Sony 'rents' broadband video channel on MySpace

Sony Pictures Television will cut TV series to lengths of about 5 minutes and publish it on America's largest profile site, MySpace. Car manufacturer is the exclusive sponsor of the new video channel. In the autumn, Sony wants to publish the closely-cut mini-episodes of TV series on portals such as AOL and YouTube

Sony Pictures Television will cut TV series to lengths of about 5 minutes and publish it on America's largest profile site, MySpace. Car manufacturer is the exclusive sponsor of the new video channel. In the autumn, Sony wants to publish the closely-cut mini-episodes of TV series on portals such as AOL and YouTube.

Recycling of existing material without giving it away completely. That is what Sony Pictures Television does with the video project that can be seen on MySpace.com from this week. Sony opens its so-called Minisode Network on the profile site. The publisher will cut episodes of 15 TV series from 30 to 60 minutes to approximately 5 minutes. Because much longer someone on the web does not watch a video. Sony tries to keep the storyline intact.

Among the 15 TV series are classic series such as Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island and Who's the Boss. Sony sees this as a way to redo its old video copy, but then through a new medium. The exclusive distribution agreement with MySpace lasts until the end of August. After that time Sony is looking for other distribution channels for short classics.

Honda is the first sponsor of the Sony channel on MySpace. The car manufacturer receives 8 seconds of broadcasting time before the start of each broadcast.

The publisher branch of Sony plays a next role in new media developments. The company put 65 million dollars on the table in August 2006 to buy the video site Grouper.com. That is a YouTube clone. Sony worked on the redesign of Grouper last year. The new version will appear next month.

It is unclear how Sony Grouper will position itself in a landscape in which video sites already tumble over each other in the battle for attention. The fact that the support of a large company does not guarantee online success is evident from KPN's painstaking attempts to get a video foot in the Netherlands with Shoobidoo. The Dutch go to 123video.nl, Dailymotion, Dumpert.nl or YouTube to upload their images than to the KPN site, whose promised new version also takes a long time.