DirecTv Inc. continued to push the pay-per-view envelope
last week by entering into an exclusive movie-promotion agreement with Warner Bros. that
ties in with the studio's upcoming Lethal Weapon 4 theatrical release.
The sweepstakes, which centers on the February PPV release
of Warner's Conspiracy Theory, will award the grand-prize winner a walk-on
role in the studio's Lethal Weapon 4 movie, set to be released later this
year, said Edward Bleier, president of Warner Bros.' domestic pay TV, cable and
The promotion is part of the studio's $1 million PPV
promotion for Conspiracy Theory, which includes multiple full-page, four-color ads
in several publications, including Sports Illustrated, People, Time, The
New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.
Sources close to the situation said DirecTv approached
Warner with the idea to develop the exclusive promotion, which can only be entered via
'DirecTv continues to seek ways to differentiate our
service by offering our subscribers the variety and quality that they want in our movie
programming, along with exciting, exclusive PPV promotions,' said Susan Collins, vice
president of consumer marketing for DirecTv, in a prepared statement.
The exclusive deal comes on the heels of a recent deal
reached by Warner and Viewer's Choice for March distribution of Conspiracy Theory,
as well as Contact and Fire Down Below.The two companies reached a
temporary carriage agreement after Warner withheld the three movies while it sought a new
deal that would have provided a greater split of PPV-movie revenues.
The deal also further solidifies Warner's relationship
with DirecTv, which the studio asserted generates more PPV-movie revenue for it than
Viewer's Choice or Request Television.
'This joint promotion with DirecTv underscores the
value of timely and integrated marketing efforts with our principal PPV clients,'
Bleier said in a prepared statement. 'This special promotion for Lethal Weapon 4
pre-promotes one of the major upcoming new theatrical releases.'