There's some potentially bad news brewing for ivi Inc. and its ongoing fight to retransmit broadcast TV signals over the Web and charge subscription fees. Congress is asking (PDF) the U.S. Copyright Office to offer recommendations for phasing out compulsory licenses. Ivi, which is appealing a court decision that temporarily shut down its service, argues that its service complies with the rules because it was paying the Copyright Office $100 per year for a compulsory license, therefore making it immune to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's Communications Act, which lets broadcasters command higher retransmission fees. (See Court Cuts Ivi's Web TV Signal.)
Top cable operators picked up 2.3 million new broadband Internet subscribers in 2010, growing 5 percent and extending the total to 41.5 million, according to Leichtman Research Group. Major telcos, meanwhile, increased their broadband subscriber counts by 3.3 percent to 33.5 million.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) continues to turn to Web video games to drive programming revenue after acquiring Finland-based HTML5 gaming engine startup Rocket Pack.