Content

This Just In

6/02/2006 8:00 PM Eastern

Fuse to Give Warped Tour Multimedia Play

New YorkNew York — Video music service Fuse will place the annual summer alternative music Warped Tour on center stage for an ambitious multi-platform distribution initiative, starting later this month.

Fuse, beginning June 21, will dedicate a four-hour block of programming to the music and extreme sports tour each Wednesday for 10 weeks, according to Catherine Mullen, executive vice president and general manager for the 43 million subscriber network. On the broadband front, Fuse.tv will feature photo galleries, video clips and blogs from the tour, said Fuse officials. In addition, Fuse viewers can upload their own videos, photos and blogs about the tour to the site.

Web and mobile users will also be able to use the network’s popular text-messaging applications to discuss the tour. Such posts could eventually end up on air during the network’s Wednesday coverage, said Fuse officials.

“Our viewers demand connection on every level and their desire to tap into the Warped Community will allow the sights and sounds of this great music event to live not only via television, but also on the Web, on demand and on wireless devices,” said Mullen. Fuse last week also announced the renewal of two series, The F-List and Pants-Off Dance-Off.

DirecTV Channels List What Shows Are 'Hot’

El Segundo, Calif. — Claiming it’s the first to market with the offering, DirecTV Inc. last week debuted “What’s Hot!,” which lets viewers instantly find out — in real time — what the Top-10 most-watched programs on the satellite service are.

“What’s Hot!” — which monitors viewing any time of the day or night — is available on DirecTV News Mix, channel 102, and DirecTV Sports Mix, channel 104. Only subscribers with interactive receivers can access it.

DirecTV customers can access a list of the most popular programming at any given time for either: their local time zone; across the satellite company’s national footprint; or by genre such as sports, news, movies and kids.

The instant results are aggregated from a sample panel from DirecTV’s 15.4 million subscribers. In Hawaii two years ago, Time Warner Cable used a panel of 1,000 homes to gather viewing data, and then permitted its digital subscribers to see what the 10 most-viewed programs were at that system at any given time. Still, DirecTV is claiming bragging rights as the first distributor, cable or satellite, to roll out such an interactive service.

DirecTV also said it will use the anonymous information it collects from “What’s Hot!” to determine which services are most popular with customers and help make programming decisions.

Top Rank, HBO Set Dueling PPV Fights

New York — Talk about a one-two pay-per-view punch: Home Box Office and Top Rank Inc. will go head to head with separate June 10 boxing events.

HBO will distribute its Antonio Tarver-Bernard Hopkins light heavyweight championship boxing card from Atlantic City, N.J. for a suggested retail price of $49.95 against Top Rank’s Miguel Cotto-Paulie Malignaggi junior welterweight championship event from New York City’s Madison Square Garden, which will retail at a suggested price of $39.95.

DirecTV Inc., In Demand and EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network have signed on to carry both fights in their entirety beginning at 9 p.m. (ET).

FSN to Launch Highlights Show

New York— Fox Sports Net will take a run at ESPN’s SportsCenter franchise with a nightly half-hour sports highlights show beginning next month.

The FSN Final Score highlights show, which network officials said will place less emphasis on the anchors than SportsCenter, will enable viewers to quickly catch up on major events from across the country. Beginning July 3, the show will feature a revolving lineup of hosts from various Fox Sports media outlets and will air weekdays at 11:30 p.m., after FSN’s Best Damn Sports Show Period. The show will also run Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9 p.m, according to FSN executives.

“Unlike the vast sea of sports highlights shows, where the hosts have become the centerpiece rather than the highlights and where content has been infused with extraneous commentary, Final Score offers fans precisely what they are looking for:  Very simply, nothing but highlights,” said Final Score executive producer Rick Jaffe in a statement.

FX’s 'Rescue Me’ Premiere Blazes In the Nielsens

Los Angeles — The third season debut of firefighter drama Rescue Me was hot with viewers.

The show’s 10 p.m. premiere on May 30 notched 3.2 million viewers, a 10% gain over the first episode of the second season, even though household rating dipped to a 2.54 from a 2.58, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Viewership was 15% above the initial airings of its 13-episode second season of the Denis Leary vehicle.

Among adults 18 to 49, the episode was up 7% from the prior-season premiere, garnering 2.04 million of those watchers. That was 13% above the second campaign’s average with that demo, according to FX officials.

March