Pay-per-view ordering service Telvue Corp. and Internet company Gist.com agreed last week to create a service that would allow consumers to order PPV movies and events from a single Web site.
The system would allow TelVue-affiliated cable systems and direct-broadcast-satellite providers to order PPV movies and events via the Internet, said executives from both companies. It will be demonstrated this week at CTAMSummit 2000 in Boston, with testing slated to start in September.
TelVue serves more than 16 million subscribers and 700 cable systems.
Once a consumer enters his or her ZIP code on the Gist Web site's listings service (www.gist.com)-and gets a local TV schedule-the system can be personalized to search listings by day, time, program category and specific channel.
Programs available for PPV ordering will be highlighted with a special icon, which viewers can click to order.
In addition to ordering PPV buys from Gist's listing grids, cable and DBS subscribers could also order directly from program description pages or from banner ads on Gist.com, said TelVue executives.
At present, most Internet-based PPV orders are routed through a system's individual site to an ordering service such as TelVue's.
"This is a win-win situation for cable operators," TelVue president Frank Carcione said. "Subscribers can fulfill impulse PPV buys while browsing through their online TV listings, and the operators don't need to install any new equipment or incur any incremental costs."
For security purposes, a first-time user would need to create a special pass code. He or she could then order a PPV movie or event by entering their home phone number and the code.
Ordering information is then sent to TelVue, which identifies the subscriber, processes the order, and routes it to the customer's cable system or DBS operator for immediate authorization and billing.
"With our partners at Tel-Vue, we're building on our success for the interactive TV space as it converges with the Internet," Gist.com CEO and founder Jonathan Greenberg said. "We believe the capabilities we've developed on the Internet will easily adapt to the cable-television environment, providing cable operators with many more options for their subscribers."