Rolling Stone : Zoo TV cable channel in development - U2 France
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Rolling Stone : Zoo TV cable channel in development

jeudi 21 avril 1994

Source : Rolling Stone

From Rolling Stone :

Channel surfingBy Bruce Haring

CABLE TV SPAWNS FOUR NEW OUTLETS WITH THEIR EYES ON MTV YOU WANTED YOUR MTV. Soon you may want your MTV plus your ENT, Un-TV, Zoo TV and TicketmasterChannel—four new cable-television outlets expected to offer home shopping and entertainment, including music videos,sometime next year. As the first serious competition to MTV in years, these new offerings may include :

* A new channel tentatively called ENT—from a partnership of Warner Music, Sony, EMI Music, PolyGram and Ticketmaster—that is expected to start in the U.S. and Puerto Rico at the end of this year. * From Bertelsmann Music Group, a channel (whose name the company won’t disclose, though Un-TV was suggestedby a media consultant) that will focus mostly on new rock and rap artists. "We would be the first place you’d see a bandlike Pearl Jam," says Tom McPartland, senior vice president of BMG. * Zoo TV, a possible partnership between U2 and PolyGram modeled after the band’s last album and tour. U2 manager Paul McGuinness describes it as a "guerrilla channel, sort of a hip QVC," that may offer three half-hours of music vids and some classic cult films, with one half-hour of home shopping. * And a home-shopping spinoff from Ticketmaster, which, in addition to its ENT participation, plans to offer concert merchandise, albums, videos and, of course, tickets, with the big plus of exclusive contracts with most of the nation’s major venues.

ENT—modeled after a German television-music partnership, channel VIVA—will mount the most direct challenge to MTV, with bright sets, young VJs and an initial soft sell on home shopping. Although its programming profile is still hazy, ENT will license videos from all record labels—"It won’t be a political free-for-all," claims one record executive—which could mean clips by such Time Warner outcasts as Ice-T, "if that’s what the format ends up accepting," the executive says.

Despite the chill on new cable ventures caused by the recent re-regulation of cable-television rates, Tele-CommunicationsInc., the nation’s largest cable operator, is actively considering adding ENT to its announced partnership with BMG. And the threat to MTV has roused the sleeping giant’s antitrust instincts.

"We won’t have a problem with fair competition," says MTV chairman and CEO Tom Freston. "But I’ll say it’s unusualto see all these competitors band together in a business." Meanwhile, MTV, which is set to launch its own home-shoppingexperiment in April, has just scrapped plans to launch two genre-specific video channels.

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