Tribune Media Sends Online Shoppers to the Movies

A major media company and an emerging online network for broadband-enabled consumers are teaming up to offer an alternative for movie fans who are tired of waiting in long lines at their local theater. Today, Tribune Media Services, which is a subsidary of Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), and On2.com (AMEX: ONT), which is creating a network of Web channels that deliver video-rich, interactive content via broadband, are working together to launch a new service that will offer online ticketing for more than 29,000 movie screens nationwide.

Under the terms of the deal, On2.com’s movie channel, which is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of this year, will offer its customers access to Tribune’s film resource site, Moviequest. In addition to buying tickets online, customers on the movie channel will be able to view trailers and look up show and running times for films, plot descriptions, ratings and information about theaters. Moviequest also features reviews from local and national critics and weekly e-mail alerts featuring showtimes for new releases at consumers’ local theaters.

“The powerful database of movie listings complements our rich media offering, giving our visitors the power to choose a movie based on full-screen trailers rather than text descriptions and to purchase tickets with the push of a button rather than waiting in a long line,” said Dan Miller, founder and CEO of On2.com. “Very soon, it will seem archaic to choose a movie any other way.”

Other Channels to Follow

On2Movies is the first channel in the On2.com network. On2.com is also expected to launch On2Games, On2Music and On2Travel. Each of these channels will feature original video programming from On2.com as well as programming from content partners.

On2.com says all the channels, which will include news, content and chat, will have an e-commerce presence.

Tribune Embracing E-Commerce

The Tribune Company has long been investing in the Internet, and the company made a big move into e-commmerce this year when it invested in online coupon site SuperMarkets Online. Like MovieQuest, SuperMarkets Online offers localized services for customers. The company also owns restaurant guide Food.com, which allows customers to order meals online.

Tribune operates a network of Web sites, which include sites for its newpapers such as the Chicago Tribune and Fort-Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Tribune also operates America Online Digital City sites. The company has stakes in both America Online and Excite.

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