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Suddenlink Readies VOD for Texas Systems

Starting next week, Suddenlink plans to launch video-on-demand service in its Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, San Angelo, Snyder and Sweetwater cable systems in Texas, officials said Thursday.

Existing Suddenlink customers will start receiving more information by mail this week and next. The new VOD service will be offered in Andrews, Big Spring and Plainview, as well as Clovis, N.M., later this year.

Access to this service will be enabled by a new interactive program guide, Macrovision’s i-Guide, which Suddenlink is pre-loading on set-top boxes slated for delivery to new digital customers. The same guide will be deployed electronically to digital boxes that are already in customer homes.

Once enabled, Suddenlink’s VOD service will offer thousands of viewing choices, including movies, sports, news, music and shows from popular cable networks such as Nickelodeon, Noggin, MTV, Comedy Central and Discovery Channel. Local programming, including sports, news and events, also will be available.

An expanded inventory of more than 40 channels of HDTV programming will be included in the mix. More than a third of the Suddenlink VOD library will be free. The rest will be available for either a per-view charge or monthly subscription.

Suddenlink’s VOD library will be regularly updated, with about one-third of the inventory changing over each month to make fresh choices available to customers. VOD programs will be stored at a centralized server and delivered across the company’s new, West-Texas fiber ring, completed earlier this year.