E! Rides ‘The Vine’ to Broadband


Pasadena, Calif. -- Hugh Hefner and Paris Hilton will get even more exposure on the Internet as E! Entertainment Television Tuesday announced plans to launch a video-rich broadband channel.

The new service, dubbed “The Vine @ E! Online,” will debut Jan. 16 in conjunction with the network’s E!'s Live from the Red Carpet: Golden Globe Awards preshow telecast, E! Networks CEO Ted Harbert said at the network's Television Critics Association Tour presentation here Tuesday.

The broadband channel will simulcast the live telecast -- hosted by Ryan Seacrest, Isaac Mizrahi and Giuliana DePandi -- along with the linear channel and on both satellite radio services, Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio.

The Internet area will offer videos and exclusive original material from its various shows, including its new unscripted series, #1 Single, starring pop singer Lisa Loeb, according to Harbert.

In addition, the site -- which will feature six unique sections -- will provide program simulcasts and sneak peaks from E! shows like Hefner's The Girl Next Door, which will return to the network for a second season, and Hilton-Nicole Richie reality series The Simple Life.

"We're already a leading destination for wireless users and, with The Vine @ E! Online, we further cement our status as an emerging force for disseminating online and digital content," Harbert said.

While Harbert admitted that the network struggled on the ratings front in 2005, he said it finished the year on a high note, and he expects 2006 to be strong given the recent signing of radio personality and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest to anchor E! News and develop original programming.

He also pointed to the ratings potential of original episodes of The Simple Life.