• TV Metadata

    TV Metadata

    Browse TV and Entertainment Metadata stories and see the good, bad and ugly.

  • Rich Media Content

    Rich Media Content

    Search stories about rich media content and learn why images are everything.

  • Data and Image APIs

    Data and Image APIs

    Find stories about Entertainment APIs and what you should look for to ensure completeness and accuracy.

  • TV Research

    TV Research

    Find stories about TV Research and why having accurate information influences your bottom line.

  • FYI PR

    FYI PR

    All the latest news and happenings from the most happening entertainment metadata company on earth.

  • BLOG


    Access the Ericsson Broadcast & Media Services Blog

Execs Talk TV at the SBJ NeuLion Sports Media & Technology Conference

SportsBusiness Journal NeuLion Sports Media & Technology Conference
From October 5- 6, 2016, the SportsBusiness Journal NeuLion Sports Media & Technology Conference was held in in Manhattan Beach, California. Industry leaders from networks, professional teams, and online companies gathered to “discuss and debate the latest developments and emerging market trends.”

Shortly before the event, the SBJ released new research which found a strength in live sport sports viewing: “Last year, 93 of TV’s top 100-rated shows were live sports programs. Ten years earlier, in 2005, live sports accounted for only 14 of the top 100.”

On the first day, Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took part in an interview entitled “Insights from a Tech Giant, Team Owner and Philanthropist.”

Ballmer advocated for technological advances in online viewing.

"Taking linear broadcasts online won't change things,” Ballmer said. “Technology will make [the] experience more intriguing and interesting."

He later suggested that a type of television program that showed a basketball game’s perspective from a player on the court could be available in a matter of years, enabling the viewer to see the game “as Chris Paul.”

Steve Bornstein, Chairman for Activision Blizzard, discussed the rise of eSports and predicted “the death of the bundle” in 50 years.

“eSports is bigger than action sports,” Ballmer said. “Call of Duty [has] over 30 million monthly users.”

In video remarks, Ballmer explained his support for the growing genre, which he described as the “only property that can challenge soccer globally.”

“As Wayne Gretzky said, ‘I’m skating to where the puck’s going to be.’ There’s huge consumption, it’s worldwide, and it’s committed,” he said.

On day two, Jeff Shell, Chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, said that “the movie business is 10 years behind the sports business” in regards to methods for viewing, during a panel with his brother Dan Shell the Vice President for IMG College.

A session later in the morning called “A Spectator No More: Changing Sports Through Immersive Experiences” involved discussion of how virtual reality could impact sports.

“VR changes the vocabulary for the narrative of sports storytelling,” a participant stated.

eSports came up again, this time at a forum dedicated entirely to it, featuring Dave Rosenberg, Chief Strategic Officer, Client Services, for GMR Marketing.

“Targeting eSports segments is like Clue,” Rosenberg said. “You want to be efficient with your [money] and find Professor Plum with the knife in the parlor."

The media conference appeared to be informative and successful overall. Videos can be seen here.

Author: Brian Cameron

DEMO OUR DATA- Get a complementary data feed

Read more

A Review of Q3 2016 in OTT

It’s been a busy third quarter in 2016 in the over-the-top (OTT) space, with several developments occurring in regards to a select group of businesses. Did you miss what happened in Q1 and Q2?

Check out here and here for additional information.


At the beginning of August, Time Warner Inc. purchased a 10% stake in Hulu, providing the streaming service with a value of $5.8 billion. After that moment, activity quickly ramped up.

Five days later, Hulu revealed that it would no longer be offering its free TV product.

"For the past couple years, we've been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers," said Ben Smith, Hulu senior VP and head of experience. "As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy."

The exact same day as that announcement, Yahoo launched a TV website, Yahoo View, in collaboration with Hulu. It provides free television content, including the most recent five episodes of ABC, NBC and FOX shows.

“Yahoo View is our first step towards creating a powerful community TV-watching experience, but it’s really only the beginning,” said Jess Lee, VP Lifestyles Product at Yahoo.

In September, Variety reported that Hulu is developing two virtual reality-only TV series.


In August, the NFL began hosting a sports channel on Snapchat Discover.

“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Snapchat, delivering compelling NFL content to a platform where millions of our fans around the world interact on a daily basis,” said Blake Stuchin, Director, Digital Media Business Development for the National Football League, in a press release. “The launch of the NFL on Discover will provide a key touch point to follow storylines throughout the week, and the expansion of Live Stories will provide fans with a unique perspective of the excitement in and around our stadiums at every game all season-long.”

NBC provided content and coverage via Snapchat during the Olympics, and in the first week received approximately 50 million viewers.

The peacock network also partnered with Snapchat in a multi-year deal for content and advertising, which will result in Snapchat Discover TV shows.

“By partnering with Snapchat, we can combine the largest, most creative portfolio in television with a technology platform that’s evolving and complementing how we engage with audiences,” said Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal. “For our advertisers, this means being associated with premium content in a new and compelling format, and creating a connection that lasts long after your snap disappears.”

Other Companies

In other Q3 news, Twitter and news startup Cheddar joined together to develop streaming news and business shows for millennials.

And YouTube set a live-streaming political record with the first presidential debate, attracting 2 million concurrent viewers.

Time Inc. launched the online People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) in September.

“I think 15 years ago, People and SI and InStyle should have launched cable channels, because that’s when the land grab was,” said Jess Cagle, editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly. “Now is not the time to launch a cable channel.”

Looking Ahead

Several businesses have made revelations about the OTT services that they’re currently working on.

On October 18, Vimeo will be debuting its Global Television Store in partnership with Lionsgate, which has licensed many of its shows.

“We’re proud to launch Vimeo’s first ever transaction-based global television store with Lionsgate’s acclaimed television series,” Barry Diller said, chairman and senior executive of Vimeo parent company IAC. “Their television slate includes nearly 80 series on 40 different networks, and they are a great partner with whom to kick off a service that will bring premium scripted shows from the U.S. to our hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. They are the first of many top Hollywood studios we expect to attract in the months to come.”

By the end of the year, AT&T is expected to launch its DirecTV Now service, and a few details have come known: it will feature 100+ channels, and multi-device streaming.

“This is exclusively an over-the-top product,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said. “This is no set-top box; this is no truck roll; this is a customer pulling down an app, getting a very robust platform.”

Sometime in early 2017, CenturyLink has a 17-channel OTT service prepared for consumers.

And by 2018, Discovery Communication hopes to offer the “Netflix for sports.” The cable company plans to utilize Eurosport, a popular European network.

“We own it all and when we go to the player and charge $8 per subscriber we’re in a whole different game,” said David Zaslav, Discovery CEO. “For us, Eurosport direct-to-consumer fills the full circle of where the world is going.”

That covers it for Q3! Stay tuned for the Q4 roundup at the beginning of 2017.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Shutterstock.


Read more

FCC Set-Top Box Vote Delayed Indefinitely

Today was meant to be the day that many have been waiting for all year long. After months of developing a plan that would provide an apps-related alternative to set-top boxes (STBs), the FCC was scheduled to vote on it.

Yesterday, in an effort to gain public support, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) heartily endorsed the FCC’s initiative on his Facebook page.

“The Federal Communications Commission—or FCC—has said that it’s time to “unlock the box” and give consumers a meaningful choice in how they access the content they pay for. Instead of renting one of those dust gatherers, consumers would be able to access the full content of their cable subscription via an app—just like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO GO—at no additional charge. That means you’d use the app with your smartphone, tablet, smart TV, or on a device like the Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire Stick. Can you imagine how much easier that would be than the outdated way we’re doing things now?” Franken said.

Then, at the very last moment, the FCC made a surprise announcement this morning.

"The Set-Top Box Order has been removed from the September Open Meeting Agenda. The proposal will go on the Commission’s circulation list and remain under consideration by Commissioners," the FCC said. “We are still working to resolve the remaining technical and legal issues and we are committed to unlocking the set-top box for consumers across this country.”

It is unclear if or when a final vote on the matter will occur at this time.

Several entities came forward with statements on this lack of action.

“We are pleased that the FCC has chosen to delay consideration of its set-top box item, and hope that additional time will lead to meaningful public review and comment on any newly-crafted proposal under consideration.  Our industry is committed to a future where viewers have the freedom to watch their favorite shows on a wide variety of tablets, streaming consoles, smartphones and other connected devices.   We will continue our efforts to innovate in the marketplace to expand consumer choice, promote market innovation, protect the rights of content holders, and respect consumer privacy,” NCTA said in a statement, cheering the decision.

Meanwhile, Public Knowledge, took an opposing view.

“We are disappointed that the Commission was unable to adopt this item today. While this appears to be a short-term delay, consumers are getting bilked more each day this drags on,” said John Bergmayer, Senior Counsel at Public Knowledge. “This issue has been under consideration at the FCC for two years now, and the benefit of further delay is unclear. Opponents of unlocking the box will continue to shift from one manufactured concern to another in an attempt to keep consumers renting the controlled, locked-down set-top box, costing consumers billions and holding back innovation and video competition. We will continue to push the FCC to act as soon as possible to end the set-top box ripoff.”

Harold Feld, senior vice president at the consumer group Public Knowledge, attributed the delay to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

"Rosenworcel in particular is a very technically oriented commissioner," Feld told the Washington Post. "They clearly want to do something, but it's also clear that in her case she's not going to agree to a general shape of something and give editorial privileges to work out the details later. She is going to want to make sure the details are resolved."

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), also claimed to be let down by the FCC.

“Today’s vote delay is an unequivocal loss for the tens of millions of Americans across the country who are forced to spend their hard-earned money on overpriced set-top box leases that cost them hundreds of dollars a year. I am extremely disappointed that the majority of the FCC Commissioners have not yet come to an agreement to provide relief for consumers for these bloated set-top box rental fees and certainty to companies who wish to innovate with new products. I urge the Commission to complete this rulemaking as soon as possible. Consumers have waited for more than two decades for the promise of a robust set-top box marketplace to be fulfilled; they should not have to wait one more billing cycle,” Markey said.

And in more of a neutral position, tech industry trade group INCOMPAS encouraged a continuation of the discussion.

"Competition is the law, and the FCC has an obligation to continue working toward solutions that bring real choice, innovation and lower prices to consumers," said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS. "The members of the commission are smart, well intentioned, and we believe they will find common ground that will open the market and promote innovation. For competition to rise, the set-top box monopoly must fall, and we look forward to working with all members of the FCC toward this shared goal.”

It sounds like Pickering remains hopeful that the FCC will finalize the plan’s language and a vote will be held before the end of 2016.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com
DEMO OUR DATA- Get a complementary data feed

Read more

Where to Watch & Stream the 2016 Presidential Debates

On Monday, September 26, the first of three presidential debates between Democratic nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee businessman Donald Trump will occur at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

The 90-minute showdown will be available for viewing across numerous television networks and online streaming platforms.

Twitter will be carrying the Bloomberg debate coverage live, which will feature additional programming from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

“Twitter is where the 2016 presidential election is happening every single day,” said Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief financial officer. “Livestreaming the debates with Bloomberg combined with the live commentary and conversation on Twitter will create a one-screen experience at the center of the action unlike any other.”

The Twitter stream can be found at debates.twitter.com and Bloomberg’s @bpolitics.

Facebook Live will be hosting the presidential debates for the first time in a national election courtesy of a partnership with ABC News.

“We’re excited that ABC News will continue to bring people on Facebook the full breadth of what is happening, in real-time on the ground during these important moments in the election cycle,” Andy Mitchell, Director of News and Global Media Partnerships, Facebook, said in a press release. “With their robust Facebook Live coverage plans and deep bench of political journalists, ABC News will help facilitate an open dialogue among voters and create an engaging and immersive experience from each debate.”

Two hours prior to the debate, an original series entitled “Straight Talk” will be streamed, and afterward, “Nightline” co-anchor Dan Harris, Digital Host Amna Nawaz and ABC News contributor LZ Granderson will provide commentary.

ABC will also stream via abcnews.go.com/live, the ABC News mobile app, Apple TV, XBox One and Roku.

In a blog post, YouTube revealed that it will be streaming the debates too.

“Voting also requires you to get educated with the latest and greatest from the candidates. That’s why we’re also excited to announce that we’re live streaming the presidential debates from more news organizations than ever before including PBS, Fox News, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Telemundo,” wrote YouTube.

Navigate to youtube.com/youtube for its official election site.

On TV, tune in to NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Bloomberg, Telemundo or Univision at 9 p.m. EST to find the historical event.

With so many options for viewing the debates this year, it will be difficult for viewers to miss out on what the candidates have to say.

Author: Brian Cameron


Read more

Streaming Services Succeed at the 2016 Emmys

2016 Emmy Awards
Over the weekend, the 2016 Emmy Awards occurred – and OTT companies Netflix and Amazon Instant Video once again received a solid number of awards and nominations.

Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, co-creators of Netflix’s “Master of None” took home the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

“I think what’s cool about ‘Master of None’ is Netflix is so trusting,” Ansari said in an interview before the ceremony occurred. “I think on another platform in another time, someone might have seen the episode ‘Parents,’ for instance, and been like, “This is too specific, a mainstream audience isn’t gonna get it”—with that just meaning that white people aren’t gonna get it. Netflix really believes in us and trusts us and I think after the first season we’re gonna be able to do that again with the season we’re doing now.”

After receipt of the trophy, Yang also had some kind words for Netflix.

"I think there's great stuff on network, on streaming, on cable," Yang said. "What's great about Netflix, for us, is that they gave us a lot of freedom and trusted us to pursue our personal stories, and that's why they're rewarded with stuff that feels fresh."

Netflix also won awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”) and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special (Patton Oswalt).

Amazon was awarded two victories during the Primetime Emmys, both for “Transparent.” Jeffrey Tambor won Best Comedy Actor, while Jill Soloway won in the Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series category.

Soloway gave credit to the founder of Amazon in her acceptance speech, and offered some high praise.

“I want to thank you, my sweet Jeff Bezos, because you changed the world, and you invited me to do this thing that these people call television, but I call a revolution,” said Soloway.

Which OTT business will get the most nominations next year?

Author: Brian Cameron

Get Dynamic Data & Image APIs

Read more