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.