Super Bowl 50 Sets a New CBS Streaming Record

The Super Bowl is one of the most popular sporting events worldwide and continues to attract very large audiences. This year’s event was hosted at Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area, and contested between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. According to broadcaster CBS, the average cost of a 30-second commercial during the game was a staggering $5 million. Unlike the majority of NFL games, the Super Bowl manages to create interest from new viewers outside of the US who aren’t overly versed with the rules. Perhaps, they want to see the half time show, adverts or simply intrigued by the spectacle. As a Brit, I don’t really follow American football, but the Super Bowl is always an interesting watch!

In terms of media coverage, the Super Bowl 50 was a resounding success and managed to attract a “record audience” streaming the game. Unfortunately, there’s no specific numbers from CBS to judge how many people tuned in, but it’s clearly broke last year’s figure of 800,000 viewers per minute. Even if you really dislike American football, this is an extremely impressive and exemplifies the importance of digital media. Part of this success is down to CBS encouraging streaming through various devices including the Apple TV, Roku Stick and Xbox One. It’s not unreasonable to think that streaming could take over from traditional TV broadcasts in the next 10-15 years. Technical problems during the stream might deter people from using it in the future, but organisers are becoming more aware of how to build the correct infrastructure for more viewers.

In an ideal world, I’d love to know the exact figures, because the Super Bowl provides an extreme example of consumers adopting streaming on a mass scale. Still, TV will reign supreme for some time, but people are now more open to streaming content online.

Image courtesy of TheAtlantic.com

The Big Bang Theory Producers Are Being Sued

We sadly live in a world where everyone can sue everyone for almost anything. This happens a lot and sometimes the lawsuits have more claim than other times. The latest one is one that is hard to place and I think it will end up as a tough call in the courtroom. Warner Bros, CBS, Fox, Chock Lorre, and Turner Broadcasting are among the targets in a new lawsuit against The Big Bang Theory and more specific, the Soft Kittie usage.

The original author of the nursery rhyme isn’t around anymore, but the authors children Ellen and Margaret are suing pretty much anyone involved with the show over the use of the nursery rhyme. The plaintiffs seek damages and profits as well as their attorney fees covered as part of the lawsuit where they say that they never been asked for permission and no royalties have been paid for the use of the by-now famous Soft Kitty rhyme.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in the Southern District of New York, claiming that the lyrical rights clearly belonged to author and copyright owner Edith Newlin, and that the accused “never contacted or made any attempt to contact Edith Newlin or her successors to seek permission to use the Soft Kitty Lyrics, and Plaintiffs never granted any permission … to do so.”

So far everything seems pretty straight forward, the accused are guilty. But it is rarely that straightforward and especially not when we’re dealing with laws and rights.

Warner Bros bought the rights to use the song from Willis Music back in 2007, which pretty much clears them. Originally the lyrics ran in a Willis compilation called Songs for the Nursery School back in 1937, but that was only on a loan basis and Willis did not obtain any rights besides for that usage. So they technically didn’t have the rights to sell at all. The song, or rhyme, has been used in at least eight episodes of the show, with only slight tweaks, the lawsuit states.

If it was just about a few royalties, then I’m sure that Warner Bros could end the whole thing very quickly, but there’s more trouble. The Soft Kitty song has become somewhat legend and that has been exploited in promotions, advertising, and fan articles. That part makes the whole deal a lot more tricky. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, if we get a verdict at all or if they two parties find an outside agreement.

New Star Trek Series Coming in 2017

I’ve watched every series of Star Trek barring Enterprise numerous times and feel it’s an integral part of my childhood. The engaging stories, wonderful characters and morality provides an insight into what the world could be like if humans worked together in harmony. In 2015, clearly that’s an idealistic sentiment. Whatever the case, I can easily re-watch Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, The Original Series and Voyager without ever getting bored with the stories. To be honest, I’ve probably done an entire run through of TNG at least 8 times.

You might describe me as a Star Trek addict, and that is certainly true. From nowhere, CBS have announced a brand new series which premiers in January 2017! I am trying to keep calm, but this is incredibly exciting. However, the big caveat is US residents can only access the series through a subscription:

“The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.”

https://twitter.com/StarTrek/status/661211904405147653/photo/1

It’s an interesting move to broadcast the episodes on a streaming service but restricting its availability to US citizens is appalling. Why not offer Europeans the same subscription service too? CBS need to wake up and realize that Star Trek fans come from all over the world. Additionally, region locking broadcasts only encourages piracy and the new series will be littered all over torrent sites for people to access in and out of the USA. As a result, they should allow everyone to access it and the older Star Trek catalog for a flat fee.

David Stapf, President at CBS Television Studios described the announcement and said:

“There is no better time to give Star Trek fans a new series than on the heels of the original show’s 50th anniversary celebration,”  

“Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we’re excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately.”

I’m really torn on the new Star Trek series because I’m desperate to watch it but fairly shocked that CBS continue to lock their streaming service on a geographical basis. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be broadcast throughout the world, but I’d love the option to access a dedicated Star Trek streaming service instead.

Supergirl Pilot Episode Leaks Six Month Before Scheduled Air Time

It isn’t long ago that Game of Thrones had four episodes leak onto torrent sites ahead of the official air time and now it has hit another series. The first episode of CBS’s upcoming Supergirl series has appeared on torrent sites six month ahead of its scheduled air time.

It isn’t even a low-quality version camera version or something like that, but the full-HD version and without watermark. The fact that it comes without watermark suggests another source than early screeners as it was the case for the Game of Thrones leak.

With the way this has pilot has appeared, some people are suggesting that this was a deliberate leak in other to increase the hype around the show – a marketing stunt. We’ll probably never know why, but it’s out there now. Experts don’t expect it to have as severe an impact as the Game of Thrones leak had either, simply because the official air time is so long time away and people will want more than just one episode.

Those who stick to the law will have to do with the 6minute trailer released earlier this month while those who don’t take that part so series can watch the full first episode. I for one can easily wait, especially because I don’t want to wait 6 months between watching the pilot episode and the following second one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm46-envrHo

Adam Savage Builds Perfect Replica of Captain Kirk’s Chair

When industrial designer Adam Savage, famous as one of the hosts of Mythbusters, ordered a replica of Captain Kirk’s chair from the original Star Trek TV series he was left disappointed, calling the seat “totally sad and not accurate”. His solution? Build his own.

The video below shows Savage’s gorgeous duplicate of the iconic Captain’s chair in its full glory, and it has already garnered one important fan:

The chair, as exact to scale as Savage could make it, is based on the version that appeared in the two pilot episode of Star Trek, the unaired The Cage, which featured Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike (and a female first officer, which proved too progressive for CBS), and Where No Man Has Gone Before, which marks the first appearance of William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. As such, the chair features a viewer mounted near the right armrest, included because Savage “wanted it to have a feature that no other chair has.”

Savage built the chair from scratch, including the upholstery, based on a number of plans remaining from the Sixties TV show, and photos of the original chair that is housed at the EMP Museum in Seattle. “I’m not going to say it’s 100% accurate, but it’s pretty freaking accurate,” Savage says.

Dish Disables its Ad-Skipping Feature After Pressure from CBS

Satellite TV reception provider Dish has removed the ad-skipping feature from its digital video recorder (DVR) box after a feud with network television channel CBS.

After Dish launched its “AutoHop” feature, which allowed users to skip ad breaks, it was sued by CBS, NBC, and Fox. Dish won every single case. Changing tactics, CBS decided instead to bully Dish into compliance, pulling content from Dish for twelve hours, leaving customers with a channel blackout. Predictably, Dish followed the money and caved, agreeing to disable the AutoHop feature for CBS shows.

In a gloating statement, Ray Hopkins, President of Television Networks Distribution for CBS, said:

“We are very pleased with this deal, which meets all of our economic and strategic objectives. We look forward to having DISH as a valued partner for many years to come.”

Source: Ars Technica

Internet TV Could Become the Only Option

Are you currently subscribed to an Internet TV service? Their popularity has been majorly on the rise in recent years and according to Abode, companies such as HBO and CBS are planning to offer online-only TV options in the near future.

Adobe apparently knows this fact due to them providing the software that these US cable companies will be and are currently utilizing to run their online streaming platforms. They used this power for the greater good, tracking 165 online video views and 1.53 billion logins over one year, finding out that online TV viewership had grown 388% from the middle of 2013 to 2014. On top of this, their total number of unique viewers more than doubled, showing a growth of 146% year-on-year.

It’s not only TV that has become quite popular online, watching your favorite movies has become more popular in the home now than your barracking for your favorite sporting team – on average Americans are watching 4.5 movies per month through their own online subscriptions Adobe says.

Remember also, all of this data does not include other big names such as Netflix, Prime, Amazon and more – only the current cable company offerings which Adobe service. It’s likely that we’ll see an even larger shift towards movie and TV series viewing if these were to be included, but for now we’re focusing on the massive changes to cable.

Tamara Gaffney is an analyst and has provided some factors she sees relevant to this overall growth in viewership: more availability for viewership (apps and websites etc.), increased content and the Football World Cup. You might be a little confused by the last point, but Gaffney has pointed out that the popular online viewership of the world cup helped draw users in to viewing more TV and movies online – they came for the sport but stayed for the continued entertainment.

All of this sounds pretty promising, with Google expanding their fibre networkslooking into high speed wireless options and the general quality of internet getting faster, better and bigger; it only makes sense that TV should move onto an online platform. It’s all fantastic if you’re in major parts of the US, it’s all terrible if you’re in an internet dark age country like Australia.

Unfortunately, there has been no word on an exact date when these online-only services will come into effect, here’s hoping we have plenty of notice – and suitable internet speeds.

Image courtesy of GEEK

Information thanks to WIRED

PlayStation 4 Will Get TV Streaming From Viacom

According to VG247 Sony and Viacom have struck up a long-term deal to allow PlayStation 4 users to stream TV directly through their console. Individuals close to the deal have said that it will allow Sony and Viacom to compete directly with traditional cable and satellite Television delivery. The PlayStation 4 will be an early beneficiary of this new technology although it could be rolled out to other Sony products in the future such as the Vita, Sony tablets and Sony Television Sets.

Sony is also apparently in talks with other big media companies with regards to Television streaming. They are currently in discussions with Walt Disney, Time Warner and CBS. This means the PlayStation 4 will match the Xbox One on the content delivery front. Both next generation consoles are looking to be more than just consoles and expand the content that they can offer to users. This allows both Sony and Microsoft to monetise its customers in more ways, particularly with regards to advertising. It remains to be seen how popular console-Television will turn out to be.

Image courtesy of Sony