Advanced Television

Zillion delays Internet TV launch

October 21, 2009

Internet TV start-up ZillionTV insists that it will one day launch a commercial service, but that won’t happen until the second half of next year, at the earliest.

When ZillionTV first began touting its ‘personalised television service’ in March, the California firm said it would team up with Internet service providers to market the product, which would deliver Internet video content from major studios, including equity partners Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox , NBC Universal , Sony Pictures, and Warner Bro. .

But the company has steadfastly refused to divulge which ISPs it is working with, and has announced that it would target consumers directly in markets where it doesn’t have agreements with ISPs.

“The primary focus is on relationships with the communications service providers, i.e. the telcos that we have currently partnered with. In areas where we are not served by one of our partners, we will go direct. That’s what’s new," ZillionTV CEO Mitch Berman said.

Zillion hopes to strike deals with telephone companies in which it would distribute a set-top capable of delivering Internet video content directly to the TV via a DSL connection, and share revenue from a $100 activation fee with the telcos. Berman says ZillionTV is also talking to consumer electronics firms about embedding ZillionTV technology in televisions, and that it is also looking to charge consumers for some video content.

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