Time Warner Cable
and NBC Universal Cable
(NBCU) announced they renewed a deal today allowing Time Warner
customers to restart television shows already in progress.
The service, which allows programs chosen from among NBC, USA, CNBC, MSNBC,
Bravo and SCI-FI to “start over,” will be launched later this year.
The deal signals Time Warner’s growing commitment to provide its affiliates
with new services, and also includes the rights to on-demand content from
NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC.
As part of the agreement, NBCU will develop interactive opportunities for
Time Warner Cable, as well as participate in several new technology trials,
both companies said.
“Customers will continue to have access to one of the top-rated cable
networks on television, USA, while also having the opportunity to utilize
new technologies like Start Over,” David Zaslav, president of NBCU
Cable, said in a statement.
“We expect Start Over will help deliver more
engaged viewers to our advertisers. From HD to video on demand (VoD) and
interactive TV our customers will get to watch the valuable programming we
have to offer from news to entertainment in new and exciting ways.”
A pair of recent studies shows VoD is growing in popularity and is expected
to make greater inroads in programming over the next several years.
ABI Research reports VoD will
start to make an impact on television programming within five years, a move
that will trump traditional TV scheduling, as people choose their own times
to watch a movie.
The continued growth of VoD is currently dependent on satellite and cable
operators, as well as the rollout of IPTV, a broadband service available to
telephone carriers such as Verizon
The ABI report says IPTV will be a key factor in VoD’s growth, while the
Baby Bells will need to upgrade older DSL and fiber-to-the-home networks.
“This agreement provides us with extremely desirable programming for Start
Over, our VoD offerings and interactive television making Time Warner Cable
customers and NBCU viewers the big winners,” Time Warner Cable Executive
Vice President Fred Dressler, said in a statement.
“Once again NBC and NBCU
have proven to be forward-thinking business partners — partners that share
our desire to deliver consumers highly rated content using today’s advanced