Chicago -- The annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular will
air on television for the first time in November via pay-per-view.
Radio City Television will distribute the popular stage
show from New York's Radio City Music Hall, which will run throughout November and
December, for a suggested retail price of $19.95.
Viewer's Choice, DirecTV Inc., TVN Entertainment Corp. and
EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network will carry the show, offered in
high-definition television and standard formats, RCTV president David Kline said.
In fact, Viewer's Choice's will run the event as part of
its "All-Day Ticket" promotion, which is almost always reserved for movies.
Given the enormous awareness of the Christmas Spectacular,
which draws nearly 1.1 million attendees per year, Kline believes the show will perform
well, although he stopped short of projecting a buy-rate. He also felt that the PPV event
wouldn't hurt the show's live gate performance.
"This is a unique holiday event -- one that draws
sellout crowds from around the world," Kline said in a prepared statement. "To
my knowledge, this is the first event that has been targeted to both women and
The event represents the first project for RCTV, a division
of Cablevision Systems Corp., which owns entertainment properties such as Radio City Music
Hall's management company and Madison Square Garden. RCTV expects to distribute at least
four events, including potential concerts, beginning next year.
"We're looking at a bunch of events, including
concerts from MSG and Radio City," Kline said. "But whatever we do, we want to
make sure that the industry has enough lead time to promote and market the event."
RCTV also hopes to offer future shows in HTDV to further
enhance the PPV experience. And the company will look to develop PPV-event packages so
viewers can buy a slate of shows, as well as purchasing them on an individual basis.