May 9, 2011 – 12:03 am
Here's today's TVexchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.
Cablevision: It’s The Economy, Not Cord-Cutting
Cablevision lost about 8,400 video subscribers in the first quarter – a small decline of 0.2 percent. Though that’s not terrible news, even the smallest decline will conjure an immediate image in cable industry observers’ heads: cord-cutting. Nonsense, says Cablevision. FierceCable quotes COO Tom Rutledge, in a call with analysts and investors, attributing the tiny drop to the weak economy, particularly lower income neighborhoods, where real estate is in the dumps and employment is astronomical. Secondly, the carriage dispute with News Corp. over Fox that caused a Cablevision blackout during the Major League Baseball playoffs last year also resulted in some cancellations since 2010’s first quarter. The AP has Cablevision’s complete earnings lowdown here.
Rentrak In Audience Data Deal With Comcast’s Strata
Set-top box audience data aggregator Rentrak has signed a deal with Comcast-owned Strata, a "back-office" ad agency systems provider. The deal represents a leap toward developing its business of combining networks’ set-top audience data. Additionally, Mediapost’s Joe Mandese sees the partnership as a practical alternative to Nielsen's conventional panel-based ratings. What Rentrak does is let agencies using's Strata's software and systems to seamlessly plan, buy and post TV advertising buys via set-top audience estimates. Read the release.
Big Names To Boost VOD Ads
Another day, another industry trade group to build support for advanced TV is formed. This time around, ad agency trade organ The 4A's and addressable TV software provider BlackArrow have added ABC, NBCU, CTAM and Intel to the two-month-old research initiative called the Advanced Advertising Media Project. The AAMP was created to measure the impact of advanced advertising within free video on demand (VOD) television programming. It’s coming up on two years since major media companies, networks, ad agencies and tech firms came together for the Coalition For Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), so expect some interesting reports to come from AAMP, but slow progress on figuring out ways to get ads into the VOD mix. Read the release.
The Promise And The Problem Of iPad TV Viewing
In most things, it’s either feast or famine. But as AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg points out in a video overview of TV viewing options available on the iPad, it’s all just feast. The question is how. There’s either “all you can eat” with Netflix’s and Hulu’s subscription-based streaming video app – but that requires an Internet connection. And you’re not going to get anything live; at best with Hulu, you might have a to wait a day. But with Netflix, you probably have to wait an entire season. Then, there’s Comcast’s xfinity “TV Everywhere” offering, which holds the promise of live (or at least very recent) broadcast and cable network viewing. But it has too few shows to really provide a true bang. Still, Addressable TV may not be as far away as everyone thinks as IPTV may be making an end around via the iPad despite the programming limitations. Nielsen has some interesting numbers on iPad ownership and usage. For example, half of all tablet owners say they’re the only ones in their household using a particular tablet, while 43 percent said they shared the tablet with others. Check out Mossberg’s video review.
Peel Funding Connects iPhone To TV
Speaking of the connecting mobile and TV, a startup called Peel wants to be the one to connect the remote control and the programming guide back to the to users’ iPhones and iPads. The company has completed a $16.7 million series B funding round, Techcrunch’s Jason Kincaid reports. Still, there are already a number of universal remote options available through the phone, what’s the big differentiator here? Adding a TV Guide-like feature is nice and could allow Peel to capitalize on the rising mania for “checking in” to entertainment. In any case, Peel plans to use the funding proceeds to build out a Google Android app as the smartphone universe expands beyond Apple’s products.
Rovi’s Funai Deal
TV programming recommendation engine Rovi will share a patent license agreement with Funai, the manufacturer of LCD TVs. The agreement gives Funai a license to the Rovi interactive program guide and parental control patent portfolio. Read the release.
Google Gets Stake In Invidi
The Business Insider says that Google has taken a position in targeted tv software company, Invidi, in its latest, Series D round of financing. Joining Google in the $23 million round is "GroupM (a unit of holding company WPP), Motorola Ventures, and leading venture capital firms Menlo Ventures, InterWest, and EnerTech," according to TBI. Read more. All Things D's Peter Kafka says that Google's recent deal with Dish Network does not figure into the deal despite earlier reports. Read it. Invidi has raised over $85 million to date says Kafka.
By James Bailey
May 9, 2011 – 12:03 am