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Sponsors Set for RipeTV Liftoff

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LOS ANGELES When RipeTV debuts today at 1:20 p.m. Pacific time with a parody of MTV's space shuttle launch of more than 20 years ago, major advertisers will be along for the ride, said CEO Ryan Magnussen.

Magnussen said Dodge Dakota, Procter & Gamble's Old Spice, Boost Mobile, Midway Entertainment and Electonic Arts are among the first to sponsor simultaneous streaming of on-demand content over broadband cable, the Internet and mobile devices such as video-enabled cell phones. Video iPods and the PlayStation Portable platforms are next, he said.

RipeTV calls the shows (wrapped in nine immersive ad formats such as content-surrounding skins, banners and logo treatments) ADD-TV, based on the four- to seven-minute lengths of programs for attention deficit-disordered youth. More than 600 shows are ready to play including Bikini World, Knuckleheads (Jackass-like stunts), Ripe Rocks (alt music) and Supermodel TV.

When Magnussen founded Zentropy in 1995 (he sold it to Interpublic Group in 1999), it was for a time in the late '90s one of the largest streamers of (mostly audio) media. Hollywood parent Ripe Digital Entertainment hopes to be at the leading edge of the "sea change in how people are consuming media," he said.

Magnussen said that Ripe would implement a "Google model for television, where we bake ads into the programming and charge the advertiser per view." A Comcast broadband version of RipeTV launched in June with no ad support and garnered 1.2 million downloads by July. He said advertisers are particularly interested in how RipeTV downloads allow user data and research to filter back to the clients.