USWest and Sony Corp. of America Invest in Intertainer, Inc.

Last week, Intertainer, Inc. announced that both USWest Communications and Sony Corp. have invested in the company, which provides a broadband entertainment-on-demand programming service of the same name. The two investors join Intel, Comcast, and Sterling Ventures in committing capital and technological resources to Intertainer. As part of the agreement, USWest !nterprise Networking, the data-integration arm of USWest Communications, will supply the Interprise service to its customers via Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) wire centers in 40 cities starting in June 1998.

Intertainer is an interactive broadband service for on-demand delivery of entertainment programming to personal computers or televisions. The content includes a cross-section of American pop culture, featuring thousands of hours of MPEG-1 audio/video entertainment in over 20 categories, such as music, film, television, and shopping.

According to the company, Intertainer's intelligent agent enables users to find the programming they want, when they want it. Intertainer plans to include a video-based e-commerce service designed to meet the growing demand for interactive shopping. The service can be accessed via broadband platforms such as cable modems or DSL.

Internet users with multimedia-capable PCs can access Intertainer through MegaBit Services, USWest's new high-speed, DSL-based Internet-access service. USWest was the first company in the nation to offer a widely available DSL service when it launched MegaBit in Phoenix last fall. It recently announced it would offer the service in more than 40 cities in its 14-state region by June 1998.

According to Jonathan Taplin, Intertainer's co-chairman, "USWest is a leader in the telecommunications industry, and we are pleased that its management team has chosen to invest in Intertainer. By committing its substantial resources to delivering our service to homes this spring, USWest is helping translate our shared vision into a reality."

Joe Zell, president of USWest !nterprise Networking, agrees. "We're pleased to invest in Intertainer and its visually compelling, innovative programming service. Partnering with top content providers is part of USWest's commitment to offer our end-users the latest in high-speed Internet and data services."

Sony is also excited about the potential of this alliance. "Intertainer is an example of the promising new kinds of entertainment services now possible through digital distribution," says Elizabeth Coppinger, vice president of new business development at Sony. "We are pleased to be involved with the company as it develops exciting new entertainment options."

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Intertainer, Inc. was established to create entertainment-program services for the domestic and international high-bandwidth computer and television markets. The Intertainer system was designed through collaborations with Intel, Sun Microsystems, Sony, Informix, and Firefly Networks, Inc., a technology venture of MIT.