Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): icueTV, Groupon, Imagina US, CMC, Insight, itaas

--icueTV Teaming with Groupon on tcommerce Demo at Cable Show
--Imagina US Taps Comcast Media Center for VOD Delivery
--Insight Taps itaas for EBIF Deployment
--itaas Launches iLaunch Program to Expedite Development and Deployment of EBIF Apps

Due to the large volume of news being generated this week by the Cable Show, we are covering today's stories in abbreviated round-up/summary form:

  • icueTV is set to team with Groupon on a tcommerce demo at the NCTA Cable Show, Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. icueTV COO, George Singley, told the newspaper that the demo will show how viewers watching a Groupon commercial could use their remotes to access a menu of options, including the ability to send a request to become a Groupon subscriber. "The technology directs the person to input a mobile phone number using the remote control's keypad," the Tribune explains. "The viewer then receives a text message with a link to enter an email address to sign up for Groupon."
  • Spanish-language programmer, Imagina US, has tapped Comcast Media Center (CMC) to deliver its VOD programming. "CMC's VOD distribution footprint includes cable systems across multiple MSO's serving more than 56 million VOD-enabled households in the US and Canada," the companies state in their press materials "Imagina's video-on-demand programming, which is currently available to Comcast Xfinity On Demand customers, includes the best programming from Television Dominicana, which features entertainment and comedy programming from the weekly variety show 'Divertido con Jochy' among others; top award shows, such as 'Premios Casandra'; and a wide variety of popular TV programs from the Dominican Republic."
  • itaas (information on whose Cable Show exhibit--in Booth 455--can be found here) has announced that Insight Communications has tapped it to help lead its EBIF deployment activities, via an agreement that includes licensing, installation, testing and support for the EBIF platform. "With EBIF deployed throughout its markets, Insight will be able to offer an enhanced interactive experience across its entire footprint of set-tops," Jim Elayan, itaas' VP of marketing, said in a prepared statement. "Having worked with other major cable operators on their EBIF deployments, we will bring our in-depth knowledge to Insight to provide a smooth implementation of technology."
  • In other itaas news: The company last week announced iLaunch, which it bills as "a 'plug and play' launch program that will allow cable operators to quickly and easily customize and deploy a variety of EBIF applications...Through iLaunch," the company's press materials continue, "cable operators will have access to a suite of pre-tested applications and tools that meet their business objectives and time-to-market schedules. The basic starter kit will include three applications: Remind and Record, QuickStart, and News, Weather & Sports Info. In addition, the iLaunch program will offer advanced applications designed to generate revenue, reduce operational costs, and create brand opportunities." According to itaas, the iLaunch program has two main components: "1) A program for the cable operators where they can select ready-to-deploy applications and engage itaas for the support of the deployment of these services. 2) A program for developers and content providers to have their application tested on the TVWorks EBIF platform in itaas' labs to verify functionality and compliance. Once tested, the application can become a part of the iLaunch program," the company says.
North America