Pleasure Provides Adult VOD Fare

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New Frontier Media Inc.'s Pleasure adult pay-per-view service will provide up to 30 movie titles

per month to Time Warner Cable's video-on-demand systems as part of a distribution agreement between the two parties.

Time Warner s Honolulu; Austin, Texas; and Tampa, Fla. systems will offer adult movies from Pleasure, along with studio titles, as part of the MSO' s first VOD-system deployments, Time Warner vice president of corporate development Michael LaJoie said.

"There's a certain subset of our subscriber base that wants to see [adult] programming," he said. "I think we' ll offer a mix of programming-probably two to three times more movies than adult programming."

While Time Warner's Hawaii system is currently offering a "soft" launch of VOD, its Austin and Tampa systems are planning to offer limited VOD launches in the next few months.

New Frontier will initially deliver the titles to Time Warner via the digital-library-tape format. But New Frontier senior vice president of sales Ken Boenish said the company is working on several other distribution scenarios, including satellite and Internet delivery.

"It's a new technology, and we're still working on different applications," he added.

Adult, as it has in analog and digital PPV, is expected to generate a significant amount of revenue for operators through VOD.

Boenish said VOD test trials using Pleasure programming generated buy-rates well in excess of 100 percent, dwarfing the 15 percent and 5 percent buy rates generated from digital and analog PPV, respectively.

"Adult always has and, I think, always will drive buys. It doesn' t matter what the distribution platform is," he added.

LaJoie is also confident that VOD programming will significantly increase PPV revenues for the systems.

"I guess time will tell how VOD will perform, but I assume VOD in and of itself will drive buy-rates," he said. "We can put a large amount of programming on the server, and the more variety we can offer, the better we can serve the consumer."

Time Warner is currently negotiating with the major studios for VOD rights to recently released and library titles, but it would not reveal which studios have signed on. ime Warner is currently negotiating with the major studios for VOD rights to recently released and library titles, but it would not reveal which studios have signed on.

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