AntEye, HBO ink dev’t deal

Arrangement follows Web-to-TV trend

AntEye.com has inked a first-look development deal with HBO, giving the cabler exclusive rights to take the Netcaster’s content offline.

“Linking with AntEye helps us to stay in the forefront of talent discovery,” said Chris Albrecht, HBO prexy of original programming. “HBO will now get the first look at some of the Web’s hottest filmmakers.”

Several other Netcasters have taken Web content into traditional media. Icebox.com’s “Starship Regulars” will bow on Showtime, UrbanEntertainment’s “Undercover Brother” has been grabbed by U, and Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios picked up MediaTrip.com’s “Lil’ Pimp.”

Los Angeles-based AntEye offers Netizens a variety of short films and animation. Later this year site will bow “Benny Hernandez,” a docu by “Three Kings” helmer David O. Russell.

“There is no network I would want to be in the business with more,” said AntEye CEO Matti Leshem. “HBO is the top of the pyramid for innovation in TV and is the best environment we could possibly provide for our creator-submitters to be seen.”

AntEye bowed in March and offers promising filmmakers up to $250,000 in additional funding to develop their projects offline. Site has more than 1,000 submissions so far.

AntEye is repped by Endeavor and funded by the financing arm of telecom Qwest.

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