Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Cynopsis: DIGITAL



Good morning, it’s Thursday, February 4, 2010, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Apparently in good enough financial shape to swallow up NBC Universal, Comcast reported that its Q4 profit more than doubled to $955 million. The company saw increases in its digital cable, broadband and telephony customer base, but continued to lose some basic subs – ending the year with 23.6 million overall video customers. Newly-enhanced services such as all-digital cable franchises, its Wideband high-speed internet product and bundled 4G wireless offerings with Clear all contributed to the bottom line. Meanwhile, NBC affiliates are preparing to seek some assurances on the proposed Comcast/NBCU merger at a House hearing scheduled for 9:30 am Thur. morning (that will be streamed live on Concerns include seeing key programming devalued if it’s shared or siphoned off to Comcast’s cable channels, VOD platforms or broadband video outlets, according to advanced reports regarding NBC affiliate board chair Michael Fiorile’s testimony.


James Cameron is once again “King of the World” as his 3D epic Avatar officially surpassed Titanic at the domestic box office, according to Fox, ringing up $601.2 million in receipts through Tuesday. It’s worldwide total has now surpassed $2 billion according to Box Office Mojo.
Coverage of Haiti and Obama’s first State of the Union address helped reach a record 27.4 million uniques in Jan., growing its audience 24% versus the same month the previous year, according to the network.
ITV Studios‘ exclusive online comedy “Brian Pern” has been picked up for a second series of 8 installments by BBC Comedy for BBC Online.


Adaptive streaming specialist Move Networks is trying to interest broadcast and cable networks in a branded IPTV service that would offer a TV-like experience on the web, reports the WSJ. The broadband-powered service, tentatively named Move TV, would enable viewers to watch shows through a browser, via a connected set-top box or on broadband enabled mobile devices. Move’s software has been deployed in Comcast’s TV Everywhere offering launched last month.
KickApps, which already supplies NBC station sites with publishing solutions, signed a licensing deal with NBC Universal Interactive covering a variety of NBCU sites. The deal includes use the latest version of its App Studio software and recently released Premium Social Video platform.
Digital music start-up Thumbplay, whose apps for the PC, Mac and BlackBerry are currently in Private Beta, announced it has signed licensing agreements with all 4 major US music label as well as more than 15 indie labels. The cloud-based subscription service, planning a Q1 launch, provides unlimited online and offline access to more than 8 million tracks with playlist creation and multi-device synching.
Online video platform Ooyala released a new developers kit including search optimization tools that help producers ensure that their videos get more traction on search engines.


AOL posted a quarterly profit during Q4 2009 posting net income of $1.4 million, quite an improvement from Q4 2008 when the portal reported a loss of $1.9 billion. However, revenue fell at the newly spun off company by 17% y/y to $809.7 million on further losses of dial-up subscribers and declining global search and display ad revenue.
Online video ad network BrightRoll has secured $10 million in Series C financing led by Scale Venture Partners, bringing the company’s total venture funding to $16M since its launch in July 2006. Existing investors True Ventures, Adams Street Capital and KPG Ventures also participated in the round. The company also announced that Rob Theis, Managing Director with Scale Venture Partners, has joined its board.
Besides Hulu (which will only have a selection,) you can also look for the entire slate of Superbowl ads on this year, immediately following the game.


Seattle-based jobs site Monster Worldwide has entered into an agreement to buy Yahoo’s HotJobs site for $225 million in cash.
Time Warner
managed a decent quarter with Q4 earnings increasing to $627 million, compared to year-earlier losses of $16 billion despite weakening ad revenue. The company attributed the results to Hollywood hits such as Sherlock Homes and increasing revenues at HBO and its Turner properties. Though not particularly moved by the new Apple iPad, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes unveiled an HBO mobile TV Everywhere product during a conference call with analysts, “HBO Go,” that would enable HBO subscribers access shows and movies on remotely for no extra charge.
Italy is moving ahead with plans to tighten controls over video content sites on the web, requiring sites to apply for broadcasting licenses and obtain formal permission from copyright holders to feature a show, per the WSJ.


All-Time Worldwide Box Office
Rank  Title                                                           Worldwide Box Office
1.       Avatar (2009)                                                       $2,048,453,037
2.       Titanic (1997)                                                       $1,835,300,000
3.       The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)      $1,129,219,252
4.       Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)        $1,060,332,628
5.       The Dark Knight (2008)                                         $1,001,921,825
6.       Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)                      $968,657,891
7.       Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)         $958,404,152
8.       Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)      $937,000,866
9.       Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)             $933,956,980
10.     Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)      $922,379,000
Source: Box Office Mojo, As of Feb. 2
Measuring social media conversations, marketing intelligence firm Collective Internet identified some early ad winners among Superbowl advertisers in terms of online buzz and sentiment leading up to the big game. Doritos leads CPG advertisers with 51% share of voice with Mars in second place with 16%. Denny’s leads restaurant advertisers with 50% share of voice, followed by Papa John’s and Taco Bell second with 25% each. The largest percent of Super Bowl conversation occurs on Twitter with blogs and message boards coming in a close second and third.


has developed an interactive widget in partnership with Biap’s 4th Wall using The Weather Channel as a demo partner. The TV widget delivers current weather info including video forecasts delivered by on-camera meteorologists; users can watch video minutes after it was produced and can check the forecast for other markets without restarting or refreshing the application.
Weather Channel Interactive
introduced an advanced weather application on AOL‘s UK site, allowing users to track current and future granular weather conditions city-by-city.


David Ripert
has been upped from Senior Manager Content & Partnerships at Dailymotion‘s  Paris headquarters to Director/Global Content Partnerships, moving back across the pond to the online video company’s New York office. Before joining Dailymotion he served as Manager of Content Acquisition at Netflix.
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
named Dirk Shaw as a SVP of its 360 Degree Digital Influence Practice based in San Francisco.
Christopher Sanders has joined Buzzmedia as VP/Ad Sales in the San Francisco office, which has also hired Judah Wiedre joins as Senior Director/Sales based in Los Angeles.


A new ad supported African American web video destination has entered the fray dubbed, placing an emphasis on quality curated, professionally produced programming. The video wall on the home page grabs content from the site’s 16 thematic channels, which break out interesting segments – each focused on a different aspect of Black culture. It’s nothing if not eclectic – from news and documentary footage such as this historical May 21, 1961 interview with Nelson Mandela, to entertainment, like this hilarious appearance of Wayne Brady slumming on the Dave Chappelle show. BTV’s editors plan to rotate and introduce channels to reflect current events and trend such the Haiti Relief channel. When cataloguing the site’s more than 100,000 programs, BTV’s co-founders Justin Beckett and Cecil Cox actively tried to include more intelligent fare then you might find on a more generic video site. “We’re trying to centralize the experience to take the guesswork out of finding (legitimate black-themed fare,)” said Mr. Cox. The site’s best hope at making an impact may be at putting together some compelling original programming. For instance, Cox co-produced the documentary Black Panther: The Trial Of Huey Newton with HBO for the site, directed by Carl Franklin and featuring never-seen-before footage from the Black Panther Party archives. BTV is currently in talks with partners to syndicate the series.


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 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: SR WRITER/PROD/EDITOR/WSFL-TV/Miami: Seasoned creative team player to create on-air mktg campaigns for ent, sports & untradit’l morn newscast. Res/reel:   Info: (2/11)

JOB OPENING: RECRUITER : NYC Entertainment Executive Search Firm/media or recruiting experience req’d/motivated/research skills/excellent communication skills/computer proficiency/self-starter/BA email: (2/11)

JOB OPENING: NBCU/NY: USA and Syfy have four open RESEARCH positions supporting Sales, Primary and Digital efforts. Visit for more info and to apply (2/11)

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JOB OPENING:  SALES PLANNER/Fox Sports Espanol/NY: Exciting opp to work in ad sales & sports. Build proposals & work w/ AEs in NY, Miami, Dallas, LA. Seeking Ad agency bkgrd & 2 yrs+ media ad sales ref. FNG17870 (2/10)

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JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST, RESEARCH /Music Choice, NYC: Support multi-platform sales, mrktng& prgrmng initiatives w/accurate & actionable research. BA/BS 3-5 yrs media rsrch exp. req./1 yr VOD rsrch strongly pref. (2/8)

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SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: TV DISTRIBUTION INTERN: Learn how to market and sell factual series and specials to cool broadcasters in the US & Canada.  Must be interested in the business of TV. Cover/resume to:   (2/10)

SPRING/SUMMER INTERNSHIPS CREDIT ONLY: PRODUCTION INTERNS: Positions avail. in MA, NY, CO, and FL this summer to assist luxury lifestyle network w/live and/or taped original local programming. 40hrs/wk. FCP knowledge req’d. Full post on (2/9)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: EDITING INTERNSHIP Nick Davis Productions offers a short-term internship in NYC. Job: Help edit development reels for production company. Editing experience on Final Cut Pro a must. (2/5)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED …  There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad … for more information contact Trish Pihonak at

SITUATION WANTED: DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER/LA: to dive in, develop, and create presentation materials for your unscripted/factually based ideas-from concept to pitch on a ‘per project’ basis. Email: (2/11)

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SITUATION WANTED: UAlbany 2010 grad, looking for programming/research analyst, media buying, or sales positions. I am currently interning at Viacom MTV Networks(Spike TV).Held the marketing position in my sorority. (2/10)

SITUATION WANTED: MKTG/ADVERTISING /ENTRY-LEVEL POSITION: 2010 Iowa grad, Internship experience in Strategic Marketing at Cartoon Network. Willing to relocate. Energetic, efficient, dedicated! (2/9)

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SITUATION WANTED:   BUS DEV/SALES ASSISTANT: 2+ yrs experience supporting sales/bus dev execs, strong writer, organized, professional, great interpersonal skills, strong refs available (2/5)

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