NTL'S Video-On-Demand (VOD) strategy appeared to have suffered a blow this week as the company lined up to provide the technology for its service filed for bankruptcy protection, writes Paul Revoir
Diva Systems has filed for reorganisation under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, with Gemstar TV Guide agreeing to purchase the bulk of its assets and technology.It is now unclear where this will leave NTL's VOD strategy - the cable giant invested $6m (£4.1m) in Diva in 2000 with a view to working with the US-based company to roll out the service in the UK.NTL refused to comment on the news, but sources within the company moved to downplay its relationship with Diva. They claimed that it had not been relying on Diva and had been talking to other VOD providers. They added that although Diva was the preferred provider two years ago, the market had changed radically in the past two years.One industry source said if NTL sorted out its financial problems - net losses stood at $600.2m (£409.6m) for the first quarter of this year - VOD could be running by the end of next year.The news followed Telewest's announcement last month that it was shelving plans for VOD after admitting it had only 15 months to save itself from financial ruin.- NTL was this week reprimanded by the Independent Television Commission for misleading viewers over claims that its delayed digital interactive service was 'coming soon'.