Playboy Spices Up DirecTV PPV

Hoping to spur sluggish adult pay-per-view buys, DirecTV Inc. will offer
subscribers the chance to purchase five Playboy Entertainment Group Inc.-owned
PPV services on an a la carte basis or receive the group for one set price.

Last year, DirecTV began offering subscribers access to Playboy TV, The Hot
Zone, Spice Platinum, The Hot Network and A Taste of Spice for three hours at

DirecTV senior vice president of programming acquisitions Michael Thornton
said the PPV package was created to help the company build value for its adult
offerings and to encourage sampling of several Playboy-owned services.

While the PPV package has driven buys, Playboy Networks Worldwide president
Jim English said consumer choice in content and pricing was somewhat limited
under the DirecTV plan -- only Playboy TV could be purchased separately.

As a result, DirecTV May 1 began offering each of the five networks on an a
la carte basis, along with the combination package.

The more explicit Spice Platinum, Hot Network and Hot Zone are now priced at
$9.99 each for a 90-minute block, while the heavier-edited Playboy TV retails at
$7.99 for a four-hour block, Thornton said.

Compilation channel A Taste of Spice costs $4.95 for a 55-minute block or
$6.99 for three hours.

"We like to provide more options for consumers to access our networks,"
English said. "The various ordering options matches the flexibility that other
platforms like the Internet provide consumers."

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.