RealTime IT News

RealNetworks Partners With BBC, among others

Digital media heavyweight RealNetworks has made full use of the NAB spotlight in Las Vegas, announcing a slew of reseller deals and a major client win to sell multimedia programming from BBC Worldwide.

During a keynote address at the National Association of Broadcasters conference, RealNetworks boss Rob Glaser is expected to announce a deal with the high-profile British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to shuttle broadband news coverage to the U.S. market.

A spokesperson for RealNetworks told internetnews.com the company will create a BBC news channel with content specially created for the desktop environment, as well as for other digital networks. Usually, Real's content partners repurpose digital media from existing broadcasts for sale though the $9.95 per month RealOne SuperPass service but the latest deal calls for BBC Worldwide to create exclusive Web-based content for Real's subscribers.

It is not yet clear if the BBC content will be bundled as part of SuperPass, which already features multimedia news content from the likes of CNN and ABC News. Pricing details are expected later this year, when the service launches, the spokesperson said.

It is the first time the BBC will be making its content available online to the U.S. market and the first time BBC's content will go behind the premium curtain. The company already supplies free content to the European version of the RealOne service.

At the NAB show, Real also unveiled a deal with Live365 to make its flagship RealPlayer software the preferred media player for the Web radio network. The Live365 pact also calls for Real to increase the number of free radio stations available on the RealOne Player by adding 100 of Live365's top stations into its radio directory, RealOne Radio.

Separately, RealNetworks beefed up its efforts in the areas of enterprise webcasting, inking reseller deals with Virage and Media Publisher, Inc.

In partnership with San Mateo, Calif.-based Virage , Real plans to resell the company's Virage VS Webcasting software to its enterprise clients. In return, Virage will hawk the complete suite RealOne and Helix products.

The plan is to combine the RealOne Enterprise Desktop and Helix Universal Server with VS Webcasting to offer a complete package for producing live webcast events and on-demand webcast presentations including content creation, audience management, content management, media delivery and playback.

Virage's VS Webcasting would manage the complete webcast workflow from scheduling through reporting, while the RealNetworks products would enable the encoding, delivery and playback of the webcast presentation.

The deal with Media Publisher, Inc. calls for RealNetworks to resell rich media publishing automation and management applications to its enterprise customers across North America. In return, Media Publisher would market RealNetworks' open-source Helix Universal Server.