Diego Secures Motorola Site

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Charter Communications Inc. is rolling out its Digeo ITV product on its Motorola Inc.-based system in Clarksville, Tenn. — the first such launch on a Motorola platform in the United States.

"Our ITV product is now on Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola platforms in commercial deployments," said Digeo vice president and general manager Randy Carlson.

Charter has launched Digeo in 770,000 S-A homes. Several additional Motorola launches are scheduled by year-end, which will give Digeo a 1 million-home footprint across Charter properties, Carlson said. Clarksville has 20,000 digital set-top customers.

The deployment helps Charter in its quest to stem subscriber losses to direct-broadcast satellite by using interactive applications to cut down churn. For Digeo, which has no other MSO deals save for Charter, it legitimizes its technology on the Motorola platform.

"It's the same channel suite," Carlson said, running news, entertainment, weather, sports and money channels for Charter's subscribers. The functionality on the Motorola platform is largely the same as S-A's, Carlson said.

On the money channel, for instance, the Motorola application does not carry the 3,000 stock quotes carried on S-A systems, due to processing speed and memory issues. "But it's a pretty similar experience," Carlson said.

"We have the Charter One channel, that's the same," he said. "Customer care is the same."

The Motorola box launched with two games, and Digeo will add two more games soon. The S-A application has five parlor-type games.

Carlson said 72% of all Charter subscribers who have Digeo available to them have tried the service. The games platform is accessed by 38% to 40% of subscribers, with 12% to 15% playing games on a weekly basis. Gamers average three hours on the system each week.

Carlson said Digeo is testing other games and may add some local-channel content next year as it seeks to widen its subscriber base.

Digeo is owned by Charter chairman and majority shareholder Paul Allen.

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