Cablevision Systems Corp. is dropping the TV Guide Channel passive scrolling
guide for the Zap2It guide from Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. rival
Tribune Media Services.
The MSO is consolidating its passive guide offering, which is currently split
between TV Guide -- available in 1.2 million of its 3 million basic homes -- and
its native guide, known as Channel 14, spokesman Jim Maiella said.
Pricing had nothing to do with Cablevision's decision to drop TV Guide,
Maiella said. He added that Zap2It is more flexible and gives the MSO more
control of the guide's messaging feature, which were the key reasons for the
The deal provides a good boost for Tribune, which distributes Zap2It to about
1.8 million subscribers in the United States and Canada.
The company also has a hunting license with Time Warner Cable, which has
rolled out Zap2It in Orlando, Fla.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and some small systems in
Mississippi and Nebraska, Tribune vice president of entertainment products
Barbara Needleman said.
Gemstar chief operating officer Jeff Shell downplayed Cablevision's decision
to drop TV Guide Channel, calling it a 'short-term financial decision' on the
Unlike TV Guide, which carries advertising (Gemstar splits its avails with
operators), Tribune allows operators to decide whether or not to run ads on
Maiella said he did not know whether Cablevision would run ads on Zap2It.
Tribune's key pitch to operators is the flexibility it offers with the Zap2It
guide, Needleman said.
'Basically, our goal overall is to make it work for the operator, from the
branding to the look and feel,' she added.