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Tuesday 09 February 2010, AM

Sky drops ITV court fight as it cuts stake -Business News, Business - The Independent

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced yesterday that Sky had given formal commitments to sell the stake. Sky bought the whole stake in ITV for 940m in 2006, when the shares were valued at 130p. Morgan Stanley last night said it was acting as sole bookrunner to place 10.4 per cent of ITVs shares in the market at a price between 48.5p and 49.5p, which would raise about 200m. - link

Sky loses the battle over ITV, but its already won the war |Media |

If the biggest commercial terrestrial broadcaster and the cable operator had got together, Sky might have found itself with a rival it couldn't batter into submission. Meanwhile, NTL became Virgin Media but did not become a Sky-threatening giant. So, Sky will lose a few hundred million on the deal in cash terms. - link

More digital power for London

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Monday 08 February 2010, PM : Home

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BBC - BBC Internet Blog: Drama on BBC HD

Drama has moved faster than any other area of programming in the UK to working in HD. If you leave out the soaps, the BBC probably makes a higher proportion of drama programmes in HD than we do any other type of programming. The drama production community has taken to HD fast and wholeheartedly for a couple of reasons HD can offer producers a closer approximation to film than any other format, and therefore help production teams to produce work which looks like cinema on television drama budgets. - link

Sky gives undertaking to sell ITV shares

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BBC, Arqiva to sell DTT slots is Everything about content in the 21st Century, from television to web, mobile, tablet and beyond. - link

TellyLinks site fails on first night

TellyLinks aims to provide relevant web links synchronised to television programmes. Unfortunately, the service was withdrawn shortly after launch, apparently due to an unexpected high volume of traffic, so it is too early to tell whether it will work or if viewers would be better off simply using Google or Twitter. With the strapline You think it we link it the aim is to link television viewing and web browsing by providing links related to on screen programming. - link

Freeview slots up for grabs | News | Broadcast

It takes just 2 minutes and offers full, instant access to the Broadcast website along with a copy of the magazine delivered every week. - link

ITV fined over Im a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here rat killing |Media |

The raw footage indicates that, from the first attempt, it took about 90 seconds before it actually died. To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. - link
Monday 08 February 2010, AM

DAB debate in the House

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BBC iPlayer for Apple TV

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Digital Radio UKs Ford Ennals and a switch thats very far from over |Media |The Guardian

The radio industry's efforts to secure its future in the digital age suffered a blow last week when the latest Rajar figures revealed that growth in digital radio listening had gone into reverse. Digital platforms accounted for 20.9 of all radio listening in the last three months of 2009, down from 21.1 in the previous three months but up from 18.3 in the same period in 2008. If radio is to achieve switchover by 2015 as outlined in the digital economy bill now going through parliament then 50 of all radio listening must be via digital platforms by 2013. - link

Luke Johnson: What I really think of UK media |Media |The Guardian

Photograph David Levene In my first interview to be the chairman of Channel 4, the panel asked me what I thought of public service broadcasting. Obviously I had no idea what they meant, so I waffled and got away with it. It is a malleable phrase designed to cover a multitude of projects and expenditures. - link

Interview: Michael Lyons fights the BBC Trusts corner |Media |The Guardian

The price of things, especially buildings, is a particularly sensitive issue for the BBC at the moment. Allied with criticism from commercial rivals of the corporation's expansionist ambitions, it is the issue most likely to annoy members of the public, although most polls suggest they still support the BBC. Next month, the director general, Mark Thompson, is expected to publish a strategic review demanded by the trust. - link

Channel 4 cant play it both ways when it comes to the law |Media |The Guardian

Channel 4 is in court for a documentary it aired last year on the pressing issue of the putative relocation of the Jacksons, the American musical family, to a seaside resort in Devon. Now it is not, as you may think, that the broadcaster is in the dock for wasting the public's time and some of the earth's dwindling resources on this criminal act of televisual inanity rather it is a libel hearing revolving around accusations of elements of fakery. In an attempt to make sure that the jury was not swayed by coverage of an initial hearing, C4 sought, but was denied, an injunction on reporting of the proceedings. - link
Sunday 07 February 2010, PM

Digital Economy Bill: Govt Survives Tories IFNC Downsizing Bid| paidContent:UK

Howards opposition is philosophical We do not believe that public subsidy should be used to prop up the current system of regional news. He managed to get Labour Lord Davies, who is steering the bill through Lords committee stage for the government to concede the government has not considered long-term funding for the consortia. - link

Gloucestershire households given digital TV warning

Thursday, February 4th 2010 by Editorial Homeowners in Gloucestershire have been urged to prepare for the imminent digital TV switchover in the region. People living across Gloucestershire have been advised to prepare for the upcoming digital TV switchover which is set to take place in the region. According to the Stroud News and Journal, the switchover to a digital-only signal is set to take place in two stages in the region over the next couple of months. - link
Sunday 07 February 2010, AM

Digital TV - News - JML fails in Freesat EPG listing appeal - Digital Spy

All channels pay Freesat an annual fee of 30,000 for listing on the EPG, along with a 1,500 registration charge which provides the not-for-profit satellite platform with a revenue stream. However, the firm objected to the positioning after realising that neither of its listings would appear on the first page of the shopping channels section. JML then opted to bring a legal case against Freesat on grounds that its decision was based on irrational judgements and criteria not include in agreed listing policy. - link

TV industry demands closer involvement in Project Canvas

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Welsh regional news bidders line up for beauty contest |Media |

I felt a surprising sense of deja vu attending yesterday's public meeting in Cardiff at which the three bidders for the contract to supply ITV's news service in Wales paraded their wares. In the current climate, public money is a highly desirable commodity, and the winner can make their return from a management fee. In total 40m of public funding is up for grabs. - link
Saturday 06 February 2010, AM

Media Talk Extra: Gagging the press link

Media Talk: John Terry and the superinjunction link
Thursday 04 February 2010, AM

The Times splash is another front in James Murdochs war with the BBC |Media |

There is a reason Sky thinking James Murdoch. In October Jeremy Hunt said they would abolish the trust in an interview with the Financial Times. Attempting to goad the BBC into some sort of ill-thought-out reaction - link

TV makers and retailers voice concerns over Project Canvas |Media |

A key pledge has been that the technology underpinning the service, which would make video on demand programming available via TV sets to viewers with Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes, would be an open specification. We intend to continue our extensive work with the DTG's connected TV working group and resolve any confusion or concerns they may have. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. - link

TV product placement: Bradshaw bans nasties |Media |The Guardian

Photograph Peter Byrne/PA Wire The government's plans to allow products to be marketed through television programmes have been watered down after opposition from cabinet ministers who warned they could worsen problems such as obesity. TV producers will not be allowed to use any branded alcohol, junk food or gambling when making programmes. Burnham and Benn said unfettered freedom to advertise products in this way could increase problems such as obesity and alcohol-related harm. - link
Wednesday 03 February 2010, PM

Humax HD Fox T2 early review: Finally, Freeview HD is here - Crave at CNET UK

It's a simple Freeview HD receiver with some smart little extras that will make it a tasty purchase indeed when it goes on sale later this month for around 170. You get some basic controls on the front for navigating through menus, and there's a little drop-down flap that conceals a card slot. At the back, there's an HDMI output, and Humax kindly provides a cable in the box. - link

Media Show: John Terry; ITV; Somali pirates; BBC Trust - 03 02 10 link
Wednesday 03 February 2010, AM

Tory government to scrap BBC Trust |Media |

BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons in the firing line. The move, which could see Lyons leave ahead of the April 2011 date his office is set to expire, was reported in the Times. We do have some serious reservations about the way the BBC Trust operates. - link

Jeff Henry launches TellyLinks to target TV-watching web surfers |Media |

Henry said the idea is that while people are watching a TV show will deliver live up to 150 web links relevant to the action as it is happening on screen. The 13-week deal aims to prove the concept while the company looks to launch a service for all programming between 6pm and midnight on the big main terrestrial channels. There will also be a localised advertising service. - link
Monday 01 February 2010, PM

Cooperation pledged on RTE signal

In a memorandum of understanding the two governments said they also want to make sure that BBC services remain available in the Irish Republic. The governments specifically want the channels to be available on Digital Terrestrial Television DTT which will be the platform viewers use to receive free-to-air television when the analogue signal ends. DTT is widely available in Northern Ireland as Freeview. - link

Radio executives plan analogue scrappage scheme to aid digital switch |Media |

The radio industry is to copy the government's car scrappage scheme as it tries to persuade listeners to go digital. The car scheme, introduced by Alistair Darling, allows drivers to collect up to 2,000 if they trade in their old vehicle for a less polluting one. Its radio equivalent could involve a 20 discount on a new digital set if you bring in one of the 100 million or so analogue ones estimated to still be in circulation. - link

BBC World News channel revamps to give presenters higher profile |Media |

It is all part of the channel's long and so far indecisive battle, stretching back two decades, to prove that the BBC can make profits or at least break even from a mainly news and current affairs channel providing a global perspective. Its director Sian Kevill, a former editor of Newsnight, says it will make a modest loss again in 2009/2010 after losing 3m last year, on income down a little from last year's 64.5m. Editorially, the schedule is being shaken up to make a clearer differentiation between weekdays when peak-time news will be given a clear priority and weekends, when audiences prefer more general BBC factual and current affairs programming, with news on the hour. - link

Sky 3D football: 'impressive but not convincing'

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BBC Feedback: 31 Jan 2010 link
Monday 01 February 2010, AM

Has the British PR industry grown too big for journalism? -Advertising, Media - The Independent

The one thing that hasnt dried up for print journalists is the stream of calls from public relations teams, trying to get publicity for a clients product. In the minds of some reporters the growth of the PR industry over the past couple of decades has been a factor in weakening the power of the press. Can under-pressure hacks, already filling in for redundant colleagues, cope with the barrage of calls and emails from ever-more PR executives flogging stories - link

Matthew Norman: And now on ITV1, the utterly creepy Adams family -Matthew Norman, Opinion - The Independent

For this is surely the Steve McClaren of television hirings... the case of a man hurriedly hired as the easiest option, by his old chum, Archie Norman, at a time of crisis. He may have left the FA with few admirers, and may now be leaving the Royal Mail with fewer still. What a cunning, sure-footed reference this was, to a show dropped by ITV as recently as 1975, but about to be revived and this is the special cleverness by the BBC. - link

So long Big Brother, and welcome to the revolution on Channel 4 -TV Radio, Media - The Independent

As head of programmes he has been overseeing the commissioning process designed to reposition Channel 4 for a new era beyond digital switchover under the newly-appointed chief executive David Abraham. When the decision to axe Big Brother was made in August, Bellamy heralded the moment as the start of the most fundamental creative overhaul in the broadcasters 27-year history. So how will he fill the void of 150 hours of air time with the 50m of programming budget that has been freed up - link

Why ad men like Adam Crozier are dominating television |Media |The Guardian

His appointment came less than a week after David Abraham, who co-founded the fashionable advertising agency St Luke's, was unveiled as the new C4 chief executive. Why have the commanding heights of the British broadcasting industry fallen into the hands of a group of slick advertising men He replaces Duncan, a marketeer who began his career at Unilever before breathing new life into a free-to-air digital TV platform by calling it Freeview. - link

Why this Ofcom cloud has a silver lining for Sky |Media |The Guardian

In a few weeks, the regulator is due to announce its decision on whether Sky should be forced to charge its competitors less for its premium TV content. Detailed proposals went before the Ofcom board last week. They claimed that Sky's existing subscriber base meant it could always outbid potential competitors in the market for premium content rights despite regulatory pressure. - link
Sunday 31 January 2010, PM

Conservatives would end BT monopoly to deliver superfast broadband |Business |

George Osborne, shadow Chancellor says allowing private investors to pay for high speed broadband fibreoptics will stimulate competition. If the market failed to deliver, then 3.5 of the licence fee currently used to pay for digital switchover could be diverted to pay for broadband expansion, Osborne said. That would raise between 750m and 1bn on the basis of 25m TV licences. - link

3D -

This afternoon, I'll be watching Arsenal v Man Utd in 3D. No - I'm not going to one of Sky's un-named pubs which will be showing the game in 3D - instead I'll be in the ground. You the photos in the viewer and one eye saw each photo - together giving the impression of 3D. - link
Sunday 31 January 2010, AM

Apple + iPad + Huxley = Orwellian nightmare |Technology |

Apple boss Steve Jobs shows off the new iPad, criticised for being 'just a big iPhone' but potentially another world-beater. As the internet went mainstream, the Orwellian nightmare has evolved into a realistic possibility, because of the facilities the network offers for the comprehensive surveillance so vividly evoked in 1984. Then, two years ago this month, Jobs launched the iPhone, a product that was initially underestimated by many commentators this columnist included but which has radically transformed the mobile phone market. - link

Displays and Screens Part 3

We're very happy to present the final part of Quentin's interview with Richard Salmon eploring the BBC's research and expertise in display screens for television. In this final section they look at the role of of Hi Definition screens and the large screens needed to watch them. Different technologies, their relative merits, and future developments are covered too. - link
Saturday 30 January 2010, AM

Thanks, but I m waiting for the DroidPad | Good Morning Silicon Valley

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Friday 29 January 2010, PM

ITVs postbag is overflowing but can Crozier deliver? |Media |

The network's previous regime spent a wasted nine months last year attempting to appoint a chief executive in one of the messiest media operas on record. With today's anointment of Adam Crozier, Norman has delivered in three weeks. This is what is happening to the old terrestrial networks around the world, and Crozier's record of successfully slicing the Post Office, in the face of political, public and union opposition, speaks for itself. - link

SeeSaw heads for March VoD launch

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Freeview appoints House PR for launch of Freeview HD

There will be a particular focus on educating consumers about the benefits of Freeview HD and creating noise ahead of the World Cup. Freeview is now the provider of TV on the main set in 10 million homes. In total, more than two-thirds of the UK 18.2 million homes has Freeview. - link

BBC Worldwide should pay 60m a year for brand name, producers argue |Media |

The organisation said these reforms should be introduced whether or not part or all of BBC Worldwide is sold off. BBC Worldwide gains huge commercial benefits by avoiding the usual business practice of paying an annual licence fee for use of the valuable BBC brand, according to the report. The report examines the structure of the deals to licence the use of the Virgin Media and Virgin Radio brands. - link

BBC spending criticised by Audit Office -TV Radio, Media - The Independent

The BBC spent 8.68m on covering the event, to which it sent 142 of its own staff. The tournament was one of six events analysed in a report published yesterday. The NAO found that coverage of Radio 1's Big Weekend cost 888,000, 5 per cent over budget. - link
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