SnagFilms used the Sundance Film Festival as an opportunity to announce that Terry Semel has made an unspecified investment in the digital network company and has joined its board of directors. Semel is best known to the entertainment industry as the former chairman and CEO of Yahoo and former co-chairman and co-CEO of Warner Bros.

SnagFilms founder and chairman Ted Leonsis and CEO Rick Allen said the company is in the process of expanding its film library and extending its distribution reach to additional platforms, and that Semel’s experience in both traditional and digital entertainment made him a valuable asset.

SnagFilms backed that promise up by announcing its recent acquisition of the digital rights to a list of indie movies that includes Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, We Live in Public, Super Size Me, Jesus Camp, Operation Homecoming, Manda Bala and Casino Jack and the United States of Money.

“While more great films are being made every year, it is increasingly difficult to get indies into theaters or on TV,” Semel said. “At Yahoo, we were one of the early proponents of the power of content showcased through new media. SnagFilms … can help shape this next phase, bringing great stories to broad new audiences.”

In a way, this development brings together some of the early giants in the mainstreaming of the Internet. Semel was head of Yahoo, and Leonsis was vice chairman and president.of AOL. Additionally, Steve Case is also an investor with a seat on SnagFilms’ board. He co-founded AOL, where he served as chair and CEO, subsequently becoming chairman of AOL Time Warner.

SnagFilms, which also is affiliated with news site IndieWire, features free, sponsor-supported, on demand viewing on its own site and a digital network of more than 110,000 affiliated sites and webpages worldwide, including partners such as Comcast’s, Hulu, the Starbucks Digital Network, IMDb and AOL/Huffington Post. It also offers selected titles via pay video on demand with Comcast and FiOS, as well as on iTunes, Hulu Plus, Amazon, YouTube Movies, and will soon be launching on DirecTV and digital streaming providers Vudu, Samsung Media Hub and Xbox Live.

Related links:

SnagFilms blog post –