-- ABC.com upgrading its broadband player: After having launched the first full-episode player online in 2006, ABC.com has upgraded the online destination with full-screen viewing, closed captioning, the ability to embed clips on other sites and new navigation and search features enabling viewers to sort through content either graphically, alphabetically, or genre or popularity. Other improved features include an option to watch shows in standard or hi-def, letting users link to cued scenes in the videos of their choosing and thumbnails indicating story-line progression to make sifting easier. Nielsen Online reports that the ABC.com player attracts the most users, with 8.9 million uniques for the month of April. The new player, using Move Networks' technology, will be tested this summer in closed beta before launching during the network's fall premiere week.
-- Endemol and *RealNetworks* to offer reality shows via subscription: Endemol has teamed up with RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) to offer full-length episodes of US and European reality TV shows such as I Want to be a Hilton, Under One Roof, Fool Around With... and more via its SuperPass subscription service. For $14.99 per month users can have access to up to 80 broadcast hours of reality shows no longer airing on primetime TV, along with movies, music, games, internet radio and live chat with the rest of the SuperPass community. Release.
-- YouTube hosting Scripps' lifestyle short clips: Scripps (NYSE: SSP) Networks has begun placing short clips from its lifestyle TV channels, the Food Network, HGTV, DIY Network and Fine Living Network, on YouTube. Two of Food Network's chef Paula Deen 's videos have garnered over 1,000 views since it went live two weeks ago. Currently, the site runs text-only ads alongside the video.
-- Bell Canada offering download-to-own movies, TV shows and music videos: Canadian phone giant Bell Canada has made an agreement with Paramount Pictures and other producers to offer TV and movie releases at its Bell Video Store. The service will offer about 1,500 download-to-own movies, including TV shows, documentaries and music videos, day-and-date with home video releases and soon, download-to-rent. Top-selling movies will sell for CAN$20 ($20.15) with the rest available for CAN$13 ($13.10) and less. Digital downloads, available for a 24-hour period will range from CAN$2 ($2) to CAN$5 ($5.05). The Bell Video Store will also offer content from Maple Pictures, Eros Entertainment, Image Entertainment and animated features from Corus Entertainment.
By Amanda Natividad