BudtvBud.TV, the $30 million online video channel produced by Anheuser Busch, launched today. Although the channel is not completely beer-focused, the company has implemented a rigorous registration process to keep visitors under 18 out of the site.  The system cross-references zip codes and driver license registrations. 

Steve Bryant, 29, blogger of the Hollywood Reporter’s "RealPop" and contributor to NewTeeVee couldn’t register after several attempts. He writes in his post that he had to use his dad’s name and date of birth to get in.  Steve hasn’t shared his review of the site, but the registration process was not a good way to get started.

Steve’s not the only blogger to run into registration problems.  Read Staci Kramer’s account on paidContentSteve Safran at LostRemote is even more harsh.

Jackson West over at NewTeeVee weighs in with a critique of the content and is not too impressed, he scowls:

     "How about tired sketch comedy cliches, prehistoric treatment of women and more product placement than one can reasonably stomach."

OK, OK… but remember, we’re all learning about the business model of dedicate broadband channels. Many will succeed.  I think it’s hugely beneficial for the industry that Anheuser Busch has the guts (or fear) to experiment with $30 million in this online video venture.  It might be a success or utterly fail, but we will learn from it.  I’ll drink a cold one to that!  This Bud’s for us.

Andy Plesser