Cox eyes social 'TV Lounge' feature for program guide

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Cox Communications may be considering adding social TV recommendations to its interactive program guide, letting subscribers recommend TV shows and movies through a "TV Lounge" section of its guide.

The nation's third largest cable MSO filed an application at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to copyright the brand TV Lounge. Cox describes TV Lounge in the application as "an on-screen interactive electronic program guide that enables users to share information and recommendations about television programs, motion pictures and other video content via social networks, electronic mail and other electronic communications networks."

Several pay TV distributors are beginning to integrate social TV recommendations into their program guides, including Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse TV.

Comcast plans to integrate social TV recommendations into its next generation Xfinity TV service next year, and DirecTV has struck deals with social TV firms Miso and GetGlue which will let its satellite TV subscribers view content recommended by friends through its guide. AT&T has deals with several providers to integrate social TV recommendations into its U-verse TV service, including Miso, BuddyTV Guide, TV Foundry and WayIn.

Officials at Cox, which has been deploying a new IPG called Trio that is based on the cable industry's tru2way platform, didn't respond to a request for comment about the TV Lounge copyright filing.

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