Cox Communications, the third-largest cable provider in North America, says that it will launch interactive television in up to five of its markets by the end of 2005, starting with its Gulf Coast operation later in the spring.

The cable company will also provide new interactive services to its existing digital customers. Applications available at launch will include local weather forecasts, news headlines, cinema listings, horoscopes, as well as customer service applications.

“iTV will further enhance the value of Cox Digital Cable,” said David Pugliese,
Cox’s vice president of product marketing and management. “It provides access and convenience so customers can easily find valuable information not traditionally available via TV and view the information using a remote control.”

Cox says it will continue to enhance its interactive TV offerings with additional applications including games and caller ID available later this year.

“iTV will enable us to provide our customers with an integrated communications experience,” said David Pugliese. “The interplay of Cox services and interactive viewing experience is the next phase in our bundling of services and a better way to serve our customers.”