|Cablevision Brings Digital Television to Morris County With Launch of iO: Interactive Optimum-SM-|
|BETHPAGE, N.Y., Apr 17, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) --|
Morris County Customers Can Now Enjoy the Most Comprehensive Suite of Digital Services AvailableCablevision System Corporation (NYSE:CVC) today announced that it launched iO: Interactive Optimum, its suite of digital services, to customers in Morris County.
Already regarded as the most robust digital service offering in the cable industry, iO is rolling out in Morris County with increased functionality, additional digital channels, and a new, more user-friendly interface that provides customers with an even greater digital experience.
"Cablevision's digital service pushes the boundaries of innovation and takes home entertainment to a new level," said Kristin Dolan, vice president of digital product management. "iO's innovative control features, ground-breaking interactivity and expansive video-on-demand choices completely transform the way customers receive and enjoy television content. The vast programming and functionality opportunities are just beginning."
In addition to sharper, more brilliant images, crystal-clear sound and an expanded range of digital cable channels, Cablevision's advanced infrastructure gives iO customers unparalleled control and choice. With iO, Cablevision of Morris customers have access to expansive digital home entertainment choices including video-on-demand, digital programming and music, special interest videos, virtual channels, and email through the television.
iO will be available to more than 148,000 homes in the Cablevision of Morris system. Additional areas in New Jersey will be served later this year.
The cost for the Digital Basic Package, which provides iO customers with 26 digital networks, access to VOD, Mag Rack, access to 15 premium movie channels, Enhanced TV sites, digital music channels, the interactive programming guide and e-mail, is $9.95 a month.
Customers can order any of the subscription VOD programming services for an additional monthly fee of $4.95 and can purchase seasonal sports packages at additional costs. Individual VOD titles are priced on an a la carte basis.
Video-on-Demand (VOD)As iO's lead service, video-on-demand (VOD) provides Cablevision of Morris customers ultimate choice and convenience. Viewers have access to more than 600 titles from every Hollywood studio, as well as popular original series programming on-demand. Customers can access shows like The Sopranos, Sex And The City and Six Feet Under from HBO on Demand; Soul Food, Queer as Folk and The Chris Isaac Show from Showtime on Demand; and Charlie Rose, NewsHour and Barney & Friends from Thirteen on Demand - Public Television's WNET. Additionally, Cablevision is the only MSO to work directly with Hollywood studios for recent release films and offers more on-demand content than any other cable provider in the country.
Customers can effortlessly route through iO's expansive line-up of on-demand titles with menu screens that organize the programming by category. Viewers can select from this programming at their convenience and fully control the viewing experience with DVD-like functionality including the ability to stop, start, rewind and fast-forward at the touch of a button. VOD selections can be paused mid way through viewing and restarted from any iO set-top box in the house. Additionally, customers can watch their on-demand selections for 24 hours, allowing repeat and flexible viewing.
Digital ProgrammingiO provides customers with 26 hand-picked digital channels that allow consumers to view networks such as the Fox Movie Channel, ESPN Classic, Oxygen and Noggin. Depending on current premium movie channel subscriptions, users will also have access to up to 15 additional corresponding networks. Sports programming packages such as MLB Extra Innings, NHL Center Ice and NBA League Pass are offered seasonally.
Digital MusicWith 45 commercial free, digital music channels iO is ideal for music lovers. Each channel includes an on-screen display that list the song title, artist, album artwork and interesting artist facts. Using the channel guide customers can choose from an expansive selection of music genres, such as classical, jazz, gospel, Brazilian pop, rap, tropical and big band.
Mag RackCablevision is the first and currently the only MSO to include an original collection of niche video content focused on the hobbies, lifestyles and special interests of its viewers. Mag Rack, created by Rainbow Media's Sterling Digital and offered to customers at no additional cost, provides unique, on-demand video magazines with in-depth information on 22 topics of interest including motorcycles, wine, automotive, birding, science, photography, Catholicism, Shakespeare, weddings, vegetarian cooking and health.
Within each category enthusiasts can select from any number of informative pieces, designed to provide the latest information on specific categories of interest. For example, viewers interested in cooking can select from several on demand segments providing instruction from professional chefs.
Enhanced TelevisioniO also includes a line-up of interactive channels that transforms typical television into a destination for enhanced entertainment, communication and interactivity. Through iO's first-of-its-kind interactive programming, Cablevision of Morris customers can receive sports scores, news headlines, local weather, traffic and other personalized information with the touch of a button.
Leveraging its portfolio of entertainment properties like Madison Square Garden, and working with premier partners and branded cable channels, Cablevision's interactive line-up includes MSG Game Director, which allows sports fans to control their camera angles during live home games for the Mets, Knicks and Rangers; Gaming like blackjack and trivia; and News 12 Interactive, which enables customers to watch their local news on-demand, call up weather maps, post their views and participate in opinion polls. There is a place for children in the enhanced TV world with virtual puzzles and an interactive "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
User Interface and Interactive Programming GuideTo support iO's vast spectrum of services, Cablevision has developed an intuitive interface and powerful tools to help customers navigate the vast programming and content options. Text-based help has been built into the iO interface, and "How-to" videos explaining many of iO's features are available on-demand. iO's interactive programming guide makes it easier than ever to find new programming and old favorites through fully searchable program listings and user-friendly menus that group channels by genre and interest area, offer dates and times for individual shows, allow customers to run searches by keyword such as an actor's name, or run advanced searches that specifically find the keyword within a particular programming type. Selected programs are delivered to the screen at the touch of a button.
The guide's personalization capabilities allow everyone in the household to create individualized menus, isolate favorite channels and make it easy for parents to prevent their kids from accessing mature programming.
About CablevisionCablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation's leading entertainment and telecommunications companies. Its cable television operations serve 3 million households located in the New York metropolitan area, including approximately one million customers New Jersey. Cablevision of Morris serves customers in 29 Morris County communities. The company's advanced telecommunications offerings include its Lightpath integrated business communications services; its Optimum-branded high-speed Internet service and iO: Interactive Optimum, the company's newly introduced digital television offering. Cablevision's Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. operates programming businesses including American Movie Classics, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel and other national and regional services. In addition, Rainbow is a 50 percent partner in Fox Sports Net. Cablevision also owns a controlling interest and operates Madison Square Garden and its sports teams including the Knicks and Rangers. The company operates New York's famed Radio City Music Hall and owns and operates THE WIZ consumer electronics stores and Clearview Cinemas in the New York metropolitan area. Additional information about Cablevision Systems Corporation is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com.
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