Expands reach of video streaming
Two major TV networks, ESPN and Fox, have updated their iOS apps to support streaming to AT&T U-verse subscribers. WatchESPN provides access to live feeds of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU, but only for people who already subscribe to ESPN packages from specific providers. Aside from AT&T, these include Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, Time Warner, and Verizon.
Echoes earlier Fox threat to cease over-the-air broadcasts
CBS is considering a possible move to cable if Aereo continues to operate, following comments from another broadcaster. Chief executive Les Moonves voiced approval of Fox Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey's earlier threat to cease over-the-air broadcasts, though it such an action is unlikely to occur in the first place.
Vodafone Australia to roll out 4G coverage in June
Vodafone is to launch its 4G services to Australian customers in June. The initial rollout will see Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle, and the Gold Coast covered with 4G service, according to ZDNet. Tests on the 4G signal shows it as having a download speed of 80Mbps and an upload of 20Mbps, with a claimed maximum of 150Mbps possible for some customers. Like its competitors, national carriers Telstra and Optus, Vodafone will be keeping its 4G service charges the same as its 3G access, and hopes to have 1,000 4G sites operational by the end of 2013.
Broadcaster believes product violates licensing, copyright
After being blocked in its first attempt to legally enjoin Dish Network's Hopper DVR pre-trial, Fox Broadcasting has asked a federal judge to stop customers from "place shifting" video content to smartphones and computers with the new Hopper with Sling. The suit, filed in Los Angeles, demands Dish disable the "rebroadcasting" of all content from the set top box before a trial which has yet to be scheduled.
Judge: insufficient evidence proving Hopper DVR damaging Fox
Judge Dolly Gee of the US District Court of the Central District of California ruled today that the Dish Network ad-skipping feature and automatic recording feature found in the Hopper digital video recorder system can continue to be sold and marketed. According to the ruling, Fox Broadcasting didn't demonstrate sufficient damages from the features to justify a preliminary injunction before a full trial can take place.
Fox' Digital HD movies coming to iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, Xbox Live, more
Google was one of many on Tuesday to reveal that it has signed a new deal with Twentieth Century Fox to bring over 600 titles to Google Play and YouTube. Dubbed Digital HD and available on the premium services, the shows and movies will be available to rent or buy, with many in high-definition. The campaign is highlighted by Fox's Prometheus, which can be purchased on Tuesday in HD for just under $15, a full three weeks before it comes out on Blu-ray, DVD, and video-on-demand services.
Could improve movie selection at iTunes, Google Play
HBO and Fox have renewed a rights agreement originally set to expire in 2015, AllThingsD reports. Under the new deal, Fox movies will continue appearing on HBO until 2022. More importantly, however, Fox and HBO officials say that the agreement includes a "softening" of something known as the electronic sell-through window. Previously HBO maintained a strict policy that while it was running a movie for the first time, no one else could sell or rent a title electronically.
BarryDriller.com now in network crosshairs
Even as broadcast companies battle streaming service Aereo in court over copyright infringement, other similar services are popping up; and Fox is now suing yet another company that streams its broadcasts to mobile devices. BarryDriller.com, playfully named after Barry Diller, TV mogul and Aereo investor, operates in a manner similar to Aereo but is available in more markets. As GigaOm reports, though, the new service appears willing to negotiate with the broadcasters,
Last major studio joins fold
This week's expanded iTunes in the Cloud movie services are also including Fox titles for the first time, users note. While Fox movies have been on sale through iTunes for some time, the option to redownload them via iCloud has been conspicuously absent. Fox was the last major studio holdout, following Universal's arrival in April; extended rights negotiations are likely to blame.
Appeal against iiNet rejected 5-0 in High Court
The High Court of Australia has ruled against an appeal filed by major Hollywood studios in a three year-old copyright infringement case. The studios sued Internet service provider iiNet Ltd. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the case was brought on by 32 members of the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft (AFACT) that include Warner Bros., Disney, Fox, and Paramount Pictures, among smaller, independent distributors and TV networks. The court found that iiNet had no responsibility for copyright infringements perpetuated by its customers and had no technical means of preventing it.
Hulu steps up original video content
Hulu used its turn at upfronts for TV content to reveal that it was adding four original shows beyond those teased earlier in the year. The strategy would be headlined by The Awesomes, a superhero comedy show due in 2013 that would draw on Saturday Night Live actors Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker. A nearer-term committed show, the 2012 basketball series We Got Next, would have The Game's Hale Rothstein and Kenya Barris along with The Office's Danny Leiner.
Apple gains a studio for cloud video downloads
Apple edged closer to having a complete iTunes in the Cloud on Saturday with previous holdout Universal adding support. Movies from the studio can now be re-downloaded on any device with an Apple ID, or streamed directly to an Apple TV. The expansion adds hundreds or more videos to those from existing supporters like Sony Pictures.
Netflix skips reviving sci-fi series
Netflix has reportedly dropped its possible acquisition of Terra Nova. Sources said that Netflix and Fox's 20th Television were "unable to come to terms," The Hollywood Reporter had heard. It's unclear what had been the point of dispute.
Kim Dotcom calls indictment MPAA-sponsored
Kim Dotcom, the MegaUpload founder who was arrested and his site shut down by the US government, is now speaking out quite vigorously against the government and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). He stated that Megauplaod wasn't a host for pirates, but instead a legitimate service that was likely shut down for political reasons, TorrentFreak reported. He goes on to call his indictment as being MPAA-sponsored and allegedly has evidence that will prove his innocence.
Aereo expands countering lawsuits
Aereo on Tuesday grew its countersuits against TV networks to include several more networks. Fox, PBS, Univision, WPIX, and WNET were all targeted under a complaint that wanted the judge to rule that Aereo wasn't violating the networks' copyrights. It had already sued ABC, CBS, and NBCUniversal a week ago.
Good news for BSkyB, deadline extended to July
UK satellite TV service BSkyB was given a reprieve as the Competition Commission pushed back its deadline on ruling that BSkyB's deals with six major Hollywood studios were uncompetitive, according to The Guardian. The government watchdog extended the date of its final ruling to July because it has added Netflix and LoveFilm to its investigation. Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland in January, while LoveFilm recently added a streaming service to its rent-by-mail service.
Walmart kicks of UltraViolet service, now in beta
Walmart has officially announced its UltraViolet conversion service, letting users digitize their existing DVD and Blu-ray movies. Viewers will have the ability to bring a movie into one of the more than 3,500 participating stores in the US and have their movies added to a Vudu account, after which they can stream it at any time.
Fox, Universal, WB tapped for initial deals
HBO is relaxing terms on streaming content to services like iCloud, according to a company spokesman. To attract viewers, the cable network regularly buys exclusive rights to movies; these windows usually start six months after a title's disc release, and persist for roughly a year. HBO's terms frequently prevent movies from being sold online or through video-on-demand services during a window.
Netflix may take up discarded Fox show
Netflix may take its strategy of focusing on self-produced content to a new stage by snapping up the Fox TV show Terra Nova, an insider found late Wednesday. The Internet streaming service was said by The Hollywood Reporter to be taking advantage of Fox's decision to shop around the sci-fi series to other networks after its first season. Talks were early, and it wasn't clear how much of a frontrunner Netflix might be.
iTunes in the Cloud and 3G App Store get new limit
A studio veteran divulged Wednesday that the iTunes in the Cloud access coming hand-in-hand with the new Apple TV and iTunes 10.6 doesn't include Fox and Universal. Either was tangled in HBO deals that gave the premium cable network brief exclusives that conflicted with the re-download rights, AllThingsD heard. HBO confirmed the issue but expected to find "common ground" that would clear full access.
Media on multiple devices, supports UltraViolet
Some of the same studios that developed the the UltraViolet digital standard are launching a new initiative to make content available across multiple devices. SanDisk, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Western Digital
have formed a new working group dubbed the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) to develop a new digital rights management (DRM) protocol that would make digital media available across multiple devices and through the cloud. The group will develop the system under the working title "Project Phenix."
Amazon now offers Viacom content, library at 15K+
Amazon on Wednesday officially confirmed earlier rumors that it has inked a deal with cable provider Viacom to bring its TV shows to Amazon's Instant Video streaming service. As part of the deal, Amazon will allow customers to access thousands of episodes from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT, and Logo. This will include past seasons of shows like Chappelle's Show, Hot in Cleveland, Jersey Shore, Yo Gabba Gabba, and iCarly, among others.
Hulu starts up own online-only TV series
Hulu followed in Netflix's footsteps Sunday by launching its first fictional, original TV series. Battleground covers a fictional political campaign in Wisconsin and is produced by JD Walsh, 500 Days of Summer's Marc Webb, and Hagai Shaham. It should be followed up by more documentaries, including a second season of Morgan Spurlock's A Day in the Life and Richard Linklater's new Up to Speed.
Fox tries iTunes for new Avatar technique
Fox is trying what it claims is a first for take-home movies with an upcoming iTunes Extras Special Edition version of Avatar ($20 pre-order, iTunes). The James Cameron action movie will let viewers see and control simultaneous views of 17 key scenes the movie that include the completed picture, the rough-computer generated framing, and the live motion capture. Green Screen X-ray will also let viewers selectively see the raw live action side of the content just by dragging the "X-ray" over parts of the scene.
Netflix gets lock on Arrested Development return
Fox and Imagine Television confirmed a major deal on Friday to get new episodes of Arrested Development. The agreement outlined by Variety would revive the cult hit TV show starting from early 2013. It reportedly won out in a fierce bidding competition with traditional TV that included Showtime, among others.
CBS says Apple planned stream TV with shared cash
CBS chief Les Moonves may have inadvertently confirmed Apple's negotiations for a streaming TV service during the company's fiscal results call. He claimed that CBS had turned down a deal for a service because it would have split ad revenues. The executive didn't give details of what the service would have involved.
Hulu says studios see it as too valuable
Hulu in a brief note said it had decided to stop its attempted selloff. The statement, which had the support of Disney, investor Providence Equity Partners, and Fox's parent company News Corp., claimed that each of the owners though there was too much of a "unique and compelling strategic value" for each of them to sell. It would instead center on existing plans.
Yahoo rumored jumping ship from Hulu deals
Yahoo is reportedly out of the increasingly uncertain bidding process for Hulu, a claimed leak said late Sunday. The search engine has allegedly been identified by the WSJ sources as the original mystery bidder but also to have exited entirely. The internal turmoil following Carol Bartz' firing and the possibility of a sell-off were attributed to the departure.
Amazon Instant Video gets big boost from Fox deal
Amazon on Monday scored an important content deal with Fox just ahead of its Kindle tablet event on Wednesday. The deal will give access to recent and classic movies as well as older TV shows. While not getting very current content, it will bring Amazon's content up significantly to 11,000 movies and TV shows.
Google may try for very special Hulu bid
Google's bid for Hulu may involve a much more elaborate prospect than anyone else, insiders gave out Tuesday. Amazon, Dish, and Yahoo are all offering conventional bids of up to $2 billion, but Google is now thought to have said "there's enough money" for a much more involved deal. Tips to AllThingsD didn't identify what the intentions were, but the amount was enough that Hulu would have normally thrown it out were it not for the cash involved.
Rare exception to restrictive network policies
Fox is doing a rare TV show giveaway on the US iTunes Store, reports note. The network is currently offering the pilot episode of New Girl, a sitcom will only officially premiere on September 28th. Show downloads should remain free until around that date, after which people will have to pay normal iTunes prices. Variety comments that the giveaway may mark only the second time a US broadcaster has given away a complete sneak peek, the first instance being Fox's failed series Lone Star.
Hulu Plus now active in Japan
Hulu on cue has launched Hulu Plus for Japan. The country is the first outside of the US to get Hulu and gives it a very different business model. Plus is the only option in the country and costs the equivalent of $19 per month, almost twice as much as the $8 it does in the US.
Apple sheds mention of TV show rentals
(Update: official explanations) Apple has dropped the 99-cent TV show rentals that it used to launch the second-generation Apple TV. Along with dropping the option from the store itself, the Apple TV product page no longer makes mention of the option. Rentals are now limited to movies, and TV shows are back to being purchase-only.
Fox delay of Hulu TV shows results in more piracy
The decision of Fox to start an eight-day TV show delay online has been met with a spike in piracy, TorrentFreak reported. Last Monday, Fox began the eight-day delay on Hulu and its own Fox.com website. Fox hopes to have encouraged viewers to sign up and pay for its programming to watch the TV shows as they air.
ABC working on authenticating online video views
ABC will join Fox in requiring users to log in while viewing online TV content. This solidifies earlier rumors that the Disney-owned network will do this, sources said to AllThingsD. During an earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated he back distributing his company's content over nontraditional outlets like Hulu and Netlfix as long as it doesn't disrupt the current relationship with cable companies.
Future Disney deals to require log-in for web TV
Disney is following in the footsteps of the Fox book by requiring online TV show viewers to be pay TV subscribers and log in with a cable ID. According to a Wednesday GigaOM report, the company is working on deals with content distributors to allow this. Thus far, cable networks like CNN and HBO are already requiring such logins.
iTunes Replay may be months off
Talk of iTunes Replay bringing cloud movie streaming might have come too soon. Insiders claimed Monday that Apple didn't have deals with at least four of six major movie studios. Any deal would be months off at best, CNET was told.
Qriocity coming to Xperia minis on Monday
Sony on Monday, August 1 will begin the phased roll-out of its Qriocity service for Xperia smartphones. At first, the Xperia mini and Xperia mini pro will get access. Available content to rent or buy will include movies and TV shows from NBC and its partner Universal, Paramount, Sony, Fox, and Warner Bros., in addition to local and more independent studios.
Fox demands 8-day delay on Hulu shows
Fox on Tuesday night set out to shelter traditional TV with a long hinted-at plan to delay TV shows on Hulu for non-subscribers. Free viewers will face an eight-day delay for access to Fox TV shows unless they either pay for Hulu Plus or can prove they subscribe to a conventional TV service. Only satellite provider Dish Network is so far cleared to give users same-day access in the strategy, which starts up August 15.
Fox to offer digital copies of movies this fall
Fox will become the first movie studio to bring movie downloads to Google's Android platform this October. The first movie will be X-Men: First Class, a digital copy of which Blu-ray disc buyers will be able to download and sideload onto their Android devices. The service will at first be available in the US, the UK, France and Germany.
Amazon and CBS deal dampens Hulu buy rumor
Amazon.com and CBS Corporation on Wednesday announced they have entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement that will let Amazon Prime customers stream CBS TV shows. The deal will see 2,000 additional episodes from 18 CBS TV shows such as The Tudors, Cheers, and the complete Star Trek series collection, among others. Also, later this summer, regular Amazon Instant Video customers will get access to dozens of CBS shows.
Netflix and Hulu mutually uninterested in deal
New tips Sunday ruled out Netflix as one of the candidates to buy Hulu. The movie streaming service hasn't been actively involved, sources for the WSJ said. Hulu also reportedly hasn't been actively interested, in part since it would create overlap and reduce the number of suppliers, not increase them.
Hulu talks to Amazon, ATT, Verizon, more
Hulu's shopping itself around also includes Amazon, AT&T, and Verizon, insiders revealed Tuesday. The companies are part of a "short list" that included Microsoft as its first stop last week and will include Yahoo and Google next. AllThingsD's sources didn't learn how Microsoft had reacted but also heard Hulu will bring up the idea to Facebook, Liberty Media, Netflix, and Samsung.
Hulu content to stay exclusive after sale, more
More details regarding the upcoming and expected sale of Hulu have been dug up by AllThingsD. Hulu's content partners, including known deals for Disney and Fox, have extended their licenses and these will stay in place after a sale of the video streaming company. Comcast/NBCUniversal will be forced to follow these partners, and the content from the three will be mainly exclusive to Hulu.
Hulu shopping itself to diverse mix of companies
Hulu has responded to a proposed buyout by shopping itself around to a very wide range of companies, insiders have said Monday. The TV streaming site has been reaching out to "media, technology and communications" firms to see how interested they might be. The WSJ understands Hulu could still go unsold.
Hulu close to Disney deal following Fox
Tipsters said Friday that Hulu was wrapping up a deal to keep getting ABC and Disney shows. A pair of sources said a rough deal had already been set that would keep shows going in return for more than the 2.5 minutes of ads Hulu normally runs. The deal seen by AdAge could be completed within "weeks."
Hulu rumored selling itself off
Two insiders said Tuesday night that Hulu was considering selling itself after having been given a buyout offer. The source hadn't been identified but, according to CNBC's Julia Boorstin, was "not Google." Hulu hadn't decided what to do about the offer other than exploring its possibilities.
Vudu adds TV shows for first time
Vudu chose Tuesday to throw itself into more direct competition with iTunes and Netflix by carrying TV shows. The deal gives it access to shows from ABC, AMC, Fox, HDNet, Palm, Showtime, Sony, Starz, and The CW, such as Weeds and The Walking Dead. As a paid service, its episodes will show a day after the air date rather than weeks or months like on Netflix.
Fox, Paramount blame piracy for YouTube exit
Fox and Paramount have supposedly backed out of YouTube's imminent major movie service in an attempt to force action on piracy. Unofficial comments from the two claim that they won't get onboard as long as Google is indexing pirate video sites in its search engine and allowing them AdSense placement. Disney, not mentioned before, was also leaning the same direction, The Wrap said.
YouTube may intro major movie service
YouTube's largely public plans for a major studio movie service could be realized as soon as this week or next, studio executives purportedly said Monday. The service would initially work through a video-on-demand rental system, presumably streaming, rather than permanent sales. Some studios like Lionsgate, Sony, Warner, and Universal would be onboard, The Wrap heard, but Google has allegedly had trouble getting support and would have to forsake movies from Fox and Paramount for the initial unveiling.