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WB pacts for wireless skeins

PacketVideo on hook for 4 new animated series

Warner Bros. will team with technology developer PacketVideo to create four original animated series for distribution on wireless devices like cell phones, and personal data assistants like Palm Pilots with video capabilities.

The series are tentatively skedded be built around characters from the Warner Bros. library, including the Looney Tunes and DC Comics’ Batman. For instance, when a user launches the PacketVideo application on certain personal data assistants, they will be greeted by Marvin the Martian welcoming them to “the entertainment device of the future.”

As part of the display of each animated series, the wireless application also will link the user to Warner Bros. Online or sister site Entertaindom. In addition, the deal also allow Warner Bros. to stream trailers from upcoming films and promos for Warner Bros. Television to wireless users.

In the future, Warner Bros. and PacketVideo will move toward developing short videogames, trading cards and greeting cards for wireless devices.

“Warner Bros. is continuously seeking new opportunities to extend our brands both in our traditional businesses and beyond,” said Kevin Tsujihara, exec veepee of new media at Warner Bros.

Rob Tercek, prexy of the programming division at PacketVideo, said the deal with Warner Bros. has been in the works for several months.

“Generally speaking, the traditional media companies are slow to get off their duff,” Tercek said. “That strategy kind of backfired on the Internet, and in this volatile world, they now realize the advantages go to the early mover.”

San Diego-based PacketVideo has signed deals with a wide range of new-media companies to push video capabilities on wireless devices, including AtomFilms, Disney’s Go.com, Eveo and sputnik7.com, and a deal is reportedly in the works with Columbia TriStar. Among the companies that make wireless devices with color video capabilities are Hewlett Packard, Casio and Compaq.

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