RealTime IT News

TW Cable Licenses Gemstar Program Guide

Time Warner Cable has licensed Gemstar-TV Guide's interactive program guide (IPGs) to make it easier for viewers to sort through 200 digital channels.

Neither the duration nor value of the contract was disclosed.

The deal's structure is flexibile. The cable operator can provide its systems with a version of TV Guide Interactive, Gemstar-TV Guide's IPG, or incorporate TV Guide elements into its own guide or those of third-party vendors.

In addition to listings, the IPG provides detailed program information, previews, reviews and recommendations.

"We have agreements with a bunch of different vendors for set-top boxes and IPGs," Keith Cocozza, a Time Warner Cable spokesman told internetnews.com. "It helps keep costs down by encouraging competition."

Other Time-Warner partners include Scientific Atlanta and Microsoft among others.

Time Warner Cable, the nation's second largest cable firm, already had a deal with Gemstar-TV Guide for its TV Guide Channel, which provides scrolling program listing for its analog customers. That is expected to continue.

Los Angeles-based Gemstar-TV Guide and Time Warner Cable said they will also work to explore IPG advertising opportunities.

For Gemstar-TV Guide, the licensing deal helps it further position itself in the electronic medium. It already has IPG deals with other cable giants, Comcast and Charter Communications .