HBO revs up VOD for rollout


HBO plans to aggressively push a new subscription-based video-on-demand service the cble programmer has been testing with customers since July, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"This is not some dreamy test or experiment. This is a rollout," the Journal quotes Gerald Levin, AOL chief executive, saying. Plans call for the HBO service to be rolled out to about 300,000 additional Time Warner Cable customers by the end of the year in three additional markets the company wouldn't name. Pricingis still to be determined.

Levin reportedly feels that the window of opportunity for interactive services has arrived, and points to HBO's current test of the VOD service in Columbia, S.C. as proof.
Demand for HBO shows in Columbia swamped the system on the night of the July 1 launch, forcing the company to reduce the offering to about 1,000 customers the next day, from an initial 30,000. About 2,200 customers are now getting the service, the Journal reports. After a 30-day free-trial period, the service costs $3.95 a month.

The service enables existing HBO subscribers to see old episodes of two hit shows, The Sopranos and Sex and the City, along with other HBO shows.

At the same time, the media company