Archives For TV Shows

ABC Online in HD

Mari Silbey —  May 16, 2007


Anyone else worried about what online HD streaming from ABC is going to do to Internet connection speeds?

Multichannel News reports that ABC is claiming to be the first major TV programmer to stream HDTV online. The network will start its HD test in July with content (full episodes?) from Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, and Ugly Betty. Broadcasting and Cable adds an interesting note that ABC is not detailing what bit-rate it will use to compress the HD video.

Um, bandwidth issues anyone?

It’s good to know that the head of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) is a big TV fan. In an interview with Broadcasting and Cable’s John Eggerton, here’s what Kyle McSlarrow said he records:

  1. Lost
  2. Medium
  3. 24
  4. Battlestar Galactica
  5. Stargate
  6. Shark
  7. CSI
  8. Monk
  9. The Closer

mcslarrow.jpgMeanwhile McSlarrow is presiding over an eventful trade conference this week in Sin City, The Cable Show. It’s not eventful so much because of activities at the show itself, but because of a tragic and unexpected explosion outside the Luxor Hotel and the news of HBO CEO Chris Albrecht’s arrest in Vegas just after his success with the broadcast of Saturday night’s fight between Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. The sideshow may be taking over for the main tent.


Between the two of us, Dave and I managed to give away over 50 Joost invites and probably sacrificed a couple of hours to the cause. However, GigaOm has managed to find a solution to the difficulty of emailing these puppies out one at a time. Working with Joost, they’ve developed a landing page where all you have to do is fill in your own info for an invite. Problem solved.

Sorry to the folks we didn’t get to in the comment lists. Enjoy your newfound access. But one word of caution, Gizmodo reports that new beta users are inundating the Joost system, causing it to “stumble” rather than “sprint.” Good luck.

For avid TV watchers, May is one of the best times of the years. The networks strut out their best quality stuff, there are plenty of cliff hangers, NBA finals (Go Lakers) and don’t even get me started on the season/series finales. It’d be nicer if we could just have fresh content all year round, but for whatever reason the networks want to make consumers gorge on television, just to take it all in for one month. At least there will be time for sunlight during summer reruns. ;)

For advertisers and the studios though, May marks the start of a vicious frenzy of negotiations, where fortunes can be won and lost in a bizzarre game of chicken, that I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. Every year, we see the same dance, the studios unveil their A list stuff and the marketing agencies come drooling with their blank checkbooks.

Last year though, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Issues like DVR usage and streaming internet video started to creep into the negotiations. The marketing agencies demanded that they only pay for live viewers and the studios tried to convince them that DVRs were somehow actually good for them.

The truth was though, that the studios had lost control and eventually the ad agencies were able to negotiate rates on their terms, instead of having to cave to last minute pressure. With May sweeps about to start up all over again, you can bet that both sides are positioning themselves for how they plan on dealing with these irritating DVR owners. Continue Reading…


Dave and I are having a disagreement about the plot twist in the season finale of Battlestar Galactica (I liked it; he didn’t). Fortunately, BSG now has something of a choose-your-own-adventure option. Fans are being encouraged to create their own BSG video clips online. The Sci Fi Channel site gives you visual effects, sounds and music clips to use in your own video masterpiece. You put the whole thing together and submit it by June 1st for a chance to have your clip aired during an upcoming episode. (“Upcoming” means 2008, which is when BSG actually continues…)

Personally, I think the Sci Fi Channel should provide actual footage of the BSG actors for fans to use. Watermark them or make them low-resolution, but don’t make people rely on the bad acting of their friends.

Maybe Lost hasn’t jumped the shark after all… things haven’t been as bad since the Hurley-asteroid episode. But I haven’t made up my mind if I’m still watching because I really like the show or because I just want some answers.

Anyways, for the Lost fans out there who are also fans of SNL and Andy Sandberg, you can’t miss this video:

! contains content from 3/21 episode !

Rakesh Agrawal is the CEO of Houston-based SnapStream. You can read more from his personal blog at

We get several dozen press releases a week. Some are relevant, but most are not, and a few are downright crazy. I think it’s time to shine a light on some of this silliness…

Today, I received an open letter to American Idol’s Sanjaya from KFC’s President (who isn’t named Colonel Sanders). Here’s an excerpt and a sheared mock-up photo:

kfc-bowl.jpgThe judges and critics may think you’re a long shot for a recording contract, but at KFC, we think you’re a real “original.” And as the experts in Original Recipe® Chicken, we know an original when we see one! In fact, today, I would like to sweeten our tasty offer by serving you up your very first recording deal.

If you sport a bowlcut hairdo in a nationally televised performance, KFC will grant you a free lifetime supply of KFC Famous Bowls and a charitable donation in your name – plus $5,000 in cash and your own starring role in our next KFC Famous Bowls advertisement.