New Orleans -- In what is apparently the first agreement of this kind for the
programmer, Fox Entertainment Group has closed a deal for Cablevision Systems
Corp. to offer FX's The Shield and Fox's 24 on a video-on-demand
basis, officials said Tuesday.
Cablevision's iO: Interactive Optimum digital customers will have access to
all of the first season's episodes of the two edgy, groundbreaking shows at no
additional charge. It's available in parts of New York and New Jersey.
News Corp. president Peter Chernin disclosed the deal during Tuesday's
opening general session at the National Show here.
The pact marks the first time an original broadcast series and an original
basic-cable series have been simultaneously offered to consumers on a free VOD
basis, as opposed to such off-premium network series as Home Box Office's The
Sopranos and theatricals offered for pay VOD.
'I approached [News Corp.],' Cablevision CEO James Dolan said.
He added: 'We've been talking to everybody about this kind of thing. They've
all expressed interest, but Fox was the first to have the foresight and courage
to step up and make this happen.'
Cablevision will make each episode of both first-year series to date
available on digital immediately, adding and promoting subsequent episodes less
than 24 hours after their cable or broadcast premieres.
The MSO will dedicate significant local cross-channel promos to both the May
21 finale of 24 on Fox and the June 4 season-concluder of The
Shield for FX.
'Jimmy [Dolan] is a fan of the two shows,' FX president Peter Liguori said.
'And as we build to the season finale [of The Shield], this makes all of
the sense in the world. From our standpoint, we certainly want the
Said Chernin, 'It's a win-win scenario.'