Cablevision Sets TV Games Free

Cablevision Systems launched an interactive gaming service with 17 titles available for no extra charge to digital cable customers, which supersedes the MSO's previous subscription-based games packages.

The service is provided via ActiveVideo Networks' TAG Games division. It comprises an array of card, puzzle, arcade and children's games, and Cablevision said it will add one new game each month.

Customers can play games against other Cablevision iO TV customers in a "house-to-house" mode, an option that isn't currently available from satellite or telco TV competitors.

The new service replaces Cablevision's previous interactive games offerings, from providers including PixelPlay and Zodiac Interactive, which had been available in packages for $4.95 per month.

"We are always looking to differentiate and add value to our products, and the addition of free games for our iO TV customers serves both objectives," Cablevision senior vice president of product management John Trierweiler said in a statement.

The games on-demand service, available on channel 610, includes Bejeweled 2, Diner Dash, Bob the Builder and Sudoku, plus traditional card, word, trivia and arcade games.

The other operator that currently offers the TAG games is Time Warner Cable Oceanic in Hawaii. In 2009, Aloha State subscribers spent an average of 116.5 minutes per day in the games-on-demand channel, according to set-top box data measured by Kantar Media.

ActiveVideo completed the acquisition of TAG Networks, which had about 30 employees, in May 2010.

Cablevision offers other features through ActiveVideo's "cloud-based" interactive TV system, including thematically grouped channel mosaics that display up to nine networks at a time, News12 Interactive and advertising showcases.