Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): Rovi, Sony, SeaChange, ODG, Shaftesbury, The Company P

--Rovi in EPG Technology and Patent License Agreement with Sony
--Interim CEO Rau: SeaChange Looking to Sell Off its VOD Content-Aggregator Subsidiary, ODG
--Shaftesbury, The Company P Co-Developing Participatory, Transmedia Drama Series

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.

  • Rovi said Tuesday that it has signed an EPG technology and patent license agreement with Sony. "The new worldwide agreement provides a license under Rovi's interactive program guide (IPG) patent portfolio and related product solutions to Sony Group's products and services, including online content delivery services and a full range of home and mobile devices," the company states in its press materials. "Rovi IPG patent portfolio and related products, including Rovi entertainment data that provides show descriptions, editorial reviews, and rich multimedia content covering millions of TV shows and hundreds of thousands of movies, enable consumers to easily find or discover personally meaningful entertainment regardless of the source. Serving as a complement to these capabilities, the Rovi Advertising Network connects device makers to a growing range of leading brands that wish to reach and engage consumers on their platforms."
  • During SeaChange International's earnings conference call last week--and just a few days after the company announced that it was spinning off its broadcast servers and storage business--interim CEO, Raghu Rau, revealed that the company is also seeking to sell off its London-based VOD content-aggregator subsidiary, On Demand Group. The latter's customers include Virgin Media in the UK and Kabel Deutschland in Germany. ODG has "exciting growth prospects, but [is] not core to our future strategy," Rau explained. Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner has more.
  • Toronto-based production company, Shaftesbury, and Stockholm-based production studio, The Company P (note: the latter was nominated for an International Emmy Award last year for the Tim Kring-created transmedia project, "Conspiracy for Good"), announced last week that they are developing a one-hour transmedia drama series, entitled "Treasures," in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union. "Created by The Company P's Christopher Sandberg ('The Truth About Marika,' 'Conspiracy For Good'), with story by Sandberg and Craig Wright ('Six Feet Under,' 'Lost'), 'Treasures' tells the story of a group of adventurers who are thrown together in a global treasure hunt that could change the course of civilization.," the companies state in their press materials. "Offering a participatory 360-degree experience, the series will integrate scripted dramatic content, interactive online, mobile and social media content, and live events...'Treasures' follows a young woman named Dev and a group of adventurers as they try to unlock a mystery that has been planted on online maps, and end up part of a global treasure hunt that could change the course of civilization forever. As they unravel pieces of the puzzle, they're forced to face their own hidden secrets, and the fact that someone else is after the treasures for reasons no one ever imagined. In addition to scripted dramatic content, audiences will participate in the unfolding of the treasure hunt through online and mobile video uploads, which will allow them to communicate with the characters and share information. Online and mobile map games and social media content will also lead to local treasure-hunting events as viewers work to actively solve the mystery themselves."
North America