RealTime IT News

AOL, E! Online Strike Content, Promotion Deal

America Online and entertainment content player E! Online on Thursday forged a wide-ranging three-year alliance, which puts E! content on AOL properties, and calls for the promotion of AOL on E!'s online and offline advertising channels.

The deal also calls for E! Online's content to appear on AOL's newly announced interactive television service, AOLTV. The two companies already had a relationship, under which E! would provide content to AOL and CompuServe members.

As part of the agreement, E! Entertainment Television will promote America Online and AOL Keyword: E! in its print, radio and television advertisements. AOL will also be promoted at E! Online.

E! Online will become an anchor tenant on AOL's entertainment channel and AOL's celebrities area. The content provider will also distribute news and celebrity gossip across Netscape Netcenter, AOL Moviefone and ICQ.

In perhaps the most interesting part of this deal, E! Online and E! Entertainment Television have agreed to provide content for AOLTV, the ISP giant's foray into interactive television. That service is expected to begin reaching consumers later this summer. The service lets viewers watch TV using their existing signal, but enhances it with interactive features and content. AOLTV will come into the home through a set-top box, and users will be able to interact through a wireless keyboard or a universal remote control.

"Our members have come to rely on E! Online and E! Entertainment Television for their entertainment news, and I am happy we can extend and expand our agreement with them to provide E!'s original content to both AOL members and visitors to our other brands," said Barry Schuler, president of AOL Interactive Services.

"I am especially pleased that E! Online and E! Entertainment Television will be providing their industry-leading programming to AOLTV, enabling viewers to get the latest news and gossip about their favorite shows directly from their televisions right as they're watching, enhancing their television-viewing experience."