PPV Date Conflict Brews


New York -- A conflict between Showtime Event Television
and TVKO over event dates is brewing, as both companies have scheduled shows Nov. 13.

Showtime announced in March that it was distributing a Nov.
13 Hawaiian Super Prix auto-racing event, which the company said it cleared with
Viewer's Choice.

However, TVKO is proposing a rematch of its March 13
Evander Holyfield-Lennox Lewis bout on the same date.

Showtime claimed that while it has a deal done for its
event -- which cannot be moved to another date -- TVKO has yet to complete an agreement
for its fight.

TVKO senior vice president Lou DiBella indeed said late
last week that there were still "some major issues that have to be resolved"
before a deal can be reached for the event, but he would not elaborate.

But TVKO general manager Dan York said the company is
"optimistic that the fight will be made on Nov. 13," and he expects it to be
"one of the biggest fights in pay-per-view history."

Nevertheless, Showtime claimed that Viewer's Choice is
trying to move its event off the highly penetrated Viewer's Choice 1 channel to the
less-penetrated Viewer's Choice 2 and Viewer's Choice 5 services to accommodate
the Holyfield-Lewis rematch.

Only 23 million addressable households can access the
latter two Viewer's Choice channels, while Viewer's Choice 1 clears more than 29
million households.

"We came to Viewer's Choice first about the date,
so Viewer's Choice had the option to say that there would be a conflict. The real
question and concern [for distributors] is what are the rules in setting dates for
events," Greenberg said.

"We're trying to build the category, but you
can't do that when you have two potential paydays [going head-to-head]," he

Viewer's Choice would not comment on the matter.

The Holyfield-Lewis rematch would generate significantly
more revenue than the auto-racing event. The first Holyfield-Lewis bout generated more
than $61 million in PPV revenues, although the fight's decision was shrouded in

Viewer's Choice faces a similar date issue in July,
with the Woodstock concert and a World Wrestling Federation event. The network decided to
run the July 25 WWF event on Viewer's Choice 1, while the three-day Woodstock event
will run on Viewer's Choice 2 and 5.