WB Network Relaunches Site29 Apr, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey
Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) is relaunching the WB Network as an online video Web site, and adding KidsWB.com to the mix too. TheWB.com will launch as a beta test site in May, while KidsWB.com debuted this week.
“The launch of TheWB.com represents a natural progression of the Warner Bros. Television Group's digital strategy and complements our core business, which is based upon episodic storytelling, first-class distribution and providing value to partners through advertising in a premium environment,” said WBTVG president Bruce Rosenblum.
The video-on-demand, ad-supported TheWB.com will include a combination of the network's most popular series, such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” as well as new content. In a twist, the site's videos also will be available via an application on the profile pages on online social networking site Facebook.com.
“We want to continue the Warner Bros. tradition of authentic voices creating compelling programming for this new digital canvas,” said Craig Erwich, EVP of Warner Horizon Television, who also oversees TheWB.com on behalf of the studio. “The office water cooler has moved, and fans of TheWB.com can instantly engage with our content and interact with one another through the site, through the Facebook application, or on their own Web sites and blogs.”
Original programming includes the mystery series “Sorority Forever,” 3-D animation project “Chadam,” reality series “Rich Girl/Poor Girl,” and the unscripted “High Drama: Against All Oz.” As for WB mainstays, such as “Smallville” and “The Wayans Bros.,” the site is promising fans unprecedented access to the shows.
“These hit shows still have an incredible amount of equity with their audiences, who grew up with these characters and went through significant events in their lives just as some of the characters did on the programs,” said TheWB.com GM Brent Poer. “And now, through TheWB.com, users will be able to take an unprecedented level of control over their own entertainment experience by easily editing, remixing and literally ‘playing' with their favorite shows. We're giving the users final cut.”
The inaugural distribution partner for TheWB.com is Comcast, with video-on-demand options to be offered.
“Comcast will have access to more than 1,000 TV episodes from the Warner Bros. library that it will make available for free streaming on Fancast.com and on video-on-demand,” said Matt Bond, EVP of content acquisition for Comcast.