Broadband net has yen for yuppies network targets urbanites

NEW YORK — Two former MTV Networks execs will attempt to crack the market for affluent young urbanites with, a network of broadband channels.

The Gotham/Hamptons edition of the ad-supported broadband network launches today, with editions in Los Angeles and other cities soon to follow.

“This is an extremely desirable audience that is being serviced by high-end magazines and print media, but there has never been video or TV programming targeted at this audience,” said Code Networks CEO Joseph Varet, former director of new networks at MTV.

Varet and exec producer Morgan Hertzan left MTV in March to pursue the venture, which is funded by angel investors and distributed through a syndication deal with Brightcove Networks.

The idea is to build a version of the MTV model on the Web by pursuing niche audiences, but much smaller and disparate than could be efficiently served through linear cable TV.

“Given the possibilities now with broadband and the latest editing software, we realized we can create cable-quality networks at a level we can fund independently,” Varet said.

The net consists of two to four minute segments categorized by theme and hosted by “experts” in nightlife, food, shopping, wellness and kids.

First offerings in Gotham include segments on pilates for toddlers, and reviews of restaurants like Tom Collichio’s Craftsteak, and nightlclubs like Mike Penrod’s Nikki Beach Midtown.

“We wanted to create something that had the excitement and impact of television while satisfying every young New Yorker’s need to be ahead of the curve,” Hertzman said.

Each day a new hosted segment will be added to the site.

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