NBA Goes for a Full Court Press for Online Viewers

After branching out to mobile and online, the NBA is coming full circle to the TV set, focusing on TV app distribution. Bryan Perez, senior vice president and GM of NBA Digital said at GigaOM’s NewTeeVee Live conference that the league plans to be on the top five TV manufacturers by the end of the season and is in talks with game consoles and set-top box makers for more distribution of its League Pass service.

Perez is leveraging some of what NBA learned during the last playoffs, which were distributed on Roku and Vizio. Now, after launching with Google TV, the NBA plans to add support for Samsung’s TV platform in the coming weeks. It’s part of a larger plan to meet NBA fans wherever they are, said Perez. “If we’re going to address our fan base and continue to grow it, we need to follow them as they adopt these new technologies. It’s incumbent on us to develop simultaneously for multiple platforms,” he said.
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That’s not to say that the NBA won’t be looking for help with its plan, which Perez said presents, “a tremendous development challenge.” The NBA is trying to leverage previous work on mobile apps as it did with the Google TV app. And it’s hoping for more support from manufacturers instead of just walking away with an SDK. Ultimately, Perez said he hopes manufacturers agree on more open standards and common development platforms.

The NBA recognizes that it needs to be on multiple screens to satisfy its users. This year, it added Three-Point Play, which provides League Pass users on certain cable and satellite networks to receive games on TV, online and now mobile devices.

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Vid Biz: YouTube Topics, Cord Cutting, Vevo Success

YouTube Topics: A Better Way to Explore Web Video. Video site introduces contextual discovery to improve search experience. (Mashable)

The IPTV Revolution Will Be Television, Little More. European IPTV execs believe that hardly anything will change in their business. (paidcontent)

Cord Cutting Denial Alive and Well. Nielsen isn’t seeing any evidence for cord cutting yet. (DSL Reports)

Vevo Tops the Music Online Charts, comScore. The online music video site hit 55 million unique visitors in the U.S. in October, according to comScore. (Beet.tv)

News Corp. Blames Government for Cablevision Blackout. According to News Corp.’s Chase Carey, the vague chance that government could have intervened is to blame for the fiasco. (DSL Reports)

isoHunt Revives Full Search After U.S. Traffic Tanks. BitTorrent search engine has reversed the change it made earlier this year, where all U.S. visitors were redirected to a “lite” version of the site to prevent it from being shut down. (TorrentFreak)


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Justin Bieber Is Now a YouTube Billionaire

Justin Bieber tweeted today that he now has over a billion views on YouTube, making him the second person ever to enter the billionaire’s club on the Google-owned video site. Lady Gaga surpassed a billion views in late October. Here’s Bieber’s tweet:

This isn’t the first time Gaga and Bieber have competed head-to-head on YouTube. Gaga held the top spot for the most-watched video ever on YouTube for a long time, but got surpassed by Bieber in July. Bieber’s Baby video has now been viewed more than 380 million times, as compared to Bad Romance with 303 million views.

Either way, all of this is good news for VEVO. The major label-owned music video platform publishes both artist’s videos on YouTube, so those billion views are further helping VEVO to establish itself as one of the biggest online video sites.

VEVO President and CEO Rio Cardeff is speaking at NewTeeVee Live tomorrow — and it’s not too late to get a ticket.

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Wanna Try Cord Cutting? Buy A $12 Antenna

Since we started our weekly Cord Cutters web series, viewers keep emailing us one question over and over again: How do you watch sports if you don’t have cable? Well, how’s this for an answer? Just buy a cheap rabbit-ear antenna, and you’ll get all the sports action available on major networks like ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS for free, in HD.

Antennas are also a great way to dip your toe into the water if you’re not quite ready to cut the cord. Spend $12 once, and try out over-the-air broadcast TV for yourself. In this week’s episode of Cord Cutters, we’re taking a closer look at what antennas can do for you.

Of course, a rabbit-ear antenna isn’t the right solution for everyone. Our reader Kelly Hodgkins shot a video about her own setup that we’re sharing on this episode. Apologies in advance for the sound quality, but we thought it was worth it to share a real-life story of how easy it is to survive without pay TV.

Wanna share your own story, photos, video? Then shoot us an email at cordcutters@gigaom.com to connect with us via our @cordcutters Twitter account!

Finally, here’s something else to watch until the next episode of Cord Cutters comes out: Riese, a steampunk web series which Liz Miller reviews on this week’s episode.

Here are all previous episodes of Cord Cutters, in case you missed one:

Ep 01: Cord Cutters: NewTeeVee’s First Web Series!

Ep 02: Is the Xbox 360 a Good Cord-Cutting Device?

Ep. 03: Logitech Revue: Not Cutting It For Cord Cutters

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Livestreaming Event: Is App TV Coming Next?

This morning, we’ve gathered more than 50 entrepreneurs, executives and investors at our San Francisco offices to engage in a town hall-style forum. The topic of discussion will be to consider what could happen if we had the “app store” revolution on our TV sets. Would we see the “App economy” hit the world of TV?

Internet-connected, processor-powered digital televisions are shipping today, and the move to TV app-marketplaces and platforms –- like Android –- are not far behind. It has been said that one of the killer apps for the iPad is the Netflix application. Will app-enabled TVs and marketplaces follow the smartphone app-store market in upending traditional channels for content delivery and radically shift consumer media consumption? If so, what will the impact be on content owners, multi-channel operators, and the consumer?

In this bunker, we bring together elements of the ecosystem — vendors, buyers, investors and project leaders — to discuss what the next opportunities could be, and what still needs to be done. A few speakers will lead the debate, but overall emphasis will be on participation and comments by all those invited. The event is being livestreamed at GigaOM Pro beginning around 9 a.m. PST. Subscribe or sign up for a free trial to watch the event, see archive video, read related reports, and check out post-game analysis from NewTeeVee Editor Ryan Lawler.


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Half Of Netflix Streams Are TV Shows

I guess I’m not the only one addicted to watching old Office episodes on Netflix: The company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said yesterday that TV shows account for half of all streaming hours on its Watch Instantly service. “TV has never been never more than 20 percent on DVD,” he added according to paidContent, at its Battle for the Digital Home conference, where Sarandos was speaking.

Part of the reason for this disparity has to do with the fact that Netflix is still playing catchup in the movie department. Customers can access a much wider movie catalog on DVD than via streaming, so movies are naturally rented more often than streamed. Sarandos acknowledged this issue by saying that much of the early streaming catalog wasn’t up to par with disc rentals. “We did the deals we could get — in other words, we got junk,” he said, adding: “(T)hat eventually led us away from movies and towards TV content.”

Netflix has since signed a number of high-profile movie deals, most recently with Epix and Relativity Media. However, don’t expect the company to neglect the TV show audience: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on a recent earnings call that the company is “rapidly expanding” its TV show catalog, adding ” thousands of TV episodes.”

This aggressive expansion of TV show content is in part due to the launch of Hulu Plus, which Hastings called a “direct competitor” that has to be taken seriously.

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Movieclips Gains $3M for Clip Curation

Film clip provider Movieclips.com has raised a Series A round of $3 million from venture capital firms Shasta Ventures and First Round Capital, as well as angel investors including Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, Naval Ravikant and Nivi Babak of VentureHacks, Jeff Kearl, and Tom McInerney. The funds, according to co-founder Zach James via phone, “will be used for the curation of our site and the content there.”

That drive toward curation has led to Movieclips creating additional editorial content, including video mash-ups of great film moments, including screams, marriage proposals and cougars.

Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at MOVIECLIPS.com

The hope is that by creating such compilations, site visitors will be exposed to films they might not have discovered. For James and co-founder Richard Raddon, one major value they’ve found in Movieclips’s library of film clips is a way for users to find out about new movies they may want to see.

“When people got to see high-quality clips of fun and interesting moments, it makes it into a discovery engine,” Raddon said. To serve that need, Movieclips  began using the Netflix API to create direct links from film clips to the film’s Netflix listing just a few days ago. (A “Buy” button in the player also takes users to the film’s listing on Amazon.com.)

However, that’s simply a side effect of the service. “We don’t think of affiliate sales as a huge part of the business model — it’s just what we’re seeing in user behavior. It’s not going to trump advertising,” James said.

We originally reported back in March that Movieclips had over 12,000 clips available. While that number is now more than 14,000 clips, they’re now choosing to emphasize the number of titles they can draw clips from — in this case, over 1,400 films. “We’re always focused on getting new content,” James said. “If we don’t have it, no one else is going to have it, and we’re constantly getting new clips from the studios.”

Movieclips isn’t alone in the business of providing film clips online. However, competitor AnyClip has struggled in the space, in part because it lacked the same content partnerships Movieclips has nailed down. In addition, former AnyClip CEO Aaron Cohen and EVP of product Nate Westheimer both announced they were leaving the company in recent months.

While Netflix Instant Streaming content is often available for only limited windows of time, that’s not a problem Movieclips has. “Our contracts last for two to three years,” Raddon said, “And we really don’t have windows on our content. That’s just the length of the deal.”

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