Fusion Streams to Amazon’s Fire TV

Fusion Streams to Amazon’s Fire TVAmazon’s Fire TV box

Fusion has extended its streaming reach with the launch of its Watch Fusion app for the Amazon Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick.

In addition to a mix of long- and short-form fare, including highlights from programs such as AMERICA with Jorge Ramos and Real Future, the app also provides an authenticated live stream of the millennials-focused network and on-demand access to digital series including This Shouldn’t Be News, The Curls Room and Sex+Life.

“Our aim is to deliver a FUSION-branded experience everywhere our young, connected audience is consuming content,” Fusion CEO Isaac Lee said, in a statement. “We’re thrilled that with the launch of WATCH FUSION on Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick, millions of multicultural millennials will have a new way to access our content.

Other OTT platforms supported by Fusion include the Apple TV, Roku players and Roku TVs, PlayStation consoles, and Android TV-powered devices, among others.

Fusion, a joint venture of Univision Communications and Disney/ABC Television Network, launched in October 2013. MVPD partners include DirecTV/AT&T U-verse, Dish Network, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS and Google Fiber.

HBO Hooks Up With Hulu in Japan

HBO Hooks Up With Hulu in Japan

In a deal that extends the reach of its original programming to the Land of the Rising Sun, HBO has inked an exclusive SVOD licensing agreement with Hulu in Japan (HJ Holdings LLC).

The deal will enable Hulu in Japan to offer an array of HBO series, including Silicon Valley, and give HBO the opportunity to premiere originals that have never been offered in that country.

In addition to Silicon Valley, the deal covers “hundreds of hours” of programming from HBO’s library, starting off with series and titles such as Game of Thrones, True Detective, Girls, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Six Feet Under, True Blood, Band of Brothers, Rome, Enourage, Little Britain USA, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, Carnivale, The Pacific, and The Wire.

Those titles could help to drive subs to Hulu in Japan, which competes there with OTT rivals Netflix and Amazon.

“We are very excited to be able to deliver HBO’s great line-up, which could be described as a treasure chest of US drama series, to Hulu’s viewers in Japan,” Kazufumi Nagasawa, chief content officer, HJ Holdings, said in a statement.

“We are delighted to work together with Hulu in Japan to bring HBO’s distinctive programming to Hulu’s viewers, who have a great eye for foreign drama,” added Charles Schreger, president, programming sales, HBO. “HBO is committed to delivering the most groundbreaking and creative shows to its audience, and we welcome this opportunity to introduce more of our greatest series and miniseries to Hulu’s viewers in Japan.”

HJ Holdings is a full owned subsidiary Japanese broadcast company Nippon Television Network Corp. Hulu launched service in Japan in September 2011, and Hulu’s Japan business was fully acquired by Nippon TV in April 2014.

Ergen: Viacom Extension ‘A Positive’

Ergen: Viacom Extension ‘A Positive’

Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said the extension of its carriage talks with Viacom is “a positive,” but stressed that programming values have fallen as ratings have decreased across the board.

Viacom executive chairman and CEO Philippe Dauman let the cat out of the bag in his company’s Feb. 9 earnings conference call that the programmer had a brief extension in its negotiations with Dish. Most analysts saw that as a sign that at least the two were beginning to make progress in their talks.

On an earnings conference call with reporters on Thursday, Ergen said the extension was “a positive because we’re not down.”

Ergen said that the problem when networks go dark and return to carriage a month or so later, the distributor has already lost the customers who value that content. But he added that, especially with programmers that Dish has had a long relationship with, he doesn’t spend a lot of time looking for loopholes.

“I don’t want to look at how we’re not going to do a deal; I want to look at how we are going to do a deal. The benefit of the doubt goes to our programming partner because they helped us build our business,” Ergen said. “Viacom is one of those long term partners for us; they helped us build our business. It would take a lot for us not to move forward.”

At the same time, Ergen noted that programmers have to face reality when negotiating carriage deals.

“People have to be realistic that the viewership of their channel relates to the value of their channel,” Ergen said. “The availability of their content in other places to our consumers, they shouldn’t be forced to pay for it twice.”

MCN Review: Netflix’s ‘Love’

MCN Review: Netflix's 'Love'

Netflix takes a shot at romantic comedy with its new series Love.

The Judd Apatow-produced series follows the unlikely pairing of nice but nerdy Gus (Paul Rust) and the rough-around-the-edges but likable Mickey (Gillian Jacobs).

After each endures a crushing breakup, the two eventually meet and form a unique friendship that looks to blossom over time: Every stage of the relationship from the often awkward, but humorous getting-to-know-you phase and beyond is charted throughout the 10-episode run.

Viewers will have to decide for themselves whether they want to hang in with the evolution of the relationship between the clingy and overly nice Gus and the rough-edged but somewhat insecure Mickey.

Love doesn’t pull any punches in its examination of the ins and outs of a modern relationship, which should play well with Netflix’s younger, binge-viewing subscribers.

Love is created, written and executive produced by Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin.

FCC Shares Captioning Responsibilities

FCC Shares Captioning Responsibilities

A unanimous FCC has decided to share program distributors’ responsibility for the quality of closed captions with the program producers who supply them.

That came at the FCC’s Feb. 18 public meeting.

In continuing to implement the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), the commissioners unanimously voted to make programmers responsible for caption issues within their control — i.e., in production or transmission to distributors like cable operators and broadcasters — while distributors will continue to be responsible for quality and transmission issues within their control.

The item also updates the complaint process to allow distributors and programmers to make best efforts to resolve complaints before they are considered for FCC enforcement.

In keeping with the move to make programmers responsible for captioning issues, their closed captioning certifications will now go directly to the FCC, rather than first to the distributors.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who has made disability accessibility a priority, said the item was about the responsibility to those who “hear with their eyes,” and for those who provide closed captioning “whether they create it or distribute it.”

TiVo Study: NBC the Least Time-Shifted Broadcast Net

TiVo Study: NBC the Least Time-Shifted Broadcast Net

NBC, with 52% of its primetime programming viewed out of pattern, had the least time-shifted prime among the Big Five broadcast networks, according to TiVo’s State of TV report, which reflects the fourth quarter of 2015. At the other end of the broadcast scale, The CW had the most time-shifted viewing, at 78%, surpassing all cable networks in terms of time-shifting in prime

On the broadcast side, between NBC and The CW, Fox weighed in at 56%, then ABC at 63% and CBS at 64%.

The most time-shifted cable network in terms of prime was Bravo (69%), followed by BBC America and AMC (60%), FX (59%) and Syfy (58%). Weather Channel, ESPN, Sprout and TBS were among the least time-shifted.

Top time-shifted cable series were BBC America’s Doctor Who, FX’s Fargo and Freeform’s Switched at Birth.

The data was gathered from an anonymous sample of 350,000 TiVo DVRs in October-December.

Read more at broadcastingcable.com.

WWE Pins Down New Website

WWE Pins Down New Website

WWE Thursday launched a revamped WWE.com website that will provide fans with a rich multi-media, multi-language experience across multiple platforms.

The site, which was developed in collaboration with publishing/design company Code and Theory, features an all-new look with a variety of site designs and experiences that changes daily, according to network officials.

The mobile-friendly site will also feature a persistent, site-wide video experience that presents relevant clips depending on when fans visit the site and what pages they visit.

The WWE will also launch English, Spanish and German language versions of the site that will offer locally relevant content driven by WWE teams around the world who will curate up-to-the-minute content during and around all WWE live TV programming.

Also included are improved social sharing and commenting features and an infinite scroll on the homepage and key destinations allowing users to explore unlimited content options, saidthe WWE.

“WWE has always been at the forefront of embracing new technology, and the all-new WWE.com will allow us to better serve our fans by providing them with compelling content anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice,” said Rajan Mehta, WWE Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer. “With locally relevant content, WWE.com will enhance the experience for our fans around the world.”