New York-based PayForView.com is planning to offer
pay-per-view movies and events via the Internet as early as April, according to company
The company, which is publicly traded, recently hired
veteran sports and PPV executive Sid Amira to oversee the distribution of movies and
events via its Web site, www.payforview.com.
Amira said the company would distribute its first major
event in April, although he declined to provide specific details.
Despite the technological limitations of Internet video
streaming, Amira said, the company plans to eventually compete with In Demand and DirecTV
Inc. for the rights to concerts and other PPV sports events. It also hopes to secure
exclusive events for the Internet service.
Last year, the company distributed an event from the Cannes
Film Festival via the Internet with positive results.
"The broadband rollout is accelerating, and the day of
quality PPV over the Internet is fast approaching," Amira said. "The Internet
will finally deliver on the promise of PPV."
Amira was involved in several cable-PPV-distribution
ventures, including now-defunct World Concerts, the ABC Inc., Paramount Pictures and
Radiovision joint venture formed in the mid-1990s. He also served as Madison Square Garden
Network's senior vice president.
"Sid Amira was instrumental in the launch of PPV in
the United States, and we feel fortunate to have him on board," PayForView.com
president Marc Pitcher said.
"They have a business offline right now, and as
broadband rolls out, we'll start to offer more events online and become a major
player," Amira said.
Currently, the site owns independent movie-production and
distribution company Voyager International Entertainment. The company also owns Street
Solid Records, which produces records for R&B and rap artists Father MC, Above the
Law, RBX and Atlantic Starr.
The site will also feature 24-hour entertainment-news
updates and features, Amira said. "It's like a triangle of Internet, music and films,
and we're trying to integrate them all under one roof," he added.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.