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Ustream to Re-Broadcast 2012 Hugo Awards Tomorrow

Posted in: UpcomingCons
Chicago, Illinois, USA - Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), is pleased to announce that the 2012 Hugo Awards Ceremony will be re-broadcast in its entirety and ad-free via Ustream on Sunday, September 9, starting at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT) at www.ustream.tv/channel/hugo-awards.

The original live broadcast of the ceremony was interrupted on Sunday, September 2 when an automated infringement system detected content in the stream that it deemed copyright infringement. Although the material was cleared for Chicon 7 use, the feed could not be restored before the ceremony concluded, meaning that fans around the world were unable to enjoy the remainder of the show.

Ustream founder and CEO Brad Hunstable spoke directly to Chicon 7 Chairman Dave McCarty on Tuesday, September 4, and expressed his regret at the loss of the broadcast. Hunstable's online blog post notes "Unfortunately, we were not able to lift the ban before the broadcast ended. We had many unhappy viewers as a result, and for that I am truly sorry. As a long-time Firefly, Stargate and Game of Thrones fan among others, I am especially disheartened by this....I have suspended use of this third-party system until we are able to recalibrate the settings so that we can better balance the needs of broadcasters, viewers, and copyright holders. While we are committed to protecting copyright, we absolutely must ensure our amazing and democratizing platform allows legal broadcasters to Ustream their events and shows."

To makeup for the disruption to the original broadcast, Ustream will feature the full un-edited and bot-free ceremony on its Homepage this Sunday, September 9, starting at 7 p.m. CT. Ustream will also run the broadcast ad-free on the Worldcon Hugo Awards channel at www.ustream.tv/channel/hugo-awards, and provide additional marketing and promotional support to raise the profile of the event. The broadcast will subsequently be available from the same channel on an on-demand basis. Ustream has also offered additional support and publicity for the streaming of future Hugo Award Ceremonies for upcoming Worldcons in San Antonio, TX (2013) and London, UK (2014).

According to Dave McCarty, "this incident is just one of several that have been in the news recently, and it reflects a broader challenge faced by the industry. I welcome Brad's personal response and his commitment to review the way in which channel suspensions are triggered and controlled. And of course, we are delighted that all science fiction fans can experience a great Hugo Awards Ceremony which celebrated the best in recent science fiction literature and media and its fans. As Chair of the Hugo Award Marketing Committee, I also look forward to building this partnership with Ustream over the coming years."

ABOUT THE HUGOS

The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the science fiction genre, honoring science fiction literature and media as well as the genre's fans. The Hugo Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia (Philcon II), and they have continued to honor science fiction and fantasy notables annually for nearly 60 years.

More information about the Hugo Awards, including a list of the 2012 winners, is available from www.chicon.org/hugo-awards.php.

ABOUT USTREAM

Ustream Inc. is the leader in live, and social video streaming. The interactive platform connects broadcasters and viewers of unlimited size through innovative technology including co-hosting video features, IRC chat, Facebook, and Twitter. Ustream's free and premium solutions allow any broadcaster to create their own customizable channel with robust social and notification features to enhance visibility and virility across multiple platforms. In addition to activating the embeddable features on external websites, users are able to broadcast and view content while interacting in real-time directly from mobile phone devices, tablets, streaming players, smart TVs, and more. The company attracts millions of users ranging from music artists, celebrities, politicians, athletes, corporate executives, animal enthusiasts and gamers, all which have contributed to Ustream's Guinness World Record for the Most Content Ingested by An Online Video Service. For more information, visit www.ustream.com and follow Ustream's socials: Twitter (@Ustream); Facebook (facebook.com/Ustream).

Brad Hunstable's personal apology for the interruption to the original Ceremony broadcast can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/blog/2012/09/03/hugo-awards-an-apology-and-explanation/.

Chicon 7 is the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon"). The first Worldcon occurred in New York City in 1939 and Worldcons have been held annually since then except for 1942-45 when there was no event due to World War II. London was recently announced as the host to Worldcon 2014.
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