Meteor lands with mobile service

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NEW YORK -- Branded entertainment firm Meteor Worldwide has created a mobile content delivery service that will focus on producing brand-integrated and ad-sponsored mobile entertainment and has cut its first deal with Reveille CEO Ben Silverman for original and repurposed programming.

Silverman will serve on the board of the new Meteor division called Pliq, whose first three- to five-minute mobile shorts dubbed Pliq Flicks are scheduled to debut early next year. The deal marks the first mobile distribution agreement for Reveille, though its NBC show "The Office" has aired on mobile platforms through deals cut with NBC Universal.

The initial Reveille properties included in the deal are "The Restaurant," "25 Million Dollar Hoax," "Meet Mr. Mom," "The Club," "House Wars" and "Adrenaline X." The company said an advantage of working with Silverman is that if a program succeeds in the wireless space, he can turn it into a full-fledged TV show.

"We are clearly invested in Pliq succeeding as a new distribution system for Reveille and its shows," Silverman said. "I'm very interested in helping them grow and am absolutely going to look at developing original content for the Pliq platform."

Pliq's deal with Reveille is nonexclusive and does not preclude Silverman from cutting similar deals with other mobile content-delivery services for the same or other Reveille shows. The companies will share in the revenue generated from Reveille repurposed or original programming airing in the mobile space.

Meteor said it expects to grow the unit into a global service, initially focusing on opportunities to work with major Hollywood brand owners and carriers including Verizon, Sprint-Nextel and Cingular Wireless. The company said it has signed deals with several leading U.S. and international carriers but has yet to announce them.

The firm said it expects to offer repurposed entertainment content drawn from deep Hollywood libraries, including Universal and DreamWorks, and original programming emerging from partnerships it expects to announce in the next few months with other TV and film producers. It also expects its Pliq Flicks to be available on mobile portals within the next six months.

Meteor, which has a deal with Havas' MPG media agency to help place its advertiser clients in film, television and other entertainment content, appointed Sanjay Pothen CEO of its new division. Pothen previously served as a principal and co-leader of the West Coast media and content practice of management consulting firm BusinessEdge Solutions.

"Reaching ever-sophisticated young mobile audiences is the new Holy Grail of advertising," Meteor managing partners Dieter Abt and Ben Blanco said. "Sanjay has a far-seeing grasp of the mobile arena, and we're thrilled to launch this new subsidiary with him at the helm."

Pothen said Pliq initially will concentrate on brand-sponsored mobile entertainment but expects within the next six months to also produce premium content people are willing to pay for.

"Pliq will be capable of aiding brands great and small. It will draw from some of the best-known entertainment properties in the world to benefit top advertisers, Pothen said. "We'll have compelling content consumers want and brands will be interested in, and if it's compelling enough, we feel people will eventually pay for it."
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