Unlike its predecessor, the upcoming Woodstock '99
pay-per-view event will not be compromised by live coverage from non-PPV outlets such as
basic cable and the Internet, event organizers said.
Operators complained that MTV: Music Television's
wall-to-wall coverage of Woodstock '94 often included extended coverage of live
performances that were supposed to be exclusive to the PPV event. MTV's coverage, they
claimed, may have hurt the event's buy-rate performance.
This year, however, MTV, which is providing marketing
support for the event, is only allowed to carry time-delayed coverage -- at least one hour
after a group's PPV performance -- and it can only carry up to 90 seconds of an act's
performance, Metropolitan Group vice president Jeff Rowland said. Metropolitan is the
producer and distributor of the event.
Also, despite heavy Internet coverage, the concert
performances will not be Webcast simultaneously with PPV, Rowland said. Much like MTV, any
Woodstock.com coverage will be time-delayed and time-limited.
"The most live and full performance coverage will be
with us," he added.
The event, which will take place this weekend (July 23
through 25), will have a massive amount of marketing support behind it. Online music
distributor The Columbia House Co. is the official PPV sponsor of Woodstock '99, and it
will promote the event via its online site, www.columbiahouse.com.
Along with MTV, MuchMusic USA will run on-air spots for the
event. And national radio network Westwood One Inc. will simulcast portions of the PPV
event, as well as providing a heavy rotation of spots promoting it, Rowland said.
On the cable side, at least 10 cable co-ops representing
more than 60 systems and 10 million addressable subscribers have developed marketing
campaigns for the show. One of the major operator promotions is a giveaway of 10,000
collectable compact discs from rock legend Jimi Hendrix, he added.
Other promotional tactics include local guide and newspaper
ads, billstuffers, customer-service-representative contests and on-hold-message
Along with the concert performances, the event will include
coverage of the on-site action park, featuring extreme-games contests, as well as a
"techno-village" offering the latest technological entertainment advances.
The concert -- which will feature such artists as Sugar
Ray, DMX, Elvis Costello, Wyclef Jean & The Refugee Allstars, Alanis Morissette, Jewel
and Sheryl Crow -- will be sold on both a single-day and package basis, Rowland said.
Single-day buys will retail at $29.95, while the package will cost $59.95.
Rowland said the event has the potential to top the more
than $9 million in PPV revenues generated by the 1994 event, despite not reaching the full
PPV-cable universe. The event will be offered to at least 24 million homes through
Viewer's Choice 2 and Viewer's Choice 5, he added -- slightly less than the 28 million
reached by Viewer's Choice 1.
Overall, the concert will be in 34 million homes after
factoring in TVN Entertainment Corp. and the direct-broadcast satellite services.
With a much younger-skewing lineup of performers, Rowland
said, the event will appeal to a generation that is not only used to ordering PPV events,
but that is also very computer- and Internet-savvy.
"This is a much more focused and targeted event than
past Woodstock shows," he said. "With the advent of computers and the Internet
providing interactivity, the idea of ordering PPV is something that they won't find