Vid-Biz: Brightcove, Rovi, The Filter

Brightcove Expands Global Media Reach, Lands Japan’s Nikkei; the online video platform company announced it will provide video services to the Nikkei, Japan’s largest business newspaper. (Beet.TV)
Rovi Pulls Out of GuideWorks Venture with Comcast; Comcast has become the sole owner of interactive program guide firm GuideWorks, as Rovi announced Monday that it has exited the joint venture with the operator. (Multichannel News)
The Filter’s Recommendation Service Taken on by Dailymotion; the Peter Gabriel-backed company has signed on Dailymotion for its white-label recommendation service. (paidContent)
Vudu Rolls Out Social Features; Vudu will update your Facebook or Twitter status with your impressions of the movie you’re watching, and allow friends with Vudu to also join in and watch the same movie. (Engadget)
Sorenson Media Offers Access to 360 API; the company announced it was making its Sorenson 360 API available to developers to enable them to cut development time for websites with full video functionality. (Fierce Online Video)
Comcast Beefs Up iPhone App; the cable company has added a feature to its iPhone and iTouch app that lets customers program their DVRs remotely — but not all of the MSO’s customer homes will get it right away. (Light Reading Cable)
SeeSaw Begins £5M Advertising Campaign; The newly launched online TV service, SeeSaw, has started a £5 million advertising scheme to introduce the U.K. viewing public to the new free-to-view online TV service. (TechWatch)

Where to Watch the USA-Finland Olympic Hockey Match Online

Better late than never? NBC has come under a lot of heat for holding back live coverage of the Olympics, using tape delays to aggregate larger audiences during prime time hours. But it looks like the broadcaster might finally be embracing live, open coverage of some Olympics events, with the news that it will make today’s semifinal Men’s Hockey match between the United States and Finland available for free on live broadcast TV and on the web.
Beginning at 3:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm Pacific, the match will air on NBC. But unlike Wednesday’s match-up between the U.S. and Switzerland, which ran live on the east coast but was held under a time delay for Pacific and Mountain time zones, this time it will run live on both coasts. That’s great news for hockey fans that will be at home during that time, but for those that are working and won’t be in front of a TV, the match-up will also be streamed live online at NBCOlympics.com.
Importantly, the match-up won’t be restricted behind an authentication hurdle, but will be available to all viewers at the broadcaster’s Olympics site. Previously NBC required viewers of live and on-demand video streams to prove that they were paying cable subscribers by singing in through a log-in system. It seems to be making an exception for Men’s Hockey, which will probably bring in large audiences during daytime work hours. On Wednesday it streamed the entirety of the quarterfinal Men’s Hockey matchup between the U.S. and Switzerland without requiring users to log in to the site, making the video open to anyone who tried to access it.
Related content on GigaOM Pro (subscription required): Not Your Grandfather’s Streaming Video Business

What Would an ESPN Olympics Look Like?

If ESPN were in charge of of broadcasting the Olympics to a domestic audience, what would it look like? paidContent did an interview with ESPN executive vice president of content John Skipper and executive editor John Walsh about the challenges of covering the Olympics. But contained within the interview was a pretty frank pitch to the International Olympics Committee for ESPN (s DIS) to take over for NBC (s GE) once the latter network’s contract is up in 2012.

Just a quick scan of the comments on our Olympics posts shows that few people are happy with NBC’s approach to covering the games, and Skipper addressed one of the biggest concerns most have by stating that if it were up to ESPN, a lot more would be taking place live, as opposed to NBC’s current tape-delayed primetime potpourri.

“If you’re a sports fan and you really care about the event, you care too much about knowing who won to wait,” writer Staci D. Kramer quoted him as saying. He also stated that there would be “a ton of [live coverage]” on ESPN’s broadband web presence ESPN360.com. Read More about What Would an ESPN Olympics Look Like?

Vid-Biz: CBS, Comcast-NBC, Hulu

CBS: We’ll Cut iTunes Prices for Some Shows; CEO Les Moonves says the broadcaster will mark down the price on some of its shows from $1.99 to 99 cents. (MediaMemo) Moonves also boasted about the importance of retransmission fees and growth at the company’s cable channels. (paidContent)

Roberts, Zucker To Appear Before House Judiciary Committee; the House Judiciary Committee will hold a Feb. 25 hearing in which Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker will discuss their proposed $30 billion joint venture. (Multichannel News)

Will You Pay for Hulu on the iPad? It May Be Your Only Choice; the most likely scenario for Hulu to appear on the iPad is one where access to its videos comes as part of a subscription package. (MediaMemo)

The People Of Twitter Think NBC’s Olympics Coverage Sucks; NBC is driving people on the Internet crazy by tape-delaying coverage of the Olympics until primetime, with roughly two thirds of tweets about the NBC Olympics coming up as negative. (TechCrunch)

Sports Leagues Monetizing Video Content Online; led by the trailblazing efforts of Major League Baseball, other top US sports leagues have made huge strides in streaming live-game content on a paid basis. (eMarketer)

2010 Looks Brighter for Digital Media; online video continues to capitalize on the continued increase in media fragmentation, consumer-generated content, and a rising generation of consumers very comfortable using their computers as primary or secondary entertainment devices. (MarketingVox)

Yahoo Olympics Site Surpasses NBCOlympics.com in Traffic

Yahoo (s YHOO) just sent us a gloating press release letting us know that its Olympics web site has been getting more traffic than either NBCOlympics.com or ESPN.com. The site saw 9.3 million unique visitors from February 8-14, according to comScore numbers quoted by Yahoo. NBC’s (s GE) Olympics site attracted 6.5 million unique visitors during the same time period, and ESPN clocked 8.4 million uniques.

Granted, measuring Yahoo’s Olympics site against NBC’s web property is like comparing apples and oranges. There’s a big difference in the content offered by the two sites: Yahoo mostly offers catch-up videos and analysis, whereas NBC Olympics actually makes it possible to tune into the games in real time. However, Yahoo Olympics has a huge advantage by being associated with the fire hose that is Yahoo.com, where stories about the Olympics have been featured prominently ever since the games began.

And there’s another reason NBCOlympics isn’t getting as much traffic as it could: NBC’s decision to restrict live streams to cable, satellite and IPTV subcribers and to limit its coverage to 400 hours of live video. Broadcasters in other countries have been far more aggressive, transmitting as much as 2,000 hours of live coverage online, without any of the hoops through which NBC Olympics users have to jump.

Related content on NewTeeVee:

Where to Watch the 2010 Winter Olympics Online

Related content on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

The Ultimate Guide To TV Everywhere (subscription required)

Get Ready for Some Olympic-Sized Authentication Frustration

A year and a half ago, I found myself on vacation during the middle of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. And since I was on vacation, I wasn’t content to sit by the TV and watch hours of prime time coverage to catch Michael Phelps breaking all sorts of records. But I happened to have my laptop with me, so I just tuned in to NBCOlympics.com to catch up on all that I had missed.

Apparently I wasn’t alone, as millions logged on to NBC’s online coverage of the games that summer. During the two weeks of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, NBCOlympics.com served a total of 75.5 million streams and 9.9 million hours of online video coverage.

But in 2008 I wasn’t a cable subscriber, so I was effectively getting access to video that others had “paid for” through their cable subscriptions — a practice that NBC will crack down on during the 2010 Winter Games. In 2010, NBC would restrict my access to that content because I hadn’t paid its cable partners for content that will be shown on CNBC or MSNBC.

Read More about Get Ready for Some Olympic-Sized Authentication Frustration

NBC Skimps on Online Olympics Coverage — Again

Don’t expect to watch the 2010 Winter Olympics live online — unless you like cross-country skiing. NBC Sports has released its coverage schedule for the Vancouver games, and once again, it has made the decision to keep marquee events from being shown live online. Despite touting more than 835 hours of live video from the Winter Games, less than half of that will be actually be streamed live online.

As usual, the company is saving premiere events — figure skating and alpine skiing — for broadcast on NBC network, along with freestyle skiing, speed skating, snowboarding, and short track. Meanwhile, the various cable nets, including USA, CNBC and MSNBC, will have extensive live coverage of sports like ice hockey, the biathlon, and curling. But none of that will be live online; instead, the remaining 400 hours of live coverage on NBCOlympics.com will consist primarily of events like bobsledding, cross-country skiing, the luge and snowboarding.

Read More about NBC Skimps on Online Olympics Coverage — Again

Vid-Biz: Dow Chemical, Turner, MediaFLO

Dow Chemical Creates Web Video Series; the three-year old “Human Element” campaign, aimed at showing how the chemical company is working on global problems, expands to the web. (AdWeek)

Turner’s Contextual TV Ads Launch; media buyers Starcom and Magna Global sign up for the service that better targets ads to content within shows. (Broadcasting & Cable) (previous coverage)

MediaFLO Bulks Up Mobile TV Offerings; My Own Worst Enemy, The Ex-List, and CSI among the new shows being offered by the service. (MediaPost)

Stream Live Video from Your Blackberry; Next2Friends announces support for the Blackberry Curve and Pearl. (jkOnTheRun)

Olympics Were a Loss for NBC; despite generating $1 billion in revenue, the network recorded a loss for the event, the size of which it hasn’t undisclosed. (The Hollywood Reporter)