PRODIGY, ATLANTA PAPER LINK FOR INFO SERVICE; MIRCROSOFT CHANNEL COMING TO TCI; AMERICAN AIR JOINS IN LINEUP; INTERNET ACCESS GROWING

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Prodigy, Atlanta paper

link for info service

Prodigy Services Co. and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on March 13 introduced Access Atlanta, a local news and information service. The online product is the first example of Prodigy's "open network" system, which allows outside content providers to develop stand-alone services that tie in to Prodigy. Access Atlanta draws editorial information from the Journal-Constitution but will concentrate on highly local information, allowing subscribers to check on recent home sales by ZIP code or access neighborhood crime reports and photos. The Journal-Constitution is selling online ads to local marketers and retailers such as Rich's department store. David Scott, publisher of electronic information services for Access Atlanta, said he expects 40,000 Access Atlanta subscribers within three years. Prodigy subscribers can join for an additional $4.95 a month, while non-Prodigy members can access the service for $6.95 a month.

Microsoft channel coming to TCI

Microsoft Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. last week said they will develop a cable TV network targeting consumer interest in personal computers, software and accessories. The cable service, jointly owned by the two companies, will include magazine-format shows and home shopping and will be introduced within 12 to 18 months. The venture will start as a traditional, one-way service but eventually will deliver interactive services. Microsoft and TCI earlier this month announced an agreement for Microsoft to develop software for interactive TV.

American Air joins IN lineup

American Airlines will be the exclusive domestic airline in Interactive Network's Charter Advertiser Consortium. American will use IN to test commercial awareness and response, as well as commercials of different lengths. Chrysler Corp. earlier signed a similar contract and used the service to measure commercial recall during the Super Bowl. Interactive Network subscribers use a hand-held device to play along with sports and other TV programming; the service is available in northern California and Chicago.

Internet access growing

CompuServe said it will offer its members access to the Internet, including newsgroups and archives. CompuServe already offers an electronic-mail link to the Internet. Separately, Continental Cablevision and Performance Systems International, an Internet access provider, plan to offer a cable link to the Internet for $125 per month. Cable subscribers in Cambridge, Mass., will be able to hook up their PCs to a special modem allowing faster access to Internet files.

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