Soap fans are getting a peek behind the curtain that will allow them to meet one of the wizards behind the deal that will move All My Children and One Life to Live from broadcast television to the Internet... and possibly back to television. The unshrouding of some of the mystery comes in the form of an article in the New York Times.
The article chronicles Prospect Park's Jeff Kwatinetz from his days as the owner of a talent management company to the founding of Prospect Park, the company being seen as something of a soap opera savior.
There are still challenges, however, in getting Prospect Park's planned Internet entertainment channel, The Online Network (TOLN), off the ground. There isn't just one big hurdle -- there are several. The Times reports that Prospect Park "does not yet have all of those investors lined up" to launch TOLN. A dollar figure was not revealed, though there is said to be "strong interest" from investment bankers.
Then there is still the need to hammer out deals with the various unions representing the on- and off-screen talent required to put together a soap opera. Prospect Park has, as previously reported by soapcentral.com, reached deals in principle with various actors, but those deals are all subject to an agreement with the unions representing them.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of news surrounding the online deal is Kwatinetz's vision for how TOLN's content will be broadcast. The plan, the Times revealed, calls for new episodes to be streamed first on The Online Network, then to "On Demand" systems available in homes through cable and satellite providers, and then later to a still-unnamed cable channel. There are also plans to syndicate the shows to other web sites such as Hulu.
The complete profile on Jeff Kwatinetz can be viewing on the New York Times' web site: