Cablevision's New ITV Nets: Hollywood, Great White Way

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Hollywood Media Corp. will launch two interactive digital-cable channels — one which affords access to movie-theater showtimes, and a second that sells tickets for Broadway shows.

Cablevision Systems Corp. this week will launch the two services — Totally Hollywood TV and Totally Broadway TV — in the New York City region on its "iO: Interactive Optimum" digital platform.

The new channels should generate incremental revenue for operators by offering differentiated programming that can drive both digital penetration and ticket sales, said Hollywood Media Corp. CEO Mitch Rubenstein.

Rubenstein would not disclose the service's rate cards or say how many subscribers the networks would have at today's launch. He expects to be in front of 1.5 million to 2 million subscribers by year's end.

Totally Hollywood TV will detail which films are playing and where, as well as allow consumers to purchase tickets. Rubenstein, who co-founded the Sci-Fi Channel, said subscribers would be able to punch in their ZIP codes to determine movie times for theaters in their area.

The network will take advantage of two Hollywood-owned Web sites — MovieTickets.com and Hollywood.com — which provide movie listings for several national newspaper chains, as well as cell phones and the Internet.

"It occurred to us that since we're providing this information to newspapers and the Internet, why not offer it on TV?" Rubenstein said.

Along with movie listings, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company will also offer on-demand programming, including the latest video previews, exclusive trailers, interviews with actors, and behind-the-scenes footage.

The Broadway TV service will offer subscribers the opportunity to order tickets to top plays in New York City, Rubenstein said.

Operators will be able to share in the revenue generated from the 10 percent to 17.5 percent service fees Broadway TV will tack on to ticket sales, he added.

Subscribers can also receive information on the latest shows and thespians and access theater showtimes and schedules, as well as a directory of locations for all Broadway shows. The channel will also provide previews and behind- the-scenes footage.

The network will tied into the resources provided by Hollywood Media Internet service Broadway.com.

"The Broadway TV service is an easy sell to operators, because it's the only network offering a close look at live theater," said Rubenstein. While Broadway Television Network has offered several taped Broadway plays via pay-per-view, Broadway TV is the only network focused exclusively on the genre.

"There's nothing that deals with Broadway that's directly offered to the consumer via cable," Rubenstein said. "We are to Broadway what E! Entertainment [Television] is to the television and film businesses."

Along with on-air advertisements and direct mail pieces from Cablevision, Rubenstein said Hollywood Media will tout the services through radio and billboard promotions within the New York market.

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