Chromecast games use smartphones as controllers for on-TV gaming
The latest wave of Chromecast additions includes a number of family-friendly games, Google has revealed. In time for the holidays, the streaming HDMI dongle now has a wider selection of games available to play, using smartphones and tablets as the main interface, alongside two more channels for streaming movies and TV shows.
Streaming video on demand subscribers continue to rise
Streaming video services such as Netflix and Hulu could in some cases be eroding the customer base of premium television broadcasters, according to a new report. NPD Group figures for the period between March 2012 and August 2013 show that the number of subscribers to HBO, Showtime, and other channels have dropped from 38 percent of US households to 32 percent.
Stars premiering Michael Bay-produced show one week before broadcast
A pirate drama by Starz will be taking the unusual step of premiering online one week before being broadcast. Black Sails, produced by Michael Bay, will be made available to view on January 18th through iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox Video, the Maxim website and Xbox Live app, and the Machinima YouTube channel, according to Variety, with Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox, and Charter Communications also set to offer the show through alternative platforms.
Move doubles Netflix stock gains for the year
Netflix has emerged victorious from its negotiations to carry Disney animated and live-action films. The agreement starts in 2016, following the completion of the Liberty Media Corp-owned Starz Entertainment deal. Netflix subscribers will gain exclusive access to movies from Pixar, Marvel, and Disney, with the fate of the upcoming Star Wars movies yet to be determined.
MLB joins cable on Xbox 360
Microsoft took its promised Comcast Xfinity TV and HBO Go support live on the Xbox 360 Tuesday with the extra addition of MLB.tv. Akin to the ESPN app, it gives users the option of watching live and on-demand events, albeit live only for out-of-market games. Kinect owners have the extra advantage of motion and voice commands that can sometimes speed up the action.
Netflix skips reviving sci-fi series
Netflix has reportedly dropped its possible acquisition of Terra Nova. Sources said that Netflix and Fox's 20th Television were "unable to come to terms," The Hollywood Reporter had heard. It's unclear what had been the point of dispute.
Netflix deal means less content for subscribers
Following an announcement in September that Starz streaming content deal with Netflix would end in February, its content has now been pulled. Starz runs 17 channels include Encore as well as movies from Disney and Sony. Although Starz does not own the rights for all of Disney and Sony films, titles that have been pulled from Netflix include Scarface, Young Frankenstein, Toy Story 3, Big Trouble in Little China, Beetlejuice, Gangs of New York among numerous others.
First original Netflix series called Lilyhammer
Netflix will begin to show its first original series on February 6, and not House of Cards, as expected. Instead, the series is titled Lilyhammer, and is set in Norway, with Sopranos actor and E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt as the star and the executive producer. The series will come to Netflix subscribers in Canada, the US, and Latin America.
Netlfix loses 800K subs over pricing, Qwikster
Netflix faced a tough end of the year after tough results and a more difficult fall. It lost 800,000 subscribers in the US over a combination of its price hikes for those who want to both stream and watch DVDs as well as the flip-flop on Qwikster. It ended up with 23.79 million total US customers, lower than the 24.5 million most market watchers had predicted.
Universal backs off of same-as-theater rental plan
Universal has quietly dropped its plans for $60 same-day-as-theaters movie rentals. The test, which would have started with the November 4 release of Tower Heist, was shelved after movie theater chains threatened to withdraw the regular movie. It would have had minimal impact with just Atlanta and Portland having the option.
Netflix makes AMC deal for Walking Dead, more
Netflix on Friday announced a deal with AMC Networks for a multi-year licensing agreement that will make prior seasons of the AMC series The Walking Dead exclusive to the video streaming service. The first season is available to Netflix subscribers in the US and Canada starting Friday, October 7. New, second-season episodes will stream to Netflix members just before the premiere of following seasons.
Netflix gets DreamWorks movies for 30m
DreamWorks late Sunday revealed that it had struck a deal with Netflix to provide its animated movies. The deal, unofficially estimated by a consensus of NY Times analysts to be worth $30 million, will bring movies like Monsters vs. Aliens or the Shrek series to the streaming service. It's not evident how long the deal will last other than multiple years, starting in 2013.
Blockbuster Movie Pass gives perks for satellite
Dish Network made a bet on Internet video Friday with Blockbuster Movie Pass. The service bundles satellite TV with mailed movie, TV, and game rentals as well as Internet streaming. Pitched as a rival to Netflix and Qwikster, it takes advantage of the Blockbuster rights and TV streaming to give a wider catalog of Internet video; 10,000 movies in total will stream to TVs and computers, including from Starz and others who have held out on Netflix to shelter their TV business.
Netflix drops physical movies from core business
Netflix chief Reed Hastings in a statement late Sunday revealed that the company was forking its traditional physical disc service out under the Qwikster name. All Blu-ray and DVD rentals will now go under the new banner while Netflix is reserved solely for Internet streaming. While the service will give users two account locations, it should also provide a route for significant improvements now that disc rentals have a dedicated team, Hastings said.
Dish plans Internet video push with Hulu, more
Dish Network is planning a big push into direct competition with Apple, Netflix, and other big Internet video services through its acquisitions, two leaks showed Friday. One scoop had it one of just three companies clearing the
Starz, Netflix deal collapsed due to cheap pricing
Following the announcement that Starz will pull its content from Netflix when its current contract expires on February 28, it has emerged that the reason the arrangement collapsed is because Starz wanted to force Netflix into a tiered pricing structure for its content. Starz, which distributes content from Sony Pictures and Disney among others, did not believe that the $300 million plus deal that Netflix was offering represented appropriate value for its content. However, any deal that pushed Netflix into charging higher prices for certain Starz content would have resulted in a higher monthly fee for its subscribers.
Starz claims 'appropriate' pricing need
(Update: Netflix responds) Netflix took a large hit on Thursday after Starz said it had broken off talks to renew a content deal. Under current conditions, the TV channel provider would pull the movies and other pay TV content it licenses out to Netflix on February 28, 2012. Its statement tried to portray Netflix as cheapening its service and that it was purportedly doing its content a service by shopping for deals elsewhere.
Netflix keeps up NBCUniversal TV deals
Netflix on Wednesday landed a crucial renewal of a deal with NBCUniversal. The deal gives it access to much of the movie and TV studio's back catalog as well as more recent shows. Netflix didn't say how much it paid for the rights.
Netflix drops Sony movies in Starz contract fight
Netflix told viewers Friday that Sony movies being offered through StarzPlay had been pulled from its video service. The drop was the result of fallout during a contract fight between Sony and Starz. Content acquisition VP Pauline Fischer tried to reassure subscribers that it was "temporary."
Liberty Media proposes buying Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble finished Thursday with surprise word that it had received a buyout proposal from Liberty Media for about $17 per share, or almost $1 billion. The deal would require that Barnes & Noble chair Leonard Riggio stay in his executive position and keep his controlling stake. Officials stressed the notice wasn't an approval of the deal and said they would study it with the help of a legal advisor team.
Vudu adds TV shows for first time
Vudu chose Tuesday to throw itself into more direct competition with iTunes and Netflix by carrying TV shows. The deal gives it access to shows from ABC, AMC, Fox, HDNet, Palm, Showtime, Sony, Starz, and The CW, such as Weeds and The Walking Dead. As a paid service, its episodes will show a day after the air date rather than weeks or months like on Netflix.
Netflix gets more Fox TV deals
Netflix on Friday landed another of its key content deals by expanding its relationship with Fox. The deal will dip into more classic shows like Ally McBeal and The Wonder Years but also give access to parts of more current content, such as the first season of Glee and the the first two seasons of Sons of Anarchy. Some movies will also be coming, but unlike most of Netflix's recent deals, will have to wait until after the pay TV window expires.
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.
New policy to begin next month
Starz premium TV content will be delayed from Internet streaming through Netflix for 90 days after it first airs. Exclusive first-run movies from Starz portfolio including those from Sony and Disney will soon follow the new 90-day policy. This comes after Netflix agreed to delay movies from Fox and Universal in exchange for wider access to major movies and TV shows in April last year. Insiders view the news that Starz has moved to the new arrangement as resulting from the increasing popularity of the Netflix service.
OnLive and Vizio talking movie subscriptions
Cloud game service OnLive and TV maker Vizio are discussing separate deals for subscription movie services of their own, sources both official and unofficial said Sunday night. OnLive is publicly committed to expanding to movies through both subscriptions and other business models, but Vizio is unofficially believed to be in early talks for content. The details weren't known to the Wall Street Journal contacts.
Sony intros Qriocity streaming service to devices
Sony will soon bring its Qriocity service to the PSP and connected Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players and home theater systems in the UK. In the PSP, this means access to Sony's Music Unlimited library, while the other devices will have access to streaming access. The PSP requires a software update, v6.35 that's coming soon. This will bring with it a new icon under the XMB interface's Music category.
Starz negotiations with Disney to affect Netflix
Walt Disney is engaged in private negotiations with cable channel Starz, which is owned by Liberty Media Corp, say sources close to the talks who wish to remain anonymous. The conditions of the deal may mean Netflix is no longer able to offer Disney's movies online. According to the Bloomberg tip, Starz wants five years of access to Disney films on its cable channel and digital rights.