Aiming to simplify and bring unity to its live TV and video-on-demand lineups, Time Warner Cable has been quietly rolling out a new national, theme-based approach that the MSO expects to wrap up by the end of 2014.
Following initial beta trials in central New York, including Syracuse and Utica, TWC has been deploying this uniform, genre-based approach since June 2013, and just this week has begun to launch the concept in New York City, parts of New Jersey, and in Southern California, a TWC spokesman confirmed. Following earlier debuts in areas such as Staten Island and Mount Vernon, N.Y., as well as San Diego and Desert Cities, Calif., the plan is to complete deployments in NYC and L.A. in the next few weeks.
The MSO, the official added, has already introduced the new lineup in several markets, including upstate New York; Portland, Maine; the Carolinas; and in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. The rollout is also underway in Kansas City and Augusta, Maine.
Under the new approach, TWC is reorganizing channels 100 and above by genre (entertainment, music, sports, shopping, premiums, sports, etc.). Channels 1-99 remain unchanged, and there is no change in the channels associated with a customer’s TV package.
One key reason for the genre-based shift is to help customers navigate through the MSO’s lineup of hundreds of live TV channels as well as TWC’s growing VOD content lineup. “With Time Warner Cable’s new channel lineup, finding the channels you love is now simpler, smarter and better,” proclaims a video touting the new lineup.
The new lineup is also being paired with some new on-screen guide features. The remote’s “A” button, for example, lets customers browse by category, while “B” brings up a way to search by show title. Additionally, customers with an HD box are automatically tuned the a channel’s hi-def feed. Customers may have to reset DVR recordings, and will need to reset their “favorite” channels and any “Power On” channel settings in markets that have launched the new categorized lineup.
TWC has also introduced a new online mini channel lineup and a channel lineup tool at TWC.com that lets customers view available channels based on video service packages.
TWC is in the process of being acquired by Comcast, so it’s unclear if TWC’s new category-based lineup approach will live on when and if that deal is consummated.
This demo video offers more details on TWC’s new genre-based lineup:
By genre, here’s how TWC is grouping its channels (along with a sample channels that are featured in each category):
Entertainment: Starting at channel 100 (USA, A&T, TNT)
Life & Style: Starting at channel 160 (HGTV, DIY Network, Oxygen)
News & Info: Starting at channel 200 (CNN, Fox News Channel, Bloomberg TV, C-SPAN)
Kids & Teens: Starting at channel 250 (Disney Channel, Boomerang, Nickelodeon)
Music: Starting at channel 285 (Palladia, MTV Jams, Revolt, CMT, GAC, Fuse)
Sports: Starting at channel 300 (ESPN, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, NBC SN)
Inspiration: Starting at channel 460 (EWTN, INSP, The Word Network)
Shopping: Starting at channel 480 (QVC, HSN, Jewelry Television)
Movies On Demand: Starting at channel 500 (Movies ON Demand, Movies On Demand Kids & Teens)
Premiums: Starting at channel 510 (HBO, Showtime, Starz, EPIX)
Movie Channels: Starting at channel 600 (Encore, Flix, IFC, Hallmark Movie Channel, FEARnet)
Pay-Per-View + 3D: Starting at channel 650
Sports Packages: Starting at channel 700 (MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, ESPN Full Court)
Latino: Starting at channel 800 (TV Azteca, Galavision, novoTV, CNN en Espanol)
On Demand: Starting at channel 1000
Local Programming: Starting at channel 1200
International: Starting at channel 1400
Adult: Starting at channel 1800
Radio: Starting at channel 1900
TWC Info: Channel 1998
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