Press release: 1993-04-14: SEGA, TIME WARNER AND TCI JOINT VENTURE TO BRING VIDEO GAMES TO CABLE TV
From Sega Retro
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Original source: The Free Library
NEW YORK, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Sega of America, Inc., Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P., and Telecommunications Inc. (TCI) today announced plans to form a joint venture to develop and market "The Sega Channel," offering Sega Genesis owners access to a large library of video games via cable television. The Sega Channel to be priced in the range of most pay-cable subscription services will be launched in test markets this fall. The service could be available to all U.S. cable system operators by early 1994. Sega Channel subscribers will choose from a wide selection of popular games, previews and soon-to-be-released titles, gameplay tips, news, contests and promotions. The programming will be updated monthly to keep it exciting and new for avid gamers. To receive the Sega Channel, subscribers will get a special tuner/decoder cartridge. The tuner/decoder plugs in the Sega Genesis cartridge slot and attaches to the television cable. A menu appears on the television screen, allowing the subscriber to easily select any game, preview, or other program material. The selected game is available in minutes, and plays identically to the cartridge version. "Everybody comes out ahead with the Sega Channel," said Tom Kalinske, Sega of America president and chief executive officer. "The consumer gets an extraordinary value a well- stocked and constantly updated library of games for a low monthly fee. Once subscribers and their friends enjoy a game or preview, they'll be more likely to buy the packaged version so retail sales will increase. Our intellectual property licensors, developers and third-party publishers will gain a new source of revenue. And Sega, Time Warner and TCI will have begun working together on new ways to deliver mass market interactive entertainment in the radically evolving telecommunications infrastructure of tomorrow." Additionally, Kalinske estimates that there will be 12 to 14 million Genesis homes in the United States by the end of 1993. Sega's partners in the proposed joint venture are the two largest cable system operators. Time Warner was among the first to market a premium cable service. "The Sega Channel delivers the equivalent of games-on-demand via today's standard analog cable," said Larry Romrell, senior vice president of TCI. "Virtually every cable operator will be able to offer this exciting high-tech service now, without waiting for the new digital cable technologies. At the same time, this development signals the beginning of an explosion of interactive programming for our developing broad-band networks." "We welcome the opportunity to explore an innovative pay-cable business which delivers top quality video games to the home," said Geoff Holmes, Time Warner senior vice president of technology. "Along with our partners, we intend to make the Sega Channel as much of a breakthrough in the interactive video marketplace as HBO was in the early days of cable." Sega of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of $2.8 billion Sega Enterprises, Ltd., Japan. Sega is a worldwide leader in arcade and home entertainment systems. TCI is the world's largest cable company. It serves 10.2 million subscribers in 49 states and has operations in nine foreign countries. Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) is the world's leading media and entertainment company, with interests in magazine and book publishing, recorded music and music publishing, filmed entertainment, cable television and cable television programming. -0- 4/14/93 /CONTACT: Ellen Beth Van Buskirk of Sega of America, 415-802-1436; or Lela Cocoros of TCI, 303-267-5273; or Edward Adler of Time Warner Inc., 212-484-6630/ (TWX) CO: Time Warner Inc.; Sega of America, Inc.; Telecommunications Inc. ST: New York IN: ENT SU: JVN PDT LR -- NY084 -- 5815 04/14/93 14:58 EDT COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder. Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.