Starz Launches Broadband Video Service

Liberty Media’s Starz Entertainment Group (SEG) is launching Vongo), a new broadband, video-on-the-go program stream for TV’s, computers, and portable wireless devices.

"Vongo will provide the key content application that will drive a new era in portable video delivered over the Internet," said a hopeful Robert Clasen, president and CEO of SEG, in a statement.

It is available in beta test beginning Monday and will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas.

Over a thousand movies and concerts will be available for $9.99 per month. Initial partners include Microsoft and Sony, which is launching broadband video service, Sony CONNECT, later this year, according to Starz.

Clasen said that the films will be protected from digital theft. "Critical to this service are the Internet distribution rights we have acquired from our studio partners. We share with them a concern about the piracy over the Internet and so have built in a robust digital rights management system to ensure that only those who are authorized to use this service will do so.

Lining up rights management has become a key component in migrating content to digital, as outlined in a Jan. 2 story in B&C.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.