Jury awards Personal Audio $1.3 million, less than the $7.8 million sought
Podcasters may not be in the clear of potential patent violations after a ruling this week in a Texas court. Six jurors found that CBS Corporation, home of the television network with shows like The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest, infringed upon the patent by streaming episodic content of its television shows on the Internet. The trial only lasted four days, with CBS failing to prove the patent owned by Personal Audio LLC should be invalidated.
CEO comments suggest premium channels could have future standalone subscriptions
Subscriptions to Showtime and HBO separate from a cable television service could still happen, according to comments made at an investor conference. The CEOs of Time Warner and CBS both made similar statements, suggesting the channels may be available without requiring a cable subscription, with viewers able to watch shows over the Internet.
W0rm interested in publicizing security holes, not motivated by profit
Purported white-hat Russian hacker group w0rm has attacked tech news website CNet. The group claims that it has usernames, email addresses, and encrypted passwords for one million users of its information services. A tweet on Monday by the group confirmed the attack, but even after a sale offer for a single Bitcoin was made, the group claims to be interested in drawing attention to security and "nothing more."
Hulu signs with CBS for 2,600 new episodes of programming for Hulu Plus
Hulu has made a new deal with US broadcaster CBS, adding 2,600 new episodes to its subscription-based television and movie streaming service Hulu Plus. The library expansion includes classic television content such as The Brady Bunch, Melrose Place and Taxi, as well as more recent programming such as Everybody Loves Raymond. The added content brings Hulu Plus' CBS library to over 5,300 episodes.
Reflects growing importance of digital viewing
CBS will stream its full coverage of NFL playoff games to computers and tablets beginning this year, according to an announcement. That entails AFC playoff games -- including one wildcard -- and any divisional and championship rounds. People will generally have to watch through CBSSports.com, as the network hasn't said anything about app support.
Programming block lasted one full month, channels returning 6PM EST
CBS and Time Warner Cable have come to an agreement for the cable company to continue to show CBS-owned programming for CBS stations in New York (WCBS and WLYW), Los Angeles (KCBS and KCAL) and Dallas (KTVT and KTXA). Programming on all networks will resume at 6PM ET today. The deal covers Showtime, CBS Sports, and the Smithsonian Channel, among others. The channel block lasted for 31 days before today's deal was signed.
Free antennas for customers in four affected markets
Time Warner Cable is attempting to help customers affected by the CBS blackout by issuing free antennas. TWC is offering a free basic antenna to a limited number of subscribers in four markets, or the alternate option of $20 in Best Buy credit towards an antenna of their choice, allowing its customers access to view dark channels through over-the-air broadcasts.
CBS, Time Warner accuse each other of having hidden agendas
While negotiations to restore CBS programming to Time Warner Cable are underway, reports indicate that they aren't going well. A CBS executive said today that the talks have "gone badly off course" and blamed Time Warner for forcing conditions on the broadcast agreement that would hamper CBS's efforts to work with streaming companies such as Netflix, Apple's iTunes, and Amazon.
Letter using incendiary remarks, may not be entirely above board
[Updated with a statement from CBS] With negotiations continuing, Time Warner Cable's CEO Glen Britt says that the cable giant is ready to continue broadcasting CBS programming -- with certain caveats. A letter from the Time Warner CEO to his counterpart at CBS proposes that "Time Warner Cable immediately agree to resume carriage with the new economics TWC resultantly agreed to during our negotiations, while employing all the other terms and conditions of our recently-expired contracts." Interestingly, the letter also suggests to CBS CEO Les Moonves that Time Warner Cable could allow the programming on an a la carte basis, with 100 percent of the price remitted to CBS, allowing the free market to dictate if the CBS programming is valuable.
14 million people potentially affected by disconnect
In the latest development in the Time Warner Cable and CBS licensing disagreement, Time Warner Cable has yet again discontinued CBS-owned programming in New York City, with other venues to follow. Channels affected by the negotiation failure are local CBS stations, Showtime, The Movie Channel (TMC), Flix, and the Smithsonian channel. Areas likely to see the programming cut are Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and Pittsburgh.
Sources claim deal still distant, clock ticking on future disconnect
Time Warner Cable and CBS may not be agreeing on much at the negotiation table, but they have both decided to set a new 5PM EST Friday, August 2 deadline for the ongoing negotiations to keep the CBS content on stations in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. Time Warner Cable briefly cut off some customers last night after a midnight EST deal-making deadline came and went with no agreement in place.
Extended negotiations cross the wire with no deal in sight
[Update: stations stay on for now, some still seeing outages] CBS and Time Warner Cable have failed to reach an agreement in extended rebroadcast negotiations. Time Warner customers in New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles may or may not be receiving local CBS stations, Showtime, The Movie Channel (TMC), Flix, and the Smithsonian channel as a result of the failure, regardless of whether the subscriber is paying the premium. CBS now says that the companies have "agreed to continue discussions."
Amazon signs deal with CBS, Star Trek reaches Lovefilm in UK, Germany
Amazon has signed a multi-year deal with CBS Studios to stream shows from CBS and Showtime on Lovefilm in the UK and Germany. Subscribers of the streaming service will have access to episodes of Californication, Dexter, Nurse Jackie, and both the 1960s original Star Trek and Star Trek Voyager from today, with other shows heading to it in the future.
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.
CBS app to integrate with CBS Connect
TV network CBS has launched a new, self-named app for the iPhone and iPad. The software allows streaming of CBS shows within 24 hours of their original broadcast time, with the exception of new episodes of primetime programs, which are only available eight days after broadcast. Once the fall season starts the title will integrate with the CBS Connect app, letting people use an iOS device as a second screen, with things like synced content and integrated social network feeds.
Reviews ban put in place over existing Dish litigation
Executives at CBS have forced CNet to remove Dish Network's Hopper from its CES awards, due to ongoing lawsuits. CNet's parent company apparently wanted the awards changed shortly after a ban on products by companies CBS was in litigation with came into effect, and forced the change on the editorial team, leading one reporter to announce their departure.
Medium, Numb3rs, other CBS shows in non-exclusive deal
CBS and Hulu revealed today a new multi-year agreement that will bring CBS' television content to the popular streaming service. CBS shows will now be available on Hulu Plus in a non-exclusive arrangement, but the broadcaster is said to be holding out on making its content available on the free version of Hulu.
Most pay locked up in stock options
Apple CEO Tim Cook was the highest-paid CEO of 2011, according to a study released by the Hay Group and the Wall Street Journal. Cook's package for the year was valued at $378 million, although most of it is locked up in the form of stock grants issued after he took control from Steve Jobs in August. The first half of the shares will vest in 2016; the remainder will follow in 2021, contingent on Cook staying with Apple.
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.
Aereo demands clearance to keep broadcasting
Aereo started off the week with a countersuit hoping to stop a broadcaster lawsuit targeting its fledgling mobile TV streaming service. The service wanted the court to declare that Aereo didn't violate the copyrights of ABC, CBS, and NBCUniversal, effectively negating the original complaint. None of the services had formally tried to stop the launch of Aereo, which goes live on Wednesday.
Big Bang Theory makes Siri a key selling point
Apple got more than a few endorsements this week after The Big Bang Theory made Siri a core part of an episode's plot line. Raj gets an iPhone 4S and quickly falls in love with it, since it appears to respond to every romantic question he has. It agrees to call him "sexy" and suggests places to that he imagines being places for a date.
Citi study shows Netflix stil in comfortable lead
A new Citi Investment Research study from analyst Mike Mahaney points to Netflix still increasing its share of Internet movie and TV viewing. Between May and December, Netflix's share of those watching movies on TV grew from 20 to 27 percent. Most of that came at the expense of Hulu, which was down from 19 percent to 15.
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.
Netflix to stream CW TV shows for four years
The CW Television Network, owned by CBS and Warner Bros., agreed on a four-year deal to stream its TV shows on Netflix. This will allow subscribers to stream previous seasons of scripted series that aired on The CW until the 2015 season. More than 700 hours of older CW episodes will be available on Netflix.
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.
Mad Men Seasons 1-4 available on demand
Netflix has reached an agreement with CBS Corp. that will allow some of the network's programming to be streamed to foreign markets. The deal includes such CBS shows as "Californication," "Dexter," "Numb3rs" and "Twin Peaks." Many of the networks' most popular series are excluded. Netflix operates in Canada and is expanding to 43 countries in Latin America, with other foreign markets to be added later.
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.
Star Trek PADD gets official iPad app
Star Trek fans saw a slice of the sci-fi become real on Monday after CBS put out an official PADD app ($5, App Store). The app recreates the device's LCARS interface from TNG-era shows and is treated as a database for the universe with characters, ships, species, and TV episodes. It carries 'authentic' sound effects and has diagnostic demos around the NCC1701-D version of the Enterprise.
Netflix matches Comcast with 22.8m subscribers
Netflix reached a milestone in its winter 2011 results (PDF) as it tied with Comcast to become the largest subscription service in the US. The movie rental and streaming firm added 3.3 million new customers between January and March to hit 22.8 million users, or exactly as many customers as the cable TV giant. Its expansion gave it a 63 percent leap in total subscribers just over the same period last year and nearly double the growth rate.
Netflix said landing complete Star Trek TV deal
Netflix may land a key deal to show every Star Trek episode ever made. The company reportedly confirmed that it would have access to all five storylines, ranging from the classic 1960s show through to Enterprise. TrekMovie understood that all but Deep Space Nine would go live on July 1, with the holdout coming October 1.
Netflix tipped near 100m Miramax deal
Tips on Friday had Netflix near a major deal that would give it access to all of Miramax's movies. An agreement that would be "well north of" $100 million would allow streaming for the next five years. The Reuters tip had few other details but was supported by a WSJ rumor corroborating similar terms.
CBS brings classic TV shows to Netflix
CBS today showed a rare willingness to bring its TV shows to a subscription Internet service today and gave Netflix some key content. Classic shows such as Cheers, Star Trek and Twin Peaks will now be viewable through a streaming plan, as will two newer shows, Flashpoint and Medium. The non-exclusive deal lasts for two years and has an option for a two-year renewal.
Grace Digital Solo Touch, Bravado X, Mondo hit CES
Grace Digital hoped to get in updates on its radios before a wave of CES news with the launch of three new Internet radios. The Bravado X, Mondo and Solo Touch now have color, higher resolution displays that provide a much clearer and more image-driven interface. All three can be controlled either from buttons or from the company's iPhone remote control app (free, App Store).
Video newsmagazine a natural fit
The venerable television newsmagazine show 60 Minutes, now in its 43rd year on-air, has debuted a $5 iPad app that features videos from current and past shows, updated every Sunday after the broadcast. The application, now available from the App Store, also includes web extras and 60MinutesOvertime.com content, and works on either Wi-Fi or 3G.
Fox website blocks Google TV browser
Google today faced another major setback as viewers discovered that Fox had joined SyFy and other majors in blocking Google TV. Anyone trying to watch Bones, The Simpsons and other shows on Fox.com are given an error claiming the content is "not compatible with your device." Fox was thought to have been uncertain but now appeared to have settled on banning the platform's Chrome web browser.
SyFy latest to block Google TV browser
Viewers discovered this weekend that SyFy has begun blocking Google TV devices from its site. The NBC-owned channel began telling users that video is not "currently available on this device." It joins blocks by other major studios, including NBC itself as well as ABC and CBS. Hulu has blocked Google TV from its free access since before launch.
Google TV set back by TV agency blocks
Google TV is being blocked by TV studios at least partly out of piracy fears, tips alleged on Thursday [sub. required]. Disney's ABC as well as CBS have all confirmed that they prevent the TV OS from watching their free Flash video sites. The WSJ understood from leaks that at least Disney and NBC had objected because it didn't think Google was doing enough to stop piracy.
Broadcasters claim copyright infringement
Several broadcasters have filed a lawsuit against Ivi TV after the startup defied cease-and-desist demands to stop retransmitting broadcast TV signals via the Internet without permission. Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS have accused the small company of copyright infringement for its web-based streaming service, which provides access to over 20 channels for $5/month.
Shows include 60 Minutes, Evening News
CBS has launched an iPad-native version of its CBS News app at the App Store. Users can access text and video content by navigating through a variety of categories, such as the top national and international news, or crime, health and science/technology stories. The app also provides access to clips and episodes from several TV shows, including 60 Minutes, the CBS Evening News and Face the Nation.
ABC and Fox lined up for iTunes TV rental pilot
Apple has managed to line up two major TV networks for its 99-cent iTunes TV rentals ahead of tomorrow's event, a late leak may have confirmed this evening. Previously undecided Fox as well as ABC have reportedly agreed to offer at least some of their shows. The WSJ sources warned that Fox might only offer rentals for a short time as a trial balloon and that it wouldn't include shows where rights aren't uniformly in its favor, like American Idol.
iTunes TV rentals may cost 1 per series per month
Apple's proposed iTunes TV rentals could be cheaper still than originally thought if an unverified but notable rumor is true. Rather than charge 99 cents per episode, Cult of Mac claimed late Thursday that it would cost that amount per TV series per month. Under the model, a customer could watch every episode of four shows for $4 each month, or well under the $32 it would cost to buy the same content.
More details of 99c iTunes TV rentals emerge
Apple's ongoing discussions for 99-cent iTunes TV rentals were given support today by a pair of sources Tuesday evening. Anonymous contacts told the WSJ this evening that Disney was the closest to a deal and could agree to allowing some ABC shows soon. It's speculated that Apple chief Steve Jobs' position on Disney's board of directors would be a strong influence on the plan.
Google TV not very welcome at TV providers
Google is getting significant resistance from TV networks for its Google TV strategy, insiders said Wednesday. It has reportedly talked with ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC about scraping video site data and TV-ready reformatting but has so far been turned down, the WSJ wrote. Studios are allegedly worried that the info, which would help mix TV and web results, could lure customers away from more profitable traditional TV or put pirated material ahead of legitimate content.
CBS hopes to bring TV to paid Hulu service
CBS' CEO Les Moonves this afternoon admitted that his studio was in talks to bring TV shows to Hulu Plus. He explained that the addition of the $10 monthly option changed the dynamics as it meant CBS could get paid in more than one way "without hurting the mother ship." No timeframe was given for when CBS might arrive if a deal is struck.
Hulu subscription testing said imminent
More Hulu news has surfaced this evening as a leak now suggests the paid Hulu Plus service will start running in a matter of days. Anonymous contacts said a trial version of the subscription TV streaming is due to go live before the end of June. It would be invite-only at first, and negotiations with studios are believed to still be in later stages.
Hulu could have four studios in subscription TV
Hulu is in talks with CBS and Time Warner to add their TV shows in time for the paid subscription service, a leak from within the negotiations may have given away today. While terms of the deal haven't been outlined in full, CBS would start supplying shows for the paid service by September, as the new TV season starts. Time Warner's staging wasn't outlined by the Bloomberg source.
NBC and Time Warner hoping Flash bites Apple
A number of major studios that include NBC and Time Warner are deliberately rejecting HTML5 video in favor of Flash, rumors maintained today. TV networks have allegedly told Apple they have no plans to switch as the cost and results wouldn't be worthwhile. None of the involved companies has confirmed or denied the remarks.
Bitbop gives testers major video streams
Bitbop today quietly entered the first part of its beta. Four BlackBerry devices can download or stream TV shows from 25 providers, such as CBS, Fox and NBC. Android phones, iPhones and movies aren't part of the early testing but should come later.
Hulu Plus won't make May 24 date
The Hulu Plus subscription service is in "no way" ready for its rumored May 24th trial date, a follow-up leak claimed today. While an updated schedule isn't available, the $10 plan is said to be still far too distant. The AllThingsD tipster didn't explain what was holding up the expanded service, although negotiations with ABC, Fox and NBC are possible candidates.
Desktop, iPad videos to go live simultaneously
iPad owners should have access to all of the web videos available on CBS.com by the start of the fall TV season, says Anthony Soohoo, the senior VP of CBS Interactive. While the iPad can already view some clips and episodes from the site using HTML5, access is otherwise unequal, with clips coming only gradually. This severely limits the practicality of an iPad for watching CBS shows.