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iN DEMAND ADDS AWARD-WINNING PROGRAMS FROM PBS FOR KIDS-ON-DEMAND VIRTUAL CHANNEL
NEW YORK, June 8, 2003- iN DEMAND will add a robust selection of award-winning children's programs to its on-demand kids platform based on a milestone agreement reached with PBS, the companies announced today.
iN DEMAND has licensed approximately 80 PBS KIDS® show episodes as part of the agreement to create a PBS KIDS On Demand virtual channel within its on-demand kids platform. The PBS KIDS package will feature children's favorites including Angelina Ballerina, Arthur, Barney, Between The Lions, Caillou, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Teletubbies.
PBS KIDS On Demand is a one-year pilot effort targeted primarily to three-to-five year olds and will add considerable substance and depth to free on-demand (FOD) offerings of the MSO companies to whom iN DEMAND delivers on-demand content. PBS KIDS On Demand will be available fall 03.
"The PBS brand is recognized globally as a source of high-quality educational programs for kids and for credibility and trust among their family-viewing households," said Rob Jacobson, chief operating officer, iN DEMAND. "This new service will offer a meaningful advantage for digital cable customers who now or soon will be able to order instantly, on-demand many of their favorite PBS KIDS shows as a result of this important agreement."
"PBS KIDS On Demand complements many aspects of our digital strategy, not the least of which is to provide a growing number of public television stations with an on-demand marketing tool that will drive viewership of the PBS KIDS channel", says Deron Triff, Vice President of Digital Ventures, PBS. "We are keenly interested in providing our stations' cable distributors with enhanced services that drive digital adoption, and, of course, PBS values the opportunity to provide parents a trusted source of their children's favorite educational programs, on-demand and around the clock."
FOD is an important acquisition and retention tool that helps differentiate cable from satellite and provides a risk-free way for customers to experience control over their viewing. For broadcasters like PBS, FOD represents valuable digital cable real estate to aggregate audiences and steer viewers to additional digital programming services provided by local stations.
"PBS KIDS On Demand will provide an important contribution to the on-demand experience," said David Asch, Vice President, Strategic Planning & Product Management, iN Demand. "Our children's suite is designed to enhance the diversity and breadth of any digital cable, on-demand content offering. While cable operators to date have offered these "virtual channels" to customers for no charge, the programs also can be used to supplement other on-demand cable offerings, such as subscription services or traditional VOD."
In contrast to traditional broadcast or cable channels, a "virtual channel" exists in digital cable's on-demand space and contains content that is tied to a particular theme or genre, such as children's programming or short films. The content offering can be packaged and customized to suit each cable system's VOD user interface. For customers, the content can be ordered instantly, and can be paused, fast-forwarded, stopped or replayed all at the touch of their digital cable remotes.
iN DEMAND is now delivering content to over 6 million active VOD subscribers, a number that is expected to reach over 8 million by year end, on a base of over 20 million digital subscribers. Operators are offered four virtual channels featuring "extras" from major motion pictures, music videos, children's programming, short films and cutting-edge series. The content can be offered either as FOD or as a supplement to other on-demand offerings. The company plans to add additional virtual channels later in the year, with possible programming such as film festivals, documentaries and education.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 350 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.
iN DEMAND, the nation's leading PPV and VOD provider, delivers television premieres of the best movies, championship boxing, mega-event wrestling, professional and college sports plus original entertainment. iN DEMAND's 60-channel digital lineup also offers MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, ESPN Full Court and NASCAR In Car on iN DEMAND. The company's shareholders are Comcast iN DEMAND Holdings, Inc., Cox Communications Holdings, Inc. and Time Warner Entertainment - Advance/Newhouse Partnership. Further information about the company can be found on the Internet at www.indemand.com.
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Joe Boyle, iN DEMAND
Kevin Dando, PBS