THE TELEVISION BUREAU OF ADVERTISING announced that ePort is set to launch this November. ePort is the open-standard electronic exchange for buyers and sellers of TV spots, supported by CBS Television Stations, E.W. Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, NBCU Stations, and several other broadcasters. The full suite of online transactions will be available in March 2008.
FACEBOOK will allow advertisers to opt out of advertising on certain parts of the social-networking site, following an exodus of advertisers who found their ads near a page for an extreme right-wing political party. Vodafone, Virgin Media, and several other companies pulled ads from Facebook last week, and promised not to return until the system offered more control over ad placement. Advertisers will now be able to avoid certain user groups. The change will start in the UK, where the incident flared up, and eventually spread to the rest of Facebook.
BLOCKBUSTER has acquired MOVIELINK. The deal brings Blockbuster into the digital download business, while store-based rentals are in decline and its DVD-by-mail service is fighting a price-war with Netflix. The deal is said to have closed for less than $20 million. MovieLink was originally started by the major movie studios as an alternative to pirated movie downloads, but failed to find an audience.
THE NEWSMARKET announced VideoCafé, a service that allows bloggers to embed video from major companies in blog posts and web sites. The service gives bloggers access to content that was formerly only available to traditional media. VideoCafé will provide video from Google, Yahoo!, Intel, Nintendo, AOL, and others.
SCRIPPS NETWORKS has purchased INCANDO CORP., owner of user-generated media site Pickle.com. Pickle allows users to upload videos and photos from computers and mobile phones, and then post them to other sites. Scripps recently bought Recipezaar.com, a user-generated recipe community.