Hallmark Channel Using Facebook, Twitter to Drive Interest in "Countdown to Christmas" Programming

--USA Network Invites Viewers to Send Farewell Messages to "Monk"
Hallmark Channel last week announced various digital and social media offerings designed to drive interest in the 450 hours of holiday-themed programming it plans to offer under a promotion called "Countdown to Christmas." At the center of the off-network effort is Hallmark Channel's Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/HallmarkChannel ), which it says will offer viewers exclusive videos, games, quizzes and opportunities to exchange virtual gifts. In addition, a newly created "Countdown to Christmas" Twitter feed (...

OxygenLive to Add Two-Screen Social/Interactive TV Component to Oxygen's Original Shows

Oxygen Media --the company behind Oxygen, a US cable channel that targets a female demographic--on Monday announced the pending launch of a Web site, called OxygenLive ( http://www.OxygenLive.com ), which it says will add a two-screen social/interactive TV component to every one of its original series. "Fans no longer have to wait until the next morning to chat around the water cooler about the latest show gossip," the company says in its promotional materials for...

Roku Launches Roku Channel Store, Bills it as Open Platform for Delivery of Programming to the TV

--Offers 10 Free Channels Including Blip.TV, Facebook Photos, Flickr, Pandora, Revision3, and TWiT
Over-the-top-TV company, Roku (note: the company recently launched two new set-top boxes-- see the article published on itvt.com, October 28th ), on Sunday night announced the launch of the Roku Channel Store, together with 10 channels, all of which are offered free of charge to customers who want to add them to their Roku menu. According to the company, the Roku Channel Store will serve as an "open platform" for delivering quality content to the...

Netflix Over-the-Top Service Now Available on Sony's Bravia TV's and Network Blu-ray Disc Player

--Facebook to Launch on PlayStation 3
Video rental company, Netflix , announced Tuesday that subscribers to its service can now instantly watch its streaming movie and TV show offerings on Sony Bravia connected HDTV's, on earlier Bravia models that are compatible with the company's Bravia Internet video link module, and on the Sony Network Blu-ray Disc Player . An OTT partnership between Netflix and Sony Electronics was first announced in July ( see the article published on itvt.com, July 12th ):...

Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm and Zune Instant-On HD Video to Launch on Xbox Live November 17th

At the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco last week, Microsoft announced that it will launch Facebook , Twitter , Last.fm and "instant-on" HD video from Zune on its Xbox Live service, November 17th. "We're delivering some truly exciting social entertainment experiences to our members," Xbox Live general manager, Marc Whitten, said in a prepared statement. "Xbox Live's differentiator has always been our community, and we've already seen a tremendous response to these features in...

New ABC.com Full Episode Player Feature Lets Viewers Create Commentary Tracks

--Also Lets them Share their Commentaries with Facebook Friends, View "Expert" Commentaries
Broadcast network ABC said Wednesday that it is adding a new social TV feature to its ABC.com Full Episode Player . Dubbed ABC Social: Episode Commentary and integrated with Facebook Connect , the new feature--which ABC says will enable online viewers to create their own text-based commentary tracks for show episodes and share the experience with friends--is scheduled to launch this Saturday (November 7th) in association with the first episode of the new ABC series,...

News Round-Up

--ADB Issues Cautiously Optimistic Update, Says it Has "Redistributed" Osmosys' Resources
--War of Words between Kudelski and Arcadia over Kudelski's OpenTV Bid
--Cisco Demo's Widget-Enabled EPG for Cable Operators Switching to IPTV
--Crunchyroll Launches Anime App for Boxee
--Motorola Launches HD Set-Top with Optional MoCA Interface
--New Interactive TV Games System Will Place Players Side-by-Side with Drivers in Real Races
--TiVo Launches in New Zealand
--Two Way Limited's Interactive TV Betting Service Shows Growth
--Ustream Enables Simultaneous Publishing of Comments to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, AIM
--Virgin Media Enjoys Record VOD Usage in Q3
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue (as well as some stories from last week's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver, which our editorial team was unable to attend): Digital TV technology provider, ADB Group , has issued a cautiously optimistic business update. "The Group's business was sound during the third quarter of 2009," the update states. "The margins and profitability ratios continue to be...

Characters from New E4 Show, "Misfits" to Tweet to Audience During Each Episode

--Other "In-Character" Multiplatform Extensions Include Facebook Page, YouTube Channel
" Misfits ," a new drama series from Channel 4 's digital channel, E4 , that centers on a group of teenage superheroes, will offer a multiplatform experience by having two of its characters send out tweets during the course of each of its hour-long episodes, according to an article in The Guardian. The tweets for the show's first episode have been written in advance of its November 12th broadcast by a team led by...

News Round-Up

--Brightcove Tapped by STV to Power Long-Form, Catch-Up HD Programming Initiatives
--BSkyB Attacks Project Canvas in New Submission to BBC Trust
--Channel 4 Said to Be Close to Deal to Offer Majority of its Content on YouTube
--Monotype Licenses Typefaces to Yahoo! for TV Widget Development Kit
--Nielsen Invites Clients to Meeting to Discuss Implications of "TV Everywhere"
--Redux Supporting Facebook and Twitter Feed Importing
--Scripps' New Cooking Channel to Feature VOD, "Fully Interactive Internet and Broadband Platform"
--Shaw Communications Adding More Content to its VOD Service
--Virgin Media to Trial Delivery of TV over Copper Phonelines
--Layoffs at ZillionTV
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue: Brightcove has announced that Scottish broadcaster, STV, is using its platform to launch "a series of new HD-quality, long-form video initiatives for catch-up viewing purposes," including making its three-part documentary series, "Scotland Revealed," available through its STV Player service for 90 days without the geo-restrictions typically imposed by UK broadcasters' catch-up TV services. In a submission to...

Bravo's Late Night Interactive TV Show, "Watch What Happens: Live," Enjoys Ratings Success

--Beats "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "Chelsea Lately" in 18-49 Demographic
Bravo is trumpeting the success of its new, weekly, live, late night interactive TV show, "Watch What Happens: Live." The show, which is hosted by Bravo's SVP of original programming and development, Andy Cohen, is based on a live broadband TV show that aired for several years on Bravotv.com and that focused on eliminated contestants and other personalities from Bravo's stable of reality-TV series. The show, as Bravo describes it, features Cohen chatting with guests...