Technology

Stern Won’t Be In Demand Until March

11/13/2005 4:00 PM Eastern

Fans anxious to view Howard Stern’s uncensored broadcasts on Sirius Satellite Radio are going to have to wait a little while longer.

In Demand will launch its Howard Stern On Demand subscription service Nov. 18 for $9.99 per month, featuring archival programming from the shock jock’s radio show on Infinity Broadcasting Corp.

However, those interested in seeing the self-proclaimed “King of All Media’s” shenanigans on his new Sirius gig, which begins Jan. 2, will have to cool their heels for another two months, until the new video content is made available in March, according to In Demand president Rob Jacobson.

He said In Demand is delaying the televised encores of Stern’s Sirius shows for two months because it didn’t want to risk consumer confusion by going out simultaneously with two subscription packages.

In addition to equipment fees, subscribers will have to pay $12.99 per month in order to access Stern’s show as part of Sirius’ lineup, which also includes the rights to the National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, plus an array of music and entertainment channels.

“Requiring people to pay for Howard’s radio-show broadcast and asking people to now pay for the televised version of Howard are new things for consumers,” Jacobson said. “In order to make sure we communicate the message from a formerly free environment to one where people need to pay, we needed a little separation so we wouldn’t create confusion in the marketplace.”

In Demand, though, will offer the first two months of Stern’s Sirius radio shows once it gains the rights to the satellite package, as well as extant library fare. At that point, subscribers will be able to view Stern’s daily Sirius shows some 36 hours after they premiere on the satellite-radio platform.

On April 1, the network will increase the price of the package to $13.99 per month in order to reflect the new programming, Jacobson said.

In Demand has deals with owners Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable, as well as Adelphia Communications Corp., to air a package of more than 40 uncut and uncensored programs gleaned from Stern’s 11 year-old TV library, much of which has aired in an edited format on E! Entertainment Television. The interim subscription-video-on-demand package will retail at a suggested price of $9.99.

Additionally, In Demand will offer two or three individual shows per month for $7.95 apiece, both during the phase-in stage and after it begins presenting the Sirius fare.

For more on Howard Stern On Demand, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 16 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

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