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TVN, EDS ink package to market ppv

TVN Entertainment Corp. and Electronic Data Systems Corp. have signed a deal to co-market a new cable pay-per-view delivery system.

TVN, which operates 10 PPV channels for the backyard satellite dish market, will now be able to offer a service to cable franchises boasting addressable set-top boxes.

EDS, which is a unit of General Motors Corp., is a leader in back-office operations such as information management and data processing, from taking the order to check clearing. It’s unveiling a new computer software specifically for the cable industry to handle large transactional TV services, such as PPV. The software, called INFO Plus , will have a component, TheaterVision Plus, tailored to PPV services such as ordering, billing and program delivery.

Design and deliver

TVN’s role is in helping design and now deliver the PPV part of the service. The software, according to TVN president Stuart Levin, will let franchise operators analyze buy-rates, track royalties and follow transactions.

“The whole idea is that with cable reregulation, the only thing not being regulated is PPV or transactional services,” said Levin. “It’s a new revenue stream. To do all the transaction-based services, we have a turn-key system.”

“This is soup to nuts ordering capability,” added Ted Ehling, a vice president at EDS’ Media Division.

INFO Plus will be displayed at the National Cable Television Assn. Show in San Francisco next week. EDS currently serves 120 cable operations with software.

If successful, TVN will get a boost from broadening its market to the 20 million or so homes equipped with addressable boxes. TVN, which holds the leases on several satellite transponders, currently caters to some 3.8 million satellite dish owners.