IVOX AND CHILL

New Houston-based streaming service showcases the best of the Bayou City

The team behind Houston-based IVOX+ will spotlight local and Texas topics. Photo courtesy of IVOX Media

Fans of Houston and Texas culture and personalities who want to see even more coverage have a new outlet. Local production house IVOX Media has launched IVOX+, a new streaming service available through multiple partner apps and devices.

Boasting original local programming, independent films, classic movies, and music, IVOX+ is available for download for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, as well as Google Play for Android phones and tablets.

For bigger screen options, the service is also available on Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, and on Samsung TVs, smart TVs, and other devices. Subscribers pay $5.99 per month for independent movies, short films, original series, and thousands of movie classics and old school TV shows.

“As an independent streaming service created in Texas, IVOX+ speaks directly to Texas culture, music, sports, and filmmaking,” IVOX founder Louie Comella tells CultureMap. “The independent spirit that is uniquely Texas can be found in many of the IVOX+ original programs which highlight Texas brands, businesses, destinations, and people.”

On tap for original local programming are Beerliners, Distillery Arts, and Food Civilization, which feature Yellow Rose Distilling, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, 8th Wonder Brewery, Clutch Distilling, and chef Ryan Pera of Coltivare and Agricole Hospitality.

Meanwhile, sports personality Lauren Leal (ESPN 97.5FM, Channel 2 KPRC, CW39, and AT&T Sportsnet), will host Sports with Balls with co-host Jeff Michael.

Other Houston topics and programs include The Art Car Parade, Chinatown, The Mahatma Gandhi District, and The Navigation Esplanade neighborhood in IVOX+ originals Es La Realidad, Stories from Chinatown, and Reel Humans.

Houston filmmakers featured on IVOX+ include Courtney Glaude, Stan Hillard, Jantel Fontenot, and Bob Willems. Musical artists Zak The Tyrant, Dalton D’Rich, Jono Jono, Rxbyn, and Doug Westscott will be featured in the cinematic music series.

Plans for IVOX+ include linear and live channels over the next year for its media brands, including Comedy Show TV, Food Civilization, and IVOX MUSIC, with curated channels from Houston, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs, California.

The streaming service was born from Comella (a commercial film executive producer), who, along with fellow cinematographer Gracie Henley, experienced the challenges faced by independent artists to get their work seen by an audience, a release notes.

“Considering all the streaming platforms available, there’s still no real entry point for independents to get their work actually seen by a global audience,” said Comella in a statement. “The days of meeting a studio executive to get the big break are long gone. IVOX+ was created to support independent filmmakers, and content creators, as well as be a destination for indie movies, short films, and new artists.”

Other Texas topics, according to a press release, include:

Austin

  • Austin City Limits
  • Kyle Park
  • Deep Eddy Vodka
  • The Continental Club
  • SoCo neighborhood

Dallas

  • The Reverend Horton Heat
  • Ricki Derek
  • Lower Greenville neighborhood
  • Jimmy’s Italian Grocery

San Antonio

  • The Blue Star Brewing Co.
  • The Phantom Rockers
  • Rico’s
  • Rebecca Creek Distillery
  • Sam’s Burger Joint
  • Pearl Brewery
  • The BlueStar First Friday event
  • SouthTown

For more information or to stream the service, visit www.IVOXplus.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

Here's what Houston-based online programs are ranked as best in the country. Photo by Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

Rice University's online MBA program has something to brag about. According to a new report, the program has risen through the ranks of other online MBA curriculums.

MBA@Rice, the online program at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice, has ranked higher in four categories in the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Programs. The report evaluated schools based on data specifically related to their distance education MBA programs, and U.S. News has a separate ranking for non-MBA graduate business degrees in areas such as finance, marketing and management. The MBA list focused on engagement, peer assessment, faculty credentials and training, student excellence, and services and technologies.

“We use the same professors to deliver the same rigorous, high-touch MBA in our online MBA as we do in all our campus-based programs,” said Rice Business Dean Peter Rodriguez. “The strong national rankings recognize our success in reaching highly talented working professionals who don’t live near enough to our campus or for whom an online program is the best option.”

Rice's virtual MBA program ranked No. 12 (tied) in the 2023 list, which was up several spots from its 2022 ranking, which was No. 20. Additionally, Rice stood out in these other three categories:

  • Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans: tied for No. 10 (No. 14 last year).
  • Best Online Business Analytics MBA Programs: tied for No. 10 (tied for No. 12 last year).
  • Best Online General Management MBA Programs: tied for No. 7 (tied for No. 11 last year).

Rice recently announced a hybrid MBA program that combines online instruction with in-person engagement. The first cohort is slated to start this summer.

The MBA@Rice program is the top-ranked Texas-based program on the virtual MBA list. Several other programs from the Lone Star State make the list of 366 schools, including:

  • University of Texas at Dallas at No. 17
  • Texas Tech University at No. 33
  • Baylor University, University of North Texas, and West Texas A&M University tied for No, 65

U.S News & World Report ranked other online programs. Here's how Houston schools placed on the other lists:

  • The University of Houston tied for No. 10 in Best Online Master's in Education Programs and tied for No. 75 in Best Online Master's in Business Programs
  • Rice University, in addition to its MBA ranking, tied for No. 27 on the Online Master’s in Computer Information Technology Programs ranking after being tied for No. 49 last year
  • University of Houston-Downtown ranked No. 26 in Best Online Master's in Criminal Justice Programs and tied for No. 55 in Best Online Bachelor's Programs

The full list of best online higher education programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report is available online.

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