Singapore-basedIntertainer Asia issued a statement yesterday saying that the imminent (Oct 23) suspension ofIntertainer Inc's video-on-demand service in the US will have "no impacton, or consequence to" its operations. Jonathan Taplin's Intertainer Incsaid last week that it was temporarily shutting down the service for its147,000 broadband subscribers to save costs ahead of an antitrust suit filed inSeptember against AOL Time Warner, Vivendi Universal and Sony. The companyclaims the defendants conspired to offer fewer movies at less competitive termsthan those offered to their own service, Movielink.
HoweverIntertainer Asia's executive chairman Greg Coote, who announced the broadbandcontent provider in May 2001 after obtaining 15 Asian licences from IntertainerInc, said his company enjoyed an "excellent relationship" with thestudios and had supply agreements with AOL Time Warner, Vivendi Universal andMGM/UA. He added that the company was also negotiating content deals with Sony,Fox, Paramount and Disney.
"IntertainerAsia licensed technology only from Intertainer Inc under an all-Asia, Australiaand New Zealand agreement," Coote said in a statement released today."Under that arrangement Intertainer Inc holds a minority stake in ourSingapore-based Intertainer Asia, but with no day-to-day management.Likewise, we play no role in the US operation. Technologically, we areindependent of Intertainer Inc, having redeveloped our own systems from theground up to suit our markets in Asia ".
IntertainerAsia is currently delivering its movies and music on PCCW's NOW.com service inHong Kong and launches its service next month in Singapore.
"Weare in mature discussions to rollout in New Zealand with Telecom NZ, in Taiwanwith Chunghwa Telecom, in Australia with TransACT and several other Asiancarriers," Andrew Yap, Intertainer Asia's chief executive officer andexecutive vice chairman, said. "We can't comment on the lawsuit but I cansay that the dynamics of the US broadcast market are more congested andcomplicated than our territories."
The Intertainer Asia servicefeatures global, regional as well as local content from major internationalcontent providers in the US, Europe and Asia, like AOL Time Warner, Jive/Zomba,MGM/UA, Shaw Bros, Village Roadshow, and Vivendi Universal.