News

Cablevision Refreshes Its Web Content

1/06/2002 7:00 PM Eastern

Cablevision Systems Corp. has relaunched the broadband content portal for its Optimum Online high-speed service, mixing content from its Rainbow Media Group Inc. subsidiary, Audible.com, Screaming Media, Tribune Media Services and ChoiceRadio.com.

Cablevision's 423,000-plus Optimum Online subscribers can use the portal (www.optonline.net) — replete with video clips, music files and gaming applications — as their default Internet home page.

"We have the opportunity to help showcase the best of the Web, and create a new visual experience that was easier to navigate," said Cablevision eMedia products group vice president Chris Tice. Since its relaunch, there has been a double-digit increase traffic to the site, said Tice.

Based on consumer research, Cablevision added such new categories as personal finance and travel, and expanded the site's news, entertainment and sports sections, she said.

Optonline.net users can view video clips of events at two Cablevision-owned venues — Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall — or watch trailers for films playing at the MSO's Clearview Cinemas. Also available are news clips from Rainbow's local News 12 networks, 30 genre-based Internet radio stations from ChoiceRadio and clips from Audible's audio books.

The site also offers content from Cablevision's Madison Square Garden Network regional sports services, as well as Rainbow's American Movie Classics, Bravo and Independent Film Channel. There is also content from providers not owned by Cablevision.

Cablevision doesn't release information on how many of its 423,000 subscribers use Optimum as their home page, but Tice said "the majority of subscribers come to the site regularly, and that number is increasing over time."

"We feel the front door and the gateway serves such an important purpose for our cable subscribers and we're not going to outsource that," she added. "The primary purpose is to showcase the best of the Web out there."

Cablevision is looking at several other providers of gaming, sports, music and movie content, she said.

"It's a real natural for those companies to want to work with us since we aggregate so many broadband customers," Tice said. "Our partnership choices will be driven by what services our customers want. We're in a lot of active discussions right now."

Cablevision said it has offered content providers the opportunity to pitch their subscription services to Optimum users under a shared revenue scheme, along with electronic-commerce and advertising options.

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