Cablevision On Board for Stern VOD

Cablevision Systems Corp. subscribers will have uncensored video access to hometown radio shock jock Howard Stern's satellite-radio show.

Beginning March 14, In Demand LLC will make its Howard TV subscription-video-on-demand package available to Cablevision's digital-cable customers, affording those subscribers the opportunity to look at the first two months of the shock jock’s Sirius Satellite Radio shows, according to In Demand president Rob Jacobson.

To build awareness for the uncensored Sirius shows -- which began Jan. 9 after Stern left Infinity Broadcasting Corp. -- In Demand will launch a multimillion-dollar TV- and Internet-advertising campaign this week, schedules for which were still being finalized at press time.

Since November, In Demand has been offering on-demand archival programming from the shock jock's radio show on Infinity as part of a $9.99 SVOD service. Jacobson, who declined to supply figures, said the on-demand package has thus far performed above expectations.

Starting April 1, In Demand will begin offering Stern's Sirius shows on-demand one to two days after they premiere on the satellite-radio service. At that time, In Demand suggests that the retail price of the package be raised $4 to $13.99 per month.

Along with the Sirius broadcasts, Howard TV will also feature films from Stern's recently announced April Film Festival. Jacobson hopes to offer as much as 100 hours of on-demand product per month. “Howard sees himself more as a content provider and enabler, so Howard TV is a broader umbrella type of product,” Jacobson said.

As for Cablevision, the MSO will offer the Howard TV service to its iO: Interactive Optimum digital-cable customers for $9.99, even after the more current episodes begin rolling out April 1, according to MSO executives.

Cablevision joins Adelphia Communications Corp., as well as In Demand owners Time Warner Cable, Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc., in distributing Howard TV.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.