ZillionTV Tosses MLB Pitch


ZillionTV keeps signing content deals -- announcing it will offer Major League Baseball programming through its forthcoming IP-based service -- attempting to keep some momentum in spite of having recently pushed back its launch to the second half of 2010, replacing its CEO and laying off staff.

The Internet TV startup, which is developing an ad-supported video service delivered over broadband connections, is backed by The Walt Disney Co., 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony and Warner Bros.

With MLB.com, ZillionTV will offer archived games of the week, classic games and video recaps. All MLB.com content will be offered as advertising-supported video-on-demand programs, meaning that ZillionTV viewers get free access in exchange for watching a select set of ads at the start of the program.

ZillionTV originally hoped to launch by the end of 2009. The company is currently in its pilot launch phase and is now shooting for nationwide availability in the second half of 2010, offered as part of partner telco's DSL services in certain markets and through a direct-to-consumer version elsewhere. In addition to ad-supported content, ZillionTV expects to offer programs for rental and purchase.

In October, ZillionTV named former Dotcast chief financial officer Jack Lawrence its CEO, replacing Mitch Berman, who remains with the company as executive chairman.That came after the startup reportedly laid off one-third of its employees.

Separately, Major League Baseball has deals with various Internet companies, including Roku and Boxee  to offer the MLB.tv out-of-market streaming video service to their respective users.