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Turner to launch broadband network in the US in January

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MUMBAI: US broadcaster Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) is further expanding its portfolio of consumer businesses on emerging platforms.

It will launch Super Deluxe, an online comedy channel combined with interactive online-community tools, will launch on broadband in January 2007. Super Deluxe will be ad-supported, making the network entirely free to consumers, and will integrate advertising in different ways.

Turner Entertainment Group president Mark Lazarus says, "Super Deluxe is not only the latest innovation from Turner Broadcasting, which pioneered such concepts as the basic cable network and the 24-hour news channel, but also the most recent addition to the company's growing broadband network portfolio that includes CNN Pipeline and GameTap, among others. Its combination of original content and extensive online community tools will make it an ideal destination for young adults eager for this type of material in a dynamic interactive environment."

Drew Reifenberger will be Super Deluxe senior VP, GM. He said, "Today, the online comedy experience is largely comprised of random clips and homemade movies contained within a generic experience. Super Deluxe is focused on original, 'television-quality' programming, presented with a distinct editorial voice and in a highly interactive and social environment. It will deliver an experience more akin to watching your favorite TV show with friends – hanging out and sharing a laugh."

Super Deluxe will offer original comedy from both established and rising comedy stars, developed exclusively for the network and celebrating the artists' creative spirit, providing comedic talents a forum to showcase and share their own inspired concepts and performances. Each artist will have his/her own personalised area featuring exclusive content, a blog and opportunities to promote appearances and projects or further customize their part of the network.

Original programming will range from short films and sketches to episodic series and more. In addition to being available online, Super Deluxe content will be available via cable VOD, wireless devices and personal media players.

Programming is just the beginning, however. Super Deluxe's community tools will allow fans to interact with artists and each other, adding an extra dimension of value for the consumer. Through these tools, fans can express their own sense of humuor and interact with artists and others by creating their own profiles, uploading their own videos, rating and sharing content, making comments, sending messages and more. Fans can even join or create groups with other artists and users to share and discuss their favorite humorous topics, comedians or anything else that strikes their interest.

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