In an effort to provide a more cohesive programming
schedule, Viewer's Choice will reformat its 35-channel pay-per-view service,
providing a single programming lineup for both its analog and digital services.
Along with the scheduling change, the network enhanced its
barker channels to emphasize its half-hour, near-video-on-demand movie starts.
The new Viewer's Choice lineup, which will take effect
July 1, will feature the same movie schedule for both the network's analog and
digital channels, Viewer's Choice president Mindy Herman said.
Previously, the network provided separate analog and
digital lineups, which made affiliate PPV-movie promotions difficult.
The first seven channels, which are mostly offered by
analog-only systems, will feature two movie and event channels, three movie-of-the-day
services, one movie-of-the-week channel and the "Hot Choice" service, the
Those seven channels, as well as a barker channel, will
also be offered as part of the Headend in the Sky digital service.
The remaining channels will consist mostly of
movie-of-the-week channels, along with a second barker channel, the network said.
"These changes are being made to help our affiliates
support both their analog and digital PPV platforms," Herman said. "The single
lineup will now allow our affiliates to provide a consistent promotional message, while at
the same time promoting the big movie titles with half-hour start times."
To further emphasize half-hour start times, Viewer's
Choice has added new features to and redesigned elements of its barker channels. New
"schedule lists" enable viewers to quickly see which titles are upcoming. And
the lists highlight titles with 30-minute start times in yellow.
Concurrently, the network will run tune-in spots for the
half-hour titles to reinforce the convenient, continuous scheduling.
Both barker channels also include "how-to-order"
spots that refer viewers to the on-screen guide.
"The changes that we've made are a direct result
of our conversations and collaborations with affiliates, which were highly instrumental in
steering the direction of our digital promotions," said Leigh Bolton, vice president
of video promotion for Viewer's Choice.
In other Viewer's Choice news, the network will offer
five-minute previews that will automatically be provided to digital systems, Herman said.
The preview feature -- currently deployed by AT&T
Broadband & Internet Services (formerly Tele-Communications Inc.) -- will open up the
first five minutes of a movie for subscribers to preview.
Herman said the scheduling and on-air changes are the first
of several moves that will help to reposition the network, including the eventual
development of a uniform national brand for Viewer's Choice.
"We're beginning to move the network in the
direction that we want to move within the digital world," Herman said. "Our goal
is to develop a uniform marketing and promotional effort."
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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.
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