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Gemstar-TV Guide International and Cox Communications have forged a long-term deal that will include the "future deployment" of Gemstar's interactive program guide (IPG). Financial terms were not disclosed.

A Cox spokesman said the MSO expects to introduce Gemstar's IPG products sometime in early 2007, with expectations that it will replace its existing digital set-top navigation platforms. Presently, Cox uses IPGs from Scientific-Atlanta and Aptiv Digital, a company that recently spun off from its former parent company, Pioneer. The MSO noted that it will continue working with its existing IPG vendors this year, and that work will involve some new projects.

Cox said the decision to work with Gemstar was linked to the vendor's work with the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) and a new navigator from TV Works, an interactive television (iTV) joint venture of Cox, Gemstar and Comcast Corp.

"We are confident in our selection of this world-class solution for our near and long-term needs," said Cox VP of Video Product Development Steve Necessary, in a statement. "The anticipated implementation of the IPG on the TV Works 'TV Navigator' middleware solution and on OCAP middleware is indicative of Cox's and Gemstar-TV Guide's commitment to that technology direction."

In addition to the IPG commitment, Cox has also agreed to continue its distribution of the TV Guide Channel and the TVG Network, which provides horseracing and "interactive wagering." The operator said it will also distribute TV Guide SPOT, a barker channel for video-on-demand services.

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