Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): Comcast, TiVo, Trendrr, Verizon, Cisco, Ericsson, ActiveVideo

--Comcast Xfinity On Demand Launches on TiVo Premiere in SF Bay Area
--Trendrr: Three Quarters of All Social-TV Engagement in March Stemmed from Twitter
--Verizon Taps Cisco, Ericsson to Redesign its VOD System, Following Patent Case Loss to ActiveVideo

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.

  • TiVo and Comcast announced Monday that they are offering San Francisco Bay Area TiVo Premiere DVR customers who are also Comcast customers access to Comcast's Xfinity On Demand VOD service. "Beginning today and over the next few weeks, existing TiVo Premiere and Comcast customers in the Bay Area will automatically receive this update to their DVR and will have access to the Xfinity On Demand library," TiVo states on its blog. "TiVo Premiere subscribers in additional markets across the country are expected to have access to the Xfinity On Demand library in the coming months. Visit to learn more or to sign up for notifications when Xfinity On Demand becomes available on TiVo Premiere in additional areas." In other Comcast news: 1) The company will begin testing IP video-delivery technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall, with the test expanding to Comcast employees later in the year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. 2) The company has applied for a patent for a set-top box technology that would allow viewers to use a virtual keyboard or voice recognition to search the Web for video and purchase products featured in TV shows and commercials. FierceCable's Steve Donohue has more on the patent, which is entitled "Interactive Television Network and Method Including Content Searching."
  • Social-TV measurement company, Trendrr, contacted [itvt] earlier this week to let us know that it has published its White Paper Analysis for March. Highlights of the report, according to a company spokesperson, include the following: "1) Three quarters of all social-TV engagement in March stemmed from Twitter. 2) The highest volume of television engagement through Twitter happened during 'The Voice's' 'The Battle Begins' episode on broadcast, and the 'Pretty Little Liars' season finale on cable. 3) There were over 580,000 social interactions per day on broadcast television, and an average of over 860,000 social interactions per day on cable television. 4) CBS and NBC had the highest increase in broadcast social share, up 5% from February. 5) MTV was the top social cable network for the month of March with 10% cable social share. truTV, benefiting from the NCAA Tournament, came in second with 9% cable social share. 6) Over 150 million conversations and other social interactions occurred through the first quarter of 2012. 7) Over the course of the NCAA Tournament, CBS games were the most socially active of any other network. 8) The round of 64 games had the highest hourly and daily volume of social activity of any other tournament round."
  • Verizon FiOS TV has tapped Cisco and Ericsson to redesign its VOD system, following its defeat last year in the patent-infringement case that was brought against it by cloud-based interactive TV company, ActiveVideo Networks (see the article published on, August 10th), and has begun sending out software updates to subscriber set-tops. News of the development was broken by FierceCable's Steve Donohue. The redesign will result in Verizon FiOS TV subscribers temporarily losing access to their VOD service: "VOD access will be unavailable for part of the day," Verizon stated in a message to subscribers. "New VOD shows cannot be ordered during this maintenance, and any VOD shows already in progress as of 12:00AM will be stopped automatically." The US District Court that ruled against Verizon in the patent-infringement case ordered it to begin paying ActiveVideo $11 million per month and to develop a non-infringing technology for FiOS TV by May 23rd. Verizon is appealing the court's ruling. ActiveVideo sent [itvt] the following statement in response to the news of Verizon's VOD redesign (note: the statement is attributed to president and CEO, Jeff Miller): "It would be imprudent of us to comment until we and the court have had a chance to review Verizon's FiOS VOD redesign. We're hopeful that Verizon is indeed ceasing its infringement on our technology, and that the next step will be the payment of almost $250 million in court-ordered damages, interest and royalties due ActiveVideo for infringing of our patents. Once we gain access to the new system and evaluate it, we will decide if filing a contempt motion is warranted."
North America