Still more new digital video providers are looking to run premium network TV shows -- not all with the approval of TV networks.
FilmOn.com, the 2-year-old Los Angeles-based company, said Wednesday it would launch a month-long test of TV shows in high-def, where consumers could get HD TV shows for free.
The company's service includes what it says are "free to air television" channels -- CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, as well as Russia Today, BBC News, RAI Sports, Dubai Sports and TVE Spain. The company also has local TV deals with Los Angeles TV stations KTLA and KCAL.
After the free trial, consumers will need to pay $9.95 a month to get the basic FilmOn package. Bigger FilmOn packages can include FilmOn movie channels and FilmOn pay-per-view. This can run as high as $24.95/month.
FilmOn Inc., founded by wealthy U.K. financier Alki David, also wants to make deals with U.S. cable systems operators.
"Our platform is designed to be easily customized for broadcasters and advertisers that wish to get into the online broadcast business quickly and with minimal expense," states David. "FilmOn is currently in negotiations with all major cable providers and plans to provide complete syndicated cable television services throughout the U.S. in 2011."
The company didn't say what, if any, financial terms it has with its network partners. Some Internet video companies get a share of ad revenues. FilmOn would only say its current advertisers include Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Google, GM, Intel, Nissan, Unilever, and Wal-Mart, among others.
Seattle-based ivi TV has recently drawn some legal problems with the broadcast networks by taking broadcast programming and streaming TV shows on the Internet. In court documents, ivi claims: "Secondary transmission of an over-the-air primary transmission is not an infringement of copyrights in the works contained in the primary transmission."