Tulsa, Okla. -- The Prevue Channel officially becomes TV
Guide Channel today (Feb. 1) in preparation for the expected closing later this month of
United Video Satellite Group Inc.'s purchase of TV Guide.
Cable operators got a sneak peek at the changes at the
Western Show in December. The new brand will also apply today to Prevue's Web site,
which will combine with News Corp.'s TVGEN to become TV Guide Online. News Corp., TV
Guide's owner, will continue to own a stake in TV Guide.
The Web site will also eventually become a place for
ordering merchandise and pay-per-view events.
Other fruits of the new venture will be additional features
on TV Guide Channel and more listings on the digital TV Guide Interactive, as well as a
consumer ad blitz to trumpet the changes.
Also, UVSG will change the name of the Sneak Prevue PPV
barker channel to TV Guide Sneak Prevue later this year and add new features to the
Prevue is in around 53 million homes in the United States.
In November, Prevue Networks executive vice president and
general manager Pam McKissick said, "We are investing $18 million in that analog
product next year. It'll be a new platform. It's going to have a sexy new
New programming on TV Guide Channel will be tied into the
magazine, such as its "Insider" and "Best Bets" features. On-screen,
the top half of the analog service will focus more on celebrity coverage and interviews,
while listings scroll on the bottom.
At the Western Show, Prevue Networks displayed a prototype
for the digital guide in General Instrument Corp.'s upcoming DCT-5000 boxes, which
will contain such features as movie trailers on-demand, "TV mail" and home
Prevue claimed that the digital guide is in more than 800