Digital Entertainment Network

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Digital Entertainment Network
Privately-held
Industry Internet
Founded 1998
Founder Marc Collins-Rector
Headquarters Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Key people
Marc Collins-Rector (CEO), Chad Shackley, Brock Pierce, Jim Ritts, David Neuman
Website DEN.NET

Digital Entertainment Network (often stylized as DEN or >EN) was a multimedia dot-com company[1] founded in the late-1990s by Marc Collins-Rector and his partner, Chad Shackley. Rector and Shackley had sold their ISP, Concentric Network, and used the proceeds of that sale, along with additional investor funding, to launch DEN.[2] In February 1999, Jim Ritts resigned as commissioner of the LPGA to become chairman of DEN.[3]

DEN's goal was to deliver original episodic video content over the Internet aimed at niche audiences.[4] DEN was one of a crop of dot-com startups that focused on the creation and delivery of original video content online in the late 1990s[5] prior to wide adoption of broadband internet access.

In May 1999, DEN announced that their business model had earned them $26 million USD in investments from Microsoft, Dell, Chase Capital Partners, and others.[6] In September 1999, Microsoft announced that DEN was one of their partners in the Windows Media Broadband Jumpstart initiative, focusing on the creation of video and audio entertainment for the Windows Media format for high-speed connections[7]. By 1999, the company was reportedly valued at $58,500,000 USD and included former Walt Disney Television President David Neuman, Garth Ancier, David Geffen, Gary Goddard, and Bryan Singer as investors.[8][9][10]

DEN was slated for a $75 million USD IPO in October 1999 but the IPO was withdrawn[11] in the wake of allegations of sexual assault against Collins-Rector, Shackley, and fellow executive Brock Pierce. All three executives subsequently resigned.[2] Layoffs followed in February 2000[12]. While a new executive team led by former Capitol Records President Gary Gersh[11] and former Microsoft executive Greg Carpenter[13] tried to salvage the company and relaunch in May 2000[14], DEN filed for bankruptcy and shut down in June 2000.[15][16]

Programs[edit]

DEN produced and distributed a number of programs aimed at specific young male demographics. That included Chad's World, which targeted gay viewers and included Seann William Scott in the cast, Tales from the Eastside, which targeted Latinos, The Chang Gang, which targeted Asians, Redemption High which starred Judge Reinhold and targeted Christians, Frat Ratz, which targeted frat boys, and Fear of a Punk Planet, which targeted punks, included Joe Escalante from The Vandals in the cast, and shared a name with the band's 1990 album.[17][2]

Controversies[edit]

DEN became indicative of excess in the era of the dot-com bubble, with high pay for executives while not generating any revenues and very little traffic.[18][14]

In October 1999, a young man from New Jersey identified only as Jake W. filed a lawsuit alleging that Collins-Rector had sexually molested him for 3 years beginning in 1993 when he was 13-years-old[2][19]. The lawsuit was filed just prior to DEN's scheduled IPO, causing concern among potential investors[20] and leading to the resignations of Collins-Rector, Shackley, and Pierce, leaving Ritts in charge[2][21]. Additional lawsuits against all three resigned executives followed[22][23]. The controversy and turmoil caused by the allegations led DEN to withdrew its IPO and subsequently filed for bankruptcy.[16]

In 2014, Michael F. Egan III filed suit, alleging he was sexually assault by Goddard, Singer, Neuman, and Ancier at parties hosted by DEN executives[24][25][26][27] but the suits against Neuman and Ancier were dropped[28][29][30]. Ancier sued Egan and his attorneys[30], with the attorneys ultimately apologizing to Ancier and Neuman, saying the allegations were false.[31]

Following the bankruptcy of DEN, the company's trustee alleged possible fraudulent sale of assets prior to its bankruptcy.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Volpano, Lou (1999). "Analysis of Initial Public Offering Digital Entertainment Network (>en)" (PDF). Ascertain-ment. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Gorenfeld, John; Runkle, Patrick (2007-11-05). "FAST COMPANY". Radar Online. Archived from the original on 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  3. ^ Smits, Garry. "LPGA commissioner Ritts resigns | Jacksonville.com". jacksonville.com. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  4. ^ KAPLAN, KAREN; HUFFSTUTTER, P. J. (1999-04-05). "Viewing TV-Style Programs in the DEN". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  5. ^ KAPLAN, KAREN (1999-10-07). "Coming Soon to a Monitor Near You". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  6. ^ KAPLAN, KAREN (1999-05-31). "Online Show Producer to Get Cash Infusion". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  7. ^ Dunn, Ashley (1999-09-30). "Microsoft in Entertainment Initiative". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  8. ^ "CONSENT TO CONVERTIBLE BRIDGE FINANCING". 1999. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  9. ^ "Bryan Singer & Other Hollywood Sex Ring Defendants Exposed As Investors In Shady Company Run By Pedophile — READ The Shocking Proof". Radar Online. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  10. ^ Masters, Kim; Handel, Jonathan (2014-04-30). "Bryan Singer Sex Abuse Case: The Troubling History Behind the Accusations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  11. ^ a b MENN, JOSEPH (2000-02-10). "Web Start-up DEN Replaces Top 2 Execs, Drops IPO Plan". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  12. ^ Menn, Joseph; Kaplan, Karen (2000-02-18). "DEN Layoffs". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  13. ^ "Digital Entertainment Appoints Former Microsoft Exec to Tech Post". Los Angeles Times. 1999-08-12. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  14. ^ a b MENN, JOSEPH; MILLER, GREG (2000-05-07). "How a Visionary Venture on the Web Unraveled". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  15. ^ Menn, Joseph (2000-06-15). "DEN Files for Bankruptcy Court Liquidation, Owes 200 Creditors". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  16. ^ a b c MENN, JOSEPH (2000-08-02). "DEN Investigated on Alleged Fraud in Liquidation". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  17. ^ "Digital Entertainment Network (DEN)". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  18. ^ Angelo, Jesse (1999-10-01). "MONEY FOR NOTHING? DEN PAYS EXECS BIG FOR NO REVENUES". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  19. ^ MENN, JOSEPH (2000-07-08). "Teen Worker Sues DEN, Its Founders on Sex Charges". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  20. ^ Grover, Ronald; Siklos, Richard (1999-11-14). "Digital Entertainment Network: Startup Or Non Starter?". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  21. ^ DUNN, ASHLEY (1999-11-04). "3 Co-Founders Quit Before Digital Entertainment IPO". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  22. ^ MENN, JOSEPH (2000-07-26). "3 Former DEN Workers File Suit". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  23. ^ MENN, JOSEPH (2001-03-03). "DEN Sex Suit Expanded With Additional Allegations". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  24. ^ Handel, Jonathan (2014-05-05). "Lawyer for New Bryan Singer Accuser Shows Photos, Says He Has Physical Evidence". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  25. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (2014-04-22). "Three Hollywood executives deny accusations of teen sex abuse". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  26. ^ "Three New Men Named By Bryan Singer Sex Accuser In Lawsuit: Former Hollywood Honcho Garth Ancier, Ex-Disney Boss David Neuman & Broadway Producer Gary Goddard". Radar Online. 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  27. ^ Handel, Jonathan (2014-06-10). "Sex Abuse Accuser Files New Case Against David Neuman". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  28. ^ Handel, Jonathan (2014-06-04). "Sex Abuse Case Against David Neuman Withdrawn". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  29. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (2014-06-05). "Michael Egan drops his sex abuse lawsuit against David Neuman". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  30. ^ a b Faughnder, Ryan (2014-06-27). "Garth Ancier sues sex-abuse accuser Michael Egan, attorneys". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  31. ^ Sewell, Abby (2015-06-07). "Michael Egan's former attorneys apologize for false Hollywood sex abuse claims". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20.