News

Intertainer Nets MGM Broadband Deal

2/17/2002 7:00 PM Eastern

Intertainer Inc. can now offer titles from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. on a video-on-demand basis under a distribution deal reached last week.

But the VOD content aggregator has yet to reach a similar cable deal with the studio.

The new pact provides Intertainer's Internet protocol (IP) service — which has 40,000 registered subscribers — with new releases from MGM, Intertainer CEO Jonathan Taplin said.

In a statement, MGM Home Entertainment president and COO David Bishop said the studio has a history of embracing new technology and the Intertainer deal fits that mold.

"MGM is always looking for new ways to build audiences for our new and classic library films, and as part of that commitment, we often embrace new technologies early in their life cycle in order to gain insights about consumer behavior and to maintain our competitive edge," he said.

Intertainer also has broadband VOD deals with Dreamworks SKG, 20th Century-Fox, The Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros.

Intertainer has performed well on the broadband side, averaging about $14 per registered household per month. The company charges a $7.95 per month subscription fee for access to off-cable and broadcast network series and specials. Subscribers also pay $3.99 for new VOD releases and $2.99 for library titles.

On the cable side, Intertainer has VOD deals with Dreamworks, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Artisan Pictures. Taplin said the company — which distributes VOD content to several Adelphia Communications Corp. and Comcast Corp. systems — continues to negotiate with studios for cable VOD rights.

Cable VOD could garner significant revenue as operators roll out digital-cable technology to consumers, he said.

"While we have a little more control of our destiny on the broadband side, if Comcast and Adelphia begin aggressively marketing their VOD businesses, then clearly the cable side can be very lucrative," Taplin said.

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