Lionsgate inks with ZillionTV

Studio to provide TV shows, films to Web-based VOD service

ZillionTV is set to announce Monday that it has added Lionsgate as a content partner, giving the young Internet-based VOD service access to such TV shows as "Weeds" and "Mad Men" and movies including "Rambo" and "The Haunting in Connecticut."

Lionsgate joins Warner Bros., Sony, NBC Universal, Fox and Disney as content partners. Like those larger entities, Lionsgate also will hold an equity position in ZillionTV, which plans to launch nationwide next year.

ZillionTV costs consumers $99 up front, then they can watch TV shows and movies on their Internet-enabled television sets either on-demand via pay-per-view or free with commercials. Users also can buy the content.

For those opting for the free content, the service lets users choose the kinds of products they are interested in so that ZillionTV can serve up appropriate advertising. Then the service intends on making it easy to purchase advertised products online with a motion-sensing remote control that is similar to a Nintendo Wii controller.

ZillionTV also intends to feature a sort of frequent-watchers program that rewards users who view commercials.

"Content providers can benefit from new revenue streams without having to pass along costs to the viewer," said ZillionTV executive chairman Mitch Berman, a TV veteran who helped create E!