Intertainer Looks Beyond VOD

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On-demand-programming provider Intertainer Inc. is planning to offer consumers a comprehensive video-on-demand experience that would encompass inter-activity and electronic commerce, newly named president and CEO Mark Sonnenberg said.

Sonnenberg-who left In Demand L.L.C. last month to take the helm at Intertainer-said the service provider that can offer the consumer a complete, easy-to-use package of VOD programming and interactivity will ultimately have a leg up on its competition in tapping the potentially lucrative interactive-TV market.

"The companies that are aggressive now will be the benefactors and will lead the charge for new technology," he said. "We want to go beyond basic VOD and offer consumers a number of options."

Intertainer currently has PPV deals with the major studios for distribution over high-speed digital-subscriber lines. But Sonnenberg would not reveal how many households are receiving the service.

He hopes to develop a business plan in which the company can develop VOD deals that go beyond traditional output deals, which would enhance consumers' viewing experience.

"There's no doubt that the major studio titles are a key component of the product we offer, but it's necessary to go beyond just offering the titles that are available," Sonnenberg said. "We want to be able to offer the movie and then have the consumer click a button and be able to buy the soundtrack, or buy a T-shirt, because they liked the film."

Sonnenberg said his short seven-month tenure at In Demand strengthened his belief in the potential of interactive television. The Intertainer opportunity provided him with a chance to further explore the technology, he added.

"Interactive television brings so much to the table: It's flexible, simple and it's fun," he said.

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