News

System Supports PPV Budget With Soccer Events

2/22/1998 7:00 PM Eastern

With a lack of major pay-per-view boxing events, Media
General Cable of Fairfax County, Va., has filled the revenue gap with a successful
February PPV soccer series that's pulling higher buy-rates than several boxing
programs.

The annual Gold Cup Soccer series -- which featured several
international teams -- initially was only offered in closed-circuit arenas within the
Washington, D.C., market. But Media General -- faced with a slow start to the event
category, and with a very PPV-active Hispanic male subscriber base -- obtained PPV rights
for the two-week event, which began Feb. 1, said Ted Hodgins, director of PPV for the
220,000-addressable-subscriber system.

While some of the games were offered on Spanish-language
broadcast station Telemundo, most of Media General's subscribers did not have access
to the games. Hodgins negotiated a stand-alone deal over initial objections from the local
rights-holder, who was concerned about PPV's affect on his closed-circuit sales.

But Hodgins was able to alleviate any fears about
PPV's revenue potential after illustrating the system's past success with PPV
soccer events. Media General generated close to $100,000 in PPV revenue with last
June's nationally distributed Copa America PPV-soccer series, he said.

With a suggested retail price of $19.95 per game, or $75
for the package, the system generated $75,000 in incremental revenue from the games.
Hodgins said revenue take was higher than that of several PPV fights from marquee boxing
draw Oscar De La Hoya. 'The performance is as good or better than Copa America,'
he said.

Media General has offered several other stand-alone PPV
events in the past, but with a dearth of PPV events scheduled for the first two months of
the year, Hodgins said the soccer series couldn't come at a better time.

'We're always looking for sports and
entertainment events that would do well on PPV, and if that means that we will go outside
traditional means, then we will do so,' Hodgins said . 'With the games, I'm
actually going to make some money.'

Countries that participated in the matches included Brazil,
Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad/Tobago.

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