Joost shopping itself to satellite and cable providers

Time Warner Cable is among companies that has expressed interest in the struggling Web video service.

Joost is actively seeking a buyer and the beleaguered video service has told cable and satellite providers that it could be their online video solution, said sources close to the companies.

Time Warner Cable is one of the companies that has expressed interest in Joost, the sources said. Spokespeople for Joost and Time Warner Cable said they don't comment on rumor or speculation.

Joost is a story of missed opportunities, bad luck, and the folly of thinking whiz-bang technology alone is enough to forge a winning entertainment site.

Joost launched in 2007 with seemingly everything going for it. The company's founders are Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, the same pair who founded Skype and Kazaa. The thinking in the media was the site couldn't lose with Friis and Zennstrom's peer-to-peer technology, which was supposed to be more efficient and provide higher-quality video.

Two years later, and after the company struggled with management shakeups, technology setbacks, as well as a failure to land top TV shows and films, Joost's traffic and content library are mediocre at best. In the Web video sector, Joost has fallen far behind the leaders: YouTube and Hulu, the site formed by NBC Universal and News Corp.

The latest setback came earlier this month when Sony Pictures did not renew its licensing agreement with Joost. At about the same time, Sony Pictures was striking a licensing agreement with YouTube, the much larger and more successful Joost rival.

It should be noted that CBS, which owns CNET News, is investor in Joost.

 

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