Verizon loses ActiveVideo patent suit, owes $115M

Video-on-demand startup ActiveVideo was awarded $115 million by a jury in a patent infringement against Verizon. The decision comes after three weeks of deliberations and little more than a year after ActiveVideo took the telco to court over patents related to interactive TV and VOD applications.

Netflix hires Reddit Chief Architect: Will outages end?

Former Reddit Chief Architect Jeremy Edberg will be joining Netflix to lead a new team focused on cloud reliability. And the move couldn’t come soon enough, as Netflix suffered another period of downtime Sunday evening that left users with spotty service for up to eight hours.

Netflix expanding to Spain, UK next year

Netflix has no plans to slow down its international expansion. In addition to its expansion to 43 countries in Latin America later this year, Variety reports the company could also launch services in Spain and the U.K. in early 2012.

Netflix could beat cable TV in Latin America

In the U.S. and Canada, Netflix has positioned itself as a complement to existing pay TV services. But in the wide-open Latin America market, consumers could choose to subscribe to Netflix instead of cable or satellite to supplement over-the-air TV services.

Ensequence Raises $20 Million, Gets New CEO

Interactive TV services company Ensequence announced today that it has secured $20 million in new funding, led by Clay Mathile, CEO of CYMI Technologies and former CEO and owner of the Iams Company. Ensquence also announced today that Peter Low will become the company’s new CEO, replacing Dalen Harrison, who will remain on the board. Low had been the Ensequence president and COO and will retain the president title.
Portland, Ore.-based Ensequence is no slouch when it comes to getting money. We first wrote about the company in April of 2007, when it raised $40 million. With today’s announcement, Ensequence has now raised $110 million, according to a company spokesperson.
Ensequence boasts an impressive list of clients including MTV, ESPN, BBC and MLB.TV, and has created interactive television programs for shows such as Top Chef, Deal or No Deal and the Spike Video Game Awards.

What’s Cookin’ on TV? Audience Participation

Please pardon the self-indulgence, but I made a kick-(expletive) chocolate cake (from scratch) this weekend. So after that successful initial foray, I’m into all things cooking, which is why this announcement about Fox’s upcoming show Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking Along Live caught my eye.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a newteevee-type show. The only hook is that the show lets you know ahead of time what ingredients you need to have and then you can cook along with the show. It’s such a simple idea that one wonders why it wasn’t done before (maybe it has been, please illuminate me in the comments!). Thanks to the web, this type of of participatory programming is more possible than ever.

It’s not a stretch to imagine taking this a step further and incorporating live tweets and Facebook messages. Ask questions while the food is being prepared, share comments (or alternative ingredient suggestions) with your friends, or submit a photo or video of your finished food to be aired on TV.

These type of interactions get us all fired up here at NewTeeVee and evidently at the networks as well. Jimmy Fallon’s team has gone to great lengths to incorporate the web into its late-night talk show, and Aisha Tyler is putting together a new talk show that will be fully “wired” with viewers able to communicate with Tyler via Facebook, Twitter and other means.

P.S. Here’s the recipe to that awesome chocolate cake (it uses maple syrup instead of granulated sugar).