Deal to expand Web access, lineup

NEW YORK — EchoStar Communications, one of the leading direct broadcast satellite providers, has signed a deal with Internet programmer Pseudo Programs to add Pseudo’s programming to EchoStar’s interactive channel lineup.

The deal is expected to be announced Friday.

EchoStar, which has almost 2 million subscribers, is scheduled to launch a high-speed interactive broadcast service this summer. The service will allow EchoStar subscribers to use the company’s 18-inch dish to access multimedia information on their personal computers and TV sets.

The satellite provider sees its high-speed rollout as a major step in the “convergence” of television and the personal computer.

The New York City-based Pseudo Programs Inc. is one of the largest producers of programming for the Internet. Each week, Pseudo produces more than 45 shows on nine channels, representing more than 60 hours of original programming.

In recent months, Pseudo has sought deals to expand the distribution of its programming into broadband platforms. Prior to its EchoStar deal, Pseudo cut satellite and broadband cable distribution agreements with WavePhore Inc. and Intertainer.

Pseudo has also said to be in talks with the two leading cable Internet distributors, @Home and Roadrunner.

Pseudo targets its programming to the 15-25 demo and covers niche topics ranging from B-movies to computer games, hip-hop music to professional wrestling.

The company was founded by Josh Harris in 1994 and has been funded with venture capital. Pseudo reaches more than 2 million viewers monthly.

Before creating Pseudo, Harris formed Jupiter Communications, an analyst firm specializing in new media.

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