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'Quick Clips’ Expands

Time Warner Cable is slowly expanding the rollout of a new service that allows digital-cable subscribers to access Internet video content from CNBC, CNN and The Weather Channel.

The “Quick Clips” product debuted in August on Time Warner’s South Carolina system, and will soon roll out in San Antonio, Greensboro, N.C., Rochester, N.Y., and three other unnamed systems, Time Warner officials said last week.

“Quick Clips works on all digital set-top boxes. It’s short-form, time-sensitive [video-on-demand] clips that our programming partners ship to us not via satellite, but using a secure Internet connection,” said Bob Benya, Time Warner Cable’s senior vice president of on-demand product management.

Viewers are prompted that the VOD clips are available when an “enhanced TV” icon pops up on the screen. They can access the clips, which run up to seven minutes in length, by pressing the select buttons on their remote controls.

About 150,000 subscribers on Time Warner’s South Carolina system have access to the service. The system also offers the cable provider’s new “Start Over” service, which allows viewers who miss the beginning of a program to restart it if the show is accessed within an hour of its scheduled starting time.

Benya said each Time Warner system that deploys Quick Clips will also market Start Over.

CNN is supplying video clips for Quick Clips from CNN.com, including stories from the site’s “Top Stories,” “Business” and “Sci-Tech” sections. CNBC is providing analyst reports, CEO interviews and industry updates, while The Weather Channel is offering viewers local weather reports through Quick Clips.

Benya said cable programmers aren’t charging Time Warner additional fees for the Quick Clips content. He said the multiple-systems operator and its network suppliers will look to generate advertising revenue from Quick Clips, but he said Time Warner hasn’t yet finalized how the deals with programmers would be structured.

“It could be a bumper [ad]; it could be a sponsor mention; it could be a graphic baked into the video,” Benya added, explaining that there are several options for including advertising with Quick Clips.

Charging subscription fees for premium Quick Clips content is also a possibility, Benya said.

The new service is generating interest from Time Warner’s South Carolina customers, Benya said, noting that Quick Clips was ranked as the No. 5 free video-on-demand service on the system in August.