Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): SeaChange, Showtime, CTAM "iTV Idol," Sony Movie Channel

--SeaChange Launches Podcast Series on Multiscreen Video Opportunities and Challenges
--Showtime Networks Wins CTAM's "iTV Idol" Contest
--Sony Movie Channel Launches "TV Everywhere" Service

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Multiscreen video technology specialist, SeaChange International, has produced a three-part podcast series on the opportunities and challenges facing multiscreen video service providers. The series features SeaChange president, Yvette Kanouff, in conversation with DTV Europe editor, Stuart Thomson. The three parts of the podcast are: 1) "The opportunities and challenges of multiscreen for service providers"; 2) "Multiscreen monetization"; and 3) "Content management, search and social media."
  • An app from premium programmer, Showtime Networks, has won CTAM's second annual iTV Idol contest. "Showtime Networks, Inc.'s winning app puts viewers in control allowing them to learn more about Showtime and even watch full sample episodes of hit Showtime programming," CTAM states in its press materials. "And with a few clicks of the remote, viewers can upgrade to Showtime within minutes...The 2011 iTV Idol finalists, included: itaas, Showtime Networks, Inc., The Weather Channel and Nielsen MediaSync, Intrasonics Limited, [and runners-up] WE tv/Fuse/MSG/Ensequence. Attendees scored the apps on functionality, user experience/creativity, scalability, business impact and consumer engagement. The competition was co-sponsored by Canoe Ventures and CTAM. Mark Hess, senior vice president, advanced business and technology development, Comcast Cable, hosted the event. The 2010 iTV Idol winner was Rebecca Lim, formerly with Starz." According to Showtime's VP of interactive TV, David Preisman, the app--which has been deployed by Cablevision, DISH Network, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS TV; and which is available on four technology platforms (EBIF, ActiveVideo Networks' CloudTV, OpenTV and Lua/Verizon FiOS TV)--is now generating over 30% of orders for Showtime in the markets in which it has been deployed. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more.
  • Sony Movie Channel has launched a "TV Everywhere" service, dubbed Sony Movie Channel Everywhere, that will initially be available to authenticated DirecTV and DISH Network customers. "Offering uncut and uninterrupted theatrical releases in stunning high-definition online, Sony Movie Channel Everywhere showcases titles from Sony Pictures' vast library, including award-winning features, cult favorites, family comedies and gripping dramas," Sony Movie Channel states in its press materials. "DirecTV and DISH Network customers can log onto using their carrier account username/email address and password for instant access to a diverse selection of high-quality movies on their computer. DISH Network viewers can also log in to to view Sony Movie Channel. Viewers must be a subscriber of Sony Movie Channel located in the HD Extra Pack on DirecTV and DISH Network's Blockbuster Movie Pass package. Programming is selected from more than 3,500 Sony Pictures films...Titles are refreshed frequently, featuring approximately 20 new titles per month from Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics."
North America