BROADBAND VOD LEADER INTERTAINER AND EUROPEAN NEW MEDIA COMPANY
FREEDOMLAND ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE TO DEPLOY VOD THROUGHOUT EUROPE
Freedomland Makes Equity Investment Of 10 Million Euro In Intertainer
CULVER CITY, Calif. and MILAN, Italy, June 05, 2002
- Broadband video on demand (VOD) leader Intertainer and Italian
new media conglomerate Freedomland today announced plans to form
a joint venture to launch an Internet Protocol (IP) VOD service
for broadband customers throughout Europe. The joint venture, to
be named Intertainer Europe, will be modeled after Intertainer's
U.S. based broadband VOD service, available at www.intertainer.tv,
and will feature a mix of American and European-produced content.
Intertainer Europe, in charge of the overall European operations,
will be owned 51% by Freedomland spa and 49% by Intertainer; Freedomland
will invest 15 million Euro in the joint venture. In addition, Freedomland
will make an equity investment of 10 million Euro in Intertainer,
taking a minority stake in the company.
As part of the long-term exclusive agreement, Intertainer will
work closely with Freedomland to assist in the acquisition of content.
Intertainer will also make its patented technology platform available
to the joint venture, ultimately giving European broadband subscribers
the first widely available VOD service to feature premium content.
Intertainer Europe will be headquartered in Italy and will be distributed
in more than forty countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania,
Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey and The United Kingdom.
According to the U.S. based research company Screen Digest, Europe's
broadband VOD user base is projected to reach 2.6 million users
by 2005, up from an estimated base of 200,000 this year. Additionally,
an April 2002 report from Brean Murray Reseach projects that the
European VOD market will exceed the $2 billion pay-per-view market
"Intertainer pioneered the VOD space in the U.S., deploying on
both IP and digital cable platforms and amassing the industry's
best slate of content," said Intertainer CEO Jonathan Taplin. "We
believe the time is right to bring this service to Europe's broadband
subscribers, so that they may enjoy on demand access to the wealth
of cinema, music and television programming produced locally and
abroad. Freedomland shares this vision and is a welcome addition
to Intertainer's existing roster of forward-thinking shareholders,
including Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Thomson, Qwest, NBC and Comcast."
"Europe has yet to see the emergence of a high-quality, robust
VOD service aimed at broadband subscribers, so we feel there is
a tremendous opportunity to take a leadership position in this market,"
said Willy Burkhardt, Managing Director of Freedomland. "As Europe's
largest Internet TV company, Freedomland is ideally positioned to
capitalize on the current demand for broadband VOD content. With
the help of Intertainer's proven expertise in the U.S., Intertainer
Europe will no doubt grow to become a revolutionary new entertainment
Like its U.S.-based counterpart, Intertainer Europe will use Microsoft's
Windows Media technology to ensure users the best streaming media
video and audio experience. Content will be protected with Windows
Media Digital Rights Management to give customers seamless access
to their video selections while protecting the rights of content
owners. Content will play in an embedded Windows Media Player that
offers full VCR functionality, allowing viewers to pause, rewind
and fast-forward their video selections. Video content available
through the Intertainer service is encoded at 500 Kbps using Windows
Media Video 8 to deliver a high quality full-screen video experience.
"Intertainer is the first VOD provider to put all of the pieces
together - great technology, top-tier entertainment content and
a user-friendly, secure service - to make video on demand work for
U.S. home viewers and is now poised to mirror its success in Europe
with the help of Freedomland," said Will Poole, vice president of
the Windows New Media Platforms Division at Microsoft. "This new
joint venture will be an important showcase for the Windows Media
platform in Europe and we look forward to working with Intertainer
and Freedomland to make it a tremendous success."
# # #
A pioneer in the video on demand space, Intertainer
provides two major services: A broadband entertainment on demand
service, available at www.intertainer.tv,
offering U.S. subscribers instant access to the largest selection
of premium movies, music and television programming; and industry
leading video on demand content aggregation for cable operators.
Intertainer features content from unprecedented partner relationships
including Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., DreamWorks SKG, MGM,
A&E Networks, NBC, PBS, Discovery, ESPN, Warner Music, EMI Music
and many others. Strategic partners include Thomson, Comcast, Intel,
Microsoft, NBC, Qwest and Sony.
Contact: Louise Rasho, 310-895-2112, email@example.com
The first European Company to offer a complete solution for ITV
application, Freedomland is today active in the new media business
providing innovative content and services that aim at converting
television into an interactive and versatile tool; it also offers
strategic consulting for those business models developing interactive
communication solutions. The mission of the company is to create
and distribute multimedia video content and advertising associated
to services related to their distribution via multi channel technology
Freedomland is a company listed at the Milan Stock Exchange.
Contact: Sara Balzarotti, (02) 76067432, firstname.lastname@example.org