News Round-Up

--Bollywood Hits On Demand Launches on Time Warner Cable's NYC Networks
--UCLA Taps Clicker to Develop Broadband Video Portal for its Students
--Move Networks' New Strategic Focus Results in Layoffs
--OMVC, Harris Interactive, Rentrak to Study Consumer Mobile TV Viewership Patterns
--Sneak Peek of a New Verizon FiOS TV User Interface?
--Verizon to Offer Dedicated Interactive TV App for Winter Olympics
--Report: Sundance Rentals on YouTube Generate Only $10,709 in Revenue
--Univision Channel Launches on YouTube

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 recent news in various categories:

  • Eros International and International Media Distribution have launched Bollywood Hits On Demand, a subscription VOD service targeted at South Asians, on Time Warner Cable's New York City networks. The service offers around 25 movies and 50 music videos each month, and some movies are available on the service prior to their DVD release.
  • In an attempt to provide its students with easy access to legal sources of online content (and thus to discourage piracy), the University of California, Los Angeles has tapped Clicker Media to develop a service for its students, called "UCLA on Clicker," that it says brings together university video content and legally available online programming from such sources as ABC, MTV, PBS, Hulu and YouTube. "College students are clearly some of the most avid consumers of online media," Clicker founder and CEO, Jim Lanzone, said in a prepared statement. "Our new service will give UCLA students a more effective way to find legal online entertainment, and a more efficient way to access UCLA's substantial body of original videos, together in one seamless experience. UCLA on Clicker will take the guesswork out of finding what is available to watch, where to watch it, and what’s worth watching online."
  • Move Networks, a company that is in the process of transitioning from a streaming media specialist to a provider of IPTV capabilities to large ISP's, has reduced its headcount by 10-15%, leaving it with 107 employees, NewTeeVee's Ryan Lawler reports. The layoffs were apparently focused on the company's streaming media business. "As we advance our business to focus on delivering the next generation of television over the Internet, we are naturally making appropriate adjustments to our team, as part of our planned transition," a prepared statement from the company reads. "We continue to seek and invest in the right talent and resources to execute on our commitment to bring consumers a real TV experience on any connected device."
  • The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), a broadcast industry organization dedicated to promoting over-the-air mobile TV, announced Tuesday that it is partnering with market research firm, Harris Interactive, and multiscreen measurement specialist, Rentrak, to study consumer mobile digital TV viewership patterns during the OMVC's Mobile DTV Consumer Showcase in Washington, DC. More information is available here.
  • In a posting on a corporate blog by its director of product development and management, Joe Ambeault, Verizon FiOS TV may have provided a sneak peek of a new widescreen UI, according to blogger, Dave Zatz.
  • In other Verizon news: The company has announced a multiplatform Winter Olympics programming deal with NBC Universal that, among other things, will see it offering a dedicated Winter Olympics interactive TV application. According to the company, the application will be available to all FiOS TV customers during Olympics programming on USA Network, MSNBC and CNBC, and will offer real-time medal counts, athlete bios, Team USA reports, Olympic news and more.
  • A recent 10-day initiative (see the article published on itvt.com, January 20th), that saw YouTube partnering with the Sundance Film Festival to make five films from the latter's 2010 and 2009 festivals available for rent (for $3.99 each) to US users on its platform, generated only 2,684 rentals and $10,709.16 in revenues, according to an article in the New York Times. However, YouTube claims to be satisfied with the results: "It definitely exceeded our expectations given all the barriers," a YouTube spokesperson told the Times, adding that some of the films might have only been seen by a few hundred people before the initiative kicked off, and that the initiative may have enabled them to double their audience.
  • In other YouTube news: Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision, has launched a channel on the service, that features programming from its three major networks: Univision, TeleFutura and Galavision. In addition to full-length episodes of such shows as "Despierta America" and "Escandalo TV," the new channel will offer specially produced weekly show recaps, hosted by Univision on-air talent. According to YouTube, the launch of the new channel "marks the first time Univision programming will be made available on the Web outside of Univision's properties."

 

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