Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Turner Sports, CBS Sports, NCAA, Mediafly, Netflix

--Revamped March Madness on Demand Delivers 22% Increase in Visits
--Mediafly Develops iPhone/iPad/iPod touch App for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
--Netflix Confirms Move into Original Content

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.

  • Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA have announced that the NCAA March Madness on Demand service (note: for more on the latest version of the service, see the article published on, March 4th) delivered a 22% increase in total visits across online and mobile apps in the first day of its second-round coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. "In total, there were 7.6 million visits across platforms and there were 3.3 million total hours of live streaming video consumed across broadband and mobile apps," the companies state in their press materials. "In addition, and MMOD combined delivered 4.1 million daily unique visitors online and 774,000 unique users on the mobile apps...On Thursday, the NCAA March Madness on Demand app which is free to users across all platforms, including on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch (over WiFi and 3G) quickly rose to the #1 spot in the App store. For 2011, the MMOD app offers new features for fans to view the games including improved live viewing with richer quality and larger format streams, a personalizable channel line-up feature, and live stats and social companion views."
  • ABC's late-night talk show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" has tapped application platform provider, Mediafly, to develop a mobile app for iOS devices. "An ideal way to showcase 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s' smart brand of humor, the official JKL app provides iPhone and iPad users on-the-go access to interviews with A-list guests, musical performances, special comedy pieces, photo galleries, cast bios, and more," Mediafly states in its press materials. "The application also links to the show's Web site and YouTube page, as well as its social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, creating a robust and integrated Internet experience." Mediafly says that it plans to make the app available on other devices in the future, including--potentially--connected TV's: "Mediafly is extending the loyal JKL audience engagement to smartphones, tablets and likely, Internet TV's, so that Jimmy's fans can watch and interact on all the devices in their digital lifestyle," Mediafly CEO, Carson Conant, said in a prepared statement. "The iOS 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' app is a first step in a process of regular enhancement and world-class features."
  • Netflix has confirmed that it is making a move into original content, a development that was first reported by the Wall Street Journal last week: "We're delighted to tell you that in late 2012 Netflix will be bringing to our members in the US and Canada exclusively 'House of Cards,' the much-anticipated television series and political thriller from executive producer David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey," Netflix chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, wrote on the company's blog. "We've committed to at least 26 episodes of the serialized drama, which is based on a BBC mini-series from the 1990's that's been a favorite of Netflix members...The TV shows and movies that you are able to watch instantly are licensed from movie studios, TV networks, distributors and sometimes directly from the producers of the films and TV shows. 'House of Cards' is unique, as it is the first exclusive TV series to originate on Netflix. Typically, we license TV shows the season after they run on a broadcast network or cable channel and occasionally, we have episodes from a current season, as is the case with 'Saturday Night Live' from NBC, 'Spartacus' from Starzplay and 'Wizards of Waverly Place' from Disney Channel. In all of these cases, the shows are produced before we bring them to Netflix. 'House of Cards' represents a slightly more risky approach; while we aren't producing the show and don't own it, we are agreeing to license it before it is successfully produced."

North America