'O.C.' gets heads start on CTV Web site

4:00 AM PST 10/31/2006 by Etan Vlessing, AP

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TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster CTV on Monday began streaming the fourth season premiere of "The O.C." online ahead of its primetime TV bow here Thursday night at 7 p.m.

As part of a deal with Warner Bros. International Television, Toronto-based CTV said the first episode became available at noon Monday on the CTV.ca Web site as a sneak peek for loyal fans of the Fox teen drama.

Rival Canadian broadcasters routinely stream U.S. dramas online after they screen in primetime, but CTV said the "The O.C." initiative marked the first time a U.S. network series was streamed in Canada in advance of its TV premiere.

Canadians also will be able to view the second episode of the latest season of "The O.C." online after the first episode airs on TV this Thursday night.

The streaming of the first two "O.C." episodes will be available only to Canadian Internet users through the use of geo-gating technology.

"We believe this broadband exposure will provide terrific promotion for 'The O.C's' new broadcast season and are very please to have worked out this arrangement with CTV," Jeffrey Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros. International Television, said in a statement.
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