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Charter/DIVA update deals, expect four more markets

Tue, 07/17/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Charter Communications Inc. and DIVA are getting around to the contract part of all the work they've been doing. The expanded deal covers the 1.7 million customers the two intend to serve by the end of the year.

The original deal covered deploying DIVA's VOD capability on Charter's systems in the first two markets in May 2000: one each in Los Angeles and Gwinnett County, Ga. The two combined their technology in four more markets in the interim, most recently on June 3 in Fort Worth, Texas, and St. Louis. The deal covers the next four markets, as well, says Charter spokesman Andy Morgan.

Morgan says the deal focuses more on the anticipated total of 1.7 million customers in the 10 markets getting VOD via DIVA than on the expected end-of-2001 time frame. He would not disclose terms of the deal.

Charter has used DIVA's software and services on Scientific-Atlanta set-top boxes in Los Angeles and Fort Worth, Morgan adds. "The rest were on Motorola (boxes)." He's not sure which boxes will be used for upcoming markets.

In September 2000, Charter invested $5 million in DIVA Systems Corp. At the time, the company said the investment expanded an existing relationship and gave Charter a seat on DIVA's board. DIVA is a privately held company with such investors as Motorola, NTL, OpenTV, Liberate and Starz Encore.

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