Time Warner Cable to absorb MystroTV
Time Warner Cable confirmed an earlier report that the operations of Time Warner Inc.'s Interactive Personal Video Group — the division developing the super-secretive MystroTV service — will come under the auspices of the MSO.
MSO spokesman Mark Harrad also confirmed that Interactive Personal Video Group chairman and Time Warner Cable veteran executive Joe Collins plans to retire by year-end. CED sister publication Multichannel News first reported the news.
Time Warner's IPVG unit, introduced in August 2001, and MystroTV have set their collective sights on advanced, network-based TV-on-demand applications and an interactive guide that ties them all together. Reports thus far indicate that the technological underpinnings of the service have done the job, but programming rights remain a prominent issue. Time Warner Cable has conducted initial technical tests of the service in Green Bay, Wis.
Collins' coming departure had a role in the decision to move IPVG under Time Warner Cable, but, Harrad explained, it also was influenced by the fact that the MystroTV platform and service enhancements would benefit and get rolled out by the cable MSO.
Though Time Warner Cable plans to keep the MystroTV project running, the change in operational structure will result in some layoffs at MystroTV, which employs about 110 people in New York and Colorado. The majority of those employees are based in Colorado. The number of layoffs has not yet been determined.
Also to be determined is what role Jim Chiddix will play under the new structure. Chiddix, who reports to Collins, currently serves as president of the IPVG unit. Chiddix previously was Time Warner Cable's CTO and senior vice president of engineering and technology.