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Digital broadcaster wins bid on Webcaster Pseudo

INTV will pay $2 million for the assets of Pseudo Programs, which is being liquidated in bankruptcy court.

Digital broadcaster INTV said it will pay $2 million for the assets of Pseudo Programs, which is being liquidated in bankruptcy court.

INTV said one of the main reasons it decided to acquire the fragments of Pseudo was for its patented interactive operating system, called Daisy. The system gives multiple producers the ability to publish Web video, chat rooms, polls, e-commerce and advertising on a Web site. The company said it acquired not only Psuedo's show content and studios, but its URLs and trademarks.

The bankrupcty proceeding comes as online media companies face severe difficulties generating profits, and financing for troubled dot-coms has become scarce. Offering video and other rich media content over slow, dial-up Internet connections has been a difficult sell for consumers, and many expect the market to remain sluggish until high-speed Net access becomes more widespread.

Pseudo launched about seven years ago as an Internet chat company, and began broadcasting original Web video programming in 1997. But in September, Pseudo ceased operations and laid off all of its 180 employees after a failed attempt to line up new financing.

While the failure ended one of the earliest experiments in bringing broadband media content to consumers over the Web, INTV is making efforts to revive the troubled Web site.

The company said it will experiment in different forms of interactive television as well as provide a test bed for different types of shows. INTV said it hopes to have live shows as well as prerecorded, video-on-demand and animated shows. Consumers will still be able to log on to Pseudo.com, but it will be renamed Pseudo Entertainment.

INTV's general counsel, Carlin Ross, said Pseudo was originally its competitor, but when INTV discovered that the remnants of the failed company were up for sale, it took up the opportunity before anyone else did.

"We had our eye on them," Ross said. "What we're thinking of doing is...we can take Pseudo and put some typical business models in place and actually turn it into a moneymaker, and it would be powered by INTV."