TEN Signs DBS Affiliate Deal9/13/1998 8:00 PM Eastern
The Erotic Network signed its first major affiliation deal
last week, inking a distribution agreement with EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish
The digital service -- which provides more explicit adult
programming than traditional adult services Playboy TV, Spice Networks and Adam & Eve
-- will be in front of more than 1.5 million EchoStar direct-broadcast satellite
subscribers, said Mark Kreloff, chairman and CEO of New Frontier Media Inc., parent of
"The momentum is picking up for us," he said.
"What the community has come to see is that there is really a need for a competitor
in the adult business."
Representatives from EchoStar would not comment on the
TEN has programming deals with such adult studios as Metro
Global Media, Sin City and Climaxx, although Spice and Playboy hold exclusive deals for
more popular titles from Vivid Video.
The deal marks TEN's first head-to-head battle against
Playboy, which is also carried by Dish Network. TEN's more explicit adult fare has
proven to often double and even triple traditional adult-PPV buy-rates, including those of
Kreloff said that although Playboy doesn't consider
TEN to be a competitor, the incumbent service will most likely lose some EchoStar
subscribers to TEN.
"We're confident that there will be a major
migration from Playboy to TEN," Kreloff said.
Representatives from Playboy would not comment on the
Kreloff added that the performance of New Frontier's
ultra-adult service, Exxtasy, on Dish Network earlier this year yielded
"dramatic" buy-rates, "without any promotion whatsoever," but he would
not give specific numbers.
Kreloff also said that he's in "active
dialogue" with seven of the top 10 MSOs, and that he expects to reach the 8
million-household mark -- including DBS and C-band distribution -- by the end of the year.
TEN is already in front of 80,000 cable subscribers,
including those served by such small MSOs as Virto Cable, Pegasus Cable Television Inc.,
Moffat Communications and State Cable TV Corp.
Much like Playboy and Spice in their early days, the
smaller operators are initially launching TEN's more explicit form of adult
programming. Kreloff said he hopes that most operators will eventually gravitate to the
format, especially once they see TEN's revenue potential.
"Just about every cable operator understands that the
hotter standard will perform better," Kreloff said. "We feel that the tide will
turn, and we feel that the digital platform will certainly help [launches]."