Oklahoma operators received a major pay-per-view revenue
boost late last month from a local PPV college-football telecast.
The Oct. 24 University of Oklahoma-Oklahoma State
University college-football PPV telecast generated record-setting buy-rates for several
cable operators in the state, despite a very short marketing window, according to local
operators and Fox Sports Southwest, which distributed the event.
The event generated a PPV college-football-record-setting
13,000 buys for Fox, nearly doubling its previous high of 6,800 pulled in by a Texas
A&M University-Texas Tech University game in 1995.
"It exceeded our expectations," said Ramon
Alverez, public-relations director for Fox Sports Southwest. "We didn't think
that it was going to end up as the best PPV college-football game we've ever
Local operators echoed those sentiments, as many of them
generated double-digit buy-rates for the event. Cox Communications Inc. of Oklahoma City
generated more than 4,800 buys for the game -- the most PPV buys for any event in the
system's history, including major PPV-boxing events. "The event even blew away
our fight numbers: Our Mike Tyson fights generate between 3,000 and 4,000 buys," said
Steven Warren, marketing manager for the 121,000-subscriber system.
Warren cited the intense rivalry between the two schools
and the inability of many fans to attend the game in person as reasons for the game's
incredible PPV performance.
"There are no professional-sports teams here, so the
OU-OSU game is the dominating topic of the sports topography here," Warren said.
"This was something that the customers had been calling the system about at least a
week before the event."
Other system performances included Multimedia Cablevision
Inc., which generated a 13 percent buy-rate, and Tele-Communications Inc.'s TCI
Cablevision of Tulsa, which pulled in a 12 percent buy-rate, Fox Sports said.
None of the state's local broadcast stations picked up
the telecast rights to the yearly rivalry, termed the "Bedlam Series," mostly
due to both teams' sub-.500 records. Fox Sports' Special Order Sports PPV
division, however, was able to secure the PPV rights one week prior to the game and
distribute it to about 34 Oklahoma cable systems, Alverez said.
Under Fox's agreement with the Big 12 Conference --
which both teams belong to -- games can only be distributed on a PPV basis in the
participating teams' home states.