Comcast Media Center Goes TV Shopping With icueTV

Comcast Media Center will offer icueTV's "T-commerce" applications to cable operator customers through its HITS Advanced Interactive Services suite.

Through the agreement, operators using HITS AxIS will be able to offer icueTV's interactive t-commerce applications -- including click-to-e-mail, click-to-purchase, voting, polling and audio and video downloads.

Investors in Cherry Hill, N.J.-based icueTV include Bernard Gallagher, former president and chief operating officer of cable operator Century Communications. The company's current CEO is Patrick Gates, previously head of Discovery Communications' retail division, where he oversaw e-commerce and merchandising activities after the company shuttered 103 retail stores.

So far, icueTV has not announced any customers that have commercially launched using its platform.

To use the system, a video content producer (an advertiser or broadcaster) uses icueTV's Web portal to provide a description and pricing of the products, services or information it wishes to make available to viewers. The associated program identification (PID) data is inserted into the content stream, which then triggers an interactive app on participating cable systems. Viewer actions are passed back to icueTV, which facilitates fulfillment.

Gates said CMC has tested the icueTV technology in its labs and the two companies have demonstrated the platform at recent industry events. "We are now at the point of our collaboration to move forward with deployment and partnering with MSOs," Gates said.

Other interactive apps available through CMC's HITS AxIS include FourthWall Media's Yellow Pages on TV. HITS AxIS uses the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) platform developed by Comcast-owned TVWorks and S&T's Broadcaster 2 object carousel playout servers for delivering applications.