announced today plans to stream episodes
from Warner Brothers television programs free on the Internet.
As early as January, couch potatoes will be able to catch up on old
TV shows delivered across Time Warner’s Internet division America Online
on a broadband network called In2TV.
Although the shows are free, revenue is expected to come from
the sale of up to two-minute blocks of 15- and 30-second commercial spots.
Although the initial run will be limited to about 30 series,
including blasts from the past such as “Wonder Woman,” “Growing Pains” and
“Kung Fu,” the company said it plans to offer more than 100 series and
at least 300 episodes per month.
In2TV will include six channels — comedy, drama, cartoons, superheroes and
horrors, action and classics– scheduled to debut in January. Each show has
not been aired for at least several years, according to AOL.
In2TV will also include unique interactive features such as games, quizzes,
polls and trivia contests.
The programming is expected to serve as a cornerstone of AOL.com’s
commitment to delivering broadband video through AOL Video On Demand and AOL
Video Search, as well as through AOL Television, according to the
“With In2TV, we are enabling Web users to experience and interact with
television programming in an entirely new way, and creating a new
distribution platform for TV content,” Kevin Conroy, executive vice
president of AOL Media Networks said in a statement.
Other Internet outfits, such as Yahoo
have also been trying to move television viewing out of the living room and onto the computer
screen, but mostly have experienced limited success because they lacked any
substantial amount of programming.
With this deal, AOL now has a substantial library to draw from.
“This service will bring an unprecedented collection of popular TV series to
a totally new platform, revolutionizing the distribution of television
programming,” Eric Frankel, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Cable
Distribution, said in a statement. “It will enable users the opportunity to
be entertained and to interact with the programming that has groundbreaking
The series will be offered in a new DVD-quality video format called “AOL
Hi-Q.” This technology enables high resolution on full-screen viewing.