Ad Age: Adult PPV Ads Popping Up on Cable, Satellite

Tod Hunter
LOS ANGELES — Cable and satellite companies are starting to promote adult pay-per-view offerings after a long period of refusing to do so, trade publication Advertising Age is reporting.

The promotions are appearing in late night on male-oriented channels like ESPN and Spike, and are often accompanied by lower rates for PPV purchases.

Late last year, satellite service DirecTV quietly ended its moratorium on promoting adult video-on-demand offerings on its channels, and reportedly Comcast — the nation's largest cable company — may start promoting adult content on a region by region basis.

Robert Mercer, a spokesman for DirecTV, told Ad Age that while the company still has "a long-standing policy of not marketing adult content at retail or to consumers in general," it will now run promotional spots "for existing customers on certain male-oriented channels in the early morning hours — between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. ET, say."

"We've always been extremely discreet about this for obvious reasons," Mercer added.

Increased awareness of adult PPV can lead to more profit for the cable and satellite operators. Joone, CEO of Digital Playground, told Ad Age that that the split of revenue between cable operators and Hollywood studios favors Hollywood, but when it comes to adult content, "90 percent of the revenue goes to cable operators. They have the lion's share of the profits."

Another reason for the promotion is consumer education about the adult offerings. A New Frontier Media in-house study of satellite customers found that almost 75 percent of satellite customers are unaware that hardcore content is available; and 56 percent of cable customers are unaware of the option.

The study also found that of the 80 percent of customers who buy adult content from their cable operator, 63 percent pay for content on the Internet as well.

The complete article can be read at the Advertising Age website.