AOL to Debut WB TV Show Over High-Speed Lines

Monday AOL will broadcast a preview of its new television show "Jack & Bobby" over its Internet service. This is the first time that something like this has been done over the Internet. Could this be the beginning of a new type of advertising for TV shows?

America Online said on Monday it will broadcast a sneak preview of a new television series, "Jack & Bobby," over its high-speed Internet service, marking the first time a media company debuts a new show over the Internet in its entirety. "Jack & Bobby," starring Christine Lahti, follows the life of a single mother raising two sons, one of whom becomes the President of the United States. The show, slated to air on the WB Network in September, will be shown to AOL for Broadband subscribers about two weeks prior to its scheduled broadcast date.

AOL is a unit of Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, as measured by revenue. Time Warner and Tribune Co. co-own the WB Television Network. "This initiative with The WB and Warner Bros. Television demonstrates a whole new way for television networks and studios to introduce new shows," said Patricia Karpas, vice president and general manager of AOL Television in a statement. The deal is an example of intracompany cooperation, an ambitious goal of the 2001 merger of AOL and Time Warner that was supposed to yield big returns but has had little success due to resistance from division heads.

News source: Reuters

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