BBC Says 2009 Has Been Most Successful Year to Date for its BBC Red Button Interactive TV Service

--Claims Over 11 Million Viewers Press Red Each Week
--UK Round-Up: SeeSaw, Simon Cowell, Clearcast
The BBC said Tuesday that 2009 has been the most successful year to date for its BBC Red Button interactive TV service, with an average of over 11 million viewers pressing the red button each week, and with more content launched through the service than ever before. The corporation--which recently reduced the amount of red-button content available on the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, in order to make room for HD services ( see...

BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for This Week

--Viewers Invited to Create Trailers for "Digital Revolution"
--BBC in Archive MOU with British Library
--November Record for iPlayer
The BBC has announced the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service this week: Around the December 19th finale of the reality TV show, "Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two," digital viewers will be able to press red to access a TV version of the show's Strictly Social Web site (note: the latter is a Flash-based two-screen application that allows viewers to make comments, predictions and more). According to...

Cello's New iViewer HDTV Sets Allow Direct Streaming of BBC iPlayer, Other OTT Video Services

--BBC Produces Video Explaining How to Access iPlayer on Freesat
UK-based consumer electronics company, Cello Electronics , on Wednesday announced the launch of a line of LCD HDTV sets, called iViewer , that allow users to stream the BBC iPlayer--as well as a range of other broadband video services (note: in its promotional materials for the new devices, the company mentions YouTube--which recently signed deals to offer full-length programming from UK terrestrial broadcasters, Channel 4 and Five--Disney Movies Preview, Movie Rush, Autocar, Sky Sports "Boots...

BBC Using Interactive Videos to Teach Developmentally Disabled People How to Make Good Choices

In a posting on the BBC Internet blog, Monday, BBC Future Media & Technology 's head of user experience and accessibility, Jonathan Hassell, announced the launch of Us5 , a series of interactive online videos that have been created "by, for and with" people with learning difficulties/developmental disabilities, in order to "help them think through one of the biggest issues affecting them at the moment--the opening up of more choices to them resulting from the...

News Round-Up

--BBC Develops MOLE for Live Red-Button Events
--Informational Web Site Launched for Project Canvas
--FCC Seeks Info on How STB's Might Encourage Viewing of Broadband Video
--UK Broadcaster Five in Deal to Offer Full-Length Programs on YouTube
--SAMBA Project Uses Interactive TV to Deliver Interactive Communications to Remote Communities
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue: In a posting on the BBC's Press Red blog, Chris Tangye, assistant development producer for BBC Red Button, discusses MOLE, a new tool that the BBC Red Button team has developed in order to facilitate the production of live, red-button events. Project Canvas --the joint initiative between the BBC, UK commercial terrestrial broadcasters ITV and Five, and...

BT Vision in VOD Deal with NBC Universal International Television

--Arqiva's SeeSaw Service in VOD Deal with BBC Worldwide
UK incumbent telco, BT , said Tuesday that it has signed a VOD deal with NBC Universal International Television that will make a number of the latter's shows available on BT Vision, the telco's Microsoft Mediaroom-powered, interactive TV-enabled hybrid IPTV service (note: the service is enabled via a hybrid set-top box that allows viewers to access linear channels from the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, alongside IP-delivered on-demand and interactive content).


BBC Launches @North Initiative to Boost Interactive/Multiplatform TV Industry in North of England

--Initiative Has £500,000 Budget to Support Development of Interactive Content for Children
The BBC on Wednesday unveiled a new digital initiative, called @North , that is designed to boost the interactive/multiplatform TV industry in the north of England, the region in which Salford--the city to which a number of BBC departments, including Future Media & Technology and Children's, are scheduled to move in 2011--is located.

According to the corporation, the initiative, which was announced by BBC director north, Peter Salmon, at the Manchester Media...

DTV Media Planning Company, Leap Media, Names Tim Hanlon, Barry S. Fischer to Advisory Board

--New Hires Round-Up: Move Networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group, BBC
Digital TV media planning and implementation services company, Leap Media Group , has named Tim Hanlon and Barry S. Fischer as the first members of its Board of Advisors. According to the company, the board will be comprised of "leaders from the sales and agency sides of television and interactive media," and will provide strategic advice and guidance on market opportunities.

Hanlon, a well-known figure in US interactive TV circles, who is...

BBC Trust Rejects BBC's Proposal for Opening Up iPlayer to Other Public Service Broadcasters

--Reiterates Its "Support for the Principle of Sharing the iPlayer More Widely"
The BBC's governing body, the BBC Trust , has rejected a proposal from the BBC Executive which envisioned the formation of an online federation between the corporation and the UK's other public service broadcasters (i.e. ITV, Channel 4 and Five) that would make content from those broadcasters available on the BBC iPlayer catch-up service through a combination of commercial and public service elements. In rejecting the proposal, the Trust reiterated its "support for the principle...

News Round-Up:

--Arqiva to Name its Kangaroo-Derived VOD Service "SeeSaw"
--BBC Officially Launches Revamped CBeebies Red-Button Interactive TV Service
--BBC Trust Launches Review of Red Button Services, and BBC One, Two and Four
--Brightline Interactive TV Advertising Campaigns Win Two Awards
--Cox Rolls out ShowRunner VOD Software in Orange County
--Dailymotion in Broadband Video Distribution Partnership with Conduit
--Deutsche Telekom Interactive TV Award Deadline Extended to October 18th
--Espial Trumpets MediaBase VOD Performance with Intel Solid State Drivers, Xeon 5500 Processors
--Will Flannery, VP of Advanced Services at Fox Cable, Dead at 38
--Hand Eye Technologies Showcases its Interactive
Here is a round-up of other interactive TV-related news stories we didn't have room for in this issue: Arqiva --the broadcast transmission company which recently acquired the platform assets of Project Kangaroo, the VOD platform developed by UKVOD, a joint venture between the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, and terrestrial broadcasters, ITV and Channel 4, for a price believed to be in the £8 million range (note: Project Kangaroo was believed to be close to...