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TNT to offer movies online

Thu, 08/10/2006 - 7:03am

Copyright 2006 Atlanta Journal and Constitution
Atlanta Journal and Constitution (Georgia)
Distributed by Knight/Ridder Tribune News Service
August 10, 2006 Thursday
Scott Leith, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
From Lexis Nexis

Aug. 10--TNT is joining the growing number of networks that offer movies and other programs via the Internet.

The big cable network, operated by Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System, on Aug. 15 will start a free broadband service called DramaVision.

TNT said Wednesday it plans to launch DramaVision with episodes of the miniseries "Into the West," a hit on the network last year. DramaVision will be found at the network's Web site.

Steve Koonin, executive vice president and chief operating officer for TNT and TBS, said the goal is to snare viewers for programming that currently sits largely unused at TNT. The network also is selling ads to make the venture a moneymaker.

"Advertisers are wanting to reach people in multiple places," Koonin said.

Many networks already have jumped into online video, offering everything from promotional snippets to entire episodes of shows. CBS, for example, lets people watch "Big Brother." And ABC made a splash this year by announcing that hit shows such as "Desperate Housewives" could be viewed online.

TNT's sister network, CNN, has dipped into broadband as well, with a subscription service called CNN Pipeline.

TNT plans to use DramaVision to show things like original movies and events such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

TNT doesn't, however, have the rights to make certain programs available, such as "The Closer" and reruns of "Law & Order." But TNT can use the Web to promote such programs. For example, TNT plans a broadband offering dubbed "I Love Law & Order" that will focus on fans of the long-running show.

At the moment, TNT uses its Web site largely to market its programs.

Koonin said he expects more programming to become available in the months and years ahead. Similar broadband plans are in the works for TBS, the other Turner network he runs.

Koonin said much remains to be seen, however, about how people use the Web to watch TV programs or movies. "We're all in the infancy," he said.

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