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For-fee Access, No Commercials, Bawdier Content

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Howard Stern fans will soon be able to tune in the shock jock’s TV show whenever they want, following an agreement struck today with video-on-demand distributor iN Demand Networks.
Photo: AP
Howard Stern's TV show will only be available on video on demand.
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Financial terms of the three-year deal weren’t disclosed but it includes exclusive TV rights to The Howard Stern Show -— meaning the only place viewers can find Mr. Stern’s new TV broadcasts are on video on demand. The VOD network has distribution agreements with Time Warner, Comcast and Cox, but it didn’t rule out further expansion.

No ad opportunities
There are no planned advertising opportunities within Mr. Sterns VOD show, but Time Warner, Comcast and Cox subscribers will be able to access the content for a monthly fee.

Mr. Stern will have his own dedicated VOD channel on each those cable systems. Viewers will be able to access the most recent show 24 to 36 hours after its broadcast on the radio -- it will be on VOD the evening of the next day -- as well as archives of previous shows.

Because VOD programming doesn’t have to fit into a structured broadcast schedule, episode lengths will vary. Mr. Stern’s VOD programs will range from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on how much of his four-hour show iN Demand decides to edit on any given day. “The show could be 46 minutes or it could be 58 minutes,” said Eric Duncan, a spokesman for iN Demand.

Until last month, TV highlights of Mr. Stern’s weekday radio show were part of the late-night lineup on the E! Entertainment basic cable network.

Less need to censor content
Making the show available as a subscription-based VOD program will reduce the need to censor Mr. Stern’s racy content -- a task E!’s programmers faced almost nightly. Additionally, Mr. Stern’s show is likely to become even bawdier as he ends his contract with Viacom’s Infinity Broadcasting in January and heads to Sirius Satellite Radio -- a move the VOD programming will document.

Bringing exclusive content such as Mr. Stern’s show to video on demand has been a major gambit for cable operators, which see VOD as a way to differentiate themselves from their chief competition, satellite companies such as DirecTV and Echostar’s Dish Network.

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