NBCU Launches Faux PSAs in ‘Zoolander 2’ Campaign

NBCU Launches Faux PSAs in ‘Zoolander 2’ CampaignBen Stiller’s Derek Zoolander reminds TV viewers that #TheOutsideMatters in parody PSAs created for the upcoming “Zoolander 2″ release.

Paramount Pictures will be promoting its upcoming film Zoolander 2 across NBCUniversal platforms with a campaign that spoofs NBC’s “The More You Know” PSA campaign.

Created by NBCU’s in-house Content Innovation Agency, the parody ads feature Ben Stiller, who plays male model Derek Zoolander in PSAs pushing the message “The Outside Matters,” emphasizing the importance of appearance.

The spots — tailored to fit each NBCU network’s audience — will appear on NBC, USA, Bravo, E! and Telemundo, as well as on those networks’ digital and social platforms.

“The combination of the renowned ‘The More You Know’ campaign and Zoolander’s cultural legacy were a natural fit and will make you think about this venerable campaign in wholly new ways,” said Steve Siskind, president of domestic marketing at Paramount Pictures.

Read more, and watch the #TheOutsideMatters video, at broadcastingcable.com.

Operators Name ESPN Most Valuable Net

Operators Name ESPN Most Valuable Net

ESPN is the most valuable network to cable operators, according to a new survey by Beta Research.

The survey information was also distributed by Walt Disney Co. and ESPN, which have been fighting a perception that ESPN’s distribution would be hurt if cable operators offer subscribers lower-cost skinny bundles of programming. (See: “Iger: Disney Subs Growing.”)

Cable operators said ESPN was worth $1.03 and ESPN2 was worth 75 cents, according to the survey. Those networks actually cost operators and subscribers about $7 a month.

Following the ESPN networks, vable operators said the most valuable were NFL Network, Fox News Channel, Disney Channel, TNT, Fox Sports 1, USA Network, Discovery Channel, CNN and TBS.

Read more at broadcastingcable.com.

Buckeye CableSystem Teams With TiVo

Buckeye CableSystem Teams With TiVo

TiVo said it has inked a multi-year, strategic partnership with Buckeye CableSystem in which the MSO will lean on TiVo’s software and devices for a new multi-screen video offering.

Starting in June 2016, TiVo will become Buckeye CableSystem’s primary provider of the software, user experience and cloud services for across the operator’s service area, which includes parts of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Buckeye’s coming multi-screen offering will factor in TiVo-powered DVRs and thin clients, and TiVo web, mobile and tablet applications. Later, the MSO will also use a new TiVo-based non-DVR hybrid (QAM/IP) set-top box that will tie together the MSO’s linear and VOD offerings, plus over-the-top content from sources such as Hulu and YouTube, as well as TV Everywhere apps. That hybrid box, TiVo noted, will include software that will deliver traditional and broadband video without the need for a CableCARD.

Notably, the partnership is coming together as the FCC prepares to vote on a new set-top plan that would succeed the CableCARD regime and be applied to all forms of MVPDs, including cable and telco TV operators and satellite TV service providers.

The deal also extends TiVo’s reach among U.S. based independent operators, a group that includes RCN, Suddenlink, Mediacom Communications, Atlantic Broadband, Armstrong, Grande Communications, and GCI, among others. TiVo ended its fiscal Q3 with 6.46 million subs, including 5.51 million coming way of MVPD partnerships.

“We are excited about our new partnership with TiVo,” Jeff Abbas, president and general manager of Buckeye, said in a statement. “Deploying TiVo gives our customers access to both traditional and streaming content and the most advanced whole-home, multiscreen TV solution in the industry. TiVo allows Buckeye to rapidly deliver new technologies and immediately satisfy our subscribers’ increasing demand for broadband video.”

“We are proud to partner with Buckeye to provide next generation video to customers in Ohio and Michigan,” added Thomas Elam, VP and GM of TiVo’s North American operator business. “This brings Buckeye subscribers a wealth of content – both traditional cable and broadband streaming – in one, unified system. Buckeye viewers will have access to more content, and a better experience, than ever before.”

FYI Adds More Khloe

FYI Adds More Khloe

FYI has greenlit 15 additional one-hour episodes of its primetime talk series Kocktails with Khloe, the network said Wednesday.

The series, hosted and executive produced by Khloe Kardashian and produced by Pilgrim Media Group, launched Jan. 20 as the most watched series premiere in network history across key demos, according to FYI officials.

The additional 15 episodes will be added to the current eight-episode run, which will keep the series on air through June, according to network officials.

“Khloe and her iconic brand have struck a chord with FYI viewers, who have been extremely interactive with the show on social media,” said Gena McCarthy, FYI’s senior vice president of programming and development. “Her ability to draw upscale millennial viewers across all our platforms in record numbers is a game changer for FYI.”

Added Executive Producer and Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian, “Khloe’s creativity, wit and work ethic make her a perfect host and an ideal partner for Pilgrim. We’re thrilled to continue working with Khloe and FYI as we further our unique spin on primetime talk.”

Mobile World Congress: News Briefs II

Mobile World Congress: News Briefs II

Here’s another batch of news briefs from this week’s Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. Go here to check out our first roun of briefs.

-Verizon said it has opened the door to thousands of developers to ThingSpace, its Internet of Things platform. Verizon said more than 4,000 developers are using ThingSpace since its launch in October 2015. Noting its global ambitions, Verizon said its IoT footprint now spans more than 120 countries, and expects to raise that total to nearly 200 by year-end. Verizon also said cloud APIs for ThingSpace will soon be available in beta form

-On the heels of a business and tech partnership forged last year, Ericsson and Cisco said they’ve been selected to transform Vodafone’s Portugal IP mobile backhaul platform. The system will feature Cisco Aggregation Services Router 9000 and Ericsson systems integration and global services.

-Expway, a wireless multicast company, introduced FastLane, a content delivery network solution optimized for mobile networks.FastLane, it said, optimizes the link from the network cell to devices using LTE Broadcast, Multicast Dynamic Switching and pre-emptive caching. At the show, Expway is running demos with Akamai and Huawei. Expway also announced that MediaTek will integrate the Expway middlware on its “helio” smartphone SoC family.

-Ovum issued a forecast that the number of m-commerce users worldwide will grow from 452.78 million in 2014, to 2.07 billion in 2019 amid the surge in adoption of person-to-person mobile transfer and mobile proximity payment technologies and the use of powerful smartphones with larger screens. The firm also expects the global transaction value of m-commerce to grow from $50.92 billion in 2014, to $693.36 billion in 2019.

-Chipmaker Marvell is showing a suite of silicon and software for the Internet of Things, wireless and smart home ecosystems, including demos running on Google Weave and Brillo and advancements in its Kinoma suite of products, modular virtual system on chips, and its Andromeda Box platform, which is made for Brillo.