Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Apple, AT&T U-verse TV, Starz, BBC, CBS, SCVNGR

--Apple Sets Up Dedicated iTunes Section to Showcase AirPlay-Enabled Apps
--AT&T U-verse TV in "TV Everywhere" Deal with Starz
--BBC Releases Red-Button Programming Schedule through March 25th
--CBS Teams with SCVNGR to Promote "Chaos" at SXSW via Mobile Social Game

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy this week working on the TV of Tomorrow Show 2011, we are covering recent news in round-up/summary form. Once again, we anticipate that it will take us a few days to catch up with all the news we plan to cover: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • Apple has set up a dedicated area of iTunes that showcases applications which take advantage of its iOS platform's new AirPlay functionality (allows iPhone/iPad/iPod touch users to stream video and other media from their handset to their TV set via the Apple TV).
  • AT&T has expanded its AT&T U-verse TV affiliation relationship with Starz Entertainment, via a new deal which, among other things, adds online viewing rights for authenticated U-verse TV subscribers. "AT&T and Starz Entertainment, LLC, announced today that the companies recently extended and expanded the AT&T U-verse TV affiliation agreement for Starz Entertainment's premium channels, HD, and on-demand services," the companies state in their press materials. "AT&T U-verse also acquired the authenticated online rights to deliver the Starz Online and Encore Online services for its premium subscribers. As part of the agreement, AT&T U-verse also has the rights to deliver the MoviePlex premium channel and associated MoviePlex On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand, and MoviePlex Online services in the future. AT&T U-verse TV currently offers 17 premium channels and feeds from Starz Entertainment, including all 13 distinct Starz and Encore channels, West Coast feeds of the flagship Starz and Encore channels, plus IndiePlex and RetroPlex. Advanced services include five channels in HD including Starz HD, Starz Kids & Family HD, Starz Comedy HD, Starz Edge HD, and Encore HD, as well as Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, Starz HD On Demand, and Encore HD On Demand."
  • The BBC has released the schedule of programming and interactive content that will be available via the BBC Red Button service through March 25th.
  • Broadcast network, CBS, teamed with Google Ventures-backed mobile social gaming company, SCVNGR, at SXSW Interactive last week on a spy-themed game to promote its new show, "Chaos." The game allowed SXSW attendees to use SCVNGR's free iOS or Android app to unlock rewards at various prominent Austin locations. "'Chaos' is a fun and quirky series about espionage, and the SCVNGR spy-themed 'Chaos' game gives us an equally fun and unique means of introducing the series to the SXSW audience in a way that rings true to the conference's interactive spirit," Anne O'Grady, EVP of CBS Marketing, said in a prepared statement. Added SCVNGR SVP and "brand alchemist," Chris Mahl: "CBS is the first broadcast network to launch a campaign on SCVNGR, using the game layer SCVNGR has built to reach a whole new audience of prospective viewers and fans. SXSW Interactive is the perfect chance to use game dynamics to tap into a group of hyper-connected people to build awareness and engagement around 'Chaos,' while having a great time visiting Austin in the process." Details on the various "missions" that participating SXSW attendees could perform as part of the promotion are available in CBS's and SCVNGR's press materials.
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