AT&T to Offer Vast Video Library With Internet TV Package
NEW YORK – Akimbo Systems Inc.'s library of more than 10,000 television shows and movies including "Citizen Kane," the BBC's "Fawlty Towers" and baseball highlights will be available on demand through AT&T Inc.'s (T) upcoming Internet/television package.
AT&T and Akimbo will charge the regular fees — typically $10 a month, with some programs carrying additional per-use charges ranging from 20 cents to a few dollars. But subscribers won't need to buy a $200 device to view programs.
AT&T Homezone, which combines AT&T's high-speed Internet service and DISH Network satellite television from EchoStar Communications Corp. (DISH), will include a set-top box capable of watching Akimbo, significantly expanding the service's potential reach.
"It's significant that a significant player like AT&T has recognized that video today means more than just a television channel," said Josh Goldman, Akimbo's chief executive.
AT&T Homezone is scheduled to launch this summer. Pricing has not been announced, but AT&T spokesman Fletcher Cook said the Akimbo service will appear as an additional charge on the same Homezone bill.
Akimbo currently has a distribution deal with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). Computers shipped with the software company's Windows XP Media Center Edition can display Akimbo programs, though customers must sign up separately.
Goldman, who would not disclose subscription numbers, said about three-quarters of its customers currently come through Media Center, the rest buying the Akimbo device.