ZillionTV gets $10M from Qwest

Online VOD play ZillionTV, which has struggled to get its product to market--it pushed back its 4Q2009 launch to 3Q2010--has at least one big fan: Qwest. The telco is trading exclusive rights to offer the service in its footprint in exchange for $10 million in funding, reports Multichannel News.

The news didn't come out in the traditional way, a press release or company announcement. Rather, it was revealed as part of a lawsuit brought by a former ZillionTV contractor who's suing ZillionTV after it allegedly dropped him when he challenged the company's claims and forecasts to investors.

ZillionTV has struggled to launch, and has had to trim its workforce by more than a third in the past year. Founder Mitch Berman in October stepped down as CEO to focus on growing partnerships and distribution. He names telecom and cable vet Jack Lawrence as CEO.

ZillionTV has had strong backing from Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony and Warner Bros. It originally aimed to sell a video service through telcos and other ISPs that would have traffic priority and thus guaranteed quality-of-service, and says it plans to deliver 15,000 movies, TV shows and other video selections by the time it launches.

ZillionTV declined to comment because of the ongoing litigation. Qwest didn't return a call from Multichannel News.

For more:
- see this Multichannel News article

Related articles:
Berman steps aside, names new CEO for ZillionTV 
ZillionTV delays launch, expands marketing scheme 
FierceOnlineVideo Leaders - Mitch Berman, CEO ZillionTV
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