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AOL, WB To Offer Older TV Online via P2P

In an aggressive new foray into bringing television content to broadband-enabled Internet users, America Online and Warner Brothers Domestic Cable Distribution have announced a free online video service which will offer thousands of episodes of older television programming via the Internet using a peer-to-peer file sharing network controlled by AOL.

The new online offering, dubbed “In2TV,” will be available via AOL’s Video on Demand, Video Search, and AOL Television sites in early 2006 and will initially feature full-length episodes from television series including television evergreens like The Fugitive, and Maverick, more-recent fare such as Growing Pains, Sisters, and Perfect Strangers, classic sitcoms like Alice and Welcome Back, Kotter, to genre favorites like The Adventures of Brisco County Junior, La Femme Nikita, and Babylon 5. Programming will initially be categorized into six channels, within an expanding lineup to accommodate additional shows added to the service. In2TV will also feature original interactive content to accompany the episodes, such as games, quizzed, polls, and trivia contests. In2TV will be adding episodes and programming during 2006; a list of shows to be offered by In2TV at launch appears below.

Episodes presented via In2TV will feature 15- to 30-second video advertising totalling 1 to 2 minutes within each 30 minute block, and will also feature sponsors and banner advertising in addition to in-stream video ads. Initially, the technology behind In2TV will be sponsored by General Motors.

And the technology behind In2TV is raising as many eyebrows as AOL’s aggressive new entry into the online TV field. Although few details are available