Cablevision Launches an Interactive TV Channel and Two Free VOD Services

New York-area MSO, Cablevision, has this week launched an interactive TV channel and two free VOD services on its iO digital cable platform.

According to the company, the new interactive TV channel--dubbed Wedding Central and operated by Cablevision's programming subsidiary, Rainbow Media--will "provide viewers with multiple opportunities to interact with [its] programming via their remotes." Among other things, the company says, viewers will be able to use their remotes to vote for their favorite brides, share their opinions on featured brides' wedding dresses, take part in polls and quizzes, and connect directly with local and national advertisers. In addition, Cablevision says, the channel's Web site,, will offer "original and exclusive" relationship- and wedding-themed content, games (such as "Bridal Hurdles," "The Bouquet Toss" and "Wedding Planning Bridezillas"), and user-generated content, as well as a "robust" line-up of interactive content, including voting, polling and "mobile opportunities that will connect viewers to specific programming on the network." At launch, the new channel, which is available in both SD and HD, is offering around 300 hours of series and specials--including "Single in the City," "Rich Bride, Poor Bride," "Girl Meets Gown," and "Bridezillas"--sourced from Rainbow Media's female-targeted channel, WE tv. Cablevision says that the new channel will begin offering original programming next year.

The free VOD services that have just launched on iO TV, meanwhile, are Martha Stewart On Demand and Shalom TV. The former allows viewers to select between short-form instructional videos, organized into such categories as Food, Crafts, Kids, Gardening, Weddings, and Home and Decorating. It also provides seasonally thematic content, including "Back to School," "Summer Fun" and "Favorite Summer Desserts." Shalom TV, meanwhile, which is a nonprofit organization, offers an array of Jewish-themed content, including a weekly "Jewish Film Festival"; exclusive presentations of programs from the 92nd Street Y; news from and about Israel; programs on Jewish cooking, arts and culture; comedy and music programming; and interview programs featuring prominent figures from the Jewish community. "With an expanding library of quality, branded content from leading programmers like Martha Stewart and Shalom TV, free video-on-demand continues to serve as an integral component of the iO TV home entertainment experience," Gary Schanman, Cablevision's SVP of video product management, said in a prepared statement. "As consumers seek increased flexibility and greater relevance from their entertainment choices, Cablevision is thrilled to offer consumers more content than ever before."

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