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September 1, 2015


ABC restored to Cablevision

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 8th 2010 10:05AM
ABCIn a nick-of-time save that was worthy of a movie unto itself, ABC was restored to Cablevision just in time for the Academy Awards. Apparently both sides hammered out enough of a deal for the awards show to be broadcast.

Cablevision customers -- 3.1 million in the New York City area -- got another treat on the same day. To accommodate those that lost their ABC, the company offered free On Demand movies all day. As a Cablevision customer, I was interested in the veracity of the claim and took advantage of that particular offer. Later this month, it will be determined how legitimate that offer was when I see my bill.

So many people were using this freebie that the first few times a movie download was attempted, the system would return an error. This issue stopped once the Academy Awards started.

It seems more likely that Cablevision acquiesced to the demands of ABC given the timing of the channel restoration rather than the other way around. What do you think?

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Disney's new family movie on demand service offers free peek

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 19th 2009 10:02AM
Disney Family Movies on-demand channel will be free the first week of September.Disney Family Movies, the new video on demand subscription service offering animated and live action titles from the studios' voluminous vaults, will offer a free trial Sept. 3-7 for viewers to get a feel of The Magic Kingdom's latest offering.

Subscribers to the service get access to a rotating selection of Disney's classic and contemporary films and animated shorts. Obviously, the on demand lineup is put together with the emphasis on family friendly. Each title in the selection menu remains in rotation for about a month, with new movies added weekly.

While this looks like a great thing for parents looking to have a steady inventory of safe video babysitters, the only concern is how this service might gut the programming on Disney's other cable entities -- or how it might affect the availability of DVDs.

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TV 101: Why Howard Stern is the best role model on TV

by Jay Black, posted Feb 4th 2009 11:03AM
Howard SternMichael Phelps recently went from big-time role-model to big-eared pothead in about the time it took for some d-bag with a cameraphone to press "send."

This got me thinking about role models in general. Like it or not, most of us wind up choosing role models from television, probably because we see the people on TV more often than we do our own family. Considering the amount of alcohol-fueled Thanksgiving fistfights in my own family, that's probably for the best.

So, seeing as my son is going to be raised by TV, I decided that I needed to pick out the best role model on it. My choice?

Howard Stern.

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Things I learned from my cable TV

by Brett Love, posted Jun 26th 2008 6:02PM
Kristy SwansonI'm going to hazard the guess that if you are a regular visitor to TV Squad that you, like me, probably watch more television than the average bear. Partly out of good old fashioned curiosity, and partly because I'm paying for all of those channels so I might as well use them, I make it a point to cover as much of my cable TV package as I can when time allows. Doing so, you end up finding some odd and interesting things. After the jump, five things I've learned from my cable TV over the last week or so.

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Would you pay a premium to watch shows early?

by Brett Love, posted Apr 19th 2008 12:02PM

NBCThere's an interesting little blurb over at Digital Spy about NBC's TV Box. The network is currently working out distribution deals in up to ten European and Asian countries, building their global video-on-demand service. They don't detail exactly which shows will be a part of the package, other than a mention of both current and past series being involved.

That's all fine and dandy, but the interesting bit comes from something NBC's Belinda Menendez says. Apparently, the big shows, like Heroes, may be available before they are broadcast for an extra price. And that leads us to the question in the post title.

For the sake of argument, let's assume this all works out for the peacock bunch in Europe and Asia and they make it a global policy. Would the prospect of getting Thursday's episode of The Office on Monday be enough to let those sticky Donaghy fingers into your wallet?

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What JJ is thankful for

by JJ Hawkins, posted Nov 20th 2007 4:41PM
TV Squad TurkeySeveral of my colleagues here at TV Squad have listed personal video recorders as one of the things they're most thankful for this holiday season.

I wholeheartedly agree with them and think the list could even be extended a little bit further.

We live in an age where our televisions, computers, cellphones, PDAs, PMPs, video game consoles, and a myriad of other products can all communicate with other devices wirelessly and at broadband speeds - all in the pursuit of making the TV watching experience as convenient as possible.

From a technology perspective, it's never been a better time to be a fan of watching TV. Here is a list of the TV related items I'm most thankful for this holiday season.

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Comcast and Disney make a deal

by Brett Love, posted Nov 24th 2006 3:35PM
DisneyThere's some good news, and some bad news, for TV fans where the Comcast/Disney deal is concerned. As part of the agreement, Disney has locked up availability of all their major channels with the cable company into the next decade. Those include Disney Channel, ABC Family, Toon Disney, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, and ESPN HD. In addition to that, the two have come to some sort of agreement with regards to ESPN2 HD, and Comcast will also launch ESPN Deportes. The deal also includes the sale of Disney's stake in E! Networks, which makes Comcast the sole owner of E! and Style.

Most of that wasn't really in doubt, but the big news is that Comcast will now be able to make some ABC programs available for their OnDemand service. Beginning in the fall of 2007, Desperate Housewives, Lost, and two other shows to be named later, will be available the day after they air for OnDemand customers. In addition, Desperate Housewives and Lost will be available in HD OnDemand. Unfortunately, that service will only be available in markets that have an ABC owned stations. So, if you are in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Fresno, or Flint... Yay for you. The rest of us will just have to keep waiting.

It's not perfect, but another step in the right direction. The more shows available to viewers in an OnDemand format, the better.

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Nielsen stats coming to Video On Demand

by Brett Love, posted Nov 17th 2006 11:01AM
kate jackson, jacklyn smith, cheryl laddAn interesting article over at CNET about Nielsen's planned video on demand ratings which are set to begin in December. As the cable companies continue to offer more options to subscribers, there needs to be some way to measure who is watching what in order to manage the advertising. There is already a system in place that tries to fill the void, but it has its problems. For one, the cable companies have control over the numbers, which obviously presents a huge conflict of interest. Of course, on the other hand, we are talking about Nielsen here, so if you want to toss out the usual arguments about their shortcomings, I'll understand.

It's good to see more interest in the video on demand services as I've been really impressed with the selection Comcast is offering. My favorite features at the moment are the growing list of network shows, FEARnet, and Tube Time, which currently features both Soap and Charlie's Angels.

[ via lost remote ]

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Comcast launches FEARnet on Halloween

by Brett Love, posted Oct 28th 2006 2:24PM
Night of the Living DeadWe have a channel for golfers, one for soap fans, and even one that is all reality tv all the time, so why not an outlet for horror fans? Seeing the recent growth in the horror market, Comcast has decided to do just that. But this isn't just some run of the mill obscure cable channel. FEARnet is a "multiplatform network". Customers will be able to view content from three different platforms. The video on demand component will feature 200 movies over the course of the first year, at around 70 hours a month. Those movies will be free to Comcast digital subscribers. And I thought the Charlie's Angels section on TubeTime was good.

The online companion, FEARnet.com, will have 9 movies and 200 shorts that stream for free. In addition, there will be 50 downloadable movies available for rent or purchase. The site will also have news, reviews, and some community features. One of those that sounds interesting is the interactive database. Users, or victims as fearnet calls them, will also have the ability to chat with other members while they watch the movies. Sure, you could do it with IM, but it's good that they are trying something new. And finally, mobile.FEARnet.com will have news, reviews, and polls all designed with the tiny screens in mind. There are also plans to add ringtones and other goodies in the future. It's all very niche market, but since I find myself in that particular niche, I'm all for the idea. The various sites and services will all go live on Halloween.

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The Office - Hardest working cast in show biz - VIDEO

by Brett Love, posted Sep 10th 2006 10:10AM
rainn wilson of the officeSheesh. You'd think that winning an Emmy would buy a cast some time off. Not so for the crew over at Dunder Mifflin. Michael has been covering the webisode mystery since July. But that isn't all that NBC had the cast up to this summer. While clicking around Comcast's On Demand service today I came across the NBC fall preview. Between promos for their various shows, there were eight little scenes from The Office. Everyone gets to play, but the focus is mostly on Dwight, Pam, and Jim. If you are a fan of the show, you will enjoy it. I'll not spoil it for you by quoting, but there are some classic Dwight lines. And thanks to the power of the internet, you won't even need Comcast to see it. Watch the video, sans previews, after the jump.

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