Morning Media Newsfeed: Redbox Ends Streaming Service | Mukpo Returns to U.S.

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Redbox Ending Instant Streaming Service (THR)
Streaming video service Redbox Instant, a joint operation between Verizon Communications and Outerwall’s Redbox, is shutting down. Deadline Hollywood The statement announcing the shutdown read, “Thank you for being a part of Redbox Instant by Verizon. Please be aware that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Information on applicable refunds will be emailed to current customers and posted on Oct. 10. In the meantime, you may continue to stream movies and use your Redbox kiosk credits until Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you for the opportunity to entertain you. Sincerely, The Redbox Instant by Verizon Team.” Variety Outerwall (then called Coinstar) and Verizon formed Redbox Instant by Verizon in February 2012, with Verizon owning 65 percent of the joint venture. The companies debuted the service in March 2013. Under the most recent subscription plan, the $6 monthly service provided access to 6,000 movies across different devices, as well as rentals and purchases of select titles. GigaOM The shutdown comes after the service had disabled new sign-ups for three months due to a credit card fraud issue, which not only prevented Redbox Instant from acquiring new customers, but also resulted in existing customers with expiring or revoked credit cards being booted from the service because they weren’t able to add any new payment information. Redbox Instant’s catalog was also significantly smaller than Netflix’s or even the Amazon Prime Instant streaming video catalog, and the service never really gained traction with consumers, leading the CEO of Outerwall to remark that both his company and Verizon were “not pleased” with the subscriber numbers. In that context, the credit card fraud issue may have just have been the final straw. Re/code But Verizon is not done playing around with video services. Earlier this year the company bought Intel’s never-launched Web TV business, and while it doesn’t look like it’s going to try launching that one itself, it is planning some sort of video service that it plans on delivering via phones and other mobile devices. Recently Verizon announced it had secured programming rights from Viacom, and promised to say more soon. Meanwhile both Sony and Dish Network say they plan on launching their own Web TV services this year; Sony has also announced a Viacom deal, while Dish has signed up Disney/ESPN, A&E and Scripps.

Ashoka Mukpo, NBC News Ebola Patient, Returns to U.S. for Treatment (TVNewser)
Ashoka Mukpo, the American NBC News freelance cameraman who was diagnosed with Ebola Thursday in Liberia, returned to the U.S. for treatment Sunday. Mukpo was working with Dr. Nancy Snyderman and her team in Monrovia. The Washington Post Mukpo will be the second Ebola patient to be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center’s specialized isolation unit. NYT Mukpo is the fourth American known to have contracted the disease in Liberia. As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Snyderman, to return to the U.S. and enter quarantine for 21 days. A Liberian health worker visited a boy on Friday at a holding center in Monrovia for people suspected of having Ebola. The boy’s father recently died of the disease. Mukpo had worked for NBC for just one day before becoming ill, NBC said. Snyderman said in an interview on the Today show Friday morning that she and her team had had very little contact with Mukpo. THR Mukpo’s father, Dr. Mitchell Levy, also appeared on the Today show Friday, where he said that his son was “scared and worried” but was in better spirits with the knowledge that he was going home.

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