Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Amazon, CBS, AT&T

--Amazon Expands its Programming Library via New Licensing Deal with CBS
--AT&T Expands Availability of its U-verse Mobile App
--AT&T Launches U-verse Service & Support Tool App for Smartphones

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:

  • Amazon has signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with CBS that will enable customers of its subscription-based Amazon Prime and transactional Amazon Instant Video services to stream TV shows from the CBS library. "Amazon Prime customers will be able to instantly watch thousands of episodes from the CBS library at no additional cost to their membership," the companies state in their press materials. "With the deal, Amazon will add 2,000 episodes to grow the total number of Prime instant videos to more than 8,000 movies and television shows, and offer full seasons for 18 popular television series, including 'The Tudors,' 'Numb3rs,' 'Medium,' the complete 'Star Trek' franchise, 'Frasier' and 'Cheers.' Starting this summer, dozens of CBS shows will also become available to Amazon Instant Video customers... Amazon Instant Video is a streaming video service that offers customers more than 90,000 movies and television shows available to purchase or rent, and with this CBS content included, will offer more than 6,000 movies and television shows included at no additional cost with an Amazon Prime membership. Customers can instantly watch movies and television shows from Amazon on a Mac, PC or directly on television with any of the 300 compatible devices."
  • AT&T has extended the availability of its AT&T U-verse Mobile app to several Android smartphones, including the LG Thrive, LG Phoenix and Samsung Infuse 4G phones, as well as to the Windows Phone HTC HD7S. "U-verse Mobile is now available on more than 20 devices and four major operating systems, and the U-verse Mobile library has grown to include more than 100 TV series and more than 700 TV shows from a variety of genres," AT&T states in its press materials. "U-verse Mobile lets U-verse TV subscribers browse the U-verse TV program guide, schedule and manage their DVR recordings, and for subscribers with qualifying TV plans, watch hit TV shows on their qualifying smartphone...In August 2010, AT&T was the first TV provider to offer an integrated mobile app that allows you to both manage your DVR and download and watch select shows. U-verse Mobile has continued to expand to more devices and to offer more television shows...AT&T continues to expand TV watching to the devices that matter most to you, with hit TV shows available on U-verse TV, U-verse Online, U-verse TV on Xbox 360, and U-verse Mobile. U-verse Mobile lets U-verse TV customers schedule and manage DVR recordings at no extra cost. The ability to download or stream and watch TV shows is available at no extra charge for customers that subscribe to the U200 package or higher. U-verse TV customers with Android devices can find the app on Android Market and U-verse Mobile is preloaded on AT&T Windows Phone devices. U-verse TV customers can also watch TV shows, schedule DVR recordings and see which of their recorded shows are also available to watch online with U-verse Online. Any online user can watch more than 160,000 titles of TV shows, movies and video clips on your PC from the entertainment Web site."
  • In other AT&T news: The company has launched an AT&T U-verse Service & Support Tool app for smartphones (note: the app is currently available for Android and BlackBerry, and, according to an AT&T spokesperson, will be available for iPhone "soon"). "The U-verse Service & Support Tool app is one of the first integrated self-support smartphone apps offered by a TV provider," the company states in its press materials. "The app: 1) Provides you with an up-to-date status of your U-verse services with a U-verse Service Check. 2) Delivers notifications on known service issues in your area, and sends you an email or text with updates on service resolution. 3) Offers more than 30 step-by-step guides to address common questions, including images and tips. 4) Lets you restart your U-verse TV receiver and residential gateway directly from your smartphone, even if you're away from home. And 5) gives you the ability to chat online directly with an agent."
North America