News Round-Up (VIII)

--OpenTV Now CEO-less
--RCN Launches "TiVo Premiere from RCN" in Washington, DC
--Roku Unveils New Netflix Channel
--Rovi Touts New Methodology for Measuring Ad Campaigns on EPG's
--The CW Holds "Watch and Tweet" Social TV Promotion

The [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, so we are covering most stories in round-up/summary form, and we anticipate that there will be some additional interruptions of our regular news publishing schedule beyond that. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers.

  • Ben Bennett has stepped down as CEO of OpenTV, but still remains on the company's board, following its acquisition by Kudelski, Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner reports. The company has yet to appoint a replacement, but Alex Osadzinski, Kudelski's EVP and director of digital TV product, is handling certain functions previously handled by Bennett, now that OpenTV has been folded into Kudelski's DTV organization, an OpenTV spokesperson confirmed to Baumgartner.
  • TiVo and triple-play provider, RCN, have announced the launch of "TiVo Premiere from RCN" in the Washington, DC area. According to the companies--which say that RCN is "the first all-digital TV and broadband provider to have TiVo as its primary provider of DVR's"--RCN will launch the service in the near future in its markets in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. "The TiVo Premiere offers RCN's customers a universe of television and broadband delivered entertainment all accessible through one remote and one user interface," the companies say in their press materials. "Besides searching and recording programs, it downloads and streams movies, accesses songs, photos and home movies from a personal computer, and more. In addition to accessing RCN's video-on-demand (VOD) library with thousands of hours of content, RCN customers can also link via broadband to rent movies, watch YouTube, and access interactive applications including music streaming and photo viewing applications. Future applications include Pandora Internet Radio, FrameChannel, and third-party provided applications." More information on the offering, including pricing, is available at
  • OTT specialist, Roku, has unveiled a new version of its Netflix channel. According to the company, the new version--which it says is compatible with all existing Roku players and will be available next month via a free, automatic software update--will allow users to "1) search the entire Netflix Instant Streaming Library from your TV screen; 2) browse and play movies and TV shows on your TV via our new immersive user interface; 3) add movies and TV shows to your Instant Queue for watching later." A demo video of Roku's new Netflix channel is embedded above.
  • Rovi has announced that it has formulated a new set-top box measurement methodology to assess the effectiveness of advertising campaigns on "interactive television guides" (i.e. EPG's). According to the company, the methodology "provides insights into live broadcasting, time-shifting and video-on-demand viewing habits from thousands of STB's," and provides it with "enhanced insight into viewer behavior and the performance of advertising campaigns on the guide." Rovi says that it has signed agreements with over 23 cable operators "in order to grow its sample size to tens of thousands more STB's over the next 18 months."
  • The CW is holding a social TV promotion this week that invites viewers to "Watch and Tweet" with the stars and executive producers of several of its series.


North America