Bell Atlantic Corp. last week became the first Baby Bell to receive Federal Communications Commission approval to conduct a video dial-tone test. Bell Atlantic plans to provide video services in Dover Township, N.J., with West Conshohocken, Pa.-based FutureVision of America Corp. starting in early 1995. The network also will offer interactive services, including home shopping, polling and advertising.
Capital Cities/ABC this fall will launch an online programming venue on America Online, offering information, discussion forums, polls and games tied to news, sports and daytime programming; "Good Morning America"; and ABC Radio Networks. It's possible ads will be integrated into the hub; America Online is starting to let its content providers sell ads. Cap Cities/ABC is the last of the major broadcast network companies to link with an online service. Earlier this year, CBS launched a programming initiative with Prodigy, while NBC hooked up with America Online and Genie. Fox has a relationship with News Corp. sister service Delphi Internet Services.
Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated for Kids last week went online with Prodigy Services Co., offering kids the opportunity to participate in polls and sports-related discussions and talk to the magazine's editors. SI for Kids is the first Time Inc. magazine to hook up with Prodigy; Time is already available on America Online. ... AT&T, Tele-Communications Inc. and U S West last week ended their test of video on demand in Littleton, Colo. ... A new report from Ernst & Young says worldwide spending on multimedia products for desktop computers will rise to $30 billion by 2000 from $1 billion today. The figures include spending on videoconferencing, education, entertainment and interactive business software. ... Ward J. Flock was named VP-sales at U S West Interactive Video Enterprises, San Ramon, Calif., from advertising director of Forbes ASAP.