Movie Fund Backs New PPV Fare


The content-development fund that Viewer's Choice is
setting up to produce original pay-per-view fare will be hefty, president Mindy Herman

Supplying new details on the fund, which was announced two
weeks ago, she added, "In ballpark terms, we're looking at probably producing
tens of millions of dollars of programming" for PPV.

The made-for-PPV movie genres that she sees as being first
in line are family-oriented titles, plus action and suspense. "There are
opportunities for family programming," she said. "That's a niche
that's underserved now."

Action and suspense are categories that "have worked
well for us" among the theatrical films offered via PPV, she added. Some of these
could be sequels to previously released theatricals.

On the event side, Herman said, "PPV has been having
increasing success in the music category" with concerts.

She expects newly named executive vice president of
entertainment Mark Sonnenberg to develop these original projects with partners ranging
from the Hollywood studios to companies like TVKO and Showtime Event Television.

Herman praised Sonnenberg for having "great
relationships with the creative community" due to his recent executive stints at Fox
Channels Group and FX Networks.

The production entity has been christened In Demand
Entertainment (iNDE for short), to tie in with the Jan. 1 rebranding of Viewer's
Choice as In Demand.

These forthcoming original programs will generate more than
PPV sales, Herman said, pointing to afterlife revenue from selling the rights to broadcast
television, premium- and basic-network cable and home video.

There are also opportunities to tally additional sales
"beyond the United States," she added.

Cognizant of the fact that prospective viewers will need to
be made aware of these first-run projects -- most of which won't have the presold
advantage of theatrical box-office hits -- she said, "Part of the [development] fund
will be earmarked for aggressive marketing support."