The Comcast Media Center (CMC) is taking the wraps off of its “Express Lane,” which is a new service for video-on-demand (VOD) content providers, at this week’s Cable Show.

Express Lane features automated workflows and remote management capabilities for video television networks, advertisers, cable operators and other content services companies. The CMC said it was designed to accelerate the delivery of VOD content to near real time by publishing VOD content directly into the CMC’s video-on-demand distribution platform, which currently reaches more than 30 million VOD-enabled households across the country.

Express Lane also allows VOD content providers to direct the delivery of individual VOD assets to specific cable system headends, enabling more flexibility to produce and deliver content to a particular marketplace. It also adds the functionality to post VOD programming to a "bull pen," where content providers can preview the video programming and select the cable systems that should receive a particular VOD asset.

“Express Lane represents a significant breakthrough in the delivery of on-demand content by accelerating the delivery of personally relevant content to the industry’s VOD customers,” said CMC senior vice president and COO Gary Traver. “Moreover, Express Lane uses the CMC’s best-in-class and ‘trusted source’ content management technology to provide greater flexibility and efficiency for VOD content distribution, which reduces our clients’ operating costs while improving their time-to-market capabilities.”

The CMC also announced today that it has entered into an agreement with iCueTV to validate iCueTV’s t-commerce, voting/polling and request for information (RFI) fulfillment platform.

The agreement paves the way for cable system operators that have signed on as beta sites for the CMC’s Hits AxIS service to test t-commerce and RFI set-top box applications integrated into iCueTV’s ETS platform.

iCueTV and itaas will demonstrate what they claim is the first fully operational, live t-commerce application at this week’s Cable Show in Washington, D.C. (story here).

More Broadband Direct 03/31/09:

•  Cox picks NDS to enable this summer's tru2way launch

•  Comcast Media Center bows Express Lane at Cable Show 

•  Shenick puts DOCSIS 3.0, EuroDOCSIS to the test
•  Moto adds gateways, CPE management software
•  Alloptic intros DOCSIS-enabled PON
•  R.L. Drake intros end-to-end cable system
•  Arris, BelAir combo on hotspot networks
•  Sprint CEO Hesse gets $14.2M in 2008 compensation
•  Netflix ups fees for Blu-ray amid rising demand
•  Web ad revenue grew in 4Q but slower than in past
•  Broadband Briefs for 03/31/09