Ordering pay-per-view events and movies via the Internet
will soon be available to consumers through a new service offered by TelVue Corp.
The company, which currently offers
automatic-number-identification PPV-ordering technology, will provide subscribers with the
ability to order a PPV movie though online television guides, operator Internet sites or
its own TelVue Internet site, said Don DeCinque, vice president of new business
development for TelVue. The company is currently in negotiations with The Prevue Channel
to administer the technology so that Prevue Internet users will be able to order movies
directly from its television guide.
Joe Murphy, executive vice president of sales and
operations for TelVue, said the company hopes to link its technology with the Web sites of
other PPV-event and movie distributors so that consumers can order PPV shows directly from
those sites. All orders arrive at TelVue's Web site, which will provide consumers
with a text acknowledgment of their order on-screen.
"We see ourselves as the network behind an ATM machine
that carries the transactions and clears it through the bank, which, in this case, is the
cable operator," Murphy said.
The new system, however, will still be able to take ANI
telephone orders. "The real breakthrough is the fact that we have been able to retain
our existing ordering infrastructure and interface with the cable operator," said
Frank Carcione, president of TelVue. "The cable operator will not have to spend the
money to independently develop an Internet-ordering system or expend the capital for
additional hardware or software either at his location or through his billing
Murphy said consumers are already using the Internet to
check movie reviews or TV movie listings, so the service would only enhance
consumers' online experience. The service could also be a marketing tool for
operators to increase traffic for their own online sites.
"Everybody that's doing marketing has a presence
on the Internet, so offering PPV Internet ordering was obviously to take advantage of the
existing interest in the Internet," Murphy said. "It's a natural extension
to what operators are already doing."
TelVue will exhibit the technology during the CTAM
PPV/Digital show this week.
Murphy said the company is still formulating a rate card
for the service, adding that any additional charges will most likely be levied on
nonoperator entities like online guide companies or studios with online sites.
One top 10 cable operator who requested anonymity was
intrigued by the concept. "One of the biggest hurdles for PPV has been ease of
ordering for consumers," the operator said. "[TelVue's technology] would
allow subscribers to order PPV movies and events with a click of a button."
Murphy said the new PPV Internet-ordering system goes
hand-in-hand with TelVue's online PPV-reporting service, which provides operators
with Internet access to system-specific PPV event- and movie-purchasing information. More
than 200 affiliates are currently using the service, which TelVue launched in August,