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Time Warner Cable tests technology to hold viewers

Time Warner Cable is testing a new technology that could help television programmers corral audiences in an age when viewers have increasing control over what they watch, Reuters reported.

Time Warner Cable, a unit of media giant Time Warner, is pitching an on-screen digital navigation tool that will let television networks point viewers to sister stations or to new services such as video-on-demand.

Using the new tool, viewers can click on a pull-down menu during live broadcasts to channel surf to any number of a particular network’s sister properties. A pull-down menu on CNN would point to CNN Headline News or even CNN on-demand.

The technology being introduced by Time Warner Cable, would aim to give programmers some measure of control over audiences, even as they have more choices, Reuters said.

Time Warner’s new onscreen navigators, which have yet to be named, are being tested in a small market in North Carolina. Time Warner is in early discussions with programmers. Britt said CNN, which is part of Time Warner corporate cousin, has already signed on for the test.

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