tv

In This Corner, Netflix. In the Other Corner. . .Amazon?

Netflix, whose DVD-by-mail service hastened the demise of several video rental chains, may soon find itself under siege from Amazon. The world's largest online retailer appears to be on the verge of launching its own unlimited movie and TV-show streaming service.

Beyond TVs: Vizio Now Sees Big Growth in Small Screens

Now the No. 1. U.S. seller of LCD TVs, Vizio is setting its sights on the smartphone and tablet computer markets. But will its low-cost business model translate to the mobile electronics market? That's not a sure bet, but it'll be interesting to watch.

Oprah Winfrey Network Draws More Than 1 Million Viewers

Oprah Winfrey%u2019s cable TV network drew more than 1 million viewers on its debut over the weekend. The new channel, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), launched at noon on New Year%u2019s Day, The Wall Street Journal said. It replaced Discovery Health in about 80 million homes.

Congress Considers Regulating Noisy Ads

Congress could be days away from turning down the volume on blaring TV ads. The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act would ban TV ads that have a louder volume than the shows they interrupt, The Wall Street Journal said.

Palins Boost TV Ratings Over Thanksgiving Week

Bristol Palin helped boost the viewership for "Dancing with the Stars" when she made it to the final round, while her mother's show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" got half a million more viewers in the same week.

Church of England Opposes Murdoch Bid for BSkyB

Rupert Murdoch may face opposition from a higher power in his bid to take full control of British satellite TV provider BSkyB. The Church of England said that it opposes News Corp.%u2019s (NWS) plans for BSkyB, saying that such a deal would allow News Corp. to "dominate" the country%u2019s media, The New York Times reported.

Midterm Election TV Viewership Up 11% from 2006

Networks broadcasting midterm election results attracted 11% more viewers than they did during the 2006 elections, and about a third more than the 2002 midterms, indicating the heightened level political interest among Americans concerned about House and Senate races, Nielsen reported Friday.

Samsung Forecasts Weaker Fourth Quarter on Falling Prices

Samsung Electronics (SSNHY), the world%u2019s biggest maker of TVs, expects weaker fourth quarter earnings because of lower prices and a stronger South Korean won. The fourth quarter will see "severe" competition in TV prices, Samsung said, according to Bloomberg News. There will be excess supply in the computer-memory chip market and persistent low prices in the market for liquid-crystal displays, Samsung said.

Comcast Reports Third Quarter Earnings of 31 Cents Per Share

Comcast (CMCSA) reported earnings of 31 cents per share for the third quarter, compared with 33 cents per share a year earlier. Earnings were negatively impacted by the costs of the NBC Universal transaction, the company said in a statement.

Networks Block Users Watching Programs Via Google TV

Networks ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking viewers from accessing their programs through Google%u2019s (GOOG) Web TV service, demonstrating the challenges Google faces in getting content for its new product. Users can%u2019t watch full-length episodes of show%u2019s including NBC%u2019s "The Office" and ABC%u2019s "Modern Family" on Google TV, The Wall Street Journal said.

Why American Idol Still Commands the Biggest Bucks on TV

Despite a slip in its ratings dip and the loss of man-we-love-to-hate Simon Cowell, "American Idol" remains the most expensive show on TV for advertisers. Why are they willing to pay close to half a million dollars for a 30-second spot? Young viewers, and lots of them.

Contract Dispute Left Millions Without Fox Network Over Weekend

Three million households in the New York area were left without Fox programming this weekend as a contract dispute between Cablevision Systems (CVC) and News Corp. (NWS) rumbled on. Millions of New York sports fans were unable to watch the Phillies play baseball on Saturday night and the Giants play football on Sunday, The New York Times reported.

Sony's Google TV Set Coming Saturday

Sony's lineup of sleek televisions boasting Google's Web-surfing system will go on sale online Saturday and will hit Best Buy shelves early next week. The company unveiled the high-definition LCD sets Tuesday evening, with recommended retail prices from $600 to $1,400.

U.K. Media Ask Government to Examine Murdoch's Bid for BSkyB

British newspapers and the BBC wrote a letter to the UK government asking it to examine Rupert Murdoch's bid to take over British Sky Broadcasting Group, saying the deal could harm the public interest. The owners of newspapers including The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, along with the director general of the BBC, wrote a letter saying that the deal would expand News Corp.%u2019s (NWS) control of the UK media. Murdoch controls News Corp.

Toshiba Unveils No-Glasses 3-D TV

Toshiba (TOSBF) unveiled a new 3-D TV that viewers can watch without wearing special glasses. The 3-D liquid crystal display TV uses a high-definition screen backlit with LEDs, a special sheet on the screen and chip technology to display information from nine images, The New York Times reported.

Political Ad Spending Will Fatten Broadcasters This Year

TV station political revenues may hit $2.5 billion in 2010, a 25% increase above 2006, SNL Kagan says. Among the biggest beneficiaries: conservative broadcaster Sinclair, which has the largest footprint of all independent station owners in areas with contested elections.

Fox Broadcasting Has Sold Over 90% of Superbowl Ad Time

News Corp.%u2019s (NWS) Fox Broadcasting has sold more than 90% of its Superbowl advertising time, almost five months ahead of the event. The broadcaster is charging an average of about $3 million for a 30-second ad, Reuters reported without naming its sources.