FuboTV Boots Up Next-Gen App on Fire TV
AMC Orders ‘Geeking Out’ Late Night Talk Show
TV Everywhere Continues Its Climb

Hulu Does Windows 10

Hulu Does Windows 10

Hulu is broadening its digital reach with the launch of an app optimized for Windows 10-powered PCs, smartphones and tablets.

The new app for Windows 10 is integrated with Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-capable “personal assistant,” and works with the platform’s Live Tiles feature, which keeps users updated on which shows are being featured on the Hulu app home page, Ben Smith, Hulu’s SVP, experience, announced Monday.

“With Cortana, you can use your voice to search for a TV show or movie making it effortless to find what you want to watch. You can also direct Cortana to start a show or begin playing where you left off, so you never miss a scene,” Smith noted in the announcement.

Hulu, which has about 9 million subs and recently launched an ad-free option and a Showtime bundle, said it built the new app on top of the Universal Windows Platform, enabling it use one code for the full array of Windows 10-powered devices.

Hulu’s other supported platforms include Roku players and Roku TVs, the PlayStation 4 and PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Google Nexus Player, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Windows 8 devices, Amazon Kindle Fire, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U, Amazon Fire TV, TiVo, and connected TVs from Samsung, Vizio, LG and Sony.

Cox Dousing ‘Flare’ Product Line

Cox Dousing ‘Flare’ Product LineCox began to market a subscription gaming service, called flarePlay, in early 2015

Unable to turn them into sustainable businesses, Cox Communications said it has opted to shut down its remaining “Flare”-branded services – myFlare (cloud storage), FlarePlay (an OTT subscription gaming service), and FlareKids (a curated Web video offering tailored for youngsters).

Those efforts, aimed at helping consumers discovery and consume digital entertainment, “attracted more than 300,000 users,” Cox said in a statement. “However, as market conditions within which these services continued to harden, we were unable to monetize the user interest and web traffic to the level we needed to sustain the business. As a result, we’ve made the decision to shut down all Flare products and will begin to notify customers today.”

Cox said it will endeavor to make it a smooth transition, noting that it will start to shut down those Flare-branded services next week, with Flare services expected to be turned down by mid-May.

Word of those shut-downs followed Cox’s decision not to launch MeTV, an aggregated OTT video service (originally called Flare MeTV) that was being designed to appeal to millennial audiences, and come on the heels of other services such as go90 from Verizon, and Watchable from Comcast. Notably, Cox is preparing for a national launch of a next-gen video service that’s based on Comcast’s X1 platform, which Comcast is using today to deliver Watchable OTT videos to the set-top.

Cox had also kicked the tires on an IPTV service in Orange County targeted at cord-cutters called flareWatch, but shut down that brief trial in the fall of 2013.

Cox said it will remain open to exploring a diverse array of new businesses, particularly those that rely on or work with its broadband platform.

“The nature of our new growth organization is to explore and aggressively pursue new ideas, products and businesses and then quickly adjust as needed,” Cox added. “While we have successfully incubated several new businesses (e.g., Cox Homelife, Cox Business Security and Surveillance, Cox Tech Solutions, and our initial foray into remote health management with the acquisition of Trapollo), the ability to fail fast is the other side of an effective innovation process.”

Fox Sports Gears Up for VR, 360 Video

Fox Sports Gears Up for VR, 360 Video

Fox Sports is revving up virtual reality-facing initiatives at Sunday’s Daytona 500.

The network said Toyota has hopped on board to sponsor a set of VR elements for the race in partnership with Next VR, including a “broadcast-quality” live VR feed of the Daytona 500, which gets underway Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. That broadcast will be available for free via the NextVR portal. Additionally, Samsung Gear VR owners can access it by downloading the NextVR app on any Gear VR-compatible smartphone.

RELATED: Fox Sports Goes Full Throttle To Drive Viewers To ‘Daytona Day’

Fox Sports, which just announced a new, five-year deal with NextVR, said it also plans to operate VR cameras situated on the track wall inside the “robo-cage,” within a pit stall, and as part of pre-recorded features from the garage, team hauler and television broadcast truck.

Coverage also includes multiple closed-circuit VR streams from the speedway on Friday and Saturday, and a VR kiosk manned by Fox Sports and NextVR personnel at the Toyota Fan Injector stadium entrance area.

Fox’s Lab will also capture 360-degree video from a camera embedded in the No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota team of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Turex Jr., which will be shared across multiple Fox Sports platforms.

“Virtual reality is the next great frontier in storytelling and we are thrilled that Toyota is working with us to bring this experience to race fans,” Eric Shanks, Fox Sports president, COO & executive producer, said in a statement.

Elsewhere on Daytona 500’s tech front, Arris said it will provide carrier-class WiFi to most popular fan locations at the speedway’s new motorsports stadium.

Daytona International Speedway, Arris said, is the first NASCAR racetrack to feature carrier-class WiFi. Arris’s platform at DIS will use the Aptilo Service Management Platform, Benu Networks Mobile Edge Gateway, Ruckus ZoneFlex access points and virtual SmartZone WLAN controller, and Skyline Communications Dataminer OSS platform.

Members of Parliament Slam ‘Redskins’ Name

Members of Parliament Slam 'Redskins' Name

A pair of Members of Parliament have joined the United Nations, President Obama, various U.S. legislators and a number of FCC commissioners on the list of people and organizations urging Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the National Football League team’s name, according to the Change the Mascot campaign.

The letter was sent earlier this month from two members of the House of Commons to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, according to a copy of the letter supplied by the campaign.

Washington is scheduled to play at London’s Wembley Stadium next season as the NFL works toward adding a UK franchise in the next few years.

The MPs, Ian Austin of Dudley North and Ruth Smeeth of Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove, said they either wanted the NFL to consider the name change or alternately send another team, “one that does not promote a racial slur.”

Snyder has insisted the name honors a proud heritage and has shown no signs of changing it.

“A team’s name is a club decision,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. “We recognize there are strong views on both sides of this.”

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.”

Spike, Nick Set ‘Lip Sync Battle Jr.’

Spike, Nick Set ‘Lip Sync Battle Jr.’Spike’s “Lip Sync Battle” is becoming a franchise. (Pictured: Channing Tatum)

Spike TV will team with sister Viacom service Nickelodeon to produce a kids-themed spinoff of Spike’s popular Lip Sync Battle series, the networks announced Monday.

The special, Lip Sync Battle Jr., will offer a “fresh take” on Spike’s star-studded series and will celebrate kids’ love of music and comedy. While it will feature lip syncing battles made famous by its parent series, it’s unclear whether the special will feature celebrity-kids battling against each other.

In addition, other Viacom brands will develop special editions of Lip Sync Battle events, but Spike would not reveal specifics.

Lip Sync Battle is currently averaging more than 4 million viewers (Nielsen Live+7).

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.

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