Duo dials up digital niche

Three companies to be joint owners of multimillion-dollar venture

With a successful broadcast of the “Live 8” concert series behind them, America Online and XM are making a permanent business out of digitally distributed concert events.

Two companies are teaming with Anschutz Media’s AEG to create joint venture Network Live, which will produce live events to be distributed exclusively over digital outlets.

Kevin Wall, who exec produced “Live 8,” has been named CEO of Network Live.

Three companies, along with Wall, will be joint owners of the multimillion-dollar venture.

Music and comedy events will be held at AEG venues worldwide and distributed exclusively online via AOL and on sat radio via XM. In addition, company will look to strike deals for other digital distribution outlets such as video-on-demand and wireless.

Content produced by Network Live is expected to be a key part of AOL’s marketing blitz as it moves its entire operation onto the open Web in a bid to take advantage of the booming online ad market.

AOL and XM were exclusive broadcasters of “Live 8” in their respective media. Time Warner-owned Netco drew more than 5 million viewers to its Webcasts of the concerts.

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