Cablevision Puts Stern on Screen

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

Beginning March 14, In Demand will make its “Howard TV” subscription on-demand package available to Cablevision’s digital-cable customers in the New York City area — Stern’s longtime home base — affording those subscribers access to the first two months of the TV version of his shows for Sirius Satellite Radio, which officially starts March 16, In Demand president Rob Jacobson said.

Backing the uncensored Sirius shows — which began on radio Jan. 9, after Stern left Infinity Broadcasting Corp. — In Demand this week planned to launch a multimillion dollar TV and Internet advertising campaign.

Since November, In Demand has been offering on-demand archival programming from Stern’s old radio show, syndicated to broadcasters by Infinity, as part of a $9.99 per month on-demand service. Jacobson, asked for figures, said only the on-demand package has 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 by $4, to $13.99 per month.

Along with the Sirius broadcasts, Stern 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 a month. “Howard sees himself more as a content provider and enabler, so Howard TV is a broader umbrella type of product,” Jacobson said.

Cablevision will add the Howard TV service to its iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable customers for $9.99, even after the more current episodes begin rolling on April 1, executives at the cable company said.

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

“As Howard’s cable company here on Long Island, we’re happy to give our customers more of what they want — Howard, on-demand and uncensored,” Cablevision executive vice president of product management and marketing Patricia Gottesman said in a statement.

Stern grew up in Roosevelt, Long Island.

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.