Starwatch consumer

Target to launch digital entertainment service

Updated: 2013-09-19T02:22:16Z

Targeting videos

By one estimate, the average monthly cable or satellite TV bill is expected to increase to $123 by 2015 and $200 by 2020. Yet there are plenty of options for consumers looking for more affordable TV alternatives. On Oct. 1, Target will launch a digital entertainment service called Target Ticket. With more than 30,000 movie and TV titles (some TV shows available the next day), the new service will be pay as you go. Target said its Ticket service will be available on PCs, Macs, Xbox 360s, Androids and iOS, Roku, Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players, with an eye toward compatibility with every Internet-ready device by the end of next year. Content is available to buy or rent by downloading and streaming. Next-day TV shows will include “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Prices will depend on the content, ranging from 99 cents to $36.99.

Hulu’s BBC programming

Hulu said it has agreed to a non-exclusive, multiyear deal with BBC Worldwide North America that will allow it to offer BBC content to its subscribers. Hulu said its Hulu Plus service has offered U.K. programming since its launch and the new deal will make it one of the top destinations in the U.S. for British content. Effective immediately, Hulu Plus subscribers can access popular BBC shows such as “Doctor Who,” as well as natural history and factual programming such as “Blue Planet.”

Busy builders

U.S. builders started work in August on the most single-family homes in six months and requested permits for even more in future months. The figures suggest housing remains a driver of economic growth despite higher mortgage rates. Construction of single-family homes rose 7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000, the Commerce Department said. That’s the fastest rate since February. Builders sought 627,000 permits to construct future single-family homes, 3 percent more than July and the best pace since May 2008.

IRS cuts

Budget cuts are hobbling the IRS’ pursuit of tax cheats, according to a report by the agency’s inspector general. Tax collections from enforcement actions fell 9 percent in the 2012 budget year to just over $50 billion, down more than $7 billion from 2010.

Gamesmanship

Microsoft and Sony are battling more than just each other as they showcase new consoles at this week’s Tokyo Game Show. They are also fighting for the attention of players of romance fantasies such as “Kiss of Revenge.” Role-playing games, cloud-based gaming and vendors hawking products for costume-wearing fans are taking up more floor space as the show opens today in the birthplace of video game machines. A record 342 exhibitors will attend the last major trade event before the holiday shopping season.

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