Ofcom outlines future of British public service television
The future for public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom has been outlined by the communications regulator Ofcom. It says “the current model of commercial public service broadcasting is clearly no longer sustainable”. The main recommendations are to maintain the BBC as the sole beneficiary of the television licence fee but ensure that there is also a viable alternative to provide public service programming. It suggests that Channel 4 could be at the heart of a new organisation, possibly in partnership with BBC Worldwide or the commercial broadcaster Five.
New MediaCityUK hub takes shape in Salford Quays
The BBC will be relocating five major departments from London to MediaCityUK at Salford Quays in the north west of England. It is being described as a new technology hub of international significance for media and digital businesses.
Al Jazeera makes video coverage freely available
Al Jazeera is making some of its news video material available for use by television stations, web sites and other users under a Creative Commons licence. The Arabic news network has exclusive coverage of the current crisis in Gaza. It is the first time that video from a news broadcaster has been released under the licence, which allows for attributed commercial and non-commercial use.
Supreme Court seeks advice on digital video recording
The case of whether a proposed remote digital video recorder service from Cablevision infringes copyright is being escalated to the highest level. The United States Supreme Court has asked the Justice Department for the views of the Solicitor General on an appeal by movie studios and television networks against an earlier ruling. Elsewhere there are renewed claims about the invalidity of the TiVo ‘Time Warp’ patent.
Sling Media founders part company with EchoStar
The co-founders of Sling Media and three more of the executive team are leaving the company that created the placeshifting Slingbox, just over a year after EchoStar acquired it in a deal valued at $380 million. The surprise development comes after a number of new product announcements, including integration in the latest EchoStar digital video recorder.