cam coverage (at http://www.nba.com/allstarscene). More information is available here.
  • Netflix has announced licensing deals with a number of distributors of independent film that it says will make 300 new indie titles available for instant streaming on its service between now and early next year. The deals, which are non-exclusive, are with The Criterion Collection, Gravitas Ventures, Kino Lorber, Music Box Films, Oscilloscope Laboratories and Regent Releasing. Netflix says that it has "struck output deals to stream all new releases from particular distributors as they become available during the course of the agreements." More information on the new deals, including which titles they will make available on Netflix, is available here.
  • Vevo, the music video joint venture between YouTube, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Abu Dhabi Media, has teamed with the Recording Academy and CBS to launch the Grammys Channel. According to the companies, the new channel, which is offered free of charge, "will give fans access to select footage from the Grammy Award telecasts and Nomination specials including performances, presentations, interviews and other memorable moments through its 52 year history."
  • Two more channels have launched on Roku's OTT platform: SmugMug photos and DreamTV (h/t Dave Zatz).
  • In an interview Monday on YouTube, in which he responded to questions submitted by YouTube users (see the article published on itvt.com, January 27th), President Obama stressed his support for network neutrality legislation. "I'm a big believer in net neutrality," he said. "I campaigned on this. I continue to be a strong supporter of it. My FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has indicated that he shares the view that we've got to keep the Internet open, that we don't want to create a bunch of gateways that prevent somebody who doesn't have a lot of money but has a good idea from being able to start their next YouTube or their next Google on the Internet." Multichannel News's John Eggerton has more.
  • Sungale, a Chino, Calif.-based consumer electronics company that claims to have had many years of experience as an OEM supplier before taking a more public profile, says that it has redesigned its recently unveiled Kula TV OTT device (see the article published on itvt.com, December 10th) to include a pop-up WiFi antenna that will increase the strength of the WiFi signal to the device. "The newly designed pocket-sized Kula TV will enable customers to view hundreds of local and international programs from anywhere in the world using a WiFi network with fewer interruptions and smoother channel displays along with the same slim design and quality that Sungale prides itself on," Sungale president and CEO, Ningjun Sun, said in a prepared statement. "We aim to create highly innovative products that our customers can afford and use in their daily lives." More information is available here.

 

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