Ampex Seeks New Internet Properties for iNexTV

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Ampex Corp., Redwood City, CA, is on an acquisition binge for Internet video content providers.

The company has recently implemented a new corporate structure in which its streaming video companies will be held by a single subsidiary, iNexTV Corp.

Ampex is a holding company focusing on the acquisition, storage and processing of visual information. Its strategy is to make minority investments in companies and then fully acquire them later. The company, through its subsidiaries, strategic investments and internal projects, is expanding in image-based markets by building an early presence in Internet video.

"Most of our transmission is based on cable and satellite fields," said Robert Paltos, director of national sales for the company. "We will sell sponsor slots in some slots, however most feel that ad sales will be the responsibility of the content provider."

The network of streaming companies includes TV on the Web, Reston, VA, Alternative Entertainment Network Television (AENTV), Los Angeles, and TV1 Internet Television in Germany. These networks comprise 100 channels and related Web sites.

"This technology provides a one-on-one medium by putting video on the Web," Paltos said. "Networks join us because they will be able to reach a larger audience and the ability to deliver an enormous amount of content."

Last month, one of its entertainment networks streamed the Canadian Comedy Festival through the Internet. The company is preparing to launch Executive Branch TV, which will provide coverage of White House activities. It plans to launch a fashion channel, iStyleTV, in the fall.

The executive branch channel is operated by ISS, a privately-held company and operator of the Information Superstation, a UHF television station in Washington, D.C., which broadcasts events and activities from the White House, executive departments and federal agencies.

Ampex in February purchased approximately a 20-percent interest in AENTV's owner, Alternative Entertainment Network Television Inc. Three months later, Ampex exercised its right to purchase a majority interest in the network. The entertainment network will Webcast TV classics and original productions. The company also increased it investment in TV on the Web Inc., Webcaster of niche channels.

"We have a channel in our network for every possible niche," Paltos said. "The video on the Web scenario are all under the same Ampex umbrella as we are, since we are a wholly owned subsidiary of the larger corporation."

The agreement between Ampex and TV1 includes a provision that would allow the company to increase its minority interest in the channel. In exchange, TV1 can gain a minority ownership in the facility that was built in Munich.

"The strength of our networks makes it attractive for Fortune 100 companies to conduct e-business, which is electronic business- to-business transactions," Paltos said. "Our channels will have some local sponsorship, but most of their revenue will come from subscription and pay-per-view fees."

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