Akimbo 'Nets Hallmark, Outdoor Content

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Programming nets Hallmark Channel and Outdoor Channel have struck content deals with Internet-delivered VOD program service Akimbo.

Hallmark has made its extensive library available to the service, which Outdoor wil provide a selection of hunting, fishing and other outdoor lifestyle shows including Angler on Tour, Circle of Honor and 4x4 TV.

Akimbo is an Internet-to-TV service that employs a Tivo-like box to store and play the video but strikes content deals directly with distributors.

The deal will add more than 3,000 hours of programming to Akimbo's $9.99-per-month service of 75 channels of content.

The Internet video content deal follows by a day Apple's announcement of its new video iPod and a deal with Disney to stream ABC's biggest TV hits, Desperate Housewives and Lost, to users the day after they air on the network.

Friedman Billings Ramsey media analysts last week predicted that cable's biggest competitive threat for video delivery is not the short-term competition from telcos but the long-term threat of Internet-based content delivery.

Pointing to IP telephony and iPod, its report concluded the Internet will become the primary deliverer of video content, with companies like Google, Yahoo and AOL becoming the next big aggregators and distributors of content.

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