The world's current richest man, at least according to Forbes, is planning to make a big move in the original Internet video content space. Carlos Slim Helu, who is estimated to be worth $69 billion, has announced plans to launch Ora.TV sometime later in 2012.
Details about the new network are still sketchy but today's announcement claims that Ora.TV (Ora means "now" in Italian) will offer a number of original programs of various length that will be able to be viewed on PCs, smartphones, tablets, connected TVs and more. No specific programming announcements were made today, with one exception. Ora.TV will feature a show hosted by Larry King, who hosted a news and entertainment interview show on CNN for 27 years until he retired in 2010.
Helu will fund Ora.TV via his company America Movil, the wireless provider with over 200 million customers in Latin America. It's not currently known how much money Helu is spending to fund Ora.TV. He has hired Jon Housman, formerly the President of Digital Journalism for News Corporation, as Ora.TV's CEO.
In today's announcement, Helu said:
Ora.TV represents a great opportunity. The business model is sound and the team brings the talent and industry understanding that will help Ora stand out in digital television, a category which is primed for exponential growth.
The company is reportedly still in talks with potential technology and distribution partners.