BeeTV attracts $8 million funding

Company to boost international sales drive

ROME — BeeTV, a personalized, electronic multiplatform programming guide that touts itself as a new way to watch television, has pulled down $8 million from Italian venture capital fund Innogest.

The funding will be used to expand BeeTV’s penetration in the U.S. and Middle East, BeeTV chairman Rodolfo Hecht said Friday. Hecht is a former exec at Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest.

Unveiled September at San Diego’s DemoFall conference, BeeTV’s Personal Content Channel offers viewers a filtered selection of TV programming, available on TV, cell phones and PCs.

The selection is chosen according to viewers’ previous TV choices, ranging across all platforms.

For pay TV operators, it hikes payments per subscriber and increases VOD usage, Hecht said.

According to Hecht, BeeTV is in talks to close carriage deals with up to seven companies, principally telco and cable operators and set-top box manufacturers.

Though lacking optimal Internet penetration, Italy boasts a bevy of pioneering new media or multiplatform initiatives.

Bee TV has offices in Milan, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles.

Innogest Capital, which is Italy’s leading venture capital fund, is also a key investor in TheBlogTV, a user-generated content media company with offices in Milan, Rome and Madrid.