Exactly what Internet television needs: Two more networks.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Plans for not one, but two Web-specific channels surfaced this week, and how irresponsible would I be if I didn’t take at least a few minutes to relay such groundbreaking news to you, the fantastically pretty blog readers? That was rhetorical.

First, we have Ora.tv, the pet project of Carlos Slim Helú, who may or may not be the richest man in the world, depending on which day of the week you ask. And, what is Ora.tv, you ask? Leave it to superstar Brian Stelter of The New York Times to explain …

“The network, to be announced on Monday, is the latest indication of Mr. Slim’s interests in Internet broadcasting and in televisionlike content,” Stelter wrote earlier this week. “It will have a slate of shows of varying lengths and will stream them via the Internet to computers, phones and television sets in the United States, Latin America and elsewhere, bypassing traditional television distribution systems.”

Ahhh, but that’s not all, friends. In a shockingly unshocking twist, one, Mr. Larry King has decided he wants to get back to work on television, and as it just so happens, there appears to be an available spot on Slim’s network. According to The Times, the talk show legend is planning on coming back to lead a show identical to his previous CNN program.

Adding to the fun will be King’s latest wife, Shawn, who will reportedly get her own show regarding Style. Or, well, she’ll do that and “probably interview celebrities” as King himself told Stelter. How ironic that “ora” means “now” in both Italian and Spanish.

The network has no launch date yet, though it is promised to go live by the end of the year (Side: The biggest tidbit from this story was actually the throw-away graph in the middle that notes how an Amazon employee was recently labeled “vice president of original television” seemingly by mistake. Ah-ha! So Amazon wants to produce original television? We knew it all along! No word on if said original programming will be somehow tied to Free Super Saver Shipping).

For those who aren’t necessarily interested in hearing the phrase “Carlos, from San Juan, you’re on …” 58 times a night, Baby TV might be this week’s biggest development. And what is Baby TV, you ask? Take it from Charley Bean over at Starzlife …

“FilmOn.TV Networks has taken a pivotal step in the Internet broadcasting world as they announced on Wednesday a world wide carriage deal with Baby TV, a channel that is part of the Fox Entertainment Group,” he wrote. “This partnership shows good faith in the future of live streaming television through the Internet … . FilmOn TV Networks is like TV but better. Over 150 HD Channels online, Combining Celebrity Driven Interactive Channels including Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Janice Dickinson, Kato Kaelin, Rampage Jackson and other investors, including Charlie Sheen and other big Hollywood names, along with over 10,000 Video Titles on Demand.”

Wait a second. Kato Kaelin is still a thing?

Anyways, the creation of Baby TV is important if only because it comes from the same people who originally gave us “The Simpsons,” “Cops” and “The Wanda Sykes Show.” Seeing one of the big four networks get involved with a strictly Internet-based television network is an awfully big step for the world of Web TV. If FOX is taking notice, you have to think that others can’t be that far off. Just imagine what an Internet Television network might look like when CBS finally gets around to throwing its horse in the race. “How I Met Your Two-And-A-Half Men” can’t be far off.

Naturally, this all comes full circle with Aereo. Yes. Remember that? Good. Ironically, as the story points out, this announcement comes on the day that Aereo is finally released. Oh, wait. You want to know the irony, right? Well, as it goes, FilmOn was behind a similar product back in 2010 and as you’ll see if you click on the link above from Starzlife, the CEO of FilmOn isn’t bitter at all about his product’s failure.

That was sarcastic.

No word on any of the details regarding when Baby TV might be up and running or what exactly it plans on doing with its inception. Still, the world can now sleep a little easier knowing at least two more Web-specfic television networks will be offered in the coming months and at least one of them will feature the always entertaining Larry King.

A happy St. Patrick’s Day to all, and to all a goodnight.

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