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Time Warner VOD Comes to L.A, Orange Counties

6 Nov, 2001 By: Staff Reporter

Time Warner Cable will introduce video-on-demand service on its Los Angeles-area cable systems early next year, using nCube's server architecture to deliver films to about 363,000 customers, the companies said Monday.

Time Warner, the nation's second-largest cable operator, will launch VOD in Orange and Los Angeles counties on systems serving the South Bay and San Fernando Valley and such cities as Torrance and Huntington Beach. With deals in hand with Universal, Sony and Warner Bros. -- through its affiliation with In Demand, which negotiates studio deals for its member cable companies -- Time Warner says it has enough product to offer customers about 100 movies.

Also Monday, SeaChange International said it will deploy VOD and subscription VOD at six more Time Warner Cable divisions, with some launching as early as next month. SeaChange and Time Warner declined to name the systems involved.

One major factor slowing the rollout of VOD among cable operators is their inability to secure rights to films from the many studios that remain adamant in demanding a bigger split than that offered by regular pay-per-view. Cable operators, in turn, are seeking to negotiate a more favorable timeline than the current two-month lag between home video windows.

Time Warner Cable spokesman Mike Luftman said first-run films will cost $3.95 each and older movies an undisclosed lower amount on the Los Angeles-area systems.

The announcement is significant for nCube because it is the first public deployment for its VOD hardware-software solutions.

Time Warner has been testing VOD on its Austin, Texas, Tampa, Fla., and Honolulu cable systems and testing HBO-on-demand (part of its SVOD service) in Columbia, S.C., and Cincinnati. In those areas, Time Warner has been using SeaChange and Concurrent Computer Corp.'s VOD products.

Concurrent said Monday that Time Warner Cable is expanding its SVOD trial at its South Carolina division to Myrtle Beach and Summerville.

--Andrew Grossman for The Hollywood Reporter

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