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Summary:

Rocketboom, the pioneering video show — it provided an early model for the daily release schedule, the woman-reading-quirky-news format, and set many other precedents — has been going strong, content-wise, for the last three and a half years. But in terms of signing distribution and monetization […]

Rocketboom, the pioneering video show — it provided an early model for the daily release schedule, the woman-reading-quirky-news format, and set many other precedents — has been going strong, content-wise, for the last three and a half years. But in terms of signing distribution and monetization deals — something it had also pioneered early on with an eBay auction for sponsorship — the show had basically dropped off the radar. Today, though, Rocketboom creator Andrew announced the show has sold exclusive international cross-platform distribution rights to Sony Pictures Television for a seven-figure guaranteed revenue share.

Baron attributes the show’s business flounderings to being hamstrung by legal troubles (see our NewTeeVee Station story about this; original host Amanda Congdon was involved, in that she tried to file a motion to be recognized as a co-owner of Rocketboom in a lawsuit the show was fighting against Drew Baron’s father over repayment of a loan he made to the show. It went as far as the Supreme Court of New York, where she was denied (PDF). Crazy, huh?).

Baron said in an email about the deal that Rocketboom chose to go with Sony because of its multiplatform experience and resources in the entertainment business. Sony is to sell ads for the show and help with its promotion and content expansion plans. Rocketboom will now be hosted on Sony’s Crackle.com and distributed on the PS3, PSP, and Bravia I-Link, but it will also maintain its existing distribution deals with YouTube, TiVo and iTunes. Rocketboom the company will continue to operate independently.

  1. What a commercial sell out!

    Just kidding. ;-)

    It’s about time someone else besides Wall Strip made a sale around here.

    We need a feeding frenzy who’s next?

    Tiki Bar TV? Goodnight Burbank?

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  2. I wish Rocketboom was good, though. Oh well, I can keep not watching it ever again no matter where it gets distributed.

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  3. Thanks for the link to the PDF. Although Andrew may have won the case, my sympathies are still with Amanda.

    As far as I can tell, Andrew had been running RB off his family’s money for years (while repeatedly telling reporters that his budget was about $20 per episode – http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/arts/television/11mack.html). Then when things soured with his partner, Andrew conspired with his dad to create a paper trail indicating that RB owed his dad a lot of money. RB immediately defaults on the loan, enabling his father to take sole possession of the company…which he then gives back to his son, 100%.

    I’m not a lawyer and I don’t know if any of the above is legal, but it’s strikes me as unethical – father and son dealing with one another to screw an outside partner out of nearly half of an enterprise she helped create.

    Granted, this is only what I’ve been able to suss out from the press coverage. But based on that, I certainly wouldn’t want to get into business with Andrew Baron.

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  4. WooT!!! :D Congrats, All! :D

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  5. Hi SR, what is this press coverage you’re citing?

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  6. Paul Frankenstein Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    As a side note on terminology, the Supreme Court of New York is the trial court, not an appellate court.

    Moreover, the court held that the question of ownership of RB was irrelevant to the court action brought by the elder Barron; it didn’t rule one way or another on the underlying issue of whether or not Congdon was still a 49% owner of RB.

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  7. @Liz: Besides the pre-breakup NY Times link above, I don’t have specific links at my fingertips as I’ve been reading about the Andrew-Amanda differences in a wide variety of publications and blogs over the years. I think googling all the usual outlets will probably yield good results. Here’s a very recent result:

    http://valleywag.com/5033448/how-daddys-money-paid-for-andrew-barons-rocketboom

    @Paul – Good point. Andrew does seem to be claiming the victory as total vindication when the decision is a good deal narrower than that.

    And one of these days, someone is going to have to explain to me why New York’s Supreme Court isn’t also its highest court. Didn’t the authors of the NY state constitution get the memo on what “supreme” means?

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  8. RB has never been the same since Amanda left….oh wait…maybe it has been exactly the same in which they tried to drop in a new (mediocre) host without adaptation or changes. While I continue to have RB on my links bar, it is rarely clicked. Maybe once every two months. IMO, Amanda made the show what it was, and its now uninteresting and blah.

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  9. [...] he cofounded, Baron & Budd, and is a regular on blog Overlawyered. More interesting is that Amanda Congdon intervened in order to protect her claim on part of the company. Meanwhile, the younger Baron complains all this legal wrangling tied his dealmaking hands, and [...]

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  10. GIVE ME A DISTRIBUTION DEAL, BEFORE I HAVE MICKEY MOUSE PUNCH YOU IN YOUR BIG ASS NOSE!!!!!!!!!……LOLOLOLOLOLOL

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