News Press and Gazette Cable Inc. said its St. Joseph Cablevision system in
Missouri has become the first operator to commercially launch ICTV Inc.'s
headend-centric, digital interactive-television platform.
St. Joseph Cablevision has leveraged ICTV's analog platform to offer
electronic mail, Web access and gaming applications to 'hundreds' of customers
since February 1999. The operator said it will offer ICTV-based applications to
all digital homes on the system, which serves more than 26,000 subscribers.
ICTV's expanded deal with St. Joseph Cablevision comes on the heels of one
announced last week with Charter Communications Inc., which plans to launch
ICTV's thin-client digital platform this fall in Kalamazoo, Mich., a former
Bresnan Communications property that passes about 72,000 homes.
ICTV's interactive-TV platform 'is unique to cable and cannot be effectively
delivered via satellite -- our primary competition,' News Press and Gazette
general manager Bill Severn said in a press release.
The operator added that ICTV's analog service, which was marketed as 'Magic
Cable,' generated average revenue of greater than $18 per month, per
ICTV chairman and CEO Robert Clasen was critical of operators that have been
reluctant to launch his company's platform. 'It is ironic that since St. Joe did
not have a large staff to analyze it to death, they simply tried it and, in the
process, learned more than the rest of the industry while making money at it,'
Clasen said in a press release.