Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Univision, CIMM, Vision247, Racing UK, Walmart, UltraViolet

--Univision Joins Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM)

--Vision247 Powers Interactive Horse-Racing Channel, Racing UK, on Freeview

--Walmart Embraces UltraViolet via New "Disc-to-Digital" Service

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 Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), a group that seeks to promote innovation in audience measurement for TV and cross-platform video, and that is backed by 22 TV programmers, media agencies and advertisers, said Tuesday that US-based Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision Communications, has signed on as a member. "Univision shares our vision for audience measurement and is a welcomed addition to CIMM," Jane Clarke, CIMM's managing director, said in a prepared statement. "They join an industry alliance that is steadfast in its commitment to replace the multitude of ineffective, makeshift processes that many must rely on in an attempt to measure and monetize fragmented audiences. CIMM believes that the most viable and enduring solutions are ones that the industry arrives at together. We've already helped successfully shepherd media planning and measurement tools through to the pilot testing and launch phases and remain hard at work on a number of other promising initiatives that we plan to introduce later this year." Last month, CIMM teamed with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) to hold a "Cross-Platform Video Measurement Summit." A number of presentations from the summit, as well as a video recording, are available here.
  • Racing UK, a subscription-based interactive TV horseracing channel, has launched on the UK's Freeview free-to-air digital terrestrial platform. The channel is powered by OTT specialist, Vision247 (note: the latter recently announced that it had invested over £500,000 to improve its CDN infrastructure). "Racing UK is the first channel to harness new interactive IPTV features delivered to Internet-connected television sets and devices by Vision247's unique video content delivery platform," the companies state in their press materials. "Racing fans not only receive the broadest selection of live horse race action, they also receive the picture on the screen and can view details of all the day's races. All the information on the runners and the riders is on the screen, enabling subscribers to check the latest form without ever switching away from action on the course. Racing UK is able to supply viewers with all this detail because of the dynamic way Vision247 uses the Connect TV MHEG application [note: for more on Connect TV, see the article published on, February 28th], delivering interactive data and linear high-quality broadcast video over the Internet and onto the Freeview platform. Vision247 also supplies subscriber authentication for Racing UK, meaning once users have signed up for the service they will be automatically recognized when selecting channel 116, and given instant access to the channel...Vision247's platform works with the latest compliant Freeview-enabled television sets and set-top boxes on the market, ensuring Racing UK is able to deliver this new compelling TV channel to a wider UK audience. Older devices, non-compliant or Freeview HD devices not connected to the Internet will receive a call-to-action message displayed on-screen, advising users on what is required to view the new Internet-delivered Racing UK channel. Subscription to Racing UK on Freeview costs £20 per month."
  • Walmart on Tuesday announced an UltraViolet-powered disc-to-digital service, enabled by its streaming video arm, Vudu. "The nation's largest home entertainment retailer is the first to announce an exclusive in-store disc-to-digital service which gives movie lovers the freedom to watch their DVD/Blu-ray collections from Internet-connected devices, including televisions, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and more," the company states in its press materials. "Walmart, in partnership with the major Hollywood studios: Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, is increasing the value of movie ownership for its customers. Starting April 16th, 2012 in more than 3,500 stores, Walmart customers will be able to bring their DVD and Blu-ray collections to Walmart and receive digital access to their favorite titles from the partnering studios. An equal conversion for standard DVD's and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVD's can be upgraded to high-def (HD) for $5. The appetite for enjoying movies is strong and growing. Walmart wants to help movie lovers download or stream their movies when they want and where they want. Walmart asked thousands of customers their thoughts regarding movie ownership. Customers want to own physical Blu-rays and DVD's and customers also want to have digital access to those same movies for convenience. Customers also cited accessibility, security, affordability, and simplicity as key decision factors for wanting a digital solution. Walmart listened and is delivering America's first disc-to-digital service...The process to convert previously purchased DVD/Blu-ray movies to digital copies is quick and simple: 1) Bring your movie collections from the participating studio partners--Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros.--to your local Walmart Photo Center. 2) A Walmart associate will help you create a free Vudu account. 3) Tell the associate how you'd like your movies converted: convert a standard DVD or Blu-ray movie for $2; or upgrade a standard DVD to an HD digital copy for $5. 4) Walmart will authorize the digital copies and place them in your Vudu account. No upload is necessary, and you get to keep your physical discs. 5) Log onto from more than 300 Internet-connected devices to view movies any time, any place. Walmart Entertainment supports UltraViolet, the movie industry's initiative, currently in its beta phase, that allows consumers to put their purchased movies into a cloud-based digital library and keep track of them safely and securely. Walmart is able to offer customers the ability to watch and purchase UltraViolet-enabled titles directly from Vudu. These enhancements to Walmart Entertainment's services are the first of their kind from a major retailer and mark an important milestone in the expansion of digital home video ownership."
North America