Newsbytes
January 24, 2000
Intertainer & Microsoft Team On On-Demand Entertainment

BYLINE: Sherman Fridman; Newsbytes
Intertainer, Inc., a privately held company that claims to have a new way for people to get movies, music, and television anytime they want it on either their PCs or TVs, today announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp. [NASDAQ:MSFT] to deliver entertainment on demand to consumers via Intertainer's broadband programming service.

The companies are collaborating to accelerate wide-scale deployment of Intertainer's content- aggregation service, providing consumers with a broad variety of on-demand entertainment. Some of the programming that will be provided includes new and classic Hollywood films, music, television programs, and shopping.

In an interview with Newsbytes, Richard Baskin, founder and co-CEO of Intertainer said that Intertainer is a program service that provides its content over cable and digital subscriber lines (DSL), much like HBO (Home Box Office) provides programming content for cable.

Baskin also said that, while Intertainer is not providing concurrent TV programming at this time - meaning that your favorite television sit-com will not be available - that facility would be coming, and that it would be "closer than you think." Baskin told Newsbytes that Intertainer expects to make some major announcements within the next month.

However, in the area of motion pictures, Baskin said that Intertainer provides the earliest features that are available anywhere on a pay-for-view basis, and that the company would present films just after they come out in home video release.

Baskin also said that Intertainer would be providing music in streaming audio format, and that, while the recent lawsuit brought against MP3 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was interesting and he was waiting to see what would develop as a result of the litigation, Intertainer would be in the business of selling music, not just playing it. He added that, since the audio would be broadcast over a private network he did not anticipate similar copyright infringement claims as those made against MP3.

Under its just announced alliance with Microsoft, Intertainer will become a preferred broadband content service provider for Microsoft and be offered as a service to network operators that license Microsoft TV platform software.

In addition, Microsoft will become a preferred technology provider for Intertainer, which will utilize Windows Media Technologies to deliver music and full-screen video entertainment for PCs and televisions. Intertainer will also use the Microsoft TV platform and other Microsoft products in cable, DSL, and as yet undeveloped future distribution platforms.

Intertainer claims that it has partner relationships with such well-known companies as Warner Bros., DreamWorks SKG, Sony Music, ESPN, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Disney Channel, and Columbia TriStar Television.

Along with Microsoft, some of the other capital investors in Intertainer are Comcast Corp. Intel Corp., NBC, US West, Inc., and Sony Corporation of America.

According to Baskin, Comcast is expected to rollout Intertainer content within the next 90 days in the Philadelphia, Pa., area, and US West will be doing the same in Colorado.

More information about Intertainer, Inc. is available at http://www.intertainer.com

Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com