TVN Entertainment Corp. will launch its digital-cable
service to Millennium Digital Media subscribers as part of a deal reached between the two
companies last week.
Millennium will roll out TVN's 32-channel,
near-video-on-demand turnkey digital service to 140,000 customers in Washington, Michigan,
Maryland, Oregon and Idaho beginning this fall.
"This partnership with TVN allows us to dramatically
expand programming choices and add value for our customers," Millennium vice chairman
and chief operating officer John Brooks said in a prepared statement. "We have made a
commitment to our subscribers to provide superior programming and cutting-edge digital
TVN senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing
David Sears said Millennium's geographically diverse subscriber base and its
"forward-thinking digital strategy" work well with TVN's turnkey digital
service. TVN will handle all of the programming, technical, billing, transactional and
marketing efforts for the MSO.
In other TVN news, the company has formed a strategic
alliance with Digital Funding International to help operators finance the costs of
purchasing digital boxes for their digital services.
The arrangement will cut cable operators' initial capital
investments for acquisition of such digital equipment as set-top boxes and headends.
Operators have to pay TVN $280 to $290 for each digital
box, as well as a $3 monthly fee for each digital subscriber. Affiliates will have the
option to purchase the equipment after a mutually agreed-upon period of time, Sears said.
"Our new leasing program enables TVN's cable
affiliates to launch digital immediately and to create new digital revenue streams, while
minimizing the initial investment required to upgrade their plants," Sears added.
"This financing package is one of the many turnkey services we provide to our
DFI president Richard Dalbeck added that his company
"complements TVN's ingenuity with state-of-the-art financial services."
TVN and DFI will provide operators with financing for all
equipment needed to launch digital programming and services, including headend upgrades
and digital set-top boxes.
In order to facilitate quick turnarounds, Sears said,
operators can apply for DFI's leasing programs by utilizing its proprietary "OnLine
Application System," which can be accessed through DFI's Web site (www.digital-funding.com).
The announcements come on the heels of TVN's recent
acquisition of GRTV Network and Panda Shopping Network, a live home shopping service.
With the acquisitions, TVN said, it will create a
transaction-oriented multimedia-commerce service and provide home shopping opportunities
to consumers via television and the Internet.