Google, Viacom settle outmoded YouTube copyright suit

Google and Viacom have settled their seven-year copyright lawsuit, a nearly forgotten fight in which the central conflict has largely become an anachronism.

Viacom, the parent company of such television networks as MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, sued Google shortly after the search giant's acquisition of YouTube. It claimed the sharing platform for user-generated videos hosted thousands of unauthorized clips.

Google and Viacom putting the conflict to rest reflects how much the attitude toward online video has changed for traditional content companies, from one of protective wariness to one of essential opportunity. It also reflects how YouTube, over the … Read more

MTV app takes on Shazam, Ticketmaster, Vevo in one

MTV, long ago the go-to place for music videos, has launched a music app that takes on elements of Shazam, Ticketmaster and Vevo.

The MTV Artists app, released Thursday, is the latest the Viacom network has rolled out after revamping the app infrastructure for all the Viacom music channels. It follows the release earlier this year of a separate MTV app that provides on-demand video of the reality and scripted programs that have become the mainstays of MTV's programming.

The MTV Artists app, however, is about music, and it's pooling the capabilities of a number of other apps … Read more

VH1 unrolls video app with its TLC biopic outside pay gate

Like its regular programming, VH1 is going retro to go forward.

The Viacom channel launched a VH1 app for iPhone and iPad on Wednesday, with versions for Android and Windows phones coming. To bolster the rollout, its bringing its biopic about TLC -- the cornerstone of its fall lineup -- to the app for on-demand viewing right after its premiere Monday for anyone, not just people who have a pay-TV subscription.

"It really shows how committed VH1 is to this platform," said Kristin Frank, executive vice president of connected content for Viacom Music and LOGO Group. "To … Read more

To get MTV doc sneak peeks, Miley fans can't stop tweeting

MTV is betting Twitter hasn't exhausted a fervor for Miley Cyrus yet.

After the singer's provocative performance at the Video Music Awards had Twitter in a tizzy, MTV is leveraging the star's social presence to drive more people to its MTV app.

After broadcasting a 60-minute documentary about Cyrus Wednesday night, MTV said it would release two clips from an extended 90-minute version of the film "Miley: The Movement" ahead of its slated airtime Sunday -- provided enough fans tweet the hashtag #UnlockMiley.

The catch is that the clips will only be available through the … Read more

Apple said to be eyeing HBO, Viacom, ESPN as TV partners

Apple is in negotiations with entertainment companies to change the way customers interact with its long-rumored television, according to a new report.

Apple has been holding talks with ESPN, HBO, Viacom, and several other major networks to ink deals that would see those firms bring their programming to apps on its rumored television, the Quartz news site reported on Thursday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the iPhone maker's plans.

Although it's not clear exactly what Apple has planned, some of Quartz's sources say that Apple is trying to create a pay-TV service that would … Read more

For MTV, making VMAs a most-tweeted event is so 2012

For MTV's Video Music Awards, tabulating a number of tweets is so passe.

For this year's award show, which is set to air Sunday, another record level of social engagement is a foregone conclusion for the Viacom youth-culture cable channel. A leader in integrating digital media with traditional televised events, MTV is focusing on the quality of how viewers interact by providing more tools for more dedicated activity -- and tweaking ways to explore the show outside the linear broadcast.

"Yes, there's a huge number of tweets about this show," said Colin Helms, senior vice … Read more

Sony, Viacom strike early deal for Internet TV service

Sony has sealed a preliminary agreement with media giant Viacom for its cable channels on an Internet-connected television service, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

A Viacom spokesman declined to comment to CNET, while a representative for Sony didn't immediately respond. Viacom is the owner of such channels as Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and other cable networks.

Sony was previously reported as a contender in the race among the world's tech giants to develop a robust over-the-top television option. Intel has been working on a TV service aimed for release later … Read more

MTV puts streaming video on Xbox, if you already pay for both

It may still be shy of Roku's hundreds and hundreds of channels, but Xbox Live wants its MTV -- and as of Tuesday it now offers the app.

The MTV app, which first rolled out to iOS in June, hosts on-demand streaming of shows, while integrating elements of its past apps, like video extras. In other words, it puts some "second screen" entertainment on the "first screen" through Xbox.

But to check out full episodes, users must have a subscription from a participating TV provider. Xbox Live Gold subscriptions also cost $5 a month with … Read more

New Comedy Central site lets you download a stand-up

It's no joke. Viacom is taking distribution cues from the man eating the stale Cinnabon sitting on his luggage before heading home from the airport.

The media conglomerate's Comedy Central network on Thursday launched a site selling unlimited streams and downloads of uncut, uncensored stand-up specials for $5 each.

It's a page out of Louis C.K.'s book, following his experiment in late 2011. He produced a stand-up special himself and sold it on his Web site for $5 a pop without any digital-rights management protection, other than the comedian's polite request his fans please … Read more

Post-YouTube, MTV revives the video star -- briefly

MTV is music television again, for just one day. Actually, not even that.

MTV, the channel founded on the concept of music videos aired 24/7, is partway through a 12-hour stint as a music-centric enterprise again. It and fellow Viacom cable networks VH1 and CMT are showing videos, performances, music moments from history, and artist interviews from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET/PT Thursday, in an event they've branded Music Independence Day.

What killed music on MTV? YouTube? Google's video site is definitely a beneficiary of the dearth of music on TV, but its … Read more