NBC and GE Capital Purchase Equity Stake in Intertainer, Inc. NBC to Provide Programming to On-Demand Entertainment and Shopping Service
NEW YORK and SANTA MONICA, Calif. (August 3, 1998) - NBC and
Santa Monica, Calif.- based Intertainer, Inc. announced an alliance
under which NBC will invest in Intertainer and provide select content,
including selected NBC-owned programming, to the emerging
interactive on-demand video entertainment and shopping service.
Intertainer will be available to consumers via their personal computers
or televisions starting in the third quarter of 1998, initially through
distribution provided by two of its existing partners, Comcast and US
Under the terms of the agreement, NBC in conjunction with GE
Capital's Equity Capital Group will make an initial cash investment to
acquire six percent of privately held Intertainer, with an option to
increase that stake in the coming months. Additionally, an NBC
representative will join Intertainer's 11-member Board of Directors.
NBC joins such top studio content providers as Time Warner, Sony
and Buena Vista (Disney), becoming the first broadcast network to
invest in and provide content from its library of past programming to
the Intertainer on-demand service. For Intertainer, the alliance brings
not only additional financial backing by the leading broadcasting
company, but also the opportunity to become the first on-demand
service to offer television network programming. NBC programming
details still are being finalized and are expected to be unveiled in the
"Intertainer delivers today. It has in place the right technology, the right
management team and the right vision to successfully bring to market
a truly robust 'gateway' to full-scale on-demand entertainment and
shopping for both the PC and TV," said Martin J. Yudkovitz, President,
NBC Interactive Media.
Said Intertainer Co-chairman and Co-founder Jonathan Taplin, "The
mission of Intertainer is to offer subscribers the highest quality content
possible and, of course, NBC fits our criteria perfectly. We could not
be more thrilled to have a partner who shares our vision as we make
true interactive, on-demand shopping and entertainment a reality."
"The key to Intertainer is our ability to offer programming that's
entertaining, enriching and relevant," added Intertainer Co-chairman
and Co-founder Richard Baskin. "In the end, consumers will be
inspired by the fact that they can get access to great television shows
from the same source through which they can get the movies, music
and shopping services they want - all on their own schedules."
This premise has led Intertainer to pursue an unprecedented range of
content agreements with leading creators and/or distributors of
popular movies, music, games and interactive commerce, such as
Time Warner, Sony, Buena Vista (Disney) and barnesandnoble.com.
And it has attracted investments from major media companies like
Comcast, Intel, Sony, US WEST and, now, NBC.
Through technology provided by Firefly Networks, Inc., Intertainer is
enhanced by its use of an "intelligent agent" which "reads" users'
preferences and provides prompts and suggestions leading them to
personalized movie, music, television or interactive shopping program
options. Other technology partners who participated in the design of
Intertainer include Intel, Sun Microsystems, Sony and Informix.
"What is so impressive about Intertainer is how they have managed to
translate their legacy of successful entertainment experience into the
world of convergence by creating an interactive, digital service that
grabs the user with a platform-neutral interface that is easy to
understand and navigate," said Yudkovitz.
Intertainer, Inc., the leading provider of home entertainment services
on demand, is defining the convergence of entertainment and
technology. Intertainer's interactive entertainment and e-commerce
provide customers with a personal gateway to thousands of hours of
diverse movies, music, TV, shopping and information programming
direct to the PC or TV.
About GE Capital
GE Capital Equity Capital Group (ECG) is the private equity arm of GE
Capital. GE Capital, with assets of more than US$250 billion, is a
global, diversified financial services company with 28 specialized
businesses. A wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company,
GE Capital, based in Stamford, CT, provides equipment management,
mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a
variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages
and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE
is a diversified manufacturing, technology and services company with
The leader among traditional media companies and broadcasters in
Internet and new media businesses, maintains a number of Internet
and Enhanced Broadcasting services. NBC holds an equity stake in
Snap!, the Internet portal service operated in partnership with CNET.
NBC maintains NBC.com, the first full-scale Web offering from a
major television network and the first TV network Web site to feature
original episodic programming. NBC operates NBC Interactive
Neighborhood, a localized Internet community guide service,
customized for local NBC stations. NBC also owns VideoSeeker
(www.videoseeker.com), an on-demand Internet video service
featuring content from NBC and others, operated in conjunction with
In partnership with Microsoft, NBC owns and operates MSNBC, a
24-hour cable news network and a complementary Internet news
service at www.msnbc.com. Also, together with Microsoft and Dow
Jones, NBC operates CNBC-Dow Jones Business Video Services,
offering video and audio based financial news and information to
financial professionals and institutions. Other new media innovations
from NBC include such interactive television initiatives as NBC
Intercast with Intel, Wink-enhanced programming with Wink
Communications, WebTV for Windows.
NBC is a global media company with broadly diverse holdings. NBC
owns and operates the NBC Television Network as well as thirteen
television stations. In the United States, NBC owns CNBC, operates
MSNBC in partnership with Microsoft, and maintains equity interests in
Arts & Entertainment, The History Channel, and Rainbow
Programming Holdings, a leading media company with a wide array of
entertainment and sports cable channels. Internationally, NBC owns
and operates CNBC: A Service of NBC and Dow Jones in partnership
with Dow Jones & Company in Europe and Asia. Together with
National Geographic Television, NBC owns National Geographic
Channels Worldwide (NGCW). In partnership with BSkyB, NGCW
operates the National Geographic Channel in Europe. Its sister
programming service, National Geographic Channel Asia, is jointly
owned by NBC and National Geographic. NBC also operates NBC
Europe in partnership with Deutsche Fernsehnachrichten Agentur.