Finding a television show online requires a bit more effort than flipping through channels. You’ve got to know which network site to go to, navigate its terrible user interface, in some cases download a plug-in, and then finally start watching a show. Serial entrepreneur Jeff Pulver wants to make that simpler, so he’s founded and funded a company called Prime Time Rewind that aggregates all the network TV available online.
The site is essentially the same thing as OPENHulu, which used Hulu’s embed codes while the site itself was restricted to private beta users. Prime Time Rewind expands this idea to other network sites, like ABC.com, by just putting a frame around the video. The site’s value-adds are social networking components (groan) and a conceptual user interface cube that can be used to rotate through networks and genres using simple gestures (see embed below; personally I found this frustrating, but maybe it works for you).
“If you want to watch something and you go to TVGuide.com, it’s like seven or eight steps before you get there,” Pulver said in an interview yesterday. “If you go to us it’s one click.”
Pulver’s co-founder, Amit Shafrir, who was formerly president of premium services at AOL, is serving as CEO. Pulver did not disclose the amount of funding the company had raised but called it “a reasonable angel round” led by himself. He also added that he’s currently raising more. The company has 15 developers, according to Pulver.
“If we’re successful we will drive traffic to these network sites,” said Pulver. He said he anticipated making money on affiliate fees from iTunes and Amazon. I’m not convinced there’s an opportunity to form companies in order to repackage other people’s repackaging of other people’s content, but OPENHulu’s Matt Schlicht told us he’s trying to do the same thing.
Pulver had previously launched a guide to Internet television called Network2, which never took off. The site is still live, he said, but “I shifted my priorities around to focus on the commercial side of things rather than the long-tail side of things.”