HBO will soon begin testing HBO on Broadband, a service that will allow current subscribers to watch the channel’s content online. The service requires a PC application that offers both automatic downloads and live streams of HBO channels. The service will enter a trial period this week in Green Bay and Milwaukee before spreading to other parts of the country.
THE WGA will meet informally with studio heads this week to discuss a possible return to the bargaining table. The Guild will send West Coast President Patric Verrone and Executive Director David Young to meet with Disney chief Bob Iger and News. Corp. President Peter Chernin. In related news, the WGA has scheduled a major rally in Manhattan on Tuesday, the day Oscar nominations are announced. Meanwhile, the fallout from the strike continued as CBS has canceled around 20 projects that were in development.
JEFF ZUCKER told the Financial Times that he intends to use the current writers strike as a catalyst to remove inefficiencies from NBC – including pilot season, the upfront, and more. Zucker called them “vestiges of an era that’s gone by and won’t return.” He predicted that the development process will change in the near future and said the strike has hastened a change that would have been necessary eventually.
YAHOO will reportedly layoff up to 20% of its workforce in the next two weeks. Both Silicon Valley Insider and TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington have reported on the pending layoffs, saying that the announcement could come during the company’s earnings call on January 29th. 1500 to 2500 people may be affected. The potential downsizing would be the result of a project during Q4 that sought out redundancies and waste within the company. CEO Jerry Yang is expected to make the decision this week.
GETTY IMAGES will soon put itself up for sale and has hired Goldman Sachs to facilitate the deal. The company offers high-quality photographs for use in print, video and elsewhereand has over 4 million visitors to its website every month. However, low-cost rivals and amateur UGC sites such as Flickr have challenged its business model and undercut its pricing. Getty recently acquired iStockPhoto, one of its cheaper competitors. Its stock price is still languishing and bids for the company are due by the end of the month.