Jim Ramo, an industryveteran with many years spent at DIRECTV and Hughes Communications amongothers, has won the CEO job at Movielink, the video-on-demand distributionservice which is a joint venture between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, ParamountPictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.
Ramo reports to a boardcomprised of representatives from each of the five equity partners. "Thisis a unique moment in time as VOD infrastructure deployment is beginning tomatch the consumer's demand for ever greater convenience in viewing options,whether through cable, satellite or broadband Internet," said Ramo in astatement. "Movielink will make desirable and high quality feature filmcontent available in a reliable and secure manner. The creation of Movielinkdemonstrates these studios' commitment to VOD as a growth opportunity and theInternet as a new channel of distribution."
The venture, which wasannounced on August 16, 2001, will create an open-access IP (Internet Protocol)based system for content delivery. The studios will supply movies to theservice on a non-exclusive basis. Each content provider will independentlydetermine its own release windows and pricing strategies. Movielink will beavailable only in the US.
Ramo spent five years from1985 to 1990 as vice president of Hughes Communications, responsible for salesto the cable and broadcast industry. From 1990 to 1997, he was a primaryfounder and executive vice president of DIRECTV, leaving to become COO of TVN Entertainmentand CEO of Geocast Network Systems. Since 2000, he was a consultant withShelter Ventures working for various communications and initiating investmentopportunities for the fund.