Daily Marauder



With the storied New York Yankees facing off against the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies, Fox Sports has a potentially compelling matchup in baseball’s World Series that should drive strong TV ratings.

All News Corp‘s Fox needs is close games, a full seven-game series and Mother Nature to cooperate and it could see strong revenue, analysts said. (Reuters10/27)

World Series

USA’s “White Collar” attracted 5.37 million viewers to its premiere at 10 p.m. Friday. The show averaged 2.18 million viewers in the 25-to-54 demographic group and 1.79 million in the 18-to-49 category. Mediaweek (10/26)

Television industry execs who complain that Hulu is undermining current models haven’t seen the business plan, says CEO Jason Kilar. Some 50% of Hulu’s content has never been available in the living room in the past year, and therefore no threat to the TV, he says. (Iwantmedia10/28, Broadcasting & Cable 10/27)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


Roku, the company whose set-top box originally made it possible to stream Netflix content on TVs, has come out with two new video players. The Roku SD supports standard-definition content of 480i and costs about $80; the Roku HD-XR supports 702p video and retails for $130. Digital Trends(10/27)


By 2013, there could be as many as 46 million homes worldwide with 3-D-capable TV sets, according to GigaOM Pro analyst Alfred Poor, who added that the rate of uptake would be greatly affected by cost considerations. Sony and Panasonic, both of whom have said they will launch 3-D HDTVs next year, are likely to lead the way. Yahoo!/The Associated Press (10/26

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The deal between Comcast and NBC Universal is moving toward a likely official conclusion as media honchos gathered this week at 30 Rockefeller Plaza to kick tires, scrutinize balance sheets and perform due diligence. (The Wrap 10/22)

Comcast NBC

Jeff Gaspin, NBC Universal’s top television exec, claims that NBC will no longer program to profit margins — meaning no more “Jay Leno”-like programming that is profitable merely because it is cheaply produced. The announcement is said to be “stunning” Hollywood. (The Washington Post 10/23)

Stunning yes, if you consider that Marc Graboff (Co-Chairman/NBC) mentioned mere days ago at Digital Hollywood LA how profitable Leno was for the advertisers and how he considered that things were going “well.”

To satisfy the “Gleeks,” aka fans of new frosh series Glee, FOX said it will release the first 13 episodes of its music-filled drama on DVD at the end of this year, per Variety. ‘Glee’ Season One: Road to Sectionals will be available in stores by December 29. The 13-episode set will also contain a director’s cut of the pilot episode as well as behind-the-scenes features, cast audition clips and music performances from the show. Later in mid-2010 the full first season of Glee will be released on DVD, picking up the new original episodes slated to air on FOX next spring. The 13-episode set, coming out this December will also include a voucher toward the purchase of the full season box set. (Cynopsis 10/23)

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MOBILE by Marauder


Sportswear giant Nike has a nifty application in the App Store that allows you to create custom sneakers and order them straight away, with just a couple of taps. The app is in fact a mobile extension NIKEid, a program that allows customer to order personalized Nike shoes straight from the manufacturer. And an excellent extension it is. (Mobilecrunch10/22)

LG Electronics reported a stronger-than-expected quarter thanks to solid business of mobile phones and TV sets, but the world’s third-largest handset maker is eyeing a downbeat fourth quarter because of currency issues, increased marketing costs and pricing pressure. Handset sales in the third quarter reached 31.6 million units, which was up from 29.8 million in the previous three-month period, but profit margins fell from 11% to 8.8% for its phones because of competition and marketing costs. Reuters (10/21)

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Oprah Winfrey, aiming to climb back from last season’s ratings slump, will attempt to make up with conservative viewers on Nov. 16 when she has Sarah Palin on her syndicated talk show. Palin’s new book, “Going Rogue,” is scheduled to hit bookstores the next day. (Iwantmedia 10/21, Washington Post 10/21)


Combining metrics across multiple platforms, ESPN says it delivered its biggest audience ever in Sept., including a combined total day rating of 1.65 million homes across ESPN’s networks, a 250% spike in time spent on ESPN 360.com (per Move Analytics,) and a 21% boost in unique visitors to ESPN.com, totaling 28.8 million visitors for the month. ESPN.com also had more viewers of online video in September than ever, with 9.3 million viewers logging nearly 196 million minutes of video viewing. (Cynopsis10/21)

Traditional television viewing patterns are collapsing and the industry needs to quickly figure out how to profit in a world where people can watch TV shows anytime, anywhere, says NBC Universal TV chief Marc Graboff. “The audience is so fragmented at the expense of TV shows.” (Iwantmedia 10/21, Reuters10/20)

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Google will partner with iLike and LaLa for their new music service, Techcrunch has learned. And the announcement date is Wednesday, October 28, 2009. (Techcrunch10/21)

Google Music

Yahoo announced third quarter earnings today, showing net income more than tripling to $186 million, or $0.13 a share, nearly double analysts estimates of $0.07 a share. This was definitely a financial achievement for Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, but it was done almost entirely through cost cutting. (Techcrunch10/20)

Comcast will become the first cable television operator to unlock online access to cable shows and movies. Subscribers can initially watch programs only on their home computers after verification. Time Warner Cable and other cable providers plan to follow with similar programs. (Iwantmedia 10/21, AP, 10/20)

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October 20, 2009, 7:52 PM
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , , , , , ,



Just launched about a month ago now, mSpot allows consumers the opportunity to watch movies on 30 phones domestically. Interested in taking in Zach and Miri Make a Porno? Now, you can introduce your fellow train mates to comedy nudity as well. Incidentally speaking, this was the movie playing when mSpot was demoed to me. Currently, over 350 movies are available on the service and a few TV shows as well.

The business model:

I had the opportunity to sit down with Darren Tsui , CEO of mSpot, today at Digital Hollywood LA. The service in available both in a rental and monthly subscription model ($4.99/movie and $9.99/month for 4 movies). When asked why the service wasn’t available in an unlimited monthly Netflix type of model, Tsui responded that this model wasn’t compatible with the way studios make money on their content.

I questioned viewers’ desire to watch full length movies on a cell phone. Tsui responded that this was more of a challenge two years ago but not at this point. Of the audience using the service, consumers tend to rent rather than subscribing via the monthly model.

The competion:

The other players in this space include iTunes, and possibly if rumors are true and you know they are, the Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix apps to come. mSpot attempts to differentiate itself from iTunes with a streaming content model. “People don’t plan when they want to watch something,” Tsui tells me. In essence, iTunes requires some forethought to download the content in advance whereas mSpot is available on the go. That said, clearly iTunes has its advantages in its ability to allow viewers to watch on planes, subways, and anywhere else where cell service isn’t available…like the panel rooms at Digital Hollywood.

To come:

Currently the service is only available as a mobile website but applications are sure to come.

Marauder Weigh-In:

I continue to wonder how many people will truly watch full length movies on any type of mobile service…only because I would never do such a thing if offered the option between my laptop and my phone. That said, I’m not a parent and I clearly see the advantages that this platform offers the parental units.

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