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Excite@Home, MTVi prep high-speed music site

The cable Internet service provider and online entertainment network are developing a Web site for broadband users devoted to music and entertainment.

Cable Internet service provider Excite@Home and MTVi together are developing a Web site for broadband users devoted to music and entertainment, the companies said.

The new site, called Excite Music, will feature high- and low-bandwidth music programming. The site will serve as a music guide featuring content from MTVi's existing holdings, including SonicNet, MTV.com and VH1.com.

The site also will offer secure music downloads, Web radio stations and links to other music sites. It will serve as a platform for MTVi to explore new ways to deliver media on the Internet, according to chief executive Nicholas Butterworth.

"We're delivering a great experience on the Internet today," Butterworth said in an interview. "We think broadband lets us deliver great audio and video quality."

The agreement will facilitate cross-promotional activities for both companies. MTV will promote the site through its cable programming in an attempt to turn TV audiences into Web consumers, for example.

The companies plan to launch the service this summer.

"With this deal, we will uniquely bring together our broadband capabilities with MTV on-air programming music and entertainment," George Bell, chief executive of Excite@Home, said in a statement.

Excite@Home's tie-in with MTVi underscores the growing popularity of music online. The company's primary portal competitors, such as America Online, Yahoo and Lycos, have had their fingers in online music for some time. All companies have invested in or acquired companies to offer music on their services.