MovieBeam Coming Back16 Jul, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Sanjay Gaikwad, head of Valuable Group, an Indian-based digital entertainment and gaming technology company, said he plans to invest $100 million to resurrect MovieBeam. The new owner said he plans to re-launch the on-demand service in select North America markets by the end of the year.
Valuable Group, which has offices in Los Angeles and Seattle, acquired the license and distribution rights to MovieBeam from private equity firm Dar Capital for an undisclosed amount. Dar in May acquired the service's intellectual assets from Movie Gallery Inc. for $2.2 million.
“This acquisition … will allow us to deliver ethnic and Hollywood content to homes and the hospitality industry worldwide,” Gaikwad said.
Ameya Hete, executive director with Valuable and CEO of MovieBeam, said he hopes the new service will “redefine” on-demand entertainment.
“We have added some cutting edge features to the service that will bring additional and currently unrealized revenues back to the entertainment industry,” Hete said.
Originally founded by The Walt Disney Co. and co-funded by Cisco Systems and Intel Corp. for about $150 million, MovieBeam used over-the-air data signals to automatically load a proprietary $200 set-top box, which allowed users to watch movies on demand with no downloading or hard disc storage required.
The service was available in 31 major cities nationally and featured a regenerating stock of 100 movies (10 new titles per week) loaded for on-demand viewing at any given time. Rentals (for 24 hours) ranged in price from $1.99 to $4.99.