Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): BBC, Hulu, Brightcove, Cablevision, ActiveVideo

--BBC Releases Red-Button Programming Schedule through February 25th
--BBC Worldwide in Japan Deal with Hulu, BBC Reveals Multiplatform Plans for "The Voice"
--Brightcove Raises $55 Million via NASDAQ IPO
--Cablevision Subs Playing 10 Million ActiveVideo TAG Games Each Month

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • The BBC has released the schedule of programming and interactive content that will be available via the BBC Red Button service through February 25th.
  • In other BBC news: 1) The corporation's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, says that it has become the first UK distributor to license content to Hulu in Japan--via a new, multi-year agreement that sees around 600 hours of BBC Worldwide programming being made available on the platform. "The deal represents the largest volume of BBC Worldwide content on any platform in Japan, with titles licensed across drama, comedy, music, lifestyle, natural history, science and history, including 'Doctor Who,' 'Spooks,' 'Little Britain,' 'Walking with Dinosaurs,' 'Top Gear' and 'Life,'" BBC Worldwide states in its press materials. "Hulu subscribers in Japan will also be able to watch premieres of 'Polar Bear--Spy on the Ice' (feature-length version), and the 'Absolutely Fabulous' 20th Anniversary Specials, available for the first time to Japanese viewers as part of the deal." 2) BBC1 controller, Danny Cohen, has told C21 Media that the corporation plans to use its reality-talent show format, "The Voice" as one of its "biggest experiments" with multiplatform digital media this year.
  • Online video platform provider, Brightcove, has raised around $55 million via an IPO on the NASDAQ exchange (where its ticker symbol is "BCOV"). During the company's first day of trading, last Friday, its share price rose $3.30 to close at $14.30, presumably signaling that investors are bullish about the company's long-term prospects, despite the fact that last year it posted a $17.3 million loss on revenues of $63.6 million and doesn't expect to be profitable this year. Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner has more.
  • Cloud-based interactive TV specialist, ActiveVideo, says that customers of Cablevision's iO TV service are using its TAG Games service (iO TV channel 610) to play over 10 million casual games--including multi-player games--each month. "ActiveVideo's TAG Games offers iO TV customers an exciting line-up of more than 20 titles appropriate for both children and adults," the company states in its press materials. Every month more than 275,000 TV customer households play the games and more than 1000 are new every day. The games running on ActiveVideo's CloudTV app platform range from classic card games and traditional word puzzles to kid-friendly challenges. Players easily use the remote control to compete against their own best score, and many games feature a unique house-to-house mode that allows live play against other iO TV customers...Key features of TAG Games include: 1) Real-time multi-player network games. 2) Player profiles to store high scores and achievements. 3) High scores visible across Cablevision's New York-metro service area. 4) Fast load time." Said Bradley Feldman, Cablevision's VP of video product management: "We are thrilled that our customers are finding and playing TAG Games on iO TV, and taking advantage of the exciting ability to play live, house-to-house, against other customers. Every month, our customers are spending approximately 1.7 million hours on channel 610 playing TAG Games, nearly 3 million games a week. Whether it's a 'High Stakes Hold 'Em' tournament, or action-packed 'Word Champ' battle, these games are delivering fun and value to our customers, and turning channel 610 into a frequent destination."
North America