At least one company benefited from Olympics fans in the United States who tried to circumvent NBC’s television coverage during the London Games. AnchorFree, the Mountain View, Calif.-based startup released data to Reuters on Monday showing a major bump in users who installed a product that gives U.S. users an anonymous IP address in the United Kingdom. Presumably the people who signed up for the product, called ExpatShield, used it to watch BBC’s online streams of the Olympics.
According to the data, the number of installs of the free software surged 1,153 percent in the United States during the games. The company, which recorded an average of 220 installs a day before the Olympics, saw the number of installs increase to 2,753 installs during the 17-day event.
Evercore analyst Bryan Kraft believes the prolonged blackout that has left DirecTV’s 20 million subscribers without MTV, Comedy Central or Nickelodeon for a week, could lead to some industry consolidation.
In a research note out late Wednesday night, the analyst said if content providers Viacom, as well as home of ‘Breaking Bad’,AMC, which was dropped from No. 2 satellite provider Dish Network in July, get the upper hand, it raises the chances of a merger between satellite companies and cable providers.
The business elite who make the annual pilgrimage to Allen & Co’s media and tech conference in Idaho every summer make time for leisurely pursuits between meetings. On Wednesday, we spotted Xerox CEO Ursula Burns returning from a tennis match carrying a racket , while Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus was headed for a bike ride with venture capitalist Bing Gordon and Scripps Networks’ CEO Ken Lowe was on his way to play golf.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, sported a backpack, which made him look like he was going day hiking, but really, he was just going for a coffee with Netscape founder-turned-VC Marc Andreessen and his wife, Laura, pictured here.
On the first day of the mogul fest, the parade of arrivals on the steps of the Sun Valley lodge did not disappoint. Disney CEO Bob Iger smiled for the cameras while later, Warren Buffett stayed in his car while someone checked in for him.
Some of the braver execs who approached the media were Discovery CEO David Zaslav who, for the second year in a row talked up Oprah Winfrey’s struggling OWN network and said Oprah herself would be landing in Idaho soon to attend the event organized by investment bank Allen & Co.
“It’s ridiculous, it’s just absolutely ridiculous,” said Burns at the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in New York on Thursday.
If the low ratings at Oprah Winfrey’s OWN weren’t evidence enough of viewer disinterest in programming that inspires, then perhaps the massive ratings growth at Investigation Discovery, a network whose shows are almost exclusively populated by murderers and stalkers, can provide convincing.
Investigation Discovery, the crime-themed cable channel that launched in January 2008, is not just getting better ratings than OWN, it is also doing better than the Discovery Channel itself. Over the last two weeks, ID averaged 275,000 total viewers, or 8,000 more than the 267,000 viewers that Discovery averaged, according to Nielsen. OWN, which launched in January 2011, only averaged 180,000 total daily viewers during the fourth quarter.
Sony, in a bout of bad timing, is hosting an event on March 7 in San Francisco for tech reporters at the same time as Apple’s reported iPad 3 unveiling and the Japanese conglomerate wants to make sure it won’t get ditched.
Sony, which some people consider to be the “Apple of the ’80s”, sent out a helpful e-mail on Tuesday informing invited members of the press of the scheduling conflict without mentioning the world’s most valuable tech company.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA[/youtube] Some executives quote philosophers like Plato or legendary coaches such as Vince Lombardi. But not Charlie Ergen; that’s far too high-brow for him. The Dish Network chairman seems to get his theories on management from television and movie comedies.
Just a few quarters after he described Dish’s wireless situation as a “Seinfeld Strategy” (it may not seem clear now but it’ll make sense in the end), the Dish chairman gave a shout out to the Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels 1994 classic comedy “Dumb and Dumber” on Thursday. When asked by an analyst whether Dish would receive government approval to use its wireless assets, Ergen said:
Curt Schilling, the former pitcher and two-time World Series champ is more nervous about his new video game than he ever was about baseball.
He told a New York crowd at an event put on by Electronic Arts on Tuesday that he slept like a baby before World Series games in 2007 — but didn’t catch a wink on Monday night ahead of the release of his company’s first video game.
Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, isn’t pleased with reports that Zynga is ripping off games from small developers so he is doing something about it–wielding his pen to write passionate manifestos to employees invoking Silicon Valley greats like Apple.
After a game developer accused Zynga of copying a game called “Tiny Tower”, Pincus sent a 60-line memo to employees to make sure his flock knows Zynga has done nothing wrong, (the memo was leaked to the blog VentureBeat and later obtained by Reuters).