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Next.TV Launches Private Beta With 100 Channels

Next.TV launched a private beta test of its Web video service, with more than 100 video-on-demand channels provided by partners that include CBS, HSN, TV Guide and Showtime Networks.

The Next.TV service, which is currently bundled with Hewlett-Packard’s Pavilion consumer notebooks, is scheduled to be available publicly in March 2008.

Next.TV’s channels and programs will vary by geographic region. Content partners include CBS, Hearst, HSN, TV Guide, Showtime, Endemol, Fremantle, National Lampoon, Comedy Time, Reality.TV, March Entertainment, Synthesis, Movieola, Soma, Yoga Journal, Fun Little Movies and BoomJ.

The service also hosts international channels from more than 40 countries including Brazil’s TV Galega, Chile’s Canel 9, ABTV5 Thailand, India TV, Spain’s Canal Vasco, Israel’s GTV and Kenya’s KBC.

In addition to free content, Next.TV -- through a deal with CinemaNow -- will let users rent or buy higher-quality versions of movies from major studios such as 20th Century Fox, Disney, Lionsgate, MGM, Miramax, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, Sony and Warner Bros.

Next.TV is operated by Los Angeles-based Dave Networks, which produces Web-video sites for media companies, including ABC News. The 30-employee company has raised about $11 million to date.

The Next.TV Web site features a social-network community to let users create profiles with their favorite entertainment content, upload videos and photos and communicate with friends. The site will also let users program their own virtual TV channel, choosing content supplied by Next.TV’s providers, and earn a cut of advertising revenue.