Microsoft courts partners but rejects revival of Kangaroo
Microsoft says it has no plans to revive the Kangaroo online video project planned by British broadcasters but blocked for being anticompetitive. It follows a report that Ashley Highfield, the former chief executive of the Kangaroo project, now at Microsoft, has been talking to broadcasters about possible partnerships. A joint venture between MSN and ITV would be an interesting option.
Hulu pulls programmes from TV.com and Boxee
Hulu, the online video joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp, has pulled its programming from TV.com, which CBS acquired when it bought CNET last year for $1.8 billion. CBS recently relaunched the TV.com site with a similar look and feel to Hulu. The development comes as Hulu also pulled its programmes from Boxee, an application which allows users to view online programming on their television. Meanwhile, cable companies are seeking to provide their own online subscription services.
Ooyala gets boost from Joost and IBM
Mike Volpi, the former Cisco executive who heads the online video company Joost, has joined another online video services provider as an advisor, together with a senior executive from IBM. There are reports that Ooyala, which provides its own video platform, will also be offering services to both Joost and IBM. Investors in Joost should be looking for an exit.
Sirius takes Liberty loan to keep it aloft
Sirius XM Radio has been bailed out of immediate problems but at a high price. Liberty Media will loan the satellite radio operation a total of over a half a billion dollars at an interest rate of 15%, secured against substantially all its assets, in return for a 40% equity stake. That will enable Sirius XM to repay bonds due to satellite television company EchoStar and avoid the need to seek bankruptcy protection. It is unlikely to be enough to save Sirius in the longer term, but it looks like a characteristically clever deal that gives Liberty a strong claim over the company and its satellites.
Solaris Mobile satellite service gears up for launch
With a satellite scheduled for launch in March, Solaris Mobile is planning to provide mobile television and in-vehicle entertainment, information and communication services across Europe. The joint venture between Eutelsat and SES Astra has been demonstrating the service in a number of Mercedes rental cars at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, using terrestrial transmissions supported by Albertis Telecom.