Broadband Briefs for 08/03/09
• Netflix streams past seasons of ABC shows
By The Associated Press
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Online movie rental company Netflix Inc. will begin streaming earlier seasons of ABC TV shows such as "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" in a deal with The Walt Disney Co., the companies said today.
Netflix subscribers who pay at least $9 per month to rent DVDs online will be able to instantly watch the first five seasons of "Lost," seasons four and five of "Desperate Housewives" and season five of "Grey's Anatomy." Seasons one and two of the fantasy series "Legend of the Seeker" will also be available. Netflix said many of the episodes have been available since Aug. 1, and the rest will be available in subsequent months, beginning in September.
The deal comes as Netflix looks to expand its library of more than 12,000 movies and TV shows available for streaming. The agreement extends an online relationship that Netflix and Disney-ABC Television Group entered into last September.
• Report: Silicon Valley poured $1.49B into mobile last year
By Mike Robuck
Mobile Monday Silicon Valley, a professional organization for mobile and wireless employees and companies in the Bay Area, said today that investments in local mobile companies reached $1.49 billion in 2008, which was an 18 percent increase over 2007. The Mobile Monday Silicon Valley figures included venture capital investment and acquisition dollars. In 2000, only 14 local mobile companies received venture investment, while last year 90 companies received investment.
There are now more than 160 mobile companies in Silicon Valley, and these companies all fall into one of 24 broad categories including advertising, location, finance and applications.
“The mobile industry is one of the most exciting areas to find new investment ideas today,” said Scott Raney, partner at Redpoint Ventures. “Clearly this research shows that the venture community in Silicon Valley has, and continues to, invest heavily in mobile companies.”
Not surprisingly, the report said companies in social media and advertising and marketing have seen the most significant growth since 2006. Platform companies have grown along with the industry, serving new companies, developers and industries that aim to reach consumers via mobile handsets. On the other hand, investment in software development and applications has been moderate compared with industry buzz, indicative of venture capitalist hesitation to bet on mobile application business models, according to the report. Application companies also tend to require less funding than larger infrastructure- or service-oriented companies.
• Comcast employee to the rescue
By Mike Robuck
A Comcast employee pulled a woman in Oregon out of her car after it had flipped upside down in a stream.
According to The Oregonian, Beatriz Mendoza Olvera was recently driving south on Interstate 5 near milepost 230 when she accelerated and hit the back of a commercial semi-trailer. Olvera's Suzuki Sidekick then went into the center median and continued several hundred feet before going over a 40-foot embankment and into Oak Creek. The car was upside down in about 4 to 5 feet of water.
Oregon State Police said Comcast employee Jay Burris, 36, of Salem stopped to help. Burris ran down to the water and pulled Olvera out. She regained consciousness after being pulled from the water. Two other men, Paul Peterson, 38, of Salem and Jon Silbernagel, 34, of Scio also came to assist. They went under water, police said, to check for others in the vehicle. All three men then flipped the vehicle right side up to check for others. No one else was inside. Divers from Linn County confirmed no one else was in the water. Olvera of Milwaukie was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a Corvallis hospital.
• Rutledge, Raven co-chairs of fundraising dinner
By Mike Robuck
Cablevision chief operating officer Tom Rutledge and Abbe Raven, president and CEO of A&E Television Networks, are the co-chairs of the 2009 Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner Committee.
The Walter Kaitz Foundation promotes diversity in the cable industry. The dinner is scheduled for Oct. 28 in Denver during the fall edition of the industry’s Cable Connection event.
Committee members include:
- George Bodenheimer, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of ESPN and ABC Sports
- Rocco Commisso, chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications
- Jerald Kent, chairman and CEO of Suddenlink Communications
- Ken Lowe, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive
- Judith McGrath, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks
- Brad Siegel, vice chairman of the Gospel Music Channel
For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.