Comcast Systems Test Web Ordering


Several New Jersey-based Comcast Corp. systems will offer
customers the opportunity to order pay-per-view movies and events via the Internet.

The MSO has teamed up with New Jersey-based to develop a mechanism to allow subscribers to order PPV programming
as far as 30 days in advance from either home or work, executive vice
president Tom Furr said.

Comcast will offer the technology to more than 300,000
subscribers beginning in October, Comcast area PPV manager Priscilla Reilly said. Once a
subscriber signs up for the product via a toll-free number, a password is provided, which
allows the subscriber to order programming from's customized Web

Once an order is processed, relays the
information to TelVue Corp., and the order is confirmed on-screen.

The Web site is scheduled to go online at the end of

"If someone wants to order something from the office
to watch this weekend, they can [do so] right off the Web site,"
president Todd Frenchman said.

"What we have created is basically an online PPV guide
rich in content with the ability to order movies or events that are playing now or a week
or more from now," Frenchman added. will also provide subscribers with
customized e-mail alerting them to upcoming movies and events featuring their favorite
stars. And the site offers screen-savers for users to download, Furr said.

For operators, -- which is partly owned
by CableView Publications -- provides systems with advertising opportunities on the site.
The company will also provide them with cross-channel spots and marketing materials
promoting the Web site.

Frenchman, however, would not reveal how much the service
will cost operators.

It's also unclear how many subscribers would actually
use the Internet to order PPV programming. Frenchman did say that during a previous
beta-test, about 40 percent of those ordering PPV events and movies through the Web were
PPV nonusers.

Reilly added that the service provides the system with the
ability to promote and capture potential PPV users. "There are a lot of people on the
Internet now, so it provides us with another opportunity to reach viewers and to make
PPV-ordering options available in another media," she said.

She added that if the tests prove successful, Comcast could
implement the technology on a permanent basis by next year.

While Comcast is the first MSO to test the format,
Frenchman said, is in negotiations with several other MSOs --
including Time Warner Cable -- for potential rollouts.