May 13, 2006
Tracking Moves in the TV Industry

A quick look through the top news items for TelevisionWeek this week reveals that fury with which the industry is moving toward the adoption of new delivery services and just how hard it is to keep track of what moves everyone is making.

For instance, CBS will be offering the finale of Survivor free on-demand through a few Comcast markets, with General Motors sponsoring the episode, marking the first instance of a major network show being sponsored and offered for free on-demand. Fox, meanwhile, is beginning to launch some of its most popular series for download on iTunes. And NBC Universal is restructuring its corporate hierarchy to make the push for digital distribution more seamless.

Meanwhile, Bravo is launching, a broadband channel which will air short-lived series that had cult followings, while VH1 is unleashing an online gaming site dedicated to VH1-branded games, in addition to a package of classic games.

CEO Eric Schmidt has announced a refining of video-sharing capabilities and improved search options for Google, while Yahoo en Espanol and Telemundo are combining their online sites to create Yahoo Telemundo, in an effort to better target Hispanic consumers.

Warner Brothers is now teaming up with BitTorrent to offer Web-based downloads of its television shows and movies, available for a fee the same day Warner Brothers properties are released in retail stores. The downloads will be able to be burned onto DVD but must remain on the hard drive of the computer it was downloaded on.

The moves within the industry are coming daily now, and the partnerships of Yahoo and Telemundo, for instance, or BItTorrent and Warner Brothers show how many top companies are beginning to think further and further outside the box and through new linkages in order to come out of the rush to new platforms and new distribution methods on top.