Broadband Content Bits: Showtime; iTunes-Starz; Yahoo Show; Fox's 'Rookie'; Sony; NYT Style Mag

This story was written by Amanda Natividad.
-- Showtime's The Tudors to premiere across video sites: As Showtime's historical drama series The Tudors gets ready to kick off its second season on Sunday, the CBS (NYSE: CBS) premium cable network will start placing the entire premiere episode across a number of online video sites. Starting Thursday, the full-length, hour-long show will be distributed on YouTube, *CBS* Audience Network, *Yahoo*, MSN, *AOL*, *Netflix* and *Amazon* Unbox and television-centric sites such as TV.com, TVGuide and MeeVee.com. Last week, the episode became available as a podcast through iTunes. Showtime subscribers can also access the episode on affiliate websites such as Comcast.net, DirecTV.com and Charter.net. The move is contrary to most broadcasters and cable nets, which use online video for promotional purposes after a program has aired on TV, Showtime believes that by promoting the unaired episode on YouTube and on the portals, it will be better positioned to drive subscriber acquisition, in addition to building buzz for the network's brand and the show itself.

-- iTunes offers Starz programming: iTunes has made available programming from Starz Entertainment and anime series from Manga Entertainment. The move is another of Starz's attempts to seek alternative distribution channels and one of its first digital deals.

-- Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) launches new daily web show: Yahoo has launched an entertainment show online a la E!'s The Soup and VH1's Best Week Ever called Primetime in No Time, reports TVWeek. Most of the ad-supported episodes will run two to three minutes, hosting an intro and then featuring clips from TV shows. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is currently sponsoring the show.

-- Fox gives Rookie a second season: Fox has partnered with Unilever's Degree deodorant for The Rookie's season of digital shorts inspired by Fox's TV series 24, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Six weekly digital shorts of The Rookie: Day 3 Extraction, each running three to five minutes, will chronicle American Counter Terrorism agent Jason Blaine's adventures. Produced by MindShare Entertainment and its production partner Science + Fiction and directed by 24's director of photography Rodney Charters, the series will be available at degreerookie.com, via mobile, VOD, Comcast's (NSDQ: CMCSA) Searchlight On Demand channel and by April, DirecTV (NYSE: DTV). Both the online and on-demand platforms will offer hi-def versions in Dolby 5.1 surround sound, behind-the-scenes footage and sweepstakes.

-- Sony (NYSE: SNE) debuts Japanese video site Branco: Sony Corp. unit Sony Marketing is prepping an online video service called "branco" that is tied to its broadband subscription service NTT. The site will be introduced in Japan on March 31. Branco will show documentaries, dramas and animation. Access will only be available to subscriber of NTT East and NTT West, the former telecoms covering Eastern and Western Japan. Users will also have to download a special "branco player" app to view the content. (Variety)

-- NYT Style Magazine site launches 'T Takes': The New York Times Style Magazine web site launched its first episode of 12 of T Takes, two to three minute shorts created by filmmaker Brody Baker. The webisodes, filmed at Sundance Film Festival, feature actors, icluding Josh Hartnett, Jason Ritter, Josh Lucas, Morena Maccarin and more improvising short films. (Release)


By Amanda Natividad
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