Cable Operators

Mag Rack 'Walks The Line' With 'Guitar Xpress' Tie-In

3/31/2006 7:00 PM Eastern

Mag Rack is launching a movie promotion this week for the on-demand premiere of the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, at the same time it launches new programs for its Guitar Xpress instructional music series.

The initiatives are another example of the video-on-demand service tying together original content, in this case new episodes from its guitar series, with major movie premieres on VOD.

The Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. movie generated $118 million at the box office and premieres on demand April 7.

The 60-minute promotional video, which will be available to 10 million digital subscribers via Mag Rack, includes interviews with Michelle Shocked, Cowboy Jack Clement, Bobby Bare Jr., Aaron Tippen, John Carter Cash and Kathy Cash Tittle, plus movie trailers and other material. The video is hosted by Johnny Cash's brother, Tommy Cash.

Mag Rack debuted its movie promotion series in 2004 with Paramount Pictures' School of Rock, tying that movie into the debut of Guitar Xpress, which featured some of the songs from the movie.

The company also has launched VOD promotions for 2Fast 2Furious, Sideways, Ray, Starsky & Hutch, The Wedding Crashers and The Wedding Date. Mag Rack said its viewers accounted for 25% of all Ray movie orders during its on-demand window last year, and it believes the promotion helped drive Ray buy-rates for cable operators. The company said the buy-rates in Mag Rack systems were 38% higher than those in non-Mag Rack systems.

The new Guitar Xpress launches with 30 new songs, hosted by Luther Dickinson, lead singer of the North Mississippi All Stars. It includes an array of musical styles, such as reggae, folk, blues and rock, as well as country songs such as Johnny Cash's “Ring of Fire.” The originally produced on-demand segments were taped at Gibson Guitar and Electric Lady Studios in New York.

Mag Rack is available in 10 million digital homes, via Cablevision Systems Corp., Time Warner Cable, Insight Communications Co., Charter Communications Inc. and Mediacom Communications Corp. systems.

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