In Demand Eases Up on Fee


Small-cable-operator lobbyists said Monday that pay-per-view provider In
Demand L.L.C. had agreed to ease up on a May 1 license-fee plan small systems
had objected to.

Instead of a $500-per-company minimum monthly fee, regardless of PPV buys, In
Demand agreed to a $250 fee if two conditions are met.

In Demand's requirements: timely electronic reporting using an In
Demand-developed spreadsheet and timely fee payments according to contract
terms, the American Cable Association reported Monday.

The ACA represents small operators as a lobbying organization, while the
National Cable Television Cooperative acts as a buying consortium for small

The fee plan was reported in Multichannel News in February, after
operator executives at the Texas Cable Show complained that a $500 minimum would
force perhaps 250 cable systems out of the PPV business.

ACA and NCTC officials met with In Demand senior executives and hammered out
an agreement. The ACA said it was pleased with the compromise.

The fee-implementation date was pushed back to June 1, the ACA added.

In Demand -- which is owned by several large cable operators -- indicated
that it will maintain the $500 monthly minimum for companies that do not follow
the requirements, the ACA said.

The lobbying group also said in its newsletter, 'In Demand also expressed an
interest in getting all affiliates under current contracts. Apparently, some
contracts are out-of-date or have not been signed.'

In Demand spokesman Joe Boyle said the network was happy to resolve the
issue. "I think it benefits both parties," he added.

In Demand didn't want to cut off small operators, but it had to look closely
at the costs of providing the service.