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Cox launches TV Everywhere in beta trial, signs new Rovi agreement

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 7:40am
Mike Robuck

Cox Communications launched its Cox TV Online in beta form yesterday.

The beta trial allows authenticated access to TNT, TBS, truTV and HBO Go content. A spokesman for Cox said this morning that the cable operator built the authentication system itself instead of using a vendor's platform.

The nation's third-largest cable operator had previously targeted a June launch for its TV Everywhere service to PCs.

Earlier this year, Cox started offering online content from Epix, which is a movie channel jointly owned by Viacom Inc., Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., and from Vutopia.

In other news, Cox Communications and Rovi signed a multiyear agreement that lets the cable operator license Rovi's interactive program guide (IPG) intellectual property for its broadband and mobile platforms.

The two companies had a previous agreement that was set-top box-based.

"Cox Communications is dedicated to providing our customers with choice, convenience and advanced features as part of their TV experience; this includes helping our subscribers find and navigate programming content on televisions and other devices," said Steve Necessary, vice president of video product development and support at Cox Communications. "Our announcement with Rovi confirms this commitment."

At The Cable Show in May, Rovi unveiled a service provider version of its advanced, flexible media guide. Rovi's TotalGuide for service providers uses metadata generated by Rovi for search, browsing and recommendation capabilities.

While Cox and Rovi didn't specifically mention TotalGuide in their press release yesterday, the guide can include content from linear TV, video-on-demand and a DVR, as well as Web-based content, through a single interface.

In April, Cox announced it had deployed Rovi's video-on-demand guide application, ShowRunner, in all of its Motorola systems. At the time, Cox said it was planning to supplement its Passport Guide in its systems based on the Cisco platform through the rest of the year.

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