Comcast deal marks beginning of new era
The planned joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal will create a massive media production and distribution machine that marks the move from the traditional television and movie business into a new era of networked digital distribution. There are already questions about what that means for Hulu and the implications for the OnDemand Online service that Comcast is rebranding Xfinity as part of its own TV Everywhere ambitions.
BBC spins web site to canvas support
The BBC has commissioned a web site to promote Project Canvas, its proposed joint venture partnership with ITV, Five and BT to promote a new platform for broadband connected television. The new approach hints at signs of greater openness in the project, which is lobbying for approval from the BBC Trust. It is now proposed that the joint venture will not be controlled by public service broadcasters and all partners will have an equal share in the business. There is also a commitment to publish the technical specifications.
YouTube signs Five for more full-length shows
Following its landmark deal with Channel Four, YouTube has added full-length programmes from channel Five in the United Kingdom. It significantly strengthens the position of the Google owned video platform in an increasingly competitive environment. If other broadcasters follow suit it could be very difficult for third-party aggregators to compete.
BBC on SeeSaw while others watch and wait
SeeSaw, the online video venture from Arqiva, has announced its first distribution deal, with BBC Worldwide. Built on the project Kangaroo platform, acquired from the joint venture between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 that was blocked by the Competition Commission, SeeSaw still has some way to go to reach a credible launch proposition but has a strong team on board and a positive outlook.
BBC iPlayer usage still marginal to broadcasting
The BBC iPlayer is reaching over four million online video viewers a week in the United Kingdom, which represents an impressive reach of over 6% of all television viewers in the country. However, the audience peaks at around 135,000 concurrent video viewers and just 35,000 simultaneous online radio listeners, according to the latest figures. That could change if more people are able to access the service on their television. The BBC also released images that may suggest a new native application in development for the Apple iPhone, which appears to feature the option to download video, rather than simply stream it in a browser.