Lycos is planning to launch a website devoted to high-quality, long-form video such as full-length films and television episodes, as it advances its strategy of attracting users via broadband entertainment content. It is likely to go live in the third quarter of this year.

Lycos, which used to be one of the most visited web portals but has seen its popularity shrink, has partnered with PermissionTV, a provider of internet video platforms, to establish the site's technical foundation.

When it goes live, the site will set itself apart from other video portals by delivering extremely strong, DVD-like image quality and by featuring outstanding content from producers who are knowledgeable about this medium, a Lycos executive said.

"With PermissionTV, we're integrating one of the first pieces of technology to let us create a video platform for distribution of high-quality video over the internet," said Brian Kalinowski, chief operating officer at Lycos.

The site will not follow the model of popular video-sharing sites such as YouTube, which are full of amateur clips with often objectionable content delivered with low image quality, he said.

Users can sample what Lycos has in store at the company's World Cup video site, which uses the PermissionTV platform.

Lycos is now in the process of signing up content providers, such as TV production houses, movie studios and independent filmmakers, as well as semiprofessional amateurs, he said.

"We're letting the film and video production community know that there is a new place for distributing their content on the internet," he said.

Lycos envisions having a flexible DRM (digital rights management) system so it can offer content owners various monetisation options such as subscription fees, advertising revenue, pay per view, download purchases and direct-to-disc transfers, Kalinowski said.