News

Artist Hits High Note for In Demand

1/09/2000 7:00 PM Eastern

The Artist (formerly known as Prince) was a big New
Year's Eve pay-per-view hit for In Demand, formerly known as Viewer's Choice,
even though actual buys for the event were less than spectacular.

Despite generating fewer than 100,000 buys, the concert was
the first of what In Demand promises to be several high-profile, cable-exclusive concerts
and other events for operators in the new millennium.

"The Artist was a successful event in every
aspect," In Demand senior vice president of programming, development and event
acquisition Dan York said. "The concert launched our new brand and generated
awareness for PPV and for In Demand."

In Demand executives said the previously taped concert --
the first televised concert from the Artist in several years -- generated between 75,000
and 100,000 buys, although early operator reports placed buys at around the 65,000 to
75,000 mark.

Nevertheless, operators were very optimistic about the
event's performance. "I was very happy with the results, especially when you
compare past PPV-concert performances and factor in the event's New Year's Eve
scheduling," said one Northeast-operator PPV executive, who generated a 0.2 percent
buy-rate for the event.

A PPV manager for a West Coast operator said the event drew
less than a 0.15 percent buy-rate, but it still posted higher-than-expected buys. "It
actually performed better than we thought," the manager added

York expects the number of buys to increase through several
additional concert-replay dates. "We're already getting strong performances from
the replays, and we expect our numbers to increase considerably," he said.

In Demand executives attributed the success of the show --
which only had a three-week marketing window -- to the aggressive promotional efforts of
operators. York also lauded the co-promotional efforts of MTV: Music Television, which
aired a portion of the concert, and of VH1. The Artist himself lent a hand, making several
television appearances touting the event.

In Demand executive vice president of entertainment Mark
Sonnenberg said the ex-Prince's marquee profile was a perfect launch vehicle for the
company, which is in negotiations to acquire rights for several more high-profile PPV
events.

"We felt it was key to have a programming event to
highlight the changeover [from Viewer's Choice to In Demand]," Sonnenberg said.
"We wanted to go out and show people that we can be aggressive in the live-event area
and secure top talent, and we accomplished that goal."

March