New York -- Christmas may be some 10 months away, but David
Kline, donning his Radio City Television (RCTV) president's hat, is already bullish
on the pay-per-view prospects for Radio City Music Hall's "Christmas
Spectacular," featuring the Rockettes.
Radio City closed last week for a seven-month renovation,
after which RCTV will launch its PPV plans.
Kline said he's not yet sure whether the perennial
Christmas stage show will have its PPV debut early or late in its Christmas-season run.
Either way, he doubted that its live attendance -- about 1 million people per year --
would be hurt by the national PPV showings.
Pricing will probably be in the $19.95 range, Kline said,
adding that discounts will be possible with other purchases. He didn't go into
RCTV also plans to originate musical concerts from Radio
City, as well as from Madison Square Garden and its adjoining theater, all of which are
owned by RCTV parent Cablevision Systems Corp. Kline hoped to have specifics on events
nailed down by the National Show in June.
Kline said that he's confident that these musical
events will outperform others in the genre because the company will plan further ahead
than others. RCTV will "spend significant amounts on marketing," and it will
call upon its various network and local cable outlets and retail stores for support, he
added. Moreover, he felt that branding these events and having personalities hosting them
Asked if he anticipated that as his PPV duties increased in
the next year or two, he might leave his post as president of Rainbow Advertising Sales
Corp. (RASCO), Kline said that given the level of support from executives like Deborah
Cuffaro, senior vice president at RASCO's Cable Networks Inc., "I still see
myself working with these guys."
In related news, Cablevision offered its subscribers a free
viewing of TVKO's March 13 Evander Holyfield-Lennox Lewis fight with the purchase of
two tickets from last weekend's Felix Trinidad-Pernell Whitaker fight, sources close
to the situation said.
The Trinidad-Whitaker fight was scheduled for last Saturday
at Madison Square Garden, which is also where Holyfield-Lewis will take place.
The promotion marks the second this month linking
Cablevision's cable and ancillary businesses. The company offered subscribers a free
viewing of Showtime Event Television's Jan. 16 Mike Tyson-Francois Botha fight if
they spent at least $50 at any of Cablevision's 40 The Wiz outlets in the New York
It was unclear at press time how that promotion performed
for the MSO.
R. Thomas Umstead contributed to this story.