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Larry King Online

March 13, 2012 by staff 

Larry King Online, Billionaire Carlos Slim’s wireless carrier America Movil (AMXL) SAB is funding an online TV network that will star former CNN talk-show host Larry King.

Ora.tv, based in New York, is led by Jon Housman, formerly News Corp.’s president of digital journalism, according to the company’s website. Programming will start later this year, the company said. It didn’t say how much America Movil is investing.

Slim, the world’s richest person according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is expanding his media properties as America Movil increases its presence in the pay-TV business. The Mexico City-based company has the most cable and satellite subscribers in Latin America, with more than 13 million, mostly in Brazil.

“The viewers are really there for digital viewing writ large,” Chief Executive Officer Housman said today in a telephone interview. “There’s a further influx of advertisers who have spent some amount of time on the sidelines and are now looking for opportunities in the space.”

Ora.tv will not charge a subscription fee and will be wholly dependent on online advertising for revenue, Housman said.

Companies such as Hulu LLC that carry video content online have shown that ads can be lucrative when the programming is original, said Tony Wible, a Philadelphia-basedanlyst who covers media companies for Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.

“One of the challenges you find in Internet-delivered TV is how to promote originals,” Wible said in a telephone interview. “It’s hard enough to do on TV, where you have a captive audience.”

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