SYNCTV will launch in private test form today, offering an online a la carte channel lineup with downloadable DVD-quality programs. The PIONEER spinoff will offer online channel subscriptions for a few dollars per month and sell individual episodes for $2. The company also promises forth-coming compatible media players and a public test version of the service in January. SyncTV will not be iPod-compatible.
NBC has picked up Quarterlife. The Internet show will appear on the network (and its web site) in six hour-long episodes after it concludes its current Internet run in early 2008. NBC has taken an equity stake in quarterlife.com, acquired DVD and foreign distribution rights and will help finance the project. Despite this investment, show creator Marshall Herskovitz says Quarterlife is losing money.
MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT released data to the FCC that supports Chairman Kevin Martin’s claim that the 70/70 regulatory threshold has been met. MAP told the Commission that the threshold was passed in 2005 and that cable is currently used by 77% of Americans. Martin is expected to to propose a vote on the 70/70 regulation during the Commission’s November 27 meeting.
NBC and PROCTER & GAMBLE have started a new niche web portal for pet owners. Petside.com will offer anything and everything pet-related, from advice to product links. The two companies will use the site to promote their own products and shows and will split revenue generated by third-party advertisers (including competitors). The joint venture is an experiment that, if successful, will spawn other niche sites.
STRIKE NEGOTIATIONS between the WGA and the AMPTP will resume on Monday November 26. WGA East president Michael Winship wrote a letter to members of the Guild thanking them for raising public awareness of the issues facing writers and reminding them that, for now, the strike continues. Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live has reportedly fired over 50 production staffers.