To further differentiate itself from cable operators,
DirecTv Inc. is actively seeking exclusive, pay-per-view promotional deals with event and
The direct-broadcast satellite service is hoping the
exclusive deals will provide more PPV value to its subscribers, as well as increase its
already impressive triple digit buy-rates, said Susan Collins, vice president of consumer
marketing for DirecTv Inc.
"It's just something that allows us to
differentiate ourselves from other companies," Collins said. "When we talk about
promotions [to programming distributors], we're always looking for it to be exclusive
The company has already entered into several exclusive
arrangements with a number of studio and PPV event providers that have bolstered its
buy-rate performance. One of the biggest promotions to date was a deal with New Line
Cinema last year for the studio's Austin Powers film.
The sweepstakes, which offered as a grand prize a 1968
Jaguar that was featured in the box office hit, netted a surprising 422,000 entries --
well above expectations for either company, said David Spiegelman, executive vice
president of New Line Television.
Spiegelman, who labeled the promotion as one of the most
successful in PPV's history, said DirecTv approached him with the opportunity to
develop awareness for the movie above and beyond the cable operators' promotional
"DirecTv has proven to be an extremely powerful and
consumer-friendly service, and we're looking forward to working with them in the
future," Speigelman said.
"We like to have differentiated promotions such as the
Austin Powers promotion, so it's unique for us and the studios," Collins
Such promotions have paid dividends for DirecTv in terms of
awareness and overall PPV performance. Collins said that subscribers are very interested
in the company's various promotions -- so much so that at least 40 percent of its
subscribers tune in once a week to the company's Platinum Presents PPV barker service
for the latest promotions.
"Our overall strategy is to offer something unique to
our subscribers that reinforces the value of being a DirecTv customer." Collins said.
More recently, the company worked with Warner Bros. to
develop a rare promotion that took place prior to the movie's theatrical release. As
part of a multimovie promotion that included two Warner Bros. PPV titles launched earlier
this year, DirecTv ran a February sweepstakes to place a subscriber in the studio's
summer Lethal Weapon 4 release, Collins said. The campaign marked the first time
that DirecTv offered a walk-on role for a major theatrical film.
One studio executive who wished to remain anonymous
applauded DirecTv's aggressiveness, adding that studios will be more inclined to
provide the company with exclusive promotional deals in the future.
"DirecTv has shown itself to be committed to making
PPV work, so I think you'll see the studios continue to reward DirecTv with unique
and specialized promotions," said the executive.