News Round-Up (V): SeaChange, Seth Green, Digital Broadcasting Group, Sezmi, Amazon

--SeaChange Lowers Guidance, Plans to Restructure Servers and Storage Business Unit
--Actor Seth Green Teams with Digital Broadcasting Group on Interactive TV Series
--Sezmi Now Available through

Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days by the IFA and the run-up to the IBC, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. We anticipate that it will take a couple of days for us to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • VOD and advanced advertising technology provider, SeaChange International, has released financial results for its fiscal second quarter, ended July 31st: Revenues totaled $51.6 million, compared to $46.5 million for the year-ago quarter; net income totaled $3.5 million, compared to a net loss of $0.4 million for the year-ago quarter; revenues for the company's software segment, at $34.2 million, were up 14% from the year-ago quarter, but revenues for the company's servers and storage segment, at $10.3 million, were down 13%; revenues from the company's media services segment, at $7.1 million, were up 54% from the year-ago quarter. Despite posting relatively strong results, SeaChange has lowered its guidance for the rest of the fiscal year: whereas it had previously anticipated revenues for fiscal 2011 to range between $225 million and $235 million, it now expects them to range between $215 million and $220 million. The company blamed its lower revenue expectations on lower shipments of VOD servers and on "software revenue challenges" related to customer launch delays and product commercialization. It now says it plans to restructure its servers and storage business unit. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more.
  • Actor Seth Green is teaming with broadband video company, Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG) to launch an interactive TV reality series, entitled "ControlTV," in which viewers will be able to vote to determine all aspects of the life of a young man. The show--which will have its own dedicated Web site--is slated to run for six weeks, and to allow viewers to watch its protagonist for around 18 hours a day, seven days a week. It will also offer a daily highlights episode that DBG plans to distribute to male-focused Web sites. MediaWeek's Mike Shields has more.
  • Sezmi, a company which has developed a set-top box-based offering that it bills as combining "live television, on-demand movies and television shows, and Web videos in an easily self-installed system that automatically records, recommends and organizes the favorite shows of each individual member of the family," and which last fall announced that it had secured $25 million in new funding, has announced that the $4.99-per-month entry-level version of its service (note: in Los Angeles, the company also offers a $19.99 "Select Plus" version of the service, which includes 23 cable channels; it says that Select Plus will launch in other markets later this year) can now be purchased through Amazon. The latter is Sezmi's second retail partner for its service--the first being Best Buy. According to the company, its service is available in 36 markets in 23 states.


North America