Cable outfit plans autumn pay-per-view launch

Recently-merged cable companies ComTel and Telecential plan to launch their pay-per-view TV service, called Take One, in October, despite not having completed any deals with major Hollywood studios.

Director of business development Alexander Zwissler says: “We are in discussions with a number of studios at the moment. However, there is nothing we can announce as yet.”

The plan is for ComTel and Telecential to be on air a month before On Demand Management, which has backing from rival cable companies, and is scheduled for launch in November.

The backers for On Demand Management include Telewest, Cable & Wireless and General Cable.

The two cable groupings want to get their movie offering out before the digital services from larger operators like BSkyB, Granada, and the BBC Flextech joint deal are launched towards the end of this year.

Comtel and Telecential merged in June and currently have 140,000 subscribers. They have also taken on advertising agency Teamworks to handle an ad campaign for the service, which initially will be aimed at its existing customers as a way of establishing loyalty before fierce competition breaks out.

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