Premiering this week, Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen is an online-only series in which chefs eliminated from the TV show get a chance to return to the competition. But as a case study in integrating web content into a series, it’s a potential disaster. Read more »
Frontier Communications is trying to find new ways to provide value to subscribers and is rolling out one of the most comprehensive video portals online. With TumTiki, Frontier is bringing together more than 700,000 video assets from a combination of traditional broadcast TV and online sources. Read more »
Bravo, the cable television network known for such reality shows as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Millionaire Matchmaker, is apparently looking for young professionals to star in an upcoming reality show based on Silicon Valley. Read more »
For Silicon Valley startups, good timing can be just as crucial as good technology. Just ask Bunchball, the six-year-old, San Jose, Calif.-based, social gaming, software startup. In 2005, when the company debuted its software platform, the current industry buzzword “gamification” hadn’t even been coined yet. Read more »
Today on the Net: Will Ferrell stars in an exclusive Wired iPad app video, Howcast is clocking 25 million video views per month, network execs want more ad dollars for TV Everywhere content and 3G iPhone users can now install Facetime by voiding their warranty. Read more »
Over the past three years, the Internet has become a major secondary distribution platform for free-to-air broadcast programming. Whether through network programmers’ own sites, such as ABC.com, or through aggregators like Hulu and TV.com, ad-supported broadcast programming today is generally available online shortly after its initial airing at no cost to the user. However, programming such as ESPN, TNT and the Discovery Channel, which originates on pay-TV platforms (i.e. cable, satellite and telco TV services) has been a different story.
Cable system operators and other multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) are loathe to see the programming for which they are charging subscribers hefty monthly fees made available “over-the-top” without a subscription. Over time, they fear, consumers would be tempted to drop their expensive cable service if they could access their favorite programs online.
Cable networks, for their part, collect hefty fees from MVPDs for the right to retransmit their programming, from a few cents per subscriber per month, to as much as $3.75 per subscriber per month, for the most popular channels like Disney’s ESPN. In aggregate, cable networks collect about $25 billion per year in “affiliate fees” from MVPDs, about the same amount as they generate collectively from advertising sales.
As a result, much of the original programming on pay-TV networks is not currently available online, and that which is often doesn’t appear until well after its original air date. The popularity of portals like Hulu (not to mention illegal sources of TV content), however, has accustomed consumers to expect access to their favorite shows online, putting pressure on the industry to respond. Network programmers and marketers, meanwhile, are also anxious to extend their programming franchises by tapping the broad, online audience.
TV Everywhere, which aims to make subscription programming available online exclusively to current pay-TV subscribers, represents an effort to square that circle. In this report, we look at the players, potential costs, and emerging opportunities of these efforts. Read more »
Here a Fred, there a Fred, everywhere a Fred-Fred. The specter of 15-year-old Lucas Cruikshank has seemed to haunt NATPE’s LA TV Fest this week, with mentions of his hit web creation, Fred Figglehorn, on many a talk or panel. Here’s our report from the conference […] Read more »