Known mostly for distributing pay-per-view movies, Buena
Vista Television will offer its first PPV event in November -- a concert featuring
county-music star Trisha Yearwood.
The event, which will feature all of the Grammy-winning
artist's hits, will premiere Nov. 20, said Dan Cohen, vice president and general
manager of Buena Vista. The suggested retail price is $19.95.
While Buena Vista is not the first movie studio to
distribute a PPV event, it certainly is the first to do so in several years. Cohen said
the time is right for the studio to branch out beyond movies within the PPV business.
"We've been interested in getting into the events
business; it's a natural extension for us," Cohen said. "We feel that
we've developed a very good relationship with the industry, and Trisha is a great
country-music star with crossover appeal."
Buena Vista is taking advantage of its relationship with
its owner, The Walt Disney Co.: The concert is part of Disney World's "Big Bang
Concert" series, which is taped at Disney's World Resort's Magic Kingdom.
But Cohen said the company will pursue other event opportunities outside of Disney if this
venture proves successful.
"We would like to do PPV events on an occasional
basis," Cohen added.
"We're doing it because we think that it will be
successful and profitable. Concerts are beginning to become a viable PPV genre, and we
have the marketing skills and resources to push the event," Cohen said.
Buena Vista will employ cross-channel promotions across its
PPV-movie titles, as well as developing a half-hour countdown show that will precede the
concert, Cohen said.
Viewer's Choice will distribute the event, along with
DirecTv Inc., EchoStar Communications Corp. and TVN Entertainment Corp.
The Yearwood concert will cap a busy event month for
operators. On tap is a Nov. 6 Joni Mitchell show, which will feature the singer in a rare
concert appearance. Besides offering songs from Mitchell's new album, the show will
include a gallery presentation of her artwork.
Three wrestling events are scheduled: an Extreme
Championship Wrestling show Nov. 1; World Championship Wrestling's World War 3
event Nov. 22; and the World Wrestling Federation's Survivor Series Nov. 15.
Also scheduled is TVKO's Nov. 21 Oscar De La Hoya-Ike
Quartey World Boxing Association/World Boxing Council welterweight championship fight.
Finally, Fox Sports Entertainment and ESPN will continue
distributing their respective English Premier League soccer and college-football PPV