Movie Fund Backs New PPV Fare

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herman praised Sonnenberg for having "greatrelationships with the creative community" due to his recent executive stints at FoxChannels Group and FX Networks.

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

These forthcoming original programs will generate more thanPPV sales, Herman said, pointing to afterlife revenue from selling the rights to broadcasttelevision, 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 tobe made aware of these first-run projects -- most of which won't have the presoldadvantage of theatrical box-office hits -- she said, "Part of the [development] fundwill be earmarked for aggressive marketing support."