TVN Entertainment Corp. added a new outlet for its digital
near-video-on-demand service last week, reaching a distribution agreement with TCA Cable
TV Inc.'s Victoria, Texas, system.
But while TCA will launch TVN's full turnkey
digital-cable service to 20,000 subscribers in Victoria, the MSO has not committed to
offer the service to its remaining 870,000 subscribers, MSO executives said.
The recently rebuilt 750-megahertz plant only offered two
pay-per-view channels prior to its move to digital, said Randy Rogers, executive vice
president of TCA. Despite using Tele-Communications Inc.'s Headend in the Sky digital
offerings in other systems, Rogers said it chose TVN for the Victoria system.
"We were intrigued by TVN's marketing support, as
well as its NVOD programming," Rogers said.
"We're looking forward to working with TCA Cable,
and we believe that they will be pleased with the results of launching our service,"
said David Sears, senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for TVN.
"Our digital-cable affiliates have been able to
achieve as much as 16 percent digital set-top penetration in a short period of time, and
they have seen solid triple-digit buy-rates," Sears added.
TCA expects to generate at least a 100 percent monthly
buy-rate through TVN's service, Rogers said.
But he added that the MSO is still keeping its digital-PPV
options open for the rest of its systems. "Our options are wide open now. We're
looking for the best way to get [digital PPV] out there to our subscribers," Rogers
said. "Our next moves will rely quite a bit on the results that come out of
TVN's announcement comes on the heels of its decision
to offer NVOD programming and financial services via cable boxes.
TVN, along with Pennsylvania-based Vivid Technology, has
developed a VOD service that's compatible with any set-top box utilizing General
Instrument Corp. technology.
Any cable system with hybrid fiber-coaxial two-way plant
can implement TVN's new VOD movie-programming service for its customers. The company
said it will begin testing the service in several yet-to-be-determined systems.
TVN also recently announced an alliance with
Citigroup's "e-Citi" division to develop a set of financial services for
TVN's customers. TVN and e-Citi are creating hardware and software interfaces for the
financial services, which will be made available to cable operators and their subscribers
via TVN, officials said.