Bits & Bytes
YES, A TV NETWORK FOR YOUR PC. NO, IT ISN'T HBO
Displaying television programs alongside software programs is fairly simple these days. You just have to buy a special signal receiver and outfit your personal computer with a video board. But who actually wants TV on a PC? NBC Cable and Private Satellite Network Inc. are betting that investment pros do. The New York companies have teamed up to create the Private Financial Network (PFN), perhaps the first broadcast network intended for viewing on PCs.
During business hours, PFN brings live footage to brokers, traders, analysts, and corporate fund managers. For a monthly charge of $42.50 per PC, the broadcast appears in an on-screen PC window, which the user can make smaller or larger. Early subscribers, including those at Merrill Lynch & Co. and Cigna Corp., now get to see financial newsmakers in action even before wire services can report the news. The commercial-free programming includes press conferences, analyst meetings, congressional testimony, and selected shows from NBC Cable's CNBC channel, such as Japan Business Today.EDITED BY EVAN I. SCHWARTZ