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R!OT, Liberty Livewire Team Up in Interactive Television Venture

Developing resources for television and Internet convergence By DMN Staff Writer
R!OT and Liberty Livewire LLCs Interactive Services Group, both units of Liberty Media Group, have launched a joint venture aimed at developing interactive television applications. Under the plan, R!OT will link its broadcast post production services with the Interactive Services Groups Web authoring, data management and e-commerce services to offer turnkey convergence solutions to advertisers, TV programmers, networks and cable operators.

?Many people are talking about the convergence of television and the Internet, we are creating the resources necessary to make it happen, said Liverwire Television Group president Larry Chernoff. ?The merging of entertainment and advertising products with web-based interactivity is the most exciting and profound change to occur in this industry in a generation and we are committed to playing a leading role it its emergence.

The agreement is designed to foster the development of new forms of entertainment and advertising integrating television and internet content. ?We are combining R!OTs expertise in preparing content for broadcast and cable distribution with ISGs pioneering work in developing interactive media, said R!OT managing director Richard Cormier. ?We are creating a one stop solution for the production and distribution of content for all media and in all formats.

As part of the new venture, Liberty Livewires Interactive Services Group has relocated its creative staff to the R!OT campus in Santa Monica. ?We believe there is great value in placing the creative talent for interactive programming in proximity to the creative talent for television post production, said Bill Airy, Liberty Livewires vice president for interactive services. ?It will not only produce synergy between the interactive and video operations, it will also stimulate new thinking, new ideas and new concepts.

The two companies plan to launch the service by tapping into R!OTs existing client base in the advertising, motion picture and television industry. ?The initial response we are getting for our plans is phenomenal, Cormier said. ?Advertisers and producers recognize the potential interactive media. They want to be involved and they are looking for partners who can help them get there. Liberty Livewire has already forged a pact with Interpublic Group to develop convergence opportunities for its network of advertising agencies.

The Interactive Services Group creates interactive content using HyperTV technology, developed by ACTV. The technology enables the delivery of Internet content, Web-based advertising, electronic commerce and chat features synchronized to live or pre-recorded television programming to homes with a computer Internet connection and TV in the same room. Currently, ISG is developing interactive content on this model for a 5-hour Discovery channel documentary series debuting in July.

As cable companies deploy digital set top boxes, it will become possible to deliver interactive experiences such as this through a single screen. ?Television is undergoing dramatic changes at a number of levels, said Airy. ?Content providers have a lot of incentives to create programming that engages viewers in new ways. Interactivity offers enormous benefits, by exciting viewers and providing them with more information and a richer experience than they get from ordinary television shows and commercials.

The exact form interactive content will assume is not yet clear, and that is part of the reason for uniting R!OT and ISG. ?The artistry required to make video and interactive content converge is just beginning to emerge, Airy said. ?But clearly, we are very much in the lead in developing it.

About Liberty Livewire Corporation Liberty Livewire Corporation provides a wide range of audio and video post-production, transmission, library services, Internet hosting, and audio/video distribution services via satellite and fiber to worldwide clients in the feature film, television, and advertising industries. The company also provides interactive television service under the brand name HyperTV with Livewire. The company has locations in Los Angeles, New York, London, San Francisco, Atlanta, Singapore, and Barcelona.

About R!OT R!OT is a digital studio providing creative visual effects, animation and post production services for all forms of visual media. Located in the heart of Santa Monicas burgeoning media district, the company serves an international clientele, including the industrys leading motion picture studios, television broadcasters and advertising agencies. World-class filmmakers and other creative professionals bring their most significant projects to R!OTs not only for its technical expertise, but also to participate as a key collaborator in the creative process.

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Related Keywords:interactive, television, Web, broadcast, post, production

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