Disney's MovieBeam spin-off gets Cisco investment
ZDNet 2/6/06

Disney's MovieBeam spin-off gets Cisco investment

Cisco Systems said Monday that it has made an investment in MovieBeam, the on-demand movie service Walt Disney Co. spun off in January.

Cisco, Disney and several venture capital firms including Intel's Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund, Norwest Venture Partners and Vantage Point Venture Partners invested $48.5 million in MovieBeam, according to MovieBeam spokeswoman Michelle Cox.

A Cisco representative declined to provide details of the company's interest in MovieBeam.

Cisco entered the digital video market with its acquisition of Danish company KiSS Technology A/S, which makes a networked DVD player. It's also spending $6.9 billion to acquire cable set-top box maker Scientific-Atlanta.

Disney remains the chief investor in the company, Cox said, but she declined to say how much money the other companies invested.

Disney launched MovieBeam in 2003 in three test markets-- Salt Lake City; Spokane, Wash.; Jacksonville, Fla.--and suspended the service last year amid plans to upgrade the technology and launch it as a bigger service.

MovieBeam sold a television set-top box preloaded with 100 movies, and delivered 10 new movies a week, Cox said. Customers paid $8.99 a month to subscribe to the service, plus rental fees between $1.99 and $3.99 per movie, she said.