How Hulu’s Battleground changed the web TV ballgame

Battleground was Hulu’s first foray into original scripted programming. How has producing online-only TV content changed since Hulu picked up the show, and what’s up next for Battleground? We talked to executive producer J.D. Walsh to find out.

O2 sends 3,000 staff home to telecommute for a day

Some say remote working is still a bit fringe outside of tech firms, edgy startups and freelancers in coffee shops, but a recent experiment by the British telecoms behemoth suggests the practice is slowly seeping into the mainstream of business.

Vid-Biz: The Office, Sigma Designs, DigitalSmiths

The Office Boosts JK Wedding Video; views of the original viral video tripled the day after the sitcom’s homage. (Visible Measures)

Sigma Designs to Acquire Coppergate; fabless SoC company to buy silicon-based modem solutions firm for $160 million in cash and stock. (release)

DigitalSmiths Launches VideoSense for TV Everywhere; product includes features to manage entitlement rights, time-based metadata management, dynamic clip creation and distribution, ad cue management, and multi-language support. (release)

Redstone Selling Almost $1B in Viacom, CBS Stock; stock sale to cover the debts of National Amusements. (paidContent)

Skype Founders Seek Injunction Against Mike Volpi; the duo looking to prevent former Joost CEO Volpi and Index Ventures from completing a deal agreed to in September to buy Skype from eBay. (GigaOM)

Vid-Biz: FiOS, The Office, YouTube

Verzion’s FiOS Gets Twitter, Facebook and Web Video; the new Widget Bazaar makes TV more social, adds video from Veoh, and Dailymotion. (Multichannel News)

Watch New Office Webisodes and Follow Character Tweets; new web spin-off series The Office: Blackmail stars Creed, and you can follow the Twitter conversations between Kelly Kapoor (@IAmKellyFierce) and Ryan Howard (@veRY_ANgelic). (emailed release)

YouTube Asks Partners About Paid Product Placement; new checkbox appears for describing videos as such; earlier this year, YouTube sent notifications to creators that their brand integration tools could violate the company’s terms of service. (Stuff We Like)

Warner Delivers Movies Through the Wii (in Japan); Batman Begins, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coming to the game console’s “Everyone’s Theater Wii” service. ( blog) (Thanks, Matt!)

Are Mobile Phones a Threat to the Movie Industry? Nope, says Cory Doctorow; pre-release violations are usually an inside job; and what is the film industry doing to protect data on phones turned in before screenings? (Guardian)

Stingray Bringing Karaoke to YouTube; company’s sing-along Karaoke Channel coming to the video site. (The Globe and Mail)

New Web Shows Launch: HD Nation on Revision3 and Ctrl on NBC. (emailed releases) Redesigns for Easier Broadcasting; site’s homepage features big red “Broadcast” button, redesign also incorporates Meebo IM chat into the site. (TechCrunch)

Web Comedy Vs. TV Comedy: The SXSW Showdown!

van-veen1To launch his SXSW panel, “Comedy on Television and the Web,” moderator Ricky Van Veen of opened with a provocative but arguable point: Unlike previous technologies, humor and not porn is driving the adoption of online video.

What followed was a smart and (yes) funny conversation between leaders in web-based comedy and a couple luminaries in televised humor pondering how large web comedy can become compared with TV, and how the two mediums will influence each other. From the online world were panelists Van Veen, Keith Richman of Break Media, and Avner Ronen of BoxeeMeredith Scardino, staff writer for The Colbert Report, and B.J. Novak, a star and writer for the U.S. version of The Office represented for old teevee. Here are some of my other favorite highlights, arranged as a series of questions (sometimes posed by the audience or panel, and sometimes by me):

Why are Hollywood stars afraid of Web video?

novakVan Veen notes that besides the occasional exception like Will Ferrell, most Hollywood stars are skittish about web video. Novak (left) speculates that they’re uncomfortable because it doesn’t have much connection with the film industry’s development infrastructure (the personal connections, the talent agencies, etc.) that they’re familiar with. Richman said he believes stars are afraid because the web is a democratic environment, where their efforts can be noticeably eclipsed by the latest grassroots breakout. Read More about Web Comedy Vs. TV Comedy: The SXSW Showdown!

Vid-Biz: Hard Times, AT&T, The Office

Washington Post Launches Economic Web Series; Hard Times examines the financial hardships hitting people across the country. (WashingtonPost)
AT&T Partnering with Retail Chains; telco to sell its U-verse service through 600 Circuit City and Wal-Mart retail stores. (GigaOM)
The Office Inspires New Chocolate Rain; in last week’s episode, Steve Carrell’s character talked about being obsessed with a video of Cookie Monster singing Tay Zonday’s viral hit. That particular mashup didn’t exist — until now. (Videogum)

LCD Sales to Reach $110 Billion by 2012; LCD TVs to become the largest consumer electronics market by that time, according to iSuppli. (release)
Dr. Horrible‘s Evil League Applicants Online; fans of the web series post videos detailing all their eeee-vil attributes. (io9)
Verizon FiOS TV Gets Casual Games; customers get a raft of new video services including games like Chess and Sudoku. (release)

Vid-Biz: Yahoo, The Office, Bebo

Yahoo Series Makes Sweet Music; featuring big-name musicians, Nissan Live Sets generates roughly 4 million streams per month. (Variety)

Universal Using Mobile to Promote DVDs; studio providing clips from DVD bonus features of Heroes and The Office across Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. (Video Business)

Bebo Appoints Head of Original Productions; Kelly Brett worked on KateModern for a year and had previously worked for the BBC, Sky and ITV. (release)

Next2Friends Live Now on Windows Devices; UK-based mobile video streaming service now available on the Motorola Q series and the Samsung Blackjack II. (Mobile Entertainment)

Attack of the Show Producer Heads to Late Night; Gavin Purcell to be co-producer on Jimmy Fallon’s talk show as the series preps its Internet debut. (Variety)

Vid-Biz: SAG, ABC, NBC

Studios, SAG Still Clashing Over Clips; studios want to pay a flat fee to use clips of old TV shows and films online rather than bargain with each performer. (Reuters)

ABC Unveils New Ad Measurement Tool; to combat lower ratings and ad dollars shifting to the more-trackable web, the network created “Advertising Value Index,” which lets advertisers choose criteria that’s important to them. (The Wall Street Journal)

NBC Revving Up More Webisodes for Primetime Shows; mini-Office series will follow Kevin, mini-Heroes will focus on the discovery of a new villain. (MeeVee Blog)

What’s Up With the AT&T CDN? Company announced it was getting into the space back in December, but nary a peep has been heard since. (Silicon Alley Insider) (UPDATE: Streaming Media has the skinny. AT&T to spend $70-$80 million on infrastructure, hopes to have 400Gbps of capacity online by the end of 2008. (Streaming Media)

Clear Channel Partners with StudioNow; deal will help smaller advertisers put video ads on Clear Channel’s web sites. (MediaWeek)

Chinese Lip-Syncers Premiere Third (!) Movie; Ha! Ha! Ha! stars the “Back Dorm Boys,” who rose to fame by lip-syncing the Backstreet Boys. (The Hollywood Reporter)

“The Office” and “30 Rock” on Your iPhone

dwight Silicon Alley is reporting that you can now watch episodes of “The Office” and “30 Rock” on your iPhone. It is no secret that NBC is not a big fan of Apple and iTunes, having pulled their network shows from the iTunes Music Store last year. All you have to do to watch the episodes is go to on your iPhone or iPod Touch (while on a wireless network, not EDGE), scroll down a bit to where it says “Watch Full Episodes” and pick your poison.

I would assume that this is a pilot to see if it is feasible to transfer their TV shows from flash on to the QuickTime format that the iPhone and iPod Touch require. It sure would be nice if Apple allowed Flash on the iPhone.

The quality is pretty bad. While watching it, my wife said, “It looks like my contacts are all fogged over!” So, if you have nothing else to do, and you are somewhere around a wifi hotspot, it might be worth it to watch some super-low quality TV shows.

[via Alley Insider]