Tag - NBC Universal
Lovefilm has signed a multi-year agreement with NBC Universal to stream Universal Pictures films to its Lovefilm Instant users. The addition of Universal extends the roster of films that currently includes movies from Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Entertainment One, and Studio Canal. The streaming agreement would help the Amazon-owned movie rental company fight off Netflix, which launched in the UK in January.
Earlier rumors of Hulu going back on its decision to sell itself off are proving true, two sources have told SAI. The bids, while they are still rolling in, aren't as high as initially hoped. Hulu's parent companies are reportedly looking for $2 billion for the online service.
Comcast has announced that it has hired Meredith Attwell Baker, an FCC Commissioner. The Republican Commissioner will join the cable provider as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for NBC Universal, a leadership position in the company's Washington DC-based lobbying division. The move has raised eyebrows, considering the Commissioners recent role in approving Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal.
Regulators are reportedly considering the deeper implications of Comcast's proposed buyout of NBC Universal. Although any conditions placed on the deal may only have an immediate effect on Comcast and NBC, such terms are expected to serve as a potential basis for new regulations that could be applied to the entire industry, according to an Associated Press report.
NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker asserted at hearings today that Hulu, not NBC, was responsible for blocking Boxee from accessing its videos. When questioned about the move in justifying the Comcast NBC merger, Zucker said Hulu executives made the decision themselves since Boxee was "illegally" taking content from the streaming TV site without having agreed to a deal. Outside deals are acceptable with formal terms, he said.
Hulu won't undergo a shakeup following the Comcast buyout of NBC, the cable provider said during a conference call to discuss the merger. Comcast chief operating officer Stephen Burke called Hulu's existing business model "smart and appropriate" and said there weren't any plans to change the way the streaming video site works. He points out that the split already works in Comcast's favor, as much of Hulu's content comes from basic cable and leaves out the premium channels that Comcast would want to reserve for On Demand Online.
Comcast today confirmed late rumors and bought a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal that gives it control of the studio. The deal sees GE maintain a 49 percent stake and receive about $6.5 billion from Comcast; NBC Universal in turn is borrowing $9.1 billion to pay GE. While the new combined company doesn't yet have a name, but Comcast has created a second division known as the Comcast Entertainment Group that will handle the content aspects of the venture.
Comcast and General Electric have allegedly finalized a deal that will land Comcast a 51 percent majority stake in NBC Universal, unnamed sources told CNBC. The sources claim only paperwork remains to be finished as the companies prepare to officially announce the merger. Vivendi is expected to quickly finish signing an agreement to sell its stake, which sits at 20 percent.
The free online video-on-demand (VOD) service, Hulu, may be expanding for the first time to a market outside of the US, with a launch in the UK as soon as September, the UK's Telegraph reported on Wednesday. Sources close to the negotiations tell the daily newspaper that Hulu is in talks with the UK's ITV and Channel 4 for content partners, and the service would bring over more than 3,000 hours of American TV content. Content from the BBC is also being negotiated.
Disney this morning said it has obtained an equity stake in Hulu. The deal, which puts three Disney executives on the Hulu board, gives the studio equal influence along with original founders NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox) in addition to the ability to publish content on the streaming web video service. Most of its initial lineup will center on current and back-catalog TV shows from ABC and Disney, such as Lost and Dancing with the Stars, but should also include "popular library titles" from Walt Disney Studios.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN