Yes Television, the UK video-on demand (VoD) supplier that was to have floated this month on the London stock market, has added a new content supply deal with Warner Bros.
The new arrangement, which makes Yes the first VoD company in the UK to carry made-for-TV fare from Warner Bros International Television, includes long running series Friends, ER, comedies Veronica's Closet and Suddenly Susan and animated favourites Scooby Doo and Looney Toons.
Toby Russell, Director of Content, Yes Television, said: "On demand access to hit shows such as Friends and ER will be a great attraction to UK viewers."
Yes was last month forced to seek new, private backers when its planned flotation was twice blown off course by the turbulence in the technology, telecoms and media sector of the stockmarket (Screendaily May 22). It cut its planned sale price from 225p-275p a share to just 175p in an effort to get the float away and sought a reduced $225m of fresh cash and an overall valuation of some $840m.
Warner Bros, alongside Buena Vista, had planned to take a stake of some 7% in the run up to the flotation. It is not clear whether either studio will go ahead with the minority stakes or whether they will now provide some of the cash being sought from institutional investors. But Warner was today still endorsing the Yes model. In a statement Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. International Television, said: " We view this as an exciting new distribution opportunity."
Yes needs cash to roll out its services nationwide from its limited home market, the northern English town of Kingston-upon-Hull, and to buy in programming. It says it has free cash resources of some $60m.