Reelz Stands By VOD Guarantee

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ReelzChannel is paring back its staff but will continue to support its video-on-demand promotion on behalf of operators and put new programming on the air, chairman and CEO Stan Hubbard said..

The Hubbard Media Group-owned basic-cable outlet notified 40 of roughly 200 staffers they will lose their jobs. Affected staffers are involved with producing the show Dailies, which will continue in production into January.

Reelzchannel will reposition some of the content formerly contained in the Dailies strip. Beginning Jan. 12, news on theatrical and DVD releases, plus the latest on pay-per-view and VOD offerings, will be programmed at three minutes until the hour, every hour.

Hubbard said a “couple” other shows remain on the cancellation bubble, but there are plans to launch new shows. Decisions will be made within the next two months, he said.

The ReelzChannel Guaranteed Movie Recommendation program will proceed, at least through the first quarter, even though Dailies, the show in which the recommendation was made, is going away. The channel recommends one VOD film a month, promising viewers who pre-register at the channel's Web site and then buy and watch the film can get their money back if they aren't satisfied.

Hubbard said pre-registration has run about 1,000 for smaller films, such as the first recommendation Son of Rambow; fewer people have registered for refunds for watching known hits such as Iron Man, he said. “Only a handful” of viewers have asked for any money back, he said. The recommendations, on Thursdays, will come via promotional announcements.

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