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RealTime IT News

IDT Moves Into Internet TV Biz

Telecommunications provider IDT Corp., parent of Net2Phone Inc., revealed Monday that it will shoulder its way into the television game with the creation of broadband television channel TV.TV.

IDT bought the tv.tv domain from .tv registrar dotTV.

IDT said the TV.TV network -- which is scheduled to be operational in multiple pilot markets by the end of the year -- will offer free, on-demand television supported by targeted advertising, pay-per-view events and subscription services. The company said TV.TV will also be a new distribution outlet for the broadcast, cable and home video industries.

Accessible through cable modems, DSL, digital cable set top boxes or wireless services, the network will feature archived and live content including classic and contemporary television shows, feature-length movies, live performances from musicals to sporting events, animations and documentaries.

"We're pioneering the broadband television and entertainment industry," said Howard Jonas, chairman and chief executive officer of IDT. "The .tv address says it all and is the perfect home for our new entertaining network. It's critical to TV.TV's branding to have a recognizable and meaningful Web address."

However, TV.TV will not be the first to create a broadband entertainment network. The short-lived Digital Entertainment Network offered original programming, as did Pseudo Programs Inc., which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. Medium4.com runs six Internet-only networks with 100 channels -- including many foreign channels. ImaginOn Inc. is streaming 21 channels. Quokka Sports' broadband network offers numerous sports programs, and USA Networks recently streamed coverage of the U.S. Open. Many others have gotten in on the act, and even the major networks are testing the waters.