SCRIPPS NETWORKS, TIME WARNER CABLE TAKE ON-DEMAND PROGRAMMING INTO MORE THAN 30 MARKETS ACROSS U.S.
Mon, October 14, 2002 by Cindy McConkey
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (October 14, 2002) – After a successful video-on-demand trial in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Scripps Networks and Time Warner Cable are expanding their video-on-demand agreement to offer Scripps Networks on-demand programming in more than 30 Time Warner Cable markets across the country. “The customer response to our VOD trials in Cincinnati proved that there is more than ample interest in our on-demand programming,” said Channing Dawson, Senior Vice President of New Ventures at Scripps Networks. “In expanding across the country, Time Warner and Scripps Networks are committed to developing a VOD model that works for everyone – the customer, the programmer and the cable operator.” John Baird, Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for Scripps Networks, added that the strong relationship between the cable programmer and Time Warner Cable is one reason why Scripps Networks is eager to expand the VOD effort into other Time Warner markets.“We have an excellent business partner in Time Warner – one that clearly values our networks and the initial work we’ve done to build an on-demand service with them,” Baird said. “Time Warner has worked with us to get our networks distributed, and now we’re pleased to be able to support their efforts to launch VOD across their system.” The agreement provides a base of 10 hours a month of on-demand programming from each of Scripps Networks’ three established networks – Home & Garden Television (HGTV), Food Network and DIY-Do It Yourself Network – in the majority of Time Warner’s digital cable systems. Scripps will refresh those offerings with six new hours of on-demand programming every week. Unlike the trial in the Cincinnati market, where customers paid between 99 cents to $1.49 to view Scripps Networks on-demand programs, the on-demand packages in these new markets will be offered free-of-charge. “We are in an introduction and education phase with the customer,” Dawson said. “Working with Time Warner in these new markets, we will work toward defining a viable subscription video-on-demand model that will help all of us move this business forward.” As cable operators move more aggressively into digital formats, many believe that enhanced services such as VOD and SVOD may reduce “churn,” or the turnover of customers. An independent survey of those who purchased on-demand programming through the Scripps Networks-Time Warner trial in Cincinnati provides solid support, with 67 percent of those surveyed saying they are more likely to retain their digital services due to the Scripps Networks On-Demand offerings. (Source: Seidmon Associates, April 2002) Scripps Networks and Time Warner Cable launched their first joint VOD trial in November 2001 on Channel 1 in Time Warner digital cable homes in Cincinnati, Ohio. The initial Scripps Networks On-Demand package included a total of 60 hours of programming taken from HGTV, Food Network and DIY. While much of the early programming was holiday-related, new programs were introduced on a weekly basis for the next eight months. The trial ended in July, 2002. Other additions and changes to Scripps Networks On-Demand programming that will be incorporated into the new markets include: Design Enhancements –Design and navigation of on-demand programming has been enhanced for VCR functionality. In some shows, a Table of Contents makes it easy for customers to find specific topics and segments they want to view more easily, with a fast-forward element to take them directly there. Also, slates interspersed throughout videos provide chapter headings and resource information, much like one might find on a related web site. Compilations – Because Scripps Networks can draw on its library of more than 15,000 hours of programming, it is able to provide deep vertical-interest content. Scripps Networks has developed a variety of such topical compilations covering subjects like rose gardening, car restoration, kitchen design, bathroom makeovers, water gardens, patio projects, polymer clay projects, faux finish painting and much more. On-demand programming from Scripps Network’s newest network, FINE LIVING may be added to the Time Warner Cable on-demand markets as FINE LIVING is added to Time Warner Cable lineups across the country.About Scripps NetworksScripps Networks, with offices in Knoxville, Tenn., New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit, includes HGTV, Food Network, DIY and FINE LIVING, which launched in March 2002. HGTV is distributed to almost 80 million U.S. households. Internationally, HGTV owns 33 percent of HGTV Canada and provides much of the Canadian network's daily programming. In addition, HGTV’s branded programming is currently seen in Japan, Australia, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and 16 countries in Europe. Food Network, which is distributed to 76 million households in the U.S., also owns 29 percent of Food Network Canada. Food Network branded programming is carried in France, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore as well as in Australia. DIY is distributed to approximately 13 million U.S. households. The network’s branded content can currently be seen in Japan. With distribution agreements with Time Warner, National Cable Television Cooperative and DirecTV, Fine Living Network is available in nearly 13 million U.S. households. Scripps Networks is owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP), which operates 21 daily newspapers and 10 broadcast television stations. The E.W. Scripps Company also operates Scripps Howard News Service, United Media, the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT, and 32 web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com, fineliving.com and comics.com.About Time Warner Cable Time Warner Cable owns and manages the world’s most advanced, best clustered cable television operations, with 90 percent of its 12.8 million in systems of 100,000 subscribers or more. It is a division of AOL Time Warner Inc.