Show Pipes Up Distrib Pacts
The Cable Show here provided the backdrop for several distribution deals between a number of content providers and operators.
On the high-definition front, Cablevision Systems-owned Fuse inked the first distribution deal for its nascent high definition video-on-demand channel when the network launches on Comcast in July.
The Fuse HD VOD content will be available to approximately 7 million Comcast digital-cable customers and will include original series, interviews and music videos. It also will include events and concerts from Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon, The Chicago Theatre and the WaMu Theatre, according to Fuse executives.
TV One will also launch a standalone HD channel later this year, although it has yet to sign up any affiliates. TV One’s HD offering will feature a simulcast of the 43-million subscriber network’s programming lineup, and network executives say they’re currently in discussions with operators regarding distribution.
Sports fans will be able to watch more football, baseball and basketball games in HD in 2009 according to FSN, which announced it will produce more than 3,000 HD Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and college football and basketball games. The figure is up from some 1,700 this year, according to network executives.
In other distribution deals, TVN Entertainment will distribute its video-on-demand content to Suddenlink Communications as part of a multiyear deal between the two parties. TVN will provide Suddenlink with access to a full slate of content, including Hollywood movies in both standard- and high-definition, broadcast and cable network fare for the operator’s free-on-demand platform, premium subscription on-demand offerings and exclusive VOD networks.
On the technology front, Digeo — the DVR company backed by Paul Allen — announced that Charter Communications will begin deploying its new Moxi Cable HD DVR 3012 in the third quarter.
The dual-tuner high-definition DVR includes support for multistream CableCards, external storage options of up to 1 Terabyte and Web-based scheduling. Digeo also offers “extensive data mining” capabilities of Moxi usage.
Charter spokeswoman Anita Lamont said the test market for the Moxi HD DVR is St. Louis.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.