Britains Yes Lures Warner Bros., Disney


London-Casting a vote for video-on-demand, Warner Bros. and The Walt Disney Co. said last week they will buy into British VOD provider Yes Television plc.

Warner Bros. will hold 7.5 percent of Yes, while Disney's Buena Vista International Television Inc. will own 6.8 percent following the company's initial public offering of stock, scheduled for April 17.

Yes will have a market capitalization of about£800 million ($1.3 billion) after the IPO, in which 25 percent of the company will be sold. Founder and CEO Thomas Kressner will own 23 percent of Yes after the share sale.

Yes has two major projects under way in the United Kingdom with broadband upstart Kingston Communications plc and with NTL Inc., the country's top MSO. It's also planning a major rollout this fall over British Telecommunications plc's digital-subscriber-line service.

"We are not a dot-com," Kressner told journalists. "We are a broadband portal, using the basic pay television model that other digital companies offer." He claimed that Yes is the first service to offer true VOD, which enables viewers to pause, stop or rewind one of its 300 films.