News Round-Up

--Cameron Death Promoted to SVP and GM of NBC Universal Digital Studio
--Comcast Increases VOD Movie Line-Up for Customers in Pacific Northwest by 450%
--MobiTV DRM Allows Video Downloads to BlackBerry Torch for Local Playback
--Total Immersion's Augmented Reality Slot Machine Returns

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

  • NBC Universal has announced the promotion of Cameron Death to SVP and general manager of its NBC Universal Digital Studio. The latter, which Death has helmed since its launch back in 2008, creates original digital content for major advertisers and distributes it across multiple platforms. "With the Digital Studio, Death has already created an industry-leading and profitable new business model which brings financing, production and distribution under one roof for the first time and has become the de facto choice for leading brands," NBC Universal states in its press materials. "As senior vice president and general manager, in addition to his current Digital Studio responsibilities, he will be responsible for new revenue streams, integrate more closely with NBC Universal's core entertainment properties, and extend libraries into international and other secondary markets. He will continue to evolve the company's marketplace proposition to match broadcast-quality entertainment with brand partners with massive scale and distribution."
  • Comcast has announced that it is expanding the number of movie choices available on its VOD platform to its subscribers in Oregon and Southwest Washington by over 450%. The company says that it has added 9,000 movie titles, providing those subscribers with over 11,000 movie choices each month (as part of a total line-up of 25,000 VOD titles), 3,000 of which are available in HD. "This expansion of entertainment content in Oregon and SW Washington is part of Comcast's expanded movie offering, which is currently rolling out to Comcast Digital Cable customers across the country," the company states in its press materials. "This programming is made possible by a new content storage and distribution system via Comcast's extensive fiber network and enables the company to offer significantly more content in the near future, including TV series, kids content, music and other special programming."
  • MobiTV has announced that it is using its DRM technology to enable users of the new BlackBerry Torch smartphone from AT&T to download mobile media content for local playback on their device. "Working closely with content partners, MobiTV created a DRM solution that spans multiple devices, allowing users to download content to their mobile devices and watch offline with strong DRM protection," the company states in its press materials. "Beyond offline playback, live TV and a large VOD library, the MobiTV service on the BlackBerry Torch features enhanced discoverability of new content, resulting in a more personalized viewing experience. Combined with the ability to create quick links to favorite content and channels, MobiTV subscribers now have more control over when and how they consume mobile media." In related news: AT&T has announced the availability of a version of its U-verse Mobile app for the BlackBerry Torch.
  • Augmented reality specialist, Total Immersion, has announced that the AR slot machine that it developed for Nike and that debuted last summer "is back by popular demand" and was recently used at the Hurley US Open of Surfing (it is also being displayed on the X Games circuit), in order to promote Nike's 6.0 running shoe. Total Immersion, which developed the app in partnership with ad agency, Wieden+Kennedy, says that this year's version offers "new graphics, sounds and surprises." According to the company, visitors to the Nike tent at the Hurley US Open of Surfing "received a VIP ticket offering a chance to win a pair of Nike 6.0 shoes and additional prizes--all based on the spinning wheels of the AR-generated slot machine. To activate it," the company continues in its press materials, "the player displayed the ticket in front of a camera; on-screen, the ticket morphed into an oversize 3D slot machine that then appears in the attendee's hand. At other stops on the Dew Tour, players can even see themselves on the 'coin' that triggers the slot machine, thanks to Total Immersion's face-mapping technology."


North America