Microsoft wants to license MSN content

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Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, which has been through several make-overs in two years, is exploring ways in which to leverage its original programming, and part of that strategy may include working with Hollywood.

Next week, Microsoft reportedly is meeting with leading Hollywood talent agencies, including International Creative Management, Creative Artists Agency and William Morris Agency, according to sources. Heidi Sinclair, managing director of ICM, confirmed she has a meeting scheduled with Microsoft next week, although she declined to comment on the agenda.

Jessica Ostrow, group product manager for MSN, declined to comment on any meetings, but said, "With our whole library of assets of original programming, we absolutely will be looking at ways in which we can make incremental revenues off investments in the future," adding that could mean syndicating MSN content to ISPs and other distributors. In addition, MSN will be creating original programming in the fall, including working with partners such as Jim Henson Productions.

MSN, which was launched as a proprietary online service in 1995, was relaunched last year as a Web-based service featuring mostly entertainment content. In July, it recast itself once again as a service and information content provider.

Copyright August 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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