Hbo On Demand Tab: $3.95
Time Warner Cable will roll out HBO On Demand July 1 in Columbia, S.C., in what the company bills as the first launch of subscription video on demand in the U.S.
The MSO will charge $3.95 per month (in addition to the digital HBO subscription fee) in Columbia for HBO On Demand but will be testing different SVOD price levels at several cable systems. Other cable operators are resisting charging extra for SVOD, notably Adelphia Communications which is planning to test the service. (See page 30.)
HBO On Demand will offer subscribers VCR functionality–the ability to rewind and fast-forward–as well as unlimited access to 150 titles of programming a month. The lineup will include series episodes, movies, sports, specials and kids programming and will consist of 75% HBO originals and 25% movies. In July, for example, HBO On Demand will feature current episodes of Sex and the City, Six Feet Under and Arli$$, as well as all the episodes from the first seasons of The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Oz.
HBO On Demand will be offered to digital HBO subscribers in greater Columbia, Orangeburg and Sumter, S.C., a system serving 165,000 subscribers. All digital HBO subscribers in that area will receive a free trial of HBO On Demand during its first month.
During the past five years, Time Warner has spent $100 million upgrading its South Carolina properties and installing the latest digital technology. Home Box Office and Time Warner Cable are both owned by AOL Time Warner.
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