Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Arqiva (SeeSaw), ATVOD, Brightcove, LG Electronics

--Arqiva Appoints Financial Advisor to Lead Search for SeeSaw Investor
--Facing Shortfall, ATVOD Proposes New Fee Schedule for VOD Regulation
--Brightcove Expands into the Living Room via Connected-TV Partnership with LG Electronics

Due to the large volume of news generated over the past few days, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up format.

  • UK broadcast transmission company, Arqiva, has announced that it has appointed Ingenious Corporate Finance to lead the search for an investment partner for its broadband TV service, SeeSaw (offers programming from the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as from Disney, MTV and NBC Universal), with the aim of accelerating the development of the service. Arqiva--which is also a partner in YouView, an initiative that sees various major UK public-service broadcasters and ISP's attempting to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer, the ITV player and 4oD, as well as other Internet-based services (including VOD and interactive TV widgets), to broadband-connected Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes--launched SeeSaw in February, 2010 after acquiring the platform assets of Project Kangaroo, the VOD platform developed by UKVOD, a joint venture between the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, and terrestrial broadcasters, ITV and Channel 4, for a price believed to be in the £8 million range (note: Project Kangaroo was believed to be close to launch, when it was nixed in February, 2009 by the Competition Commission, an independent public body that investigates mergers, markets and regulated industries at the UK government's behest).
  • The Association for Television on Demand (ATVOD), the industry body that co-regulates VOD content in the UK alongside Ofcom (see the article published on itvt.com, March 19th), underestimated the amount of money it would take to fulfill its regulatory duties, and has now published a consultation paper proposing a new fee schedule for the VOD operators who fall under its regulatory purview. Paid Content UK has more.
  • Online video platform provider, Brightcove, has announced a partnership with LG Electronics which it says will enable its approximately 2,700 customers around the world to extend the distribution of their online video offerings to LG NetCast-enabled connected TV's. "The LG smart-TV platform provides media companies and brand marketers with an unprecedented opportunity to deliver programming to the livingroom with control over user experience, programming and important business operations, such as advertising and analytics," Brightcove states in its press materials. "Through this partnership, Brightcove and LG will make it easy for Brightcove customers to publish and distribute their video content to the LG smart-TV platform, while also giving non-traditional television programmers an easy route to the living room television. Later this year, Brightcove will introduce a series of tools and support resources to help organizations take advantage of the LG smart-TV platform, including a functionally complete reference application to give customers an advanced starting point for creating immersive LG smart-TV video viewing experiences." (Note: a Brightcove spokesperson told [itvt] that "the LG and Brightcove solution will include optimized video player templates specially for TV, while providing Brightcove customers with control over programming and business operations like advertising and analytics.") Said Brightcove's VP of TV solutions, Eric Elia: "The partnership between LG and Brightcove opens up a new, global distribution channel to the living room for professional media. Brightcove customers of all sizes can take advantage of this growing opportunity and expand the reach of some of the world's most highly sought-after online video content to millions of LG devices." Added Young-jae Seo, VP of LG Electronics' LCD TV smart-TV team: "We expect to expand our online video distribution capabilities and offer more compelling options to consumers worldwide with Brightcove's unmatched scale and impressive global customer base. The partnership will definitely make LG smart TV's the go-to devices for video programming."
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