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Showtime Partnering In Online Distribution Of PC Games

The companies, which expect to launch the service in the second quarter, are marketing the offering as a pre-built way for ISPs to tap into the multibillion-dollar PC game market.

Antone Gonsalves

January 5, 2007

1 Min Read

Showtime Networks and Broadband Libraries have formed a joint venture to offer broadband providers their own online store for selling PC games and other services.

The partnership, called "On Broadband Networks," will offer cable TV and DSL providers a branded platform for selling more than 500 games, both online and offline. ISPs also could offer customers subscriptions to games, game-related content such as reviews and tips and tricks, and a 3-D environment for previewing and sampling games. The companies, which expect to launch the service in the second quarter, are marketing the offering as a pre-built way for ISPs to tap into the multibillion-dollar PC game market.

The joint venture combines CBS-owned Showtime's promotional, programming, and marketing expertise with high-speed Internet providers, along with Broadband's experience in the PC game industry. Broadband, founded by two former Simon & Schuster interactive game publishers, built the digital distribution platform. Financial terms of the partnership weren't disclosed.

"We've spent the last 18 months developing this new delivery model and have kept gamers top-of-mind so that our service will allow broadband providers to give their subscribers the best possible game experience," Broadband co-founder Peter von Schlossberg said in a statement. "This was built from the ground up exclusively for them."

The Showtime-Broadband service will offer six full-feature games each month that broadband subscribers can download and play. At the end of the month, they will have to buy the games to continue playing. Free games also will be available. The service also will have a walled-off section for children, where available games are limited to those appropriate to the children's grade level.

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