Daily DigVid Review -- It's raining news!
Lots of news today, but surprisingly very little of it is about the upfront. Michael Learmonth of Silicon Alley Insider wonders about the lack of digital in this year’s upfront presentations.
Everyone appeared surprised to learn this morning that CBS is buying CNET, which includes CNET, ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, CNET News, UrbanBaby, BNET, CHOW, Search.com and more. All of those will be combined with CBS’ existing online businesses, automatically turning CBS into one of the top-ten Internet companies in the U.S. CBS paid a 44% premium for the privilege, according to Cynthia Brumfield over at IP Democracy, paying about $1.8 billion for the company. Because Leslie Moonves is tasked with turning CBS into a growth company – something that’s pretty hard to do when your company comprises such mature properties as TV networks, TV stations and outdoor advertising – no one should be that surprised to see CBS making acquisitions that it thinks will provide that growth. Whether CNET fits well into CBS’ online portfolio remains to be seen.
In related news, CBS is partnering with EQAL — the company behind lonelygirl15 – to create and produce multi-platform television, online and mobile entertainment. CBS will get first look at EQAL projects, and EQAL will work with CBS to most effectively extend its TV shows online and to mobile platforms. EQAL also will provide the underlying technology to run these platforms.
NBC Sports/NBC Mobile/NBC 2Go will offer simulcasts of live NBC Sports broadcasters, highlights, analyses and news to wireless customers who have the Flo TV service from MediaFLO USA or who have MobiTV. Events that subscribers can receive via their mobile device: This Saturday’s 133rd Preakness Stakes; the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Games and Stanley Cup Final; golf’s U.S. Open Championship, U.S. Women’s and Senior Open Championships, Senior PGA Championship and The Ryder Cup; tennis’ French Open and Wimbledon; Notre Dame Football; and the AST Dew Tour. That all sounds cool but I don’t know anyone willing to pay for mobile TV. Broadcasters and mobile phone companies are working hard to bring mobile TV to the masses, and if they can provide that service for free, we might actually see the technology finally take off.
Just when you thought you could stop worrying about whether Microsoft would buy Yahoo!,billionaire investor Carl Icahn has gone and started it all up again. Icahn, a major investor in Yahoo!, wants to add ten new directors to Yahoo!’s board who would be more amenable to a deal. Meanwhile, Portfolio.com thinks Icahn is in over his head and makes a good case for it with this thoughtful piece.
Google just got more popular than Yahoo!. Congratulations, Google. Soon you may be more popular than Microsoft as well.
Finally, I came by this via IP Democracy as well: a really interesting story by The Atlantic on how Silicon Valley and social-networking services have helped Barack Obama’s campaign become the money–raking monster that it is. Take that John McCain, who instead gets this.