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Cuban, Seacrest Rebrand HD Net as AXS TV

LOS ANGELES — Mark Cuban’s HDNet will be rebranded
as AXS TV (pronounced “access”) as part of a joint
venture with AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and Creative
Artists Agency.

The rebranded network is scheduled to debut this summer and the partners have
reached a deal with Dish Network to expand its distribution. HDNet is currently on
the satellite provider’s HD tier, but as part of the new deal, a standard-definition version
of the network is being created and will be included on Dish’s America’s Top
120 programming package.

Cuban said HDNet is now in about 27 million homes and that the DBS deal will
bring AXS TV’s distribution to more than 35 million. As part of the agreement with
Dish, the satellite operator will make AXS-branded concerts available on video on
demand, starting March 15.

The network’s content will include live concerts and music festivals, red carpet
premieres, award shows, parties, pop-culture events and in-depth interviews with
the people and artists involved in live entertainment. AXS will capitalize on AEG’s
presence in live events and affiliation with more than 100 of the industry’s venues
around the world to “connect audiences with the complete live experience,” from
show creation to rehearsals, sound-check, performance and after-party, according to
the companies involved.

Signature HDNet programming, including HDNet Fights, Inside MMA, Dan Rather
, the Sunday concert series and select nonscripted series, will continue.

The goal of AXS is to ultimately provide round-the-clock live programming, according
to Cuban. “My goal has been taking HDNet live, 24/7,” he said in an interview
along with Timothy Leiweke, president and CEO, AEG, and Dave Shull, senior vice
president of programming for Dish, at AEG’s office at L.A. Live here, adding that providing
24/7 live programming “absolutely” is the aim with the network.

— Melissa Grego, Broadcasting & Cable

Time Warner Cable Brings Live TV To iPhone

NEW YORK — Time Warner Cable has launched a version of its TWC TV app for
iPhone and iPod touch devices for watching live TV over a wireless home network
— although Viacom’s networks remain absent from the 196-channel lineup.

The TWC TV app, which originally debuted for the iPad in March 2011, provides
access to live TV over a Wi-Fi router, as well as the ability to change channels on a
set-top box and manage DVR recordings. The apps are available to download from
Apple’s iTunes Store for no additional cost to Time Warner Cable video customers
with a broadband connection.

The cable operator has said it expects to provide live TV on Android devices,
once manufacturers and carriers adopt support
for Android 4.0 (code-named Ice Cream Sandwich)
sometime this year.

Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable is still negotiating
with Viacom to bring its networks to its tablet and
smartphone apps.

Viacom sued the MSO last April alleging breach
of contract and copyright violation, while TWC sued
Viacom seeking a ruling that the cable operator has the rights under its carriage
agreement to deliver Viacom’s programming to any device in a subscriber’s home.
In June, Viacom and TWC entered into a “standstill agreement,” which put the litigation
on hold while they try to reach terms privately.

Cablevision Systems launched a similar iPad app -— and was also hauled into
court by Viacom, before the parties settled the suit for undisclosed terms.

Average Online Video Usage Hits 23 Hours in December: ComScore

RESTON, VA. — Online video usage once again rose in December, according to the
comScore Video Metrix service, which found that 182 million U.S. Internet users
watched 43.5 billion videos.

That means the average user spent about 23.2 hours watching online video.

Google sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube, far outpaced other
sites as the top online video content property in December with 157.2 million
unique viewers, while Vevo ranked second with 53.7 million and third- ranked Yahoo!
sites had 53.3 million viewers. Viacom Digital with 45.8 million and Facebook
with 42 million rounded out the top five.

Google sites had the most engagement, with 7.9 hours per viewer followed by
Hulu with around 3 hours.

Americans viewed 7.1 billion video ads in December, with Hulu generating the
highest number of video ad impressions at nearly 1.5 billion, followed by Adap.tv in
second with 1.1 billion.

Time spent watching video ads totaled more than 3 billion minutes that month,
with Adap.tv delivering the highest duration of video ads at 636 million minutes.

Video ads reached 51% of the total U.S. population an average of 46 times during
the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with
an average of 46.

Overall, about 85% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video but most of
it continued to be short form, with the average video lasting 5.8 minutes.

Video ads accounted for 14.1% of all videos viewed and 1.2% of all minutes
spent viewing video online.

— George Winslow, Broadcasting & Cable