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TNT Goes Broadband With DramaVision - Broadcasting & Cable

TNT Goes Broadband With DramaVision

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TNT is joining the world of broadband video with DramaVision, the latest in a slew of broadband channels that broadcast and cable networks have launched over the past year.

The Website, which debuts Aug. 15, will feature TNT's original movies and extra content tied to specials on the network as well as its marquee acquired series Law & Order.  Absent from DramaVision at the moment are TNT's popular original series including The Closer and Saved, which TNT does not plan to put on the site. 

The Turner-owned, drama-branded cable entertainment network is launching its broadband network after some of its competitors -- including USA and the other NBC Universal networks, and the MTV Networks cable channels -- have launched channels of their own. That's a result of the network taking its time to figure out how it best wanted to capitalize on a broadband offering, says TNT/TBS executive VP/CEO Steve Koonin.  

"Our learnings have taught us it's not about having something on the Web, it's about having the right something on the web," he told B&C. "We decided to start DramaVision to finding programming that helped continue to define our brand."

The original series, said Koonin, are being kept for linear TV while the site will eventually host series extensions, such as behind the scenes footage. It will not be ad-supported at launch, but will be offered to sponsors in this year's upfront. 

DramaVision, available at http://tnt.tv, will launch by streaming TNT's summer, 2005 miniseries Into the West. Later, it will add genre-specific categories of its original films, such as westerns, biopics and historical dramas; a Ripped from the Headlines series of Webisodes in partnership with newly acquired Court TV; I Love Law & Order, a web-only program about fans of the show; and extras for TNT TV specials including the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Black Movie Awards. 

The idea behind starting with movies was to offer fans something they can't see on TV right now, Koonin said, noting that the network had been inundated with requests for it to run Into the West again. 

"I couldn't find 12 hours to run it again, but that's exact what we're looking for [for the broadband site] - things that are topical, that people want to see and that might not fit in a schedule or plan for linear," he said. "That's what the Web's about."

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