A&E Goes to iTunes, TNT Does Dramavision

Video content continues to pour into the virtual shelves of Apple’s iTunes Music Store, with programming from A&E, the History Channel, and the Biography Channel joining the lineup of $1.99/episode offerings available for download. Titles now available from iTunes include A&E series like Driving Force,Inked, and Criss Angel: Mindfreak, History Channel’s The Revolution and Modern Marvels, and selected episodes of the Emmy-award winning Biography series on the Biography Channel.

“Teaming up with iTunes is a great opportunity for us to both reach our growing fan base and expand our reach to new viewers wherever they are,” said Steve Ronson, A&E’s senior vice president of Enterprises. “iTunes is the leader in TV show downloads, and we are very happy that A&E Television Network brands and programming will now be available to consumers on their iPod or computer.”

But just to prove not everybody wants to throw their hat in with iTunes, cable network TNT—running under the current slug of “We Know Drama”—has announced it will launch its own online content delivery service Dramavision on August 15, 2006. Dramavision will showcase on-demand presentations off TNT original productions and additional material designed to complement the channel’s programming lineup.

Dramavision will launch with a first-time broadband streaming of the network’s miniseries Into the West (which garnered 16 Emmy nominations); the service also plans to offer CourTV tie-ins of true crime stories which inspired episodes of the long-running Law & Order franchise (syndicated episodes are currently a bastion of TNT’s programming lineup), along with I Love Law & Order, which will shine a spotlight on Law & Order fans. (And we thought Trekkers and Whedonites were difficult enough…) Dramavision also plans to tie-in to live events like the Black Movie Awards and the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, and run TNT’s wide range of original movies.

Reports indicate programming will be streamed using a cross-platform Flash-based player, and while Dramavision will launch ad-free, the network plans to pull in sponsors and include pre-roll and mid-roll video-based advertising in the streamed programming.

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