Money on Demand
Sony, US West join Intertainer online venture

By Ray Richmond
Variety, April 6, 1998
Sony Corp. of America and US West have joined Intel Corp., Comcast Corp. and Sterling Ventures as early investors in Intertainer Inc., the entertainment-on-demand on-line programming delivery venture co-founded by Jonathan Taplin and Richard Baskin.

As part of the new pair of agreements, US West Interprise Networking, the data integration arm of US West Communications, will supply the Intertainer service with digital wiring for its customers in 40 cities beginning with the venture's planned launch in June.

Sony's financial participation, added to Intel, Comcast and Sterling, brings the investment in Intetainer during its second round of financing to $10.5 million, according to co-chairman Taplin.

"What we really have is a great telco partner, a great cable partner and two brilliant technology partners," Baskin said. "Each of them brings something vital to the table."

The two-year-old Santa Monica based Intertainer aims to provide entertainment to computer users and those with Internet access via their TV set using broadband circuitry. The company's mission is to become the first broadband entertainment program service, enabling users to access full-motion movies, CD-quality music, books, TV, broadband videogames, video conferencing, shopping and various edutainment services in a single place.

Those companies from which Intertainer has already licensed product include Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and PBS.

Intertainer hopes to be able to market a set-top box to more than 40 cities where it plans to initially offer service by the end of June.