Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): BBC Worldwide, Charter, ExerciseTV, Entone, GO

--BBC Worldwide Offering Rentals of "Doctor Who" Episodes on Facebook
--Charter Launches ExerciseTV's VOD Service
--Entone's Kamai Hybrid-TV Platform Selected by Malta's GO

Because the [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, we are covering stories in this edition of the newsletter in round-up format:

  • The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, will today begin offering a range of digitally remastered "Doctor Who" series for rent via Facebook. This is the first time the company has offered streaming rentals on the social networking service. The rentals are priced at 15 Facebook Credits per series. "By using Facebook Credits, users visiting the official 'Doctor Who' page will be able to stream a selection of nine stories (each containing several episodes) from the history of the Time Lord, including digitally remastered classics such as 'Tomb of the Cybermen,' as well as modern-day favorites 'Silence in the Library' and 'End of the World'. 'The Greatest Show in the Galaxy' will be a Facebook exclusive, having never been released on DVD. The episodes will be available for Facebook users in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Once rented, episodes will be available to view for 48 hours." Said BBC Worldwide CEO, John Smith: "As we have grown internationally, we've seen through our Facebook channel that fans who are loving the new series are asking for a guide into our rich 'Doctor Who' back catalog. Our approach to Facebook and other leading-edge platforms is to be right there alongside them in fostering innovation. We see this service as a perfect way to give our fans what they want, as well as a great way for them to get their fix between now and the autumn when Series Six continues."
  • Charter Communications has launched ExerciseTV On Demand, the free VOD service from NBCUniversal's ExerciseTV network. "ExerciseTV On Demand brings full workouts of all types, from cardio and abs, to yoga and dance--all available for free to Charter digital customers anytime," Charter and ExerciseTV state in their press materials. "Expert fitness professionals including Jillian Michaels, Jackie Warner, trainers from the trend-setting Crunch gyms, Chris Freytag, Billy Blanks Jr., and more have videos in the ExerciseTV on-demand library...ExerciseTV On Demand is also the home for workouts from highly anticipated fitness DVD's before they hit stores, as well as complete workout plans for total fitness. New titles added this month for Charter digital customers to enjoy include the brand new 'The Butt Bible' fitness system, featuring innovative video workouts with international top fitness model and Swedish personality Pauline Nordin, from the Nordic version of NBC's 'The Biggest Loser.'"
  • Hybrid-TV solutions provider, Entone, says that its Kamai Hybrid OTT Receiver has been selected by Maltese quadruple-play operator, GO, for a nationwide IPTV and OTT deployment. "We needed a reliable and flexible platform for delivering high-quality video services while enabling us to expand our service offering to include high-definition (HD) TV, recording and Web applications," GO senior manager, Kelvin Camenzuli, said in a prepared statement. "Because Entone's Kamai is fully integrated with our existing interactive TV middleware and DRM (digital rights management) system, we can instantly introduce further new services without costly equipment replacement or having to disturb our customers." According to Entone, its Kamai platform "enables operators to deliver a TV service that brings together the best of traditional linear TV programming with innovative cloud-based media and applications--all from a single device, a consistent user interface and a unified service offering." The company says that the platform easily integrates with existing home networks and broadband services via an integrated Ethernet or optional WiFi connection, and that it features a USB port that allows operators to deploy DVR services "without additional truck rolls."
North America