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.

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