CBS Upgrades TV.Com to Stream Shows

United Press International

Enlarge Photo January 13, 2009 – U.S. television network CBS says it will expand its online offerings of current and former shows on a newly designed Web site.
Meant to compete with Internet sites such as Hulu and Fancast, which have brought television shows from other networks into free, Web-streaming formats, CBS is starting a redesigned TV.com as the place to watch its old and new shows, The New York Times reported Monday.

CBS was expected to announce distribution deals with PBS, Sony, MGM and Endemol to expand its online library, the newspaper said. Recent episodes of CBS shows can currently be seen at the network’s own Web site, CBS.com, but by adding other programming to TV.com, the site won’t be “tied to the success of our shows,” Anthony Soohoo, head of the entertainment and lifestyle categories for CBS Interactive, told the Times.

CBS obtained the TV.com Web domain with its purchase of CNet for $1.8 billion last year.

With its licensing deals, TV.com will be able to stream CBS classics such “Bewitched” and “The Addams Family,” as well as programs from CBS-owned premium cable channel Showtime, such as “Dexter” and “Californication,” the Times said.

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Nielsen: Mobile Video Usage Small, But Growing


The audience is up 14 percent versus 2007
Jan 8, 2009

-By Mike Shields

Despite the popularity of the iPhone, and the general touch screen mania that has been sweeping the U.S. over the past year, still very few people actually watch video on their cell phones. But the numbers are on the rise, according to a new report issued by The Nielsen Company.

According to Nielsen, 10.3 million U.S. mobile subscribers access video content on their phones during a given month, or just 5 percent of all wireless subscribers. However, the audience is growing—up 14 percent versus 2007–driven primarily to more Internet-friendly phones in the market (back in 2005, a report issued by mobile researcher M:Metrics found just one percent of all mobile users to be watching video on their phones).

Nearly two thirds of mobile Web video viewers are watching video via the mobile Web (66 percent), though paid subscription services and purchased downloads continue to account for a sizable amount of viewership.

Not surprisingly, iPhone users skew high when it comes to video. More than a third of iPhone users claim to regularly watch video on their beloved devices, per Nielsen. And as of Q3 of 2008, 11 percent of all users who streamed any mobile video did so using an iPhone, says the report.

The top Web destination for consuming mobile video, also not surprisingly, is YouTube—likely do in part to the site’s prominent anchor position on the home screen of all new iPhones. Nielsen found that Q3 2008 roughly three million unique users accessed YouTube via their mobile devices.

Yahoo unveils partners for Web TV push at CES

By Gabriel Madway

Las Vegas (Reuters) – Yahoo Inc unveiled on Wednesday a list of partners to aid its push to bring the Internet and television together, hoping their joint effort will finally connect with consumers.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Yahoo said it has forged deals with companies including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, LG Electronics Inc, Sony Corp and Vizio, which will make high-definition TVs that support Yahoo’s online service.

Ever since the dawn of the Internet Age, tech companies have been promising to bring “convergence” of the online and TV universes, but those efforts have failed to take off with consumers who have found such products difficult to use.

The new TVs announced on Wednesday will be in the market as early as the spring and will support widgets — small Internet applications — that run alongside broadcast TV content, but not over it.

The applications can be used for a wide array of Web activities, like watching videos on Google Inc’s YouTube.com, social networking on News Corp’s MySpace.com, tracking stocks and sports teams, buying and selling on eBay, messaging friends using Twitter, or using Yahoo’s own photo-sharing website Flickr.

The widgets will allow viewers more interaction with the programs they’re watching, Yahoo said. There will also be applications based on Yahoo-branded services such as Yahoo Finance.

Yahoo, which has lagged behind larger rival Google in the Web search market, will use the technology as a new avenue to sell advertising.

In an interview ahead of CES, Patrick Barry, vice president of connected TV at Yahoo, said TV “is still top of mind for advertisers,” the place where people spend the most time.

He said the key to successfully bringing the online experience to TV is to preserve what people love most about the Internet — openness, choice and personalization — without destroying the viewing experience.

“In a lot of ways, these are two different worlds, but we believe that users are increasingly looking for more out of their media platforms.”

The technology also allows outsiders to write TV applications for the platform.

The Web TV effort was originally announced by Yahoo last August in conjunction with Intel Corp, the world’s largest chipmaker. However, Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio will not be using Intel chips in their widget-enabled TVs, a Yahoo spokesman said.

Separately, Toshiba Corp announced that it would be making TVs featuring the Yahoo online service that do run Intel’s CE 3100 processor.

Yahoo said it released the widget development kit for developers on Wednesday in partnership with Intel.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway, editing by Tiffany Wu, Richard Chang)

Intel, Adobe To Add Flash To TVs

Companies to Bring Web Content to Intel’s Media Processor

By Todd Spangler — Multichannel News, 1/5/2009 9:47:00 AM
In another bid to bring Web-delivered content to TVs, Intel and Adobe Systems plan to develop a version of Adobe’s Flash media player technology to the chip maker’s media processor designed for set-tops, digital TVs and other home-entertainment devices.

Intel said it plans to ship the first CE3100 with support for an “optimized” implementation of Adobe Flash Lite by mid-2009. Many interactive Web applications, including video players, are based on the Adobe Flash platform.

Separately, Intel is working with Yahoo on a project code-named the “Widget Channel,” which the companies have touted as providing a platform for the development and delivery of on-screen TV applications with content such as weather updates, news and games.

At CES this week, Intel and Yahoo expect to demonstrate TVs developed by Samsung Electronics and Toshiba that run the Widget Channel framework. Comcast also has announced support for the initiative, through the cable industry’s tru2way specification for interactive applications.