'Carrie' Was on VOOM's Monster HD Last Night


Such a classic. How can you not love Sissy Spacek’s unspeakably freaky wide-eyed rampage? John Travolta’s callous redneck moron and his unrepentantly evil girlfriend? 

Or, for me most memorably, William Katt’s (Tommy Ross) fabulous circa-1976 blond ringlets? Students of the genre will identify the parallels between the full-bodied Tommy Ross hairdo and those of Carrie’s psycho mother and the bug-eyed crucifix in Carrie’s closet.

Now, besides the movie itself, the most shocking part of the night was this: We found something great to watch on a VOOM HD channel. Really great.

So it makes me wonder: When will VOOM give up on the bundling strategy — and pick some winners?

Dish, the one other U.S. distributor besides Cablevision (VOOM’s owner) that carried the suite, dropped them all last month. Said Charlie Ergen: "We believe we can replace those channels with other channels that have more value for our customers." 

The reality is, bundling isn’t going to work for VOOM. You need leverage to get a bundle of channels carried, and the only purported advantage VOOM once had — 100% high-definition programming — is basically null. HD is table stakes now, not a differentiator.

Never mind FCC attempts to discourage bundling in favor of a la carte on a wholesale or retail level. VOOM is going to find it very tough, in the near term, to find any distributor to take the 15-pack.

To me, there’s a world of difference between Monsters HD (consistently the one VOOM channel that has had anything on I’ve wanted watch) and… not to denigrate anyone’s predilections here, but I would single out Ultra HD, which appears to be nothing but straight, unnarrated footage from fashion-show catwalks around the world.

Obviously, not everyone likes horror flicks. But the category is a "mainstream niche," popular with both men and women, according to Diane Robina of FearNet, the VOD movie service that has claimed good results lately — especially with HD.

VOOM would fare better if it went out with potential standalone winners like Monsters HD — before FearNet, for example, starts shopping around its own linear HD net.