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AOL, Time Warner Bow Web TV Network, Warner Fare

14 Nov, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

America Online broadband subscribers beginning next year will be able to watch select Warner Bros. TV programming for free on the portal's new high resolution Hi-Q video format.

AOL and parent Time Warner announced their jointly-formed In2TV network would make available almost 5,000 episodes from about 100 archived TV shows. The advertising supported programs include “Welcome Back Kotter,” “Growing Pains,” “Chico and the Man,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Babylon 5” and “Kung Fu.”

Hi-Q broadcasts would feature 15-second spot ads (General Motors), with a limit of 2 minutes per 30-minute episode — compared to 8 minutes of ads on conventional TV.

Increasingly, media and technology companies are seeking ways to deliver traditional TV content on the Internet and portable devices.

Separately, cable channels Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network reportedly would make available to Hasbro's VuGo portable media device select half-hour episodes for $2.99 per show.

Programming available for download at VuGo.com includes Nick's “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Unfabulous,” “Rugrats,” and Time Warner's “Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.”

In2TV would be launched with six genre-themed channels: Vintage; Heroes and Horror; Toontopia; Dramarama; Laugh out Loud; and Rush (action-adventure). Two additional two channels are pending.

Each channel would incorporate 88 viewer-interactive features, including:

  • Starchives, featuring stars before they were stars.

  • Punchlines (comedy clips)

  • TV Karaoke

  • Classic Cr?me de la Cr?me, most memorable episodes of a given series.

  • Betcha Didn't Know! Fans test their TV trivia skills.

  • RetroRunway, TV series fashion.

  • StarFavs, TV stars' favorite episodes.

  • Where Are They Now? Where your favorite stars are now.

  • AIM interviews with cast members.

  • Month long salutes to specific series, stars, and genres with extensive episodes available online and numerous interactive features. Examples could include “Kotter-thon” and “Teri Hatcher-A-Thon.”

  • “This service will bring an unprecedented collection of popular TV series to a totally new platform, revolutionizing the distribution of television programming,” said Eric Frankel, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution. “It will enable users the opportunity to be entertained and to interact with the programming that has groundbreaking interactive features. Visitors will be able to program their own personal network, making it a TV lover's dream come true.”

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