Archive for October, 2011

Sundance sets New Frontier installation at fest

October 31, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Sixth year of art-focused programming is held at the Yard -- The Sundance Institute has announced the artists and installations to be featured Sundance Film Fest's New Frontier creative space. This year's exhibit, entitled "Future Normal," showcases multimedia performances and also features panel discussions on the convergence of art, technology and storytelling.

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Revision3 Lineup Now Includes Rob DeMillo as CTO

October 31, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The peripatetic Rob DeMillo is CTO of Revision3 as of today, having served as an adviser for the Web video network for more than a year. The occasion was celebrated with the release of DeMillo’s first IPTV-focused white paper for the company.

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Cord-Cutting Threat Level Downgraded

October 31, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As sites like Hulu and Netflix drew viewers with promises of just-aired television shows, the TV industry has been enveloped by a fear of cord-cutters. But those TV companies might want to take a deep breath, because according to cable's latest earnings reports, old-school TV is doing just fine . Recent numbers show that the majority of American households are still paying for — and watching — their cable TV subscriptions, says the New York Times. And people who are cancelling their subscriptions aren’t doing so because they’d rather watch TV online, but because they can’t bear the financial burden of a monthly cable bill. “Overwhelmingly, the losses are coming at the low end of the income spectrum,” Sanford C. Bernstein anayst Craig Moffett told the Times. And most of those “cord-cutters” don’t have a broadband Internet connection, he said, meaning that they aren’t jumping ship to Hulu or Netflix. Many other cable customers aren’t completely cutting the cord, but are scaling back on pricey extras, like premium channel subscriptions, DVR services, and telephone landlines. Analysts predict that the number of subscribers will decline this quarter, but due to a lack of housing, not cord-cutting. With fewer people moving into new homes or starting families due to the failing economy, there aren’t as many new households to sign up. In its earnings report, New York City cable provider estimated that the number of occupied homes in its service area had declined in the past year

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Football triumphs in primetime despite latest blowout

October 31, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Simpsons' top scripted

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800 Motorola Mobility Employees Now More Mobile Than They’d Like

October 31, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Motorola Mobility is trimming down for its impending acquisition by Google. In a regulatory filing , the company announced plans to sack 800 employees — nearly 5 percent of the company’s workforce. “Motorola Mobility continues to focus on improving its financial performance by taking actions to manage the company’s costs,” said company spokesperson Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson said in a statement. As a result, Motorola will take a net pre-tax charge to earnings of approximately $31 million. Of that, $27 million will be related to severance costs and $4 million to facility exit costs. “Both of the Company’s business segments (the Mobile Devices business and the Home business), as well as various corporate functions, are impacted by the action and the action affects employees globally,” Motorola said the filing.

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‘Shame,’ ‘Tinker,’ ‘Tyrannosaur’ lead BIFAs race

October 31, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News: Studiocanal nabs 32 nominations -- Steve McQueen's "Shame," Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and Paddy Considine's "Tyrannosaur" all lead the British Independent Film Awards race, nabbing seven nominations each.

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HP’s TouchPad: The Tablet That Refused to Die

October 31, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad is back for sale at Best Buy. Unceremoniously killed under HP’s prior CEO on Aug. 18 after disappointing sales , the device quickly found a market after retailers and HP itself slashed the prices on remaining stock. This time, according to a Best Buy press release , a 32 gigabyte TouchPad is going for $149, with the purchase of an HP- or Compaq-branded notebook or desktop PC. Sold separately, the price jumps to $599.99. HP, for its part, has sold out of its internal stock of the device, according to a statement on the company’s Web site . TouchPads can, however, still be found on Amazon and on eBay . By bundling the TouchPad with PCs at its biggest retail partner, HP is giving itself an arguable edge against Acer, Dell and Toshiba in what is sure to be a cutthroat holiday season for PC and tablet sales. After about a month on the market, and before the product wound up on the chopping block, Best Buy sold less than 10 percent of the 270,000 TouchPads it had in inventory. It’s hard to know how long the deal can last. Sources familiar with HP’s build plans say the initial TouchPad order was for between 1.8 million and two million units, though a third source disputed that number without elaborating. Regardless of the number ordered, sources familiar with the deal say that HP’s decision to kill the product had no immediate effect on the build plans, as components had already been purchased and manufacturing was under way. A source familiar with the matter says the manufacturer is Taiwan-based Inventec , not Compal, as has been previously reported. HP was contractually obligated to take delivery on the remaining units in the pipeline. That means the TouchPad is now officially a loss leader. As an IHS iSuppli teardown analysis in August showed, HP’s cost to build a 32GB TouchPad is $328.65.

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U.K. Agrees First Product Placement for Prime-Time TV

October 31, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

U.K. soap opera Coronation Street will be the first prime-time show on British TV to feature product placement. ITV’s deal with Nationwide Building Society means that the soap will feature a branded ATM in the street’s fictional corner shop from next month. The U.K.’s media regulator, Ofcom, relaxed the rules on product placement in February this year. Though some weekend and daytime shows have featured product placement since then, advertisers have been cautious about fully embracing the new feature. But Nick Price, from MPG Media Contacts, who brokered the ITV-Nationwide deal, says integrated branding is likely to become much more popular in the wake of the Coronation Street deal. "This is the first product placement deal for one of ITV's flagship peak-time shows,” he said in a statement. “And we believe it will be the tipping point for a wave of new product placement deals over the coming year." Coronation Street will now feature Nationwide’s logo on the ATM and the shop front for a four-month trial period. Ofcom has predicted that the product placement industry could be worth up to

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U.K. Agrees First Product Placement for Primetime TV

October 31, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

U.K. soap opera Coronation Street will be the first primetime show on British TV to feature product placement. ITV’s deal with Nationwide Building Society means that the soap will feature a branded ATM in the street’s fictional corner shop from next month. The U.K.’s media regulator, Ofcom, relaxed the rules on product placement in February this year. Though some weekend and daytime shows have featured product placement since then, advertisers have been cautious about fully embracing the new feature. But Nick Price, from MPG Media Contacts, who brokered the ITV-Nationwide deal, says integrated branding is likely to become much more popular in the wake of the Coronation Street deal. "This is the first product placement deal for one of ITV's flagship peak-time shows,” he said in a statement. “And we believe it will be the tipping point for a wave of new product placement deals over the coming year." Coronation Street will now feature Nationwide’s logo on the ATM and the shop front for a four-month trial period. Ofcom has predicted that the product placement industry could be worth up to

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Spinning Off HP’s PC Business Could Have Worked … Couldn’t It?

October 31, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Newly-appointed Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman says that spinning off the company’s PC division as her predecessor Léo Apotheker had planned was a nonsensical proposition and that keeping it “is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees.” And that may some day prove to be true. Which is not to say that there wasn’t a compelling rationale for dumping it. IBM jettisoned its PC business and never looked back. HP might have done the same. While profitable, revenues at its PC unit had been declining recently. Spinning it out might have improved the company’s overall profit margins, even if it did reduce its revenue by roughly a third. As Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi observes, by hiving off its PC arm, HP might actually have created some value. If it had gotten its act together first. “While we do believe that retaining the PC business was the right financial decision, we also understand why some investors may have wanted a spinout, as a re-rating of HP’s multiple on its remaining enterprise business could have been potentially highly value creating,” Sacconaghi said. “That said, we ultimately believe that HP should have looked to fix its prevailing operational issues first, and only afterwards potentially considered a spinout of PCs (or printers) if the company felt that it was not receiving an appropriate multiple.” And fixing those “prevailing operational issues” and overcoming the ataxia from which it has suffered the past few months is exactly what the company must do now. Only then it can begin growing its PC business and figure out what to do with webOS, whether its giving it another chance or squeezing some value out of it by selling it to a leading mobile device maker — assuming it can find one that’s interested.

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