The classic interactive programming guide (IPG) was designed over 20 years ago using a grid data-presentation model. This design was perfectly suitable for a small number of homogeneous video channels and a short (few - hour-long) schedule. Today’s IPG must manage over 300 heterogeneous video, PPV, VOD, and music channels in a two week schedule. It also has to manage time shifting (PVR) capabilities. The classic grid-based IPG was never designed to handle these tasks, and has to be significantly modified to reflect this new reality. The big question is how to modify the IPG so that it wins consumers’ minds and solves the new problems? A mathematical model of the IPG is necessary to make the right decision. This article describes the first mathematical model of the IPG based on the cognitive information theory. Different popular IPG solutions are analyzed and compared based on the proposed model.