In a departure from its usual pay-per-view boxing fare,
TVKO will distribute a March PPV-concert show featuring Grammy Award-winning female group
The event, scheduled for March 18, will retail at a
suggested price of $19.95, TVKO senior vice president of programming Mark Taffet said. The
taped event will be the final concert of the group's successful 30-city tour.
"TLC is one of the hottest groups right now,"
Taffet said. "We have the perfect set of circumstances to make a successful PPV
Along with the tour, the group -- the most successful
female recording group in music history -- has been nominated for several Grammy Awards
this year, and it is expected to perform on the Feb. 23 Grammy show. In addition,
talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell will interview the trio during a primetime special Feb. 8.
TVKO, the PPV arm of Time Warner Inc.'s Home Box Office,
expects to develop its own aggressive marketing and promotional plan behind the concert,
which will be the first major concert event of 2000.
Given the group's crossover appeal and its teen target
audience, Taffet believes the concert could rank with some of the biggest PPV concerts of
all time. At the very least, it could match the recent performance of several
teen-targeted PPV concerts.
Showtime Event Television's 1999 Backstreet Boys concert
drew about 150,000 buys, while its 1998 Spice Girls event pulled in about 135,000 buys.
"I think this event will perform as well as some of
the biggest teen-focused event PPV concerts," Taffet said. "To get the event on
the heels of a tour, the group's recent album success and subsequent Grammy Award
nominations and national television appearances is great for the PPV industry."
The event also marks TVKO's first concert in two years,
since it distributed a Phil Collins event. While the company's five other PPV concerts
have targeted an older adult audience, the TLC event is TVKO's first attempt at attracting
Taffet said the company would look to distribute more
concerts this year, as it begins to expand its PPV-event portfolio beyond boxing.
"Concerts add another important component to TVKO's
repertoire, and we hope to bring a few more musical shows during the year," he said.
"But such efforts will not come at the expense of our ability to deliver the PPV
mega-boxing events that we're known for."
TVKO, for example, is in the final stages of developing an
April 29 Lennox Lewis-Michael Grant heavyweight-championship fight.
The bout, expected to take place at Madison Square Garden
in New York, would be the first fight for champion Lewis since his two successful PPV
matches against Evander Holyfield last year. Those two events generated a combined $100
million and pulled in approximately 2 million buys.