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TV vets bow online program distrib service Tivix

Veteran TV program sales execs Eric Rennagel and Ray Donahue, along with former CBS Intl. president Rainer Siek and technology expert David Wheeler, have formed Tivix, an online program distribution service.

Tivix’s primary objective will be to facilitate the buying and selling of programs online.

A system created especially for buyers and distributors, Tivix streamlines the process by which program buyers sample available product, affording distribution companies unlimited exposure for their programming while providing buyers with extensive access to the product.

NATPE presence

Tivix will unveil its Web site during the NATPE tradeshow in New Orleans next week. It will also join the growing ranks of dot-coms that will have a booth at NATPE 2000.

Rennagel, prexy and CEO of the new venture, said that “although similar Web sites are cropping up, Tivix is uniquely positioned, in that it has been developed by people who have an extensive working knowledge of how international and domestic program sales work.”

Midem, the international TV trade show organizer and sister company of Daily Variety, also operates a Web-based program sales service called Mip Interactive.

“With business-to-business e-commerce exploding, industry experts believe that one-fourth of all purchasing will be done online by the year 2003,” Siek added.

Basic service free

Offering its basic programming service free of charge to both buyers and distributors, the Tivix database will enable its users to search for programming by title, genre, format or distributor and goes well beyond basic programming information listing.

Tivix will also offer a full range of client service applications for a nominal fee.

As president and CEO, Rennagel is responsible for the company’s overall growth and direction as well as marketing strategies and sales. An executive at Marvel Prods., he has worked in animation production and international TV program distribution.

As senior executive on Tivix’s board of advisers, Siek brings more than 20 years of global experience to the company. Beginning his media career in his native Germany, Siek moved to London as managing director of CBS Broadcast Intl. Europe in 1983, initiating the company’s European sales operation.

Siek was named senior VP of CBS Broadcast Intl. in 1989 and in 1994 was promoted to president of CBS Broadcast Intl. and exec VP of CBS Enterprises. He held this dual post until 1999, when he resigned to pursue entrepreneurial pursuits.

Tivix exec VP Donahue brings over 15 years of program sales experience to the company, including stints at New World, Westinghouse and Ultracom Entertainment.

Wheeler, chief operating officer and general counsel for Tivix, is responsible for Web site development and operations, corporate development and financial and legal issues.

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