World’s richest man, Carlos Slim, teams up with Larry King on internet TV venture

Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, is teaming up with his pal Larry King to create an Internet television network called Ora.tv, based off “ahora” or now in Spanish.

Recently named Forbes’ richest man in the world for the third year in a row, Slim’s network, which will be unveiled on Monday, will seek to create video programming for digital distribution. It will have a slate of shows of varying lengths and will stream them via the Internet to computers, smartphones, tablets and television sets in the United States, Latin America and elsewhere, bypassing traditional television distribution systems, according to the New York Times.

Slim owns mobile phone giant America Movil but his broadcast efforts have been stymied in Mexico because of the size of his power and influence already.

This has contributed to Slim looking for other ways to grow his business. Speaking to Forbes in January, he foreshadowed this coming altered focus in content distribution.

“What I can tell you in general is that our work is to be the carrier that gives connection and access to our customers,” Slim said. “At the beginning in telephony, you connected [people] to talk to each other. ….Now [it’s] video. There are so many applications and content coming that our focus is to try to support and … give our customers what they like whenever they like it, in the best … quality and price.”

To do this Slim is enlisting the help of his friend Larry King, the long-time CNN talk show host, who will be a co-founder of the new network and reprise his role in the interview chair as well.

King, 78, officially parted ways with CNN to focus on Ora.tv.

The project will be run in New York City by Jon Housman, the former president of digital journalism at News Corp.

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


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