Interactive TV News Round-Up

--ADB, Espial, Kudelski Release Financial Results
--Kudelski Provides an Update on its OpenTV "Turnaround Plan"
--ADB Says it Has Secured Deals with Two Tier-1 US Cable MSO's in 2011
--Reports: "American Idol" and "The X-Factor" to Support Voting via Facebook
--BBC to Offer "Waterloo Road" Spin-Off through the Red Button
--E! Entertainment Television Teams with Trailer Park on Red-Carpet App for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch
--Liveclicker Enables Interactive Video Shopping via Facebook Pages
--Connected-TV App Developer, MOVL, Appoints Director of Technology, Acquires Interactiva Colombia
--Rdio Social Music Service Launches on Roku
--Report: Samsung May Launch Google TV Devices Based on its own Chips
--140Fire Lets Advertisers Overlay Interactive Ads on Streaming Video in Real Time

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related news we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • ADB, Espial and the Kudelski Group have all released their latest financial results this week.
  • Kudelski's results announcement contains the following update on OpenTV, the interactive TV technology provider it acquired early last year: "With the full acquisition of OpenTV completed at the beginning of 2010, the Group launched a turnaround plan, with a reconfiguration of the product roadmap representing the key milestone of the program. This program resulted in a ramp-up of R&D investments aimed at accelerating the deployment of the next-generation Group middleware solution. With a material headcount increase, this ramp-up mainly took place in the first half year, resulting in an operating loss of CHF 6.0 million for the first half. Further, the recognition of one-off government grants supported segment profitability. In the second half of 2010, the operating loss was reduced to CHF 0.4 million, while the development of the next-generation solutions continued to progress as planned." According to Kudelski, "the initial outcome" of its restructuring of OpenTV's roadmap "is expected in 2012."
  • ADB's results announcement, meanwhile, reveals that its efforts to penetrate the US cable market are apparently meeting with some success: "ADB Group is pleased to announce today that it has concluded a deal with one of the largest cable operators in the United States for a delivery of a turnkey pay-TV solution for applications in the commercial segment," the announcement states. "This solution includes ADB's next-generation set-back box, together with communication and system management software, as well as the integration of the entire system. The Group is also pleased to announce that it has just received a purchase order from another major US cable operator for the same type of product and application." Said ADB CEO, Francois Pogodalla: "After a lot of work, it feels good to finally get going with the US cable market, in addition to the US IPTV market where we have been successfully operating for years. Our team has been working really hard to make this happen. Now we are in with the customers, and we can start delivering. We conservatively anticipate rather modest contribution in 2011, but for the first time in our history we will generate revenue from the US cable business this year. This is a strategically important move for us."
  • Entertainment Weekly and People are reporting respectively that "American Idol" and Simon Cowell's new reality show, "The X-Factor," will soon support voting via Facebook. According to Entertainment Weekly, starting March 1st "Idol" fans will be able to use their Facebook accounts to access a dedicated voting page featuring all the current contestants, and will be able to vote 50 times during each broadcast's voting period.
  • The BBC has announced that "Waterloo Road Reunited," a spin-off of the BBC One school drama, "Waterloo Road," will shortly be available through the corporation's BBC Red Button interactive TV service, as well as online.
  • E! Entertainment Television's digital media group has teamed with interactive content developer, Trailer Park Advanced Content, on an "E! Live from the Red Carpet" app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. As its name suggests, the app is designed to complement E!'s red-carpet coverage of the Academy Awards and similar events. "The E! Live From the Red Carpet app makes extensive use of E! Online data feeds, integrates several third-party API's, major red carpet event details, advanced video streaming technology and live video streams of the 'Who's Next' camera from the red carpet during the awards season," the companies state in their press materials. "The app will continue to evolve and update to bring the best in immersive, dual-screen red carpet coverage to every device. It marks one of several projects between Trailer Park Advanced Content's mobile division and E!."
  • Interactive video commerce specialist, Liveclicker, has announced the release and general availability of its Interactive Video Suite for Facebook. "Delivered within the Liveclicker Video Commerce Platform, the Interactive Video Suite allows brands and retailers to deliver interactive video experiences throughout Facebook and onto their Web sites," the company states in its press materials. A number of brands have already implemented the solution, according to Liveclicker, including Petco, Vitamin Shoppe, Kiddicare and eBags. Among other things, the new solution supports video shopping tabs within Facebook, integrated Facebook video comments on brands' own sites, and the ability for consumers to share interactive Liveclicker videos on their own Facebook wall, the company says.
  • MOVL, the application-development company whose "WeDraw" app won Samsung's Free the TV connected-TV app development contest (see the article published on itvt.com, January 17th), has announced the appointment of Charlie Collins as director of technology and the acquisition of Latin American app-development company, Interactiva Colombia.
  • Rdio, an on-demand social music service from the founders of Skype, has launched on the Roku OTT platform. "Rdio service lets music fans listen to as many songs as they like, anytime, anywhere," Rdio states in its press materials. "Built around community and powered by people, Rdio puts the social into music by making it super easy to both share music and discover new music through friends and other influencers. Rdio offers millions of songs in its continuously expanding music catalog for just pennies a day." Said Roku founder and CEO, Anthony Wood: "We are excited about the rich social dimension that Rdio brings to the Roku Channel Store. With great music and an innovative service, Rdio offers tremendous value for customers and an experience that will fuel connection within the Roku user community."
  • Samsung may launch Google TV devices, now that Google has decided to allow it to base those devices on its own chips, rather than on Intel's, Bloomberg reported Thursday. According to an unidentified source cited by Bloomberg, Samsung "had previously considered using the Google, Inc. software and balked after Google required use of Intel's Atom chips."
  • A start-up called 140Fire emerged from stealth mode, Thursday, with a platform that lets advertisers create interactive ads and polls which can be overlaid on streaming video in real time, and which allow viewers to continue to watch that video while they interact. TechCrunch's Rip Empson has more.
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