Newly minted In Demand senior vice president of marketing Sergei Kuharsky wants to use national partnerships to push cable's video-on-demand offerings.
The home-entertainment veteran and former Nickelodeon executive was tapped to oversee In Demand's marketing, creative services and corporate communications. Kuharsky will support the sales efforts of the company's cable affiliates, particularly with respect to VOD.
At In Demand, Kuharsky plans to be "an industry champion for video-on-demand and pay-per-view," he said.
The company can bring excitement to the VOD category through attention-generating national partnerships, he said. For example, In Demand affiliates might be able to promote on-demand movies and pizza.
"Bringing Domino's [Pizza] and Pizza Hut to the table would bring tremendous excitement for the industry," Kuharsky said.
Such VOD efforts will help the cable industry to achieve one of its biggest goals: taking a larger share of the $9 billion-a-year home video business. Once the VOD message gets out, that shouldn't be difficult, Kuharsky said. That's because although people love to rent movies, nobody likes to return them.
Consumer research shows that VOD provides the ultimate in home-entertainment convenience, Kuharsky said.
"Our national message is that VOD is here and available now," said Kuharsky. Consumers should also be told that true VOD is something that cable's direct-broadcast satellite competitors can't offer, he said.
"Our challenge is to position this as something so innovative that people are once again chasing the cable trucks," he added.
Most recently, Kuharsky was senior vice president of marketing for video technology start-up Now Showing Entertainment. Before that, he was senior vice president of brand, franchises and movies marketing for Nickelodeon.
"I have been in the home-entertainment industry for at least a dozen years," Kuharsky said. "I have a good grounding for what consumers want and how the cable industry works."
In addition to PPV movies and sports events, In Demand's offerings include out-of-market sports packages and on-demand movies and television content.