Star Power Bolsters VOD Promo Effort

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TV Guide Channel is packaging some of the 3,000 celebrity interviews it does each year into short segments to help promote new movie titles available on Charter Communications Inc.'s video-on-demand platform.

The packages will promote Charter's top eight to 10 VOD movies each month. Each segment will include interviews with the film's stars, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie and installments of TV Guide Channel's 90-Second Life Story.

"TV Guide has a long history in driving buy-rates for pay-per-view and video-on-demand," said channel general manager Madeleine Forrer.

Over the past year, she said, parent Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. looked at ways "to leverage our library, our relationship with the studios and programmers, and all of the vendors to get into the VOD space."

Trial Rollout

The Charter deal is the first trial rollout for TVG's VOD strategy, and the focus is on movies, Forrer said.

Each movie TV Guide Channel decides to promote could have anywhere from three to seven associated pieces of content, Forrer said. For instance, some movies could have three to four celebrity interview segments. Each could run from 90 seconds to four or more minutes in length, she said.

"It's an opportunity to go back into the library and really give fresh exposure to material that hadn't been seen before," Forrer said.

The "TV Guide Studios Extras" content will be displayed within TV Guide Interactive Scientific-Atlanta Inc.'s SARA and TV Gateway, the interactive programming guides that collectively serve Charter's 900,000 VOD-enabled subscribers.

TVN Entertainment Corp. will pitch content to Charter's VOD-server providers, Concurrent Computer Corp. and nCUBE Corp.

To get to the Extras content, subscribers would go to the "Movies" section under the VOD menu and click on "TV Guide Studio Extras."

The next page would showcase the three categories of content: celebrity interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and 90-Second Life Story.

Promos, Too

Under each of those categories, consumers would see lists of actor interviews or behind-the-scenes and Life Story segments.

TV Guide will also provide Charter with a 30-second cross-channel spot to promote the new segments.

"Having the ability to customize the on-demand product with content from TV Guide Channel that not only entertains, but also promotes our programming [and] gives Charter customers a unique experience," MSO senior director of on-demand and pay-per-view Mitch Miller said in a release.

TV Guide said several other MSOs have expressed interest in rolling out future iterations of the service.

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