In its first-ever pay-per-view promotional effort, Comedy
Central will team up with Viewer's Choice to promote Buena Vista's PPV debut of The
Comedy Central, with 57.8 million basic subscribers, will
make available to operators free-of-charge a half-hour behind-the-scenes show developed
for the box-office hit. Canned Ham:The Waterboy is hosted by one of the
film's co-stars, Rob Schneider, and it features interviews with other cast members.
The PPV tie-in is similar to E! Entertainment
Television's offering of its E! Clips movie-preview show to operators in an
effort to promote big-ticket PPV movies.
"We're familiar with what E! has done over the
years, so we wanted to provide our programming resources to help operators maximize their
incremental revenue opportunities," said Steve Males, vice president of affiliate
marketing for Comedy Central.
"Since the show is already produced, it would be a
great opportunity for affiliates to provide additional promotion for The Waterboy,"
Comedy Central will make copies of the show available to
Viewer's Choice, which will offer it to participating affiliates. Operators will have
two minutes of local ad time to sell or for local branding and PPV promos.
"We are delighted to participate with Buena Vista
Television and Comedy Central in the promotion of this very successful hit movie on
PPV," said Michael Klein, senior vice president of programming for the network.
"Canned Ham will provide an additional benefit
for our participating affiliates by providing their subscribers with programming not
available elsewhere," Klein added.
Viewer's Choice will offer The Waterboy --
which tallied $160 million at the box office -- to its 1.5 million digital subscribers one
month before its May analog PPV debut and a little more than one month after the film
premieres on home video, as part of a multipicture deal with Buena Vista.
To get the early digital-PPV window, Viewer's Choice
will pay an upfront buy-rate guarantee of 20 percent or higher.
Males said The Waterboy promotion is one of several
PPV promotional efforts that the network hopes to undertake with studios. It is currently
negotiating with Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema to develop similar
tie-ins with the PPV debuts of Patch Adams, Analyze This and the yet-to-be
theatrically released sequel to the successful Austin Powers: International Man of
Mystery, he added.
"Anything that we can do to help our affiliates
generate incremental revenue, we will look to do," Males said.
Along with Canned Ham, Buena Vista and Viewer's
Choice will offer operators special prizes and premiums to help promote the movie. Local
promotion prizes include $500 sporting-goods shopping sprees, sports radios and movie
prize packs, the PPV network said.