If you look at the NBA Finals viewership by comparing TV and digital, the temptation might be a shrug. But in the context of a live event airing during prime time, it’s not shabby — and it shows why ESPN is looking to video and mobile for growth.
Golf fans beware: The U.S. Open are going down in San Francisco this week, and at least part of the competition will happen while most of us are at the office. But no worries: The prestigious tournament will be live streamed online and on mobile devices.
U.S. Open Final Viewed by 14.6 Million; rain-delayed match up 118 percent over last year’s rain-delayed match. (TV by the Numbers)
Bewkes Chastises Reluctant TV Everywhere Programmers; with Disney withholding its participation in the authentication trials over money, Time Warner’s CEO and Chairman scoffed, saying that distributors are doing all of the hard work. (MarketWatch)
Elisabeth Murdoch and Joanna Shields Form Content Company; Shine CEO hooks up with former Bebo President and CEO to create digital content that emphasizes social media engagement. (All Things D)
Wall Street Journal Lauching Live News Show; The News Hub will discuss the business news twice a day and appear across the company’s digital sites. (MediaWeek)
John Krasinski’s New Movie to Hit Hulu; The Office star’s directorial debut, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, will go to the premium content site first after its theatrical run. (Hulu Blog)
Old Jews Telling Jokes Creator Looks to Old Media for Money; despite having a hit series, Eric Spiegelman says web revenues aren’t enough, so he’s turning to DVDs and books to make some moolah. (MediaMemo)
Nagravision and 3ality Digital Unveil 3D Set-top Technology; prototype of the Nagra Media Guide for 3D will use 3D graphics to make searching for third-dimensional content on set-top boxes more engaging. (The Wall Street Journal)
Widely held wisdom in world of live sports webcasts is that weekdays rock. That’s when folks are desk-bound, and need to tune in online to get their sporting fix. So we weren’t altogether disappointed to learn that a rain delay pushed the men’s U.S. Open tennis final to Monday. Let’s just hope Roger Federer brings his A-game — as shown by “the greatest shot I ever hit in my life,” as he described a between-the-legs save in the tournament semifinals.
The game will be shown at 4 p.m. ET on CBSSports.com and USOpen.org. Back when it was scheduled for the weekend, the finals match wasn’t going to be aired online at all, because CBS was worried about affiliate ratings. Now, the top-seeded Federer will battle No. 6 seed Juan Martin Del Potro in person, on TV, and on the web.
Read More about Where to Watch the Delayed U.S. Open Final Online
Verivue Raises $20 Million; IP video distribution company adds third round led by Sigma Partners, which follows a $40 million round the company disclosed just in March. (peHUB, via a regulatory filing)
Telcos Taking Share from Cable Cos; AT&T and Verizon grew to 4.4 percent share of the TV provider market, while cable fell 3.1 percent to just over 61 percent. (TV by the Numbers)
Turner Partners with News Corp. for NASCAR Web Video Channel; “NASCAR on Speed” will feature Speed Channel talent and have three original series. (MediaWeek)
U.S. Open Serves 6.4 Million Streams During First Week; 1.4 million video consoles were open for an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes. (paidContent)
JibJab Hops on Board Soul Train; stick your face on a dancer’s body from the classic music show. (TechCrunch)
Time Warner Cable Hires Former Joost CTO; Jason Gaedtke will most likely help the cabler with its TV Everywhere plans; TWC had reportedly been in talks to buy Joost, but that didn’t happen. (Light Reading)
Some Preliminary U.S. Open Stats; during the first two days of the tennis tournament, fans spent an average of two hours and 37 minutes with the video console. (Contentinople)
QuickPlay to Debut Mobile Set-Top Box Next Month; device will allow some cable, satellite or IPTV subscribers to access shows on their mobile devices. (Video Business)
ABC’s Flash Forward Uses Augmented Reality; print ads have a code that activates a video when held up to a webcam. (Variety)
Twitter TV Takes Over Screen; Dave Zatz not impressed with FOX’s picture-covering attempt at integrating micro-messages into Fringe. (ZatzNotFunny)
Film to Premiere on iPhones/iPhone Touches; Rage, featuring Judi Dench and Jude Law, is a behind-the-scenes look at a New York fashion show. (The Apple Blog)
Shhh! Don’t tell Liz, but a good chunk of my morning has been spent watching the U.S. Open online. The good news is that it’s actually quite cool. The interface is easy to use and gives you the ability to preview (with li’l video thumbnails!) and switch between five different courts. Plus, there’s a picture-in-picture mode, so you can keep an eye on two matches at once.
I only encountered one pre-roll ad when I launched the player, and they aren’t cutting away to commercials in between games (as in game, set, match). Additionally, unlike the Olympics, which had a lot of coverage but oftentimes no commentary, each court has announcers providing analysis. (Bonus: Many have sophisticated accents.)
You can check out all the action at USOpen.org.
The tennis flavor of the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, Aug. 31, but if you can’t make it to New York or are stuck at work, just turn on your PC. The U.S. Open announced yesterday that USOpen.org will be live streaming more than 150 matches for free here in the U.S..
From the looks of it, the tennis organization is going, ummm, balls out:
The media console will include picture-in-picture match viewing, user commenting and live match stats updates integrated with the live video. The USTA world feed, which is fed to international broadcasters in more than 180 countries, will be streamed live during all the live television windows for ESPN2 and Tennis Channel. All five television courts with announcer commentary will be available to users in high definition.
Last year, the only event shown online was the men’s final, which was delayed because of weather. But those clouds brought a silver lining for online video the match was subsequently rescheduled for the following Monday, when most people were at work and not in front of their TVs. More than 300,000 viewers tuned in online to watch Roger Federer beat Andy Murray.
Thankfully, it appears that the U.S. Open coverage will be better than NBC’s (s ge) not-live Wimbledon online this year. I think I’ll just quote paidContent’s Rafat Ali on this one:
Compare this to the horrendous NBC policy on Wimbledon, but to be tiny-bit fair, it was on a completely different timezone. Actually, scratch that, NBC Sports sucks, we all know that.
Image courtesy of USOpen.org.
Well, it isn’t a nail-biting conclusion driving an extra day of play in this year’s U.S. Open — it’s mother nature, as rain plagued the golf tournament this weekend. But it’s on these unexpected extra days of play that online video gets to shine.
Last year’s Monday U.S. Open finale generated millions of streams, though that was more about the drama of a heated race between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate. The “other” U.S. Open (for tennis) was also rain delayed to a Monday last year, and pulled in 300,000 viewers.
Woods is seven behind going into the fourth round today, so some of the star wattage has dimmed (though to be honest, I don’t play golf so maybe that’s not so bad; correct me in the comments). But for golf fans stuck at work, they should turn their browsers to NBCSports.com for live coverage starting at 9 a.m. EDT (that’s 6 a.m. for us West Coasters). Or, if your ISP has aligned itself with ESPN360 (a touchy subject), you can check out coverage on ESPN360.com.
The US Open moves to ESPN (NYSE: DIS) in 2009, giving the Disney sports unit bragging rights for the tennis Grand Slam: US Open, Australian…