Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): Synacor, TiVo, Microsoft, UKTV, BT Vision

--Synacor Taps Michael Bishara to Lead its "TV Everywhere" Efforts
--TiVo, Microsoft Agree to Dismiss their Patent Litigation
--UKTV in Linear-TV and VOD Content Deal with BT Vision

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.

  • Synacor has named Michael Bishara--who at HBO oversaw the development and roll-out of that company's "TV Everywhere" service, HBO Go--VP and general manager of TV Everywhere. "Prior to his current position, Bishara was senior vice president, HBO Broadband/Digital Group where he was responsible for the overall strategy, development and roll-out of broadband products, including HBO Go," Synacor states in its press materials. "Prior to HBO, Bishara worked at Time Inc. and AT&T in marketing and product leadership roles." Said Synacor CEO, Ron Frankel: "We are excited to have Michael Bishara, a TV Everywhere expert, join Synacor as we continue rolling out our technology platform to MVPD's, wireless carriers, consumer electronics manufacturers and programmers. With more than 30 million households expected to use TV Everywhere by 2016, Michael's expertise will ensure Synacor's customers have all the content, apps and services they need to deliver breakthrough user experiences and to become increasingly valuable to their subscribers."
  • TiVo and Microsoft have agreed to dismiss their pending litigation over patents, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. According to a regulatory filing by TiVo, the deal did not see it granting patent rights to Microsoft. The dispute between the companies began last year when Microsoft filed a lawsuit in Washington, alleging that TiVo had infringed on four of its patents, and also filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission.
  • UK broadcaster, UKTV, has signed its first-ever IPTV deal--with UK incumbent telco BT's hybrid DTT/IPTV service, BT Vision. "The three-year agreement with BT Vision covers both channel-branded VOD (video-on-demand) content which will be available from today, and the network's award-winning portfolio of linear, paid-for television channels, beginning with Watch, Gold and Alibi later this year," UKTV states in its press materials. "UKTV's VOD offering will be available to BT Vision customers on a subscription and transactional basis, and will include a wealth of great television from Really, Eden, Good Food and Home's new and exclusive commissioned and acquired program catalog...UKTV's branded linear channels will then be streamed to BT Vision set-top boxes from late 2012. Initial channels on the platform will be Watch, featuring a range of extraordinary hit shows 'Dynamo: Magician Impossible,' 'Alcatraz' and 'Grimm'; Gold featuring comedy's national treasures including 'Fawlty Towers,' 'The Royle Family' and Blackadder; and Alibi with its slick range of deadly dramas including 'Body of Proof' and 'Rizzoli & Isles.' Further UKTV branded channels including Good Food, Eden and Home are earmarked for future development on the BT Vision service." Said BT CEO, Marc Watson: "We are delighted to be able to welcome the wealth of programs that UKTV has to offer on to BT Vision, for both on-demand and in the future, linear TV. This is great news for BT Vision customers. It is the first content deal we are announcing which includes linear TV--watch out for more exciting linear deals that are on the way."
North America