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Midseason Sports Buys Available Via 888 Call

In Demand will launch its new, toll-free sports pay-per-view hotline by offering midseason deals on its two out-of-market pro packages.

The PPV provider will make its National Basketball Association and National Hockey League slates available at discounted midseason prices through 1-888-SPORTSINDEMAND.

The hotline was created to simplify pay-per-view ordering for several out-of-market sports packages available via digital cable, said In Demand vice president of marketing Gregg Rothberg.

In Demand has teamed with TelVue inc. to offer a toll-free hotline to digital-cable subscribers looking to order "NBA League Pass," "NHL Center Ice" or ESPN's various pay-per-view offerings. All calls are routed to TelVue's national call center.

The number is part of an In Demand initiative to boost the sales of cable's sports packages by simplifying the ordering process, Rothberg said. The number, designed to be easy for consumers to use and remember, will also help MSOs and programmers deliver a unified marketing message.

Consumers who order NBA League Pass after Jan. 15 will receive the package at a discounted price of $109, said In Demand. Those who buy the hockey package after Jan. 8 will also pay $109.

In Demand will incorporate the new toll-free number into all of its sports marketing materials. It will be used in the network's print, online, television, radio and barker channel promotions.

The NBA, NHL and ESPN also will use the number as part of their marketing efforts to support the packages, said In Demand.

"This is an important initiative that is intended to help drive subscriptions for our subscription sports packages," said Rothberg. "A unified, national toll-free number will make ordering our sports packages much easier for consumers, make our marketing and media far more effective and make our affiliates far less disadvantaged in the marketplace with respect to their satellite competitors."