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Blue Ridge Deals Interactive Card

Blue Ridge Communications subscribers might be making history by playing “Texas Hold ’Em” and “Billiards” with buddies in other Blue Ridge homes over their TV sets and via remote control.

The Palmerton, Pa.-based cable provider launched two multiplayer games from Carlsbad, Calif.-based Buzztime Entertainment Inc. Feb. 1. Blue Ridge has about 30,000 digital subscribers in the Palmerton area.

“We have launched and people are playing head-to-head, live, multiplayer Texas Hold ‘Em and live, head-to-head, multiplayer billiards,” Buzztime president Tyrone Lam said Friday, previewing an announcement set for Monday by the unit of NTN Communications Inc. “That’s the first time that’s ever been done in the United States. A lot of people have demonstrated and made announcements, but nobody’s ever actually had people play.”

A broadband component is in the works, enabling play via the PC or the set-top. In Blue Ridge’s case, set-tops are supplied by Scientific-Atlanta Inc.

The cable operator already offers several single-player Buzztime games such as “Solitaire,” “Checkers,” “Jungle Bop” and “Hexagone.”

For more on Blue Ridge and Buzztime, please see Matt Stump’s story on page 8 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.