HBO Goes SVOD in Cincinnati10/03/2001 10:49 AM Eastern
Nearly four months after suffering complications with Home Box Office's
subscription-video-on-demand service in its Columbia, S.C., system, Time Warner
Cable launched the service in its Greater Cincinnati system Tuesday.
The Oct. 2 launch of HBO SVOD to about 330,000 Cincinnati-area subscribers --
the system would not reveal digital-household numbers -- will differ slightly
from Time Warner's April launch of HBO SVOD in Columbia.
There, the system's ordering infrastructure crashed under the weight of
thousands of requests for access to the pay network's SVOD service
Unlike Columbia, Time Warner Cincinnati will not offer a free one-month trial
for the service, officials said. Instead, it will charge subscribers $9.95 per
month for VOD access to episodes of HBO signature series The Sopranos and
Sex and the City, as well to original and theatrical releases. The price
is a marked increase from the $3.95 charged in Columbia.
Time Warner vice president of communications Mike Luftman said the Cincinnati
system does not expect to suffer similar technological breakdowns.
'Unlike Columbia, the service is not initially free, which is part of the
reason why we experienced that pop of orders early on,' he said. 'That's why we
do tests -- to determine the best way to offer the service.'