Belushi, Aykroyd Help Charter Push VOD


Seeking to boost awareness of its video-on-demand service, Charter Communications Inc. will offer an exclusive, MSO-produced concert featuring actors Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd free-of-charge to digital subscribers.

The "Have Love Will Travel" blues concert, taped live on location at this summer’s Ottawa Bluesfest in Canada, will run from Oct. 15-Nov. 30 and is considered the first event produced by an MSO exclusively for VOD, according to Charter marketing vice president Richard Yelen.

"We need to be innovative in how to attract the customer to sample the product, and we don’t think repurposed programming is the way to go," Yelen said. "We think that something that’s original and innovative will get subscribers" to try VOD.

Yelen would not reveal production costs for the program, which he said was "network-quality."

As a further incentive to subscribers, everyone who "orders" the concert will receive a free copy of the accompanying Belushi-Aykroyd CD of the same name, which Aykroyd said has already sold 50,000 copies.

"The people fortunate enough to be [Charter] subscribers will be able to take advantage of [VOD] that other systems will have a while to catch up on," Aykroyd said in a telephone interview. "This is a reward, and incentive, and a promotion of this new feature."