Playboy pays $700k for Cinema.com

Definitive global portal

A self-confessed Leeds playboy claims to have beaten Hollywood's finest to secure the online film market. Steve Hill, chairman and MD of data access middleware company Easysoft, has paid $700,000 for the URL cinema.com. Hill says he outbid rivals Sony and Universal Studios to secure the domain name, which he plans to turn into the "definitive global portal to the world of cinema and film". "It will be the most content-rich movie Web site on the Internet, appealing to everyone interested in the movies from the casual cinema go-er to the avid film fan." No stranger to blowing his own trumpet, Hill's publicity machine says he is "36 years old, and single, and lives a playboy lifestyle in Walton, Wetherby". It continues: "He is very highly regarded in the computer software industry, where he has worked for over 15 years." Back at the Web site, customers are being promised "everything related to film, videos, books, merchandise and memorabilia", according to Hill. He also plans to use the site to show paid-for films viewed over the Internet at home. Cinema.com has a certain resonance in the UK, but how well it play abroad? Entertainment giant Disney owns Movies.com, a URL tailormade for the US market, we would have thought. ® Related Stories $3 million price tag for loans domain Bids roll in for domain hype auctions Banks.com auction kicks off with £600K bid Big bucks URL is the business(.com)

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