News Round-Up

--CBS Interactive Testing Social TV App, " Relay"
--DirecTV, Google in Ad Sales Partnership
--UK Broadcaster, Five, in Deal to Embed its Broadband VOD Player in Facebook
--iN Demand Renews VOD Deal with SES World Skies
--Panasonic Taps Netgear to Provide Wireless Connectivity for its Viera Connected TV's
--Sony in Bravia OTT Deal with Germany's sevenload
--Transpond Acquired by Webtrends

Here are some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • CBS Interactive is beta-testing a social TV application, called Relay, according to an article by Andrew Wallenstein in the Hollywood reporter. Among other things, the app features Foursquare-style user check-in functionality and badge rewards (note: users will be able to check-in to and receive rewards for viewing other programming in addition to CBS offerings), as well as chat and social recommendations. Initially, it will be available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Palm Pre devices, with versions for PC's and connected TV's launching later, Wallenstein writes.
  • DirecTV and Google have announced a deal under which the latter will sell ad inventory on 11 cable channels that are carried by DirecTV. "As a result of this partnership with DirecTV, national satellite inventory on Bloomberg, Fox Business, Centric, Fuel, G4, Current, Ovation, Fit, Sleuth, Chiller and TV Guide will be available through the Google TV Ads system across all dayparts, including primetime," the companies state in their press materials. "Google TV Ads customers will now be able to reach up to 30 million satellite households through both DirecTV and existing partnerships."
  • UK terrestrial broadcaster, Five, has signed a deal with Facebook that will see its broadband VOD/catch-up player, Demand Five, embedded in the latter's social networking platform, according to an article in New Media Age. Sources "close to the development" told the publication that the deal is "all systems go" and that the player "will launch within the next week to ten days" (note: it will be geo-restricted to UK Facebook users).
  • Cable industry-owned VOD content aggregator, iN Demand, and satellite transmission company, SES, have announced that iN Demand has renewed a long-term capacity deal with SES's SES World Skies division. "As part of the renewal agreement, iN Demand will continue to utilize two transponders aboard SES World Skies' AMC-1 and AMC-10 satellites to support its innovative transactional platforms featuring sports, movies, events and entertainment programming," the companies state in their press materials. "In all, iN Demand relies on five transponders and three of SES World Skies' HD-Prime satellites (AMC-1, AMC-10, AMC-11) to reach more than 52 million households in the US, Canada and the Caribbean."
  • Networking technology provider, Netgear, has announced that it has been selected by Panasonic as the only third-party company to provide wireless connectivity for the latter's Viera line of connected TV's.
  • Sony has signed a deal with German social media portal, sevenload, that makes the latter's broadband video channels available through the Sony Bravia connected-TV platform, as of August 11th. Around 100 sevenload broadband video channels can now be accessed by German Sony Bravia customers as a result of the deal.
  • Transpond (formerly iWidgets)--a company which offers a platform called TAP (Transpond Apps Platform) that it bills as "enabl[ing] non-programmers to easily create, publish, manage and track experiences across social and mobile platforms," and which, earlier this year, launched TAP TV, a version of its platform that enables the creation of apps for connected-TV environments (see the article published on, May 23rd)--has been acquired by Webtrends.


North America