Current Picks Rotten Tomatoes for TV Show

rotten_tomatoesRotten Tomatoes and Current are partnering to create a new TV series based on the famous vegetable-centric movie review site, the two companies announced today.

The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current (yikes, that’s really an… unimaginative title) will be a half-hour show aired weekly on Current TV and distributed on Current.com and RottenTomatoes.com. From the press release:

In addition to the latest movie news and information, each irreverent episode will feature crowd-sourced rants and best-of lists influenced by the viewers. “The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current” will also include the famous Tomatometer, bringing Rotten Tomatoes’ unique metric based on aggregated critic ratings to TV for the very first time.

There aren’t many details about the show yet, such as when it will launch or exactly how much interactivity will be a part of the show (maybe live Twittering?). But this move is in keeping with Current’s shift to a cross-platform strategy that will roll out early next year.

In November, Current went through a round of layoffs as part of this strategic move and said it was launching channels that would have both a TV show and a web presence. The company is reportedly moving away from the shorter-form “pod” programming to more traditional half-hour shows.

Wonder how this one will rate.

Viacom Now After YouTube Employee Info?

[qi:_newteevee] The latest skirmish in the ongoing Viacom v. YouTube billion-dollar lawsuit battle is over how YouTube employees used their own site. It’s been a nutty couple of weeks for the high-profile case. First a federal judge ordered YouTube to hand over its user data to Viacom. Then Google asked to have user identifying information stripped out. Viacom denied it ever asked for that data (it did) and then said it didn’t want user information after all. Still with us? Now the news is that Viacom wants YouTube employee user information. If the media conglomerate can show that employees were aware of or upoloaded copyrighted material to the site, YouTube could lose its protection under the DMCA. [Full Story on NewTeeVee]

GoFish Says Game Over to Online Video

GoFish, a video aggregator with a complicated corporate history, is hightailing it out of the vid biz. The San Francisco-based company is refashioning itself as a vertical brand advertising network for kid-oriented casual gaming sites and virtual worlds. The video aggregation business is just too undifferentiated, explained a GoFish executive in an interview Tuesday. Because GoFish is public, the shift was catalyzed by pressure from its obligations to shareholders — a different kind of pressure than what other undifferentiated video portals would get from their money-bucket VCs. Also because it’s a publicly traded company, GoFish’s strategy shift is especially transparent.
GoFish found itself in a bit of a bind last year when it set out to acquire content and traffic by buying up video sites. Its first target was Bolt.com, a site that, post-YouTube acquisition, had a legitimate claim to being the largest video portal not owned by a public company. But page views weren’t enough to carry Bolt after it was sued by Universal Music Group. Six months after GoFish said it would pay $30 million to buy Bolt and settle the lawsuit, the deal fell apart. Not long after that, Bolt shut down its site and laid off all of its employees. And GoFish’s stock tanked, a drop from which it still hasn’t recovered.
“We ended up, in the eleventh hour, having to walk away from the Bolt deal,” said Tabreez Verjee, GoFish’s president and one of the venture capitalists who took the young company public through a reverse merger in 2006. Verjee said the deal fell apart because — in addition to settling with UMG — GoFish tried to come clean by cutting deals with all the other major music labels, but could not reach an arrangement it could afford.
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CES Day 3: Viacom, Panasonic, Comcast

Just when you though you’d read about all the tech news that could ever possibly come out of CES — they KEEP PULLIN’ YOU BACK IN!
Viacom is spreading itself all over the web, signing syndication deals with Dailymotion, Go Fish, iMeem, MeeVee and Veoh. Content from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and VH-1 will be available on the sites in the coming weeks. The move augments Viacom’s existing content partner list, which includes, AOL, Bebo, Fancast and Joost. Also as part of the move, Viacom has taken an equity stake in Go Fish.
People with Panasonic’s new VIERA HD TVs will be able to access YouTube videos directly from the television set. I wonder what those dog skateboarding videos would look like on Panasonic’s gargantuan 150-inch plasma TV set.
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Popular Perez Gets Kicked Off YouTube

Forbes-minted #1 Web Celeb and YouTube partner Mario “Perez Hilton” Lavandeira had his account suspended last night due to terms of use violations, according to the popular celebrity gossip blogger. The violation centered around a video clip depicting Liza Minnelli in a state of intoxication. It was used with permission, Lavandeira asserted in a vlog post on another account he created — which was subsequently taken down as well.

Lavandeira claimed that despite being “the biggest YouTube supporter and fan,” he got burned because his online clips were only available on the site. Though you can still find What Perez Sez on VH1 — which, for you conspiracy theorists out there, just happens to be owned by Viacom, a plaintiff in the $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube over copyright infringement.

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The Online Video Implications of Microsoft-Viacom Deal

Microsoft & Viacom announced a wide-ranging agreement this morning that’s valued at about $500 million. It’s essentially a way to thwart Google’s growing influence in the online video and advertising markets. Here are the online video implications: (We will follow up with more details later.)

  • Viacom will provide Microsoft with content for distribution by Microsoft on properties such as MSN.com and Xbox 360. Much of it is already distributed to Xbox 360 users through Xbox LIVE Marketplace and this deal adds popular content from BET Networks.
  • Microsoft will serve graphical and video ads on Viacom properties.
  • They will develop a new, co-branded site that will feature exclusive content from at least four MTV Networks and BET Networks events, such as the MTV Video Music Awards and BET Awards, and will share certain advertising revenue generated by the site.