An investor group of European advertising and media executives today launches Channel 11, an interactive news service that plans to provide TV programming via Internet technology.
But until the actual technology catches up, Channel 11 will look a lot more like a standard Web site than TV.
THREE NEW NETWORKS
The $10 million venture opens with three networks devoted to food, wine and drinks. Three more networks, focusing on other industries, launch in September.
The service, the first product of London company Interactive News Networks, plans to feature original TV programs created by INN Productions and transmitted via the Internet at Channel 11's site (http://www.c11.com).
INN investors include leading European media buying company CIA Group, London; business consultant Tim Carron Brown; and Richard Humphreys, former Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide president and current president of Adcom, former owner of N.W. Ayer & Partners.
"We have developed Channel 11 to meet the needs of individuals and businesses involved in a range of market sectors," said Mr. Brown, Channel 11's chief executive.
NOT MUCH VIDEO AT FIRST
Initially, the programs will consist mainly of text with some Java-enabled graphics and limited video.
Users with a CD-ROM drive can access more video with an INN-created disc. As speeds on the Internet increase, more TV-like programming will be possible.
"In the future, we'll be putting more information and material ... online, including video," Mr. Brown said. "In the short term
we've created the smart CD-ROM."
Channel 11 will offer two services: a $46-per-month business service and a free, ad-supported offering for consumers.
The company hopes to sign up 90,000 of the U.K.'s 300,000 restaurants and food and beverage companies as subscribers.
Marketers can purchase ads on the consumer-oriented service for $155 per month. The ads would then link to an advertiser's home page on the Web.
The business service will be ad-free, for now.