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Google announced that YouTube has been blocked in China. While it is not known exactly why the streaming video site has been censored, a report by a Chinese news organization notes a “fabricated” video in which Chinese police beat Tibetans during a riot. China has been known to censor web pages, and since the video in question involved the ever sensitive Tibet issue, it should come as no surprise that the Government blocked the video service.
Blockbuster and TiVo will team to make Blockbuster’s digital film archive available over the Internet. Dubbed ‘Blockbuster On Demand’, the service will be available to the roughly 800,000 TiVo users whose set-top boxes are connected to the internet. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes noted, “Ultimately, our vision is to work with TiVo so that their subscribers can access movies not only through our On Demand service but also from our stores and through our by-mail service as well.”
While Twitter has yet to come up with a bona fide business plan, other companies are looking to capitalize off the success of the micro-blogging service. One such company, Germany’s Magpie & Friends, pays users to sell ads in tweets, using an auction style system based around keywords. None of the companies selling tweet ads have any connection to Twitter, however, they do provide Twitter, valued at $255 million, a chance to view multiple business plans and decide if any of them actually work.
Verizon is set to launch its own local NY television channel this summer. Citing “local interest”, Verizon will provide an alternative to Cablevision’s News 12 NY, Time Warner’s NY1 and NBC’s recently launched NY Non-Stop. Verizon believes that local interest stories have hindered their growth in the metropolitan area, as consumers are weary to sign up for Verizon FiOS since it does not carry any hyper-local content.
At a time when most media companies are worried about bankruptcy, Comcast has received a debt-rating upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service. The upgrade is in large part due to CEO Brian Roberts deciding not to jack-up dividend payments or increase its stock-buyback program before the economic crisis. Rather, Roberts relied on penny pinching, which has effectively given Comcast a debt ratio of 2.5 times its net assets, in addition to roughly $4 billion in annual cash flow.