Second Life TV: MBC, “We’re going to be doing a show called Beauty and the Newb”

March 26th, 2008  |  Published in SL Entrepreneur Magazine, SLENTRE.COM Magazine Feature Articles  |  1 Comment

By Sigmund Leominster

Following a press release from the Wilder Public Relations Firm, SLentrepreneur took a trip to meet with Robustus Hax and ClaudeVon Streeter of the Metaverse Broadcasting Company. Robustus has been a Second Life resident since 2/1/2007 and is now the CEO of MBC, which, according to him, is “an internet television station that will cover events, news, as well as create original story driven content all based here in SL or the Virtual World. We have two streams, one that broadcasts our videos in sort of a playlist format, and one we use for live events.”

MBC's Robustus Hax and ClaudeVon Streeter

Claude, MBC’s Vice Chairman, added that “he does mean live… broadcast live out of and back into SL – a few seconds delayed but truly live. MBC is entertainment and news about and on Second Life, streamed into, and broadcast out of, Second Life.”

Robustus explained the mechanics of MBC:  “We have two streams, one that broadcasts our videos in sort of a playlist format, and one we use for live events. So the one stream broadcasts pre-recorded stuff 24/7 and one we use, say if we are live, from ‘so and so sim.’ Our free TV’s right now have the one stream but are being upgraded as we speak, with the option for on-demand video. But we do have sets like the bigger ones over here that have links to other free internet TV around the net.” The sets are all available from the new Metaverse Media Store.

“We have content that covers SL as well as original story driven stuff and a bunch of contributions from independent film makers as well.” He gestured towards a number of small placards scattered around he room. “On these posters to my left our some of our titles and we have a handful more in the works. For example, we’re going to be doing a show called Beauty and the Newb, where newbs will compete to win a date with an SL beauty and they will be made over to shed their plain look.”

With a listing on the ACE Stock exchange and a growing number of viewers, MBC is looking to achieve significant growth over the next year.

“We have about 2500 viewers a week at the current moment,” said Robustus, “with about another 1000 in web views. We’re aiming for pretty large growth this year, where we really find our place. Machinima as a whole is taking off big so we’re aiming to get into five digits at some point in the second half of the year.”

MBC content can also be accessed outside of Second Life. In the first instance, the website streams using QuickTime. But there are other options, as Claude explained. “All our programming can be viewed off the web in YouTube format or, and the channel itself can be viewed in and out of world, as well as iTunes podcast. I’ve even pulled up our videos off my iPhone. There’s nothing cooler than sitting on a train going to NYC and seeing MBC news on my iPhone!”

I asked Robustus and Claude how they started in Second Life and what they did before MBC.

“I’ve been in SL over a year,” explained Robustus, “and I did a lot of things before; build, script, explore… Oh the days when I had time to explore!”

“I basically do graphic design,” added ClaudeVon. “I do graphic design work in Second Life and Real Life. I also like to build – mostly skyscrapers for some odd reason. I do 3d modeling in RL in 3D Studio Max, which is much easier than here. I dabble a bit in the stock markets as well, but more as a hobby. And before SL I ran a podcast. Jack of all trades and master of none!”

Well, masters-of-some! MBC has three skyscrapers to accommodate their growing business, along with a staff of over 50. The main building is a replica of New York City’s famous Chrysler building and between them the buildings house the newsroom, the set of the Late Show, and other production facilities.

And what will MBC look like a year from now? Robustus shared his vision.

“MBC will have a much larger assortment of programming to choose from and we’ll be offering more and more new content on a daily basis instead of more of a weekly basis. We also are in the works to expand to the independent grids that are operating with the OpenSim software. The goal is to be fully functioning here in the virtual world, a central RL headquarters, and full-time employees.”

In terms of SL television reaching into RL, Robustus is optimistic. “I think it’s already starting. I believe a SL series was picked up by HBO only a few months ago, so it’s definitely the first step.”

And although the focus is currently heavy on the television aspect of the media business, the MBC team doesn’t rule out expansion. “We do have Metaverse Radio in the works, but we probably will not be ready to launch for another month or so.” Furthermore, acknowledging the multi-lingual nature of Second Life, they will be considering broadcasting in other languages. “We do have a few people from the Spanish-speaking countries so of course they are pushing for it.” But in the short term, MBC will be concentrating on providing a quality product based on good solid programming and innovation.

And if someone were new to SL and wanted to start a business, what nuggets of advice would you offer?

Claude answered first. “Do what you love, and be persistent.”

“I’d throw in originality myself,” added Robustus.

So, passion, originality, and persistence?

“That’s about it!”

So make the short TP to the MBS Media Store and pick up a free TV to add to your home, or pull up the website and check out the streaming videos there. MBC looks set to be a major player in the SL media universe and SLentrepreneur will be watching their progress. Literally.

Slurl to Metaverse Media Store:

MBC website:


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