Hotel Guests Get VOD Sex, Sopranos

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Home Box Office viewers can now get their fix of
The Sopranos

and
Sex and The City

while on the road. The pay-TV channel and hotel pay-per-view providers On Command Corp. and LodgeNet Entertainment Corp have reached a deal to offer the two popular shows on-demand in the hotel market.

Beginning in December, HBO will offer first-season episodes of
The Sopranos

and
Sex And
The City

to a combined 1.7 million hotel rooms, said representatives from the two companies. The deal is the network's first foray into VOD hotel programming.

Hotel guests will be able to choose between two half-hour episodes of
Sex and the City

or one hour-long episode of
The Sopranos
. On Command executives said the shows would retail for a suggested $9.95-the traditional price for a PPV movie-although the price may vary from hotel to hotel.

As of press time, LodgeNet had not set a price for the HBO shows.

HBO vice president of lodging and commercial sales and marketing Ken Kinderman said the network was pleased to be able to offer popular, HBO-branded programming to the hotel market.

"We believe that the high quality and popularity of these two series make them ideal video-on-demand attractions for guests who want to catch up on past episodes, or perhaps sample them for the first time," he said.

On Command senior vice president of programming and marketing Nancy Gallion said the deal provides On Command users with popular, brand-recognizable programming, and allows the company to offer VOD product aside from Hollywood movies.

"This is the first step in our ongoing quest to provide exceptional entertainment products that not only exceed the expectations of our hotel customers, but also delight their in-room guests," she said.

For LodgeNet, the deal provides more programming for its digital server, which allows hotels to offer product to an unlimited amount of guests without any degradation in picture quality or sound. The server will also enable LodgeNet to instantly add episodes via satellite.

"By digitally delivering these on-demand episodes, we are combining our technological leadership and our strong content relationship with HBO to provide in-room entertainment with unsurpassed quality, variety and convenience," LodgeNet vice president of guest pay services Steven Truckenmiller said.

In other hotel-related HBO news, the programmer will expand its lineup of network feeds offered to hotels to include HBO Latino. The multiplex service offers U.S. premieres of Spanish-language films as well as original short-form programming and music videos featuring today's biggest Latino artists, said the network.

The channel also features the best Hollywood movies and original programming from HBO's main service and, for the first time, live ringside Spanish commentary for
World Championship Boxing
.

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