ThePlatform, Corus team for Web content

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TORONTO -- U.S. video management service thePlatform on Wednesday entered the Canadian market with a deal to distribute video and audio content over the Internet for Canadian brodacaster Corus Entertainment.

Seattle-based thePlatform will deliver broadband video via three Corus entertainment portals: Web sites for kids cable channels TreehouseTV and YTV and WNetwork, a cable channel that targets the adult female demo.

Scott Dyer, executive vp of production and development at Toronto-based Corus, said thePlatform will supply back-end technology and software that enables the broadcaster to manage the distribution and rights management of its video content online.

"Online and broadband video is important to our audiences. We get a wonderful system to manage video online, as the hard challenge is to provide a good user experience, where the bandwith is appropriate, and where a click delivers the video you're inerested in," Dyer said.

The Corus Web sites to be supported by thePlatform will stream ad-supported video content. The Canadian broadcaster does not plan a download service at this time.

ThePlatform in turn will receive fees from Corus based on the online traffic generated by its dedicated software.

In addition to aggregating content from outside providers, thePlatform will syndicate Corus' original programming to other destination sites. Corus also will use thePlatform's mpsPresent Player system to develop and deploy Flash-based players across each of its branded entertainment portals.

ThePlatform already serves a host of U.S. media companies, including National Geographic, CNBC and The Wall Street Journal. But geo-gating has precluded the video management service from crossing into Canada until now.

The Comcast unit is now making a concerted push into the Canadian market to help TV networks and newspapers distribute video content to online customers and monetize the service, either through ad-supported content offerings or subscription fees.

ThePlatform CEO Ian Blaine said that the Corus deal is the first of many he hopes to sign in Canada. Other media companies thePlatform is holding discussions with includes Rogers Communications, the country's largest cable company, and national newspaper Globe and Mail.
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