AOL launches In2TV online television networks
Internet service provider AOL has announced that it will launch a free online television network early in 2006, cleverly called In2TV.
The service will offer over 3,000 hours of archive programmes from 100 series of Warner Brothers productions in its first year.
In2TV will initially be organised in six themed channels of comedy, drama, animation, action, classic and superhero genres. It will be supported by advertising revenue, with one or two minutes of adverts within a 30-minute episode, rather than as many as eight minutes on broadcast television.
AOL and Time Warner merged in 2001, but many of the expected synergies failed to materialise amid internal politics. The current initiative apparently took over two years to pull together.
Media groups and online service providers are now rushing to offer television programmes direct to consumers over broadband networks.
Eric Frankel, president of the Warner Brothers cable distribution business told Reuters that they had looked at the rise of broadband internet services and decided to be the first to create a network that opens a new window of distribution, rather than having to go hat in hand to other cable channels.
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