Former Disney honcho Eisner turns his attention to IPTV

MUMBAI: Former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner and media conglomerate Time Warner have invested in a startup that aims to build a delivery platform for IPTV.

Media reports indicate that Eisner's venture capital group Tornante Company together with Spark Capital and Time Warner will be investing a total of $12.5 billion in the company. How much Eisner is exactly pumping into the venture is another unknown.

The San Diego based Veoh Networks is building a system for delivering broadcast-quality entertainment and informational content via the Internet, using distribution technology, the firm says will allow for unlimited capacity. Veoh envisions marketing its platform to everyone from independent video producers and hobbyists to large studios.

In a statement Eisner said, "Cable and satellite fundamentally changed the way television was distributed by creating the capacity for greater choice in programming. Veoh revolutionises television again by leveraging the Internet to expand broadcast capacity to the point that every single user, whether an individual or a media company, can create their own `channel` and every `channel` can be supported by its own business model.

"In the past, distributing television programming required an enormous broadcast infrastructure. Veoh enables anyone with an Internet connection to distribute and receive programming in the highest quality."

Eisner will be a member of the board of directors of Veoh Networks.Under Veoh's model, TV networks and individuals will be able to programme their own channels on the service. At the moment, it shows programming already in the public domain and content sent by users.

Veoh founder and CEO Dmitry Shapiro says, "Having Michael involved in the company gives us incredible credibility, experience and knowledge, not to mention the contacts".

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