News

Blockbuster to Co-Brand DirecTV PPV

5/31/2001 3:11 AM Eastern

DirecTV Inc. and Blockbuster Inc. will kick off phase two of their year-old
joint marketing partnership by co-branding the direct-broadcast satellite
company's pay-per-view movie service as 'Blockbuster Ticket Only on
DirecTV.'

Since the two companies joined forces last year, the video-rental giant has
become one of the leading distributors of DirecTV systems, Blockbuster senior
vice president and chief concept officer Nick Shepherd said, adding that
Blockbuster just finished a successful Memorial Day sale for the DBS firm.

Blockbuster was contractually obligated to meet certain sales goals before
DirecTV would allow its PPV service to be co-branded, although neither Shepherd
nor DirecTV senior vice president of programming Stephanie Campbell would
specify what those requirements were. 'They did what they needed to do,'
Campbell said.

DirecTV is set Friday to unveil a new on-air look for its PPV channels
designed to attract more viewers to the service. The new creative will include a
bigger focus on the top hit movies as they enter the PPV window, Campbell
said.

More than 4,100 participating Blockbuster stores across the country will also
introduce the Blockbuster Ticket PPV brand through DirecTV kiosks. The in-store
displays will show the movie Space Cowboys to browsers, reminding them
that the film just hit the DBS company's PPV window.

Blockbuster also plans to take advantage of its large database to pitch the
benefits of PPV to customers who had purchased DirecTV systems from the
video-rental company.

'We believe we can double DirecTV's pay-per-view buy-rates over the next two
years,' Shepherd said.

Although he would not say what Blockbuster's cut of the PPV-movie sales were,
Shepherd noted that the company's profit model for PPV was similar to that of
video rentals.

DirecTV and Blockbuster have not yet explored whether their relationship will
help lead to earlier PPV windows for the DBS service.

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