DirecTV Inc. hopes its new $100 pay-per-view coupon offer
will help to drive potential customers into the stores.
In a subscriber-acquisition campaign that started late last
week and runs through mid-July, DirecTV will give new customers $100 worth of PPV coupons,
in various denominations, in addition to free or discounted professional installation.
The coupons, good through next March, can be used for
special-events programming such as boxing or wrestling matches and concerts, as well as
for PPV movies, DirecTV senior vice president of marketing Susan Collins said.
The direct-broadcast satellite television provider was
scheduled to start running television commercials in support of the promotion last Friday
(May 28), bringing new focus to the PPV category on a national basis, Collins added.
DirecTV hopes the campaign will succeed both as an
acquisition tool and as a way to encourage new subscribers to check out PPV programming in
their first few months with the DBS service.
Collins said she does not expect the PPV offer to
cannibalize other DirecTV programming, such as premium-movie channels.
"My take is that movie lovers are movie lovers,"
Collins said. "They're watching movies in theaters, they're subscribing to
premium channels and buying pay-per-view."
Consumer research showed that potential customers
understood what PPV is and what the value of such a promotion is, Collins added.
Bell Atlantic Corp. unit Bell Atlantic Video president Dick
Beville said the PPV promotion will help to highlight the robustness of DirecTV's
programming package when compared with other video services. DirecTV devotes more than 50
channels to PPV.
Bell Atlantic will take advantage of the promotion as it
launches its DirecTV service in two new markets in June: Boston and Pittsburgh.
Cable MSOs launching their own digital-cable services also
have robust PPV offerings, according to Viewer's Choice vice president of
communications Joe Boyle. Viewer's Choice, for example, offers 35 channels of PPV.
To be eligible for the PPV-coupon offer, new DirecTV
customers must sign up for the "Total Choice" programming package, which costs
$29.99 per month. PPV movies typically cost $2.99 on DirecTV.