The timing may be right for the Federal Communications Commission to make changes to retransmission consent rules to prevent blackouts, but the agency probably doesn't have the authority to intervene without Congress changing the law, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said. "Our authority under the existing statute is limited," Genachowski said during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing. "This may be an area where we need to work with the committee."
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has turned down Verizon Communications' bid for a patent for technology that uses a set-top box camera to determine who is in a room and then provide relevant ads. The application was rejected because the agency said similar patents have already been issued. Verizon is examining the ruling, a spokesman said.
The Vevo online music video service has become a full-fledged network accessible via the Web; as an application for Apple, Android and Windows tablets and phones; and through Roku and Xbox devices. The long-term goal is cable TV, according to Michael Cerda, Vevo's senior vice president of product and technology.
TV Everywhere faces challenges of technology and content, according to a panel discussion at the 4A's conference in New Orleans. Linda Yaccarino, president of ad sales at NBCUniversal, blamed the slow adoption of TV Everywhere on its identity-authentication requirements. David Levy of Turner Broadcasting System said a lack of programming is the bigger barrier.
AMC Networks has created a video-on-demand movie rental site with an initial catalog of more than 50 titles, such as "300," "Terminator" and "Pulp Fiction." Rentals for the "Yeah!" service cost $4.99 for 48 hours and include access to additional content, such as interviews with a movie's cast and crew, trivia and quizzes.