05.12.2008 10:24 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
MovieBeam could make a comeback

Movie Gallery has asked for bankruptcy court approval to sell its VOD service — Moviebeam — to Dar Capital Limited at a $2.25 million price tag, reports Daily Bankruptcy Review.

Movie Gallery turned off its on-demand movie service in December as part of its restructuring under Chapter 11 protection. Dar Capital Limited, a London-based company, has agreed to buy MovieBeam, which had about 1800 subscribers at the time it was shut down.

The service, which used a network of PBS television stations to distribute signals, required customers to purchase a television set-top box that allowed them to order films. Movie Gallery said in court papers that it began shopping the MovieBeam business soon after shuttering the service and that 14 parties showed an interest in the company. Dar Capital is picking up MovieBeam’s remaining assets, which include certain trademarks and intellectual property associated with the business.

It could be that Dar Capital has no interest in reinstating the Moviebeam service to end-users. Last week, Sezmi, a start-up, introduced a service strikingly similar service to MovieBeam, which uses broadcast spectrum for film delivery. It claims it will offer movies for half the price of cable or satellite. The Sezmi team includes chairman and president Phil Wiser, former CTO at Sony and founder of Liquid Audio.

Dar Capital could sell Moviebeam’s bandwidth, instead of turning the service back on. Its plans remain unknown.

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