Stern Is iN DEMAND

It’s official: Distributor InDemand cut a three-year deal to distribute video of Howard Stern’s radio show as a subscription video on demand service.

When the shock jock moves to Sirius Satellite Radio at year-end, InDemand will distribute video from Stern’s studio to cable systems, who will sell it as a monthly subscription.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox--all owners of InDemand--have agreed to offer Stern On Demand.

Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Ron Jacobson said that the SVOD package will initially be priced around $10 monthly. After assessing subscriber response, the price might be raised, but no higher than $15.

E! Entertainment Television has carried a TV version of Stern’s broadcast radio show for years, but heavily edited the show for both time and taste (lot's of blurred body parts, for example).

InDemand will shorten the four-hour radio shows to 60-90 minute TV offerings, but won’t be editing swearing or nudity in the studio, such as the frequent appearances of strippers.

Jacobson wouldn't disclose what kind of guarantee InDemand is giving Stern, who is collecting $100 million a year from Sirius. Sirius will need Stern to draw at least a million more subs to their satellite radio service to cover his paycheck.

Jacobson notes that Stern is one of the highest-rated shows on E! (although that's a low bar), produced strong pay-per-view specials a decade ago, and remains one of the strongest voices in broadcast radio. "How that translates into subscriptions, it’s too early to tell."