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Viewer's Choice to Become in Demand PPV Cable Brand to Roll Out At Dawn of New Millennium.

NEW YORK--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--September 13, 1999--

Viewer's Choice, the nation's leading pay-per-view network, will become In Demand to establish the first national consumer brand identity for cable TV pay-per-view, it was announced today by Mindy Herman, president and CEO, Viewer's Choice. Ushering in the new millenium, the network will change its name, its on-air look and its overall corporate identity, effective January 1, 2000. The creation of In Demand represents the culmination of a major industrywide initiative to create a unified brand name for the pay-per-view category, which is enjoying tremendous growth in digital markets.

The network's MSO owners, AT&T/Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI), Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Communications, Comcast Corporation, MediaOne and Cox Communications, worked closely with Viewer's Choice on the branding initiative and all agreed to move to the In Demand brand at the local level, through a co-branding initiative linking the MSO brand name and In Demand. "By establishing In Demand as a major home entertainment brand that is proprietary to cable, we will enable our MSO partners to aggressively grow their digital business and reinforce cable's position as the premiere provider of outstanding programming," said Herman. "Our new name reflects our ability to satisfy viewer demand for great entertainment, sports and event programming and will establish the home as the next great entertainment destination."

In Demand is being positioned to become one of cable's most important providers of in- home entertainment programming with the best first run movies, the biggest stars and the must-see events, including boxing, wrestling, concerts and professional sports packages. In Demand's 35-channel digital lineup will feature 30-minute start times on the top four-to-five movie titles each month. Helming the In Demand branding initiative is Gavin Harvey, senior vice president, marketing/brand director, Viewer's Choice, who orchestrated the branding strategy, development, execution and rollout of the network's new imagery. Harvey was responsible for overseeing a team of Viewer's Choice staffers and outside agencies in the development and design of the new branding strategy. "To help us get there, we need to position the network as being exciting and being in," Harvey added. "For entertainment and sports fans, In Demand will be a regular destination that will make going in as exciting as going out." At the same time, pay-per-view veteran Leigh Bolton, senior vice president, video promotion, Viewer's Choice is presently overseeing the execution of the network's new on-air look and video promotion that will be unveiled on January 1. Also contributing to the overall branding initiative were the countless contributions of Viewer's Choice owner MSOs and the company's cable TV advisory group, which provided invaluable guidance and input throughout the long overhaul. "Establishing a strong proprietary cable brand for pay-per-view will surely go a long way to help us jumpstart this category and deliver, finally, the promise of pay-per-view," said Judi Allen, senior vice president, Video, MediaOne and board member of Viewer's Choice. "We are extremely confident that Viewer's Choice is doing the right thing and that the introduction of In Demand, coupled with the excitement of digital cable, will provide much needed lift to the category and help fulfill the promise of pay-per-view." With the cable market place expected to rise from 1.5 million to 23 million over the next five years, PPV revenue is projected to top $2.5 billion in 2003. Sixty percent of the revenues will be coming from digital hit movies alone, according to Paul Kagan Reports.

Viewer's Choice will begin introducing its new name and logo to the cable industry this week. Teaser spots will be made available to cable operators in October and will begin running in November and December. The In Demand launch kit will be available in November.

"Moving forward, our goal is to establish a strong viewer link to In Demand through co-branding with our cable affiliates and national marketing and promotion efforts with our programming partners," said Harvey. "By establishing In Demand as the ultimate source for great in-home entertainment, we will help re-energize the cable TV pay-per-view market, drive the business to new heights and position ourselves for the video-on-demand market of the future." In Demand also has been designed with built-in compatibility for systems which still intend to use the category name pay-per-view as part of their local branding. Viewer's Choice worked closely with three outside agencies. Brand development and positioning was provided by Mullen; logo and launch ad were created by BIRD Design; and animation plus other visual elements are being created by Fuel. "We are fortunate to be working with Mullen, Bird Design and Fuel to create both a strong and fully re-energized image for cable PPV," said Harvey. "Their efforts on behalf of In Demand reflect creative passion as well as an ability to address the specific needs of our industry." "This is a defining moment for pay-per-view," Bolton said. "We worked with the best graphic and broadcast designers in the industry in order to create a look that accommodates the co-branding and stylistic needs of our affiliates." Viewer's Choice L.L.C. is the nation's leading pay-per-view network, offering titles from all of the major Hollywood and independent studios, plus sports and entertainment events through its 35-channel digital pay-per-view multiplex service. Viewer's Choice serves over 1,700 affiliated systems with approximately 27 million addressable households and 112 million channel subscribers nationwide. The company's five shareholders include AT&T-TCI Communications, Inc., Time Warner Entertainment - Advance/Newhouse Partnership, Comcast Programming Ventures, Inc., MediaOne of Delaware, Inc. and Cox Communications Holdings, Inc. Further information about the company and In Demand can be found on the Internet at either www.viewerschoice.net or www.ppv.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 13, 1999
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