Charter Communications Inc. extended its content ties with Microsoft Corp.,
signing an agreement allowing it to co-brand a beefed-up version of the MSN 8
Internet multimedia service for high-speed cable-modem customers.
Charter and Microsoft's MSN already co-brand the content portal for Charter
Pipeline cable-modem customers, and this agreement extends the relationship.
Starting in the second quarter, Pipeline customers will receive the
subscription MSN 8 content service free-of-charge for the first two months, and
thereafter, they will have the option to sign up for $9.95 monthly.
The two companies will share the resulting revenue, but they are not
releasing information on the exact split.
The package will include all of the standard MSN 8 content -- special spam
filters, up to nine user profiles for family members, content-filter options for
younger users (including weekly site-visit history reports for parents) and
beefed-up browsing tools.
In addition, Pipeline subscribers will have access to exclusive content not
offered to other MSN 8 users.
Charter and MSN will continue to operate the co-branded portal, which
customers will have access to at no extra charge.
"This new agreement combines our state-of-the-art, high-speed
Internet-delivery system with the superior qualities of the new MSN 8 Internet
service," Charter executive vice president and chief technology officer Stephen
"We believe our customers will perceive greater value from the combination of
Charter Pipeline together with the new features and services available with MSN
8, which offers the richest online experience possible," he added.
The MSN 8 co-branding deal also further strengthens the tie between the two
companies -- Charter's chairman is Microsoft cofounder Paul