EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1022 - May 20, 2005     1 of 4

Time Warner Cable Subscribers Access eBay on TV

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Time Warner Cable subscribers in Austin, Texas, now have the ability to access eBay directly from their home televisions. The cable company is running a test of "eBay on TV" using BIAP Systems Inc.'s "intelligent agent software technology. "

eBay on TV allows registered eBay users to check the status of their accounts and submit bids using their existing set-top boxes and remotes. Alerts are posted on subscribers' screens if they have been outbid or have won an auction - all in real time and from any channel. The service comes at no additional cost to cable subscribers and is accessible through a simple on-screen sign-in process.

eBay on TV has been pilot tested by Time Warner in Austin, Texas "with great success," according to the company, which is now rolling it out to all digital cable subscribers in Austin. BIAP Systems is in discussions with other major cable companies who are interested in bringing interactivity to their customers.

BIAP Systems is a portfolio company of SCP Private Equity Partners, a private equity firm. The software used to bring eBay to TV was developed by BIAP to run on "edge" devices such as cable set-top boxes that have limited computing power. It employs artificial intelligent agents to continuously retrieve, aggregate, and display content from any digital source.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Time Warner will continue to evaluate the service before deciding whether to expand the service. The paper said eBay isn't directly involved in the deal.

The first item purchased using eBay on TV interactive television was a pair of cowboy boots. One of them now sits in BIAP's offices, and the other has been placed in the Cable Center in Denver, Colorado.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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