Stern Goes SVOD with In Demand

The “King of All Media” has added another platform to his realm.

Radio shock jock Howard Stern has entered into an agreement with In Demand Networks to televise his upcoming Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. show next year on a subscription-video-on-demand service.

The three-year pact also affords the VOD and pay-per-view purveyor the rights to The Howard Stern Show, the weekday radio show on Infinity Broadcasting Corp. E! Entertainment Television had been running a takedown from those shows for 11 years -- a run that ended last month.

Stern -- whose current syndicated show emanates from WXRK in New York -- has been lobbying to end his Infinity deal before it expires at year’s end.

Pricing for the SVOD service -- which presumably will reflect a more free-flowing and uncensored Stern in his Federal Communications Commission-unfettered Sirius version -- has yet to be determined, according to an In Demand spokesman.

Operating divisions of three of In Demand’s owners -- Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications Inc. -- have agreed to offer Stern’s fare on an SVOD basis.

Noting that definitive plans have not been made, the spokesman said it is In Demand’s intent to edit Stern’s current show, as well as his upcoming Sirius program, into 60- to 90-minute presentations. At this point, those shows would air commercial-free.

Published reports indicated that E! dropped out of the bidding to retain Stern’s current radio program, and that Spike TV was making a run for the rights. Subsequently, Comcast was said to have been pursuing a deal to offer Stern’s Sirius show on its on-demand platform.

“The production baton for Howard’s show has been passed from a traditional linear-basic-cable environment to In Demand, where Howard’s viewers have more control over the content in their homes,” In Demand CEO Rob Jacobson said in a prepared statement.

“With VOD, users can fast-forward, rewind and pause, and view a show at any time and as often as they want,” he added. “By providing Howard Stern’s show in a subscription-VOD format, this content will be available to only those viewers who make an affirmative decision to view it, with the benefit of parental-control tools from their television provider.”