Digital Ad Insertion Shifts to Smaller Ops


SkyConnect Inc. and SeaChange International Inc. boasted
that their first-quarter digital ad-insertion sales are already strong, as their sales
thrusts have shifted increasingly to smaller and midsized cable operators.

SkyConnect has been awarded a $4 million digital
ad-insertion contract with San Francisco'sBay Cable Advertising, the
eighth-largest interconnect. The 1.4 million-subscriber interconnect, which is managed by
Tele-Communications Inc.'s TCI Media Services, will deploy SkyConnect's
equipment across its 37 headends.

Michael Pohl, SkyConnect's president and CEO, said Bay
Cable executives had been looking over candidates since late last summer, and 'it was
us and SeaChange at the end.' In a statement, SkyConnect said its selection was due
primarily to 'the integration of Digital Equipment Corp.'s AlphaServer with
SkyConnect's software.'

Pohl added, 'The focus is shifting to the smaller
MSOs.' Several other contracts are likely over the next few weeks, he said, noting,
'It's been a good [first] quarter, so far.'

SkyConnect also shared an Adelphia Communications Corp.
digital insertion contract with SeaChange that was designed to enable the MSO to become
'100 percent digital by midyear,' said Jack Olson, vice president of Media
Partners, Adelphia's ad-sales unit.

Sources close to the matter said systems in upstate New
York, Virginia and Massachusetts will be handled by SeaChange, with the remainder by

A SeaChange spokesman also said its first-quarter sales to
date are 'strong.' Other executives were unavailable for further comment at
press time, although earlier they, too, agreed that they are concentrating more on smaller
systems now that the major MSOs and markets have been heavily penetrated with digital
insertion equipment.