Complete Cable Show 2009 coverage from Multichannel News
Bernard Gallagher, who was CEO at former cable operator Century Communications before it sold out (to Adelphia Communications) in 1999, will be at The Cable Show in Washington, D.C., this week with his new firm, iCueTV.
It's a television-commerce provider and, yes, Gallagher invested in it, even though his memories of promising interactive-TV projects that went nowhere are still fresh.
"Every attempt at interactive TV, going back to QUBE, has failed," he said, referring to the Warner Cable project in Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1970s.
What's different this time? He said iCueTV will work on existing set-tops, including baseline DCT-2000-type digital boxes.
He also said cable systems now are "pushing" for interactivity, something they couldn't and didn't do earlier.
iCueTV demonstrated at last year's Cable Show, in New Orleans, and will be in the itaas booth this time. It expects to be deployed in about 40 million TV homes soon after the convention, Gallagher said. iCueTV will be paid based on transactions.
Gallagher said he brought in a couple of other investors after teaming up with company president Michael Huegel two years ago. The Cherry Hill, N.J., firm - a 10-minute drive from Comcast in Philadelphia -has about 25 software developers on staff now. The application has been vetted and tested at most cable laboratories and iCueTV is working with content distributor Comcast Media Center.
"We want our platform to be available in as large a universe as possible," he said.
If it does go big, maybe this really will be the year of interactive TV.
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Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.