Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Fox Sports, Facebook, Google, HBO, httv, Logiways, IBM, KIT digital, Linkin Park, NBC

LOST IN THE ECHO (Trailer) | Linkin Park

--Fox Sports Partners with Facebook to Bring Social TV to its College Football Broadcasts
--Google to Discontinue its TV Ads Product
--HBO Announces Plans to Launch Standalone Broadband Video Service in Scandinavia
--httv Integrates its httvBOX Solution with Logiways' VoDAccess Engine
--IBM Launches Cloud Platform for Connected-TV Services
--KIT digital Names Major Investor Interim CEO
--"Take This Lollipop" Creators Create Interactive Music Video for Linkin Park
--NBC Relaunches its NBC Olympics Live Extra App as "NBC Sports Live Extra"

Because the [itvt] editorial team is busy working on our upcoming TV of Tomorrow Show event, TVOT NYC Intensive (December 10th in New York City)--and because of the large volume of news currently being generated by the IFA and IBC shows--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary or headlines format:

  • Fox Sports has announced a social-TV partnership with Facebook, that it says will see it integrating its college football broadcasts "with their presence on Facebook, using content publishing, audience feedback and Facebook Media. The partnership, called 'Facebook--Fox Sports Social Sidelines,' will launch Saturday with Fox Sports' coverage of Hawaii at No. 1 USC," the network's press materials continue. "Fox and Facebook plan to extend Social Sidelines to other sports the network covers nationally and/or regionally, including MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL and soccer...The partnership includes several integration points: 1) Exclusive demographic analysis of Page Post Polls, asking the audience to weigh in on the biggest college football questions of the week, that will be run off of the Facebook page during Saturday night broadcasts on the network...2) The 'Ten Most Talked About Teams In College Football' for use across all games on Fox, FSN and FX. 3) Fox Sports fan of the week contest on the page, where fans will participate in the college football dialog by submitting photos with the chance to be highlighted by Fox Sports. 4) Sports broadcasters, including Erin Andrews, will actively engage in discussion with fans and viewers via their Facebook presence. 5) Fox will collaborate with college football teams' Facebook pages to engage school fans and alumni in the weekly conversation and coverage...The partnership will cover the breadth of Fox Sports Media Group's college football coverage from broadcasts across multiple channels including Fox, FSN, FX and digital properties including and Fox Sports Next."
  • Google announced Thursday that it is discontinuing its TV Ads product. "In 2007, we launched Google TV Ads in AdWords to bring digital buying and measurement technologies to traditional TV advertising," the company explains on a corporate blog. "Since then, lots of our clients have bought traditional TV advertising for the first time. However, video is increasingly going digital and users are now watching across numerous devices. So we've made the hard decision to close our TV Ads product over the next few months and move the team to other areas at Google. We'll be doubling down on video solutions for our clients (like YouTube, AdWords for Video, and ad-serving tools for Web video publishers). We also see opportunities to help users access Web content on their TV screens, through products like Google TV. Of course we'll continue to support our partners, and our clients' campaigns, as we shut the product down."
  • HBO has announced that it is partnering with Peter Ekelund/Parsifal International to launch HBO Nordic, a standalone (i.e. not offered under the "TV Everywhere" model) broadband video service in Scandinavia--putting it directly in competition with Netflix, which last month also announced plans to launch in Scandinavia (see the article published on, August 15th).
  • httv has announced a partnership with Logiways. "Under the terms of the partnership, httv's innovative STB turnkey solution, 'httvBOX,' will integrate with Logiways' 'VoDAccess' Broadcast VOD engine," the companies state in their press materials. "It will deliver outstanding video-on-demand for terrestrial, satellite, cable and IP networks with limited streaming bandwidth. Reciprocally, Logiways will harness the power of httv's firmware to drive its end-to-end broadcast VOD platforms, particularly in emerging markets. A range of rich application and user interface options will be developed by both companies...The partners will collaborate on future roadmap features in order to broaden the base of STB and chipset options for their customers. By combining two proven technologies, httv and Logiways will offer end-to-end solutions for the convergence of broadcast and IP platforms." (Note: For more news from httv, see here.)
  • At the IFA conference in Berlin last week, IBM launched a cloud platform for consumer electronics companies, dubbed IBM SmartCloud Service Delivery for Electronics, and announced that the new platform will power connected-TV applications for Philips subsidiary, TP Vision. "Today's announcement at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin provides IBM cloud services on a pay-per-use basis to TP Vision, an Amsterdam-based joint venture between Philips and TV manufacturer TPV, responsible for the development of Philips Smart TV," IBM states in its press materials. "TP Vision needed a cloud computing environment resilient enough to support unexpected service demands at any given time when millions of TV units access a variety of services on its network...The new IBM cloud platform opens up paths to new revenue. The data stored within the cloud can provide new insights about consumer needs and behavior for the media and entertainment industry, such as recommending TV shows based on past selections. Service providers, chief marketing officers and advertisers can use big data analytics to deliver more personalized entertainment options and targeted advertisements. Marketers can generate collective consumer knowledge derived from the aggregation of data from a population of homes, in addition to an individual TV...Today IBM unveils a cloud-based platform managed by IBM global cloud data centers, for subscriber and device management, service life-cycle management and more. IBM's new service delivery platform, called the IBM SmartCloud Service Delivery for Electronics, provides consistent management of millions of different connected consumer devices, provisions services, interfaces with third parties, and acts as a collector of customer intelligence. It bundles services, software, hardware, network and third-party services in a single integrated service, for an all-in price, with per active user pricing, making smarter TV services more cost effective for manufacturers and consumers." (Note: For more news from IBM, see here.)
  • Video management software and services company, KIT digital, has appointed director and major shareholder, K. Peter Heiland, as interim CEO, replacing Barak Bar-Cohen. The company has also announced that it has been selected to design, build and manage a new digital cable distribution platform for India by Jain TV Group's Noida Software Technology Park Limited (NSPTL), a provider of satellite broadcast infrastructure services."
  • Jason Zada and Jason Nickel, the creators of the viral interactive video, "Take This Lollipop," have created a similar interactive video for the band Linkin Park's new single, "Lost in the Echo." "The interactive music video features the viewer's digital world through use of pictures from their own Facebook profile," Linkin Park explains in its press materials. "The video application asks permission for temporary access to the user's Facebook photos and incorporates them in the video. These photos are integrated into the storytelling through stunning visuals, set against 'Lost in the Echo"--one of the band's most powerful tracks from their new album." The video can be accessed at
  • NBC has relaunched its NBC Olympics Live Extra app, which offered authenticated pay-TV customers around 3,500 hours of live streaming video during last month's Games, as NBC Sports Live Extra. "In the coming months, the new app will live-stream an abundance of live sporting events that air on NBC, NBC Sports Network or Golf Channel, including MLS, NHL, Notre Dame Football, PGA Tour, LPGA, European PGA Tour, Ryder Cup and more, with the vast majority of content only available to TV Everywhere customers," NBC states in its press materials. "The NBC Sports Live Extra app will include companion features such as in-game highlights, social media interactivity, and other elements that will enhance the viewing experience. In partnership with cable, satellite and telco distributors, a larger, secondary re-launch will occur later this year highlighted by numerous NBC Sports Network and Golf Channel live events being provided strictly to TV Everywhere customers...Users who downloaded NBC Olympics Live Extra will automatically receive NBC Sports Live Extra when they update the app. For those who did not download the Olympics app, NBC Sports Live Extra is available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play."
North America