Archive for Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sunflower to launch on-demand TV services

January 12, 2005

Sunflower Broadband announced Tuesday it would launch Sunflower on Demand television service next month in Lawrence, Eudora, Tonganoxie, Basehor and the Piper area of Kansas City, Kan., allowing digital subscribers to watch selected programs from several networks whenever they want, as often as they want.

The service, using SeaChange International technology, initially will feature more than 1,000 hours of movies and TV programs from sources including NFL Network, HGTV, Food Network, Fine Living, DIY and Showtime.

Sunflower expects to add more networks and offerings to the service in the coming months.

"We've embraced digital television fully to give our subscribers the most exciting applications available on the market today and to set the stage for new ones," said Patrick Knorr, Sunflower's general manager. "The thrill and convenience of on-demand television is a choice that satellite cannot deliver. It is changing the way cable subscribers enjoy every aspect of television, from movies and sports to news and network programming of all types."

For consumers, the on-demand services will operate similar to Sunflower's existing Pay-Per-View service, but with one major difference, said Emily Mulligan, Sunflower's marketing manager: Most on-demand content will be available at no extra charge.

Some services will be available for additional fees. Among them: Kids Unlimited, which will feature content from PBS Kids.

For $4.95 a month, Mulligan said, parents will be able to order all the episodes of Barney, Teletubbies, Sesame Street and other selected shows whenever they want, as often as they want.

More than 20 million viewers nationwide have access to on-demand television services, many of them using SeaChange technology. The Maynard, Mass.-based company is deployed in more than 100 systems nationwide, including 17 of the country's top 25 markets.

Sunflower Broadband provides cable television and high-speed Internet services to residential and business customers in Lawrence, Eudora, Tonganoxie, Basehor, Piper and parts of rural Douglas and Leavenworth counties. It is a division of The World Company, which owns the The Mirror newspaper, the Lawrence Journal-World and several other weekly newspapers in northeast Kansas.

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